The Impala was once a feared muscle car that could also haul around the entire family, but things have changed since the 1960s and automakers are more focused on economy and emissions. This means that the once legendary Impala has become a family car, plain and simple. In 2014, Chevy is completely revamping the Impala in an attempt to keep it fresh and it is slated to be revealed at the 2012 New York Auto Show. Like many automakers this year, Chevy just can’t resist releasing information early.
Chevy has released all of the specifications and even some nice images of the anticipated production model. No more teasers guys, this is supposedly the real deal. From the looks of it, the best-selling full-size sedan in 2011 is looking to reclaim that crown with this redesign.
The redesign itself is rather drastic for Chevy’s standards, so prepare yourself. Then again, some of the standard features — engine, transmission and safety features — are pretty average and not surprising at all. The next gen Chevrolet Impala will be built on the LWB version of the Epsilon 2 chassis and will be offered with a new range of engines, including a 3.6 liter V6 engine and a new 2.0 liter turbo four-cylinder. An E-assist model may also follow after the launch.
With sedans like the Dodge Charger, Ford Taurus and Nissan Maxima sneaking up on it, can the Impala pull off the feat or repeating as a best seller?
Updated 11/23/2012: Chevrolet just announced its flagship new sedan, the 2014 Impala, will go on sale in the spring of 2013 at a starting price of $27,535, including an $810 destination charge. All of the 2014 Impala’s pricing is listed after the jump.
UPDATE 02/25/13: Our Canadian readers will be happy to know that Chevrolet has finally priced the Impala in your currency. At a base price of $28,445, customers can treat themselves to the 195-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder. If they want a V6, they’ll have to shell out $32,945 for LT trim and $39,645 for the LTZ trim.
Check out the full review after the jump to see if the 2014 Chevrolet Impala has the goods to remain the best seller in America.
With the exception of being a full-size sedan, the Chevy bowtie, and the “Impala” badges, the 2014 Impala looks nothing like its 2012 counterpart. From the side profile, the front clip has a Camaro-like shape to it, yet it doesn’t necessarily resemble the Camaro. It more or less just has the sweeping front profile of the Camaro. The roofline of the 2014 Impala swoops upward from the low-sloped windshield and as it heads toward the trunk it swoops downward, making for a very modern look.
The headlights are 100% brand new – thanks for that Chevy. Gone are the teardrop-shaped headlights and replacing them are sleeker rectangular wraparound HID headlights that give this sedan a more refined finish. Also outgoing is the honeycomb or chicken wire grille, whichever you want to call it, and in comes a horizontal bar grille, giving the Impala a more classy look.
Also replaced are the outdated triangle-shaped taillights. Sleeker and more refined taillights, which are a tapered-rectangle design, take the place of the old taillights. Also on the back end are twin exhaust pipes that mold into a bumper, finishing off this sedan’s sleek appearance.
There are chrome accents around the front grilles and side windows, along with a chrome insert on the trunk. Combine this chrome with the standard 18-inch chrome wheels and suddenly this once average sedan has a luxurious look.
A new exterior is not all the 2014 Impala received, as Chevrolet completely revamped the interior too. The 2014 Impala features a dual-cockpit design, which makes the driver and passenger feel like they are in their own little space. The dashboard features a wraparound design that helps integrate it with the rest of the interior, so all of the interior lines flow together nicely.
A very neat feature that the Impala features is ambient lighting throughout the cockpit, giving the interior a light glow at nighttime without disturbing the driver. This new sedan also features upgraded upholstery and “premium appearance” stitching.
Lastly, the Impala’s interior features sound insulation on four-cylinder models to keep unwanted sounds out. Chevy is touting the 2014 Impala as the “quietest full-size sedan ever.”
Chevy didn’t release much on standard features and options on the inside. The only thing the automaker mentioned is that it will feature an 8-inch touch screen system that has a hidden storage compartment behind it – the screen slides up to expose the compartment. Plus, the 2014 Impala will also boast Chevrolet’s MyLink system.
Engine and Drivetrain
We all knew that the 2014 Impala would likely feature the 3.6-liter V-6, which will crank out 303 horsepower in 2014 models, but we were uncertain what other engines it may have available. Chevy has now answered that question. The standard engine on the 2014 Impala will be a 195-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a 182-horsepower hybrid 2.4-liter engine is available. Every engine will come with a six-speed automatic transmission and all three engines feature direct fuel injection. As expected, the Impala will come standard with front-wheel drive. We are fairly certain that an optional all-wheel-drive system will make its way into the mix at some point.
Unfortunately, there are no mpg estimates yet, but those are certainly coming soon.
The Impala will feature safety devices that have become all of the rage as of late, including a radar system to detect potential crashes and alert the driver when he veers out of his lane. These features include:
- Full speed-range adaptive cruise control: The 2014 Impala will use a radar system to change the vehicle’s speed while in cruise control. It will also stop the car and reaccelerate in heavy traffic. That’s just cool, if you ask us.
- Collision mitigation braking: The same radar can sense a front end collision is coming and alert the driver. If the driver doesn’t respond fast enough the vehicle will take over and stop itself.
- Lane departure warning: A camera mounted on the rearview mirror recognizes the lines in the road indicating the lanes and alerts the driver when he veers out of his lane.
- Side blind zone alert: This is another radar system, but it is located on the side of the 2014 Impala. It alerts the driver, via a light on the side-view mirror that there is a car in the driver’s blind spot.
- Rear cross traffic alert: This one is cool too, it basically looks out for moving cars as you back out of a parking spot and alerts you if a vehicle is coming as you back out. I can think of a few people I know that could use this.
On top of all of these safety features, Chevy managed to stuff in 10 airbags standard on the 2014 Impala. So it looks like anyone in this newly redesigned sedan is going to be safe and sound.
The new Chevrolet Impala will be put into production in January 2013. GM will likely build the Impala at their Oshawa plant and Hamtramck.
|Impala LS 2.5L|| $27,535 |
|Impala LT 2.5L|| $29,785 |
|Impala LTZ 2.5L|| $34,555 |
|Impala LT 3.6L|| $30,760 |
|Impala LTZ 3.6L|| $36,580 |
Given we don’t have a good grasp on what’s going on with the competition in the 2014 model year, we just have to speculate a little here. We do know that the Impala’s main competitors - the Dodge Charger, Ford Taurus, and Nissan Maxima - aren’t going anywhere in 2014.
Let’s start with the Charger. From the looks of things, the Charger is not up for any redesigns, so we can base everything off of the 2012 model year. We’ll start off by saying that the Charger’s look is really becoming dated, as it’s been nearly the same since its initial release in 2006. Yeah, there was a mild restyling in 2011, but it still remains almost the same.
The Charger’s base 3.6-liter V-6 engine pumps out a respectable 292 horsepower at 6,350 rpm, which is almost 100 horsepower more than the base four-cylinder in the Impala, but the tradeoff is likely a lot of mpg. In terms of the Impala’s V-6 engine, the Charger falls short by 6 horsepower. The Impala has no high-performance model to compete with the Charger R/T and SRT8, yet, but an SS turbocharged model is sure to come soon.
The Impala’s interior is far superior to the simple angle that Dodge took with the Charger. We like basic interiors, but when compared to the Impala, the Dodge just falls short.
Let’s move onto the Ford Taurus. Ford’s flagship sedan received a mild retouching for 2013, as Ford was careful not to mess with success like it did when it ruined the Taurus the first time. The body style of the 2013 Taurus closely rivals the new Impala and in our opinion, slightly exceeds its looks. The Taurus just has a sleek, yet aggressive, look to it.
The standard power plant in the 2013 Taurus is a respectable 3.5-liter V-6 that pumps out 288 horsepower, which is far more than the base four-cylinder on the Impala. Just as with the Charger, when comparing the two V-6 engines, the Taurus falls short. The optional 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder on the 2013 Taurus lowers the power output to 240 horsepower, but it is certain to increase its mpg – specs are yet to be released on its mpg. The big boy in the 2013 Taurus is the SHO’s 365-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 engine. As with the Charger R/T and SRT8, the 2014 Impala has no answer to it yet, but an SS model will like come soon.
On the inside, the Taurus is sexy, yet simple, and it does not quite meet the luxury-like look and feel that the Impala has. The Taurus comes really close to the Impala, the Impala still barely beats it out.
Now let’s move onto the wildcard of the bunch, the Nissan Maxima. In 2009, Nissan redesigned the Maxima and officially brought back the four-door sports car tag – for those that don’t remember, all early-1990s Maximas had a 4DSC sticker on the rear quarter window, guess what it meant. The redesigned Maxima was awesome in 2009, but by 2012 to 2013 standards, it’s getting a little boring. It is due for a redesign and rumors were floating that it would be overhauled in 2013, but Nissan chose to redesign the Altima instead. So, chances are that we are in store for a redesigned 2014 Maxima.
On the inside, the Maxima is simple, yet elegant, and definitely gives the Impala a run for its money. Unfortunately, the Maxima is lacking the flowing look that the Impala’s interior features. The dual-panel moonroof is a cool feature that the Impala doesn’t have, but that’s not enough to win us over.
Under the hood the Maxima has the same old 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 that it has had for a long time. This engine may lack the “umph” that the 2014 Impala’s 3.6-liter engine has, but it is a time-tested power plant that lasts seemingly forever. The killing point on the Maxima is its CVT. These CVTs are likely the most uncomfortable and unpredictable transmissions on the Earth. Until someone perfects them, automakers should eliminate them altogether.
Now, the thing with the Maxima is that we don’t know what’s in store for it. A redesign in the near future is inevitable, but when that happens is a mystery. Rumor has it that Nissan will consider a turbocharged four-cylinder and turbocharged V-6 as optional engines in the future, which would really make this a screamer. It just needs a new body and a six- or seven-speed transmission, and it’ll be back at the forefront of the flagship sedan market.
Honestly, we need to play a “wait and see” game on this one. The 2014 Impala that Chevy is releasing at the New York Auto Show is still a concept vehicle, and it could wind up being a vastly different vehicle when it hits production. We also have to see the pricing, as its features are very high-end and could drive the 2014 Impala over the $35K mark. Lastly, we need to know what the standard gadgets and gizmos will be. What good is all of this high-tech stuff, if Chevy tops it off with a 100-watt, four-speaker stereo system and manual windows?
For now, we can say that the Impala is definitely better than the Charger, hands down. The Taurus and Maxima are tough calls, as the Taurus is pretty close to the concept and if Chevy comes up cheap with the production version, the Taurus could easily overtake it. If Nissan decides to redesign the Maxima for 2014 or worse yet, has a secret redesign in the works for 2013, it may beat out the Impala.
So let’s hold out until more information comes out on the 2014 Impala and also let’s see if Chevy decides to bring back the SS model for 2014 too. Until then, we will continue to keep you updated on the new Impala. There will be a lot more details after the auto show.
More modern styling
300-horsepower V-6 engine
No price range given
No tech features given
No performance model offered