Chevy Impala Years To Avoid and The Best Years

Chevy Impala Years To Avoid – Welcome to the world of the Chevrolet Impala – a once prestigious vehicle that graced the roads since its inception in 1958. For decades, it embodied the essence of summer drives and exhilarating muscle car action, captivating automotive enthusiasts worldwide.

However, as time marched on and technology evolved, the Chevy Impala underwent significant changes, gradually transitioning into a standard full-size sedan.

In 2019, a somber announcement echoed through the automotive industry as General Motors revealed the end of an era – the discontinuation of the Impala.

The 2020 model year marked the final production, leaving behind a legacy that will forever be remembered.

Chevy Impala Years To Avoid

Now, if you’re considering buying a used Impala, you’ll be delighted to find an array of great options to choose from.

But, not all model years are created equal, and some come with mechanical issues and reliability woes that are best avoided.

In this article, we will guide you through the worst Chevy Impala years to steer clear of if you’re in the market for a pre-owned gem.

Learn about the model years that are notorious for their pitfalls and discover which Impala generations to avoid to make a well-informed and wise investment.

So, let’s delve into the realm of the Chevy Impala, exploring the troublesome years and ensuring your next ride is nothing short of splendid.

Chevy Impala Years To Avoid

The Chevrolet Impala, with its rich and storied history, has remained an iconic presence on the roads for many years.

Throughout its existence, this American classic has witnessed many great model years, delighting car enthusiasts worldwide.

However, not every Impala year has been smooth sailing.

Some model years have earned a notorious reputation for their reliability concerns, making them the ones to avoid when considering a pre-owned Chevy Impala.

We will explore the troubled years of the Impala, highlighting the mechanical issues and reliability woes associated with each.

Chevy Impala Years To Avoid

Read on to discover the worst Chevy Impala years and why steering clear of them might save you from unwanted headaches and expenses.

2000 Chevrolet Impala: The Troubled Year

The 2000 Chevrolet Impala is an infamous model year with serious mechanical issues that have left many owners frustrated. According to CarComplaints, the 2000 Impala has amassed over 1,000 NHTSA complaints and 10 recalls, earning it a dreaded “Beware of the Clunker” seal of disapproval.

One of the primary concerns lies with the transmission, as owners reported issues like hard shifting and slippage.

These transmission problems often surfaced around 90,000 miles, forcing owners to shell out around $2,400 for transmission replacement or rebuilding.

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Another common complaint involved the car stalling or shutting down while driving, often linked to failures in components like the mass airflow sensor or crankshaft position sensor.

2001 Chevrolet Impala: Continuing the Reliability Struggles

Unfortunately, the 2001 model year did not fare any better. With over 1,000 complaints and 10 recalls, the 2001 Chevrolet Impala joins the list of worst years to avoid.

The transmission problems persisted, with erratic and hard shifting reported by owners, traced back to a faulty transmission pressure control solenoid.

Rectifying this issue usually entails rebuilding the transmission and replacing the problematic solenoid.

Additionally, the 2001 Impala suffered from intake manifold gasket leaks, leading to engine oil or coolant seepage. If left unattended, these leaks could potentially cause catastrophic engine failure.

2002 Chevrolet Impala: “Avoid Like the Plague” Model Year

The 2002 Chevy Impala took the reliability issues to a new level, receiving over 1,000 complaints and 7 recalls.

CarComplaints labeled it an “Avoid Like the Plague” model year due to the sheer number of complaints it garnered.

The primary concern revolved around the vehicle’s passlock system, causing instances where the car wouldn’t start, and the security light remained illuminated.

This frustrating issue left owners unsure if their Impala would start each time they turned the key.

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In addition, transmission failures and intake manifold gasket problems resurfaced, plaguing many 2002 Impalas and leading to hundreds of complaints.

2003 Chevrolet Impala: Reliability Woes Continue

The 2003 Impala continued the unfortunate trend of reliability concerns, attracting over a thousand complaints and 8 recalls.

As with the previous model years, the defective passlock system caused starting issues, leaving drivers waiting for up to 10 minutes for the passlock to reset.

Transmission slippage and intake manifold gasket failure also persisted, leading to yet another “Avoid Like the Plague” rating.

2004 Chevrolet Impala: Escalating Unreliability

The 2004 Chevy Impala took the unreliability up another notch, accumulating over 2,000 complaints and 7 recalls.

The most significant problem plaguing this model year involved an erratic speedometer and instrument panel gauge, providing inaccurate and intermittent readings for gas, temperature, and turn signals.

Fixing this issue typically requires replacing the instrument panel cluster, costing around $450.

The familiar transmission woes, such as hard shifting and slippage, continued to trouble owners, making the 2004 Impala a model year to avoid.

2005 Chevrolet Impala: Some Improvements, but Still Problematic

Though the 2005 Chevy Impala showed some improvement, it was far from trouble-free. With CarComplaints’ “Clunker” award and numerous complaints, this model year remained on the list of worst Impala years.

Rough shifting issues, similar to the previous years, were attributed to a defective transmission pressure control solenoid, demanding transmission rebuilding and solenoid replacement at a cost of around $1,880.

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The faulty instrument cluster also made a reappearance, causing further headaches for owners.

2006 Chevrolet Impala: Lingering Reliability Concerns

The 2006 Impala, while not as problematic as its predecessors, still had its fair share of issues. Receiving over 980 complaints and 2 recalls, it earned another “Beware of the Clunker” award.

Transmission problems continued to plague this model year, resulting in slips, whining noises, and hard shifts.

Apart from being an inconvenience, these transmission issues posed significant safety risks.

With repair costs exceeding $2,000 for transmission rebuilding or replacement, the 2006 Impala may not be worth the frustration.

Chevy Impala Best Years

The Chevrolet Impala, a legendary American motor vehicle line, has left an indelible mark on the automotive industry. Although the Impala was discontinued in 2020, it still holds a special place in the hearts of car enthusiasts.

Chevy Impala Best Years

You need to know which vehicle years are the most reliable and suitable for your needs.

We’ll explore the most reliable Chevrolet Impala years, providing you with valuable insights to help you make an informed decision in your vehicle search.

The Quest for Reliability

With the last model rolling off the production line in 2020, the Chevrolet Impala’s long history comes with a wide range of model years to choose from.

As with any used vehicle purchase, reliability is a top concern for buyers.

Fortunately, Chevrolet made significant strides in ensuring consistent reliability scores for the Impala, particularly in the later model years.

Newer is Better

A key rule of thumb when purchasing a used Chevrolet Impala is that newer models are generally more reliable and safer.

As automotive technology advances, manufacturers incorporate improvements and innovations that enhance a vehicle’s overall performance and dependability.

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Therefore, the most reliable Chevrolet Impala years are often the most recent ones.

The Turning Point: 2013 Chevrolet Impala

The turning point for the Chevrolet Impala’s reliability came in 2013. This model year stood out as a popular and highly consistent performer, earning accolades for its reliability.

With just one recall related to an ignition key, the 2013 Chevrolet Impala gained the trust of many drivers.

While other years had their share of issues, the 2013 model was a shining example of Chevrolet’s commitment to improving their flagship sedan.

The Most Reliable Chevrolet Impala Years

Starting in 2015, Chevrolet dedicated more attention to detail, resulting in even more reliable Impala models.

These years are highly recommended for those seeking a used Chevrolet Impala with fewer maintenance concerns.

The most reliable Chevrolet Impala years, aside from the exceptional 2013 model, include:

2015 Chevrolet Impala

This year marked a significant leap in reliability, with Chevrolet’s focus on refining its flagship sedan’s performance and dependability.

2016 Chevrolet Impala

Chevy Impala Best Years

Building on the success of the previous year, the 2016 model continued to impress with its solid reliability scores and user satisfaction.

2017 Chevrolet Impala

Another commendable year for the Impala, as Chevrolet maintained its dedication to producing a trustworthy and dependable vehicle.

2018 Chevrolet Impala

The reliability streak continued with the 2018 model, reassuring potential buyers of Impala’s consistent performance.

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2019 Chevrolet Impala

As Impala approached its final years of production, Chevrolet remained committed to delivering a reliable and enjoyable driving experience.

2020 Chevrolet Impala

In the last year of production for this iconic sedan, the 2020 model retained the reliability that drivers had come to expect from the Impala.

Chevy Impala Problems

Chevrolet Impalas have a reputation for being reliable vehicles, but like any car, they are not entirely without their faults.

If you’re considering purchasing a used Chevy Impala, it’s essential to be aware of common issues you might encounter.

Chevy Impala Problems

Understanding these problems will enable you to make an informed decision and take necessary precautions when looking at specific model years.

In this section, we’ll explore the most common Chevy Impala problems reported by, focusing on issues like transmission, ignition key, and HVAC system troubles.

Additionally, we’ll discuss how certain generations, particularly those built before 2013, maybe more prone to these problems.

Let’s dive into the details and equip you with valuable insights to ensure a smoother ownership experience.

Common Chevrolet Impala Problems

1. Transmission Pressure Control Solenoid Failure

One of the most frequently reported issues in Chevy Impalas is the failure of the transmission pressure control solenoid.

When this component malfunctions, it can cause problems with shifting gears, leading to erratic and rough gear changes.

This issue is particularly prevalent in certain generations of the Impala, notably those built before 2013.

If you’re considering a used Impala from these model years, pay extra attention to the transmission’s performance during the test drive and consider getting a professional inspection to identify any potential problems.

2. Ignition Key Stuck in the Vehicle

Another common problem reported by Impala owners is the ignition key getting stuck in the vehicle. This can be a frustrating and inconvenient issue, as it prevents drivers from starting or shutting off their cars.

If you encounter this problem, it may be related to a faulty ignition switch or a worn-out key.

Fortunately, a skilled mechanic should be able to diagnose and resolve this issue relatively easily.

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However, if you notice this problem during your inspection, it’s essential to address it promptly to avoid potential headaches in the future.

3. HVAC System Issues (Specifically Air-Conditioning)

Some Chevy Impala owners have experienced problems with the HVAC system, particularly the air-conditioning. Common complaints include the AC not blowing cold air, weak airflow, or unusual noises when the system is running.

These issues can stem from various causes, such as refrigerant leaks, faulty compressors, or malfunctioning blower motors.

While addressing HVAC problems can be more complex than other issues, having a qualified technician diagnose and repair the system can help ensure your driving comfort is restored.

Generational Trends and Reliability

When it comes to Chevrolet Impalas, certain model years and generations have shown more prevalent problems than others.

As a general rule of thumb, newer Impala models tend to have fewer issues, thanks to improvements and refinements made by Chevrolet over the years.

However, if you’re looking at Impalas built before 2013, be particularly cautious, as this period is associated with more common problems.

The ninth-generation Impalas, in particular, may be more prone to the mentioned issues, so exercising extra diligence when considering these model years is advisable.

Are Chevrolet Impalas Generally Reliable?

Yes, Chevrolet Impalas are generally reliable, especially as newer model years have been introduced. According to various sources, including and, the reliability of used Chevrolet Impalas from 2015 onwards is rated highly, with scores of eight out of 10 for reliability and seven out of 10 for owner satisfaction.

As time has progressed, Chevrolet has made improvements to enhance the reliability and safety of the Impala, making more recent model years a more consistent and safe choice compared to older ones.

Is the Chevrolet Impala Worth It?

In general, the Chevrolet Impala can be worth it as a used vehicle, especially if you are looking for an affordable commuter vehicle or family car.

As mentioned before, the newer a used Chevrolet Impala is, the more likely it is to be reliable and less likely to have high maintenance fees or engine and transmission problems.

So, if you are considering a used Impala, it may be worth your time to focus on models built in the last five years to get a good deal on a reliable vehicle.

Which Chevrolet Impala is Most Reliable?

The most reliable Chevrolet Impala year is the 2020 model, according to However, other good model years of the Impala include 2019, 2017, 2016, and 2018.

These newer model years tend to have more reliable components and a better track record in terms of performance and satisfaction.

Are Chevrolet Impalas Expensive to Maintain?

Purchasing a used Chevrolet Impala will require some maintenance, but overall, it should not break the bank. According to, the estimated cost of maintenance and repairs for a used Chevrolet Impala over 10 years is around $6,524, which is slightly better than the industry average for popular sedan models at $572.

Additionally, the chances of a Chevrolet Impala needing a major repair within the first 10 years of its lifespan are less than 20%.

However, it’s worth noting that older Impalas, particularly those older than 10 years, may have more expensive and severe issues related to critical systems and undercarriage.

How Many Miles Will an Impala Last?

With proper maintenance, a Chevrolet Impala can last between 150,000 to 200,000 miles. However, it’s essential to stay diligent with regular maintenance to ensure the vehicle’s longevity.

According to a study by, approximately 1.6% of all Chevrolet models, including Impalas, make it to 200,000 miles.

What Year Impala Has Transmission Problems?

Ninth-generation Impalas, particularly those built between 2006 and 2013, are known to have transmission problems. The 2007 Chevy Impala, in particular, is considered the most problematic year for transmission issues.

Common problems with Chevrolet Impala transmissions in this period include failed solenoids, which can cause shifting and performance problems.

If considering a used Impala from this generation, it’s essential to thoroughly inspect the transmission and consider a professional assessment to identify potential transmission-related concerns.


Chevrolet Impalas have proven to be reliable vehicles, especially in more recent model years. As time has progressed, Chevrolet has made significant improvements to enhance Impala’s reliability and performance.

If you’re considering purchasing a used Chevrolet Impala, it’s advisable to focus on models built after 2015 to ensure a more consistent and dependable driving experience.

These newer Impalas are less likely to encounter common issues such as transmission pressure control solenoid failure, ignition key problems, or HVAC system troubles.

While the Chevrolet Impala can be worth it as a used vehicle, especially for budget-conscious buyers seeking an affordable commuter or family car, it’s crucial to be mindful of the model year.

Older Impalas, particularly those from the ninth generation (built before 2013), may have more frequent and costly problems.

In summary, if you’re in the market for a used Chevrolet Impala, focus on newer model years after 2015 to ensure a more reliable and enjoyable driving experience.

Be cautious when considering older Impalas, particularly those from the ninth generation, to avoid common issues and potential maintenance headaches.

By choosing a more recent and dependable model, you can confidently drive your Chevrolet Impala for many miles to come, knowing you’ve made a wise and informed decision.

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