By Cars.com EditorsAugust 26, 2013
About the video
For 2014, the Chevrolet Impala has gone from rental-fleet fodder to flagship shape, says reviewer Mike Hanley. The sedan scores points with its aggressive, Camaro-like styling; however, driver visibility suffers a bit for the sake of appearance.
(uplifting music) Hi, I'm Mike Hanley with Cars.com. The Impala has a long history with the Chevrolet brand, but lately it's been known more for a rental car than a premium offering.
But that's about to change for 2014 as the Impala season and all new redesigned and the car now delivers the kind of comfort, roominess and luxury touches expected of a true full-size flagship sedan. With its redesign, the Impala gets all new styling and it makes the car more aggressive looking. It starts up front with this new grill. It has kind of a Camaro look to it. And on the road it's really distinctive. It makes the car stand out. You also get a choice of wheels and they're all pretty large in size. It starts with 18 inch wheels, goes up to 20. These ones on this car are the mid-level 19 inch wheels though. The standard 18s are steel wheels with covers. And I think on a car like this, you should be getting alloy wheels. Move along to the side, one of the interesting features is this arc over the rear wheels. And that's inspired from classic Impalas, which have that same design. Now the trunk lid is pretty tall. That helps cargo room and also helps finish the design. But on the downside, it really compromises driver visibility out the rear window. With the available V6 engine like this car has, the Impala accelerates swiftly and does so quietly. The engine works with a six speed automatic transmission, and the combination is rated at 19 miles per gallon in the city and 29 on the highway. And that's just behind one of the most efficient cars in this class. That's sorta Avalon. The most surprising thing about driving the new Impala is how well it handles twisty roads. Now, it doesn't feel like a small sports car, but it feels a lot smaller than its substantial exterior dimensions in body roll as well checked. The attention to detail we saw on the exterior of the Impala continues in the cabin as there's a lot of soft touch materials on the dashboard and the doors and available blue ambient lighting that's integrated into the Chrome is a unique take on two familiar design cues and it works to good effect when it's dark. LT and higher trim levels of the Impala comes standard with Chevrolet's MyLink entertainment system. MyLink features an eight inch touch screen that consolidates controls for the stereo, available navigation system and smartphone enabled features like Pandora internet radio. The display kind of looks like an iPhone screen with its button layout. It also has some smartphone style features like the ability to swipe to a new screen or flick through a list of radio stations. One of the interesting features of MyLink is it's evolution of the familiar radio preset. Presets are no longer limited to just radio stations, but can now include things like an address you frequently drive to or a friend's phone number. And it's a simple thing, but it's a very powerful thing too, and MyLink includes 60 of these presets. Now, with all that personal information that MyLink can hold, you might not want to let anyone who drives your car, like a valet, to be able to see it. So Chevrolet includes a valet mode and it locks out that personal information, prevents it from being seen when a four digit customizable code is activated and when it's active, it also keeps the touch screen and is lowered position, which hides the storage space behind it. Some large cars don't deliver a corresponding level of interior roominess, and a prime example of this is the Ford Taurus, but the Impala doesn't suffer that fate as it's big enough inside for six foot tall passengers to comfortably ride together at the same time in the front and rear seats. And in the back seat here there's even enough leg room to stretch out your legs a bit. The Impala has a big trunk. It measures 18.8 cubic feet. And there's also a nice large opening here for fitting bulky cargo. If you need more space, there's a standard 60-40 split, folding back seat and when the back rest is down, it's flat with the cargo floor. Impala had fallen behind the curve in the past few years. And in another era, it wouldn't have been out of the question for Chevrolet to replace the name altogether like it did in the small car segment with Cavalier and later Cobalt. But the 2014 model seems up to the task of overcoming any negative perceptions that may have been created by its predecessor. This is a pretty appealing package.
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