2014 Chevrolet Impala: Well worth the wait!

Strong points
  • Rigid platform
  • Sophisticated interior
  • Silent cabin
  • Good road handling
  • Well-adapted V6 engine
Weak points
  • The vehicle is very big.
  • The 20-inch wheels are expensive.
  • The rear visibility leaves something to be desired.
  • Some of the electronic controls are hard to figure out.
Full report

Once one of the North American automobile market’s most popular models, this brawny Chevrolet has seen tough times in recent years. Considering that the Quebec market has developed a penchant for smaller cars, the vehicle’s sales figures have been very low, relegating the majority of Impalas to vehicle fleets.

Much has changed, however, since the previous version hit the market in 2006. Not only has General Motors completely reorganized its financial and corporate structure, but its marketing philosophy has also evolved. Their new models are much more competitive than they used to be, and GM no longer wants to make up for disappointing sales by targeting the fleet vehicle market. The brand-new 2014 Impala is the poster-boy of this new philosophy.

While most of the 2013 Impalas were destined for fleet customers, the 2014 cohort targets another market altogether, as GM predicts that more than 70% of sales will be to individuals, whom they expect will be won over by its elegant, modern silhouette and its excellent ride.


The 2014 Impala has a much nicer look than the version it’s replacing. The designers enhanced its appearance with sculpted side panels and raised mid-sections in the hood and trunk lid. The new grille is larger and criss-crossed by chrome rods. 18-inch rims on the base version boost the vehicle’s presence. Overall, this car is undeniably elegant and easily stands out on the road.

The exterior is excellent, but the passenger compartment is even better. Prepare to be impressed by the dashboard the moment you get in. The upper part is covered with a soft, luxuriously stitched material. The finish is positively impeccable. The eight-inch information screen displays original, easy-to-use pictograms and pops up to give you access to a sizeable storage compartment with a USB port.

The instrument cluster features easy-to-read gauges and an information display that clearly indicates the distance travelled and fuel consumption. The front seats are very comfortable and can be adjusted in multiple ways. As for the back seats, they are without a doubt the roomiest in the industry – in any class. In keeping with the exterior dimensions of this big sedan, the trunk is huge.

Simple but efficient

Unlike what we’ve seen in the past, the Impala’s mechanics are now characterized by their efficiency and simplicity. This hefty Chevrolet’s platform is ultra-rigid and very sophisticated. It has a McPherson front suspension and a multi-link rear suspension. In fact, the actual suspension components are less important than their efficiency and the quality of the dampers used. By the way, this sedan has Duralife disc brakes that are not only longer lasting – we’re talking 120,000 km – but that are also corrosion- and rust-resistant. Note that this product was developed and patented by GM Canada.

Initially, the Impala will be offered with a 3.6-litre V6 that produces 305 horsepower. Down the road, you’ll be able to order it with a new 2.5-litre four-cylinder generating 195 horsepower. Finally, an eAssist version with a 2.4-litre engine and an electric motor will also be available. These three engines will all be paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.


I must admit that I didn’t have any real expectations before getting behind the wheel of the new Impala. I liked its new shape and the quality of the presentation and finish of the passenger compartment. As for its handling, I expected a slight improvement over the previous version. Man, was I surprised! The improvement is truly impressive. The Impala is now an extremely balanced car that combines performance, quietness of the ride and handling. Plus, the assisted steering is very well calculated and the feedback from the road is good, proving yet again that power steering has matured in terms of output and precision. The vehicle’s acceleration capacity is worth mentioning since it took a little less than 7 seconds to go from 0-100 km/h from a dead stop. Pick up, on the other hand, was good, but the engine lagged a little before shifting into gear.

All versions are equipped with glass specially designed to reduce exterior noise. Moreover, the versions with a four-cylinder engine are equipped with active noise cancellation. And although the versions with V6 engines don’t come with the same technology, the silence of the passenger compartment is noteworthy nonetheless.

This Chevrolet’s safety equipment is very advanced and includes: full-speed-range adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, side blind zone alert and rear cross traffic alert. The Impala stacks up against the competition.

The 2014 Impala is more elegant, more fun to drive and its performance is extremely balanced. The Impala will definitely not be one of the bestselling models in our province, but could definitely become one of the most sought-after vehicles in the full-size sedan category. Its price is very competitive for the quality of the product.

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