The new 2014 Chevrolet Impala Review

Photo 2014 Chevrolet Impala Review
By Glen Woodcock, Toronto Sun
HALIBURTON, Ont. – On looks alone, the all new 2014 Chevrolet Impala is a winner – a huge improvement over the previous generation, which recently was voted one of the most boring automotive designs by staffers.
Chevrolet’s new flagship sedan has all the style the 2006-13 models lacked, and then some.
The full-size Impala will be available in five trim levels and with three engine choices, starting at $28,445. That’s just $145 more than the outgoing model but includes added content such as bigger wheels, four more airbags (for a total of 10), premium cloth seating, satellite radio and Bluetooth. The base LS comes only with a 2.5L inline 4-cylinder engine; LT trims can be ordered with either 2.5L 4 or 3.6L V6; LTZ trims get either the V6 or 2.4L 4 with eAssist.
Even base cars get air conditioning, electric power steering and cruise control.
Models with the V6 are arriving at Chevy dealerships now and soon will be followed by 2.5L 4-cylinder versions. The Impala LTZ 3 with 2.4L engine and eAssist – identical to the thrifty yet powerful drivetrain found in some Buicks – will be launched later in the year.
GM says this is the quietest Chevrolet ever and my senses told me this was true on an overnight tour through Ontario’s still-frigid Haliburton region, driving both V6-powered LT and LTZ models.
The Impala stayed sure-footed through the corners, with little body lean, even on rain- and snow-slicked roads, and the 305-hp V6 packs plenty of punch for passing. GM claims a 0-97 km/h time of 6.8 seconds. Observed fuel economy was 9.2 L/100 km. Impala may not be quite as sporty as some import sedans from Europe, but it’s nonetheless impressive for a reasonably priced family sedan.
This is not a huge market segment in Canada when fleet sales are removed from the equation, and unlike the previous generation there will be no police or taxi packages.
All new Impalas are built with noise-reducing laminated glass in windshield and front side windows; doors are triple sealed with acoustic perimeter water deflectors; body cavities are filled with foam baffles, which also are inserted between inner and outer quarter panels, and sound deadener has been applied to the floor pan and trunk. In addition, 4-cylinder models will get active noise cancellation.
A 14% better coefficient of drag (0.296) than the 2013 model also helps quiet the cabin thanks to a long, sloping roofline, and side mirrors, tail lamps and decklid tuned in the wind tunnel.
Many hi-tech safety features are available (see Fact File) but 10 airbags are standard on all models, plus new Duralife brake rotors – a special heat-treating process patented by GM Canada that eliminates rust and brake shudder and doubles rotor life expectancy to 120,000 km.
The new Impalas are not much bigger overall than the cars they replace, but feature measurably more front and rear legroom.
Chevrolet says it has improved the voice recognition feature of the next-generation MyLink media interface which debuts on this model and features a 4.2-inch colour display with “gesture recognition.” Press one button and its operation is hands-free and you no longer have to follow a strict series of voice commands to change music or programs.
The 10th generation 2014 Impalas are produced at Hamtramck, Mich. and at General Motors of Canada’s Oshawa, Ont. flexible car assembly plant.
Fact file:  2014 Chevrolet Impala Review
Trim levels available: LS, LT 1, LT 2, LTZ 2, LTZ 3
Model: 4-door sedan
MSRP range: $28,445 – $39,645
Freight & PDI: $1,500
Notable options: 8-way power front seats; 19-inch wheels; lockable hidden storage compartment; forward collision alert; lane departure warning; adaptive cruise control; collision mitigation braking; rear camera; rear cross traffic alert
Configuration: front engine/FWD
Available engines: 2.5L I4 (182 hp); 2.4 L I4 with e-assist (195 hp); 3.6L V6 (305 hp)
Available transmission: 6-spd automatic
Fuel economy ratings: 11.1L/100 km city/6.9 highway (V6)
Warranties: 3 years/60,000 km comprehensive; 5 years/160,000 km powertrain
Competitors: Buick LaCrosse; Chrysler 300; Ford Taurus; Hyundai Genesis; Nissan Maxima; Toyota Avalon
Strengths: ride & handling; quiet interior;
Weaknesses: no AWD option
Report card (out of 5)
Value for $: 4.0 – decent level of standard equipment
Styling: 4.5 – stayed true to the designers’ vision
Comfort: 4.5 – roomy seats; smooth ride
Performance: 4.0 – no lack of passing power with V6
Overall: 4.5 – a real wake-up call for the competition