The 2014 Chevrolet Impala Review: The Chevrolet Impala debuted in 1958 as the top model of the full-size BelAir car line, in coupe and convertible form. Flash forward to 1965. The Impala, likely the most beautiful version ever, sold more than a million units. It still stands as a record for a single model. In the 1990s the Impala became less important as midsize sedans, such as the Oldsmobile Cutlass, took over as the mainstream favorites. After a brief hiatus, the Impala reappeared in a 2000 model, but as an anonymous midsize front-wheel-drive sedan. With GM’s post-bankruptcy rebirth, the corporation has finally delivered the first new Impala in a long time worthy of the name Impala.
It shares its platform with the full-size Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac XTS. The sensuous body wears many evocative lines and forms. The intelligent face peers intently forward, with slightly angled eyes and a bold chrome mouth. The sides feature strong shoulders, the waist tucks in, and the rear fenders carry a curve that goes back to the gorgeous '65, and even to the original ‘58.
Surprisingly, the tail lamps are not the traditional three circles but form a single, segmented chunk that looks more like something off a Toyota. The 1958 Impala was eight inches longer than the 2014, on a nearly nine-inch-longer wheelbase, and was nearly five inches wider. The huge 1976 Impala was more than a foot longer than the '58, and almost two inches wider!
The new Impala is today’s full size, generously proportioned throughout, and the rear seating is just like in a limo.
Inside, the styling is just as exuberant as outside. The theme is a take on the twin cowl dashboard from the original 1960’s Corvette. It flows aggressively off the doors and forward, around a sharply delineated and graphically stylish instrument pod, pulling back to provide a well-equipped and lavishly decorated center stack, then looping back in front of the passenger. Materials are attractive, and with one tiny exception in my car, met in perfect joins.
The firm and multiply adjustable leather seats feature heating and cooling. In my tester they wore sporty contrasting piping. There was stitching on the dash and doors, but I discovered that it was cosmetic! One surprising detail, the display screen on the center dash rises up to provide a secret hiding place to plug in your iPod.
This engine carries over, a 3.6-liter direct-injection V6 with 305-horsepower and 264 lb.-ft. of torque. The sole transmission is a six-speed automatic with manual selection through a button on top of the shift knob. Using manual, it automatically downshifts as you slow down, and of course, in the name of fuel efficiency, upshifts at the first opportunity. Fourth gear is good in town, but when I tried shifting into fifth while going about 30 miles per hour, a "Shift Denied" message appeared on the information screen in the instrument panel.
The car is rated at 18 City and 28 Highway by the EPA. I averaged just 19 miles per gallon. Maybe I was getting to lead-footed because it was so fun to do it. Green numbers are a 6 for Greenhouse Gas. A Smog score is not available.
I took the car on some of my favorite back roads and it stuck well in the corners and delivered a very satisfying performance. Getting up to speed was no problem, since the Impala can do zero to 60 in just 6.8 seconds. High tech abounds. All the usual stuff is standard, of course, including things like satellite radio, OnStar, and blind spot warning. But this car also featured Collision Alert. If you approach another car quickly and haven't touched the brake pedal, it flashes a red light in your face. It can be deactivated.
Every time I parked the car, when I restarted it, it would pull the seat forward and upward. How annoying! Then, I discovered that there is a separate "Set Exit Position" setting, and I turned that feature off.
I received periodic alerts from the car, including "Weather Watch, Fire Danger," and "Caution, I-880 Accident." Then, sure enough, a half mile down the road were two stopped cars and a pile of broken glass.
Not much to pick on. The fuel economy could be better, the sun blinded me reflecting off the chrome Chevy logo on the steering wheel, the door handle pinched my finger once and the rear view through the high backlight showed only the windshield of the car behind me.
Prices start at $27,535 for the LS model. There is a midlevel LT, and the LTZ, like my Silver Ice Metallic tester, at the top. Mine came to $36,580.
By Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
The Bottom Line: The 2014 Chevrolet Impala is another reason to celebrate the rebirth of GM, and to feel good about buying American again. After a great start in 1958, and to the top of the sales charts in 1965, Impala has slid down, and out, to back again, and now it’s all new for 2014. It’s been a long wait, but I think the New Impala is a great step in the right direction for a glorious nameplate.
With nice styling, a large interior and great value, Impala will regain its sales momentum once again. Base MSRP prices start at only $27,000 and top out just under $40K, so there is a sweet price point for everybody’s budget, and maybe, just for that reason alone, you should “Drive one, and Buy one, Today ©”
Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
The 2014 Chevrolet Impala Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net - “Tony the Car Guy” is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at www.autowire.net - And remember: “ You Are What You Drive©”
Column Name: Impala is another reason to celebrate the rebirth of GM
Topic: The 2014 Chevrolet Impala
Word Count: 1,048
Photo Caption: The 2014 Chevrolet Impala
Photo Credits: Chevrolet Impala Internet Media
Series #: 2014 - 23
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