"This vehicle has it all. I am the second owner and love the ride on the highway and the power on the street. The LT-1 engine is great on gas and very dependable. I have over 90,000 miles on it and have had no major problems with the vehicle. Too bad they don't make these anymore. This vehicle was used as police cruisers by law enforcement and they will tell you it was a great car."
Pros: "Invigorating to drive and the envy of gear-heads"
Cons: "Turning radius"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought my 1996 Impala SS in November of 1995. I had hoped that there would be a change in the location of the shifter and layout of the dash and, indeed, it happened in this last year of production. The first thing I did was change the rear-end from the 3.08 to a 3.42. I next put in a Borla exhaust system and K&N air filter. The last changes were with respect to the throttle body and a timing chip. The car is black, the paint has held up very well, and I get asked about wanting to sell it at least two or three times a year in gas stations and dealerships. Two years ago in Texas, a man at a service center offered me $18,000 cash-in-hand if I would sell it right then.
The only major expense has been the replacement of the AC condenser in 2011 and the attendant belts. The CD player gave out in 2012, and I have not had it fixed, although a repair place has been located. A replacement can no longer be ordered from Delco, so you have to have the unit reworked at about $275, not counting the dash work to pull it out and replace it for about $125. I will eventually do this. The retracting radio aerial went out in the spring of this year, and the replacement really helped the sound quality.
I love the car. It handles well, with the exception of it having a very large turning radius. I have gotten about 50,000 miles off of each set of the 17" tires and average about 17 mpg around town and 21 on the road in cruise at 78 mph. I do need to powder-coat the wheels, but they still look rather good from 3-5 ft. away. I never get tired of guys telling me they wish they had it. I intend to keep it as long as it takes care of me."
"Bought new in 2002. Now has 210,000 miles and running strong. Have kept up on maintenance, change the trans fluid and coolant about every 30,000 miles. Only problem encountered was when I failed to have fuel filter replaced on time and the filter clogged up and caused the fuel pump to cavitate and die. Other than that no problems. Like the handling and ammenites, am planning on buying another vehicle soon. The way the car is running now I would not be afraid of 270-300 K."
"This car served me averagely for 3 and a half years. While I never had any major problems, the thing nickle and dimed me constantly. From weather seal going out to blower fan malfunction to heater fan failure to catalytic converter going out, if there was a "common Impala problem," mine had every one of them. All that said, it NEVER left me on the side of the road. COMFORT- The '02 installment of the Impala is very roomy and extremely comfortable. STYLING- I always did and still, the day after trading it, feel it was a very stylish and sporty looking sedan. PERFORMANCE-The 3.8L V6 always gave me plenty of power and get up and go when I needed it, and also averaged almost 27 MPG. QUALITY- If it weren't for the inferior parts that, like I said previously, nickle and dimed me to death, the quality would have been great...due to these I gave it three stars. VALUE- Resale on these over produced cars is horrible. The day I traded mine, it was between good and fair on the KBB rating system, and the BEST offer I got was $2000. There is simply no market for these cars once they hit "high mileage." OVERALL- Three stars. If the car had maintained any value whatsoever, I would give it four, and maybe it deserves four, but the low trade in still burns."
"this car is great. two minor issues: 1, the traction control wire on the right front sensor tends to wear out and disable the traction control easily fixed with a piece of rubber tubing over the wire. 2. i've notice a couple of negative reviews on this car over 100k miles pertaining to transmission problems. this is most likely actually the catalitic converter that is in need of replacement. it throws the computer off, and the net result is it can't shift at the right time and doesn't know when to. my mechanic was quick and the part needs to be replaced around 115k miles in my experience, but only cost a couple of hundreds of dollars. this is routine maintenance, don't mix it up with transmission damage! love the car."