Review and photos by Tom Sedens

2014 Chevrolet Impala
2014 Chevrolet Impala. Click image to enlarge

Ah yes, the Chevy Impala. In the yearbook of cars, it has been consistently voted in as “Most Likely to be a Rental Fleet Car or Taxi Cab”. Many have had their ears to the ground and their eyes peeled for the 2014. Would GM continue building great cars like the Cruze, or would they drop the ball here and give us another, well, Impala.

Don’t get me wrong – the previous generation Impala wasn’t a complete turd. But it certainly fit the mould as a blah-mobile and left plenty of opportunities for improvement on the table.

Let’s have a look at the bowtie’s new flagship and see what they came up with.

In this segment, it seems that styling isn’t always a priority. Large flagships that are priced within reason have often been lacking in terms of wow factor, and the Impala has been no exception. Recently, the Toyota Avalon debuted a slick new exterior and became, in my opinion, the looker of the bunch. The 2014 Impala’s bold and assertive stance easily brings it up to the front of the pack.

2014 Chevrolet Impala2014 Chevrolet Impala2014 Chevrolet Impala2014 Chevrolet Impala
2014 Chevrolet Impala. Click image to enlarge

I really like the sculpting that Chevrolet has done here. The silhouette of the new Impala finally evokes some emotion, and they’ve thrown in some nice details; a powerdome hood, a wide chrome grille and detailed headlights.

As interesting as the details are, the sculpted flanks are what make the shape. They’re gorgeous, and make for an interesting view from any angle. Though the car is rear-heavy with those voluptuous flanks and massive trunk, it still looks balanced. Head-turning, 19-inch rims shod in big 245/45 rubber add to the drama.

Pulling this beast around town is a direct-injection 3.6L V6. It puts out a healthy 305 hp at 6,800 rpm and 264 lb-ft of torque at 5,200 rpm. Chevrolet will be offering a four-cylinder and a mild-hybrid e-assist drivetrain as well. The Impala is front-wheel drive and has a six-speed automatic transmission.

2014 Chevrolet Impala2014 Chevrolet Impala
2014 Chevrolet Impala. Click image to enlarge

Fuel economy is rated at 11.1 L/100 km in the city and 6.9 L/100 km on the highway, and it has a 70 L tank. In my week with it, I drove mostly in the city, and probably a bit more aggressively than I normally do, throwing in a couple of freeway drives and one jaunt down the highway. I averaged 12.1 L/100 km, which isn’t bad at all.

Despite its size, the Impala (in this trim) weighs in at a very reasonable 1,670 kg (3,682 lb).

Get inside the spacious cabin, and you immediately notice that Chevrolet didn’t stop with the exterior. I really enjoyed the double-cockpit styling. Soft-touch plastics (much of it with stitching) make up almost every surface. The contrasting chrome strips on the dash and door panels become a very cool ambient lighting system in the dark.

Fit and finish are excellent, and the interior is well crafted. I found it a bit dark and the faux wood is definitely faux – but it’s a very nice place to be. The headroom is great for me – I’m 5’10” (178 cm).

The seats are leatherette with Ultrasuede seating surfaces. They’re power-adjustable, heated and extremely comfortable.

2014 Chevrolet Impala2014 Chevrolet Impala2014 Chevrolet Impala
2014 Chevrolet Impala. Click image to enlarge

You’ll notice that the controls have a premium feel to them as well. The steering wheel is large and comfortable to hold. You’ll find buttons for the cruise control, the phone and the driver information and hands-free systems. On the backside of the wheel are media control buttons.

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