2014 Chevrolet Impala Sedan (3.6L V6 6-Speed Automatic)
Driven On 5/1/2013
This redesigned Impala is a huge improvement over the previous car and can now be considered alongside the Toyota Avalon, Chrysler 300 and Hyundai Azera. The Chevrolet scores with a big trunk and sharp styling, but loses points for some cheap interior pieces, slow MyLink interface and middling fuel economy.
PerformanceThe 305-hp V6 in the Impala makes more power than competitors, but instrumented acceleration is average. Its 3,881-lb weight (a few hundred lbs more than the Avalon) may be to blame. Still, the Impala's V6 is smooth, strong and plenty capable.
0-60 mph in 6.7 seconds is a class-average. Shifts are smooth and quick and there's no torque steer to speak of. The Impala gets up to highway speeds and passes with confidence.
A panic stop from 60 mph takes 120 feet, which is half a car-length better than rivals. Plenty of nosedive and a slightly soft pedal, but still feels confident.
Light steering effort and feedback, but precise and trustworthy. Slightly sensitive around center, so the driver has to stay alert to prevent lane-wandering.
Obedient, but not entertaining. Lots of body roll, and its main rivals outhandle it on paper. But it will prove capable and confident enough for the majority of drivers.
Well-mannered and confidence-inspiring during day-to-day driving, the Impala is a willing and accomodating commuting partner. Light steering and narrow footprint make parking easy.
ComfortEmphasizing comfort over performance, the Impala provides a pleasantly calm cabin. There's ample interior space and after hours of driving, we emerged no worse for the wear. Skipping the optional 20-inch wheels may improve the ride further.
Front seats are adequately padded with eight-way power adjustments. Minimal side bolstering, and the optional ventilation is weak. Adult-friendly rear seats are as generous as the Avalon.
Tuned for comfort, the suspension smoothes out rough surfaces, but the 20-inch wheels add some initial harshness. Good balance of comfort and composure. Less floaty than some competitors.
Wind and road noise are barely detectable over a variety of surfaces and speeds. Creaks from within are also well silenced. This kind of isolation approaches luxury sedan levels.
InteriorA huge leap forward for the Impala, making it competitive with other large sedans. The tasteful interior design is appealing, though there are still some disappointing plastics, particularly below the center stack.
The majority of primary and secondary controls are well placed and clearly labeled, but the touchscreen is a bit of a reach and angled away. MyLink is frustratingly slow to react.
The elevated seat height makes getting in and out easy, as does the tall door opening. No stooping required here. The same holds true for the rear seats.
The Impala's spaciousness compares favorably with competitors, with plenty of headroom and legroom. The average-sized adult will even be comfortable in the rear seat for all day road trips.
Thick A-pillars hamper visibility through turns and the high rear decklid requires reliance on the backup camera. Gauges and displays are placed well within sightlines.
The trunk is positively huge, and at 18.8 cu-ft, it is only outclassed by the Ford Taurus (20 cu-ft). Inside the cabin, bins are adequate and the behind-touchscreen storage is unique.
ValueThis $39,510 Impala in range-topping 2LTZ trim with Comfort & Convenience package and Bose audio comes with all of the features its rivals have. Performance is also comparable, but some interior bits come up short.
Build Quality (vs. $)
Most interior materials are competitive with rivals, but flimsy plastic panels on the center console cost some points. MyLink is terribly slow, but menus are simple and intuitive.
This $39,510 Impala LTZ is almost fully loaded and includes all the amenities we've come to expect, like V6 power, navigation, premium audio and standard forward collision alert.
The Impala's base price of around $27,000 makes it one of the most affordable large sedans. The range-topping LTZ trim is competitive with similarly equipped rivals and deserves attention.
The Impala's 21 mpg combined (18 city/28 highway) rating is slightly lower than rivals. It achieved a respectable 28.9 mpg on our 116-mile evaluation loop and 18.6 mpg overall average.
The Chevy's 5-year/100,000-mile drivetrain warranty beats the usual 5/60k plans, but Hyundai's 10/100k still reigns supreme. The 3/36k basic warranty is typical, but Hyundai's is 5/60k.
Like most full-size sedans, the Impala doesn't offer free scheduled maintenance (Toyota does for basic items). Six months of OnStar and Roadside assistance for 5 years/100k are included.
Fun To DriveThe Impala doesn't pretend to be anything but a good, honest large sedan. Comfort supercedes any sporting intentions. Fun isn't on the menu with the Impala, but it's no longer a penalty box.
This car puts you at ease. It neither begs to be driven hard, nor bores you into a stupor. In the absence of sporting performance, it still has what it takes to instill confidence.
Arguably one of the better looking large sedans, with a hint of Camaro-like aggression in an otherwise bland segment. Overall, it's pleasant in a near-luxury fashion.