Chevy Impala: The Passing of an Icon

August 28th, 2020 by

A closeup shows the grille of a blue 1966 Chevy Impala SS, a rare find at a Chevy dealership in Fort Worth, TX.

You may have heard that Chevrolet has stopped production of the Impala. If you are like many other Americans who love this car, you may want to head over to our Chevy dealership in Fort Worth to buy one of the last examples of this iconic model. The Chevy Impala is noteworthy in the history of Chevrolet as the company’s best-selling model of all time. However, the Impala has an expansive and interesting history beyond just its sales figures. Since 1956, when the first model rolled out at a motor show, the Impala has been embraced as a reliable, well-loved family sedan.

A Brief History of the Impala

The first official model year of the Impala was 1958, though 1957 was the first year the ’58 model was sold on the market. The Impala originated as the top trim of the Chevy Bel Air and was available as both a coupe and a convertible. In that first year of production, the Impala sold 55,989 convertibles and 125,480 coupes to make up a blazing 15 percent of Chevy’s sales that year. With that success, Chevy created the Impala as its own model the very next year. For the next few years, Chevy introduced several new generations to keep the brand fresh and exciting.

By 1965, Chevrolet hauled in a stunning sales record of one million units sold just for the Impala, already in its fourth generation. In this same year, Chevy introduced the first bowtie badge on the Caprice models of the Impala. Chevy held fast to this fourth-generation for five years before redesigning the car in 1970. As part of the fifth generation, in 1973, one thousand Impalas were built with Air Cushion Restraint Systems. These were among the earliest airbags for the front seat occupants and proved to save lives.

Impalas would be discontinued by Chevy in 1985, after the sixth generation. But the car was soon redesigned and brought back into production in 1994 as the seventh generation. However, this new lease on life lasted only until 1996, when Chevy again discontinued the Impala. Still, this iconic vehicle would not remain dead, and it was once again resurrected in 2000 for an eighth generation. This latest run lasted from 2000 to 2020, with the Impala entering its tenth generation before Chevy once again chose to end its long-running affair with its best-selling model of all time.

The 2020 Impala: The Last of Its Kind?

Once Chevy announced the impending end of the Impala in 2018, the manufacturer held true to their promise by shutting down the car’s last production line in Michigan. The final Impalas for sale are 2020 models, but for now, they can still be found on Chevy dealership lots such as our Fort Worth location. The reason offered by Chevy for discontinuing the Impala was its need to make room for a new line-up of electric vehicles such as the Hummer EV, which will be produced on the former Impala production line.

The Impala isn’t the only car to be retired from the ranks of GM and other car manufacturers seeking to modernize their vehicle selections with more electric options. As the future unfolds, however, one wonders if there could be a revival of old favorites like the Impala as electric models. Could there still be another generation of the Impala? Only GM and Chevy executives may know at this point, and they play their cards close to the vest. But if such a redesign is in the works, we will be watching closely to stay in the loop.

The 2020 Impala Overview

For its tenth and final generation, the 2020 Impala is a full-size sedan with plenty of power under the hood and generous space inside. Like its past generations, the Impala is a vehicle made for buyers who want to be a little spoiled when they drive. A full-bodied 3.6-liter V6 engine has up to 305 horses to get you anywhere that you want to go. Inside, a comfortable, quiet cabin will cradle you while you cruise on the highway or hustle through traffic in the city. With enough space for tall adults, even in the rear seats, you can take four passengers along with you for the ride, and a large trunk with over 18 cubic feet can fit all the luggage of your passengers when you need to travel in style.

Classic in its styling, the 2020 Impala interior is fitted with chrome and wood grain accents. It draws the eye with its leather-wrapped steering wheel and leather-wrapped shift knob standing out from the soft-touch materials in the dash. Once you take to the road, the suspension keeps the ride smooth without being too fussy. Steering is sure and confident, while the acceleration is responsive. As you weave through lines of vehicles on the streets, the bold front end leads the way with a nod to the past generations of this sporty machine.

The 2020 Impala comes in only two trims: the LT and the Premier. The entry-level LT trim offers a rich set of features that will make driving a pleasure instead of a chore. From the faux leather and cloth upholstery to the wealth of technology, you can enjoy being behind the wheel with all the conveniences a driver needs. Dual-zone climate control, a powered driver’s seat, a WiFi hotspot, satellite radio, and both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are just a few of the features available. Upgrade packages like the Driver Confidence package or the Convenience package will add both driver-assisted safety features and luxuries such as heated seats and a heated steering wheel.

For the Premier trim, you gain a more plush experience with both interior ambiance and exterior styling upgrades. Leather upholstery lit by gently glowing lights will welcome you as you slide into the driver’s seat, where you can sit back to your favorite music playing over the eleven-speaker Bose audio system. Wireless charging, heated seats, and fully powered accessories are all part of the package when you choose this trim level. Additional options like a sunroof, the Premier Convenience package with ventilated seats and driver memory settings, and the Premier Confidence package with added safety features like forward collision warning and adaptive cruise control can all upgrade the Premier trim level and take this already exceptional vehicle over the top.

A Final Farewell

As we say goodbye to an era of record-setting sales, trend-setting innovation, and many fond memories, the Impala still has one last hurrah as the final vehicles are sold this year. For all the lucky souls who purchase one of these remaining cars, we send you off with the best wishes for a long-lasting relationship with an iconic car that has spanned many generations of families around the world. While the Michigan plant retools for a bright future of even more exciting innovations, we will proudly help find homes for the last of this generation of great cars.

From the elegant fins and triple tail lights of the 1958 Impala to the LED taillights and shark fin antenna of the 2020 model, we say goodbye to the last of a car that will be honored in American history as a vehicle loved by millions. Though many vehicles were hailed as game-changing in their day, few cars have quietly held their own with dignity like the Impala. We honor the age of the gas-powered vehicle as it brought us to the present, and now we look forward to the future of what new cars will bring.