• Top 5-star government safety rating
  • 10 standard airbags
  • High-tech optional safety features

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced crash-test ratings for Chevrolet's completely redesigned flagship sedan. The full-size 2014 Chevrolet Impala achieved a 5-star overall rating, the highest possible score and an improvement over the 2013 model year Impala's 4-star rating.

Standard safety equipment for the 2014 Impala includes 10 airbags. There are front and knee airbags for the driver and front-seat passenger, and side and curtain airbags for both front- and rear-seat passengers. The Impala is also equipped with standard traction control, electronic stability control and electronic brake-force distribution, which selectively applies braking force during a panic stop to minimize stopping distance.

Among the tests by NHTSA are a frontal-crash test and a side-crash test. The 2014 Impala earned five stars in each of the two categories. For each test, two crash-test dummies are used, one driver and one passenger. In the frontal-crash test, the driver fared a little better than the passenger. The Impala earned five stars for driver safety and four for passenger safety. In the side-crash test, the results were reversed, with the passenger earning five stars to the driver's four.

NHTSA also determines a rollover rating for each vehicle it tests. The Impala did not tip in the agency's rollover test and scored four stars in that section.

In addition to standard safety features such as airbags and stability control, the 2014 Impala also includes GM's OnStar. The telematics system can alert emergency responders to a crash, improving response time. Optional equipment on the new Impala can bolster safety, too. Forward-collision alert, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-zone alert and lane-departure warning are all available. Buyers can also opt for adaptive cruise control for safe high-speed cruising. Parking sensors and a back-up camera are available to make low-speed maneuvering easier, too.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found similar results for the 2014 Chevrolet Impala. It awarded the full-size sedan its highest rating in both its moderate-overlap frontal-crash test and its side-impact test. IIHS has not yet tested the Impala in its new and rigorous small-overlap frontal-crash test.

What it means to you: If you're considering a full-size sedan and safety is among your top priorities, add the 2014 Chevrolet Impala to your list.

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Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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