General Motors, among every automaker this year, is revamping its lineup to remain competitive. The 2014 Chevrolet Impala, which will officially debut later today at the New York Auto Show, is the final instance of the marque’s efforts in that regard.
“The 2014 Impala re-establishes this iconic Chevrolet nameplate as a design leader, with bold styling that will turn heads for years to come,” said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America. “The team has also delivered the comfort, safety, fuel efficiency and technology that will strengthen Impala’s leadership in the highly competitive full-size sedan market.”
While it is nothing if not an American car icon, the Impala needs a complete refresh to distinguish itself from the police and taxi fleet vehicle it has become. While it sold more than 171,000 units in 2011 to become the best-selling full-size sedan in the U.S., GM intends to maintain the Impala’s competitive sales edge with the model we saw today – drawing in eager consumers and not just bargain hungry commercial fleets.
Among the style updates mentioned above by Reuss, the rethought car features LED lights that have come to be a standard on most new cars. A new body with sculpted sides helps to abolish the old wedge-shaped paneling that made previous models recognizable for reasons good and bad. A stunning new Camaro-styled fascia can’t be missed while wheel options deliver a choice between 18- 19- and 20-inch sizes.
A visit to the automotive nip/tuck department, all-encompassing as it may be, isn’t always enough to sway consumers, but GM didn’t stop at the skin.
Three new engine options will also be available, all with direct injection to slightly boost power and fuel economy. Among them, a 3.6-liter V6, 2.5-liter inline four cylinder and 2.4-liter four cylinder with eAssist offer a host of power and consumption options to fit a broader preference range than the old model’s solo 3.6-liter V6 option. The V6 gets a teensy boost to 303 hp while the two inline four cylinders rate in at 195- and 182 hp respectively.
Inside, the 2014 Impala is also redesigned with a new interior with an available 8-inch touch screen display in the center stack. Comfort also gets a boost from improved interior materials, according to GM. Better sound dampening should also decrease road noise to make driving an Impala an easier experience. (We certainly noted the vault-like silence in the all-new 2013 Malibu).
Finally, the safety technology that is quickly becoming commonplace in new cars also makes an appearance. Lane departure warning, collision alert, braking assistance, adaptive cruise control and more are available options while 10 standard airbags and OnStar try to go beyond the current model.
Still, the Impala hasn’t carried a “wow” factor in a long time and was outpaced by its competition in the full-size sedan segment, so Chevrolet has a long way to go before actually distinguishing a car that often sports ad banners or red and blue lights. We’ll give a full verdict after our first drive, but for now you can look through the pictures and decide.