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#4561159 - 11/01/17 11:57 AM Rental Review '16 Impala
Tdbo Offline


Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 3238
Loc: Ohio
We just flew back from California last night, from a week long vacation.
We normally rent a full size car. When we were shopping for a rental, there was very little difference between a "Full" size, and a "Premium" car. Mrs Tdbo convinced me to spend the extra 20 bucks to get a "Premium" car.
Hertz has some interesting ideas as to what a "Full" size car is. I found it interesting that a Chevy Impala qualifies as a "Premium" car, even though it was loaded with leather, and was a V6 LT.
So we flew into Oakland, and picked up the car with 33,191 miles on it. It was just like any other ridden hard rental, complete with scratches and a nice dent in the front fender. After properly documenting the abuse on video and paper, we were on our way.
It really is a large car. It handles amazingly well, given its size. I expected the car to wallow, but was amazed with how precise the car was. The car shifted well, although the V6 IMO was merely adequate. I can't believe that they seriously sell a 4 cyl. version of this car, I'll bet that that is a ton of fun to drive.
The interior tries to look upmarket, and makes a good attempt at portraying that desire. If you sit in the car, and look at the drivers view, it makes a case with the top "Leather" surface on the doors and dash and the stitching on both. That image goes away, when you look at the rest of the door with its cheap looking, poorly textured padding. The dash is a personal judgement, I can see how some would like it or hate it. It didn't personally bother me at all, although I really didn't like the ungainly steering wheel. It felt awkward to me, and the controls definitely take some time to get used to. Instrumentation was decent, although I don't really to see the need to have the center panel with the big gas pump on it. The center entertainment pod was fine, the stereo was adequate, and the feature where the pod moves up to present what looks like a cubby behind it is kind of interesting, although I did not take the time to explore the purpose of it. I also questioned the redundancy of instrumentation; for instance, the need for the compass to be on the dash and the entertainment pod both.
Interior was decent. For me, the best part was the front seats. They were probably the most comfortable front seats that I remember in any car that I have driven. From a styling perspective, I really disliked the raised rear deck. It makes backing difficult IMO, even with a camera. I sat in the back set once. Lots of legroom, but disliked how the roof slants down, cutting headroom. Not exactly a penalty box, but could be better IMO. Nice sized, usefully designed trunk.
We drove in phases, so we never really drove the tank down to below a quarter. I'll list the miles where gas was purchases, where purchases, gallons purchased and price. Haven't really broke mileage down in segments: Mileage started: 33191:

33365 Arco, Mill Valley, Ca. 8.569 2.85.9
33555 Alliance, Monterey, Ca. 9.338 2.83.9
33922 Costco, Simi Valley, Ca. 13.396 2.79.9
34205 Loves, Santa Nella, Ca. 9.041 2.59.9
34300 Shell, Oakland, Ca. 3.572 2.93.9*

*Top off prior to dropping off car to avoid Hertz's $9.99.9/gal price.
According to my calculations 43.916/gals. over 1,109 miles= 25.25 MPG overall in mixed driving.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the car. I have the feeling that it would be a hugely better deal as a CPO than a new car. Other than styling, which is subjective, GM has a decent platform. White is definitely not the color for this car though. Too bad that they are considering discontinuation of the platform. If I were in the market and the price was right, I would strongly consider it. However, I would probably end up with an Avalon though.

Good trip to a beautiful state. It was terrible to see the devastation to those in wine country. Best wishes to those affected.
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#4561175 - 11/01/17 12:11 PM Re: Rental Review '16 Impala [Re: Tdbo]
Mr Nice Offline


Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 21375
Loc: Orlando, FL
Nice review, I've rented a few Impalas and they are good cars for a long road trip.

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#4561180 - 11/01/17 12:18 PM Re: Rental Review '16 Impala [Re: Tdbo]
FirstNissan Offline


Registered: 12/05/10
Posts: 934
Loc: MO
Rented an Impala twice in the past 5 or-so years, roomy and great highway manners. I would never buy one however, mother-in-law had one around 2005 that spent half its life in the shop, another friend bought one around 2009 that started giving transmission issues within the first 2-3 years of ownership.
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#4561240 - 11/01/17 01:09 PM Re: Rental Review '16 Impala [Re: Tdbo]
EdwardC Offline


Registered: 11/14/13
Posts: 1890
Loc: Chicago, IL
How was the transmission on the car? I've noticed in a lot of my rental cars, it's the transmission's smoothness (or lack of smoothness) that affect my opinion of the vehicle. I might just better in tune with how my personal vehicle shifts and reacts, so any difference stands out.

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#4561245 - 11/01/17 01:15 PM Re: Rental Review '16 Impala [Re: EdwardC]
SatinSilver Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 10342
Loc: OH
I just checked Hertz car sales and all the Impalas for sale within 500 miles of here have the 2.5 engine. Which is about 264 of them. Should be reliable at least.

The old style Limited model is available with the 3.6 and hundreds of those available from right around $10k or so.


Edited by SatinSilver (11/01/17 01:20 PM)

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#4561298 - 11/01/17 02:32 PM Re: Rental Review '16 Impala [Re: EdwardC]
Tdbo Offline


Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 3238
Loc: Ohio
Originally Posted By: EdwardC
How was the transmission on the car? I've noticed in a lot of my rental cars, it's the transmission's smoothness (or lack of smoothness) that affect my opinion of the vehicle. I might just better in tune with how my personal vehicle shifts and reacts, so any difference stands out.


Transmission was fine with nice smooth shifts.
The engine was somewhat the weak link IMO.
On smooth level ground, this thing had plenty of power.
Get it up in the mountains, not so much.
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#4561322 - 11/01/17 03:07 PM Re: Rental Review '16 Impala [Re: Tdbo]
glock19 Offline


Registered: 03/12/13
Posts: 784
Loc: Virginia
I wrote an Impala review a few months ago and came to pretty much the same conclusions. The one exception is the power, I found the 305hp to be plenty. I know power is subjective, but 0-60mph in 6.3 seconds seems pretty peppy to me.

Review from a few months ago: https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthr...nta#Post4483899


Edited by glock19 (11/01/17 03:08 PM)
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#4561330 - 11/01/17 03:16 PM Re: Rental Review '16 Impala [Re: EdwardC]
i_hate_autofraud Offline


Registered: 05/19/16
Posts: 713
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: EdwardC
How was the transmission on the car? I've noticed in a lot of my rental cars, it's the transmission's smoothness (or lack of smoothness) that affect my opinion of the vehicle. I might just better in tune with how my personal vehicle shifts and reacts, so any difference stands out.


GM deliberately continues to make weak transmissions (keeps dealer busy).

If there any hard shifts between gears, it's a problem that only gets worse. The computer IDs it
as a "low ratio" problem (P1811 code) when shifts are too slow, the engine revs while effectively in neutral
before the next gear grabs, at the same time Line Pressure is boosted by the computer that can cause
the torque converter clutch to warp and stick, then it becomes undriveable! Awful eh?

The current crop of Impalas use 6 speed trannies known as 6T70 with all the weaknesses of GM 4T65E
but are harder to service with the oil pan on the front side of the tranny rather then underneath!

Sonnax and others are making patented & improved parts for 6T70 for the rebuild market to prevent "come-backs"
that otherwise occur when all-GM service parts are used.

For me, I'll keep using 2008-2009 Impalas since we got all the bugs out of our little fleet, I
don't want to wrestle with harder to fix 6T70 6 speeds! (also applies to GM 6T75 too!)

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#4561339 - 11/01/17 03:33 PM Re: Rental Review '16 Impala [Re: Tdbo]
CKN Offline


Registered: 10/14/14
Posts: 3779
Loc: Utah
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

There you have it. New fangled technology and a conspiracy theory.


Edited by CKN (11/01/17 03:34 PM)

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#4561343 - 11/01/17 03:39 PM Re: Rental Review '16 Impala [Re: FirstNissan]
Lolvoguy Offline


Registered: 02/06/14
Posts: 2394
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: FirstNissan
Rented an Impala twice in the past 5 or-so years, roomy and great highway manners. I would never buy one however, mother-in-law had one around 2005 that spent half its life in the shop, another friend bought one around 2009 that started giving transmission issues within the first 2-3 years of ownership.


Totally different machine.
Apples to Oranges
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#4561350 - 11/01/17 03:49 PM Re: Rental Review '16 Impala [Re: Lolvoguy]
4WD Offline


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 6571
Loc: Texas
Had one for a week driving in the NO area this Spring smooth and quiet road car it had the V6

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#4562517 - 11/02/17 08:59 PM Re: Rental Review '16 Impala [Re: Tdbo]
i_hate_autofraud Offline


Registered: 05/19/16
Posts: 713
Loc: Canada



Up here in 2015 a major newspaper did a review and noted the hard shifting - likely not paid to
say hard shifts are symtomatic of bad GM design!

Hard shifts can throw a P1811 code!

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