Going out with a whimper. The Chevrolet Impala has come to the end of its long life, as the 2020 model year will be its final run. Instead of celebrating the last dance with some enhancements to help it better compete in the retail arena, Chevy is content to let the 2020 Chevrolet Impala sputter out without many updates.
While its quiet ride, roomy interior, and luggage-swallowing trunk make it a star at airport rental counters, the Impala continues to struggle against its more retail-friendly competitors.
Spacious, quiet cabin but lacks refinement. Inside, the Chevy Impala’s big body comes in handy, giving it plenty of space for folks of all sizes. Even the rear seats are adult-friendly with 39.8 inches of leg room and 56.9 inches of shoulder room. While its trunk is virtually unbeatable, the larger Chrysler 300 and Dodge Challenger cousins offer a touch more leg room at 40.1 inches.
Luggage also rides comfortably with 18.8 cubic feet of trunk space.
On top of being roomy, the Impala boasts a plush ride as it soars effortlessly over small road defects. Plus, tight door and window seals keep wind noise to a minimum, further enhancing its upscale feel.
Quickly dragging the Impala back down to its proper place among the rental-lot-dwelling family cars are its so-so interior materials. Sure, there's plush leather in higher trims, but it also still has plenty of hard plastics and questionable design features like its overly swoopy dash and funky steering wheel.
Folks seeking a more reserved interior design can find this in the Challenger or 300. The Hyundai Sonata also offers a nice alternative with just a little extra style the Chrysler siblings lack.
Eager V6 engine gobbles fuel. The Impala scraps the base four-cylinder engine in favor of an eager 305-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6. This engine offers all the forward propulsion most families desire, but its EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 19 miles per gallon city, 28 mpg highway, and 22 combined leave a lot to be desired.
Buyers seeking more thriftiness from their large sedan can find this in the four-cylinder-equipped Sonata, which delivers 27/36/31 mpg (city/highway/combined). Folks who want V6 power and fuel economy can opt for the Toyota Camry, which gets up to 22/33/26 mpg with its 3.5-liter V6 engine.
For the buyers who want a little oomph behind their family hauler, they can opt for the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 in the 300 or Dodge Charger. And those who want insane levels of power can dig deeper into the Challenger lineup and get a 485-hp, 6.4-liter V8 or a 707-hp, 6.2-liter supercharged V8.
Safety comes at a big cost. The Impala has the safety equipment to compete in its class, but it comes at a price. To get the basics like rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert, buyers must opt for a $495 package. That's disappointing considering the Impala's $32,495 base price.
The rest of the available safety features are only offered on the $37,595 Premier trim. Even there, buyers have to shell out another $1,275 for a package that includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning.
On a good note, the Impala’s optional automatic emergency braking system does receive a “Superior” rating in vehicle-to-vehicle forward-collision avoidance from the IIHS. But the Impala received only an “Acceptable” rating in the small-overlap crash test and a “Poor” rating in the headlight test.
The Sonata, Nissan Maxima, and Camry come standard with all the safety tech the IIHS wants to see. What’s more, the Maxima and Camry are IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus winners, and the Sonata earned a Top Safety Pick rating.
Final thoughts. The 2020 Chevy Impala is on its last legs, as the automaker plans to cut it after this model year, and its short-lived status is evident in its lack of advancement. Still, with its roomy interior, massive trunk, and peaceful ride, the Impala makes an excellent business traveler's rig.
Buyers seeking something more entertaining to drive can get V8 power from the Charger or 300. These classic slices of Americana also offer simpler interiors that are far less dramatic and cheap feeling than the Impala.
For commuters seeking peak fuel economy, the Sonata or Camry is the way to go. The Sonata adds a cherry on top with its incredible design that’s sure to attract plenty of stares.