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2014 Chevrolet Impala Road Test and Review By John Heilig

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2014 Chevrolet Impala

By John Heilig

Model: 2014 Chevrolet Impala LTZ (long test)

Engine: 3.6-liter V6

Horsepower/Torque: 300 hp @ 6,800 rpm/262 lb.-ft. @ 5,300 rpm

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Wheelbase: 110.5 in.

Length x Width x Height: 200.4 x 72.9 x 58.7 in.

Tires: P245/45R19

Cargo: 18.6 cu. ft.

Economy: 18 mpg city/28 mpg highway/23.5 mpg test

Fuel capacity: 17.5 gal.

Curb Weight: 3,649 lbs.

Sticker: $38,695 (includes $810 destination charge, $2,925 in options)

The Bottom Line: The 2014 Chevrolet Impala is still an outstanding full-size sedan with the handling and amenities often only found in high-end mid-size cars. My only complaint is in the sticker.

True, I had the opportunity to drive the new Chevrolet Impala when it was first introduced, but that was a short test and I didn’t have a chance to examine all the nuances of Chevy’s new flagship sedan. Spending a week behind the wheel gave me the opportunity to notice things I didn’t on the first ride.

First, the Impala’s 3.6-liter V6 is an excellent choice for this car. With 300 horses under the hood, there was never a lack of power. Fuel economy, at 23.5 mpg, was decent, but still below my wife’s 2012 Buick LeSabre.

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One feature I didn’t get a chance to try on my short ride was the navigation system. It’s easy to program, even though it’s had to figure out the menu initially. The screen, which is also used for audio information, raises to reveal a compartment with a USB connection. Also, if you have your iPod hooked up, it’s out of sight when the door is closed.

The audio system is very good. Tone quality was very good with all types of music, and trust me, the music on my iPod is eclectic enough to visit almost all genres. One feature I found annoying and couldn’t seem to correct was that when you hit the power switch to turn it off and the iPod is attached, all it does is shut off the sound. The iPod keeps running.

During this test we drove the Impala in oppressive heat, compared to our first ride which was in cool rain. The HVAC system did a good job keeping us comfortable, as it did with the colder weather.

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I like GM’s interior design in the Impala as well as in most of their other newer models I’ve driven. Even though this Impala interior was black and grey, the sculpting of the dash was still beautiful and obvious. Since my first test took place in daylight (although it WAS raining), the light blue surround lighting wasn’t on. This thin light blue light strand goes from the dash through the doors and to the back seat, it’s subtle, but adds an interesting touch to the interior.

Between the tachometer and speedometer on the main instrument panel is an information panel that we found very useful, especially with regard to the cruise control setting. We always knew at a glance whether we were in cruise mode or not and what the speed setting was.

I’m a person who likes storage areas, and they are abundant in the Impala. There are cubbys at the base of the center stack, one to the left of the driver’s knee, one behind the navi/infotainment screen and a small one in front of the arm rest that I found ideal for keys.

The Impala’s front seats are comfortable on long trips despite a lack of side support. I especially like its feature that allows the front seat shoulder belts to adjust for the driver’s height. In our first test the weather was chilly and we enjoyed the heated seats, but this time it was hot and we made use of the seat “cooling” function, while technically not cooled the cool cabin air is circulated through the seat and it does make a difference.

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The rear seats are flat, but they have very good leg room and good visibility all around. In the rear seat’s pull-down arm rest there is a 110-volt outlet, which is ideal for charging laptops on long trips. The rear seat backs fold down to increase the already generous cargo capacity.

This test car was red, so the styling is more observable than in the black of our original test. The sculpting and general profile is more evident. The color helped the Impala draw a lot of attention. I almost dreaded going to the Starbucks drive-in because the attendant kept asking about the car.

There’s also a pre-collision warning system. We set it off a couple of times, not in dangerous situations, but I guess the car thought so. I initially had trouble figuring out how to adjust it until I discovered the button on the steering wheel. It’s a good thing it wasn’t too obvious.

After a week of normal driving I am still impressed with the 2014 Chevrolet Impala, It delivers comfortable size, good performance and great styling, way to go Chevrolet, way to go.

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