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There's a simple reason we like the Impala so well—it shares a lot of its running gear with two other very well-executed GM sedans, the Cadillac XTS and the Buick LaCrosse. It bears a passing resemblance, too, to the LaCrosse, but GM's done a bang-up job distinguishing the two cars. The Impala's crisply themed sheet metal has a bit of Mercedes CLS in its rear quarters. Most cars are best approached from the front, but the elegance and sophistication of the Impala is best appreciated from the rear—and, we would note, it looks better in person than in most photographs.
The new Impala wipes the slate clean. It's really a gorgeous set of sheet metal stampings, in almost every color we've seen. The lines are crisp and attractive, getting right what vehicles before it—Malibu, Traverse—had gotten wrong. The grille evokes a Honda's front end; the headlights should wear Saab trademarks. Despite all the ribs and lines stamped into the hood, it looks exciting and even clean.
Power ranges from adequate to healthy, depending on whether the Impala's fitted with a 4- or a 6-cylinder engine. With its old Eco model dropped, the base Impala now sports a 2.5-liter inline-4 with 196 horsepower. It's coupled to a 6-speed automatic, and pushes its power to the front wheels. With this basic setup, the Impala's a middling performer, more eager at city speeds than in pulling through interstate passes. It's quieter than you'd think, since GM fits active noise cancellation to this model; engineers set the engine to run at very low speeds and use the noise-cancellation system to drown out engine noises that might sound iffy to drivers.
The Impala isn't much larger than the Passat, Avalon, or Azera, but it's nominally in the next-largest size class. There's not much difference in the interior space available on the spec sheet, but the Impala does feel exceptionally roomy and less claustrophobic than a couple of those competitive sedans.
*This vehicle is Certified Pre-Owned and is eligible for our third party warranty program.