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2017 Chevrolet Impala Overview
Impala is one of the most enduring names in the automotive world. While Chevrolet has stopped building the Impala a few times over the almost six decades since it was first introduced, the sedan is currently in its tenth generation, which debuted for the 2014 model year and shares much of its platform with the Cadillac XTS and Buick LaCrosse. The tenth-generation Impala was a breath of fresh air compared to the ninth-generation car, which can actually still be ordered as a fleet model. It is considerably better looking than its predecessor, especially from the rear, and the interior and equipment are much more up-to-date. In 2014, the Impala overtook the Toyota Avalon as America’s best-selling full-size sedan.
The Impala is still a reasonably priced full-size front-wheel-drive sedan, competing with models like the Chrysler 300, Hyundai Genesis, and the aforementioned Avalon. Because the new Impala was so far ahead of the car that it replaced, a redesign isn’t due for another few years, so 2017 will be a year of minimal changes, like new colors and minor cosmetic tweaks.
There were rumors of Chevrolet putting a new 9-speed automatic in the Impala, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. Impala trims include the base LS, LT, Premier, LS CNG, and LT CNG. Prices start at a competitive $27,300 for the base LT, but a loaded LT CNG model will run to $41,000. A decently equipped V6 Impala, however, should cost somewhere in between for a prudent buyer. CNG models can run on either regular gasoline or compressed natural gas and come with dual exhaust tips.
Available powertrains for the Impala remain the 2.5-liter inline four or the 3.6-liter V6. The four makes 196 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque, which isn’t exactly a dearth of power, but the Impala is not a small car and most buyers will likely spring for the six available in the upper trims, which makes either 260 or 305 hp depending on the fuel used and can get the Impala from 0 to 60 mph in just under seven seconds.
Much of the industry is going the way of smaller turbocharged powerplants, and that may come in the future for the Impala, but for now it’s still just the four and the six. The 4-cylinder Impala gets 22 mpg city/31 highway, while the V6 versions get 19/28.
Infotainment is centered on an 8-inch touchscreen, and the 2016 model added Apple CarPlay. Navigation is optional. Standard active noise cancellation drowns out engine noise, and the more premium versions have thicker glass and additional sound-deadening material to make the ride even quieter. Springing for the LT adds dual-zone automatic climate control in front and a voice-recognition audio system. The Premier model also adds rear cupholders and leather to the shifter and steering-wheel rim.
All Impala trims, though, have ample interior space, with the exception of rear-seat headroom. Legroom has grown by over three inches in front and two in back compared to the previous generation, and trunk space measures 18.8 cubic feet. The Impala has more usable space than both the Hyndai Azera and Toyota Avalon, and compares favorably with the very roomy Ford Taurus.
The previous Impala was not a stellar choice as far as safety is concerned, but the newest Impala comes with a total of 10 airbags and can be had with adaptive cruise control (a first for Chevrolet), blind-spot monitors, lane-departure warnings, parking sensors, forward-collision warning and a rear-view camera. It’s also gotten solid results in official crash testing. The adaptive cruise control system features radar-based automatic braking.
The latest Impala has injected some freshness into a familiar model name. While changes for 2017 are minimal, they do include interesting new fuel options, and the Impala remains a tempting choice in the always competitive full-size sedan market thanks to its sharp looks, ample interior space, and impressive list of equipment.
Andrew Newton first got into cars through vintage racing a Formula Vee. After receiving history degrees, he followed his passion for cars and became a contributor for sites like Sports Car Digest, BoldRide.com and JamesEdition.com in addition to serving as Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA. Andrew currently covers the collector car market full time as Auction Editor for Hagerty Classic Car Insurance.
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