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2003 Chevrolet Impala

  • 2003 Chevrolet Impala Base Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      32
    • SEATS
      6
    • HP/TORQUE
      180/205
    • ENGINE
      3.4L V6
    • MSRP
      $21,160
  • 2003 Chevrolet Impala LS Sedan
    • MAX MPG
      29
    • SEATS
      5
    • HP/TORQUE
      200/225
    • ENGINE
      3.8L V6
    • MSRP
      $24,260
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2003 Chevrolet Impala Review

Basic front-drive family sedan gets equally basic update.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

Aside from its moniker, the 2008 Chevrolet Impala shares little with the powerful and prestigious midcentury sedan, which is what it was named after. It features a front-drive system and choice of two V-6 engines, neither of which offers an output exceeding 200 horsepower. With room for up to six people, the full-size sedan may be better suited to shuttling family members around town than taking long highway cruises.

The 2008 Chevrolet Impala offers two trims: a base Impala and slightly more upscale Impala LS. Base models get a 3.4-liter V-6 good for 180 horsepower, while LS trims come fitted with a 3.8-liter V-6 that increases output by 20 horses. While not particularly speedy or stylish, it boasts a comfortable cabin with ample legroom and storage space.

The Range

Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 3.4-liter V-6, 3.8-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Chevrolet Impala, Chevrolet Impala LS

What's New

The 2003 Chevrolet Impala receives a few small updates including fresh wheel designs and a standard keyless entry system. New options include satellite radio and a driver’s-side airbag.

Exterior

The 2003 Chevrolet Impala features a basic but functional four-door design. A body-color grille, side mirrors, and bumpers provide the base Impala with a streamlined yet nondescript look, while the Impala LS adds a sporty rear spoiler and decorative body moldings. Standard exterior features on both trims include 16-inch alloy wheels, intermittent windshield wipers, and a rear defogger. Upgrading to the LS replaces the base 3.4-liter 180-hp V-6 engine with a more powerful 3.8-liter 200-hp V-6.

The 2003 Chevrolet Impala's powertrain package adds a sport touring suspension and installs the capability of 200 horsepower in base models. The LS can be upgraded with a Sport Appearance Package that tacks on special alloy wheels and unique trim. Both trim levels can be upgraded with a power sunroof, while the base Impala is also eligible for alloy wheels, touring tires, and a block heater.

Interior

The 2003 Chevrolet Impala is clean and simple, though some of the car’s plastic build materials contribute to a cheap appearance. Interior features include cloth upholstery, 40/60-split-bench front seats, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, one-touch power windows, power locks, power mirrors, dual-zone air-conditioning, rear ventilation ducts, front and rear 12-volt power outlets, interior air filtration, power steering, front reading lights, a trunk light, a tachometer, a low-fuel warning system, and a six-speaker audio system. The LS adds premium cloth upholstery, a leather steering wheel, bucket front seats, a six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, a split-folding rear seat back, a folding center armrest with storage compartment, and cruise control.

Both 2003 Chevrolet Impala trims can be upgraded with options that come bundled in a variety of packages. Base models are eligible for leather seat trim, heated front seats, an adjustable front passenger seat, a driver’s-side front side airbag, a roadside assistance program, a CD player, satellite radio, cruise control, steering wheel controls, and front bucket seats. The LS can be installed with most of the base’s options plus a front split-bench seat, premium audio system with CD player, and a number of special packages. The 1SB Preferred Equipment Group adds steering-wheel audio controls, a CD player, power mirrors, a cargo net, and floormats, while the 1SC Preferred Equipment Group provides the OnStar road assistance system, a trip computer, a compass, an external temperature display, and a universal garage door opener.

When the 2003 Chevrolet Impala is fitted with the base model’s standard split-bench front seats, it’s possible to seat six people. Front occupants receive 39.2 inches of headroom, 42.2 inches of legroom, and 56.5 inches of hip room, while rear passengers receive 42.2 inches of headroom, 38.4 inches of legroom, and 55.7 inches of hip room. Cargo capacity is an impressive 18.6 cubic feet.

Performance & Handling

The 2003 Chevrolet Impala comes with a rather limited selection of engines. The base model is equipped with a standard 3.4-liter V-6 making 180 horsepower and 205 lb-ft of torque, while the upper-trim LS gets a slightly larger 3.8-liter V-6 rated for 200 horses and 225 lb-ft. Both engines are coupled with a four-speed automatic gearbox.

While the smaller V-6 offers adequate acceleration, the more forceful 3.8-liter makes passes and takeoffs easier. Another benefit of the LS is the upper-trim’s stiffer sport suspension, which eliminates the unrefined handling and float noticeable on base models.

Safety

The 2003 Chevrolet Impala provides standard safety features, which includes anti-lock brakes, dusk-sensing headlamps, a rear center three-point seat belt, and height-adjustable front headrests. Traction control is optional on the base model and standard on the LS. Driver’s-side curtain airbags are optional on both trims. Neither model is available with stability control.

EPA Fuel Economy

Chevrolet Impala: 19/29 mpg city/highway
Chevrolet Impala LS: 17/27 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Forceful V-6 engine
  • Six-passenger seating option
  • Decent gas mileage

You Won't Like

  • Basic design
  • Cheap cabin materials
  • Unrefined steering
  • Overly-soft suspension

Sum Up

Basic front-drive family sedan gets equally basic update.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Nissan Maxima
  • Mercury Sable
  • Ford Taurus
  • Buick Century

See the New 2015 Impala.

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