2014 Chevrolet Impala

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Date Posted: May 5, 2014
By zack Spencer

The Impala is one of the best selling nameplates of all time. For 2014 it gets a total refresh.

2014 Chevrolet Impala

Canadians love smaller vehicles, the best selling passenger vehicles are compact cars and compact SUVs. As much as we like to keep things sensible, there is always a place for larger vehicles. Full-size sedans are not big sellers but some buyers prefer a big car for long distance cruising and the road-hugging stance that a sedan provides to an SUV. There are some very good choices out there and the latest is this all-new Chevrolet Impala. The previous Impala was a favourite for company sales fleets or rental car companies, with a minority of buyers choosing them for personal transportation. With a new, stylish and refined Impala I suspect more buyers will give this car a look.

Looks

This is a very handsome car, I can clearly remember seeing for the first time over a year ago at the New York Auto Show and it was a standout of that event. This new design is striking on several levels. The front design has the signature Chevrolet split grille that was so warmly received on this car that they borrowed it and graphed it into the smaller Malibu. The side has sweeping front windshield and rear window with a high rear deck that provides a sleek silhouette. It could be argued that the rear quarter panels with bulging fender flares is borrowed from the Dodge Charger but this works here and the rear of the car is more refined looking than the bad-boy Charger. Prices for the Impala start at just over $28,000 and this 2LT is fitted with the V6 engine and starts at almost $33,000. Chevy expects most buyers to opt for the 4-cylinder, so expect to pay over $30,000 for a nicely equipped car.

Inside

The inside is a highlight for me. It looks and works well and showcases what GM is doing right. The mixture of materials shapes and colours really makes this cabin pop. The seats can be covered in cloth on the base car, faux suede seats or leather on the top models. The dash is covered in soft touch materials; I especially like the textured aluminum look around the window buttons and cup holders. The MyLink infotainment system is easy to use and the graphics look good and the screen pops up for access to the hidden storage area with a USB jack. Standard features include tilt and telescopic steering wheel, Bluetooth connectivity, USB, 8-way power driver's seat and more. But the back seat might be the best part of this car. The legroom has limo like dimensions and the space side-to-side and headroom is ample. The trunk is also huge with a fold down rear seat, providing more space than many small SUVs.

Drive

The Impala is now offered with a 4-cylinder or V6. The base engine is a 2.5L with direct injection unit and 195hp. My test Impala didn't have this engine but I have used this new engine in the Malibu and I was very impressed with it then, one of the best new engines I have used. The V6 engine is a 3.6L direct injection unit with a potent 305hp. Both are matched to a 6-speed automatic that can be shifted manually but the shifter is on top of the knob, not the best place. This latest model, which shares the same platform with the Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac XTS, is another step forward. The big car platform and independent suspension makes for a sure-footed ride with almost luxury car feel. The road feel is there, but never intrusive. This big sedan can actually handle rather well. Not the choice for a backcountry road excursions but stable and secure feeling.

Verdict

Consumer Reports recently rated this one of the best cars they had ever tested, right behind the Tesla Model S and BMW 135i. This helps to put to rest the question about domestic versus import car design and quality. This new Impala does everything a big car buyer is looking for. It cruises with ease, has more than enough room for five full size adults and the interior is quiet and refined. I would suggest that buyers of more expensive Luxury brands like Buick or Lexus give this car a shot, it has all the same comfort but with a lower price point. Once main criticism of this new car is the lack of an all wheel drive system. The Buick LaCrosse does off it as dose the Cadillac, the major difference between these products. Mid size sedan buyers should also have a look at the Impala offers for just slightly more money. Hopefully this new Impala will not be relegated to fleet sales and rental lots.

The Lowdown

Power: 2.5L 4-cylinder with 195hp or 3.6L V6 with 305hp

Fill-up: 9.9L/6.3L/100km (city/highway)

Sticker price: $28,445-$39,645

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