Quick - Need Comments! Should I buy 2003 or 2005 Impala?

Messages
341
Location
Upstate, NY
I have two cars I'm looking at: First: is a 2003 Impala, 38K miles, 3.4L, asking 11500, and willing to give me 5K for my trade in. Also has a 4yr, 70K dealer drivetrain warranty. Payments will be about $160/month. Second is a 2005 with 30K miles, 3.4L. Essentially the same car, just younger, for 13,500, and only 4K for my trade in. Payments will be about $220/month. Are there any real differences between these two cars that I should be aware of? Differences between the model years? I'm really leaning towards the 2003 due to the low payment. Also a friend has a 2003 and is very happy with it. Would I really be getting that much more with my money with a 2005?
 
Messages
4,499
Location
Massachusetts
I've been a loyal GM guy for a long time and would probably pass on anything with a 3.4L in it. But, in your case, I would probably get the '03. Cheaper insurance, less tax, and the resale is already zapped down to $11,500. Just do UOA and keep an eye out for coolant.
 
Messages
190
Location
Parker, CO
Which ever you get make sure it comes with maintenance records. Stealerships offer warranties but then deny claims due to lack of records. I would never buy a used car without them. J
 

JTK

Messages
13,436
Location
Buffalo, NY
I'd go with the 2003 with the 4/70 warranty! If the IMG were to go, which is pretty much the only issue with that drivtrain, it will w/in the warranty period. You should be able to knock some off that $11500. Quite a bit of car for the money. G/luck Joel
 
Messages
23,894
Location
CA
2005 without a doubt...they probably had the lower intake manifold gasket problem fixed by then, hopefully. 2003 not, for sure.
 

JTK

Messages
13,436
Location
Buffalo, NY
quote:
2005 without a doubt...they probably had the lower intake manifold gasket problem fixed by then
Has that actually been confirmed? What ever the case, caught early, the lower IMG failure is not a huge deal. Most shops can r/r them blind-folded. G/luck Joel
 
Messages
2,759
Location
CarMax
What does their CarFax say? Why doesn't dealer #2 give you the same $$ for your trade? That thou makes a big difference! Are they on 48 mo. loans? That thou means about $20/mo., bringing Impala #2 down to $200/mo.
 

Al

Messages
19,251
Location
Elizabethtown, Pa
The 2003's intake manifold (if not fixed yet) has a 100% of costing you 600 bucks in the next 30K miles. My understanding is that 2005 3.4's are no longer a problem. But I can't say that for certain.
 

JTK

Messages
13,436
Location
Buffalo, NY
The IMG r/r wont cost you a dime on the 2003 with the extended warranty (might have a $50-$100 deductable). It will cost you on the 2005 if it doesnt happen w/in the next 6000mi. G/luck Joel
 

Clement

Thread starter
Messages
341
Location
Upstate, NY
Thanks for the comments! I decided not to get the car right now. I was going for the 2003, but the numbers weren't going quite where I wanted. I'll wait a few months and then look around again. If I could, I'd rather get the 2.2 ecotec than the 3.8.
 
Messages
171
Location
MS
"The 2003's intake manifold (if not fixed yet) has a 100% of costing you 600 bucks in the next 30K miles. My understanding is that 2005 3.4's are no longer a problem. But I can't say that for certain." Heck even if you went with something like a Crapmry you would be spending that much to get the timing belt changed every 60k miles. Just get the one you like best and enjoy yourself. Also enjoy the knowlege you're getting better gas mileage than a camry.
 
Messages
656
Location
Massachusetts
My former boss had the 2001 Impala with the 3.4L the engine seemed fine, but he went through 6 sets of brakes and two transmissions in the two years that he drove it. He drove it very easily, but parked on a steep hill facing uphill. The transmission was always slipping severly when he would start out. Probably fluid starvation. Didn't take long to smoke the transmissions.
 
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