The 2014 Chevy Impala sedan is a far cry better in all ways than the 1977 Impala I once owned, and a heritage model many folks owned. That V8 powered rear drive coupe served us well and was even handed down to our son for a short time before it was sold in 1994. At that time, the engine was still strong.
But the 2014 model, with the famed name, has been fully redesigned and is one good-looking sedan. It has smooth flowing, sculpted lines and a slick, sporty appearance, and that goes for the interior as well. In essence, Impala has a whole new personality.
Impala is rated as a full-size sedan that sits on a 111.7-inch wheelbase that supports a body of 201.3 inches. It’s offered in LS, LT and LTZ trim levels. And these are subdivided into 1LT, 2LT and 1LZ and 2LZ packages.
The reason for these added designations is that it identifies the engines in the cars. The 1LT and 1LZ comes with a 4-cylinder engine while the 2LT, 2LZ come with a V6. Chevy will also offer a 2.5L 4-cylinder and 2.4L, 4-cyliner eAssist hybrid version that combines an electric motor for propulsion, and is expected to have EPA mileage ratings of 25/35 mpg.
The 2LT tested was powered by a 3.6-liter V6 that produced 305-hp and 274 lb/ft of torque at 5,300 rpm. Power was transferred via a 6-speed automatic transmission that carried EPA mileage estimates of 18 city, 28-highway mpg. Under full throttle, the 3.6L felt like a small V8 under the hood. There’s no want for power. In fact it’s been 0-60 tested at 6.7 seconds, which is about on par with a few other full-size sedans.
Impalas’ cabin is the best the model has seen. The dash, doors, console and seats are top shelf. The seats are done in leatherette on outer, high wear, areas and the inserts are done in suede with all edges stitched with contrasting striping. The front buckets have only minimal lateral support but are soft and comfy and the bottoms extend forward for excellent under-thigh support. The backs are even flatter but comfortable.
With its longer wheelbase, rear seat legroom is almost limo-like.
The vertical stack houses an 8-inch color touch screen and there’s a 4.2-inch instrument cluster display that shows a variety of conditions like trunk or hood open, doors not fully closed, etc.
Trunk space is generous and rated at 18.8 cubic feet. In my estimation, it can hold two large roll-a-longs or three golf bags. Need more space? Flip the 60/40 rear seatbacks.
Over city and highway driving the Impala rode like a Cadillac. Perhaps that’s because Impala is built on a Cadillac XTS (and Buick LaCrosse) platform.
Handling too is admirable. Impala’s suspension soaks up rough roads and unimproved railroad crossings and it feels planted in sharp turns taken at speed with precise steering.
As for the price, the 2LT tested started out at $29,950 with a long list of standard and desired features, and bottom-lined at $36,165 with delivery. Of this figure, $940 goes for the LT Convenience Package that among other things, includes remote vehicle start and rear park assist w/camera. Then there’s the Premium Audio and Sport Wheels package that tacks on an additional $1,140 and includes painted 19-inch wheels, rear spoiler 120-volt outlet, Bose audio w/11 speakers. For an added $1,095 you get the LT Navigation package, Chevy MyLink, Keyless access and keyless start. For $890 there’s forward collision alert, rear cross traffic, side blind zone alert and lane departure warning. All important safety features that are truly indispensible. For an extra $945 you get heated front seats, 8-way power drivers seat and a few more niceties.
If you could do without the Premium Audio/Sport Wheel package with trunk spoiler, you can save some money on things that aren’t really a necessity.
As such, the Impala 2LT is a compelling full-size sedan unlike Impala’s of yesteryear and last model year.
To check out a 2LT, stop by Outten Chevrolet on Tilghman Street in Allentown. And to automatically receive auto news and views from Nick Hromiak, click on the “Subscribe” notation on this page.