Best & Worst Chevrolet Impala Years

I've taken a closer look at every Chevy Impala from 2000 until it was discontinued in 2020 and categorized the best & worst years in this guide.

In this guide, I’ll analyze the latest Chevrolet Impala generations, pinpointing the best years for the Chevy Impala to buy and the worst years to avoid.

Leveraging detailed data from authoritative sources like the NHTSA, Consumer Reports, and J.D. Power, we provide an in-depth analysis of the Chevrolet Impala. Our insights are rooted in rigorous evaluations and real owner feedback, ensuring accurate and valuable information.

This article will specifically cover Chevy Impala’s recent generations, highlighting engine performance, safety features, yearly reliability, common problems, recalls, and resale values.

Let’s dive right in!

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Table of ContentsShow

Chevrolet Impala Generations

The Chevrolet Impala, a car with a storied history, has been a flagship of the Chevrolet brand since its inception. Introduced in 1958, the Impala set the standard for comfort, style, and performance in the American full-size sedan segment.

Over the years, the Impala has undergone numerous transformations, each generation bringing new advancements in technology, design, and performance.

Here is an overview of the Chevrolet Impala generations from 2000 to 2020, where it was finally discontinued.

8th generation (GMX210)2000-2005
9th generation (GMX211)2006-2013
10th generation (GMX352)2014-2020

Understanding the generational shifts is key in choosing the best Chevrolet Impala year that suits your needs and preferences.

Chevrolet Impala Best, Neutral, and Worst Years

We consider a comprehensive range of factors in our rankings and categorizations of the Chevrolet Impala’s best and worst years. These include:

  • Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
  • Annual maintenance costs
  • Safety ratings
  • Consumer Reports reliability scores
  • Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
  • NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
  • Edmunds owner ratings
  • JD Power owner ratings
  • Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
  • VehicleHistory owner ratings
  • owner ratings

The following graph compiles all the combined ratings from these sources, providing a holistic view of the Chevrolet Impala’s performance over the years.

Chevrolet Impala Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score

Next, let’s examine a table categorizing all model years of the Chevrolet Impala into best, neutral, and worst years, offering a clear perspective on which years excel and which falter.

GenerationBest YearsNeutral YearsWorst Years
8th generation (GMX210)2005N/A2000
9th generation (GMX211)2010
10th generation (GMX352)2016

By “Neutral Years,” we refer to those years that typically exhibit average performance and reliability, representing a balanced option for buyers.

It’s important to note that factors like NHTSA recalls negatively impact our rankings. A higher number of complaints and recalls usually indicates lower reliability for the car.

Now, let’s dive into the best, neutral, and worst years for the Chevrolet Impala.

Best & Worst Years for Chevrolet Impala 8th Generation (2000-2005)

Chevrolet Impala 8th generation 2000 model
The 2000 Chevy Impala

The 8th generation of the Chevrolet Impala, from 2000 to 2005, marked a departure from its classic design, embracing a more modern and refined look.

2005 is the best year for the 8th-generation Chevrolet Impala, while the worst years to avoid span between 2000 and 2004.

The Best Years: 2005

The 2005 Chevrolet Impala stands out as the best year of this generation. It offered a choice between a 180 hp 3.4L V6 engine and a more powerful 200 hp 3.8L V6 (240 hp for Impala SS).

These engines were paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission. The fuel economy was respectable for its class, averaging around 19 city/29 highway MPG.

Trim levels, including the base, LS, and the sportier SS with supercharged V6, provided various options from basic to more luxurious features.

However, the 2005 Chevy Impala still faced issues with the ignition switch, although these were less frequent compared to earlier years.

Standard safety features included dual front airbags and ABS brakes, but the lack of advanced safety technology compared to later models was noticeable.

The Worst Years: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004

The early years of the 8th generation, particularly from 2000 to 2004, were fraught with issues, making them the worst years to avoid.

These models were beset with electrical system problems, including ignition switch malfunctions leading to engine stalling and increased risk of accidents.

Engine issues were also prevalent, with head gasket failures and coolant leaks often resulting in engine compartment fires.

The 2000-2002 Chevy Impalas experienced loss of power steering, transmission failures, and brake failures due to rusty brake lines, while the 2003 Chevy Impala added problems with inoperative low-beam headlights and excessive brake rotor wear.

The 2004 Chevy Impala continued to struggle with ignition switch and headlight issues.

These models were subject to multiple recalls, including problems related to the ignition switch, engine compartment fires, and fuel pressure regulator leaks.

See NHTSA 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 Chevrolet Impala recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for Chevrolet Impala 9th Generation (2006-2013)

Chevrolet Impala 9th generation 2006 model
The 2006 Chevy Impala

The 9th-generation Chevrolet Impala, running from 2006 to 2013, showcased significant updates in design and technology, aiming to modernize the classic full-size sedan for a new era.

The best years for the 9th-generation Chevy Impala span between 2010 and 2013, while 2008 and 2009 are the worst years to avoid.

The Best Years: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013

Regarded as the best years for this generation, the 2010-2013 Chevrolet Impala models culminated in continuous improvements.

These models offered a 211 hp 3.5L V6 until 2012 and a more powerful 302 hp 3.6L V6 for the 2012 and 2013 models.

They were paired with a smooth 4-speed automatic transmission, providing a balanced blend of power and efficiency, with fuel consumption averaging around 18 city/29 highway MPG.

Trim levels like the LS, LT, and LTZ offered varying degrees of luxury, with the LTZ being particularly well-equipped with leather upholstery, Bose sound system, and advanced safety features like side curtain airbags.

Technological advancements included Bluetooth connectivity and a comprehensive infotainment system.

These models also saw improvements in build quality and ride comfort, making them a reliable choice for a family sedan.

The Neutral Years: 2006, 2007

The 2006 and 2007 Chevrolet Impala models are considered neutral in this generation.

They featured similar engine options to the later models, including the standard 3.5L V6 and an available 3.9L V6, but with slightly lower power output.

The fuel efficiency for these models was comparable to the best years, maintaining reasonable economy for a vehicle of its size.

These models were decently equipped regarding safety and technology but lacked some of the more advanced features introduced in later years.

Trim levels provided options ranging from basic to more luxurious features but without the full extent of amenities seen in the 2010-2013 models.

These years represent a transitional phase in the Impala’s evolution, offering a solid, if not exceptional, driving experience.

The Worst Years: 2008, 2009

The 2008 and 2009 models of the Chevrolet Impala are widely recognized as the worst years of the 9th generation, to avoid at all costs. Here is why:

These years were marked by various problems, primarily in the electrical system and powertrain.

Owners frequently reported problems with inoperative AC and automatic door locks, engine issues like coolant leaks, stalling, the “Engine Power Reduced” warning messages, transmission slipping, and steering and suspension issues.

Notably, steering wheel lock-up in rainy conditions and excessive tire wear due to spindle rods were common complaints.

These years also saw recalls for intermittent ignition switch deactivation and damaged passenger presence sensor wires, which could disable airbags.

See NHTSA 2008, 2009 Chevrolet Impala recalls and complaints.

Best & Worst Years for Chevrolet Impala 10th Generation (2014-2020)

Chevrolet Impala 10th generation 2014 model
The 2014 Chevy Impala

The 10th generation of the Chevrolet Impala marked a significant redesign aligning with modern full-size sedan standards, focusing on luxury, technology, and performance.

2014 is the most problematic 10th-generation Chevrolet Impala year to avoid, while the best years to buy are between 2016 and 2020.

The Best Years: 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

The best years for the 10th-generation Chevy Impala, spanning from 2016 to 2020, are celebrated for their high reliability, advanced features, and strong performance.

These models came with two primary engine options: a 2.5L I4 engine delivering 196 hp and a more powerful 3.6L V6 producing 305 hp.

Paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, they offered a balanced driving experience with respectable fuel efficiency, averaging about 22 city/31 highway MPG.

The Impala’s trim levels, including the LS, LT, and Premier, provided increasing levels of luxury and technology.

The Premier trim, in particular, boasted features like leather upholstery, heated seats, and advanced safety technologies, including lane departure warning and forward collision alert.

These models also featured Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen, providing connectivity and entertainment options that were well-received by consumers.

The Neutral Years: 2015

The 2015 Chevrolet Impala is considered a neutral year for this generation. It shared the same engine options as the best years: the efficient 2.5L four-cylinder and the robust 3.6L V6.

While offering comparable fuel economy and performance, the 2015 model lacked some refinements and technological updates introduced in the subsequent years.

It was well-equipped regarding safety and trim options but without the cutting-edge features found in the later models.

This year’s Impala provided a competent and comfortable driving experience but didn’t have the same level of allure or advancements that made the 2016-2020 models stand out.

The Worst Years: 2014

Our research shows that the 2014 model year is considered the least reliable of the 10th-generation Chevy Impala to avoid.

In its debut year, this model faced several issues, primarily concerning the electrical system, electronic stability control, steering, and brakes.

Owners reported problems with the infotainment and safety systems and malfunctions in the StabiliTrak and ABS, leading to stability and braking concerns. In some instances, the 2014 Chevy Impala also struggled with losing power steering.

These issues led to various recalls, including those addressing chassis electronic module contamination, intermittent deactivation of the ignition switches, intermittent brake light flashing, brake pads, and loss of power steering.

These early teething problems significantly affected the model’s reliability and tarnished its initial reputation, making it less favorable than its subsequent years.

See NHTSA 2014 Chevrolet Impala recalls and complaints.

Chevrolet Impala Resale Values

This graph below shows the average resale values of Chevrolet Impala across different model years.

Chevrolet Impala Car Smite Score Combined Overall Score 1


After thorough research, it’s clear that the best years for the Chevrolet Impala to buy are 2005, 2010-2013, and 2016-2020, while 2000-2004, 2008, 2009, and 2014 year models are wise to avoid.

Have you owned or considered buying one of these Impala models? If so, what has been your experience or deciding factor?

Share your thoughts or experiences in the comments below!

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Jonathan Eckert

Jonathan is an ASE-certified mechanic with over 22 years of hands-on experience in the automotive industry. His expertise spans a wide range of vehicles, but he specializes in diagnosing and repairing Japanese cars. His previous workplace highly commended his meticulous attention to detail, and that's exaclty what he uses at Car Smite to craft the best guides for each purpose.