You Know The Name...
by Jim Corbran
2014 Chevrolet Impala
According to Wikipedia…yeah, I know, but according to Wikipedia the new 2014 Chevrolet Impala is the nameplate’s 10th generation. And, without even asking the Wikipedia folks I’ll bet that just about everyone reading this has either a parent, grandparent, or a neighbor who owned one (at least one) at some point since the first 1958 Impala hit the showrooms.
Earlier Impala owners won’t recognize the new car. After all, the first ones were merely fancier Bel Airs with more chrome and pizazz. When the 1965s hit the market, the Impala had been knocked down a peg by the even pizazzier Caprice, eventually disappearing altogether after the 1985 model year. The Impala SS made a brief appearance for 1994-96, and then the Impala name returned for 2000 to replace the departed Lumina. And here we are today.
My first impression of the 2014 Impala was, of course, its looks. It might be difficult to tell, but the Impala shares a platform with the Cadillac XTS (not too shabby), but I think the Impala might be the better-looking car. You’ll be happy to know that this new Impala is roomier inside than the previous model. Climbing in at Ki-Po Chevrolet in Ransomville last Friday, I was surprised with the amount of leg room. Finding a comfy driving position was a snap, made easy with both the generous seat adjustments and the tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Headroom is also good, front and rear, with the rear seat easily accessible through generous door openings.
As salesman Greg Taylor cheerfully pointed out, there’s a multitude of power outlets at your disposal throughout the passenger compartment. Also included are USB ports, and an SD card reader or a 120-volt power outlet are available in some models/packages. The carpeted trunk in the LT test car looked roomy and comfortable enough for a trip to the Transit Drive-In with a few freeloading friends. The 60/40 folding rear seat makes that cargo area even more useful.
Driving the Impala LT, I found I had to pull over at some point and lift the hood—which, by the way, is self-supporting. It was hard to believe that there was really a four-cylinder engine (of 2.5 liters) under there, as this big car had great pickup and ran relatively quiet. I don’t imagine your grandfather ever conceived of an Impala with a four-banger, but there you go. The EPA estimates the Impala’s gas mileage, with the six-speed automatic, to be 21/31 miles per gallon city/highway. Moving up to the priciest Impala 2LTZ will get you a 3.6-liter V-6, but I say, why bother? It’s nine grand more than the base Impala, and almost seven grand more than the test car. Save your money for retirement.
The test drive was made interesting, nay, entertaining by the standard lane departure warning, a beep heard each time I crossed a painted line. I promised not to (purposefully) engage the lane departure warning or the forward collision alert—but if they’re as effective as the lane departure warning, they’re worth the price.
I appreciated the audio/HVAC controls, as they were simple to figure out, and easy to operate while driving without having to take my eyes off the road. All of the controls, for that matter, were logically placed and actually quite attractive in the Impala’s sculpted dashboard.
The base list price of the LT test car was $28,975. The advanced safety package (forward collision alert, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, side blind zone alert—$890), and LT convenience package (rear park assist, rear vision camera, remote start, auto dimming inside mirror, carpeted mats & trunk—$940), plus destination charges brought the total to $32,010, or more than ten times the price of the original 1958 Impala. But, the 2014 is probably more than 10 times the car, so, with inflation figured in, it’s actually cheaper! Right?
More info at chevy.com.
Read more of Jim Corbran's You Auto Know every other week in Artvoice, and more frequently on Artvoice Daily.blog comments powered by Disqus
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