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I'm a retiree, a woman, and presently living in Southwestern Utah. I care for my elderly mother and until recently (before we gave her car to my niece to use up north where she's going to the University), we drove a 1994 Toyota Camry. That Camry was incredibly smooth and maintenance free. For the previous two years I've been looking at cars and recently looked at the 2016 Impala. I need a car that's comfortable and safe for my mother and I, but I enjoy rock hounding and visiting archaeological sites, and wondered how the Impala would stand up to regular dirt road use. I would swap out the shocks and tires without hesitation. I just don't want to take the chance of damaging the car. Anyone have any thoughts? Lana
 

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I'm a retiree, a woman, and presently living in Southwestern Utah. I care for my elderly mother and until recently (before we gave her car to my niece to use up north where she's going to the University), we drove a 1994 Toyota Camry. That Camry was incredibly smooth and maintenance free. For the previous two years I've been looking at cars and recently looked at the 2016 Impala. I need a car that's comfortable and safe for my mother and I, but I enjoy rock hounding and visiting archaeological sites, and wondered how the Impala would stand up to regular dirt road use. I would swap out the shocks and tires without hesitation. I just don't want to take the chance of damaging the car. Anyone have any thoughts? Lana
Hi,

I'm not sure if you have the old style Impala (called Limited in 2016) or the new model, but both have the same 3.6L engine and 6-speed transmission, and are well respected for their drive train durability.

As for driving on country roads, neither car is especially low slung. They both have reasonable clearance and shouldn't pose any problems on most gravel and dirt roads, but, as with any auto, you'll need to take care that you don't drive it on any roads that are badly rutted.

HTH.

Doug

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I own a 2014 Impala 2LTZ (new model style), and previously owned a 2008, 2011, and 2012 Impala LTZ (previous model style).

One suggestion: The 2014 LTZ model (later changed to the Premier line), came standard with 19-inch, low profile tires and wheels. Optional were 20-inch lower profile tires and wheels.

The 2008, 2011 and 2012 (and 2016 Impala Limited LTZ) had 18-inch wheels and tires - with a higher sidewall.

The wheels on my 2014 Impala (new model) have been damaged by the miserable paved roads in the county that I live in the Midwest. In retrospect, I would never buy another Impala with the low-profile tires and wheels (or any other vehicle).

If you are driving on dirt or gravel roads and are concerned about your wheels and sidewalls, you may want to steer clear of the new model style with the 19 or 20 inch wheels and tires. Lesser trim lines (LT, LS) had 18-inch wheels and tires, with higher tire sidewalls.

The 2014 (new model) is very comfortable and has a lot of legroom for the front seats AND the back seats. The previous model (including the 2016 Impala Limited) has good front seat leg room, but dismal rear seat legroom.
 

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IMO, I would suggest a truck or SUV that have ground clearance. Both are way better for getting and out than a car. We have 3 cars and 2 trucks and notice as I age that the cars are harder to get in and out, more so on the passenger side.

Pat
 

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Would tend to agree with the above post. While we drive our impala daily on a 1/4 mile gravel drive without issue, it was more difficult to get my mother in and out of our impala than it was to get her in and out of our durango. I do believe the impala would go anywhere a camry would go, but the added clearance and suspension travel you get with an suv or truck might be worth it especially when considering getting an elderly person in and out.
 

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I also lean toward a small SUV under the circumstances you describe (CRV or RAV4). Those would be tall enough to get into easily and they can handle the occasional poor road better. Conversely, full size trucks would be out because they are so high up that they are harder to get in and out of.
 

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i have a 2016 lt, in my opinion car isnt built for constant dirt and gravel roads as these cars are built on cadillac chassis, which means they are made for highway or street cruising.to each their own but no way i,m driving mines like a monster truck lol.
 

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I say a smart choice. The latest generation is comfy with lots of room. The doors are triple sealed and has acoustic glass except back window. For the dirt & gravel roads I would def suggest mud flaps to save the paint behind the wheels. Impala's are 3 dimensional. Best of luck making the right choice. And welcome aboard!
 
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