Angeles Auto Show Index by TCC
Chevy Revamps Impala,
2006 Chevrolet ImpalaEnlarge Photo
The Impala is the more radically improved of the two. The four-door, last retouched in 2000, has been recast as a more sophisticated sedan with a neatly arched roofline and a familial resemblance borne through its grille. Inside the look is vastly more refined than the last-generation car, with a broad dash panel integrated with better-drawn instruments, higher-quality switchgear, and even a line-in port for iPods to mate up to the new audio systems. The Impala’s seats have made their concession to the SUV era as well, with a flip-fold feature that opens a flat load floor from the trunk to the back of the front seats. The rear seats seem to have far more support than prior editions, too.
2006 Chevrolet Monte CarloEnlarge Photo
But it’s the powertrains that most readers and enthusiasts will scan for — and it’s the return of the small-block V-8 to the front-drivers that is most surprising. The base engine in both cars is a 3.5-liter V-6 with 210 hp and 220 lb-ft of torque; an uplevel 240-hp, 3.9-liter V-6 is a version of the smaller engine. The 303-hp V-8 is a newly engineered version of GM’s 5.3-liter, outfitted with Displacement on Demand technology that shuts off cylinders to increase fuel economy up to 12 percent, and designed for use in front-drive vehicles. It appears in SS models.
A four-speed automatic is standard on both cars on all trim levels. Revised suspension packages and new sets of 16-, 17-, and 18-inch wheels appear in various trim packages on both cars.
Other new features added to the cars includes an optional remote vehicle start system, steering wheel radio controls, and new audio systems that include XM radio, MP3 capability and in-dash CD changers. Side curtain airbags are available on the Impala, while seat-mounted side airbags can be had on the Monte Carlo.
HHR Goes For PT Niche
2006 Chevrolet HHREnlarge Photo