We investigated numerous sedans for the best price v. performance ratio and concluded that the Impala met the bill. In its base form with the 3.4L engine, the rated mpg is 32 on the highway, and we have steadily seen 34+mpg in over 7000 miles of driving. For a six-cylinder, this is exceptional.
The highway ride is very comfortable and quiet. Some tire noise is heard at highway speeds, but very inoffensive. The engine is also very quiet and smooth. If you did not know better, you might think that the lack of vibration and noise signified a small V8. Acceleration is more than ample, and the transmission is smooth and fluid.
There are only a handful of complaints. We have the CD/cassette upgraded sound system. The CD player is very efficient and the sound pure. However, the radio, particularly on FM, is over bassed and not as crisp and pure as the "premium" designation would suggest. Part of this may be user error in getting all the settings appropriate, but I have not yet discovered a setting that maximizes the sound qualities.
The cruise control controls are located under the left and right steering wheel spokes. It is very easy to have your thumb hit the "set" button and inadvertently engage the system. That can be a rude awakening and even dangerous.
The electrical accessory plug-in is located in the ash tray opening. So, to plug an item in...perhaps a cell phone cable, means that the ash try door is opened and extending into the leg room area of a passenger. That can be annoying. A better location would be on the center console.
Finally, the center console does have two spots for drinks/cans, but I would prefer one of them to be in the extra large size...they barely hold (diameter wise) a standard 20 ounce bottle.
All in all, we love the car. It is comfortable, good looking, economical and a pleasure to drive.
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