By on February 7, 2013


So you want a Cadillac XTS but think the price tag is too dear? Chevrolet has an answer with the 2014 Impala, the Caddy’s kissing cousin. By all appearances, the main-stream model is the more attractive and sensible model as well. In between stuffing my maw with leftover breakfast muffins and a Kia sponsored mimosa I tripped across Chevy’s full-size sedan. No, this isn’t the RWD Chevy we’ve longed for, this is Malibu to the max.


The Impala isn’t vastly different from the rest of the Chevy lineup in style, but on first glance it seems to have pulled the best styling cues from Chevy’s design bag and placed them all on one car. GM had two top-of-the-line Impala LTZ models on display (complete with booth babes) and one cloth-seat equipped model for our perusal. In addition to the cohesive design, the Impala doesn’t come off strangely proportioned like the Cadillac XTS did when we last reviewed it.

 I still don’t understand why Chevy is going premium when Buick exists, but that’s a story for another time. Despite the logic of the lineup, the Impala wears the best Chevy interior in terms of quality. All the interiors on display dripped with stitched pleather, plenty of cow-hide and lots of convincing faux-wood trim. As nice as the new Toyota Avalon on display next door was, the Impala beat it in terms of style, feel and parts quality. Whoda thunk that? How does it drive? You’ll have to wait or the Truth About That for a while.

Shoppers will find GM’s 2.4L Ecotec engine with eAssist from Buick’s lineup, GM’s new 2.5L 195hp four-pot or the ubiquitous 3.6L 303HP V6. There will be no fire-breathing Taurus SHO competitor we’re told. Pity.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

118 Comments on “Chicago Auto Show: 2014 Chevrolet Impala...”


  • avatar
    salhany

    Holy hell does that dashboard give me a headache. Too much going on.

    • 0 avatar

      I like it.

      • 0 avatar

        One thing I realized on a recent interstate drive:

        #1 you need to have 2 STANDARD 12-V jacks – or one 12V and one 110V inverter.

        #2 Heated and cooled seats for the rear bench.

        and that’s just to make this piece of shit bearable LOL.

        I’m not a fan of all this FWD stuff – and WAS NOT BY ANY MEANS impressed by the power from the FWD and AWD Platinum XTS, but when my dealer gets these in, I will give it a look, if for nothing more than extra Youtube moniez.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        @BigTrucks:

        RWD is obsolete.

        Let me explain. The majority of the weight has always been on the front of the car. But, when I learned to drive in the 1990s, I favored RWD. The reason was because FWD cars those days would loose a lot of steering authority when you spun the tires. You had to let off the power in a hurry if you wanted to regain control the car. With RWD, you could keep the wheels spinning and control the car, even if you had to keep on top of it to keep it from fishtailing.

        In the 2000s, though, traction control systems became standard. Now, pretty all unmodified cars will back off the throttle for you when the wheels start to spin. That solves the control issue that FWD cars had, so now the car with the best power-to-weight ratio and the best traction wins. FWD cars tend to be lightweight and have good traction. Or you can take a heavy RWD car with something close to a 50/50 weight distribution and lots of horsepower. Or you can control the other parts of the equation, get a lightweight FWD car with some extra power, and let the electronic nannies back off the throttle whenever you fumble and apply too much power.

        BTW, I finally got to take my 2004 F-150 4×4 for a spin in the snow. (I co-own the F-150 with a family member; she’s done with the truck and is now driving using my AWD 2002 Escape.) The F-150 sucked in the snow almost as much as my old Ranger. I had to put it in 4wd in conditions where my FWD Sienna barely notices notices the snow, because the F-150 just doesn’t have any traction in the back when it’s running empty. A electronically controlled mostly-FWD AWD system like the one in my Escape would provide much better all-weather capability in the F-150, and the same divetrian would likely provide even better traction for towing since it typically drives all four wheels during acceleration (and then goes to FWD when you let off the gas).

        AWD w/ TCS and FWD w/ TCS are the best all-weather drivetrains. When TCS isn’t available, RWD does have some redeeming qualities. But TCS is available, so traction is king.

        I’m not saying that I think the Impala will win any races against a RWD muscle car (though it would be easier for me personally to win races by starting with a lightweight car). I am saying that I would happily take the Impala over a muscle car or a pickup truck in any weather conditions where the snow isn’t deeper than the front-air dam.

      • 0 avatar

        Luke 42

        It depends where you live. If you live in the south/near the equator/ or in mild climates with mild winters, FWD is NOT the end all.

        RWD offers better weight distribution, better handling and better performance. I’m not content driving a goddamn ecobox. I’m not content driving a “me too car”. I’m not content having torque steer AT ALL.

        If I lived up in some snowy place, yeah I’d still be driving 4X4 trucks or a AWD car, but there’s no way I wanna give up my handling after the cars I’ve owned.

        If I had it to do all over again, my XJ-L would be the Supercharged V6 AWD, but even in “snow mode” mine still handles very well.

  • avatar
    indyb6

    I just can’t fathom looking at that steering wheel every morning. Other than that, I think it looks handsome.

  • avatar
    Thomas Kreutzer

    This is really handsome but the dashmat has to go.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    I’ll wait for the road test but I have to believe that a car of this size will be a dog with a four cylinder, 195 HP engine.

    • 0 avatar
      gmichaelj

      I think this will have the 6speed transmission yes? If so, I think 200+/- hp will be just fine. … For my mom. No really, as long as it’s shifting isn’t doggie, 200hp will work

    • 0 avatar
      86er

      Yes, and it will be in all the rental cars, and everyone who rents one will curse it and continue to swear off GMs, and the vicious cycle will continue.

      Here’s where the rubber meets the road: a 2.5L inline-4 rated at 195hp will have perhaps 175 ft/lbs of torque, at about 5,000 rpm. 6-speeds will be constantly hunting (top 2 are overdrive so you’ll have some 6-4 downshifts) and it will make for an aggravating drive.

      I guess I see now why traction control is federally-legislated standard equipment now.

      • 0 avatar
        Dynasty

        Traction control is by law now???

        Because I was just wondering why in the heck the Fiat 500 has it..

      • 0 avatar
        86er

        As per the link:

        http://www.nhtsa.gov/DOT/NHTSA/Rulemaking/Rules/Associated%20Files/ESC_NPRM.pdf

        In summary: started to be phased in in ’09, required in all 2012- models.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        Actually the 2.5 makes over 190 LBS FT of torque at a lower RPM than that and moves the 3550 LB Malibu around very well. The new Impala weights 150 LBS more but has variable lift cam timing and better gearing so should have similar real world performance.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        The published power curves for the 2.5 show it matching up pretty close with the old 3.1L V6 until about the 3.1L’s peak hp, when the I4 can keep revving.

        The 2.5 actually has a better curve on paper than the eAssist. And, I’ve driven the eAssist Lacrosse- it’s slow but not 1975 slow.

        The I4 will probably be okay as a 3.5L/4A replacement.

        But, what we really need for the big Epsilons is a car version of the new pickup truck V6.

  • avatar
    ZekeToronto

    Now if they’d only ditch the tacky, brassy gold on the bow ties.

    Also, having the shut line for the hood opening set so far back from the grill looks funny to my eyes (same with the new 3-series).

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      Yeah my mother wont buy a Chevy just because she hates the bowtie. I see what you mean about the cut line for the hood. I don’t like it on the 3 Series or the Camaro either.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      I’ll bet that brassy gold scrapes right off, the days of baked-on enamel logos is long over. Get some enamel paint and a brush from an art store and you can probably paint right over the gold. Choose your favorite color!

  • avatar
    gkhize

    Another car that you’ll have to look for the manufacturer’s badge to figure out what it is; Kia, Hyundai, Buick, ‘Yota, Dodge? The interior is pretty busy and I don’t like the center stack at all. Doesn’t seem to integrate with all the rest. Hands down the worst though, is that steering wheel that just sits there and grins at you.

  • avatar
    readallover

    I`d take the Caprice over this. But Chevy won`t let me.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Horrendous steering wheel and I don’t like how the tan dashtop makes the protuberance above the nav screen look like a toupee. Or Donald Trump’s cranium.

    Other than that, nice looking interior and probably a fine specimen of a massive, chunky, high-beltined boulevard cruiser. If you like that sort of thing.

  • avatar
    Summicron

    Dammit… another gorgeous car ruined by its decap-mobile roofline.

    Now, I’m willing to entertain the notion that I’m just another Plavix-addled coot who can’t handle change, but am I really alone in raging against this insane trend of squashing the passenger compartment in the service of ever lower drag coefficient?

    I’m 6’1″ which in my area makes me average height for males. Any trip to a mall or a movie and I’m surrounded by way taller guys (and an occasional woman). I already have to be careful about cracking my head on an ’10 Camry. This Impala looks like it’s 2″ lower than that, particularly in the rear. WTF?

    Is there a Silent Majority out there that agrees with me but is simply resigned to this trend?

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      It has diddly-squat to do with drag coefficient and everything to do with styling run amuck. There have been PLENTY of 4dr sedans with extremely low drag that had rooflines that allowed real-size people to sit in the back, and windows you could see out of. See NSU Ro80 and Audi 5000/100.

      The sooner this trend ends, the better. No wonder people buy SUVs in droves.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        Yep, this is all about the “chopped” look having gone mainstream.

        I cringe when readers comment, “We are in a golden age of car design,” on this site. No, no we’re not. A golden age of powertrain engineering? Sure. But overall design? No way.

        I’m 5’10”. The last time I went to an auto show and tried out the back seats of the various sedans, my head touched the rear window or headliner of literally every one of them save the outgoing Impala. And I’m not talking about coupes or compacts; I’m talking about midsizes and fullsizes. This is pathetic design.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      I certainly agree with you. The fastback roofline and pillbox windows need to stop. It may look dowdy, but I would rather own a previous generation Taurus/Five Hundred than the current one for just this reason.

      • 0 avatar
        vanwestcoaster

        +1

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        You know, more greenhouse, a longer wheelbase, a formal roofline that emphasizes head space and higher seating position for comfort for rear seat passengers, a more upright rear window that doesn’t accumulate dirt, and a longer rear deck, would really stick out from the crowd. Add some quality interior materials, a decent drivetrain, simple, elegant lines, and a distinctive, understated front clip, and it would out-premium the premium cars. You’d think a premium car company like Lincoln would take a shot at it. They actually did that once, transforming a Taurus into a FWD Continental with classic luxury cues, and as I recall, they sold a few.

      • 0 avatar
        Summicron

        @ All…

        Thanks for the support in this. I was starting to feel like the only lemming who didn’t want to jump.

        I mean, it’s so egregious….

      • 0 avatar
        56BelAire

        @Lorenzo,

        That description pretty much describes my ’09 DTS.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        You just described a Citroen DS, haha.

  • avatar
    TEXN3

    I’d rather just stick with the Accord V6 or Taurus if I want a large American-made sedan. I still like the Taurus, my wife didn’t like the name. Go figure.

  • avatar
    Tomifobia

    Any interior shots of the base model for us tightwads?

  • avatar
    dolorean

    I want to lick it, its so good. Looking forward to an SS version; thinking maybe this time, GM will include AWD and a ‘Vette tranny like it did sooooo long ago with the Syclone and Typhoon. However, know deep down in my Id, that Chevy will never have all these goodies on the final, dealership version.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    A few things:

    -The back looks like an A4/A6. Or a Forte.
    -It seems to have a “pinched” look because of that extra length behind the rear doors.
    -The wood does NOT need to be grey, with a black/brown dash and brown seats.
    -Blue color on it is very nice, I quite like it.
    -The trim strip along the bottom of the doors is too short, needs a few more inches to keep the car from looking stumpy.
    -I think the Impala emblem is too close to the C-pillar trim.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I agree its puzzling this model is being built in light of Buick, but what’s ever more puzzling is there will be a Cadillac equivalent. Just makes me shake my head. If Catera/Alpha and Escalade/SRX *are* the Cadillac brand, but why not just keep building the ‘outdated’ Deville for another year or two… think about it, switch out Northstar for the 3.6 (almost identical hp, similar torque), and build a proper Cadillac you can’t get in a cheaper Chevy/Buick. This cloning up brands is straight out of the old GM playbook. On the plus side I like this new Impala, much more over the Lacrosse. I’m curious to see how well its going to sell with four pots (it looks like a big car), or if the V6 is just going to become an effective free upgrade. With Cruze and Malibu available only available as fuel efficient four pots, I don’t see too many “Chevy” people wanting Impala without a V6.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Hmmm…I’ll have to slobber over it at our auto show in a couple of weeks.

    Does it bother anyne else that GM is using the Epsilon ll platform on seemingly EVERYTHING?

    Last summe we checked out a LaCrosse and a Malibu – both seemed quite narrow. Not a bad thing on the Malibu, but “sinful” on the Buick.

    That’s one of the reasons I bought one of the last of the W-bodies, but having a 4 cyl. in the new one makes me wonder if the fuel economy is improved much over my 3.6L powerhouse.

    Wait and see, I guess.

    As far as the gold bowtie goes, well – the blue will eventually return.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Perhaps Epsilon II is the new K-car.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      Yeah..I just can’t see a car that size with a 4 banger. However this being a 2014 CAFE regs and all?

      When I think about it we are going back in time. Lets put this 4 banger Impala on a 1/4 mile. We will run it against the 64 Chev BOF 2 door post with a 250 stove bolt, three on the tree, I took my license test on.

      I wonder what would be faster?

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        Well the current 2013 Malibu with the same 2.5 4 pot does 0-60 in 7.7 seconds and weight roughly 3550 LBS in the LT tester I drove. Tack on about 150 LBS, variable lift cam phasing and better final drive gearing and 8 seconds 0-60 doesn’t sound too unreasonable. My money would go with the 4 pot.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        @ poncho…..I agree.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        The number of cylinders is irrelevant. It has about the same torque and a whole lot more hp than the smog-strangled small V8s of back in the day, and is no heavier than those sleds. It won’t be a rocket ship, but it will be more than adequate. Yes, the engine will have to rev to deliver the goods, so what?

        If you need faster, buy the V6. I can’t imagine wanting or needing 300+ hp in a non-sporting barge of a family car, what a waste of money both up front and in gas.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “Yes, the engine will have to rev to deliver the goods, so what? ”

        So: some of us aren’t into that crazy stuff.

        If GM is giving up on OHV they could at least give us a diesel.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Malibu to the max…I see what you did there.

  • avatar
    84Cressida

    The new Avalon looks so much better than this ugly, bloated pig of a car, has a far nicer interior in both style and materials, and will outlast it too (and wasn’t funded by my tax dollars…sorry bout it!). The current Impala, as terrible and uncompetitive as it is, looks much better than this thing. That interior (what’s up with the melted steering wheel and that awful body line in the back doors are HIDEOUS. And no doubt this thing will probably be a good 500 lbs overweight and that I4 will be slower than a 1985 Cavalier being run on a hot summer day.

    But of course, Enterprise and Hertz will love it when GM slaps $6000 in incentives on it and decontents it every model year. But I’m sure GM will get Tim Allen to narrate a commericial about how the “heritage” they have with this car by showing a 50 year old Impala next to their new ugly one while trying their hardest to get people to forget the turd they just rented for $29.99 a day at Enterprise. Chevy runs Deep!

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @ An Avalon? is that some sort of perfume? How many Avalons did they sell last year? How about that Tundra? Wow Toyota can sure move that metal eh?

      BTW When Toyota builds a plant they didn’t get any sort of a break with YOUR tax dollars I suppose.

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        So now we’re getting into sales. OK then. How many Impalas did Government Motors sell last year….to ACTUAL PEOPLE without thousands of dollars of cash on the hood?

        Getting tax breaks for adding jobs and getting a bailout due to 40 years of shady business practices and terrible cars are two different things, bub.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        Okay go to your beloved Toyota dealer,pick out anyone of thier bland offerings,and pay sticker if that makes you happy.
        News flash… most buyers are looking for something off.

        Don’t for one moment think that Toyota is any different from any other car company in that regard. Why do suppose Hyundai/ Kia are doing so well? Discounts and cash on the hood are a way of life.

        Brand loyalty? is something like the term “Bub” its been dead for about 30 years.

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        There’s getting a good deal on a car, and then there’s practically giving a car away because nobody in their right mind would pay a respectable price for such an uncompetitive car that has zero resale value. You’d have to be a complete GM fanboy to not see a difference. Giving away Impalas for 10K off the sticker price isn’t a sound strategy and GM knows it, which is why nobody is delusional enough to think that the new, far more expensive car will sell in anywhere near the numbers the current car does, at least not until they decontent and fleet it heavily. Toyota does not have a single car in their lineup that they give away to such extent, esepcially the Avalon. Not even close.

        Bland offerings from Toyota? Oh yeah, because the Cruze and Malibu just scream excitement. Since you love to bring in off-topic sales numbers, how’s the new Malibu doing these days?

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        At 70% fleet, the Impala has about 50,000 retail sales per year.

        What should embarrass Toyota is that the Avalon is only 30,000. So, Impala has nearly double the annual retail sales.

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        And yet the Impala sells with thousands upon thousands on the hood and is an inferior car to even a 15 year old Avalon. No doubt Toyota sold less Avalons, but made far more money on them and doesn’t have to fleet the thing over 70%.

      • 0 avatar
        mikey

        Come on man….Your talking about a Toyota. Scroll down a couple of comments “30 mile fetch” says it all.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Good lord. The Avalon was ‘all new’ last year…its not a 15 year old model anymore.

        You do realize that the 50,000 count I gave you is RETAIL…in the car business that means NON FLEET.

        I also think its funny that you think the Impala is somehow a money loser for GM.

        A fair amount of the fleet sales for Impala are cheaper because they are DE-CONTENTED as the request of the companies buying them.

        Fleet is more than just Daily Rental. As an example, big companies buy cars to provide their sales staff transportation. They don’t need to have fancy infotainment/Nav/seat warmers etc.

        So, Chevy offers a 1FL trim level for the Impala that is
        a. cheaper
        b. de-contented

        Its laughable that you think the Avalon at 30,000 units per year is a bigger $$ hit than the Impala at 170,000 units a year (120,000 fleet/50,000 retail)

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        Mikey: Welcome back! I see the contest revved you up. Keep it up!

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      I think your just jealous that the new Impala is both nicer looking and will be a better driving/handling car than the barely noticeable Camry front ended Avalon.

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        No, I’m certainly not jealous of the ugly car your car company of choice is trying to foist on us. I have 20/20 vision that isn’t clouded by GM tinted glasses, even though my tax dollars paid for yours. You’re welcome.

        Nor am I jealous of the terrible grammar (it’s spelled “you’re” and “barely noticeable Camry front ended Avalon”? WOW, both factually wrong and stupid sounding!) from a tool that thinks his 2008 ex-rental Impala is the best thing in the world. Mmmm, unrefined pushrod FTW!

        Meanwhile, I sit here at the local GM dealer waiting for my father’s 2005 Silverado to be done getting its THIRD Intermediate steering shaft replaced on his so called “world class, longest lasting truck on the road” with 54,000 easy miles on it. Like a rock.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        I’ve got no real interest in this juvenile brand-loyalty pissing match here (about full size comfort cruisers, nonetheless!), but the reviews I’ve read of the new Avalon have been very complimentary, and surprisingly positive about the handling.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      84Cressida – you have no knowledge of what entails commercial sales, what-so-ever. Your insinuatinos about rebates and what-not are inaccurate.

      FYI:
      2012 Fleet (Commercial) Mix:
      FoMoCo: 30%
      GM: 26%
      Chryco: 26%
      Toyota: 10%
      Nissan: 15%
      Hyundai: 10%
      Kia: 10%

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        @tresmonos

        Do you have the daily rental mix for 2012 for each OEM?

        My instincts say that Chrysler will be #1 on that list.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Sorry, I do not.

      • 0 avatar
        84Cressida

        Really then? Wanna post up the Impala’s fleet sales numbers and ATP or did the number scare you, along with the average incentives for each company?? Anybody with a half brain and one who isn’t paid off by GM is smart enough to know that the Impala is one of the biggest fleet and discount queens available today.

        And your numbers further prove that GM is far more fleet reliant than Toyota!

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        84cressida:
        I would dive drive down the data to enlighten you, but your attitude has demotivated me. Your tone didn’t deserve the aforementioned data, but I wanted to enlighten the B&B. I’m not your professor/public school teacher.

        Also, keep in mind that the GMX211 was slated for cancellation after 2008 until GM put the business case for commercial sales into the equation. That or they canceled a program, not sure. Seeing their current commercial strategy, I would assume the former. The platform is incredibly old. The tooling / R&D long paid for. I don’t see you criticizing VW for making the Jetta Classico, Toyota for the now discontinued FJ, Nissan for the Tsuru? Are you aware of those fleet products? Or is your mind locked into what you see in front of you?

        Fleet sales utilize fixed pricing and easy forecast volume – not your imaginary cash on the hood, wheelin’ and dealin’ last minute inventory dumps. Look at the Crown-Vic, MkT Livery, vast production orders of the Ranger (F series in the past). It’s a consistent profit and doesn’t hurt warranty costs due to commercial agreements. Some businesses prefer it, some do not. There are certainly down sides to it, but truck, livery and gov’t sales have minimized impact on the customer used car experience due to the life cycle of the intended purchased vehicle.

        I’m sorry reality doesn’t pair up with your desired scenario.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m surprised noboby nominated him for the forthcoming award.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Marcelo,
        He’s working hard for it. You would think I would get a thank you (rather than further incoherent ranting) for disclosing good information like that! :)

        I also think 84cressida is ignorant of who he is addressing. mikey spent some time building the venerable car and probably has some well deserved pride in the vehicle.

      • 0 avatar

        Tresmonos, hey! Totally agree. I for one thank you very much. The information is now buried in my head in the “Most Interesting Info On Cars I Need To Know” file. Thanks again. Love your posts by the way as you are that most prized commentator, a real insider who doesn’t wear blinds. Thanks again.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        You’re welcome :) I dug around for some easy sales data since I keep hearing requests for fleet numbers. I think we’re all filled with useless automotive knowledge that should be spread around. I always appreciate your perspective on our Brazilian business – you’ve enlightened me quite a bit and I can see the business case for our sourcing.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        Here you go, kids. Argue as you wish.

        http://www.automotive-fleet.com/statistics/statsviewer.aspx?file=http%3a%2f%2fwww.automotive-fleet.com%2ffc_resources%2fstats%2faffb12-20-car-reg.pdf&channel=

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        Nice. The A3 surprised me.

    • 0 avatar
      Loser

      84Cressida,

      So you have seen and driven the new Impala for yourself?

      Wow, seem to have a Silvy (86SN2001) polar opposite here. Uses the same descriptive wording.

      • 0 avatar
        morbo

        Meh. All full size entry lux cruisers can bow down before the 300C and it’s glorious 363 ponies, nearly 400 lb-ft torque, 24mpg real world highway, and classic American* design.

        * American now means German transmission, Mexican engine, Japanese electronics, Canadian manufacturing, and Italian ownership.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      You mean the very same Avalon with the dual grill/gaping maw up front?

      Don’t think so.

  • avatar
    replica

    It’s quite Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in there. The steering wheel looks odd because it’s actually the shapeshifter Odo.

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    Those steering wheel controls still look like that harbinger of cheap afterthoughts, the credit card remote. I’ll expect those to start separating right around the 10 year mark, when support parts are no longer being produced. The rest of the interior looks good – but that steering wheel just screams “built to a price!”

  • avatar
    Darkhorse

    Gag me with a spoon. Horrible interior, too high a belt line, too low a roof, gun slit windows. As the owner of a 2003 Impala LS this car looks like a BIG step backwards. What has gone wrong with sedan design these last few years? I see the car manufacturers all agreeing soon to a common sedan body that they hang their own drive trains and interiors on. Sorta like NASCAR.

  • avatar
    jeoff

    They need to figure out a way to fit the battery for the 2.4L Ecotec engine with eAssist into the spare tire compartment. Looked at the Buick, and it was ridiculous how such a large car had so little trunk space.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    Seeing it in person with the manufacturer test drive models that are all around here — it makes the XTS look ugly. They have done a good job with the appearance, except that the narrow width is hard to wrap your head around for an Impala.

    It reminds me of the Azera.

  • avatar
    N8iveVA

    I actually like the exterior, but that steering wheel has to go. And am i the only one that finds that tan and gray interior to be a hideous combination?

  • avatar
    Detroit-X

    Ok. So here they go again.

    2014 Impala competes with heavily rebated, outgoing 2012/3 Impala, which competes with Malibu, which competes with Cruze, which competes with Verano, which competes with Regal, which competes with LaCrosse, which competes with the 2014 Impala, soon to compete with Chevy SS… and yet, no minivan, no small pickup, no modern mid or full size van.

    The downward spiral of GM profit margin goes on. Can anybody guess why?

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      No minivan? Thank god. They sucked at them and were actually smart enough to kill their bland effort. Why try with minivans? Its a dying market and Chrysler/Honda etc have it sewn up. Their minivan is the Traverse/Acadia/Enclave and they are segmenting leading in sales and command a fortune in price versus a minivan.

      No small truck? There will be soon. Colorado/Canyon come back in 2014.

      No modern mid or full size van? Really??? For the child molester market? Are upfitted conversion vans coming back soon?

      • 0 avatar
        Detroit-X

        The minivan craze is over, but there will always be a market for them, especially for a global platform to spread the costs. I have personal experience with the Chrysler products, and boy are they leaving the door open to the competition in the quality and reliability department. Even Toyota is cheapening its van. The Colorado/Canyon is a midsize, and probably will give up 5 MPG so they can tow a trailer once every two years. For the vans, I’m talking the cargo market. Look at the Ford and Chrysler models featured today. Not pretty, but I’m sure the cardboard boxes and PVC pipes don’t care.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Who cares about your personal experience with Chrysler? That has nothing to do with the point that GM developing a new minivan would be really stupid.

        You bitch about competing with themselves then suggust that they do the same thing. Traverse/Acadia/Enclaves are minivans without the sliding doors. They are very successful.

        Here’s the minivan market the last two years.

        http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2013/01/december-2012-usa-minivan-sales-figures.html

        http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2012/01/us-minivan-truck-sales-2011-december.html

        Chrysler/Honda/Toyota…that’s it for the most part. Spend a billion dollars to re-enter a dying market?

        GM has passenger and cargo vans…the Express and Savana. Yes, they are old. They sell them to plumbers and church groups. They should develop a new one?

        How small a truck do you want? You talking Mazda B series small? Colorado will be about the same size as a Tacoma.

      • 0 avatar
        Detroit-X

        sunridge place
        Thanks for the comment back, but I am unchanged in my opinions on this topic. I always like to consider differing points of view when written in an intelligent and sociable manner on TTAC, but if that doesn’t happen, I also receive some usefulness by seeing examples of how not to respond to others; thanks for the latter.

    • 0 avatar
      sunridge place

      So, you stand by your opinion that GM should re-enter the minivan market against three entrenched OEM’s in a dying market and damage the highly profitable Lamdas? FYI, Toyota is decontenting and cheapening their minivans to keep their margins in a dying market.

      Your stand by your opinion is that the should get into the cargo van market when they are already there…

      http://www.goodcarbadcar.net/2013/01/december-2012-usa-commercial-van-sales-figures.html

      A couple of OEMs bring over some Euro-spec vans (which GM doesn’t really have) and they should spend a billion bucks to compete in the commercial van market that they are already in?

      Your opinion really is that the Buick line shouldn’t be around….which would also kill GMC at put China at a bit of risk.

      Buick works just fine with US/China.

      Chevy brand no more competes with itself in cars than Toyota brand.

      Spark=No Toyota competitor yet
      Sonic=Yaris
      Cruze=Corolla/Matrix
      Malibu=Camry
      Impala=Avalon
      Prius=Volt

      Add in Scion and Toyota Mo Co is a lot busier than GM is if you add in Buick.

      Your argument of cannibalization is a common one. One can always find an example where it is true but, when you look at the overall lift sales and consider the globalization of many of those vehicles, one could argue the lift sales are more beneficial.

      Some said a strong Sonic would hurt Cruze sales….it didn’t really when you look at it overall.

      2012 US Chevy Cruze/Sonic sales= 319,072
      2012 US Toyota Corolla/Yaris sales=320,837

      Add in the Spark and Chevy outsold Toyota at Corolla and smaller last year with similar fleet sales….20%.

      GM added Verano and Sonic last year (for full year)…Japanese were crippled in 2011 which helped Cruze. Cruze was still up 2012 vs 2011.

      So, a full year of Sonic + half year of Spark + full year of Buick Verano + return of full production of Civic/Corolla and Cruze still increased sales in 2012 vs 2011

      Yes, Verano hurt Regal sales. It actually allowed GM to charge more for the Regal and not make it the entry point for Buick and put Regal into sales #’s close it its true competitors.

      Your argument that a new Impala ‘competes’ with the outgoing model is irrelevant…a new model always competes with the old one for a period of time.

      You like to tap into the ‘powerpoint’ culture and like to talk about your friends on the ‘inside’ and give vague ominous comments that ‘things haven’t changed’

      I think you’re still living in the past.

      • 0 avatar
        Detroit-X

        On the minivans, did you read your own link you provided? “America’s minivan market grew 12.9% to 554,827 units in 2012″ only lagging the overall market by 0.5%? When you have Chrysler doing 253,212 units in 2012 with sloppy quality, and 200k more with other brands, heck yeah that’s an opportunity to take market share in a solid segment. Look at the 40k units for the Colorado/Canyon on a unique platform; how can that be justified?

        For GM minivans, God-yes make them better than the last ones. Just use an existing platform (even Lambda—sooo many to choose from, you know), lower the floor, and drop the 1000-1500 pounds, and increase interior space. Nothing beats a minivan for interior space, utility, at decent MPGs. One doesn’t have to jump through hoops for this segment; just provide value.

        Even more competitor Euro-van announcements appeared since you took great interest in my comments. I actually like the look of GM’s current large vans, and I like the AWD option, but you can’t turn a blind eye to a direction several competitors spend billions on thinking it’s a good move… unless your GM, it seems.

        I think the Sonic, Cruze, 2013 Malibu, Verano, Regal, La Crosse are solid cars. They deserve much more consideration than they seem to be getting, but the hate toward manufacturers who stole family money in past disappointments can be very strong. GM is fighting that much more than they think.

        I do not agree with the simplistic, spreadsheet-style, Sonic vs Yaris, Malibu vs Camry rationale. Don’t customers also tend to consider vehicles below a price point, that are visually inoffensive, and whittle it down from there?

        Competition with one’s own outgoing model is expected, but done the GM way, it’s produce the old one like crazy, then rebate it to be $8000 cheaper than the new one. That’s THE competition I’m speaking of; the wrong kind, (recent reference to the old Malibu, Silverado, Sierra). One advantage GM has in this self-competition situation on the 2014 Impala is that the 2013 is just so dated.

        Just look at the numbers you have given. The ancient Corolla and the homely Yaris easily match the combined, brand new sales of the nicer looking Sonic/Cruze. That means success for GM and it’s strategy? I bet Toyota makes money on theirs, does GM? GM needs one car for Sonic/Cruze, one for Malibu/Impala, and with such focus on less models, GM has one less excuse why they’re not a hit.

        China’s credibility of sales and profit are as clear the smoke hovering over Shanghai, so I can’t debate it much. I’ll just say I find nothing trustworthy that has to do with China. It has been said here on TTAC recently that VW is doing much better in China than GM, who pads half their numbers with cheap, bottom-feeder models from their “partner.”

        Buick, Cadillac, GMC wouldn’t exist with a true clean-sheet approach to the U.S. market. But what’s Old GM gonna do with all those dealers? I would keep Buick with less models (drop the Chevy LTZ competitors), Cadillac doesn’t click with me (ever/at all), and GMC only works for the sole reason that GM has that glut of dealers to stock.

        You’re good at links. For all the Powerpoint-reasons to buy Buick-Cadillac-GMC over Chevrolet, I’d like you to provide me a link on: a study that defines the priority on customers put on buying cars from the closer GMC dealer, versus more the distant Chevrolet.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        GM re-entering the minivan market makes about as much sense as an OEM jumping into the full-size BOF SUV market that GM dominates today. If you have a large share of a market, you don’t bail out just as GM will bring out a new generation of full-size BOF SUV’s while others that were in that segment generally have left it or trudge on with aged products.

        But, GM has 70% share of a profitable but now smaller market. GM right-sized their SUV production into 1 plant verus they 3 they had pre-bankruptcy and have the right footprint to crank out SUV’s at current sales levels. Why don’t other OEMs jump into full-size SUVs now?

        A new ‘decent’ minivan from GM would not dent Chrysler/Honda/Toyota not matter what crappy car(s) you got from Chrysler and it has no other global outlet for sales. It just makes no sense. OEMs are exiting the minivan market (Kia Sedona) not entering and there must be some people satisfied with Chryslers minivans given their years of dominance.

        ‘. Look at the 40k units for the Colorado/Canyon on a unique platform; how can that be justified? ‘

        I’m not sure if you mean the old generation or the upcoming one? If you mean the old one, it had the H3 on it as well. Not sure where else in the world it sold. H3 topped out at 50,000 units and then all hell broke loose.

        In 2005, Colorado/Canyon/H3 sold over 200,000 units. You act like they developed it to sell 40,000 units a year. That is not correct.

        Once all hell broke loose, and HUMMER was killed, they targeted Colorado/Canyon for death after letting it go through the product generation cycle. They made that choice in 2009 by leaving the Shreveport plant in Liquidation Motors and not bring it over.

        The next gen Colorado/Canyon is global and sold in Asia/Brazil and will come here justifying the platform. It remains to be seen if it will succeed but it makes more sense to try there than the minivan market.

        ‘The ancient Corolla and the homely Yaris easily match the combined, brand new sales of the nicer looking Sonic/Cruze. That means success for GM and it’s strategy? I bet Toyota makes money on theirs, does GM? GM needs one car for Sonic/Cruze, one for Malibu/Impala, and with such focus on less models, GM has one less excuse why they’re not a hit. ‘

        Yes, its shows progress. Sonic/Cruze (especially Cruze) have ATP’s… thousands of dollars higher than Toyota. GM used to sell less small cars AND transact at lower ATP’s than Toyota. That isn’t progress? I don’t see how you can’t see that. I don’t have time to track down the Aveo/Sonic global numbers and figure out which ones are still the old Aveo vs the new Sonic/Aveo.

        You think they should merge Sonic/Cruze into one vehicle? Ok. That is just a terrible idea.

        ‘I would keep Buick with less models (drop the Chevy LTZ competitors), ‘

        Hmm…Chevy has an LTZ Cruze, Malibu, and Impala…so you would keep buick but get rid of Verano and Lacrosse??? What the heck is less?

        Buick/GMC Channel outsells Volkswagen group in the US at sold retail % and very high ATPs.

        BG is 600,000 sales a year and they are different customer than Chevy. Everyone thinks a GMC customer would stroll over to the Chevy dealer like a lemming. Some would…many wouldn’t. The GMC customer is different than the Chevy customer. Killing that channel would be a stupid move…perhaps the dumbest of a company that has made plenty of dumb moves.

        ‘You’re good at links. For all the Powerpoint-reasons to buy Buick-Cadillac-GMC over Chevrolet, I’d like you to provide me a link on: a study that defines the priority on customers put on buying cars from the closer GMC dealer, versus more the distant Chevrolet’

        Don’t know what to tell you there. I post links of sales #’s…not sure what is wrong with that. BG is a strong channel with a much lower dealer count than Chevy. I’m not market research. But, I will say that you live in Detroit which isn’t the reality of the rest of the country when it comes to retail automotive sales.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Looks like Camry upfront.
    Nice reflection of the light-colored dash material in the windshield

  • avatar

    Why is GM still making this ungodly pile of crap? I’ve yet to drive one that isn’t horribad (TM).

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    The exterior is pretty nice. That dashboard is….hideous.

    What’s the draw of Camaro-esque styling? Doesn’t work on the Corvette; doesn’t work here.

  • avatar
    Ciriya.com

    Finally they ditch the overplayed grille and go to something new. The interior is downright bizarre. Can’t wait to see hooptied out versions of this interior in 15 years.

  • avatar

    Well, it looks a lot better than the emasculated bar of soap that was the outgoing Impala. Pity about the interior – the IP and steering wheel are perhaps two of the busiest places on the whole car.

    Time to see how it’ll hold up after a decade’s worth of driving.

  • avatar
    dwight

    When I look at the Impala, I think of the Ford Taurus. But when I look at the Impala’s cousins, the Buick Lacrosse and Cadillac XTS, I think of Buick and Cadillac. The Impala is lost in this segment even among its corporate cousins. Hopefully, where the Malibu failed on its relaunch, the Impala will make up for it. But price is key because if we don’t like paying a premium price for a bloated Taurus, then the Impala is in for a rude awakening.

    Long live the ’00-05. That was a well defined car in its segment. And priced right.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    I like the looks of the exterior and interior … it looks a lot like the Honda Accord. Biggest concern is that Fusion/Audi like roof slope. It is possible the sloping roof might damage rear seat comfort … this would be a deal killer for me. Unfortunately, the new Avalon fell for this style gimmick. Hopefully Toyota stops this trend with the Avalon.

  • avatar
    geeber

    Chevrolet had the new Impala at the Washington, D.C. auto show this past weekend. It’s a very sharp car, and, of the three vehicles on this platform (Impala, LaCrosse and XTS), the Impala is by far the best-looking. It easily matches the Taurus and new Avalon both inside and out.

    There are two problems with the Impala, one major and one minor.

    The minor problem is that the dashpad in light colors fits as well with the rest of the dashboard as Donald Trump’s hair fits the rest of his head.

    The major problem is that, with the new Impala above it, and the Cruise below it, I can’t see why anyone would buy the Malibu. For that matter, I can’t see why anyone would buy a LaCrosse or an XTS instead of this car.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      For that matter, I can’t see why anyone would buy a LaCrosse or an XTS instead of this car.

      That’s part of the problem. What is smart thing to do? Loaded Impala LTZ or XTS?

  • avatar
    360joules

    I rarely comment on the looks of a car until I see it in person, but those projections at the bottom of the front grill (or upper air dam) look like they will snag on steeply angled driveways. Perhaps it’s the camera angle.

  • avatar
    bd2

    Chevy is not going any more “upscale” with the new Malibu than Hyundai and Toyota did with the new Azera and Avalon respectively.

    Furthermore, the LaCrosse will get an improved interior for its MCE and the next gen Lacrosse will get an even more luxurious interior.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe without commenting

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States