Full-size cars aren't quite the sellers that they once were, but it's still an important slice of the market for car companies around the world. Realizing that the previous-generation Chevrolet Impala had fallen behind the technological curve, General Motors made sure that the redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Impala could touch all of the important family car bases. Offering dramatically revised styling, a new spacious passenger compartment, and a host of improvements underneath its skin, the 2014 Chevrolet Impala is a huge step up over the 2013 model in almost every conceivable way.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2014 Chevrolet Impala.
The 2014 Chevrolet Impala makes an instant first impression with its stunningly different styling. The Chevrolet Impala drops the anonymous sheet metal of the older generation car and instead features a muscular, long-limbed look that includes bulging fender wells in the back, an aggressive, yet not overbearing front fascia, and a clean rear end treatment that in some models provides an integrated trunk spoiler for just a hint of sporty character. When ordered in top trim, the Impala also benefits from eye-catching features such as LED running lights as well as a dual exhaust system.
The six-passenger option might be gone, but the 2014 Chevrolet Impala has more to offer than ever before when it comes to interior accommodations. The Chevrolet Impala has seen its wheelbase extended, which translates into more than two inches of additional leg room in the rear and almost two inches of leg room up front (thanks to improvements made to the sliding driver and passenger seats). The vehicle's interior trim has also been given a thorough revision that elevates it above the harder plastics of the previous model and creates a more upscale appearance that can be enjoyed by all five occupants. Finally, the Impala's cavernous trunk can swallow close to 19 cubic feet of luggage, which is a commendable figure in its class.
The 2014 Chevrolet Impala is initially offered with a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine under the hood that can be counted on to produce 195 horsepower and 187 lb-ft of torque. For those who require more grunt in their daily grind, the Chevrolet Impala can also be ordered with a 3.6-liter, six-cylinder engine that churns out a hefty 305 horses and 265 lb-ft of twist. Both of these units make use of a six-speed automatic transmission that channels power to the vehicle's front wheels. Unlike several of its competitors, the Impala is not available with the option of all-wheel drive.
It stands to reason that the 2014 Chevrolet Impala's base four-cylinder engine would be the most efficient engine in its portfolio, and this is indeed the case: the 2.5-liter unit posts an EPA rating of 21-mpg in stop and go driving and 31-mpg on the highway. The 3.6-liter V-6, however, is not all that far behind. Despite producing over 300 horsepower, it is capable of sipping fuel at the relaxed rate of 18-mpg around town and 28-mpg on the highway. While not at the top of its class, the six-cylinder's reduced rate of fuel consumption puts it in good company when compared to other full-size sedans.
For some full-size four-door buyers, fuel mileage is a priority. In recognition of this fact, the 2014 Chevrolet Impala will eventually be available with the same eAssist hybrid drivetrain that has spread across much of the General Motors sedan lineup. In the case of the Chevrolet Impala, the eAssist model will feature a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that combines with a small battery-powered electric motor to offer a combined 182 horsepower. Official fuel mileage ratings check in at 25-mpg in city driving and 35-mpg during highway cruising, making the eAssist model the most frugal - if not the most performance-oriented - option in the Impala lineup.
The 2014 Chevrolet Impala starts out in the LS trim level, which is offered exclusively with the four-cylinder engine and comes with cruise control, keyless entry, a power driver's seat, a trip computer, power windows and door locks, the OnStar telematics system, Bluetooth connectivity, air conditioning, a color display for the audio system, and both HD and satellite radio. The LT trim is next, and it's divided into 1LT and 2LT sub-models depending on whether you stick with the four-cylinder motor or opt for the V-6. The LT trim's highlights include the MyLink infotainment system (more on that later), a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, dual automatic climate control, 18-inch alloy rims to replace the LS edition's steel wheels, and heated side mirrors. The top-tier LTZ trim (also split by engine choice) includes all of the above but adds heated leather seats, a sunroof, advanced safety equipment, parking assistance, a rearview camera, and 19-inch wheels.
It's possible to add a lot of the equipment found in higher trim levels to more humble editions of the 2014 Chevrolet Impala by selecting any one of a number of options packages. The Convenience package provides LS models with parking sensors, a cargo net, and rear headrests that can fold down out of view, while the LT's convenience package adds a rearview camera and a remote starting system. The LT can also be equipped with the Premium Seating package (suede leather seats, seat heaters), the Safety package (a number of high tech, active safety features), the Navigation package (a navigation system, push-button start), the Wheel package (19-inch rims) and the Bose Audio package (louder stereo system). The Impala LTZ has access to the Bose Audio and Navigation packages, as well as a Comfort & Convenience package that installs a memory function for the driver's seat, cooled front buckets, a heated steering wheel, and automatic dimming for all of the Impala's mirrors.
The 2014 Chevrolet Impala is the first version of the car to benefit from the availability of the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment feature. Chevrolet MyLink includes an 8-inch color LCD touchscreen that houses software designed to control the vehicle's communications, entertainment, and information systems. MyLink can be integrated with a mobile phone in order to take advantage of not just hands-free calling but also mobile internet and various music apps, and it also offers voice control over the stereo and navigation systems. MyLink can additionally be accessed via a set of redundant controls mounted on the Chevrolet Impala's steering wheel.
The 2014 Chevrolet Impala comes with a host of standard safety features, including dual forward airbags, seat-mounted side impact airbags, side curtain airbags that deploy both front and rear in the event of a serious collision, as well as knee airbags for both passengers sitting up front. Also included free of charge are electronic stability control and traction control and the stolen vehicle tracking and emergency response capabilities of the OnStar system. In terms of optional equipment, the Chevrolet Impala can be ordered with a lane departure warning system, a blind spot monitoring system, and a forward collision warning system that can work in conjunction with the vehicle's available adaptive cruise control.
The 2014 Chevrolet Impala has the dubious honor of competing with itself - or at least, a past version of itself. Recognizing that it was important to emphasize consumer sales over fleet sales with the new version of the Chevrolet Impala, but cognizant of the fact that the 2013 edition's 70 percent fleet distribution represented a lucrative market for the model, General Motors decided to keep producing the 2013 Impala for one more year alongside the 2014 edition, making the discontinued model available exclusively to rental car companies and other fleet managers. An odd arrangement, but one that will eventually see the Impala weaned off of its fleet sales dependency.