19 Best & Worst Chevy Impala Years (Complaints, Recalls, Stats)

The Chevy Impala has been a popular car for decades, with some years proving more reliable and enjoyable than others.

In this article, we’ll explore the best and worst Chevy Impala years, so that prospective buyers can make an informed decision.

By examining common complaints, recalls, and overall reliability, we’ll provide valuable insight into which years to consider and which to avoid when purchasing a Chevy Impala.

Check also: Most common Chevy Impala problems.

The Best Chevy Impala Year

The best Chevy Impala year is considered to be the 2016 model.

This generation of Impalas marked a significant improvement in design, performance, and features.

One of the defining characteristics of the 2016 Impala is its sleek and modern design. With an eye-catching exterior and a well-appointed interior, this model year offered a solid blend of style and comfort.

The modernized cabin boasted soft-touch materials and an intuitive infotainment system that enhanced the driving experience.

Performance-wise, the 2016 Impala excelled with its 2.5L 4-cylinder base engine or an optional 3.6L V6 engine, both of which provided ample power and responsive handling.

The ride quality was notably smooth and quiet, particularly when cruising on the highway.

This model year also achieved respectable fuel economy for its class, further adding to its appeal.

Safety was another aspect where the 2016 Impala shined. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded it a five-star overall safety rating.

In addition, this model came equipped with various safety features, such as 10 airbags, electronic stability control, and the option to add advanced driver assistance technology, like forward collision warning and lane departure warning.

In summary, the 2016 Chevy Impala stood out from its competition due to its stylish design, commendable performance, and impressive safety credentials.

The 2nd Best Chevy Impala Year

The 2019 Chevy Impala stands out as the second best model year for this popular vehicle. This particular model received positive feedback from both owners and experts alike, thanks to its impressive performance and quality features.

One of the highlights of the 2019 Impala is its powerful V6 engine, capable of outputting 305 HP.

This engine not only provided impressive acceleration and smooth driving experience, but also maintained reasonable fuel efficiency for a full-size sedan.

The cabin of the 2019 Impala also garnered praise for its spaciousness and comfort.

The vehicle offered ample legroom and headroom for passengers, as well as a sizable trunk for cargo. Additionally, the quality of materials and overall design made for an appealing interior that rivaled even some luxury sedans.

Aside from performance and comfort, the 2019 Chevy Impala was equipped with a variety of modern features, such as a user-friendly infotainment system and available advanced driver-assist technologies.

These additions further contributed to the overall satisfaction of drivers and passengers.

Other Good Years for the Chevy Impala

Aside from the well-regarded 2020, 2019, 2018, 2016, and 2013 models, there are several other years that stand out as good choices for the Chevrolet Impala.

We have some data here also on how long the Chevy Impala lasts (miles and years).

These models were praised for their performance, reliability, and overall driving experience.

The following is a list of some additional noteworthy years:

  • 1958 – This was the debut year for the Chevrolet Impala, and it immediately became a hit with consumers. As a top-line variant of the Bel Air two-door model, the 1958 Impala accounted for 15 percent of Chevrolet’s total production that year.
  • 1961 – Notable for introducing the iconic “bubble top” roof design, the 1961 Chevy Impala became a popular classic among car enthusiasts. The stylish design and powerful engine options made it a standout model in its era.
  • 1964 – This year marked the introduction of the Impala Super Sport (SS) model, which brought enhanced performance features and a unique, sporty appearance to the Impala lineup. The 1964 Impala SS is highly sought after by collectors for its performance and style.
  • 1996 – Though a departure from earlier Impalas in terms of design and features, the 1996 Impala SS is praised for its powerful LT1 V8 engine that provided impressive performance for a full-size sedan. This model has also become a favorite among car enthusiasts.

These additional years showcase the varied history of the Chevrolet Impala and help to highlight the range of styles, features, and performance options available throughout its long production run.

While some years might be better suited for collectors and enthusiasts, others offer reliable options for those seeking a dependable and comfortable full-size sedan.

The Worst Chevy Impala Year

The 2002 Chevy Impala is often considered one of the least desirable years for this vehicle. Despite its impressive history and generally reliable reputation, the 2002 model faced various challenges that led to this unfavorable distinction.

Some of the main issues reported for the 2002 Chevy Impala revolve around its fuel economy and design.

The car didn’t perform as well as expected in these areas, which contributed to its negative reputation.

Additionally, the 2001 model experienced numerous problems, with CarComplaints logging over 1,000 complaints and 10 recalls for this variant. This information indicates a pattern of issues within that time frame, further solidifying the 2002 model as a year to avoid.

It’s worth acknowledging that the Chevy Impala has successfully endured more than six decades on the market, and not all years were marred with issues. For example, the 2019 and 2020 models have received favorable reviews, showcasing the improvements made by Chevrolet over the years.

However, when looking for a used Impala, potential buyers should be cautious with the mentioned years, as they may encounter certain complications.

Other Bad Years for the Chevy Impala

In addition to the worst years already mentioned, there are a few more Chevy Impala models that have experienced concerns.

Here is a list of some other years that may not have fared as well as others:

  • 2002: This model experienced some electrical system issues and had problems with the passlock sensor, causing difficulties in starting the vehicle.
  • 2003: The 2003 Impala faced steering issues, which could lead to potential safety concerns. The steering column would occasionally make grinding noises, and there were a few reported cases of steering column lockups.
  • 2004: This year’s model saw similar issues to the 2003 Impala, with the steering problems persisting.
  • 2006: The 2006 Impala did not perform as well as its peers, receiving poor reviews from critics and car owners. The car had a lack of power, an uncomfortable ride, and poor fuel economy, making it a less desirable option for many drivers.
  • 2007: Similar to the 2006 version, the 2007 Impala had issues that made it less appealing. There were reports of excessive oil consumption, leading to potential engine damage if not addressed.

While the issues mentioned above were notable, it’s important to recognize that the Chevy Impala has mostly established a reliable reputation throughout its production history.

The concerns in these models should be carefully considered when purchasing an older Impala, but they should not overshadow the successes of other model years.

Years with the Most Recalls

Chevy Impala, an iconic American car, has had its ups and downs throughout its production history. Some years faced significantly more recalls than others, affecting the reliability and overall satisfaction of the owners.

In this section, we will identify the years with the most recalls for the Impala model.

Several years in Impala’s history are known for having recurring issues and multiple recalls. Some of these years include:

  • 2001 Chevy Impala
  • 2002 Chevy Impala
  • 2004 Chevy Impala

The 2001 Chevy Impala suffered from severe mechanical issues, which contributed to its over 1,000 complaints and 10 recalls. These recalls earned it a “Beware of the Clunker” badge from CarComplaints.

The common problems faced by the owners of the 2001 variant revolved around transmission issues.

In the case of the 2002 Chevy Impala, it is widely regarded as the worst among all Impala models. It faced numerous issues varying from electrical to engine problems, and also featured the infamous Passlock security problem.

The combination of these issues led to several recalls for the year, subsequently impacting its reputation and ownership experience.

The 2004 Chevy Impala, like its predecessors, encountered problematic performance and safety concerns.

Recalls for these issues caused owners to question the reliability of owning an Impala during those years.

Common Chevy Impala Problems to Look For

One of the most frequently reported issues with Chevy Impalas, particularly in the eighth generation, is oil dripping onto the exhaust manifold. This can lead to unpleasant smells and potential fire hazards if not addressed promptly.

Another common problem for Chevy Impalas manufactured between 2000 and 2015 is the transmission pressure control solenoid failure, which can result in poor shifting between gears.

Such issues are typically experienced once the vehicle reaches around 100,000 miles.

In some 2005 and 2006 models, there have been reports of slipping transmissions and difficulty shifting gears.

Severe cases may require a complete transmission replacement or rebuild, adding substantial repair costs for the owner.

Erratic speedometer readings are also a known issue, particularly in 2004 and 2005 models. Drivers have reported inconsistent readings, with the needle jumping to high speeds inaccurately. Additionally, gas meter, RPM, and coolant temperature readings may be inaccurate in these cases.

Transmission issues like hard shifting and slippage are also among the most common problems reported.


Go Back: Best & Worst data on all Chevrolet models

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.