Find the depreciation rate of your Chevrolet Impala in the graph below.
Depreciation is the process of losing value, which happens to all vehicles as soon as they’re purchased and driven off the lot. Certain makes and models depreciate faster than others, and understanding the depreciation rate of a particular vehicle can help you gain a sense of its long-term value and overall cost of ownership. The steepest drop in value normally occurs in the first year of ownership, and it’s around the fifth year that the depreciation rate begins to slow. According to our data, the Chevrolet Impala more or less follows the normal flow.
Keep in mind that just because the vehicle costs the least to own in the sweet spot we have outlined here, you still may not want to own the vehicle during these depreciation sweet spot years. Although vehicles depreciate less as they get older, they have more repairs. Duh right? However, keep in mind that repairs don’t just cost you money, they cost you time. Reliability is the difference between being able to make it to your destination on time or missing an opportunity because the car broke down.
Check out our article on the best and worst years of the Chevrolet Impala to see our reliability ratings for all years of the Impala between 2001-2019. We also cover MPG, safety ratings, and a number of other factors. We pulled data from Impalas registered in our app and surveyed owners to get you data-backed answers on just how good or bad each year of the Impala is.
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Chevrolet Impala Depreciation
|Model Years||Mileage||Amount Depreciated||Residual Value Percentage||Resale Value|
The above chart conveys the approximate depreciation for a Chevrolet Impala, which was discontinued after the 2020 model year. It is based on Kelley Blue Book data since 2001, assuming a vehicle in standard trim, a generic color such as black or white, and a mileage of 12,000 per year.
Keep in mind that the auto market was heavily affected in 2020 and beyond. Automakers selling new cars during the COVID pandemic raised prices which caused a spike in demand in the used car market as people tried to save money. Many automakers, however, did not drop prices after the pandemic, they kept them so they could make a larger profit.
This is why the most recent years of many vehicles have seemingly experienced less depreciation. Some may have even appreciated due to the heightened levels of inflation created.
Factors That Impact the Chevrolet Impala Depreciation Rate
Chevrolet is a division of General Motors, an automotive manufacturer that also owns Buick, Cadillac, and GMC. Like other brands in the GM stable, Chevrolet offers a few well-regarded models but is generally considered unreliable, per Consumer Reports. The Chevrolet Impala, however, was once a top-rated model, remarkable for its ride, handling, and cabin. The opposing reputations of the make versus the model may have a stabilizing effect on the Impala’s depreciation, but several other factors, described below, also factor into the equation.
A vehicle’s age is determined by its model year, which designates a particular version of an automotive model. Generally speaking, the current model year of a given vehicle holds the most value, as it’s the likeliest to include the latest technologies and best new features. Newer model years often introduce style updates as well, with some representing generational overhauls that dramatically change the exterior and interior design of the vehicle in question. Such was the case with the last run of Chevrolet Impalas (2014–2020), which took on a sleeker appearance compared to the preceding generation.
A vehicle’s body type is its classification in terms of shape and size. Most vehicles fall into one of the following categories:
- Station wagon
- Sports car
- Sport-utility vehicle
- Pickup truck
The Chevrolet Impala is a sedan, which means it’s a four-door passenger vehicle with a three-box configuration consisting of the engine, cabin, and trunk. Sedans were once the most popular body type in the North American market, but changes in emissions standards and societal preferences have pushed them behind SUVs. The relative unpopularity of its body type may negatively impact the long-term value of the Impala.
Mileage, represented by the number displayed on a vehicle’s odometer, indicates how far a vehicle has traveled. With higher-mileage vehicles, you can expect to see a greater degree of wear and tear, but overall mileage is just one part of a bigger picture.
For a more accurate sense of a vehicle’s operating condition, you want to look at its yearly mileage. The average North American vehicle owner drives around 12,000 miles per year. If you have a 15-year-old Impala with just 150,000 miles on it, you could consider that low mileage, in which case its value may hold better than a similarly aged Impala with more miles.
A vehicle’s overall condition is a measure of its appearance and operation. For a vehicle to be in the best possible condition, it should have no accident history, no history of mechanical issues, no cosmetic defects (inside or outside), and a perfect maintenance record. With all those variables playing together, you can expect the vehicle to run as well as it reasonably can.
As the owner of an Impala, you can improve its overall condition by driving safely and keeping up with its maintenance schedule. Careful operation helps you avoid accidents and overstressing mechanical components, while regular oil changes and tire rotations preserve the vehicle’s operability.
Interestingly, a vehicle’s color has a significant impact on its depreciation. The used-vehicle site iSeeCars conducted a study in 2023 that analyzed body color’s role in retaining a car’s resale value. Compared to a baseline depreciation rate of 22.5% in three years of ownership, yellow vehicles performed the best, losing only an average of 13.5% of their value in that time frame. Beige, orange, green, and red vehicles also did well, with rates ranging from 17.8% to 20.6%. Blue, gray, silver, and black performed at around the baseline, while brown and gold vehicles had significantly higher depreciation.
Other Costs of Chevrolet Impala Ownership
Aside from depreciation, two other primary variables contribute to a vehicle’s cost of ownership: insurance and maintenance.
The cost, reliability, and safety of a particular vehicle model can all affect insurance rates. We’ve found that the national average cost of full-coverage car insurance is $1,630 per year, or $136 per month, while data from Insurance.com reveals that the average cost to insure a Chevrolet Impala is $1,722 per year, or $144 per month — not that much higher, but enough to affect one’s budget.
As mentioned, keeping up with your Impala’s maintenance schedule can make a considerable difference in retaining the vehicle’s value. Taking the average annual maintenance costs of the 2001–2019 model years, we find that the overall average to maintain an Impala is around $743 per year. In comparison, the average cost of maintaining a small sedan in general is $650.
The average for the Impala is skewed by certain model years that are known to have higher-than-average maintenance costs. Our graph weighs the current market value of particular model years against the cost of repairs to give you a sense of the cost of ownership. What the numbers show is that you may want to avoid the following model years of the Impala if your aim is to keep costs down:
The Best Model Year To Buy a Chevrolet Impala
Based on factors including price and reliability (but not depreciation), our choice for the best Chevrolet Impala model years to buy are the 2009–2010, 2012–2013, and 2015–2019, but check out our article on the best and worst years of the Impala to get the whole story.
We recommend the above model years for different reasons. The 2009–2010 and 2012–2013 model years boast high owner reliability scores and low chances of expensive engine repairs, with the 2009–2010 vehicles falling within the ownership sweet spot. As for the 2015–2019 model years, they have solid owner, engine, and safety ratings and a low number of recalls.
Buying a Chevrolet Impala New vs. Used
|Years Since Purchased||Depreciated Value||With Inflation|
Though there hasn’t been a brand-new Chevrolet Impala in a few years, we can look at a couple of its model years to understand the impact of accumulated depreciation. A 2019 Impala has a 2023 value of $17,473, which represents an accumulated depreciation of $16,509.94 from an inflation-adjusted original MSRP of $33,982.94. In comparison, a 2015 Impala, which is still part of the model’s final generation, has a 2023 value of $8,450 — an accumulated depreciation of $25,300.02 from an inflation-adjusted MSRP of $33,750.02.
Should you be in the market for a used vehicle, our recommendation is to be as comprehensive as possible in your research so that you understand the depreciation rates of the models you want. Refer to the My Car’s Value tool on Kelley Blue Book to determine approximate resale values, account for the other costs of ownership, and refer to our helpful check used-car buying checklist before you commit to a purchase.
The data we’ve presented in this article relate to base-level trim for each model year since 2001. Using the base trim as our reference point allows us to standardize our findings as much as possible, as higher trim levels tend to include premium options and features that increase both the initial value of the vehicle and its long-term resale value. Remember that your vehicle’s condition and mode of sale will also impact the resale value.
Keep in mind, there are large economic factors at play here too and the sale of new cars has caused shifts in the used market too. There is a stark difference in the cost of vehicles due to car manufacturers seeking higher profit margins after COVID as detailed by CNN and posted by CBS channel 58:
“… (T)he auto industry saw sky-high profits even as sales plummeted. Domestic manufacturers of cars and car parts saw a profit of $32 billion through the third quarter of 2022 (the latest data available) — their largest profit since 2016. Car dealerships also reported record-breaking profits through Q3, according to auto-retail advisers Haig Partners.
That’s because pandemic-era pent-up consumer demand remained strong as supply shifted, allowing automakers to increase their prices and their profit margins. Cars and trucks were sold nearly as soon as they hit dealership lots, and the average price paid for a vehicle in December soared to a near-record high of $46,382, according to J.D. Power.
Data from the Labor Department’s November Consumer Price Index shows American consumers are paying about 20% more for cars than they were in 2019.
The trend could continue into next year — research website Edmunds expects new-car sales to hit 14.8 million in 2023, a marginal increase from last year but well below pre-pandemic levels.
The auto industry has entered a new era: Less choice, higher prices and larger profit margins. So far it seems to be working for them.”
This shift by car companies to create higher profit margins by taking advantage of the heavily-reported-on chip shortage panic of COVID has had rebounding effects upon the value of used cars.
Be aware that newer years (the latest 3-4 model years) may be inflated in price because of this and depending on how big this problem is for the model you are considering – it may even be inflating the price of the older model years.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vehicle Depreciation
Compared to other vehicle models, it’s difficult to say whether Chevrolet Impalas hold their value given that we haven’t had any model years since 2020 from which to draw data. However, data concerning the 2019 model year (five years old as of writing) shows that it retains 51.4% of its value. That’s about on par with the average for all vehicles.
Recall, though, that many other variables will contribute to the exact depreciation rate for your Chevrolet Impala. Aside from those we’ve explained, we should also consider the mode and location of sale. Using the Kelley Blue Book My Car’s Value tool, we looked up the value of a silver 2016 Impala LS in good condition with 84,000 miles and standard options. In southeast Pennsylvania, it would net $8,521–$10,444 in a dealer trade-in and up to $11,641 in a private sale. But taking that same care to northeast Georgia gets you $9,050–$10,973 and up to $12,414, respectively.
Once we factor in the depreciation rates, costs of ownership, and data gathered from our user surveys, we would say that the 2009–2010 model years are the best for the Chevrolet Impala. Our recommendation is based on the high-reliability scores, low likelihood of engine repairs associated with these releases, and the fact that they fall within the ownership sweet spot.
As for model years to avoid, we can say that recalls, costly repairs, and low reliability scores have hurt the reputations of the following model years, some of which are in the ownership sweet spot:
Because high mileage is a relative concept, we need to determine a baseline to figure out what qualifies as high or low mileage for a Chevrolet Impala. Our user surveys show that the average mileage by generation ranges from 101,834 to 154,778 overall miles, with the higher figure relating to Impalas from 2001 to 2005. With that in mind, we’d say that 135,000 overall miles would be the dividing line. Anything over that would qualify as high mileage.
If avoiding depreciation is your main objective, we’d recommend a Chevrolet Impala that’s between 13 and 21 years old, which corresponds to the 2002–2010 model years.
(2023.) Chevrolet. Consumer Reports. Retrieved Sept. 19, 2023, from https://www.consumerreports.org/cars/chevrolet
(2023.) Chevrolet Impala. Consumer Reports. Retrieved Sept. 19, 2023, from https://www.consumerreports.org/cars/chevrolet/impala
(2023.) The Best and Worst Cars for Resale Value. iSeeCars. Retrieved Sept. 19, 2023, from https://www.iseecars.com/car-color-study
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