As promised in our recent review of Chrysler’s 300C sedan, we said we would look at how two of North America’s top sedans stack up against one another. This week we will look at GM’s Chevrolet Impala LTZ. Redesigned for 2014, the new Impala is built on GM’s Epsilon II front wheel drive platform (shared with the Cadillac XTS) making it larger and much more upscale than the existing model.
Chevrolet’s full size flagship sedan is totally new from the ground up, providing a muscular appearance while also providing a nod to both its rich history and Chevy’s modern styling cues. This new Impala represents the 10th generation of one of the industry’s most enduring and iconic nameplates as the first Impala was introduced in 1958. According to GM’s official press release, the Impala has been America’s best-selling full-size sedan since 2004, with total sales of more than 169,000 in 2012.
Our tester came in the top of the line LTZ trim and comes with a price tag here in Canada of $39,645 MSRP. At this price you get a host of premium features including:
- Leather-appointed seating surfaces
- Heated and ventilated front seats
- Power 8-way front and passenger seat adjuster
- 6-speed automatic with overdrive and Driver Shift Control
- 10 airbags
- Advanced Safety Package – includes Forward Collision Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning and Side Blind Zone Alert
- 20-inch aluminum wheels with P245/40R20 all-season tires
- Premium 11-speaker Bose Centerpoint surround sound audio system
- SiriusXM Satellite Radio
- Chevrolet’s MyLink system with navigation
- Rear Vision Camera
- 3 USB ports
- Remote vehicle starter system
- Xenon High-intensity Discharge (HID) headlights
- LED daytime running lights
- Dual exhaust system with bright exhaust tips integrated into rear fascia
- Sunroof – power tilt/sliding glass panel, with sunshade and express-open feature
The new Impala model provides consumers with innovative styling, greater interior spaciousness and a host of advanced technology goodies never available in earlier models.
The Impala offers three powertrain choices which include the 3.6L V6, the new Ecotec 2.5L four-cylinder and the Ecotec 2.4L with eAssist. Our tester LTZ model was equipped with the 3.6L V6 engine which is rated at 305 horsepower and 264 lb. ft. of torque. The 3.6L provides the highest horsepower output in this segment from a naturally aspirated V6 engine and translates into a swift 0-60 mph time of only 6.8 seconds. Hence, our tester provided ample power for all types of acceleration requirements in both city and highway driving environments.
As for fuel consumption, GM provides highway numbers of 6.9 L/100 km and city numbers of 11.1L/100 KM for the 3.6L V6. Over our week, we were a touch above those numbers but quite close overall.
As for comfort and convenience, the Impala LTZ impressed us in several key areas. First, the interior is very well-appointed making it feel far more expensive than its actual price tag. Beginning with a rich looking instrument cluster that includes a 4.2 inch screen configurable color driver information center and ice-blue lighting which enhance the “upscale” feel of the interior. Second, the chrome trim with “bleed-through” ambient lighting further reinforces the cabin’s sophisticated flair. On several occasions, both friends and family complimented how great the Impala looked overall.
The interior sound quality with acoustic glass in the windows, extra foam in the body, and added sound deadening material in the floor pan and trunk help create a serene bubble for its occupants. GM has also recently made great strides in this area with its Buick Verano model.
As for interior space, the Impala brings its “A” game with an overall cargo space of capacity of 532L. It has a cavernous trunk and with the rear seats folded down provides an absolutely immense level of cargo space for the average family.
These seats give an ultra level of comfort and passenger space equal to that of an airport limo. Not surprisingly, after our week with the Impala it started to feel like a modern version of Lincoln’s Town Car. With Ford no longer building the Town Car we may see the airport limousine industry start to leverage the Impala as their future workhorse.
Having the opportunity to experience the Impala LTZ model in a series of different driving scenarios we can confidently say, it straddles both the full-size sedan segment as well as the entry-level luxury segment.
With its new technology, larger size and sportier exterior this new model should be taken seriously by both competitors and consumers. As well, GM’s Impala pricing brings great value to consumers in this competitive segment as it is slightly lower than some of its competition.
As for our comparison to the Chrysler 300C, it really is not apple to apples as the latter is all wheel drive and the Impala is front wheel drive. There is also quite a delta between the two sticker prices. However, both cars are equally impressive and have a ton of great qualities. If you’re looking for a full size sedan this year, these two vehicles should be on your holiday wish list.
Overall, key segment competitors to the Chevy Impala LTZ are the Chrysler 300C as mentioned above, Toyota Avalon, Nissan Maxima, Ford Taurus, Hyundai Genesis and Buick LaCrosse.