My grandfather purchased brand new his current 2006 Chevrolet Impala SS in August of 2006. At first the car was great, powerful and ran wonderfully. However since it hit 40k miles, the car has started having major issues that have really soured his ownership. I drive the car just as much as he does, and I too am disappointed with the issues this car has at it's current mileage of 47,580. As it follows, these are the issues:
-Car uses 1 qt of oil every 1200 miles. It never used a drop of oil until it hit 40k miles, and like clockwork every 2500 miles he has to add 2 quarts of oil. This is a well documented issue on the internet with the 5.3L motor and two dealerships I've spoken to about the issue have said that 1 qt every 2k miles is acceptable. The local Chevrolet dealership, Joe Alcoke Chevrolet, has him keeping an oil usage log on the car at the moment. I have spoken to another GM dealership, Phelps Chevrolet in Greenville, NC today and they are going to have him change the oil again at 50k miles (he does 5k mile oil changes with synthetic 5W-30) and will have me bring the car back at 51k miles to check the level again. I am not impressed at all with Joe Alcoke's service and neither is my grandfather, but Phelps Chevrolet is more than helpful.
-The intermediate steering shaft clunks horribly. I haven't driven the car in 2 months but it has gotten worse than the last time I drove it, and it's very obvious and annoying. This is a common W-Body issue and I'm surprised GM still hasn't gotten a fix for it yet. The dealership said today that to fix this would be $200. I don't think my grandfather should have to pay for this on a car that doesn't have 50k miles.
-The A/C vent inside the dashboard that switches the car from hot to cold makes the worst racket on the coldest setting. As a matter of fact half of time he can't even use the coldest setting because of how bad the noise it. It sounds like the car has rod-knock, but it's definitely inside the car. Very annoying.
-The B and C pillar trim is peeling off again. This was already replaced under warranty back in 2007 or 2008, but it looks just as bad again. I noticed Chevrolet has switched to a different material for the current Impala. Both of the Chevrolet bow-tie emblems are faded and look terrible. This car is always parked under a car port and is always detailed by me, and this is just another blow to the poor assembly of the car.
-Both front shocks are completely blown. The car rides like a 1970's Cadillac and the handling has suffered due to this. I understand shock absorbers have a certain shelf-life, but this started happening with less than 45k miles on the car.
We both love the car very much, but am disappointed by the quality of this vehicle. His biggest concern is the oil consumption, but I feel everything on this list would be normal for a car with 100k-150k miles and not 47k miles. My grandfather has been buying GM cars almost his entire life. He has owned Buick's, 2 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme's, a '98 Monte Carlo and still owns a '57 Bel-Air Hardtop. I have told him to get rid of the car and purchase another brand because GM no longer makes a V8 car with 4 doors that he can afford. This is very disappointing quality for this car.