New Chevy 'Lumina' at NY '05 Auto Show and other observations...

You heard it here. The 'Lumina' is back for '06, although the vehicle on the turntable at the Auto Show clearly says "IMPALA" on the rear
decklid; my point is there is nothing to distinquish the front and back of this car from that of it's cousin-6 years removed - the Lumie.
OTOH, I will say it defintely resembles the prior 00-05 Impala from the side. Also, I cannot help but salivate over the interior of this new ride, especially the crisp, no-nonsense dashboard. The dials are great, and the radio/climate controls are much improved. The center cluster containing said radio/climate controls belongs in a BMW or Nissan as much as it belings in a domestic. Good fit & finish, GM! This is something you started with the '04 Malibu, whose spacious cabin also wowed me, and it bodes well for the new Impalas.
Ditto the '06 Monte Carlo - cleaner exterior lines, cleaned up interior, esp the dash and center stack. The view from behind could be from any year, 2000 and up, and it is still it's good old Monte self from the side.
The biggest letdown is when I viewed the Monte nose-on - nothing to distinguish it from the 06 Impala! Just the same gold bowtie set in the same trapezoid grille and the same organic headlights. I can only hope the actual production cars will have more interesting noses that set each other apart as the present duo have done.
Beyond the bland looks, the lines are crisper - tighter - inside and out, and the new 3.5L base V6 looks promising. If the 2006 can even approach the reliabilty ratings of the 2002-05, I may think of trading up to an '07 Impala when the time comes.
-CC
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Did you see a 5.3 V8 300 HP 335 TQ, SS version at the show?
I saw two Impala's and 1 Monte at the Chicago Auto Show in Feb. I didn't think the Impala looked like a 99 Lumina. It looked more like a crossbred Honda Accord and 99 - 03 Chrysler 300.
I looked long & hard at it spinning around on the platform. The 5.3 V-8 sounds enticing in the Impala & Monte SS. But its still going to be FWD.
I have a feeling Dodge's new for 06' RWD Charger Hemi ( sedan ) will be a runaway hit. 340HP & 390 TQ ~~~ Zoom! A 350 HP version will be offered in the optional Charger Daytona. Well, once again, GM gets beat out in HP & TQ.
Back to Impala, It was hard to see the interior from where we stood. The flip & fold rear seat ( ala Tahoe / Suburban ) got the wink & the nod from folks during the spokeswoman spiel.
The chrome band on the bottom edge of the trunklid of the Impala LTZ was a nice touch and so were the big easy to read Impala LTZ & SS scripts.
It would be nice to see six individual tail lights spanning the width of the rearend like the 60 & 70's Impala's had. Instead the 06 will have a slightly shaved off a corner, single, not quite round tail light in a triangular shaped housing. Ugh !
I agree the front ends of both vehicles should have some differences to distinguish them from one another.
The BIG buckets seats in the Monte looked fantastic. Can't wait to sit in one.
One thing I wish they would eliminate is the clear shield covering the double stack tail lights on the Monte Carlo.
It be nice to have the tail lights project outward from the body ( like the 60 -65 Impala tail lights did ) so that you could feel your car's contours & curves.
I noticed one version of a Cobalt 2 door that has single ( round ) projecting taillight in each corner.
The next few years of autos will be quite interesting.
Harryface ؿ 1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE 301,011 miles
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