Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Chevrolet Impala 2.5 Liter Test Drive




 The new Impala is a great looking car in person. For some reason, many pictures do not reflect how good looking this car is in real life.
It is quite large, and isn’t trying to look any smaller.
The 19-inch wheels on my test car looked great (Part of a $1140 Premium audio & Sport wheels package)

It has plenty of personality and a strong presence. 
Until… You walk around to the back.
Where things look really generic. Which is just too bad. I think all Chevrolet cars should have round taillights anyway, and in this case, I think it would really help.


 The interior looks as good as the exterior. The doors feel very solid and heavy, like everything based on that platform (Lacrosse, Malibu, Regal)

Every plastic used is of high quality. (Almost no hard plastic here.)

The MyLink stereo & GPS system worked great, all the time. None of the frustration of the VW system. I had no problem playing anything from my phone.
The optional 11-speaker Bose stereo sounded great.

And the GPS requires only one line to type an address. A small detail, but it does make a difference. (As it is much more natural and intuitive.)


 While I am really not a fan of fake wood trim, it was actually almost OK in my test car. The trim was dark and looked fine in the black interior.


 The seats are some of the most comfortable I’ve tested in a long time. And they look really good.
The headrests especially, are some of the best around, with plenty of adjustment.





 The interior is full of very nice and interesting details. The brown stitching looks great everywhere it is used.
The hidden compartment behind the screen is actually large and very useful.

It is just a great place to spend time on the road.



 The back seat is huge. But visibility from the rear window is pretty bad. So the rear camera is a must. And it works great.


 The trunk, of course is pretty giant. And the rear seats fold down.


 The first thing I noticed while driving the Impala for the 1st time was how quiet it is.
I did test-drive the 4 Cylinder Lacrosse a couple of years ago, and though it was a bit busy at times.


But this newer 2.5 Liter version is amazingly smooth and quiet. At all times.
While 196hp is plenty for a 2.5 Liter engine, it doesn’t seem much for such a large car.
But in real life, it is just fine. There was always enough power for most needs.


 And the great 6-speed auto is always willing to downshift whenever you need. What a change from VWs DSG I was driving last week. Which seemed to just lock itself in 6th once you get on the freeway. And required a led foot to downshift.
This is never a problem in the Impala. And while the engine revs up, it is still smooth and quiet.

Sure, it is no V6. But you can still get one if you’d like for a bit over $1000 extra.

The steering also feels really nice and precise.

The suspension is a bit firm but always super smooth and comfortable. I think it strikes a perfect balance for this type of car.



While it is rated at 21 City and 31 Highway. I was never able to get 21 in the city.
My best number was 19. But I did get 32 on the freeway.

I really enjoyed spending a week with the new Impala. The car looks good inside and out. It has a reassuring quality feel to it.
It drives great and gets very good mileage.

As for the smaller engine. It is amazingly smooth and quiet and will fit the need of most buyers just fine.
But, it is only about $1000 less than the V6, which isn’t such a big difference. And from the official numbers, the penalty for the V6 is only 3MPG.
So you are actually not saving that much.

I guess I will just have to drive the V6 version soon and report on the difference…

4 comments:

Education Project said...

Way to drop the ball on that rear end. It looks so frumpy. What were they thinking? Look at Mercedes, BMW, and Audi, and take a hint for goodness sakes. Chevy is always finding some way to throw off a perfectly good design.

Other then that, the exterior looks stunning!

With the interior... I think that dash is a let down, namely the center stack, which looks like a swollen plastic, that is melting. It looks like something I'd expect in a Hyundai, or a very nice looking Korean car. But again, apart from that, I'm blown away by the fit and finish, the seats look awesome, and I've never seen a door panel look that contemporary and stylish, especially at this price point.

Great review!

Anonymous said...

Fix the steering wheel. Awful.

Anonymous said...

From the A pillar back, Chevy makes a pretty good 4cyl Azera.

I wish they offered a mid level engine in between the 4cyl and the V6.

I think the LTZ is fine to hog the 300hp V6, but that 4 cyl in even a 2LT seems strange. The Turbo from the Malibu should be offered as an option on the 1LT and 2LT models, leaving only the LS trapped with the 2.5.

- FusioptimaSX

Soul Brother No. 7 said...

Maybe if they called the 4 cyl. version the Impala Biscayne.