2014 Chevrolet Impala Leaps Toward Family Sedan Legitimacy
The 2014 Chevrolet Impala represents the first complete redesign of Chevy’s full-size sedan since the turn of the century. Things were different then. Very different. Clinton was still President. Microsoft still ruled. The World Trade Center still dominated the Manhattan skyline.
Yes, the Impala was significantly restyled inside and out back in 2006, when we were all just starting to get comfortable with iPods, a high school yearbook was the closest definition we had to “Facebook,” and we all foolishly believed that home values would just keep rising indefinitely. That updated ’06 Impala brought the car up to average standards, a conservative and inoffensive design that has aged remarkably well during the past seven years.
While Chevy can legitimately state that the Impala remains one of the 10 best-selling cars in the U.S., what it’s not saying is that the vast majority of them end up in rental car fleets, performing government duty, and serving corporations. People don’t actually choose to drive a 2012 Impala. They’re forced to.
THE NEW 2014 CHEVY IMPALA LOOKS TERRIFIC
Chevy hopes to change its full-size family sedan’s fortunes when the new 2014 Impala goes on sale in early 2013. Though initial information about the car lacks detail, what Chevrolet is sharing at the 2012 New York Auto Show gives us enough confidence that the all-new Impala might find itself more popular with the general public than corporate buyers for the first time in a long time.
That the new 2014 Chevy Impala shares a platform with the Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac XTS is a terrific start. That designers have crafted genuinely attractive sheetmetal accented with enough historical styling cues to make the car instantly identifiable as a Chevy Impala helps to seal the deal. Add a suite of sophisticated safety technologies combined with a choice of engines, a roomy interior, and a large 18.8 cubic-foot trunk, and it’s entirely possible that Chevrolet dealers might win favor with younger buyers and families.
Chevy plans to sell the new 2014 Impala in familiar LS, LT and LTZ trim levels, each identified by its 18-inch, 19-inch, or 20-inch wheels. Clearly, the car in the photographs is the 2014 Chevy Impala LTZ.
THREE DIFFERENT ENGINES AVAILABLE IN THE NEW 2014 IMPALA
Three engines are confirmed for the 2014 Impala, but Chevrolet does not specify availability by trim level. If we’re making educated guesses, our bet is that the workhorse engine in the LS and LT models will be a direct-injected 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 195 horsepower. This powerplant will also be the volume engine for the all-new 2013 Chevy Malibu.
Impala buyers interested in maximizing fuel economy will probably be given the option of choosing an eAssist mild hybrid powertrain. A direct-injected 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a small electric assist motor and a lithium ion battery, the eAssist system makes a combined 182 horsepower and is expected to get 35 mpg on the highway, according to Chevrolet. In the Buick LaCrosse, eAssist delivers 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.
The 2014 Impala LTZ is likely to include a direct-injected 3.6-liter V6 making about 303 horsepower. Impala fans will note that this V6 generates the same horsepower as the 5.3-liter V8 engine installed in the Impala SS that was on sale just a few years ago.
All Impalas are equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. Since the Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac XTS offer all-wheel drive, we wouldn’t be surprised if that feature trickles down to the new Chevy Impala at some point. The new Impala also features electric variable assist steering, and the MacPherson strut front and multi-link independent rear suspension has been tuned for a comfortable ride and secure handling.
2014 CHEVROLET IMPALA BOASTS DRAMATIC INTERIOR UPGRADE
Inside the new Impala, designers have gone with a familiar dual-cockpit theme common to Chevrolet models. Ample soft-touch materials accented with available ice-blue ambient lighting are expected to provide a premium look and feel, and Chevy says the seats are designed to provide firm support for trips lasting five minutes or five hours.
The Impala’s new gauge cluster includes a reconfigurable 4.2-inch driver information display panel, and models equipped with the available Chevrolet MyLink technology are equipped with an eight-inch color touch-screen in the center of the dashboard. MyLink is a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone integration technology that allows for hands-free calling, music streaming, and operation of mobile applications right on the in-dash display. Concealed storage with USB ports is installed behind the screen.
Chevrolet says the new Impala is the quietest Chevy sedan ever built. All models have generous sound deadening materials, and Impalas with a four-cylinder engine include Active Noise Cancellation technology.
NEW SAFETY FEATURES FOR THE 2014 CHEVY IMPALA
When the new 2014 Impala goes on sale, it will have 10 standard airbags, traction and stability control, and four-wheel-disc antilock brakes. Impala LTZ owners will also get a set of HID headlights with LED running lights for better nighttime visibility.
OnStar telematics with Automatic Crash Notification is also standard on the new Impala. If the Impala’s airbags deploy, Automatic Crash Notification essentially dials out for help, puts an OnStar operator in touch with the Impala’s occupants, and even if nobody can respond, will send rescue personnel to the car’s exact location to speed assistance. The catch? You need to subscribe to the service after the initial free subscription expires.
Additionally, the new Impala will be available with a suite of new safety technologies. These include full-speed-range Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Alert, Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Depature Warning, Side Blind Zone Alert, and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
SPEEDY DADDY SAYS…
Of course, we must reserve judgment until the new 2014 Chevrolet Impala is physically examined and driven, but based on what we know right now, this car could easily get the Speedy Daddy stamp of approval in LTZ format.
– Christian Wardlaw