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A Powerful Full Size Sedan - The 2009 Chevy Impala

The Impala is a large, front-wheel-drive sedan from Chevrolet. Impalas compete with the Ford Taurus, Chrysler 300 and Toyota Avalon.  For 2009, all Impala models get antilock brakes, traction control and side-impact airbags. The benefits of driving the Impala include its interior space, its capable transmission, and the performance of the SS. The downsides, however, are the noticeable wind noise at highway speeds, and the Impala does not have a telescoping steering wheel.  The 2009 Chevy Impala gets a starting MSRP of $23,790 - $29,630, and an EPA fuel economy of 17  

Power for the Impala 

The Impala is available with a few engine configurations; the base models come standard with a 3.5-liter V-6. The SS gets a 5.3-liter V-8 producing 303 horsepower. All engines are mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. The V-8 has Active Fuel Management, GM's cylinder-deactivation system that improves fuel economy.

Impala Design for 2009 

The Impala is the longest of its competitors and is 200.4 inches long overall, 72.9 inches wide and 58.7 inches tall. SS sedans have a distinct look up front, led by a dual-split grille that contains a black-diamond crosshatch pattern. Almost all versions get more attractive new wheels for 2009: 17-inchers on some LTs and 18-inchers on LTZ and SS models.

Drive and Handling 

The V-6 engines are smooth when cruising but a bit harsh under hard acceleration. The SS's 5.3-liter V-8 brings the 2009 Impala sophisticated performance. The SS can reach 60 mph in well under six seconds with excellent responsiveness at any speed. All three engines run smoothly through four-speed automatic transmissions. The tighter tuning of the SS model's FE3 suspension, and the FE1 suspension that's included with the 3.9-liter engine, brings crisp handling without much of a ride sacrifice. 

Cabin Features for Impala

The Impala may have a rather insignificant interior design, but it does offer lots of comfort and a large, accommodating passenger cabin.  The backseat has ample headroom and legroom, along with a flip-and-fold rear seat that allows access to a covered storage area. The interior of the 2009 Impala is quiet and well isolated from road noise. General Motors' OnStar communication system is standard, and an available Directions and Connections service gives audio turn-by-turn directions from an OnStar operator. Impalas can be equipped with one of three audio systems. Base models have a standard six-speaker MP3/CD stereo. A midlevel system adds an in-dash six-CD changer, while a Bose system with eight speakers is also available.

Lineup for the Impala 

The LS comes with keyless entry, cruise control, air conditioning, and a CD sound system. Bluetooth cell phone connectivity is now also standard on the entire model line. The LT model adds more popular comfort and convenience equipment. The top LTZ comes with many of the same features as the LT, plus dual-zone climate control, upgraded Bose speakers, and an alarm system. The LTZ also gets a standard FE3 suspension package. XM Satellite Radio and OnStar turn-by-turn navigation are standard on all models for 2009, but a screen-based navigation system is not offered.  


The 2009 Chevrolet Impala is a solid choice for people needing a sedan with seating for up to six.  The Impala gets five-star frontal ratings and a mix of four- and five-star ratings in side protection from the federal government, plus an "acceptable" frontal rating, a "good" side-impact rating, and a "marginal" rear-impact rating. Impalas come standard with anti-lock brakes, stability control, and side curtain airbags, all for an affordable price. Overall, it's powerful, fuel efficient and roomy. Yet, this sedan still feels dated compared with class leaders.  

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