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by Steve Siler

Chevrolet Impala
2003 Chevrolet Impala

If there's one thing that's for sure, this is not your father's Impala. Or maybe it is…as the full-sized sedan appeals to a decidedly more mature demographic than many others in this class. Either way, it's not exactly the muscular beast that many of us remember so fondly from the Sixties. Rather, it's a moderately powerful, safe, secure and entirely responsible offering in a group full of moderately powerful, safe, secure and responsible offerings. What makes the Impala distinct, then? Well, besides its plus-sized dimensions (which are roughly the same as the six-passenger Taurus) and big, big trunk, not a whole lot. But that's okay for some, as evidenced by the Impala continuing to make it into or near the top-ten best selling car group year after year.

Now, if Chevy is known for one thing, it's value. And accordingly, the bargain-priced ($21K-28K) Impala delivers features upon features for not a lot of cash. Things like keyless entry, power accessories and 16-inch wheels are all standard even on the base Impala. The nicer LS array gets five-passenger seating and even more creature comforts. The LS also gets a bigger engine: a 200-hp, 3.8-liter V-6 in place of the 180-hp, 3.4-liter unit in the base model. Nifty options include OnStar and XM radio.