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- Highs Huge interior and trunk, smooth ride, uncomplicated infotainment.
- Lows Dated interior styling, ho-hum safety offerings.
- Verdict A sedan that specializes in quiet competence.
Since the nameplate's introduction way back in 1958, the Impala has offered large-car spaciousness at an affordable price, and this current generation is no different. A large trunk, plush seats, and a smooth ride are Impala trademarks that continue to define Chevrolet's full-size family sedan. Performance is adequate, and the Impala hides its heft well, driving much like the smaller Chevrolet Malibu. Its expansive cabin, while comfortable, is starting to show its age, but the Impala's handsome exterior styling, intuitive infotainment system, and vast cargo capacity keep it in the hunt.
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Pricing and Which One to Buy
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The Impala is the value player among its rivals, starting at a price that undercuts all of the other vehicles in this comparison. For that reason, we'd spring for the top-spec Premier, which adds a ton of standard features that bring it to near-luxury status, including perforated-leather seating surfaces with heat for the front seats, 19-inch wheels, chrome exterior-mirror housings, and rear parking sensors.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Likes: Refined V-6, anxiety-free passing and merging, unperturbed ride.
Dislikes: Unhurried standard four-cylinder, slow-shifting automatic transmission, spongy brake pedal.
The Impala's powertrains get the job done with neither fuss nor excessive excitement. While the Impala is only offered with front-wheel drive, there are two available engines to power them. A lethargic 197-hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder is standard, while a punchy 305-hp 3.6-liter V-6 is optional; both send their power through a six-speed automatic transmission. The Impala's optional V-6 engine is the one to buy. We've found this engine to be both smooth and powerful, delivering excellent pep around town and making quick work of highway merging and passing. It's not the quickest four-door in our testing, but the Impala hangs in there with other six-cylinder rivals.
On the road, the Impala feels composed, absorbs bumps easily, and offers a hushed ride. The steering, while accurate and direct, doesn't provide much tactile feedback from the road ahead. That said, the Impala is not trying to be a sports sedan. It deals with most driving scenarios gracefully, and from behind the wheel, the Impala doesn't feel as large as its dimensions suggest.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The Impala's optional V-6 engine scores EPA ratings that fall behind similarly powered rivals such as the LaCrosse and the Nissan Maxima; the standard four-cylinder engine only provides a small improvement in that metric. In the real world, however, our test data tells an entirely different story. Our V-6–powered Impala Premier test vehicle matched the Maxima over our 200-mile highway fuel economy test route with a 32-mpg result and outperformed a four-cylinder LT model, which managed only 28 mpg.
Interior, Infotainment, and Cargo
Likes: Limo-like rear-seat space, well-cushioned seats, vast trunk space.
Dislikes: Dated interior design, cheap materials in some places, rear seats don't fold flat.
The Impala's spacious interior makes for an ideal family car, as riding in the back seat is anything but a punishment. Interior materials range from almost luxurious to a bit cheap, and the cabin could use a freshening to bring its design in line with the newer competition. Soft-touch materials are in most of the key touch zones—armrests, door panels, and the upper dashboard—but a quick caress of the glovebox door or the sides of the center console divulge the Impala's cost-cutting secrets. Our Premier test vehicle's faux-wood trim missed the mark, appearing cheap and tacky rather than upscale. The white leather seats with tan piping in our test vehicle, however, projected an air of richness, and their pleasantly plush cushioning provided good support and comfort for long drives.
Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system is intuitive, minimally distracting to the driver, and very quick to respond to user inputs. Both the standard six-speaker stereo and the upgraded 11-speaker Bose system leave something to be desired, but a plethora of other standard technology features make the Impala's system appealing. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot are all standard and provide easy access to maps, podcasts, points of interest, and streaming music. Three USB ports are standard, including one hidden in a bin behind the infotainment screen, which motors up at the touch of a button to reveal a handy bin in which to stash valuables out of sight. Navigation with real-time traffic and weather updates is optional.
Of the cars in this segment, the Impala packs the most junk in its trunk. In our testing, it swallowed seven of our carry-on boxes with the rear seats in use and 19 with the seats folded. Throughout the cabin, there are enough stash spots for smaller items, but the Impala's rivals have it beat in several other areas.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Overall Safety Rating (NHTSA)
Although the Impala earned satisfactory scores from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it's far from the top of the safety game. Driver-assistance features are limited to the basics, and all of these available features are optional. Key safety features include:
- Available automated emergency braking with forward-collision warning
- Available lane-departure warning
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Chevrolet offers a class-average warranty for the Impala However, GM's offerings in this segment can compete with the Kia Cadenza's warranty, which leads the segment with lengthy terms.
- Limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for the first visit