2017 Chevrolet Impala Review
Edmunds expert review
Like a lot of long-running American automotive nameplates, the Chevrolet Impala has seen its share of ups and downs. You could chart its appeal through the decades and the graph would probably look a lot like the Dow Jones Index. But as a car shopper of today, all you really need to know is that Chevy's been on an upswing with its Impala ever since it redesigned it a few years ago.
The current design of the Impala dates back to 2014. It's still a handsome-looking sedan in our opinion.
The 2017 Impala's portfolio starts with its roomy interior. This is one of the main reasons to consider this class of car, and compared to a typical midsize sedan, the Impala gives rear passengers plenty of space to stretch out. There's also a big trunk that can hold up to 18.8 cubic feet of stuff. Should you load up both the rear seat and trunk for a road trip, the Impala will keep your crew comfortable with its impressively smooth ride over bumps and low levels of wind and road noise on the highway. This is a restful, serene road tripper on long hauls.
It's fair to say that these qualities are big-car basics, but we're also fond of the Impala's technology. Standard on all but the base LS trim is the 8-inch MyLink touchscreen infotainment system, which has crisp graphics and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. There's also an appealing collection of safety features available, including lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. These nicely complement the Impala's crashworthiness, which scored high marks in government testing.
Of course, the Impala isn't the only option you should consider. The perennial all-star of this pack is the Toyota Avalon, which offers a fuel-sipping hybrid four-cylinder engine in addition to its smooth V6. We're also fond of the well-equipped Kia Cadenza (which is also fully redesigned this year) as well as the stylish and powerful Chrysler 300. You might also check out the new Buick LaCrosse if you're looking for something a bit more upscale. Overall, though, the 2017 Chevrolet Impala is right in the mix and would be a solid addition to your garage.
The 2017 Chevrolet Impala comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. Also standard is GM's subscription-based OnStar service, which includes automatic crash notification, an emergency assistance button, remote door unlock and stolen vehicle assistance.
A rearview camera is optional on the LT, as are forward collision warning, lane-departure warning and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. These come standard on the Premier. Optional for the Premier only is forward collision mitigation with automatic emergency braking.
In Edmunds brake testing, an Impala with 19-inch wheels came to a stop from 60 mph in 114 feet, an excellent result for the segment.
In government crash testing, the Impala received aperfect five stars for overall crash protection, including five stars for frontal-impact and five stars for side-impact collisions. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Impala its best rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests. Also in IIHS testing, the LTZ's optional frontal collision warning and automatic braking systems earned the top rating of "Superior."
What's new for 2017
Trim levels & features
The 2017 Chevrolet Impala is offered in three main trim levels: LS, LT and Premier. (Chevy also offers versions of the LS and LT with a bi-fuel V6 engine that can run on regular gasoline and compressed natural gas (CNG). You'll unlikely encounter an LS or LT CNG on dealer lots or in online inventory, but note that feature availability does vary slightly compared to the regular versions.)
Starting off with an Impala LS gets you a four-cylinder engine, 18-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, cruise control, air-conditioning, an eight-way power-adjustable driver seat (with power lumbar), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a trip computer, OnStar (with a 4G connection and WiFi hotspot), Bluetooth phone connectivity and a six-speaker sound system with satellite radio, a USB port, an auxiliary audio jack and a 4.2-inch color display.
An optional Protection package adds rear parking sensors, foldable rear headrests and a cargo net. Major stand-alone options include larger wheels, remote engine start and a V6 engine (comes bundled with automatic climate control).
The LT adds 18-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors, cloth and leatherette upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power lumbar adjustment for the front passenger seat, folding rear head restraints and theMyLink infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen, voice controls, Bluetooth audio connectivity, two additional USB ports (for a total of three), an SD card slot, HD radio and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.
Many of the options you can get on the LT are grouped into packages. The Leather package adds (you guessed it) leather upholstery, heated seats and an eight-way power front passenger seat. The Convenience package includes rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, remote engine start and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. You can also select a Technology package (19-inch wheels, rear spoiler, 120-volt power outlet, 11-speaker Bose audio system, CD player, wireless phone charger and ambient lighting) and a Navigation package (keyless entry and ignition plus integrated MyLink navigation). The V6 engine is also available, as is a sunroof.
For additional safety features, go with the Driver Confidence package that includes forward collision warning, lane-departure warning and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. There are also two Appearance packages, one adding a trunk-lid spoiler, a body-color grille surround and chrome mirror caps, and another (the "Midnight Edition") adding the spoiler, 19-inch black-and-silver wheels and blacked-out exterior trim.
The main reason to go with the Impala LT or Premier is to get the 8-inch MyLink touchscreen.
Topping the Impala's range is the Premier. You get most of the LT's optional features as standard, plus xenon headlights and the V6 engine. The Premier's options list includes an Enhanced Convenience package (auto-dimming driver-side mirror and rearview mirror, ventilated front seats, heated power-adjustable steering wheel, driver memory settings) and an Advanced Technology package (wireless cell phone charging, 11-speaker Bose stereo, 120-volt power outlet). There's also a Midnight Edition package like the one offered on the LT.
The sunroof is also optional for the Premier. Adaptive cruise control with automatic emergency braking is an exclusive option, as are 20-inch wheels.
All 2017 Impalas are equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. From there, the LS and LT come with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (196 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque) as standard. Fuel economy is EPA-rated at 25 mpg combined (22 city/31 highway). Included with the four-cylinder is an automatic stop-start system that automatically shuts off the engine when you come to a halt to save fuel.
Optional for the LS and LT and standard on Premier is a 3.6-liter V6 (305 hp and 264 lb-ft of torque). The EPA rates this engine at 22 mpg combined (18 city/28 highway). In Edmunds performance testing, an Impala with the V6 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, putting it in a dead heat with the last Avalon we tested and comfortably ahead of the Chrysler 300 V6 and Hyundai Azera.
Chevrolet also offers a dual-fuel Impala V6 that can run on either compressed natural gas (CNG) or gasoline. The trunk-mounted CNG tank holds 7.7 GGE (gasoline gallon equivalent), enough to power the Impala for 150 miles. The bi-fuel Impala runs on CNG by default, switching over to gasoline when the CNG tank is depleted, but a dash-mounted switch allows you to change fuel sources on the fly. The engine produces 260 hp and 247 lb-ft on gasoline, dropping to 230 hp and 218 lb-ft on CNG. According to the EPA, fuel economy suffers somewhat -- the bi-fuel Impala is EPA-rated at 20 mpg combined (17 city/25 highway) on gasoline and 19 mpg combined (16/24) on CNG.
Impala buyers might be tempted to stick with the four-cylinder engine on account of its lower price and higher fuel economy, but we recommend shelling out for the V6. The V6's relatively swift sprint to 60 mph only tells part of the story -- when you punch it at cruising speed, the engine responds with real authority. As for the base four, it's reasonably smooth and willing, but its 110-hp deficit is readily apparent from the driver seat, especially if you've got passengers and luggage aboard.
Get the Impala's optional V6. For this large sedan, it's really the way to go.
As expected, the 2017 Impala takes road impacts in stride, soaking up the bumps and ruts like a big car should. The driver's outward visibility is hampered somewhat by the Impala's thick roof pillars, but the interior is also pleasingly quiet, with minimal amounts of wind and road noise at freeway speeds. For maximum ride comfort, we advise skipping the Premier's optional 20-inch wheels, as they ride a little too harshly over sharp bumps. Taken around turns, the Impala isn't as sporty as the car's sleek styling might suggest, but overall this is a secure and competent-handling sedan.
The Impala's dynamic, modern exterior writes checks that its interior is pleased to cash. The graceful dual-cowl dashboard flows organically into the door panels, creating a wraparound effect that has become a GM trademark as of late. The 8-inch MyLink touchscreen for audio, navigation and phone functions ties it all together with its crisp, high-resolution graphics and an intuitive interface. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration also come standard, and both are great for minimizing driver distraction. It's a worthwhile upgrade compared to the LS's base setup. We would ask only for quicker and more predictable responses to touch inputs, as well as upgraded materials to replace a few flimsy plastic elements in the center console.
The interior design is sharp, though materials quality in some places is underwhelming. Leather upholstery comes standard on the Impala Premier.
A generous wheelbase (the distance between a car's front and rear wheels) gives the Impala serious passenger space front and rear. Four 6-footers could do a cross-country road trip in perfect comfort, which is precisely what we expect from a large sedan. The wide, plush front seats offer a variety of upholstery options, including cloth, a cloth/leatherette combination and leather. The standard 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks add useful additional cargo space to the already ample 18.8-cubic-foot trunk.
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.