A RUN-IN OVER THE IMPALA SS by Jim Mateja (Chicago Tribune, 8/13/95)

   Q-I take issue with your statement that the Chevrolet Impala

SS is one of the best on the market. Incredible!

   Like most GM cars, the SS has poor workmanship, unresponsive

handling, below average to poor reliability, a cheap body, poor

paint, weak suspension and one of the worst transmissions on the

market. Unbiased Consumer Reports never has recommended this


   The American press gushes over this and other GM products so

as not to lose advertising dollars. I conclude you are strictly

anti-foreign cars, are on the GM payroll and have never driven a

really great car like a Toyota Camry or Ford Windstar. Please

enlighten us.  D.J., Camden, S.C.

   A-When you consider the Ford Windstar a "really great car,"

you lead us to believe that your knowledge of automotive vehicles

is limited to Matchbox cars-and that the two vehicles resting in

the grass outside your carport are a Toyota Camry and a Windstar.

   The SS is one of the finer cars on the market and a joy to

drive. Its only claim to shame is that it started life as a

Caprice. Camry is one of the finer cars on the market, but boring

behind the wheel.

   Ford had 10 years from the time Chrysler came out with a

front-wheel-drive mini-van to bring out a superior one, but it

brought out Windstar, which doesn't ride or handle or perform

like the van from the Pentastar folks.

   Send your questions about cars and trucks to Jim Mateja,

Chicago Tribune, 700 N. Milwaukee Ave., Suite 135, Vernon Hills,

Ill. 60061.