1978 Chevrolet Impala and Caprice

Chevrolet changed the 1978 Chevrolet Caprice Classic's grille and taillights.
Chevrolet changed the 1978 Chevrolet Caprice Classic's grille and taillights.

The 1978 Chevrolet Impala and Caprice, in their second model year, were "trim, crisp, beautiful," according to the company line. Of course, this came after Chevrolet proclaimed that its downsized '77s had become "the most successful new car in the country."

Caprice Classics had a distinctive new grille and stand-up hood crest, and their own wheel covers. Taillights were modestly restyled, and a Power Skyroof became available. Caprices also had carpeted lower door panels, simulated woodgrain accents, and extra sound insulation. Impalas got a fresh grille and redesigned taillights with bigger backup lights.

The 1978 Chevrolet Impala line included a Coupe model.
The 1978 Chevrolet Impala line included a Coupe model.

More than 609,000 full-size Chevrolets headed toward dealerships, with Impala and Caprice four-door sedans the most popular models. Big coupes drew far fewer sales, and Landau variants even less. Only 33,990 Impala coupes and 4652 Landau coupes were produced. Most coupe buyers preferred the posher Caprice Classic. Interiors came in cloth or vinyl, but one option included a 50/50 split front seat.

Impalas and Caprices still came standard with a 110-horsepower six, but two V-8s were available: 305- or 350-cubic-inch, developing 145 or 170 horses, respectively. As with most cars in the late '70s, California engine ratings were lower than those sold elsewhere. All full-size cars had automatic transmissions.

1978 Chevrolet Impala and Caprice Facts

Model
Weight range (lbs.)
Price range (new)
Number built
Impala
3,511-4,071
$5,208-$5,904
290,744
Caprice
3,548-4,109
$5,526-$6,151
321,653