2014 Chevrolet Impala: New Dog, Old TricksMay 6, 2013 • By M.E. Cribbs
The 2014 Chevrolet Impala full-size sedan is a car that contains no shortage of clever features. Sometimes, when a brand revives a nameplate from the past, it is either a precisely calculated success or a giant flop. The name may be too old for the generation it is aimed at to remember, or the new version doesn’t live up to the spirit of the original car.
Showcasing sculpted lines, broad haunches and a sweeping tail, the Impala is quite an attractive car. The creases and raked windshield hide the car’s size and the tasteful chrome accents bring the car’s heritage to the modern age. Impalas have been plain for decades; the new look positions this car to be as stylish and deserve the respect of the domestic competition.
The interior has the largest volume and trunk capacity (18.8 cu. ft.) numbers in the large sedan segment. A huge panoramic sunroof, two-tone surfaces, seat piping and ergonomically placed controls make this the best interior design in GM’s recent history. There’s a secret compartment behind the screen that you open with a button. Press it, and the display reveals a cubby with a USB port to charge and tether your phone. It also has a valet feature which won’t open without a passcode. A few buttons and knobs are at your disposal for climate control, stereo volume, seat heat and fan modes. Audi‘s are known for control redundancy, but Chevrolet’s combination of touch screen and rotary knobs is neither intimidating nor complicated.
When Chevy puts everything out on the table, the 2014 Impala will have three engine choices: a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder, a 2.4 liter 4 with GM’s mild hybrid E-Assist and a 3.6 liter V6 offering 305 horsepower and 264 lb.-ft. of torque mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. It won’t put you in the back of your seat, but it has plenty of power to accelerate and pass. Be not dismayed, purists, as good as the V6 is, there will be an SS model with a V8 available later. This will give Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 SRT8′s a run for the money. Speaking of money, at $30,700 to start and topping out at around $42,700, the 2014 Chevrolet Impala will be class leading in value, performance and most of all, style.
Everything about this car isn’t good. The Impala will surpass Toyota’s Avalon in power but will not pass as many gas stations. The V6 Impala will roll out first with an EPA estimated 19mpg city / 22mpg highway. The aforementioned Avalon will do 21mpg and 31mpg respectively. The Impala is the only product from the Big Three that doesn’t offer All-Wheel Drive. It does offer Active Cruise Control, but it costs $1,700. The electric steering makes for tight cornering, but feels numb and selective driving modes are not available.
While the Hyundai Azera and Toyota Avalon may be mentioned, with nearly identical dimensions and performance figures, the closest combatant will likely be the Ford Taurus.
I would love to hold out to see what the SS offers. However, this is the best Impala offered since……