2004 Chevrolet Impala 3.4 V6 from North America
Overall, a good value for the money
Temperature switch lights failed in dash.
The Impala is a well designed and executed car in general. Interior space and comfort, and trunk space are the minimum that I can personally live with, but probably better than most in it's class.
Engine performance is excellent considering the average fuel consumption of 27.5 mpg. Transmission responsiveness is distinctly inferior to similar cars by Ford, of my acquaintance. Electronically limited top speed of 105 mph is unsurprising, but disappointing as it feels as if it has another five to seven mph in it.
Handling is excellent. However the front suspension needs another inch of travel and ten percent more compression damping, as it bottoms frequently and easily. The only serious negative in this department is a notable inability to accelerate from a stop on crowned snow covered roads without sliding into the curb or ditch.
Braking is impressive, even without anti-lock, though the rotors seem to warp easily.
Now the bad stuff. The car is rotten to the gills with all manner of electronic froo froo and gadgetry which runs the gamut from asinine to annoying to occasionally dangerous. Every electrical system in the car is under the control of the computer, and whoever programmed that thing is some sort of neurotic nerd who should probably be working at a drive-thru instead of designing cars. Recently while hiking in the mountains I met a young man from Detroit who had worked as a designer for GM. I asked him point blank if he was responsible for this situation. He replied in the negative, however the look on his face when I asked the question spoke volumes.
If GM can get away from such silliness and build cars that people like me can really appreciate they may survive.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 6th June, 2007