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A staple of the American auto market since the late 50s, the Chevrolet Impala is an excellent domestic alternative to the imports that seem to dominate the mid-size and full-size sedan class. The Impala is a very roomy car, with lots of space for even the tallest passengers in all of the car’s five available seats.
Like most large sedans, it focuses on passenger comfort over driving dynamics, but the optional available V-6 engine makes the current Impala a fun drive as well. And it is a good-looking car inside and out, especially on higher trim levels or when equipped with one of the optional appearance packages.
The 2018 Chevrolet Impala adds a number of new standard options to the base model of the car, giving the entire lineup a standard touchscreen infotainment system and a rearview camera.
With just three trim levels on offer, choosing an Impala may seem deceptively simple. There are still plenty of choices to be made however, as the Impala comes with one of two engine options and each trim level offers a number of optional upgrades.This guide takes a look at each of the three trims and lets you know what equipment they add and what options they make available to help you get the features you need and avoid paying for equipment that you may not need.
Compare the 2018 Impala LS vs LT Trims. What is the difference?
The base Impala LS gets a few upgrades this year, including a standard 8.0-inch touchscreen with a rearview camera, Bluetooth, satellite radio, USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 4G LTE data connection through OnStar, and an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot. This is in addition to the basics like power doors and windows, air conditioning, and cruise control.
The Impala LT also offers a few upscale touches in addition to the basics, such as a power driver’s seat and smart keyless entry with push-button start. The upholstery is a mix of synthetic leather and premium cloth, and the sedan also rides on 18-inch wheels, though they are steel.
The only available optional package for the LS is the All-Weather Mat Protection Package, which includes premium all-weather floor mats and a premium all-weather cargo mat. The Impala LS can also be outfitted with a number of standalone options, such as 18-inch and 19-inch alloy wheels, a spoiler, or a remote starter. It comes standard with a 6-speed automatic transmission and a four-cylinder engine generating 196 horsepower. It can also be upgraded to a V-6 engine for an increase to 305 horsepower. There are no options available beyond that.
The Chevrolet Impala LT is the most customizable Impala, thanks to the large amount of packages that it offers, though it adds only a few things over the LS in its base incarnation. The LT includes a remote starter, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated side mirrors, LED running lights, and 18-inch alloy wheels. It also adds power lumbar adjustment to the front passenger seat, and covers the steering wheel and shift lever with leather. Like the LS, the LT is available both as a four-cylinder model and a V-6 one, with both using the same 6-speed automatic transmission.
In terms of options, the Impala LT impresses. It is also available with the All-Weather Mat Protection Package, but adds a further six more packages beyond that.
The LT Entertainment Package adds convenience and entertainment features by including a built-in navigation system, 11-speaker Bose sound system, a CD player, a 120-volt outlet, and additional ambient lighting.
The LT Convenience Package is bound to be a fairly popular option, as it adds heated front seats and steering wheel, as well as an auto-dimming mirror with a universal remote, a 120-volt power outlet, and premium floor mats and cargo liner with a cargo net. With the Convenience Package, it is also possible to further upgrade to the LT Leather Package and the Driver Confidence Package.
The Leather Package replaces the cloth and leatherette upholstery with full leather, as well as adds power adjustment for the passenger seat.
The Driver Confidence Package adds a few popular active safety features to the Impala. It adds blind spot monitors with lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert, as well as rear parking sensors.
When it comes to appearance and styling, there are two packages available, and neither requires the Convenience Package. First is the Midnight Edition, which adds 19-inch wheels, a spoiler, thematic pedal covers, and black versions of some exterior accents.
The other option is a simpler Sunroof and Spoiler Package, which adds both of those two things and nothing else.
Both the LS and the LT Impalas are good choices for buyers, but for different reasons. The base Impala LS is priced below most other full-size vehicles, which makes it a great deal simply for its standard mechanicals. Unlike most other cars in the segment, the Impala makes its upgraded engine available even on the base LS level, which can also add value for drivers who enjoy having a little more power.
Compare the 2018 Chevrolet Impala LT vs Premier Trim Levels. What is the difference?
The highest Impala trim level, the Premier comes loaded up with a very plush selection of upscale equipment. It starts with basically all of the optional equipment from the Impala LT, including the sunroof, Bose audio, navigation, blind spot monitors, 19-inch wheels, and so on. It also comes with its own perforated leather upholstery, high-intensity headlights, exterior chrome accents, and wireless smartphone charging. It is available exclusively with the larger V-6 engine option.
The only two packages from the LT that are not included on the Premier are the All-Weather Mat Protection Package and the Midnight Edition Appearance Package, both of which are also offered on the Premier. In addition to those packages, the Premier also offers its own versions of the Convenience Package and the Confidence Package.
The Premier Convenience Package adds a power tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, with a memory function that also records the seat position. It also adds steering wheel heating, premium mats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and heated side mirrors with puddle-light illumination. The Premier Confidence Package adds the top end of the active safety features: lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and adaptive cruise control. It also comes bundled with 20-inch wheels.
The Impala Premier is the most expensive of the 2018 Impalas, but it is also the nicest. Between its stylish interior and luxury features, it can easily serve as an alternative to a luxury sedan, while being noticeably cheaper. It is also less expensive than the top-end models of most of its rivals.
Which Trim Level to Choose?
Each of the three trims that the 2018 Chevrolet Impala offers brings a different kind of value that could be appealing depending on what you are looking for in a large sedan. The LS model comes at a very competitive price for the segment and comes loaded out with all of the basics you’ve come to expect and a bit more besides.
If you prefer functionality over additional features, that is the perfect model, especially since it can be optioned with the V-6. The LT is the perfect trim level if you like customizing and picking different features to shape the perfect car for your needs. Its many optional packages make it easy to fit key features inside your budget.
Finally, the Premier is a good value for buyers who want to buy features in bulk for a discount. For a small premium over a fully-equipped LT, it offers a much greater feature set. It can also be equipped with the latest safety technology, making it a good buy if you want to get the safest version of the Impala you can.
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