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In my search for an Impala, I've driven a few LTs and one LS. Not any LTZs yet, until today.
A saleshomie across the river sent me an email saying they had a 2012 LTZ off a rental fleet. I went over there today and of course the car was tied up in the shop. LR window motor was getting some work done. We went out to the shop to eyeball it, I noticed it was grey which was dx'd following the 2011 MY.
Like a good discarded rental unit, the front tires were well-worn and the rears did not match the fronts. They were some sort of off-brand, perhaps Red Chinese Long Marches, with an aggressive-looking unidirectional tread but probably junk.
Saleshomie (blamed?) claimed his sales manager told him it was a 2012, but in fact it was an '11.

We drove a new '13 LTZ. Seats OK, leather of the typical mediocre-at-best quality. At least it didn't have that awful chemfactory smell that some "leather" has. The seat heat worked OK, but just OK. High was too hot and low was too cool. Where is the Baby Bear setting?

The best part was the suspension, which is noticeably firmer, better-snubbed, and with what feels like a bit more roll control than the LTs. Steering feels a bit quicker, I don't know if that's fact, or if that was just a function of the squatter 18" wheel/tire system.
It was shod with RS-A which don't get high marks anywhere I've seen them assessed, except apparently somewhere in the nether decision-making regions of GM where "good enough" is still good enough.:biggrin:

Now, to compare with my two points of reference, my recently-departed 2011 Chrysler 200 Touring 3.6/6A equipped with the excellent Michelin Primacy MXV4 225.55.17 and my current 2013 KIA Soul 1.6, with the stock Nexen junk replaced with Michelin Defenders, size upgraded from 195.65.15 to 215.60.15 which made a HUGE difference in ride and sound quality.

The Impala LTZ feels comparable to the 200 in ride and handling. The 200 may ride a little better. It was a little heavier and a little quicker, too.
Good ride with good control including roll control. I think the Chrysler had a better-feeling power steering unit. I know the Soul does, I have grown to greatly appreciate the electric unit. It operates completely independently of the engine belts and such. In the Impala, I can feel the unit working when the car isn't moving.
Not so in the Soul. The Soul steering unit has no self-centering when coming out of a turn, but that's easily adjusted for.
The Soul has a harder ride and similar roll control. Of course with a 100 vs. 110 inch wheelbase and curb weight of 2800 vs. 3550, the less mass and 40" shorter length greatly contribute to quickness of maneuverability.

My 200 had a somewhat indecisive trans, at least at lower speeds. Irritating. The Soul's 6A is better, but it downshifts as I slow down. Why?
The Impala, perhaps because it's a more ancient soul, leaves well enough alone. I don't see the point in downshifting. I'd have gotten a stick if I wanted to do that.

No moon roof standard on the '13, IIRC it was standard on the '12 LTZs. I can live without, I like to have the sunglass compartment up there which is a great idea.

This is the second 3.6 Impala where I've noticed some GDI rattle. Not as bad as the first one I heard it in, but unnecessary IMO. Seems to be a strictly case-by-case basis for this rattle. My Soul's GDI makes no telltale noises.

So...LTZ worth the extra jack?
Not to this Neanderthal. For one thing, the LTZs go over my imposed budget limit. That aside, the leather is unremarkable, the seat heat is unremarkable, the wing does nussink, nussink! for me outside of irritate me about $200 worth, and the cost of replacing crap 18" Badyear RS-As is higher than the cost of replacing crap 17" Badyear LSs.

A set of FE3 struts and, perhaps, bars, should run well under a grand. And that, with aftermarket seat heat and the more user-friendly cost, tilts my opinion toward an LT.

And that's all I know about thayitt. Comments, opinions, and knowledge-upgrades are most welcome.:dizzy:
 

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And that's all I know about thayitt. Comments, opinions, and knowledge-upgrades are most welcome.:dizzy:
ur comparing a 200 to an imp. and a kia box :giggle: to an imp...

if you want something to compare .. compare the charger srt or 300 srt with the ltz. i think you will be able to figure out if imp. is worth buying.. btw how does your box car drive on highway :devil:
 

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ur comparing a 200 to an imp. and a kia box :giggle: to an imp...

if you want something to compare .. compare the charger srt or 300 srt with the ltz. i think you will be able to figure out if imp. is worth buying.. btw how does your box car drive on highway :devil:
A Hemi Charger compared to a 3.6 Impala is :giggle:.

My Soul drives great, actually. It's very solid and stable up to the 90 or so I've had it up to so far. And I'm confident it would be stable up to the 110 it's supposed to top out at, peaking thanks to aero not a governor.

I try to make it a point of not assessing or criticizing a vehicle's drivability until I've actually driven one.

The point I was making, or trying to make, was to compare the Impala driving experience to the points of reference I'm most familiar with.
I've driven V6 Chargers and Challengers, but not lately and therefore not a good comparison for me to talk about.

I, too, used to consider KIAs joke cars. Then I drove one, then I bought one. And bought two for D-I-L. Then bought another.
They make fine products. You can like them or you can mock them, you can't ignore the inroads H/K have made in the American market while the Detroit makers essentially napped by the roadside.
If you think Impalas are the only car on the road, your experience could use some broadening.

And yes, the 200 is comparable. In price, weight, performance.
It's actually a little heavier, it rides a little better, and it feels more modern. And it's quicker according to all published tests. Try driving one.
 

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Gee an SRT to an LTZ, sounds like apples to apples....

Anyhow, the Impala is nice, but as we discussed before, if the add-on features are not worth the extra money, get the LT. It is a good DD and family size vehicle that offers basic necessities and comfortable driving, IMO. It is in no means a showpiece, luxury sedan, performance machine, or anything of the sort. It is something nice to have without breaking the bank on a full-size with a decent powertrain.

I say give it a few days, then test drive it again see how it feels. Don't go in with any expectation or comparison. Just drive. Come to some conclusions then weigh your options. :beer:
 

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if you want something to compare .. compare the charger srt or 300 srt with the ltz. i think you will be able to figure out if imp. is worth buying.. btw how does your box car drive on highway :devil:
You are kidding, right? A V6 300 compared to an LTZ, okay, I get that - relatively same power etc. A 300C compared to a LTZ - not a fair comparison. A 50K 300 SRT8 to an LTZ, you are kidding, right? You think that is a fair comparison?
 

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You are kidding, right? A V6 300 compared to an LTZ, okay, I get that - relatively same power etc. A 300C compared to a LTZ - not a fair comparison. A 50K 300 SRT8 to an LTZ, you are kidding, right? You think that is a fair comparison?
Perhaps folks think top-of-the-line vs. TOTL is a valid comparison.

But the LTZ has the same 300 HP as the LS, unlike an SRT 6.3 470 HP @ $47,000+
2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 |470 HP SRT Hemi V8 Power | Dodge
which costs 50% more than an LTZ?

Let's toss in a CTS-V while we're at it.
2013 CTS-V Sedan | Cadillac :yahoo:
 

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I was a bit confused by that as well, if the LTZ is barely stacking up against a kia, we should try comparing it against an even better car?
 

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Perhaps folks think top-of-the-line vs. TOTL is a valid comparison.

But the LTZ has the same 300 HP as the LS, unlike an SRT 6.3 470 HP @ $47,000+
2012 Dodge Charger SRT8 |470 HP SRT Hemi V8 Power | Dodge
which costs 50% more than an LTZ?

Let's toss in a CTS-V while we're at it.
2013 CTS-V Sedan | Cadillac :yahoo:
Right, and the SHO, throw that in too. When I got my MKS I was considering the SHO, SRT8 and STS-V as well. Oh yeah, toss the STS-V in even though you can't buy one anymore.

Also re: Kias, I have been astounded at their new products as well. They have really upped the game in terms of features and quality control for a bargain price IMO.
 

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Also re: Kias, I have been astounded at their new products as well. They have really upped the game in terms of features and quality control for a bargain price IMO.
my friend saw a kia optima loose its entire rear axle on the road, yet he bought one :giggle:. ok forget srt compar.. even the sxt of charger or base model of 300 will out perform an impala i think ... how about ford taurus not sho..
 

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I wonder how the 2013 Impala compares to the 2013 Charger? Pretty much the same car and engine, only the Charger is RWD.
 

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my friend saw a kia optima loose its entire rear axle on the road, yet he bought one :giggle:. ok forget srt compar.. even the sxt of charger or base model of 300 will out perform an impala i think ... how about ford taurus not sho..
Ok, those are fair comparisons. Even ignoring the performance side of it, it is hard to drive a 300 or a Taurus and then spend 2013 LTZ money on an Impala. I admit that. I think that Chevy knows that too, which is why the 2014 is finally coming and why they're offering huge rebates.
 

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I wonder how the 2013 Impala compares to the 2013 Charger? Pretty much the same car and engine, only the Charger is RWD.
They drive differently, I've driven the 2012 Charger (and Challenger, which I liked better--no 8A though) RWD vs. FWD, the mills are different, there's an extremely modern 8-speed in the Charger/300 that gives the car 1300 RPM @ 60 MPH vs. about 1800 for the 6-speed Impala, different seats. The Charger has the old fingernail-grabber door handles, Impala has the modern design that most cars use now.
My wife was not at all comfortable in the Charger, very comfy in the Impala.
That, plus dual zone, is a major factor.

Ok, those are fair comparisons. Even ignoring the performance side of it, it is hard to drive a 300 or a Taurus and then spend 2013 LTZ money on an Impala. I admit that. I think that Chevy knows that too, which is why the 2014 is finally coming and why they're offering huge rebates.
IMO you'd have to be the other side of sane to buy a new Impala. Even with six grand on the hood, a leftover 2012 LT is 22 grand and you can turn around and sell it for 17 if you're lucky.
I happened across a broker yesterday, he buys and holds and then sells when prices go up in the springtime.
He said "You can pay 50 cents on the dollar for a used 2012 Impala." That's about true. The 10-15K used ones at 14 to 17 grand are pre-depreciated and a great value.

I had a Taurus rental a couple of years back and was not fond of it. The engine's had some tweaks since then, but what I disliked most about it was the crowded cabin. Given the bulk and footprint of the new Taurus, I expected a cavern in there like an LH Concorde or LHS. The console crowded my leg, the back was not limo-like, and the drive was OK but not great.
I am in general not excited by Ford dashboards, that goes back many years. I'll have to go dig up my write-up to expand on that.

I liked the Charger more, it seemed more modern and of the three drivetrains I'll take the Mopar 3.6/8A. But for all reasonable purposes, all three drivetrains are fine.

Impala has a nice cabin, non-Space Shuttle controls, it isn't buttons from sea to shining sea. The LTZ handled quite nicely. The Imp trunk is at least 3-bodies qualified.
 

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I had both generations of LHS'. A 94 and a 99. They were big, full of features, looked sharp, but royally sucked.
 

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The fact that there's 8th gens nearing 7th gen prices is scary....
I wonder where prices will go when the 2014 hits the showrooms? I'm hoping down down down.

I had both generations of LHS'. A 94 and a 99. They were big, full of features, looked sharp, but royally sucked.
We owned or leased five of them. I really liked them. Big good-looking good-handling cars. No problems that I can recall.

My uncle just got a turbo 2012 kia optima. Thing is bad ass and super sexy. Plus a 10 year warrant aint to bad.
The 5/60 B-B and 10/100 powertrain is a very attractive quality. I almost got a 2011 Optima or Sonata, but the salesmen were such dickheads they drove me off.:biggrin:
 

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Both my LHS' had serious air conditioning problems. And creaks and rattles and general looseness developed in both cars when they were about 2 years old. I guess when I look back on it, that was my real gripe. At 2 years old, they felt like 12 year old cars.
 
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