Courtesy of a complete road-to-roof redesign in 2014, the stylish and luxurious 2016 Chevrolet Impala sedan aims to erase memories of the model’s recent rental-car past. Channeling some of the sleek design that characterized the beloved Impalas of the 1960s and ’70s, the new Impala shares underpinnings with the Buick LaCrosse and the Cadillac XTS, offering a lively 305-horsepower 3.6-liter V6, decent chassis dynamics, a stretch-out back seat, a quiet cabin, a huge trunk with 18.8 cu ft. of space and the latest version of the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system. All Impalas come with OnStar and 4G LTE connectivity along with a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot for up to 10 devices. Fitted with a standard 10 airbags, the 2016 Impala is also available with forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, crash-imminent automatic braking and full-speed adaptive cruise control.
New for 2016 on LT and LTZ models with the Chevrolet MyLink system and 8-inch screen is Apple CarPlay compatibility. A wireless phone charging system is a new option on Impala as well.
What We Like
What We Don’t
Shorter powertrain warranty; poor rearward visibility; no all-wheel drive; tiny trunk space of CNG V6-equipped cars
Fuel Economy & Engine Specs
Chevrolet outfits the Impala LS, LT and LTZ with a standard 2.5-liter dual-overhead-camshaft (DOHC) 4-cylinder featuring four valves per cylinder and direct injection. It produces 196 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque on regular unleaded gas and returns 22 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the highway with the standard 6-speed automatic transmission. A fuel-saving stop/start system adopted from the now-discontinued Eco hybrid model automatically shuts off the engine at stoplights.
Available on LT and LTZ models is a peppy 3.6-liter DOHC V6 that produces 305 hp and 264 lb-ft of torque, mated to a 6-speed automatic. It also runs on regular unleaded fuel and a flex-fuel version is available that can use clean-burning E85 or gasoline. Flex-fuel models have a yellow gas cap. EPA fuel-economy ratings are 19 mpg city/28 mpg hwy on gasoline, 14 mpg city/20 mpg hwy with the less-energy-dense E85.
Chevrolet also made a small number of Impalas with a bi-fuel 3.6-liter V6 that can run on compressed natural gas or gasoline, mostly for fleet or corporate customers. The CNG system and dual fuel tanks add nearly 400 pounds, and the CNG tank reduces trunk space by almost half to just 10 cu ft. But by using the fuel in both tanks (the driver can switch fuel sources on the fly), cruising range is estimated at 500 miles. On CNG, output of the V6 drops to 230 hp and 218 lb-ft of torque and EPA estimates sink to 16 mpg city/24 mpg hwy.
Standard Features & Options
The 2016 Chevrolet Impala is available in LS, LT and LTZ trims.
Typical LS equipment includes air conditioning, a power driver’s seat with adjustable lumbar, cruise control, cloth seat trim, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, remote keyless entry, a trip computer, Bluetooth, OnStar communication system with 4G LTE, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with an MP3 decoder and steering-wheel audio controls, SiriusXM satellite radio, HD Radio, a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, automatic headlamps, 18-inch steel wheels, stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes and power door locks, windows and mirrors.
Moving up to the LT adds dual-zone automatic climate control, Chevrolet MyLink infotainment with an 8-in touchscreen, Apple CarPlay compatibility and voice recognition, hidden in-dash storage, premium cloth and faux-leather seats and a leather-trimmed steering wheel, dash and shifter. Available are 18-in alloy wheels and leather seats.
The top-of-the-line LTZ brings standard leather seating, remote engine start, a proximity key, heel, a power passenger seat, a chrome-tipped exhaust, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a blind spot monitoring system, lane-departure warning, rear park assist and a backup camera. It’s also available with a wireless phone charger, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision alert, rear cross-traffic alert, a power moonroof, a navigation system and 19- or 20-in alloy wheels.
Well-equipped V6 models will cost more than 4-cylinder versions, but they’re worth the extra money. The Impala is a top-selling full-size sedan and with lease returns coming back into the used-car market, so there should be a good supply of pre-owned examples to choose from.
To get an idea of the 2016 Impala’s price range, check out KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.
The National Highway traffic Safety Administration has announced no recalls for the 2016 Impala.
Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, they’ll fix the car at no charge to you.
Safety Ratings & Warranties
NHTSA gave the 2016 Impala a 5-star overall rating, with five stars for frontal and side impacts and four for rollover performance.
The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2016 Impala a Good rating for moderate-overlap front and side impacts, roof strength, head restraints and seats. In small-overlap frontal impacts, however, the 2016 Impala only received an Acceptable rating.
General Motors covered the 2016 Impala with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a shorter 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty with roadside assistance and a 6-year/100,000-mile corrosion-perforation warranty.
Chevrolet certified pre-owned cars cannot have more than 75,000 miles on the odometer and must be five years old or less. Every CPO Impala undergoes a 172-point inspection. Those that pass receive a 12-month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty, plus the transferable original 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain coverage is extended to six years and includes roadside assistance. Also included is a 2-year/24,000-mile maintenance plan.
Other Cars to Consider
2016 Ford Taurus — Ford’s biggest car is available with a 240-hp 2.0-liter turbo 4-cylinder plus a standard 288-hp 3.5-liter V6 and the 365-hp 3.5-liter twin-turbo SHO V6. The Taurus boasts the biggest trunk in the segment at 20.1 cu ft., but the interior is not overly spacious. The 2016 model adds an improved SYNC 3 multimedia system. Taurus is available with front- or all-wheel drive.
2016 Volkswagen Passat — The interior of the U.S.-built Passat is plain-looking but offers a roomy cabin and a large trunk. Engine choices include a 170-hp 1.8-liter turbo 4-cylinder gas engine and a 280-hp 3.6-liter premium-fuel V6, but the thrifty turbodiesel is dropped. Also offered are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto cellphone pairing compatibility.
After several decades of being the default choice for corporate and rental-car fleets, the 2016 Impala is finally the flagship its position as the largest regular-production Chevrolet sedan would suggest. With buyers flocking to SUVs, used Impala prices have softened, making the 4-door sedan a terrific used-car buy. The roomy, stylish Impala is best experienced in well-equipped LT or range-topping LTZ trim with the brisk-performing 305-hp 3.6-liter V6. Look for a CPO example, if available, and check with the dealer to make sure that the 2016 Impala you’re considering has had all safety-recall items resolved.