2002 Chevy Impala Review

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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Six-passenger seating availability, good crash test scores, torquey V6 engines.
  • So-so styling, wallowy suspension,low-buck interior.

It might be called the Impala, but this dreadful, front wheel drive family sedan has little in common with the V8-powered, rear wheel drive models of the past. Skip it in favor of the more refined offerings from Ford, Chrysler and Toyota.

Vehicle overview

Although designed to compete in the normally staid full-size sedan market, the Impala distinguishes itself with such notable design cues like smoked headlight lenses, large circular tail lamps and a shape that creates a "frown" both front and rear. Stylists looked to Impalas of the '60s for inspiration here, but its C-pillar badges mimic the surprisingly successful and often-mourned Impala SS of the '90s.

Available in base and LS trim levels, the 2002 Impala sedan holds six average -sized adults and 17.6 cubic feet of their luggage. The cabin is hardly what you would call opulent, but it gets the job done with a clean straightforward layout featuring large, easy-to-read gauges and simplified climate and radio controls.

The standard 3.4-liter V6 engine was borrowed from the Venture minivan, making 180 horsepower and 205 pound-feet of torque. Step up to LS trim, and you get a 3.8-liter V6 making 200 horsepower and 225 lb-ft of torque. Both models employ a responsive four-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels.

Despite its modest weight, the Impala still suffers in the handling department. The way it floats and wallows through turns, you would think you were in one of the enormous land yachts of the'60s. Standard 16-inch wheels and tires do their best to keep the Impala in check, while standard four-wheel-disc brakes are on hand to bring it to a stop. Antilock brakes, a tire-inflation monitor and traction control are optional on base models and standard on LS.

Occupant safety is a big selling point for the Impala. Head-protection standards for 2003 were met well in advance, a side airbag is available, and rear-seat tether anchors will handle up to three child safety seats. Daytime running lights are also standard. Government crash tests gave the Impala a five-star rating in front impact collisions and a four star rating in side-impact crashes.

Other standard equipment includes air conditioning with dual front temperature controls, rear defogger, rear-seat headrests, power windows and locks and a Radio Data System (RDS) AM/FM stereo. The Impala's remote keyless entry fobs can be programmed with the preferences of two different drivers and the clock even automatically adjusts when you drive across time zones. The OnStar communication system that provides instant emergency service is standard on the LS and optional on base models.

Six-passenger sedans are few and far between these days, and the Impala delivers all that room in a safe and comfortable environment perfect for growing families. But with its sloppy suspension, poor build quality and low-buck interior, we would can't help but think that most families would prefer some of the more refined offerings from Chrysler, Ford and Toyota.

2002 Highlights

Now into its third year of production, the Impala soldiers on as Chevrolet's bread-and-butter family sedan. Minor upgrades this year include standard dual-zone air conditioning, an AM/FM stereo and LATCH child seat tether anchors. A leather-accented 60/40 split bench seat will be available later this year on LS models, and two new exterior colors have been added.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2002 Chevrolet Impala.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

2.13 out of 5 stars
4dr Sedan (3.4L 6cyl 4A)
I think I was particularly unlucky with the car I got, but this was the worst car I ever owned. In the 7 years I had it, I spent over $4,000 on major repairs, most of which came in the course of one year. By the end, it had rusted so badly that the fuel filter was rusted in place and mechanics couldn't put it on a lift because underside components were so corroded that they crushed. I didn't feel like I could leave town. The turn signal worked only intermittently for the last six months I owned it. I was so tired of dumping money into it that I just stopped making repairs.
5 out of 5 stars
survived a tornado and my high school years
Cole Stewart,12/05/2017
4dr Sedan (3.4L 6cyl 4A)
Best car i have ever known! Always been a truck guy but i bought my 2002 Impala after my Mom drove it through a tornado. My Mom and the car survived and Insurance bought my mom a new car. I ended up buying the Impala from her pretty cheaply and drove it for 2 years with no maintenance. I never changed the oil or anything because I thought the car couldn't last. After 2 years I used it as a project car for a shop class and just tuned it up. I never spent more than $500 on the car all 6 years I drove it. I rolled it several times, drifted it, ramped it, went off roading, and wrecked it often. To this day I still have the car and besides some minor dents and dings its held up and it still runs. I even nose dived it off a jump down into the middle of the road, shot the power steering pump out the front end, rigged it back in place and hooked the hose back up, and kept driving without a problem. I have always been a Ford Truck guy but because of that car I will always go to Chevy for cars. My cousin even bought an Impala for his first car because he loved how well mine held up and hes had no complaints after 4 years. I got my Impala with 160K miles and it now has well over 200K still hammers down.
4.88 out of 5 stars
Test Drove them all , Impala won!
sammy(alias mario),08/13/2002
LS 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)
When I when to buy my next car I researched the internet extensively and test drove just about all the cometitors (Accord, Camry,Passat, Intrigue, Altima, Avalon, Sable, Intrepid). The Impala won my wife and my votes for comfort , power, handling , features and room to spare. Plus it has 87% U.S./Canadian parts content. Not to mention 5 star frontal and 4 star side impact ratings.
3.88 out of 5 stars
Cheverolet Impala 3.8L Police Package
LS 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 4A)
I bought my Impala new at a Toronto dealership. I found the car to have good exceleration and handling. The 3.8L is bullet proof with over 360,000 klm on the original engine. The transmission has been flawless. The only issues I have had was with the computer which crashed right after the warranty expired. This was a $1000 repair. The wipers would not go into the park position, repaired several times. Most recently the gas gage went screwy and the turn signal shorts out on damp days. All in all an above average car that really doesn't owe me anything.


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2002 Chevrolet Impala

Used 2002 Chevrolet Impala Overview

The Used 2002 Chevrolet Impala is offered in the following submodels: Impala Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (3.4L 6cyl 4A), and LS 4dr Sedan (3.8L 6cyl 4A). The Used 2002 Chevrolet Impala comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 4-speed automatic. The Used 2002 Chevrolet Impala comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2002 Chevrolet Impala?

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2002 Chevrolet Impalas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2002 Chevrolet Impala for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2002 Chevrolet Impala.

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Find a used Chevrolet Impala for sale - 6 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $15,090.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 5 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $24,887.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Impala for sale - 5 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $8,249.

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Should I lease or buy a 2002 Chevrolet Impala?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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