Outstanding Fullsize Car
By Tony on Saturday, December 10, 2016
I own this car - My approximate mileage is
overall rating 9 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
"First and formost, I apologize for the absence of paragraph breaks. I did my best, but they were all deleted when I previewed this review.
Because my work requires me to fly to locations all around the country, I drive a great many different cars as rentals, including Impalas - both the new body style and this older one, now re-branded as the "Impala Limited." Both Impalas have been among the best of the bunch, but if you believe that form should follow function, as I do, then the Limited is the pick between the two. The outward view is much better from the Limited, and the tech content is adequate without resorting to a distracting "Tokyo-by-night" dash layout.
Naturally, when my old personal commuter left me standing by the roadside one last time, the Impala Limited was right at the top of my short list of potential replacements. It wasn't the first model I drove while shopping, but it won my heart all over again as soon as I did. I bought a low-mileage 2016 Limited with the LTZ package from one of the rental car agencies, and I absolutely love it.
For a large sedan, this is a great driver's car. Although it isn't a car that begs to be flogged around the road course at the local track, its moves are linear and reassuringly predictable. Linear and predictable are two adjectives that also apply to its brakes. And power delivery from its DOHC V6 mated to the 6-speed GM automatic is both authoritative and smooth. The transmission reliably serves up the right gear for any situation, and the car is very responsive to pedal modulation, thanks to minimal nanny tech intervening between the driver's right foot and the road.
The car's relatively low beltline and tall greenhouse make the view from the driver seat outstanding compared to most other contemporary cars. The dash is well laid out, with controls that are ergonomically arranged, and all buttons and knobs present a quality feel. The cabin is also quiet and well-isolated from road and traffic noise, and my car has no squeaks or rattles, despite already having 22K on its odometer when I bought it.
The suspension of the LTZ is taut and predictable, yet compliant enough to provide a very comfortable ride during my 40-mile round trips to/from the office when I'm not traveling. Although I would prefer more aggressive side bolstering on the seats, these prove quite comfy during extended drives.
If having the latest in Star Wars automotive tech is a high priority for you, the Limited is not your car. There's no lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, backup camera, or parking sensor array. This is a car that requires you to actually drive it. If you'd rather text, check your email, or engage in some other non-driving-related activity, and you'd like to rely on your vehicle to save your bacon when you're not paying attention to the road, then maybe the newer Impala version is more your style. This car is also not for you if you're a big fan of the latest tortured, convoluted sheet metal styling. Its body will not have enough gratuitous creases and folds to suit you. (It's that form-follows-function thing again.) Finally, if all the interior surfaces of your vehicle must be soft and squishy, you will dislike this car. Many of its interior panels are hard thermoplastic (just like an aircraft). While this material is ideal for use in aircraft and automotive cabins, because it's quite durable, it will not garner any accolades from the sybarites among us.
On the other hand, if your notion of a great car is one that admirably performs its mission in life, and having the latest tech or the latest "styling" isn't high on your list of priorities, then snap up an Impala Limited. Production at the Oshawa assembly plant ceased in May of 2016, so you'll be relegated to buying used. Obviously, the up-side to this is you won't be taking that big initial depreciation hit, and a little judicious shopping can put you in a great low-mileage vehicle that will serve you faithfully for many years. Certainly well beyond the point at which the Feds will force us all into robo-cars and completely relieve us of both the responsibilities and joys of actually DRIVING our conveyances."
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