Northwest NEWS

February 7, 2000

Features

Chevrolet Impala LS

Test Drive: Chevrolet Impala LS 2000

   Chevrolet has brought back the Impala nameplate in two new models--the Impala and Impala LS.

   The Impala was first introduced in 1958 as a full-size car and was one of Chevrolet's most popular models until 1986, when the name was dropped. Then in 1994 through 1996, an Impala SS came out as a version of the Caprice. The new 2000 Impala, in two mid-size models, is proving popular, with 100,000 sold by the end of this month, according to Dan Hubbert at Chevrolet Communications.

   The 2000 Impala Sedan is a six-passenger model with a 3400 SFI V6 engine. The Impala LS is a five-passenger model with a 3800 SFI V6. My test drive car was a torch-red Impala LS with light oak leather interior and electric sunroof--definitely a car that makes a statement of "lively and fun" and delivers it.

   The standard LS price is $22,365, but with the sunroof, leather, preferred equipment group, and CD/radio combo options, as well as destination charge on my test model, the price went up to $25,415.

   This is a nice-looking car with clean lines. It has a rounded front end with large headlights and the famous Chevrolet emblem. The aerodynamic design of the windshield and top sweeps back to the rear spoiler. The round taillamp design is influenced by earlier Impalas.

   The LS is an easy car to enter, exit, and drive, and has lots of nice standard features, including keyless remote, 6-way power driver seat with manual lumbar, and power windows and locks. I liked the feel and look of the car and appreciated the powerful and smooth drive.

   The 3800 SFI V6 has 200hp at 5,200rpm and 225 ft.-lb. of torque at 4,000rpm. The LS has a standard Ride and Handling Suspension feature for performance driving, and has a hollow 32mm front and solid 14mm rear stablizer bar and non-linear rear springs. The steering ratio is 14.1:1. The ABS brake system and the 16" Sport aluminum wheel with five spokes is standard on the LS.

   The inside is very roomy and comfortable. The dash is designed towards the driver in clean rounded lines. The six-way power and heated driver and passenger seats are a definite plus. I liked the radio control option in the steering wheel even though I always had to remind myself to use it.

   The split-folding back seat is spacious enough to carry passengers comfortably and there is more than ample trunk space. Chevrolet has met the 2003 government standards in the Impala LS for enhanced head-impact protection with the driver side-impact bag.

Chevrolet Impala LS Sedan