2011 Chevrolet Impala Review

Pros & Cons

  • Smooth, quiet ride
  • simple controls
  • available six-passenger seating
  • large trunk.
  • Cheap interior materials and construction
  • underwhelming engine choices
  • four-speed automatic
  • lackluster handling
List Price Range
$4,000 - $9,640

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Despite a spacious cabin and comfortable ride, the 2011 Chevrolet Impala is outdone by most competitors. You can do better.

Vehicle overview

In times of financial uncertainty, it's natural that people will turn to the tried-and-true. In other words, grandiose aspirations tend to yield to that which is more grounded and conservative. With respect to the automotive world, the perennial Chevrolet Impala is one familiar multigenerational nameplate that's continued to do well in recessionary times. And it's managed to do so while relying on a design template that hasn't kept up with the latest and the greatest.

Once the best-selling full-size model in the United States, the well-established and versatile Impala was born in the late 1950s and has taken on different forms during different eras: coupe, sedan, hardtop, convertible and wagon, with models and trim packages appealing to performance buyers, style mavens, value shoppers, families and fleet buyers alike. The 2011 Chevrolet Impala sedan is the latest incarnation of this unassuming, value-driven vehicle -- though we doubt people will revere this version in 30 years like they do with its illustrious predecessors.

The Chevy Impala's practical strengths contribute to its mainstream appeal: a smooth ride, a quiet cabin, room for up to six, a large trunk and a solid safety record. Not exciting but wholly serviceable, the Impala is decent transportation for most. Changes to the 2011 Chevrolet Impala are minor, meaning it continues to fall farther behind newer and more sophisticated rivals due to its aging platform, rental fleet styling, cheap interior and unimpressive powertrains.

What we have, then, in the 2011 Chevrolet Impala is an aging back-of-the-pack sedan that needs a return to the drawing board in order to join the class leaders. Impala sales remain strong thanks to rental and company car fleets, but we think buyers with a choice of what they drive deserve better than just "wholly serviceable." So if you're shopping for a well-rounded modern family sedan, instead consider fresher designs like the 2011 Buick LaCrosse, 2011 Chrysler 300, 2011 Ford Taurus, 2011 Hyundai Sonata or 2011 Toyota Avalon. Times might be uncertain, but that doesn't mean you should settle for something other than the best.

2011 Chevrolet Impala models

The 2011 Chevy Impala is a full-size four-door sedan offered in three trim levels: base LS, midrange LT and top-drawer LTZ. There is standard seating for five people, but an optional front bench available on the LS and LT ups that to six.

LS models are equipped with standard 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, cruise control, keyless entry, air-conditioning, five-passenger seating, six-way power driver seat, tilt-only steering wheel, full power accessories, OnStar and a six-speaker CD audio system with satellite radio and auxiliary audio jack.

Next up, the LT adds different 17-inch wheels, foglamps, remote ignition, dual-zone manual climate control, an upgraded trip computer and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and Bluetooth controls (optional on LS). LT buyers can also opt for a new Luxury package that combines several popular premium features including a rear spoiler, heated mirrors, leather upholstery, heated front seats, six-way power passenger seat, fold-flat rear seat, auto-dimming rearview mirror and an upgraded, eight-speaker Bose audio system with a one-year subscription to satellite radio.

The top-of-the-line LTZ adds a larger V6 engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, "luxury-tuned" suspension, eight-way power driver seat and the LT's Luxury package content. A sunroof is optional on the LT and LTZ.

2011 Highlights

Despite a spacious cabin and comfortable ride, the 2011 Chevrolet Impala is outdone by most competitors. You can do better.

Performance & mpg

The front-wheel-drive Chevrolet Impala LS and LT models include a standard 3.5-liter V6 producing 211 horsepower and 216 pound-feet of torque, while the LTZ is equipped with a 3.9-liter V6 that generates 224 hp and 235 lb-ft of torque.

Both overhead valve engines are mated to a four-speed automatic transmission, while the Impala's competitors typically offer more sophisticated six-speed automatics. As a result of its modest output and gearing, performance is unexceptional.

With less power, however, the Impala manages estimated fuel economy at 19 mpg city/29 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined. The larger 3.9-liter V6 achieves an estimated 17/27/21, which is about the same as the Chevy Malibu's substantially more powerful V6.

Safety

The 2011 Chevrolet Impala performs well in safety testing, and is equipped with standard antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, OnStar telematics, front side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags. In government crash testing, the Impala earned the highest possible five-star rating in frontal and side-impact crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2011 Impala its top ranking of "Good" in both its frontal-offset and side impact tests.

Driving

Driving dynamics are rather pedestrian, and a major reason why the Impala languishes behind the segment leaders as a middling performer.

The 2011 Impala's powertrains deliver modest output with designs that recall an earlier era -- while proven and adequate for relaxed everyday driving when judged in isolation, they seem relatively weak when compared to the more robust and sophisticated V6s and six-speed transmissions of its rivals. The larger 3.9-liter V6 is preferred, as it offers more power reserves when accelerating around town and on the highway.

The Impala's suspension is tuned for an especially comfortable and smooth ride, but it suffers from lackluster handling response. Again, fine for a brief rental tour while on vacation in Florida, but its competitors offer more refinement that you'll appreciate in the long term.

Interior

A quick tour of the Impala's cabin offers a good illustration of the strengths and weaknesses of its aging design. While it's roomy and quiet with simple controls, the cabin's bland styling and low-quality materials cheapen the experience and make the car feel dated and utilitarian.

Viewed from a strictly practical perspective, however, it's hard to argue with the Impala's cabin. There's seating for up to six passengers -- something that's increasingly rare in modern sedans -- with the 40/20/40-split front bench that's offered as an option on LS/LT models. Hip- and shoulder room are good all around, though competitive models offer a bit more legroom.

The spacious trunk will swallow more than 18 cubic feet of cargo; while not class-leading, this is still fairly impressive. The fold-flat rear seatbacks and large trunk pass-through (an option on LS/LT models and standard on the LTZ) make it possible to carry longer items with the trunk lid closed.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2011 Chevrolet Impala.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Utilitarian, highly recommended
mg_davis,09/02/2011
2 months with a new 2011. It is practical, functional, a screaming good value with rebates, pleasant looking, but a bit boring to drive. For the price I paid, I could hardy buy a small import sedan with the same trim level. If you want the maximum passenger and cargo space you can get in any sedan around 20K, then the Impala LT is your car. With room like this, you wont need an SUV. On the rare occasion you actually *do* need to transport sheets of plywood, pop the rear seats down and load up. The other 364 days of the year you'll enjoy cheaper payments and 10 or more extra MPG. It does most things great, a few things good, and nothing poorly. Best large sedan value, period.
Monthly problems!
Jm,02/14/2016
LT Fleet 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 4A)
@28,000miles, brake problems,power windows replace and every 8,000miles replace front rotors and pads. @50,000mi.transmission replace. @70.000 power steering pump replace. Constance road noise thru bottom of rear doors. Popping noise when turn right on gravel roads. Price too high for this car.
Great Value, Perfect American Family Car
simplecars,05/22/2012
We chose this 2011 Impala over the new designed Taurus. Yes, that is right! Why? Taurus - sit low, can NOT see out back window due to rear seat headrests (similar in Impala), too many buttons and too much electronic gizmo stuff. We liked the simple, easy to use instruments, console. Very comfortable for long trips (drove from IL to FL, AR, MO, KY, TN, more in first month owned). Now have 15,000 miles and has not missed a tick. We purchased new the base model...it had more features than our previous car, and not need to pay more for things you don't use. Paid $19,500 before tax...NEW. Excellent value for the money.
2011 Impala LTZ
garsarno,04/20/2011
Traded in a 2007 Impala SS with 80,000+ miles. The current deal on the Impalas are incredible. MSRP for loaded LTZ was $31,655. GM rebate of $5,000 and $1,000 AARP rebate along with dealer discount of $1,655 gave me a new car for $24,000. They gave me $8,500 for my trade in, and the deal was set. Did buy the Major Guard GM Extended Warranty online so that the complete car is covered for five years / 100,000 miles with zero deductible. In comparison, the LTZ is more balanced and quieter than the SS. But I do miss that V8 rumble! Power is slightly down. They did however, delete the six disc cd player from the Bose option and your stuck with a single cd player.

Features & Specs

See all Used 2011 Chevrolet Impala features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover11.3%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Marginal
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Acceptable

More about the 2011 Chevrolet Impala

Used 2011 Chevrolet Impala Overview

The Used 2011 Chevrolet Impala is offered in the following submodels: Impala Sedan. Available styles include LT 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 4A), LS 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 4A), LTZ 4dr Sedan (3.9L 6cyl 4A), LT Fleet 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 4A), and LS Fleet 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 4A).

What's a good price on a Used 2011 Chevrolet Impala?

Price comparisons for Used 2011 Chevrolet Impala trim styles:

  • The Used 2011 Chevrolet Impala LT Fleet is priced between $4,000 and$7,995 with odometer readings between 121507 and179970 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Chevrolet Impala LTZ is priced between $6,000 and$9,640 with odometer readings between 70813 and152895 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Chevrolet Impala LT is priced between $5,999 and$8,790 with odometer readings between 56916 and124098 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Chevrolet Impala LS is priced between $6,998 and$6,998 with odometer readings between 101658 and101658 miles.

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Which used 2011 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) 2011 Chevrolet Impala for sale near. There are currently 9 used and CPO 2011 Impalas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $4,000 and mileage as low as 56916 miles. 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 2011 Chevrolet Impala.

Can't find a used 2011 Chevrolet Impalas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Chevrolet Impala for sale - 2 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $14,917.

Find a used Chevrolet for sale - 11 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $9,499.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet Impala for sale - 6 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $24,023.

Find a used certified pre-owned Chevrolet for sale - 6 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $20,916.

Should I lease or buy a 2011 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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