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Continued: Impala is an impressive new flagship for Chevrolet

  • Article by: LARRY PRINTZ , The Virginian-Pilot
  • Last update: April 6, 2013 - 5:06 PM

Regardless of powertrain, all Impalas come with 10 air bags, anti-lock disc brakes and a full slate of safety options such as blind-spot alert, a rear camera and much more.

The V6 provides strong performance, with GM estimating a 0-60 mph time of 6.8 seconds. The throttle is very responsive and the transmission is cooperative most of the time, although there were some odd, hesitating shifts when coasting downhill.

The Impala employs the Camaro’s steering rack, and you can tell when driving an LT with 19-inch wheels. This is a vehicle that will carve through canyons, thanks to steering that varies its assist as you push it. There’s little undue body lean and excess body motions are held in check. Bumps are well absorbed. Stability at speed is impressive. While it’s no sports sedan, it’s significantly more fun to drive than its competitors.

By contrast, an LTZ with 20-inch wheels seemed to have a lighter feel to its steering — almost too light.

Like on many recent new GM vehicles, the interior was impressively quiet, even at high speed. There wasn’t any noticeable wind or road noise, except on rough pavement.

Outward visibility is much better than the Impala’s corporate siblings, thanks to its handsome styling, which doesn’t sacrifice looks for utility. The one exception is the rear window, which is narrow. Be sure to get the optional rear camera.

In the final analysis, it’s hard not to be impressed by the 2014 Chevrolet Impala, a car that does everything a full-size car should.

It can comfortably carry five people and their luggage. Its cabin imparts a premium feel, while the car’s overall styling evokes its heritage without a hint of nostalgia. Its performance is strong, while its appetite for fuel is meager. And the Impala’s price is low enough to challenge those of smaller cars with similar fuel economy, but less space.

By narrowly focusing the product — no all-wheel drive or high-performance SS models — Chevrolet’s new Impala will hit many buyers’ sweet spots.

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  • 2014 Chevrolet Impala

    Engine: 3.6-liter DOHC V6 

    Wheelbase: 111.7 inches

    Length: 201.3 inches

    Weight: 3,800 pounds (estimated)

    Cargo space: 18.8 cubic feet

    Fuel type: Regular

    Base price, excluding destination charge: $26,725

    As tested: Not available

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