With powerful and efficient V6 engines, a comfortable cabin and a smooth ride, the 2008 Chevrolet Impala brings a lot to the family sedan table even though its handling dynamics and cabin refinement are still a few steps behind the class leaders.
An impala is a bounding, medium-sized antelope that grazes in large herds throughout Africa's savannas. They are prey to almost every predator. The Chevrolet Impala has been grazing American highways and byways for nearly 50 years now, providing spacious transportation for families and lowrider-lovers alike, while being prey to only the odd meter maid and traffic cop. The only thing these two impalas share beyond a common moniker is that neither is an endangered species. Chevy sold almost 290,000 Impalas in 2006, which made it the seventh-best-selling vehicle in the United States. When it comes to finding a full-size family sedan, it's hard to argue with that many people.
The Chevrolet Impala
In its bread-and-butter guise, the 2008 Chevrolet Impala can be equipped with one of two V6 engines. Both provide a good balance of power and fuel economy, with the more powerful 3.9-liter V6 automatically deactivating a bank of cylinders when coasting and braking to improve mileage by up to 8 percent, according to Chevy. For those with only power on their minds, the Impala SS features a 5.3-liter V8 that combines with numerous other sport-tuned modifications to make it actually fun to drive something no previous front-drive Impala has been able to boast.
Despite the big Chevy's popularity, other models surpass the 2008 Chevrolet Impala in several key areas: The Toyota Avalon is more refined, the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger are more nimble and stylish and the Hyundai Azera offers a better mix of luxury and value. However, none of those cars shares a name with an antelope, and more importantly, none can boast the overwhelming popularity of the big, comfortable Chevrolet Impala.