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2000 Chevrolet Impala

2000 Chevrolet Impala

Chevrolet revived a famous old name when it issued a modern version of the Impala for 2000. The new front-drive midsize sedan was smaller... Read More
Chevrolet revived a famous old name when it issued a modern version of the Impala for 2000. The new front-drive midsize sedan was smaller in dimensions, sharing its basic understructure with the Buick Century and Regal, Oldsmobile Intrigue, and Pontiac Grand Prix. A 3.4-liter V6 engine was standard in the base model. The upscale LS sedan got a 3.8-liter V6, which was optional on the base Impala. Both had a four-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel disc brakes, 16-inch wheels, air conditioning, power windows, and power door locks. A side-impact airbag for the driver was standard in the LS and optional in the base Impala. Also standard in the LS were antilock braking, a tire-inflation monitor, traction control, and a firm-ride suspension. Each of those extras also was included with the bigger-engine option for the base-model Impala. Leather upholstery was available for both models, including a split folding rear seatback. Minimize
Author's Rating: Rating: 5/5 stars
102 Reviews from Epinions.com

By:   djthedj
Jan 3, 2001
2000 Chevrolet Impala

Rental Car Adventures I- "Texas Red Devil"

Author's Rating: Rating: 5/5 stars

Pros: Safe, sound, smooth

Cons: interior could use a little work

Author's Review
The first installment in my Rental Car Adventures Series, this car is my first experience in renting a vehicle. Needless to say, the experience was awesome. To explain the concept of the Rental Car Adventures, in the past six months I've been renting a lot of cars, so why not share my experiences and adventures with all of you?

Background
I was sent down to Beaumont, Texas to install a server and extend a network on a huge tank ship called the Fairbanks (details on the ship are here- <a href= http://www.sabinetankships.com/ss_fairbanks.html >http://www.sabinetankships.com/ss_fairbanks.html </a> if you’re curious). My other duties included going back and forth between this ship and two others as well, so I had enough drive time in to really test out the abilities and quirks of this re-think of the famous Impala. I also was thankful for the unlimited mileage agreement… I put nearly 1000 miles on the car.
In addition, I knew a little about the car in advance. I knew that this was the model that Chevy was modifying for Police Cruisers and was anxious to know what I was up against… I mean, what the Law Enforcement Individuals got to drive… yeah, that’s what I meant…

Down to Business
The first thing I noticed about the car is it’s striking good looks. Aggressive styling, especially in the hind quarters, really stands out on this model. The car I drove was a bright red- very nice. Though I had room in the back seat, I opted to stow my luggage in the trunk. I did a double take when I opened it via the key chain remote: This trunk is HUGE! In fact, the only time I’ve seen a bigger trunk in a modern car was in a big luxury car. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the biggest trunk in this car’s class (I don’t know what the numbers are, sorry).

The interior of the car was fantastic, lots of room in front and back. Visibility was good and there were few blind spots to worry about. You are greeted with power everything. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with power everything! The seats were comfortable and easily adjustable. Visibility from the front deck was very good. The gripe I had was the cup holder. Apparently it had broken off earlier that year and the pieces of it were stowed in the armrest. From what I could tell, someone had tried to force this somewhat confusing apparatus the wrong way and snapped it off. There was another cup holder, but it was placed so that a large drink prevented proper use of the shifter.

I turned on the stereo and was generally pleased at the unit. The radio uses RDS (Radio Data System), which would take too long to describe here. Needless to say, it’s a cool thing to have, especially when you don’t know the local stations. The sound of the factory system was surprisingly good, especially when playing CDs.
By far the coolest thing about the radio, however is an auto volume feature- you set it’s sensitivity (low, medium, high) and set the volume on the deck, and as you accelerate, the volume increases. As you decelerate, the volume decreases. I found this feature made it more easy to concentrate on the road, and, oddly enough, easier to find my bearings in a town that is nearly impossible to navigate. I remember a comedian once joking about what felt all too familiar- “Can you turn that down? I can’t see the road!” I won’t get into the bio-psychology of this, but it truly is a factor that makes this car safer to drive.

Okay, so I’m in the seats, radio is tuned, time to put her into drive…
Well… how to describe this… Well, I’ll be honest, though I’ve seen better acceleration, I have not seen much smoother acceleration across the band. This car accelerates fast and consistently. Some cars accelerate fast and then drop off around 50 or so, others just start to pick up around 40. Not this car- it is consistent across any speed. When at 65 MPH, I slammed on the gas and got the same pleasing acceleration at speed. This is somewhat of a rarity.

The automatic transmission was probably the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of driving. It is smooth and responsive without being jerky or unpredictable.

The True Test
This is all fine and dandy, DJ, you say to yourself… but what about when the car is loaded down with cargo and passengers? Well, hold on to your seats.

One day I had to load the trunk with heavier computer stuff like UPS systems, monitors and whatnot, but I also decided to give three sailors a ride into town.
On many cars, especially 4- and 6- cylinder cars, this is a significant difference in determining performance.
The Impala delivered the same consistent performance. Though it was a bit slower going, the acceleration remained smooth, and I got several complements from the passengers, who thought it was my car.

I was not willing to push the handling of the car with valuable items in the trunk, so once they were all offloaded, I decided I was comfortable enough with the car to push it a little. Kids, don’t try this at home.

There are certain areas of Beaumont and Orange, Texas where the roads curve a bit, or where the on ramps to the interstate provide enough of a corner to push it a little bit.

The Impala was simply awesome in these little tests. Mid-corner acceleration was powerful enough to nearly straighten the car on turns. The car did have a bit of pitch in the corners, but it never lost traction.
The car’s suspension was awesome over bumps, but what was really impressive to me was the breaking system. At one point, I was getting upset because I was very lost yet again. When I get frustrated I tend to drive a bit faster. At one point, I was at the docks and thought that a truck ramp was a downward slope, when in fact I found, at about 15 feet away, that it was in fact not a ramp but a 4 foot drop down to railroad tracks. I slammed on the brakes and the anti-lock system responded predictably and efficiently, and I stopped a full three feet from what would have been a huge disaster.

One day it rained, and I got the chance to try some of the same corners. I didn’t push it as hard, naturally- no need to endanger other drivers- but I found that the car did very well on wet pavement and cement. The brakes were equally impressive, the antilock brake system was responsive without bucking the brake pedal excessively (a big problem for me since I am too used to ‘feeling’ the road thru the break pedal to know when I am sliding or not- anti lock break systems throw off my natural senses). I found the system predictable and “idiot proof” (that is, I didn’t slam into the idiot in front of me that didn’t have working taillights).

The car’s air conditioner was also put to the test, as Beaumont experienced record high temperatures and heat indexes of over 115. In fact, it did so well, that more than once frost formed on the outside of the window. I was pleased with it’s performance.

The last day of my trip is when I had the ‘pleasure’ of driving to Houston to catch my flight at 4 in the morning. The car is very smooth at speeds… er, above 75… (no need to incriminate myself) and wasn’t at all like the boat I was just on (hehehehe- little joke there… never mind).

Though the rental agency had a confusion that made me late to the airport and miss my flight, the whole experience was fun.

Summary
I would buy one of these cars. It was hard to find any flaws in it’s performance, and I got the feeling that it was likely moderately priced.
I’d recommend the car for just about anyone.

Kudos to Chevy for a well designed vehicle!

Performance- 4 of 5
Handling (dry)- 5 of 5
Handling (wet)- 5 of 5
Safety- 5 of 5
Interior Aesthetics- 3 of 5
Exterior Aesthetics- 4 of 5
Comfort- 4 of 5
Overall Rating- 5 of 5


 


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