By John Neff | Autoblog.com - Apr 4th 2012
To hear Chevrolet tell the story, the Impala is super popular with the public. True, it was one of the ten best-selling cars the U.S. last year, but take away sales to rental, government and commercial fleets, and we'd bet our last dollar that the Impala is no more popular than its competitors, probably less so considering its age. That's why Chevrolet is hoping its all-new Impala for 2014 will do what the last model couldn't: attract folks who don't buy their large sedans in bulk.The 2014 Chevrolet Impala clearly looks considerably better and more modern than the car it replaces, which hadn't received a thorough redesign since 2005. The face up front is the Bowtie brand's new corporate visage, which can also be seen on the refreshed 2013 Traverse. It's an attractive mug with clean lines, little-to-no clutter and a full suite of high-tech HID and LED lighting elements. At least in pictures, the rest of the new Impala looks brawny and muscular compared to the last model's antiseptic lines. Its wheels, meanwhile, will range in size from a large 18 inches in diameter to a super-sized 20 inches.
We also universally approve of the Impala's new interior design, which sports a dual-cockpit concept, as well as a 4.2-inch information screen between the gauges and an eight-inch screen atop the center stack. However, we're having a hard time with that steering wheel, which doesn't live up to the rest of the cabin's aesthetic standards.
Power for the new Impala will come from a range of three engines, all featuring direct injection: a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with eAssist producing 182 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque and achieving an estimated 35 mpg highway, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder producing 195 hp/187 lb-ft and a 3.6-liter V6 producing 303 hp/264 lb-ft. All will mate to a six-speed automatic and drive the front wheels only.
The Impala has also received a slew of new available active and passive safety systems, including Full-Speed-Range Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Side Blind Zone Alert and Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
We've included the official press release from Chevrolet below and will update the gallery will more official images as soon as they're available. And later today we'll show you what the Impala looks like in person from the floor of the New York Auto Show.
The 2014 Impala brings a new aesthetic to Impala that honors the cues that have helped distinguish the classic nameplate for decades.
"Our design team was challenged to create a new classic, but that didn't mean relying on nostalgia," said John Cafaro, director of North America passenger car exterior design. "This is very much a contemporary car, with design elements, craftsmanship and attention to detail that complement its advanced technology and performance."
The Impala's long, low proportion has a wind-swept profile that suggests motion, while the range of 18-, 19- and 20-inch wheels is tailored to the body to provide that "just right" stance. At the front, low-profile projector-beam headlamps – or HID headlamps and LED daytime running lamps on LTZ – sweep around the corners and frame a wide grille, while a power dome hood conveys performance. The LTZ's LED daytime running lamps provide a contemporary visual statement, along with function.
Sculpted coves in the body sides add to the Impala's design drama, with a signature cue in the rear fenders that acknowledges classic Impala designs. The long greenhouse area enhances the sleek look of the car while maintaining excellent visibility.
The 2014 Impala builds on Chevrolet's signature dual-cockpit interior with greater attention to detail and upscale features – seen in everything from the wraparound flow of the instrument panel into the door panels and the available ambient lighting, to the soft feel of the materials and the premium appearance of the seats' stitching.
The instrument panel integrates a new instrument cluster with a standard 4.2-inch color display with reconfigurable features for the driver information center. The eight-inch touch screen with concealed storage behind it is matched with the available Chevrolet MyLink system.
Comfort and refinement
The 2014 Impala's comfort and refinement are rooted in a stronger body structure, designed to foster a quieter passenger environment and a greater overall feeling of quality. The stiffer architecture also enabled engineers to tune the ride and handling more precisely, for a greater feeling of control and comfort. A comprehensive package of sound-absorbing, sound-suppressing and even active noise cancellation (on four-cylinder models) contributes to the 2014 Impala being Chevrolet's quietest full-size sedan ever.
Premium materials throughout the interior and details such as high-quality fabric, Ultrasuede and perforated leather appointments, complement the quiet environment and give the Impala a substantive look and feel. The seats are bolstered for greater support, and the seat cushions are designed to deliver a firm, premium feel that is just as comfortable on a 500-mile drive as on a five-minute excursion. The rear-seat head restraints fold to improve rear visibility when driving without rear passengers.
The 2014 Impala offers a comprehensive suite of standard and available safety features. It employs advanced technologies – including radar – to help avoid crashes. Visual and audible alerts help drivers identify potential crash situations and even intervene when a crash threat appears more imminent.
The available safety features and benefits include firsts for Chevrolet and Impala:
These advanced crash-avoidance technologies complement the Impala's other safety features – including 10 standard air bags and OnStar.
Performance and driving experience
Impala's three powertrains all feature fuel-saving direct injection and lightweight components.
Impala's Ecotec 2.4L engine works with the eAssist system to provide electrical assist in certain conditions to help save fuel. It is estimated at 182 horsepower (134 kW) and is expected to achieve 35 mpg on the highway.
The Ecotec 2.5L is part of a new family of four-cylinder engines developed with increased efficiency and greater refinement. It is estimated at195 horsepower (145 kW).
Output for the 3.6L V-6 is estimated at 303 horsepower (226 kW).
All of Impala's engines are matched with six-speed automatic transmissions.
The powertrains are the force behind Impala's responsive driving experience, which is tuned for a spirited, yet comfortable performance. A MacPherson-strut front suspension and four-link rear suspension underpin the Impala, with an isolated front cradle and hydraulic ride bushing that help deliver a smoother, quieter ride. All models feature an electric variable-assist steering system that helps save fuel by drawing energy only when the steering wheel is turned.
The 2014 Impala will be offered in LS, LT and LTZ models, with assembly at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck, Mich., and Oshawa, Ontario facilities. Pricing will be announced later.
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