2004 Impala - my short critique

2004 Impala - my short critique
I had to go to Dallas, Texas, usa, on business recently and rented a 2004 Impala from the nearby Budget rent-a-vehicle.
It had a 3400cc engine and power everything. Beginning odo= 26 miles. Ending odo= 1027 miles.
On the good side, the driver's seat was pretty nice with the power bolsters. The radio/cd was acceptable. It rode with minimal road noise and handling was quite good. The trunk is large and can easily hold 2 suitcases and several tool boxes (about 200 lbs total).
On the bad side, I found it to be very underpowered and uncomfortable on long trips. Accelerating into traffic or just maintaining speed while going up hills caused the trans to frequently downshift into second gear. As much as the engine and trans labored on that trip I seriously doubt that they will make 100,000 miles.
I could not comfortably hold the steering wheel at the 9 position (or the 3 position) due to the large center spoke.
As usual with recent GM products, the door sills are about 4 inches too high and made it impossible to lay my arm on the open window sill.
Also, as usual with recent GM products, there is no padding on either the center or door arm rests.
The inside rear view mirror is much to small and way too dark. The limited rear view took some getting used to.
Would I buy one? No. My old 1992 Grand Am 3300 is a much better car. It was designed better, is more comfortable, and has more power.
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Need more info here Paulie. First off was it Bucket or Bench seat? Was it power or manual seat? Resson I ask is I don't know of any " power bolsters " ( that you mentioned ) in the seats offered in the base Impala. There is a manual adjtment for Lumbar, but none for the side bolsters that I'm aware of. Or did you mean Lumbar?
Of all the Impala's I v'e sat in the only seat my back can take is the bench seat without the lumbar adjust. I don't care for that football feeling in the lower back.
The smaller mirror I think is based on the rear window width. I've noticed the mirror sizes on the different cars I've owned and they seemed just fine . Even the Z - 24 convertibles little mirror was just fine to see out the small window. I put a wider mirror I found in the basement in my Bonneville, I think it came from my 73 Impala, which had a huge rear window anyway you saw way too much of the inside of the rear roof quarters in the mirror, so I put the original mirror back in.
What are you reffering to when you talk about the 9 position on the wheel. The Tilt settings or the 9 O'clock position for holding the wheel?
Yeah, I hate cars where you can't put your elbow on the top of the door sill with the window closed, They make them to narrow or they angle the door panel so your arm slides off of it. I've noticed that the Impala door sills & trunk lid height are a lot higher than my car,
I was supposed to rent an Impala in 2002 just to test it out but when I went to pick it up I saw a Park Avenue on the lot and inquired if it was a rental, so I took that instead.
========Harryface ======== 1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE 3800 V6 ( C ), Black/Slate Grey _~_~_~_~278, 900 miles_~_~_
~_~_~_~_U.S.A._~_~_~_~_~_
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<snip>

I hate that as well. My first car was a 1972 Chevelle Malibu. Not only could I set my arm up there with the window closed. I could comfortably set it on the sill with the window down. Not so in my 98 Buick Century.
The old Chevelle the seat would go back further then I ever needed. Same with many old Rear Drive GM's. Even my 84 Chevy truck bench seat isn't back to the cab wall. I can sit comfortably for hours in it. In the Buick with the seat all the way back and down, I'm still not that comfortable. On long trips I found my self adjusting it after the first 2 hours. Now in 10 years of owning the 72 Chevelle, I only moved the seat 4 times. Once because I let my mom barrow it when her car was down. Once because I let my fiancιe drive it because I was drunk. Once Ilet a friend drive it for the same reason, and the 4th time was to clean something out that was caught under the seat.
The old cars had a lower, further back, more relaxed seating arrangement. Which marketing has shown women hate. So Domestic car makers have started to change that, since the female market started to purchase Japanese cars that have close up, and higher seating positions. Which are better for people with shorter legs. This also effects sill height when seated since the seat is higher from the floor boards (or the floor boards are raised higher).
If I do not get rid of the Century in the next year. I may just chop the floors, weld in flat sheet, and mount a pair of Recaro Buckets. Yes I am that crazy. Charles
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WHAT DO YOU MEAN, "SWATTING FLIES"?! WELL, SEN. KERRY YOU SEE THERE WERE SYSTEMIC PROBLEMS IN INTELLIGENC-

___________________ S'cuse me I had on the Rice 9/11 hearings. Actually, you are experiencing a trend stemming from the fact that people today are taller on avg than they were even 30-40 years ago, not just women. To someone who is 6' 3", the old Chevelle seating is like sitting on the floor with their legs straight out in front of them. People prefer more upright, "chair"like positions today - witness the Toyota Echo and Prius toys, nearly 60" tall compared to a '70 DeVille only 54". And THAT's a car with it's own ZIPCODE! : )
-CC
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Harry Face wrote:

The front seats were the split bench kind. The drivers seat was all power with some sort of inflatable? or expandable things that kind of formed a bucket when I pushed the button. The lumbar support was manual.
The inside mirror was just plain small. It's view would not cover all of the rear window.
I don't think the high door sill has anything to do with giant people. I think it's probably more of a crash protection / insurance thing.
The 9:00 position is hands on the clock - or steering wheel. The horizontal spoke is really huge and I could not get fingers or hand around it like in my G/A.
As a side note, the following week I rented a Ford Escape. It is a very nice machine. Especially with the 3.0 double over head cam. I had no trouble keeping it over XXX mph (really, really fast). It came with 26 psi in the tires though. The door tag specified 30 psi. The tires said 44 psi. So I bumped them up to 44 psi. No wonder they fall over. 6 cd stereo not very good sound quality.
Next time I may rent a Grand Am.
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The pressure on the tire sidewall is the MAXIMUM for that tire when used on larger a vehicle that requires the MAXIMUM load rating.
You should always go by the pressure on the door sticker, as that is the recommended pressure for that particular vehicle.
44 pounds is WAY TO HIGH for a Ford Escape.
Tom

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mabar wrote:

Are you sure? 30 psi made the vehicle much too unstable. It felt like rolling over on every turn. SUV's rolling are very common. IMO, and that of the tire mfg, rolling over is due to low tire pressure. 44 psi gave excellent control at all speeds.
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Hi Paul:
The pressure stamped on the tire sidewall is the maximum pressure for that particular tire which may be used on many different vehicles. That is the maximum pressure for that tire under maximum load.
If the door sticker said 30 pounds, I personally would keep it around that pressure, or maybe a few pounds higher, but 44 sounds way too high.
Are you sure your gauge was accurate?
Tom

on
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mabar wrote:

Good point about the gauge. 97 cents - probably not very accurate. Air pressure - might make a good thread here. Paul.
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____________________________
Good point mabar. And there are a million others out there who continue to inflate their tires to the maximum on the TIRE - and end up either in the shop for suspension repair due to excessive tire hop, or, if in an SUV or van, on their side by the highway shoulder because their tires had insufficient contact patch to prevent rollover in a turn.
People - the recommended air pressure is provided by the CAR mfg, like mabar said - on the door jamb sticker, or trunk-lid or even under the hood.
-ChrisCoaster
**PS: Going a pound or two over the door sticker is no harm, as long as doing so does not exeed the tire's placard. IE: The base Impala recommends 30psi, I keep mine at 31, where I feel a comfortable compromise between slightly stiffer ride and better fuel economy, yet is still below the 35psi Max of my Uniroyals.**
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ChrisCoaster wrote:

Yes just like Ford recommended only 26 PSI on the Explorer. Car makers will suggest a lower PSI for a softer ride. I prefer a higher pressure for better handling, fuel economy, and high speed driving.

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Hi Dave:
Yep, that is a WELL documented case of a manufacturer recommending a tire pressure that is too low in order to get a softer ride. That low pressure caused many blowouts and accidents.
That being said, for most all vehicles with FEW exceptions, the door sticker pressure is the correct pressure for that vehicle, give or take a few pounds. I would not go lower than the door sticker pressure, but going a few pounds over the door sticker is usually OK.
Remember to check the air pressure with an accurate gauge, and check only when cold. Cold means that the vehicle has not been driven within the last few hours, even if it is hot outside. Cold does not refer to the temperature of the outside air, it refers to whether the vehicle has been driven within the last few hours.
Tom

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Good point about the manufacturer of the vehicle not providing the best inflation pressure advice. Probably the best thing to do is inflate the tire so it has the correct amount of flattened area for traction. Presumably the pressure the car amker suggests would yeild this but I guess you can't trust that. Of course do not go below the door sticker psi or exceed the sidewall listed max psi.
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