The current Impala was introduced four years ago to broad – and justified – acclaim: it offered plenty of comfortable passenger space, an interesting design and satisfying road manners for a reasonable price. Chevrolet has made few noteworthy changes since then, mostly because there has been little that has needed changing; the Impala remains a top pick in its class.

Pricing and Equipment

The Chevrolet Impala is a long, stylish four-door sedan built on a platform shared with the Cadillac XTS and the last-generation Buick LaCrosse. Power comes from either a 196-horsepower 2.5-liter inline-four with a fuel-saving stop-start system or a 305-horsepower 3.6-liter V6. In either case the transmission is a six-speed automatic driving the front wheels.

The Impala is available in three trim levels. The LS starts with a base price of $28,375 (all listed prices include an $875 destination fee), but its short features list and low price will appeal only to fleet managers. The more appealing and mid-grade LT stickers at $30,640 and adds a number of standard features such as:

  • An infotainment system which includes SiriusXM satellite radio and Apple CarPlay, controlled by an eight-inch touchscreen
  • A built-in wi-fi hotspot working through the OnStar telematics system
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • An eight-way power driver's seat
  • Alloy wheels

Options such as leather upholstery, navigation, and safety sensors like forward collision and lane-departure alert are available in a series of packages. The Premier (formerly the LTZ) makes most of the LT's options standard and adds a few new available features such as optional ventilated seats at a base MSRP of $36,720.

Performance Pros

Chevrolet Impala
  • Driving feel and handling are unusually good for a large American car. The Impala moves with a satisfying degree of buttoned-down control and confidence.
  • The ride is quite comfortable in the modern sense, with a secure attitude and good body control instead of the boatlike motions of old-school Detroit sedans.
  • The V6 puts out plenty of usable power, but it is not just a big lump of grunty torque; throttle tip-in and modulation show a pleasing degree of finesse.

Performance Cons

  • The standard inline-four is adequate and inoffensive, but lacks the strength to quickly boot the car up to speed in passing and merging situations.
  • The transmission occasionally feels busy and indecisive as it responds to throttle inputs.
  • The days when large Chevrolet sedans were in their element towing boats and campers on family vacations are sadly over – the Impala's maximum rated towing capacity is a mere 1,000 pounds.

Interior Pros

  • Physical measurements may not be much greater than those of its competitors, but the Impala's interior subjectively feels more spacious and open.
  • The front seats accommodate an unusually large range of body sizes. People who instinctively put the seat all the way back will actually need to make measured adjustments.
  • Road and mechanical noises are damped into near-silence, especially when running with the taller tire sidewalls of the 18- or 19-inch wheels.
  • The trunk encloses almost 19 cubic feet of available volume, and the seats are surrounded by cubby holes and cupholders and other useful storage spaces.

Interior Cons

Chevrolet Impala
  • The rear seat has plenty of space for long legs but headroom is more limited, and trying to fit three normal-sized adults across may require a bit of understanding and tolerance.
  • The spacious front seats allow a few too many character lines and material choices to sprawl across the dashboard.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

The Impala brings classic big-car presence and capability to the market while respecting modern preferences for design and control. It proves that time-tested ideas still make sense in an uncertain modern world, especially when supplemented by intelligent engineering.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

A handful of shortcuts and omissions are frustrating. Features that have become common on mainstream vehicles such as safety sensors, a rearview camera and memory settings for the power seats should be standard across the line, and option packages for the LT are expensive individually and tiered (selecting the Technology Package requires selecting the Leather Package, which requires the Driver Confidence package, which requires the Convenience Package) to compound the problem.

The Bottom Line

The Impala takes (almost all of) the best parts of classic big American sedans and fits them in a modern template. In its smoothness and capabilities the Impala makes a good case as a fine-driving, comfortable argument against both its direct competitors and the crossovers currently dominating the sales charts.