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New Car Review

2014 Chevrolet Impala: First Drive

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author photo by Brian Moody

If you're shopping for a full-size sedan, here are a few things you should know about the Impala. First, it's all-new, new structure, new body, new interior; nothing about this car is the same as the 2013 model. Second, you should know that this redesigned Impala is about the same size as a Toyota Avalon. The Impala is a little longer and has more legroom in the front and back. The Impala also has three engine choices a 305 hp V6, a 196 hp 4-cylidner engine and a 182 hp eAssist engine. The eAssist version is similar to a hybrid and should get up to 35 mpg on the highway. We expect the V6 version to get about 19 mpg in the city and close to 30 on the highway.

No matter which engine you choose, the car has more than enough power. Obviously, the larger V6 engine is the quickest and the most fun, but even the 4-cylinder version feels adequate. Initially, only V6 versions of the Impala will be available. However, when the time comes, you will be able to get the smaller, more fuel-efficient engine in the most luxurious LTZ trim level.

From behind the wheel, the Impala doesn't feel big. Large windows make it easy to see what around you and the slightly firm suspension gives the car a real "light-on-it's-feet" feel; this Impala is actually fun to drive. Cornering is confident with sharp responses yet the ride doesn't feel too firm. The interior is also very quiet, similar to a Buick or Chrysler.

The exterior of the Impala looks great, the interior is equally impressive. Again, compared to the Toyota Avalon, the Impala doesn't look as interesting, but the materials, buttons, switches and available tech are all more substantial. The rear seat is more spacious than a Town Car and the large interior means lots of head room.

To access the navigation and entertainment features like XM radio, Pandora and a connected iPod, the Impala uses Chevrolet's MyLink system. That means an 8 inch touch screen and smaller color display screen placed right in front of the driver. The driver can select which features will display in which area. One really cool thing about the Impala's MyLink is that you can build a comprehensive favorites list. Anything from radio stations, to locations, to phone numbers or even songs are all kept in one place on one list which takes the place of the old radio station presets.

There's plenty of new safety tech too. The  2014 Impala has 10 airbags and now has features like forward collision warning, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control. The price can go above $40,000 for a loaded V6 LTZ. But many features come standard on the LS and that's priced at about $27,000.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.