When the Chevrolet Impala debuted in 1958 as the top-of-the-range Bel Air 2-door model, it struck the right note with buyers. Structurally different from others Chevrolet models, the Impalas accounted for 15 percent of Chevrolet’s total production for 1958. Until the Impala was discontinued in 2020, the Impala was a very popular full-size car that sold well for most of its 10-generation production run.
While it has its fair share of issues, the Impala has impressed in space, capable power options and ride comfort. Overall, it has an above-average reliability score and there are many beautiful models to choose from. With proper and regular maintenance, the Impala will be able to drive 150,000 miles before major repairs are required. Nevertheless, the evolution of the Impala hasn’t been all rosy – there are some model years, especially those from the early 2000s, that you should avoid. So, here’s a ranking of the ten best Chevrolet Impala models to buy used.
10 Chevrolet Impala 2010
While the 2010 Impala’s handling is sluggish compared to its rivals, that’s the smooth ride compromise that makes the big sedan desirable. When the SS model was discontinued, only two efficient, responsive and reliable V6 engines were offered to motivate the 2010 Impala range.
JD Power gave it a great 86 . reliability rating, meaning it will last 150,000 miles before major repairs are needed. Over the years, the 2010 Impala has been recalled four times about problems with the seat belts, ignition switch and lower wishbones.
9 Chevrolet Impala 2008
According to Repairpal, the most common problems with the 2008 Impala are a leaking intake manifold gasket, erratic shifting, jerking while driving, and a stuck ignition key. Nevertheless, it is a good car that performed well in NHTSA crash tests and lasts up to 200,000 miles if handled properly.
It’s also worth noting that it has only been recalled twice, once due to ignition switch issues and once due to defective lower wishbones. Popular, spacious, comfortable and adequately powered by three powerful and efficient engine choices, the 2008 Impala includes a 303 horsepower V8 unit that takes the SS model to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds.
Updated for the 2012 model year, the Impala gained more standard features while still delivering a comfortable ride in a spacious cabin. It also got more powerful thanks to a new velvety smooth V6 mill mated to a new 6-speed automatic transmission for 300 horsepower.
Despite an above-average reliability rating, it has been recalled three times due to faults with the ignition switch, power steering hose, and lower wishbones. The 2012 Impala is a sturdy car that will reward its owner with a life expectancy of up to 250,000 miles, depending on how well it’s been maintained.
7 1961 SS409
When the Impala SS first arrived for the 1961 model year, it could be used as an option on any 1961 Impala model, including station wagons and four-door sedans. At the top of the engine lineup for the SS package, a new 6.7-liter V8 unit was good for 360 horsepower and 409 lb-ft of torque.
Addicted to a 4-speed manual transmission, it took the Impala SS to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds and through the quarter mile in 15.2 seconds. Built like a tank, the legendary 1961 SS409 had a reinforced chassis, stronger suspension and power brakes.
6 Chevrolet Impala 1996 SS
First offered from 1961 to 1969, the Impala SS (Super Sport) was resurrected as a newer version from 1994 until it was discontinued after 1996. Based on the Chevrolet Caprice police car, the new SS received sport-tuned suspension , 4-wheel disc brakes, a differential lock and a transmission cooler.
For 1996, the 260-horsepower V8 engine got an OBD-II computer control system and could launch the SS to 60 mph in 7 seconds. In addition, these latest SS models are built not only to provide driving pleasure, but also to last.
5 Chevrolet Impala 1963 Z11 Lightweight
As automakers compete for drag strip dominance, Chevrolet offered a special package on the 1963 Impala to battle the Ford Thunderbolt. Made for drag racers and NASCAR enthusiasts, the Z11 featured several lightweight body panels and came without non-essential equipment such as radios, heaters, and sound deadening materials.
Under the hood it got a monstrous 7-liter V8 powerplant tuned to deliver a whopping 430 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque. Robust, reliable and fast, it can reach 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds and cover the quarter mile in a blistering 10.8 seconds.
4 Chevrolet Impala 1969 SS L72 427
Before returning in 1994, the Impala SS was last offered in 1969, and it was a beautiful machine that was only available as the SS 427. Only one powerplant was offered under the hood – a 7-litre V8 available in 3 options , the most powerful is the L72 427.
The big-block mill turned 425 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque, which was enough power to provide exhilarating rides in the comfortable car. With better suspension and brakes, the 1969 SS L72 427 was mechanically superior to previous SS models.
3 Chevrolet Impala 2018
The 2018 Chevrolet Impala is a solid and well-equipped transportation choice for a buyer looking for an affordable family car. In addition to excelling in cabin and cargo space, it also features an easy-to-use MyLink infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen, smartphone connectivity and navigation.
Tuned for comfort, it delivers a comfortable and quiet ride, controlled handling and an optional 305 hp V6 engine for powerful and effortless acceleration. While it has a substandard reliability rating, the 2018 Impala has a high safety rating and has: only called back once†
2 Chevrolet Impala 2016
For 2016, the Impala lineup was reduced to 4 trims powered by a 196-hp 2.5-liter I4 or an available 305-hp 3.6-liter V6. While it has an average reliability score, the 2016 Impala is a solid, value-for-money car.
It features a large cargo hold, a spacious/comfortable cabin and technical functions such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and wireless charging of devices. Aside from the fact that very few owners have complained about it, there have been no safety memories for the 2016 Impala so far.
For its final model year, the Impala had several good features that made it one of the best big cars for the money. It offers a spacious cabin, large trunk, smooth handling and an easy-to-use infotainment system with wireless connectivity, navigation and a premium Bose stereo system with 11 speakers.
The sole power source, a 305-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, has no trouble getting the big sedan up to speed. In addition, it has a great JD Power reliability rating, a high NHTSA safety rating, and has not yet been recalled due to an issue.