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2014 Chevrolet Impala Overview
The iconic Chevrolet Impala, which first appeared in showrooms in 1958, enters its 10th generation for the 2014 model year with an all-new design, highlighted by sleek new exterior styling, a more refined interior, 3 available powerplants and such standard features as 10 airbags. The new Impala also gets the latest version of Chevy's MyLink entertainment system, as well as several new first-time options, including a Bose audio system, adaptive cruise control, a side blind-zone alert system, a rear cross-traffic alert system and 20-inch wheels.
The 2014 Impala full-size sedan, which comes in LS, LT and LTZ trims levels, joins a re-energized lineup of Chevy vehicles introduced over the past few years, including the well-regarded Chevy Cruze, the Sonic subcompact, the electric Volt and the diminutive Spark. Touted by Chevy as its flagship sedan, the Impala now rides on an Epsilon II platform, which it shares with such GM vehicles as the Cadillac XTS, Buick LaCrosse and Chevy Malibu. The new Impala has a wheelbase of 111.7 inches and an overall length of 201.3 inches, compared to the previous generation's 110.5-inch wheelbase and 200.4-inch length, giving the 2014 version more interior space, more cargo space and a longer, sportier appearance.
The eye-catching exterior design draws on few styling cues from previous Impalas but updates them for a fresh, bold look with numerous attractive details. Long and low, the new Impala has a windswept design, with a gently arced roofline that melds perfectly with the tail end. In some ways, the Impala's proportions mimic those of the BMW 7 Series or even a Jaguar, resulting in a hint of Euro influence.
Up front, the Impala's wide grille, wraparound headlights and clamshell indentations in the power-dome hood add to the sporty look. Further back, a straight, creased sideline that begins at the nose tapers off before the rear wheels, giving way to a second, curved arc over the rear fenders and following through to the tail, providing a visual cue borrowed from previous generations. Sculpted coves along the lower sides add an athletic note, while a slight outward bow on the upper sides ensures more interior shoulder room. Diagonal taillights and dual exhaust pipes complete the Impala's revamped exterior design. The LTZ adds HID headlights with LED daytime running lights in the front, and chrome-outlined exhaust pipes in the rear. The Impala's extensive list of exterior colors includes Blue Topaz Metallic, Champagne Silver Metallic, Crystal Red Tintcoat and Tin Roof Rusted Tricoat.
Under the hood, Chevy will offer a choice of 3 engines. The initial powerplant, on vehicles coming out of the automaker's Oshawa Assembly Plant in Ontario, Canada, will remain a 3.6-liter direct-injection V6 engine, which rolls over from the previous year. Horsepower increases slightly for the V6, from 300 to 303, due primarily to a new electric power steering system, replacing the previous generation's hydraulic power steering. Torque rises slightly as well, to 264 lb-ft from 262. The V6 pushes the Impala from 0-60 in 6.8 seconds, according the the automaker. Although fuel economy numbers have not yet been released for the 2014 powerplant, the 2013 version managed 18 mpg city/30 highway.
As production ramps up and expands to GM's Hamtramck Assembly Plant in Detroit, the automaker will add a new Ecotec 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, which generates 195 hp and achieves fuel economy numbers of up to 31 mpg, and an Ecotec 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with eAssist, which will deliver 182 hp and up to 35 mpg. However, Chevy expects the majority of buyers to opt for the V6. All engines will link to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Inside, the 2014 Impala offers a spacious cabin with plenty of headroom and legroom in both the front and second rows. The well-appointed interior features a dual-cockpit design, a revamped instrument cluster with ice-blue lighting, soft-touch surfaces and premium upholstery with contrast stitching. The LT and LTZ come standard with the latest version of Chevy's MyLink infotainment system, which includes an 8-inch color touchscreen and integrates Bluetooth for in-car access to certain smartphones, enabling owners to stream music and other services. The LS receives a 4.2-inch display for its driver information center. The standard audio system includes an amplifier, while owners can add an upgraded Bose Surround Sound audio system, a first for any Chevy vehicle.
Interior colors for all three trims include Brownstone, Dark Titanium, Jet Black and Mojave. Cloth upholstery comes standard in the LS, while the LT gets cloth/vinyl seats. The LTZ upgrades to leather upholstery. In addition, Chevy offers available sueded microfiber-trimmed seats in the LT and LTZ. Other standard and optional features include dual-zone climate control, remote start, a heated steering wheel, a power tilt/telescoping steering column and heated and ventilated front seats. Cargo space in the trunk checks in at an impressive 18.8 cubic feet.
The new Impala comes well-equipped with such safety features as 10 standard airbags, including side-curtain airbags and knee airbags for the driver and front passenger. In addition, Chevy offers a wide range of optional safety features, including adaptive cruise control, collision-mitigation braking, a forward collision alert, a lane departure warning system, a rear-vision camera and hill-hold assist, in addition to such new technologies as side blind-zone alert and rear cross-traffic alert.
Competitors for the 2014 Impala include the Chrysler 300, the Toyota Avalon, the Nissan Maxima and the Hyundai Genesis 3.8. Whether the 2014 Impala becomes a game-changer for Chevy and reclaims its spot as one of the top-selling full-size sedans in the country remains to be seen, but it's clear the automaker has made a big step in the right direction with its new Impala.
Rob has been a contributor to CarGurus since 2007, and an automotive test-driver and writer since the early ’90s. He’s test-driven everything from BMWs and Jags to Bentleys and Saabs, with an occasional Range Rover, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini thrown in. He also created the annual Car of the Year and Exotic Car of the Year awards for Robb Report magazine. He currently resides in Florida.
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