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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
What do Abraham Lincoln, Shaquille O’Neal and Chewbacca have in common? Truth be told, not a whole lot. Honest Abe got capped, Shaq can’t shoot free throws and Chewie is hairier than a herd of yaks… or the filter in a Econo Lodge hot tub. This trio’s differences abound, but one thing they all share is height.
Before trucks and utility vehicles became all the rage, large sedans used to be the heart of the American car market. They dominated thoroughfares and back roads of this country for decades. Big Buicks, mighty Mopars and forceful Fords were a way of life for drivers just half a lifetime ago.
Each week, we recap the most popular videos from AutoGuide‘s YouTube channel so why should this week be any different? Once again this week, fans are loving AutoGuide‘s video of the Honda Civic Si vs. the Acura Integra Type-R.
Find out what happened between the two front-wheel drive coupes and check out the other two most-watched videos below.
When Size Matters
Large and in charge. Big is beautiful. Size matters. Yes, there are endless clichés to support the notion that the bigger something is, the better it is. In the automotive kingdom, some vehicles not only adhere to this philosophy, but redefine it. We aren’t talking the puny realm of offerings like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry or even Dodge Charger. No, this is for the serious four wheeled hippos. The cars where it is more fun to be in the backseat than the front seat.
If you have more money to burn than the average NFL Quarterback, then there are some serious vehicles you can buy that are seriously long. How about the 220.9-inch Phantom Coupe? Not long enough for you? You could upsize to the 239.8-inch Phantom extended-wheelbase sedan, or maybe the 242.7-inch Maybach 62?
But for the rest of us mere mortals, there are some sizable vehicles out there under $100,000. Heck, two of the top ten are even under $30,000. So we will now present to you the top ten vehicles that are longer than The Hobbit.
Top 10 Large Sedans With the Greatest Range
There’s something magical about going on a road trip. Whether it’s the allure of visiting a far-flung destination or just the call of the highway, piling into a car and eating up miles satiates mankind’s wanderlust.
Of course some vehicles are better for long-distance drives than others. A quiet interior, comfortable seats and smooth ride are prerequisites, but plentiful cup holders and storage spaces for snacks can’t hurt, either.
In a lot of ways large sedans were tailor-made for cross-country trips. They’re roomy, relatively efficient and don’t beat you up like a race-prepared Miata. Last week we examined 10 such cars, ranking them based on trunk space. This week we’re comparing those same four-doors but focusing on driving range.
We took each car’s EPA highway fuel-economy rating and multiplied it by the total gallons of fuel in their respective tanks to arrive at a maximum possible range. So, which of these full-figured cars is the ultimate bladder-buster? Click ahead to find out!
Top 10 Large Sedans With The Biggest Trunks
America is the land of the free and the home of large sedans. With miles and miles of miles and miles, drivers don’t have to contend with congested urban parking or dreadful highway traffic like their European counterparts. We’re free to relax and stretch our legs clear across the continent if we so desire.
U.S. Interstates and two-lane back roads were the breeding ground for a unique automotive species: the large sedan. Spacious, comfortable and smooth, Detroit’s Big Three created the original recipe for these highway cruisers, but foreign automakers have a thing or two to say about how to prepare them.
Trunk space is one of the most important metrics to examine when comparing big four-door cars. How many golf bags can be crammed into a cargo hold? What about suitcases for a weekend road trip to Atlantic City? People need to know! Here’s a list of the Top 10 large sedans ranked in order of trunk volume.
The all-new 2014 Chevrolet Impala won’t just usher in a new generation of Impala models hoping to regain its former glory, but will also feature first-ever safety technologies from the American automaker.
The list of active safety features that the 2014 Chevy Impala will come with is impressive, hoping to prevent a crash in the first place. Full-speed-range adaptive cruise control utilizes radar technology in order to sense ahead and adjust the vehicle’s speed accordingly and is a Chevy first. Collision mitigation braking is also another first for the automaker, equipping the Impala with the technology to detect a possible crash threat and alerts the driver. If there’s no reaction from the driver, the feature intervenes by applying the brakes in effort to avoid the crash.
Forward collision alert takes advantage of camera technology to alert the driver visually and audibly of a potential crash situation, while lane departure warning is a technology that has become popular amongst many new car models. Other safety features to help prevent accidents on the new 2014 Impala include side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, rear vision camera, rear park assist, and hill hold/start assist.
Lastly, another Chevrolet first is the brake pre-fill feature. When the vehicle detects a possible crash threat, the system will increase the hydraulic pressure in the brake lines, anticipating the driver’s hard braking. This helps quicken the response time and shortens stopping distances and is included with 20-inch wheels on higher models.
The 2014 Chevrolet Impala will hit dealership showrooms early next year.
10. Subaru WRX STI: 305-hp $34,095
One of the most wonderful sensations come when you command a whole handful of power just with the flexing of your right foot. Horsepower is an intoxicating element when it comes to driving, but that doesn’t mean that it’s saved for the most expensive vehicles out there.
The all-new 2014 Chevrolet Impala is set to go on sale in early 2013 and the American automaker has released its new emblem design. Much like the Corvette, the Impala has its own emblem in addition to the brand’s signature bowtie.
Since its debut in 1958, the Impala has worn variations of the leaping African antelope which the vehicle is named after. The 2014 Impala will mark the 10th generation of the model and the new emblem was designed to complement its more modern, athletic design of the full-size sedan.
Two versions of the new emblem can be seen on each side of the vehicle, so that the antelope always appears to be running forward. The new Impala emblem has a bright chrome finish and Impala logos are also stamped on the aluminum sill plates.
“For the new Impala, we wanted to evolve the emblem to complement the new vehicle design without making any radical changes to its character,” said Joann Kallio, lead creative designer for Chevrolet global badging. “We kept the stylized interpretation of the animal, and made the impala more muscular. We also added defined edges, to give the impala a sleek form and make it look like it was running fast.”
Click back to AutoGuide for live coverage from the 2012 New York Auto Show.
GALLERY: Chevy Impala Emblems Over the Years
Earlier today, the 2013 Chevrolet Trailblazer was revealed but GM mentioned that it would not be bringing it to America. Why? Because models like the Traverse is taking precedence in our market.
“The new Traverse builds on the success of the current model offering a wide variety of improvements to ride and handling, interior materials and exterior styling without compromising the functionality and capability families need to support their busy lives,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Global Chevrolet Marketing.
Alongside the 2014 Chevrolet Impala, a more-refined version of the family-friendly Chevy Traverse will debut at this year’s New York Auto Show. The 2013 Traverse update was “designed to give families a new gathering space with elements of style and refinement inside and out, as well as new and industry-exclusive safety features,” according to Chevrolet.
Just as in the GMC Acadia, the 2013 Traverse will feature the industry’s first front center air bag — engineered to protect the driver and front passengers in far-side impact accidents. Deploying in mere milliseconds, the airbag will inflate in between the driver and front passenger, adding extra protection for both people.
The Chevy Impala has become a staple in NASCAR for the past few years, having claimed the checkered flag an astonishing 79 times since 2007. Just this past week, Tony Stewart took the win at Las Vegas and was one of three Impalas in the top five when the race ended.
Impressive as that may be, Chevrolet is ready to turn the page in 2013, welcoming in the new rules from NASCAR that has already helped produce great-looking race cars including the new Ford Fusion and Dodge Charger. But unlike their fellow American automakers, Chevrolet isn’t quite yet ready to debut what they have in the works for next season.
The biggest news announced from Chevy is that their 2013 NASCAR race car will not be an Impala, rather Team Chevy will be racing a vehicle based on a new nameplate to the brand’s lineup. Exactly what that new model will be is anyone’s guess, but the rumor mill is already churning and pointing towards a return of the rear-drive Commodore sedan from Australia – last sold here as the Pontiac G8.
Chevy did promise that both cars will be unveiled sometime this year but for now we’ll just have to wait patiently.
“We are keeping the wraps on the new car for now and will continue to prepare for next season by testing camouflaged vehicles,” said Jim Campbell, vice president, Chevrolet Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “We know that Chevrolet fans are eager to see the new racecar and we hope that the prospect of being able to own one just like it will make the wait a little more bearable.”
10. Chevy Impala: 14M units sold
There are some surprises on the list, but for the most part it all makes sense. Whether they’ve been in production for a long time or they’re reasonably priced worldwide, the top 10 best-selling cars of all time might not be the most exciting, but are clearly the most popular throughout history.
The Chevrolet Impala is the only GM vehicle on the list and has quite the history since hitting the market 54 years ago. Starting its life as a large two-door performance coupe, the Impala evolved into a versatile sedan. Or as we like to call it, a rental car. Ironically, it isn’t actually offered as a coupe anymore, which seems like a distant memory after 10 generations of upgrades.
A pair of Chevrolet Impala taxi cabs were seized and their drivers are facing “stunt driving” charges out in Toronto, Ontario Canada when they were caught street racing on Canada’s longest street, Younge Street. Those charged with stunt driving will have their license seized for seven days and face a fine between $2,000 to $10,000.
The motives behind why both drivers decided to race it out is unknown, but sections of Younge Street have been known to be street racing spots in the past. Maybe both of them were just reliving the past or settling a grudge, either way we don’t think either of them owe the other a 10 second car.
Check out the news clip after the break.
[Source: CTV News]
Even though GM admits that the 2007-2008 Chevrolet Impalas has a faulty rear suspension, they’re hoping to avoid a class-action lawsuit by turning to their bankruptcy – as in, the “New GM” can’t be responsible for the “Old GM’s” mistakes.
Seriously? The defect is in a tie-rod design that causes premature wearing of the vehicle’s rear tires. In fact, they’ve proven that it causes the rear tires to wear out after just 6,000-miles. A technical service bulletin was issued in 2008, but GM made it only apply to police-spec Impala models, stating that they’re different than the retail versions. Right.
To us, GM’s response is borderline absurd especially considering there’s concrete evidence of a defect that is affecting owner’s pockets.
New GM did not assume liability for old GM’s design choices, conduct or alleged breaches of liability under the warranty, and its terms expressly preclude money damages,” GM said in response to the suit. The suit “is trying to saddle new GM with the alleged liability and conduct of old GM.”
Shouldn’t GM relate to its consumers when it comes to not wanting to spend excessive money?
[Source: Left Lane News]
A class-action lawsuit, brought on behalf of a Pennsylvania women, claims that GM knew about a defective rear spindle rod problem on it’s full-size 2007-08 Chevy Impala which caused excessive tire wear. While GM addressed the issue on police spec vehicles,it apparently chose to ignore the matter on some 400,000 examples owned by civilian motorists.
Donna Trusky, of Blakely, PA, claims she purchased a new Chevy Impala in 2008 and the tires wore out after just 6,000 miles of driving. Her local GM dealer replaced the tires and gave the car an alignment, but according to Ms Trusky didn’t disclose the spindle rod issue. Last year, her car had to go in for a safety inspection but in order to pass, Ms Trusky had to replace the tires again, and by this juncture the Impala still had less than 25,000 miles on the clock.
The suit, if successful, could end up costing GM millions of dollars in replacement tires and suspension parts. “Despite having knowledge of this premature wear problem, (GM) has not recalled the subject cars, which has required class members to pay the cost of fixing the defective spindle rods as well as for replacement tires and realignment,” alleges the lawsuit, filed last week.
So far, GM has declined to comment on the suit, because, as spokesman Alan Adler said, the automaker has yet to review it. The company also said that the police spec Impala features a number of different components compared with the civilian version, including heavy-duty cooling and electrical system and special suspension.
Nevertheless more and more complaints are surfacing from angry motorists bringing forth claims of excessive tire use and having to pay out of pocket to fix the rear suspension problem that causes it. One owner of a 2008 Impala LTZ claims his car nearly crashed after suffering a blowout after driving fewer than 11,000 miles, and yet another said he had to replace his tires after just 6,000 miles of driving, resulting in using three sets of tires after covering just 41,000 miles.
David Fink, a lawyer representing affected Impala owners says that police spec Impalas are not significantly different enough from those sold to the general public and that “we don’t think there’s a meaningful difference in terms of defect.”
[Source: Detroit News]
It might come as a surprise to some that it’s possible to purchase a six-passenger sedan, but in previous decades, large sedans with front bench seats and space for an extra passenger in the middle were mainstays of the American automotive landscape.
While cars like the Ford Taurus and Mercury Grand Marquis were once available with six seats, the sole remaining sedan available with a front bench seat is the Chevrolet Impala. But with a new model coming in 2013, GM has to decide whether to keep producing a six seater vehicle, which accounts for roughly 25 percent of Impala sales.
With the new Impala salted to be built on a narrower platform, and GM offering a full lineup of crossovers that can carry more than 5 passengers, it makes little sense for the company to continue producing a six seater Impala. If the General continues down this path, we’ll be seeing the end of an era for American motoring – not that we’re too torn up about it.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]
Make way for the new winners! Let’s give the Saab 9-5 and the Volkswagen CC three cheers for earning their places as IIHS Top Safety Pick award winners.
Earning good ratings for performance in the Institute’s roof strength test for rollover protection, these luxury vehicles also brought in good ratings for front, side, and rear crash protection, and both come standard with electronic stability control. It’s interesting to note that Top Safety Pick only applies to the front-wheel drive Volkswagen CC – that’s because the heavier all-wheel drive version only rated acceptable in the roof strength test.
Taking the test this time around were eight midsize to large family and luxury cars, but only the 9-5 and CC came out on top. The 2011 Lexus ES 350 earned a good rating for rollover protection, but didn’t get an award because it didn’t make the grade when it came to rear crash protection. Other contenders that earned acceptable ratings for rollover protection were the BMW 3 series, Chevrolet Impala (models built after July 2010), Infiniti G, Lexus IS 250/350, and Saab 9-3.
General Motors will be adding two shifts and 2,500 hourly and salaried jobs to the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to build the new Chevrolet Malibu and the next-generation Impala alongside the Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera electric cars.
Additional shifts and a $69 million investment in equipment have been made to support the next-generation Impala. In April 2010, GM announced that to support the Malibu production, a $121 million investment would be made.
“Filling this plant with new work is very satisfying because GM is dedicated to helping rebuild this city,” GM North America President Mark Reuss said at the plant Wednesday. “We are confident in the flexibility of the plant, the excellence of our workers and the great cars assembled here.”
Chevrolet’s new Malibu will be built in Detroit and Fairfax, Kan., as well as in China and Korea and will be sold in over 100 countries and six continents.
Detroit-Hamtramck currently has 1,121 hourly and salaried employees.
According to GM, the automaker has added or saved 9,000 jobs and invested $3.4 billion since mid-2009.