Well, mom is up to visit for a while, so I get to have a first hand look at
her new 2006 Impala LT. Here's some highlights:
1. We all know about the "passing" function of the turn signal lever, where
you can move the lever a little bit to turn the signal light on for passing.
Well in the new Impala you can just move it for a split second and the turn
signal will come on for a few seconds by itself. Interesting. However,
what's annoying about the turn signals is the volume of the "click click,
click click, click click."
2. The power of the new 3.5L VVT engine is nice. Smooth, consistent power
all the way up to the 6000rpm red line. It's very responsive while driving,
but I find there is a slight lag when leaving from a stop. For now I'm
blaming that on the new "drive by wire." It feels like you push the throttle
and it takes a second for the vehicle to respond. The engine has a weird low
frequency rumble at idle that some people may find annoying.
3. When driving up a slight grade at around 55km/h in OD, there is what
feels like a slight "bucking." It's when the trans should actually be in
3rd, but it's in 4th, know what I mean. This is very noticeable in my '95
Monte and I thought they would have gotten rid of it by now.
4. The stupid airbag lights! Why they thought this was a good idea is beyond
me. There are amber lights above the stereo to let you know if the passenger
side airbag is active or not. It's ALWAYS on, this is stupid. I'm going to
look at the manual to see if this 'feature' can be disabled.
5. The rear window is smaller than the rear-view mirror. Mom says she likes
it better than the previous Impala, but I find it harder to see out the
6. The leather wrapped steering wheel is nice and all the buttons on the
wheel and the dash have a nice quality feel to them. The radio is nice, the
presets have the station frequency displayed above the button.
7. I think someone asked if she got the "flip and fold seat." The answer is
yes, but it's not what you think it is. The flip and fold seat is the middle
seat in the front that "flips" to reveal two poorly placed cup holders and
"folds" down to reveal a nice arm rest + storage area. She didn't get the
rear folding seats.
8. The glove box sucks. In 1993 she bought a brand new '92 Lumina, since day
one we all hated the little tiny, under the dash glove box. In '95 the
Lumina/Monte Carlo got the nice big one. In 2000 the Impala still had a
nice, functional glove box. For 2006, they are back the God awful, useless,
tiny box under the dash, WHY?!?!
9. Not a big fan of the headlights, they protrude like bug eyes. However I
like the fascia grill look. The overall look of the car is clean and modern,
nothing over the top. It blends in nicely with the rest of the cars on the
road. This model reminded me a lot of the Accord in the way that it's kind
of boring, but nice to drive.
10. There appears to be a lot more room under the hood for working on the
engine. This may be in part because they made it possible to stuff a V8 in
there, so there is a lot of extra room when you only have the V6.
11. If I was to get one, I'd opt for the SS and no bench seat. The
suspension in the LT is a little too soft and the bench seat is not very
supportive. I test drove it on a usual route of mine and didn't feel as
comfortable as I do when I take my Z34 through it.
12. I haven't confirmed this, but Dad says there is an incessant 'clicking'
coming from the dash when the vehicle is cold. It annoys him.
Overall, I enjoyed it. It's funny how whatever 'quirks' of the W-Body GMs
that were there 10 years ago are still there though. Like the 'bucking'
feeling and the odd 'clunk' noise that comes from the body when you pull
into a drive way at an angle.
Brakes are still good!