For 2005, the Chevrolet Impala receives only cosmetic and trim changes. The Gen 6 version of OnStar, with upgraded hands-free capability, is now standard. The Impala SS side and grille badging is body-colour, its front bucket seats have halo-design headrests, and new 17-inch chrome finish diamond-cut cast aluminum wheels are available. Gold bowtie emblems appear on all models, along with three new exterior colours. A Sport Appearance Package is now available on the base sedan. Cruise control, keyless remote, passenger assist grips and an AM/FM/CD system with available 200-watt amplifier is now standard on all models.

The Impala is basically a larger, four-door version of the Monte Carlo coupe, with the same wheelbase but longer overall length. Engine choices are also the same as the Monte Carlo: a 3.4-litre V6 on the Impala Sedan, a 3.8-litre V6 on the LS, and a supercharged 3.8-litre V6 on the SS.

The base Impala seats six and features dual-zone manual air conditioning, 16-inch steel wheels, heated power mirrors, cruise control, floor mats, tilt wheel, power windows, CD player with six speakers, variable intermittent wipers, four-wheel disc brakes with optional ABS, and power locks with keyless entry.

The five-passenger LS adds fog lights, rear deck spoiler, 16-inch aluminum wheels, tire pressure monitor, tachometer, leather-wrapped wheel, six-way power driver’s seat, 60/40 folding rear seat, ABS, touring suspension and traction control.

The SS adds front fascia extensions, taillight appliqué, 17-inch aluminum wheels, cargo net, auto-dimming rearview mirror, wheel-mounted audio controls, heated leather seats, six-way power passenger seat, “handling” suspension and dual exhaust.

Retaining its spot as Chevrolet’s largest sedan, the Impala is roomy and comfortable, and is one of the few remaining four-doors available with six-passenger seating. The SS won’t have you street-racing the tuner cars, but it’s powerful enough in its own right.

The Buick Allure may represent a better value overall; its base engine is the same 3.8-litre as the Impala, but in its higher trim line, it’s still $2,480 less than the Impala LS, and it’s only marginally smaller. And people won’t think you’re a cop.

The Impala is built in Oshawa, Ontario.

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