Impala has always been a flagship for Chevrolet. But a leader should never rest on the laurels of its past — especially when it wears the Chevy bowtie. So, when it came time to reinvent one of the brand’s most iconic nameplates, Chevy designers and engineers reached far into the future and shaped it in the present. The end result is a stunning new interpretation of the Impala that’s only recognizable by its signature badge.
Offered in LS, LT and LTZ trim levels, the 2014 Impala is available with a choice of three drivetrains: a 2.5-liter four-cylinder, an eAssist mild hybrid system and a 3.6-liter V-6.
The Impala wears the latest interpretation of Chevrolet’s twin-port grille. While it’s similar to the 2014 Chevrolet Traverse’s grille, its vertical orientation and width gives the Impala a Camaro-esque appearance. The look is subtly aggressive with a hint of menace, and when paired with the optional LED daytime running lights, the car really stands out.
The visual interest continues beyond the front. Intricate sheet-metal creases, including rear quarter-panel arcs inspired by classic Impalas, give unexpected detailing to the doors, hood and trunk lid. Large wheels are the order of the day, with 18-inch steel rims with covers standard and 18-, 19- and 20-inch alloy wheels available on the higher trims.
The styling, though, compromises driver visibility. The tall tail helps finish the exterior design and is a boon for trunk room, but it results in a short, rectangular slot of a rear window. The B- pillars are also wide, which blocked much of my view when checking for traffic over my left shoulder. The Impala offers a number of electronic safety features designed to enhance the driver’s sense of what’s happening around the car, including a blind spot warning system and a backup camera, but there’s something about an airy cabin with unobstructed views that technology can’t replace.
The V-6 sedan accelerates swiftly up to cruising speeds. Chevrolet cites a zero-to-60-mph time of 6.8 seconds. Engine noises are especially muted in the cabin, even under hard acceleration
The second generation of MyLink, its optional eight-inch touch screen provides a wealth of features, such as capacity for 10 Bluetooth devices and 1000 contacts; “natural” voice recognition; response to swipe, flick, click, and drag input gestures; and static movie-play capability. There are knobs and steering-wheel buttons for entertainment and climate controls, high-res 3-D navigation mapping, and four distinct menu screen choices. Plus this wow feature: The screen rises out of the dash at the touch of a button to open a secret storage bin that can be locked shut and disabled by typing in a four-digit code.
The 2014 Impala offers one of the most comprehensive collections of standard and available safety features in the segment. It employs advanced technologies – including radar – to help avoid crashes. Visual and audible alerts, depending on the alert feature, help drivers identify potential crash situations and even intervene when a crash threat appears more imminent. The alerts are designed to identify potential threats with sufficient warning to give the driver time to react and make changes.
The available safety features and benefits include firsts for Chevrolet and Impala:
Full-speed-range adaptive cruise control – Radar technology senses traffic in front of the Impala to adjust the vehicle speed, including stopping the vehicle in heavy traffic and accelerating again. It is the first application in a Chevrolet.
Collision mitigation braking – Another Chevy first: Radar technology detects a possible crash threat and alerts the driver. If the driver does not appear to react quickly enough or doesn’t react at all, this feature intervenes to apply the brakes in an effort to avoid the crash.
Forward collision alert – Camera technology detects a possible crash threat and alerts the driver, giving him or her time to stop and/or change course.
Lane departure warning – A camera-based lane detection system warns the driver of impending lane changes. The camera, mounted near the inside rearview mirror, identifies traffic lane markings and provides audible alerts.
Side blind zone alert – Using radar sensors on both sides of the vehicle, the system “looks” for other vehicles in the blind zone areas of the Impala and indicates their presence with LED-lit symbols in the outside mirrors.
Rear cross traffic alert – Based on the radar sensors of side blind zone alert, it warns the driver of vehicles in traffic when backing out of a parking spot – including angled parking. Visual and audible alerts are triggered if moving vehicles are detected.
Rear vision camera with dynamic guidelines – With a display in the center stack infotainment system, the camera provides a view of objects directly behind the Impala, while the dynamic guidelines provide a reference that helps make parking and other maneuvers easier.
Ultrasonic rear park assist – Uses sensors in the rear bumper to detect objects directly behind the vehicle and alerts the driver.
Brake pre-fill feature – To quicken the response time of the brakes and help shorten stopping distances, this features “loads” the brake calipers in anticipation of hard braking by slightly increasing the hydraulic pressure in the brake lines whenever the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal. This feature is included on models equipped with adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation breaking.
Hill hold/start assist – Applies the brakes for about 1.5 seconds to prevent roll-back when the driver moves his or her foot from the brake to the accelerator pedal.
The advanced, crash-avoidance technologies complement the Impala’s occupant protection features, including 10 standard air bags:
Dual-depth frontal passenger air bags with passenger sensing system
Driver and front passenger side-impact air bags
Driver and front passenger knee air bags
Rear outboard side-impact air bags
Head curtain air bags with rollover sensing for front and rear outboard positions
Safety belt pretensioners
Child seat restraint system.
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