2014 Chevrolet Impala underwent a total redesign for this
redesigned the full-size Impala sedan for 2014 — marking the 10th
generation of a nameplate that General Motors introduced for 1958.
generation has lots of improvements both in looks and technology. It’s
no vanilla fleet vehicle — it is attractive and well-appointed,
inside and out, with plenty of space for five adults and lots of
cargo — 105 cubic feet of cabin space and 18.8 cubic feet of
include the base LS, midlevel LT, and the LTZ, with a choice of
three wheel sizes and three engines, and all have six-speed
engine is a new 195-horsepower, 2.5-liter Ecotec four-cylinder;
optional is a 305-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6. A 182-horsepower Ecotec
2.4-liter engine with GM’s eAssist, also offered in the new
Malibu, will be available by the end of the year, and will have the
best fuel economy — up to 35 mpg on the highway.
I tested a
beautiful 2LTZ with the V-6 engine and silver-painted split-spoke
19-inch aluminum wheels with a distinctive machined face. The
exterior was dressed up with strategically placed chrome accents and
badging, just enough to be elegant. Chrome accented the trunk lip,
the body-color door handles, the upper mirror housing and body side
molding along the lower front door to the middle of the rear door.
the lower front air vent were outlined in chrome, the
"grinning" grille was chrome with a chrome Chevy bowtie,
the Impala badge on the rearmost side pillars were chrome, and the
exhaust openings were chrome-trimmed.
on the test vehicle was a power sunroof with a second-row skylight,
which opens up the interior feel. The interior feels even roomier,
thanks to rear doors that bow slightly outward to increase shoulder
room. Legroom has actually been increased a total of 5.7 inches —
now 45.8 inches in the front and 39.8 inches in the rear.
rear seats were comfortable enough for a road trip, but even the
middle seat had enough space for an average-size adult, or a sturdy
child safety seat. There was some toe room carved out under the
center front console, probably helpful for a child in a safety seat.
passengers had a few amenities, including adjustable AC/heat vents,
a small cubby and a 120-volt power outlet on the back of the center
console (part of a premium audio package), dual reading lights,
small seatback pockets, two cupholders on the pulled-down center
armrest, and small bottle pockets on the doors.
the rear was fair, with the slope of the side window extending to
behind the passengers’ heads.
carved bucket seats were heated and cooled, part of an optional
package, and had enough adjustments to fit any driver comfortably.
The passenger seat also reclined. The package included memory
settings for the driver’s seat, outside mirrors and heated
tilt/telescopic steering column; heated outside mirrors with ground
illumination and jewel-like turn signal indicators; auto-dimming
driver’s side mirror and inside rearview mirror; a universal
garage/gate remote; and premium carpeted floor and trunk mats.
The driver and
front passenger had lots of options for storage, with larger
bottle/map pockets on the doors, a rubber-lined cubby with a
removable tray under the armrest, a covered cubby with a 12-volt
outlet under the dash, and a small "French fry" cubby
behind the two cupholders on the center console.
In the armrest
cubby was a light, a 12-volt outlet, dual USB ports, a card reader
and an auxiliary input jack. There was a surprise cubby for an
umbrella at the top of the door pocket, and a hidden storage area
with a USB port behind the powered pop-up infotainment touch screen.
A button under the screen raised or lowered it to give access to the
cubby, a perfect place to store smartphones or iPods for security.
the heated/cooled front seats were between the cupholders and the
fry cubby. But I had to hunt for them, and I didn’t like that they
could so easily be accidentally turned on.
well-crafted cabin had lots of small touches of chrome trim on
cupholders, control knobs/buttons, instrument cluster, steering
wheel ring, doors, shifter knob, dash, start button, and
lights/wiper stalks. There was a padded leather dash, gray faux-wood
trim on the dash, console and doors, ice-blue ambient lighting, and
accent piping on the top-stitched seats.
double-pane acoustic glass for the windshield and front side windows
and plenty of acoustic baffles elsewhere in the body structure, the
cabin was also very quiet.
version of Chevrolet’s optional MyLink infotainment system had an
8-inch touch screen and natural voice recognition. MyLink has not
impressed me, though, and even the newer version is not intuitive,
with some functions not clearly marked or easily located.
navigation, some climate functions and rearview camera share the
touch screen. There were audio controls on the back of the steering
wheel, which I located as I turned the wheel and accidentally
touched the station next/previous button.
system was quite decent, with 11-speaker Bose centerpoint surround
sound in the LTZ premium audio package. The Impala comes with three
months of satellite radio service and six months of OnStar
Directions and Connections with automatic crash response and
controls on the steering wheel for cruise, steering wheel heat,
forward collision alert on/off, and the driver-information center.
The controls for the driver-information center were not marked,
though, meaning a trip to the owner’s manual to study their use.
collision alert and collision-avoiding brakes, adaptive cruise
control, lane-departure warning, blind-spot alert and rear
cross-traffic alerts are new technology for the Impala.
The car also
has battery-rundown protection, theft deterrent, passive entry and
keyless start. Ten airbags are now standard, along with a domed hood
to help reduce injury to unfortunate pedestrians.
My Impala had
a cavernous, wide-open trunk with hidden storage under the floor,
along with a compact spare and tools. The lid was easy to raise and
lower, and the lip was low enough for easy loading of groceries,
luggage, stroller or DIY supplies. The rear seatback folded flat to
accommodate even larger items — a storm door or plywood, perhaps.
handles well, with little to no leaning in curves, practically
imperceptible gear shifting, and quick, smooth acceleration. The
factory specs say it can go from zero-60 mph in 6.8 seconds.
With the V-6,
the EPA ratings are 19 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway. In
mostly rush-hour slow-and-go traffic during our test, we managed
22.1 mpg on average, according to the onboard computer.
tested, including destination charge: $39,505