2011 IMPALA: CHEVROLET’S LARGEST SEDAN OFFERS FUEL EFFICIENCY AND VALUE-ADDED AMENITIES
The Chevrolet Impala family sedan continues to combine fuel efficiency and fuel options with roominess and popular standard features. The standard 3.5L V-6 is EPA-rated at 29 mpg on the highway, fuel economy that matches or beats many much-smaller cars. Both the 3.5L and optional 3.9L engines offer E85 FlexFuel capability.
In addition to its highly competitive fuel economy, the Impala offers a long list of standard peace-of-mind amenities – including important safety features – in a package designed to provide pleasing design and functionality for today’s on-the-go families. Impala is offered in LS, LT and LTZ retail models.
New features for 2011
For the 2011 model year, the 3.5L V-6 that is standard on LS and LT models is FlexFuel-capable, able to operate on gasoline, E85 bioethanol or a combination of the two.
E85 comprises 85 percent bioethanol, a renewable, domestically produced fuel that produces fewer greenhouse gases in the combustion process, and 15 percent gasoline. Chevrolet produces more FlexFuel models than any other automotive brand.
Also for 2011, a new Luxury Package combines a number of popular comfort and convenience items, including a full year of XM Satellite Radio instead of the customary three-month trial, a Bose eight-speaker audio system, front bucket seats with leather appointments, front driver and passenger heated seats and a rear spoiler.
Chevy Impala conveys sophistication and big-car roominess. On the exterior, large headlamps have a premium appearance with three independent lighting units. These details complement other high-quality attributes, such as tight tolerances of 3.5 mm or less between body components and substantial “grab”-style door handles, to provide an overall feeling of solidity.
The Impala LS, LT and LTZ models have varied exterior trim cues that identify each model including unique 16-, 17- and 18-inch wheel designs. For 2011, body-color bodyside moldings are standard on all models except Police. A rear spoiler is standard on the LTZ model and included in the available LT models’ Luxury Package.
Inside, Impala is packed with thoughtful features for families, including clever flip-and-fold-flat rear seats (standard on LTZ, available on LT and in the Luxury Package). The forward-flip rear seat cushions reveal a storage tub under the seat that can contain spillage while transporting a variety of items. The tub also serves as a covered storage area beneath the seat with the cushions down, and offers convenient grocery bag hooks when the cushions are flipped forward. A generous pass-through from the trunk can be created by flipping the seat bottoms forward and the seat backs flat – an exclusive feature in the segment.
Completing the Impala’s interior is a host of useful standard and available comfort and convenience features, including:
- Dual-zone climate control system with up to 12 degrees F temperature setting difference between the two front zones (for 2011, the Impala LS model provides single-zone manual control)
- Available factory-installed remote vehicle start system with up to 200-feet (61-meters) of range and automatic climate pre-conditioning to warm or cool the vehicle prior to entry (Impala LS features available dealer-installed remote start)
- Informative gauge clusters and an expanded driver information center – with more than 50 alerts, depending on the vehicle’s equipment
- Eight-way, heated power driver seat standard on LTZ and leather-appointed seats; six-way power driver seat standard on LS, LT with cloth seats
- New OnStar Gen 9.0 hardware offers improved voice recognition
- Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling is now standard on Impala 1LT and available on 1LS, 1FL and 2FL.
In retail models, there are two audio systems that feature simple-to-operate controls, and both include standard XM Satellite Radio. The base MP3/CD radio includes a six-speaker system, a two-line, 32-character reconfigurable display and the capability to select between AM, FM and XM stations without having to reset the frequency. A premium Bose eight-speaker audio system is available, and included in the LT Luxury Package and LTZ models.
All radios include a standard auxiliary input jack for external devices such as an iPod.
Chassis and suspension
Impala’s chassis and suspension systems are designed to provide ride and handling that is quiet, smooth and refined. A robust front-end structure provides a firmer foundation to help reduce noise, vibration and harshness, while also enhancing steering and handling performance.
Impala’s fully boxed upper frame rail assemblies have a wider, deeper and structurally stronger upper front tie bar. Stronger ties between the upper and lower rails stiffen the front structure for improved ride and handling and a large, lower front-of-dash panel. To reduce resonant sound, it is constructed of Quiet Steel laminated steel, which consists of sound-deadening material bonded between sheets of steel.
All Impala models feature a quiet, efficient power rack-and-pinion steering system that optimizes internal flow of the hydraulic steering fluid within the pump and reservoirs.
The front suspension features a MacPherson strut coil-over-spring independent setup with gas-charged struts and a stabilizer bar. Tall jounce bumpers in the front suspension enhance stability and control. The rear suspension uses a trailing arm, tri-link setup with gas-charged struts and coil springs. A rear stabilizer bar is standard on all models.
Efficient, proven powertrains
Impala’s V-6 engines are as fuel-efficient as they are sophisticated. A 3.5L V-6 is standard in the Impala LS and LT, delivering 211 horsepower (157 kW)* and 216 lb.-ft. (293 Nm)* of torque – more standard power as a base engine than some key competitors’ top (or only) offering. The 3.5L V-6 also offers E85 FlexFuel capability.
When equipped with the 3.5L V-6, Impala achieves an EPA-estimated 29 mpg on the highway, comparable to many smaller midsize cars. This provides almost 500 miles between fill-ups, an outstanding benefit for a roomy, six-person vehicle.
The 3.9L V-6 is standard in LTZ and available in LT models, and also features E85 FlexFuel capability. EPA-rated at 27 mpg highway, this engine offers more power and usable torque within its operating range, with 90 percent of peak torque available from 1,800 to 5,800 rpm. It is rated at 224 horsepower (167 kW) and 235 lb.-ft. of torque (319 Nm).
Both Impala engines are matched with the Hydra-Matic 4T65 electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission, which is renowned for its smoothness and durability.
Safety and crash avoidance features
Impala has provided outstanding safety performance thanks to a collection of safety-enhancing features designed to help protect occupants before, during and after a crash. The previous model year Impala achieved the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s highest frontal crash test rating of five stars for driver and front-seat passenger.
Impala offers six standard air bags including side curtain air bags, which provide optimum head protection for outboard passengers. Impala’s other safety features include:
- StabiliTrak electronic stability control system
- Four-wheel-disc brake system featuring smooth, quiet operation, longer pad life, and more resistance to brake pulsation
- Standard anti-lock brakes, which help provide improved steering control while braking. The system also includes Electronic Brake Force Distribution, which helps provide optimum braking regardless of load, traction or braking speed
- Traction control system, which is standard on all models and works with the ABS system to help ensure stable acceleration on a variety of road conditions
- Pretensioners, which are standard on the front safety belts, helping to minimize forward movement during a frontal collision. Load-limiting retractors cinch the belt more tightly.
- Three-point safety belts, which are equipped in all standard seating positions
- LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) child seat attachment system, whichis included in all second-row seating positions
- Tire pressure monitoring system, standard on all models
- Standard remote keyless entry (RKE) system, which provides a second function for the red panic button. Drivers can use the button to locate their cars, without sounding the panic alarm.
- Enhanced structure to absorb crash energy and “safety cage” construction to help protect occupants.
OnStar is standard on Impala and offers Gen. 9.0 hardware for 2011 to improve voice recognition. OnStar is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services in the United States and Canada.
All Impala models offer six months of complimentary OnStar Directions and Connections service with Turn-by-Turn Navigation for easier route guidance. Besides being easy to use (all directions are downloaded to the car by an advisor, without the need to stop), Turn-by-Turn can be cost-effective, since map updates are not needed.