Impala: the Ford Five Hundred effect?

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Thread: Impala: the Ford Five Hundred effect?

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    Impala: the Ford Five Hundred effect?

    Went to the LAIAS last night and got a good, up-close and personal look at the 2006 Impala--of which I had thus far been very disappointed--and concluded that it looks better in real life than it does in the photos we've seen.

    I had a similar experience with the Ford Five Hundred: I couldn't believe how absolutely dull it was when I saw the first photos of it. Seeing one in person, however, is a very different story. I mean it, the Ford Five Hundred is one of the most handsome new cars I've seen in a long time. It isn't gimmicky or flashy, just plain handsome. If I were in the market for a $25K family sedan, it might well be tops on my list of prospects.

    The 2006 Impala struck me in a similar way, although not quite as dramatically. In person, the '06 Impala looks a bit taller and shorter in length than it does in pictures, which really changes the aesthetic perception of the car. Where the car seems to resemble a Lumina in pictures, it does not resemble a Lumina in person.

    Even so, I still wasn't sure what I thought about it. I guess it looks proportionally better than the current Impala, but something about the front and rear just doesn't compute. I had to ask my buddy who went to the show with me what he thought--I just wasn't able to form a certain opinion. I think the problem is that the front and rear are so similar to so many other cars that I have to stop and filter the bias of lookalike cars out of my head before trying to figure out what I really think of the Impala's looks.

    I didn't have this problem with the Five Hundred. The first time I saw it in person, it was a good looking car, and that was that. I didn't have to concentrate in order to figure out what I really thought of it and I didn't have to ask someone else's opinion.

    I really think GM missed an opportunity with the '06 Impala. Sure, it's a decent looking car after all, and it will sell well; but with the new Z06, the STS-V, the Saturn SKY, and other works of art only a few yards away, the Impala is a real head-scratcher.

    Heck, if lowly Saturn can get a drop-dead gorgeous roadster, why can't GM turn out an Impala that even remotely lives up to that legendary name?

    BTW, while we're talking about photos vs. real life, I also have to say that the new Lincoln Zephyr was a big let-down. Looks nice in pictures, but dumpy in person.

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    Re: Impala: the Ford Five Hundred effect?

    Quote Originally Posted by coolcaddy
    I really think GM missed an opportunity with the '06 Impala. Sure, it's a decent looking car after all, and it will sell well; but with the new Z06, the STS-V, the Saturn SKY, and other works of art only a few yards away, the Impala is a real head-scratcher.

    Heck, if lowly Saturn can get a drop-dead gorgeous roadster, why can't GM turn out an Impala that even remotely lives up to that legendary name?
    *nods*

    I agree.

    I wonder if the "missed opportunity" with the current impala (and not living up to the legendary name) is due to GM/Chevrolet's plan to go after/compete with the Hondas and Toyotas of the world. If you compare the new impala to those makes, it certainly is just as good, if not better.

    But, when you compare the new impala to the classic and exciting Impalas of the past, it seems less exciting and less desirable.

    Course, the same thing could be said for the current monte carlo versus the 1970-88 Monte Carlos....

    *shrugs*

    It seems to be all a matter of perspective, or point of view....

    BTW, I like your write-up/observations.


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    Re: Impala: the Ford Five Hundred effect?

    Quote Originally Posted by coolcaddy
    Went to the LAIAS last night and got a good, up-close and personal look at the 2006 Impala--of which I had thus far been very disappointed--and concluded that it looks better in real life than it does in the photos we've seen.

    I had a similar experience with the Ford Five Hundred: I couldn't believe how absolutely dull it was when I saw the first photos of it. Seeing one in person, however, is a very different story. I mean it, the Ford Five Hundred is one of the most handsome new cars I've seen in a long time. It isn't gimmicky or flashy, just plain handsome. If I were in the market for a $25K family sedan, it might well be tops on my list of prospects.

    The 2006 Impala struck me in a similar way, although not quite as dramatically. In person, the '06 Impala looks a bit taller and shorter in length than it does in pictures, which really changes the aesthetic perception of the car. Where the car seems to resemble a Lumina in pictures, it does not resemble a Lumina in person.

    Even so, I still wasn't sure what I thought about it. I guess it looks proportionally better than the current Impala, but something about the front and rear just doesn't compute. I had to ask my buddy who went to the show with me what he thought--I just wasn't able to form a certain opinion. I think the problem is that the front and rear are so similar to so many other cars that I have to stop and filter the bias of lookalike cars out of my head before trying to figure out what I really think of the Impala's looks.

    I didn't have this problem with the Five Hundred. The first time I saw it in person, it was a good looking car, and that was that. I didn't have to concentrate in order to figure out what I really thought of it and I didn't have to ask someone else's opinion.

    I really think GM missed an opportunity with the '06 Impala. Sure, it's a decent looking car after all, and it will sell well; but with the new Z06, the STS-V, the Saturn SKY, and other works of art only a few yards away, the Impala is a real head-scratcher.

    Heck, if lowly Saturn can get a drop-dead gorgeous roadster, why can't GM turn out an Impala that even remotely lives up to that legendary name?

    BTW, while we're talking about photos vs. real life, I also have to say that the new Lincoln Zephyr was a big let-down. Looks nice in pictures, but dumpy in person.
    how did the Monte carlo look in person>?

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    Re: Impala: the Ford Five Hundred effect?

    Quote Originally Posted by 327
    how did the Monte carlo look in person>?
    Great, but I never had a problem with the '06 Monte. I thought it looked good when I first saw it in pictures. In person, the appearance of taller height and shorter length works especially well with the Monte Carlo, IMO.

    Something that struck me about seeing them side-by-side in person: the front grill treatment on the Monte somehow seemed a bit more aggressive looking than the Impala even though they're essentially the same.

    Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the lower half of the Monte grill is inset a bit and more sculpted, and that makes for quite a difference in perception even though it's only a subtle difference in design.

    Look at the bottom (below the bumper) of the Monte grill closely...



    ...and now look at the bottom of the Impala grill...



    See what I mean?

    Maybe someone could Photoshop that Monte grill lower-half on to the Impala and see if it does anything...

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    Re: Impala: the Ford Five Hundred effect?

    Great post coolcaddy.

    Handsome is a good word to discribe the Five Hundered, this market is and will be seeing a lot of changes, 300, Five Hundered and new Impala,. It will take an extremly good car to float to the top, I can't wait to see the results.

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    Re: Impala: the Ford Five Hundred effect?

    Quote Originally Posted by coolcaddy
    Great, but I never had a problem with the '06 Monte. I thought it looked good when I first saw it in pictures. In person, the appearance of taller height and shorter length works especially well with the Monte Carlo, IMO.

    Something that struck me about seeing them side-by-side in person: the front grill treatment on the Monte somehow seemed a bit more aggressive looking than the Impala even though they're essentially the same.

    Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the lower half of the Monte grill is inset a bit and more sculpted, and that makes for quite a difference in perception even though it's only a subtle difference in design.

    Look at the bottom (below the bumper) of the Monte grill closely...



    ...and now look at the bottom of the Impala grill...



    See what I mean?

    Maybe someone could Photoshop that Monte grill lower-half on to the Impala and see if it does anything...
    I think that was GMs idea to do that. Make the Monte more aggressive, where as the Impala would be more of a people hauler with power under the hood (if they wanted it). What I want to know is if they will be using the Impala and Monte Carlo symbols. I think that would make the cars look just that much better.

    And how did the interiors look?? I was unsure when I saw the photos that were released. You cant really tell much from them.
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    So lets see. Toyota lied about recalls. Lied about their HP ratings... I wonder how much truth is in their milage ratings..

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    Re: Impala: the Ford Five Hundred effect?

    Quote Originally Posted by GMfan2381
    And how did the interiors look?? I was unsure when I saw the photos that were released. You cant really tell much from them.
    I couldn't actually sit inside either of them, but even from looking at them from the outside, you could tell that the interiors were much improved (as can be largely deduced from the pictures we've seen), and that the quality of materials seemed pretty darn good. The only thing that struck me as different from the pictures is that the steering wheel seemed more beefy and the dash more aggressive looking in general.

    The Impala's back seat area also looked pretty darn nice, and I didn't know about the cool fold-down seat feature prior to the show (the bottom of the seat folds forward and the seat back folds down flat closer to the floor, yielding a ton of space), so I was duly impressed when the lady demoed it.

    BTW, keep in mind that these two cars were top-of-the-line SS models, black-on-black. Hopefully, their lesser counterparts won't prove to be overly cheesy in the interior department.

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    Re: Impala: the Ford Five Hundred effect?

    the Impala looks a bit too VW with that grille and the rounded front. Not a bad design at all it looks handsome, but I preferred the old impala front . Iwould have liked them to update the back, with 3 tails on each side but with a less cheap looking execution.
    ?I agree completely that the 500 looks classy and downright upscale/elegant IRL. Ive seen a few around tow and they actualy stand out from the other cars. The Taurus never did but osmehow the subtle change makes all the difference. I assume the same here.

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    Re: Impala: the Ford Five Hundred effect?

    The Impala isn't a 'turning heads' vehicle. It isn't meant to. And I don't think GM's purpose was to make it similar to a 300C or Maxima. The Impala is America's favorite domestic family sedan. The people who buy it find it classy, and handsome, as you've said coolcaddy. The Five Hundred puzzles me. It is definitely one of the most boring vehicles I've seen, even in person. But, something about it makes it good. The interior is definitely classy. The exterior is 'grown-up' and elegant. It screams some type of American style.

    The Impala does that as well, though I haven't seen it in person yet. The interior looks very nice, and is very classy. The exterior gives it a 'grown-up' look...no hot-rod, or big block V-8 tough look...handsome, classy, American superior.

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    Re: Impala: the Ford Five Hundred effect?

    well said gmwsag
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    So lets see. Toyota lied about recalls. Lied about their HP ratings... I wonder how much truth is in their milage ratings..

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    Re: Impala: the Ford Five Hundred effect?

    I hope they have the clip clop suspension fixed in the '06, cause they sure as heck
    couldn't fix over the last 5 model years.

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    Re: Impala: the Ford Five Hundred effect?

    Quote Originally Posted by GMfan2381
    well said gmwsag
    I agree. There is a huge market for classy understated style an excellent interiors. Not every car should be a twin snorkel ram-air WS6.

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    Re: Impala: the Ford Five Hundred effect?

    Plenty of room. Just don't call it an Impala.

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    Re: Impala: the Ford Five Hundred effect?

    Quote Originally Posted by coolcaddy
    Plenty of room. Just don't call it an Impala.
    Naming it Impala is alot better than Chevelle, Nova, etc.

    What else could they have named it?

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    Re: Impala: the Ford Five Hundred effect?

    Quote Originally Posted by giagastormer
    Naming it Impala is alot better than Chevelle, Nova, etc.

    What else could they have named it?
    Caprice.

    The Impala, imo, should be more stylish, more in-your-face, more aggressive... basically, think back to what the Impala was in the '60s.
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