2003 Chevrolet Impala LS from North America - Comments

23rd May 2008, 19:09

I have to agree with the last entry. You must really hate your car and I have to wonder why you bought it. I noticed not many complaints regarding the performance of the vehicle and in fact, in some places you were quite complimentary. It appears to be mostly cosmetic problems and as my friend had suggested, we gather this was a second-hand vehicle which we suspect was abused before you purchased it. I don't know what the trailer pulling capacity of the Impala is, and I don't know that the Impala is known for it's pulling power. I guess it can pull a 1500 lb. trailer well enough, as you didn't complain about it's ability to do so.

My 2003 LS is also black and is loaded with all the goodies, plus the extra Impala logo and interior package. I am still finding out options and functions this car has that I didn't know about. It is also a 3.8L and is capable of 100kmh in 7 seconds, off the mark. I know because I have tested it. It is a great car in comparison to it's competition, the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord.

It runs smooth, is responsive, performs well and with a new set of upgraded tires, it is better equipped to provide better traction, handling, comfort and performance. It is comfortable and feels like a more expensive, larger model to drive. I bought the car new and have made sure that it is well-serviced and maintained after the Warranty ran out. It has served me well, and despite the temptation to buy a newer model, I can't part with this one. When it is washed and polished, sitting in front of the house, it is the envy of the neighbors who comment on it often. From what I see of your expectations, perhaps you shouldn't have bought a mid-size touring vehicle and had gone for the SUV or Van after all. The Impala wasn't manufactured to be a work horse or haul trailers, but it makes up for it in class and appearance and performance.

25th May 2008, 05:47

I tow with the 350 V8 not a 6 cylinder. Newer models have decent mpg vs. your older Olds. I prefer GM as well but like Crown Vics with a hitch as well. Its nice having a great ride and a huge trunk for security vs. in a SUV. I have found its hard to have 1 perfect vehicle however. If any towing at all is done I still believe overall its better to order a V8 with a tow package.

13th Dec 2008, 18:21

I thought the original entry was hilarious but after a paragraph or two I felt you were just making stuff up. Case in point; the stereo is one of the best factory units I've come across, better than my brothers Bose Maxima. Case two: after four years (bought used) not a single squeak or rattle. To top it off, I drive like a complete maniac nonstop. The ONLY thing I thought was a factory fault were the brake pads and rotors. Oh, and that weird gap along the top of the dash board and the hubcaps kept disappearing. I only traded it in (3 weeks ago) because I ragged it out ssso bad and the warranty just expired. As soon as I ran it through the auto wash, I'd fall back in love with it. I will miss her but it was time.

27th Dec 2008, 02:46

Hi, this is the original poster with an update.

Well, I still have my Impala. I tried to sell it unsuccessfully (during that insane gasoline price hike), nobody wanted it. Despite being on the road for 6 years, my Impala still looks new, sadly I couldn't use that or it's low miles as a selling point. As some posters had suggested, no, my car has not been abused, not by myself or the 70+ year-old who owned it before me. In the time between my original post and now, I've actually come to somewhat enjoy it more. I've taken it on a family trip this past summer, carrying a full load of people, cargo and towing a trailer, the car returned a respectable 25 mpg (in the Rocky mountains no less!), now however we are in the midst of a very cold winter and at best I get 15 mpg in the city driving.

I still hate the dated interior, stereo operation and some doubtful functionality, but I have changed my mind on how solid this vehicle is built. I must admit that I have not experienced any reliability issues with it since my purchase (besides replacing a belt and changing front brake pads). For the record, I do maintain my car very well. Car is holding up quite well, gas mileage sucks, but as long as it runs reliably, I just might hang on to it, it is worthless after all.

2nd Feb 2010, 21:18

I got a kick out of the initial comments... the guy's trying to say something, I'm just not sure what it is.

I'm a retired computer service manager who has a dealers license and dabbles in late model used cars. I grew up with several 442s & an occasional GTO, but if it's GM, I've probably owned it at some point, from Olds Jetfires to Corvair turbo Corsas, to supercharged Ultras & STSs.

My point is, I've been in a lot of cars, driven a bunch and sold a bunch. Having said that, the 2000 to 2005 Impalas are one of the best cars made, and it's certainly a not a very well kept secret! They do everything well, and a lot of things exceptionally well.

To say they rattle and make odd noises is very odd and not in keeping with anyone's experience I know of - they are exceptionally tight cars. Even at 150,000 mile, they still feel & handle better than about 80% of new cars! GM 3800 engines are truly exceptional, bullet-proof engines. They offer great performance and exceptional gas mileage. Smaller Mazdas, Toyotas & Hondas have EPA mileage ratings of 27 or 28 mpg highway & often have trouble achieving it. Most well tuned Impala 3800s exceed 30 mpg highway, with 31 or 32 pretty common. Durability is exceptional: I often see them at auction with well over 200,000 miles on them and still running tight and strong. Believe it or not, 300,000 miles is not unheard of. Rarely, an occasional leaking intake manifold problem is their only fault, which is a $250 repair - that's about it.

The remark about these Impalas being difficult to sell is hogwash... a nice 2003 or 2004 Impala LS will bring as much money (sometimes a little more) and sell faster than a comparable Park Avenue or Bonneville, both good sellers themselves. The problem with a nice Impala is they're hard to find & hard to buy!

Like they say, "I don't build 'em, I just sell 'em". I have no reason to push Impalas, I can sell whatever a buyer wants... but when I see something so contrary to what my experience has been, I just have to comment on it. Happy motoring!

4th Sep 2010, 08:20

I just purchased a 2003 Impala LS model, and when I sit in it looking at the dash, I notice that the mirror has a automatic dimming feature for night.

It also has Onstar with various services. There is also a feature to set up a phone service that is totally hands free. That takes care of the mirror.

I look up higher to the heads up console, where a display of what direction you're going and outside temp, you push a button and it tells you how long your car has been running, what type of gas mileage you're making right now, average gas mileage, how many miles to empty and so on. It also has a garage door opener built in.

Next I look at the pretty normal heater controls, except for the feature in which the driver can have cold air conditioning blowing on him, and the passenger can have hot heat blowing on him or any way you want it.

I look at the instrument cluster, and on the right hand lower is a square light that tells you if tires are low, oil is low, oil change needed, alt charging, washer fluid and maybe more. I bet there are a lot of Impalas out there with that light on all of the time because some of those features have to be reset. The owners manual is wrong on how to reset it; I went to an Alldata repair manual to get the right instructions. You can reset the reminder light through the radio, along with alarm features, lock features and other stuff, all through the radio.

I have heated leather seats, which is OK I guess, but I do find the seat not soft, but hard.

Lots of trunk space.

I have the 3.8 engine, which makes great gas mileage.

The ride seems a bit harsh, but it could be the tires. I found a world of difference in another vehicle by putting a better brand of tire on. Won't say which brand I took off, but I did put on Michelin.

The steering is very positive on it, and handles great on highway.

Just think of what you had in the early vehicles; windshield wipers that you had to crank by hand, a heater was a option, a radio was later introduced as a option, 0 to 30 in awhile. You did have 28 inch spoke wheels though, and brakes that were steel rod applied.