Is the 2019 Chevrolet Impala Better Than the 2020 Model?

In the large sedan segment, the 2020 Chevrolet Impala stood out from the competition. With its spacious and comfortable cabin, excellent standard tech and entertainment, and affordability, it has great potential for all owners. While used car customers may walk by a Nissan Maxima or Toyota Avalon to look at the Impala, there is one question. How does the 2019 Chevrolet Impala stack up?

2019 Chevrolet Impala interior features

Chevrolet Impala
Chevrolet Impala front left view | Getty Images, Raymond Boyd

The Impala came in three trim levels: LS, LT, and Premier. LS and LT Impalas were upholstered with a mixture of cloth and synthetic leather, and the Premier gained genuine leather materials. Also, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel. Yet, each had a surprising amount of plastics, given the roomy cabin’s atmosphere of indulgence. Regardless, all Impalas offer generous space in both seat rows, arranging three full-size adults comfortably in the back. A wealth of headroom and legroom is also an excellent feature for taller drivers and passengers.

Regarding cargo space, the Chevrolet Impala boasts one of the largest trunks in the segment, further extended with standard split-folding rear seats. Since the rear seats can fold level with the trunk floor, the Impala can carry roughly as much as a small SUV.

Chevrolet’s Impala continues the high points with a well-stocked tech and entertainment suite. The LS came standard with an eight-inch touchscreen, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, three USB ports, satellite radio, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Luckily, the base LS earned Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and that ever-important rearview camera the year prior. The LT featured dual-zone automatic climate control and remote start. The Premier trim level added an 11-speaker Bose premier audio system, navigation, and a 120-volt household-style power outlet. The top-of-the-line model had driver safety features like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear parking sensors.

2019 Chevrolet Impala performance, handling, and fuel economy

A 197-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder powered the base LS, which U.S. News calls “weak.” Optional on the LT and mandatory for the Premier was the much more powerful 3.6-liter V6. With 305 horsepower and 264 pound-feet of torque, it isn’t built for speed but for urgency. No matter the engine configuration, all Impalas feature front-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission.

The EPA estimates that four-cylinder-powered Impalas will achieve 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. While the figures are standard for similarly-equipped competitors, the V6 is thirsty. Drivers can expect just 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, a combined rating of 22 mpg. The outlook is bleak for those wanting to run an Impala on E85—expect 14 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway.

Fortunately, the Impala’s comfortable ride offsets the lackluster fuel economy. Some say the steering is “overly sensitive,” but others call it “nimble,” U.S. News reports. But a lack of rear seat bolstering may cause passenger discomfort under hard cornering.

Is the 2020 Chevrolet Impala any better? 

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There isn’t much difference between the 2019 Chevrolet Impala and its 2020 successor. If anything, it’s slightly better for potential buyers because of the truncated trim levels.

For 2020, Chevrolet dropped the base LS trim and the wheezy four-cylinder engine. The capable V6 engine was the only powertrain option for the LT and the Premier. Each kept the same 18.8 cubic-foot trunk, easy-to-use infotainment unit, and spacious interior setup.

Even though the Impalas of 2019 and 2020 are essentially identical, the distinction comes with the cost of ownership. The 2020 Chevrolet Impala is slightly more expensive because it’s one year newer than the 2019 model. U.S. News shows that while the Premier trim levels had an identical MSRP of $36,720, the 2020 model is approximately $1,000 more now.

Which Chevrolet Impala model year is best? 

Considering Chevrolet dropped it first, it’s probably best to skip an Impala with the four-cylinder. Given the shortening gap between the LT and Premier on the used market, the top-of-the-line model is quite affordable.

Edmunds lists many used, reasonably-priced, and well-maintained 2020 Chevrolet Impalas in the 50,000-60,000-mile range. Potential buyers can effortlessly acquire a Premier trim level for just over $20,000. Yet, there are also plenty of 2019 Impalas with roughly the same mileage for a couple of thousand dollars less. Therefore, the 2019 model year is the best bet for those who want an amenity-laden Impala.