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2017 Chevrolet Impala Road Test and Review

Scott Oldham
by Scott Oldham
June 11, 2017
6 min. Reading Time
2016 Chevrolet Impala LTZ hero ・  Photo by Chevrolet

2016 Chevrolet Impala LTZ hero ・ Photo by Chevrolet

Spend a little time in the 2017 Chevrolet Impala and you quickly realize Chevy’s largest sedan is also one of its best. Now in its tenth-generation, the full-size Impala has been in and out of Chevrolet’s lineup since the nameplate first appeared way back in 1958. And it has been delivering an inspired blend of space, safety, style and value to American families for five decades.

Thanks to its low starting price and high fuel economy, the Impala is a consistent favorite in the extremely competitive full-size front-wheel drive sedan segment. It competes successfully against a long list of large, high-quality family sedans including the Toyota Avalon, Hyundai Azera, Kia Cadenza, Buick LaCrosse, Ford Taurus and Nissan Maxima.

Lets take a closer look at the 2017 Chevrolet Impala.

Models and Pricing

Built in Detroit, Michigan, Chevy’s flagship sedan is available in three trim-levels, LS, LT and Premiere. All Impalas are front-wheel drive and equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is not available.

Two engines are offered, the LS and LT come standard with a 197-hp 2.5 four-cylinder with direct injection, variable valve-timing and start/stop, which shuts off the engine at red lights to save fuel. There’s also a 305-hp 3.6-liter V6, which is standard on the Premiere and optional on the LS and LT for an additional $1,000. It’s the same engine Chevy uses in the Camaro and it provides plenty of power. There is no hybrid model, and Chevy doesn’t offer a diesel engine in the Impala as it does in the smaller Cruze sedan.

Prices start at $28,375 (including $875 for destination and shipping) for the LS and top out at $36,720 for the top-of-the-line Premiere. Load up the options, and a fully stacked Impala Premiere could sneak over $40,000. The LS model comes very nicely equipped, which is why it’s a popular trim level. Standard features include Bluetooth, onboard Wi-Fi, remote keyless entry and 18-inch wheels.

 Photo by Chevrolet

Photo by Chevrolet

Family Friendly in Every Way

The 2017 Impala is huge inside. It seats five very comfortably, and its rear seat is large enough for LaBron, Kyrie and Channing to spread out after a victory dinner. Preteens will enjoy the rear air-conditioning vents, the onboard Wi-Fi and the optional 120-volt power outlet, which allows them to plug in a phone or laptop. Rear cupholders are built into the fold-down armrest.  

Parents with small children will appreciate the Impala’s easy to reach LATCH connectors in the outboard seats and three easily accessed upper-tether anchors. And the Impala scored a received a five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Fuel economy is also very good for this class. With the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, the Impala is rated 22 mpg city/30 mpg highway. The optional V6 is rated 18 mpg city/28 mpg highway. Not bad, considering it’s putting out over 300 hp, but the V6s in the Toyota Avalon and the Nissan Maxima do get better mileage.

 Photo by Chevrolet

Photo by Chevrolet

The Interior Will Impress Your Friends

Previous generations of the Impala were long criticized for having interiors that looked and felt cheap. That’s no longer the case. In fact, the 2017 Chevy Impala has one of the best interiors in its class. Climb in and you’re met with high-quality materials, dynamic design and tight build tolerances. The interior of our Premiere test vehicle wasn’t exactly Cadillac opulent, but it did pack plenty of luxury. It’ll impress your friends.  

Control placement is near-perfect, the Impala’s gauges are clear, simple and attractive, and there’s a cool hidden storage compartment behind its infotainment screen. The leather-covered seats in our test vehicle felt great and the driver’s seat is height-adjustable for shorter drivers. In combination with the tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel anyone can get comfortable. The seat heaters warm up quickly and the thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel, which was also heated in our test vehicle, looks and feels upscale. The contrasting stitching on the shifter boot and dash is a nice touch.

Visibility is good, except the sedan’s A-pillars are thicker than they should be and can block the view of pedestrians in crosswalks.

 Photo by General Motors

Photo by General Motors

Generous Cargo Space

Storage inside the Impala’s interior is also generous and well thought out. The center console bin is large and offers two USB ports. There’s another bin ahead of the shifter and another smaller hidden cubby behind it. It’s perfect for change if you live in toll country. The door pockets are large and have slots for water bottles.

The two front-seat cupholders are well-sized and accommodate mugs with handles. The cupholders are also well-placed so tall drinks don’t interfere with any of the switchgear. Your oversized commuter coffee mug shouldn’t be a problem in this sedan.

The 2017 Chevy Impala offers 18.8 cubic feet of trunk space, which is one of the largest trunks in its class. Only the Ford Taurus offers more. If more is needed, every Impala comes standard with a 60/40-split fold-down rear seats, which are easily folded flat for your larger items.

 Photo by General Motors

Photo by General Motors

Onboard Wi-Fi is Standard

Although the Impala LS comes with standard Bluetooth and onboard Wi-Fi, tech junkies need to step up the LT or the Premiere to get the good stuff. Both come with a large 8-inch color touchscreen standard. Navigation is optional.

With simple menus, quick response and an intuitive interface Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system is one of the best. Inputting an address is easier than in many luxury sedans, and the system makes it very easy to switch back and forth between the navigation map screen and the audio display. MyLink also features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. OnStar is included with a free 3-month trial period. Wireless phone charging is also available.

Unfortunately, Chevy’s Teen Driver Technology is not available on the Impala. This system enables the vehicle to monitor your teen’s driving habits and sends you updates and alerts. It also disables the car's audio system until all of its occupants have buckled their seatbelts.

 Photo by Chevrolet

Photo by Chevrolet

Advanced Safety Systems

Further advanced technology is found in the Impala’s many active safety systems. Several safety systems are standard on Premiere model and optional on the LT, including Side Blind Zone Alert with Lane Change Alert, Lane Departure Alert and a Rear Park Assist that beeps as your bumper approaches an object like another vehicle or a pole.

Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, which warns the driver if vehicles are approaching from the side when backing out of a parking space, is also standard, as is Forward Collision Alert, which will warn you if it detects a vehicle or object blocking your path.

Although a rear-view camera is standard on the Impala Premiere, the Nissan Maxima’s incredible Around View Monitor is still the gold standard, providing a 360-degree overhead view of the vehicle. It makes parking a snap.

 Photo by Chevrolet

Photo by Chevrolet

Luxurious Drive

Those who remember the Chevy Impalas of the 1960s and 1970s may think of the model as a crude muscle car with more brawn than brains. Although our test car packed the 305-hp V6 from the Chevy Camaro, the 2017 Impala is closer to a luxury sedan than a muscle car.

Oh, it’s plenty quick. Turn off its traction control system and floor the gas when the light turns green, and the Impala will screech its tires and push you back in the seat. Keep your foot down and it’ll hit 60 mph in just over 6.0 seconds. That’s quick.

At over 200 inches long, this is a big car, but it feels agile and easy to maneuver in the tight confines of the city. You sit tall in the Impala, so you can see down the road. Its ride is compliant, its steering isn’t too heavy and the four-wheel disc brakes provide awesome stopping power. Handling capability with the Chevy’s big wheels and tires is more than enough for most.

Out on the highway, this sedan just eats the miles. At 75 mph, its interior is extremely quiet. It’s the kind of car you can drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas just for dinner and a show.

 Photo by Chevrolet

Photo by Chevrolet

Understated Attitude

Movie fans have lusted after the world’s most famous Impala ever since 1973. That year, Ronny Howard's Steve and his buddy Toad (Charles Martin Smith) drove the white 1958 model in the classic car flick American Graffiti. That original movie car was recently bought and restored by famous NASCAR crew chief and TV personality Ray Evernham, who saw the movie as a kid and promised himself it would be his someday.

Impalas have that effect on people. The 2017 Chevy Impala looks nothing like the 1958 model, and that’s unfortunate. But the new Impala is attractive in its own right, with sculpted curves, a low, racy hood line, and just enough chrome trim to catch the light. With its aggressive grille, muscular dual exhaust pipes and beautifully integrated rear spoiler, it’ll never get lost in the school parking lot.

Unlike some of the cars in the full-size sedan class, the Impala has a little attitude in its look, a little swagger in its walk. It isn’t as in-your-face as the lines of the Nissan Maxima, but it’s downright vulgar compared to the Ford Taurus or the Toyota Avalon. It gets noticed.

 Photo by General Motors

Photo by General Motors

Final Thoughts

From its spacious interior to its impressive fuel economy, the 2017 Chevrolet Impala is a high value full-size sedan that delivers for American families. Its design also packs a visual punch that’s unique in a segment often thought of as boring and uninspired and its driving experience will keep you entertained. It’s a winning overall formula that has made the Impala popular for five decades.

Although the LS is nicely equipped for its price, step up to the LT if you can. The price jump is small, but it’s worth it for the additional equipment. At $1000, the optional V6 is also a steal.

 Photo by Chevrolet

Photo by Chevrolet


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