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When it redesigned the Impala in 2014, GM sent the old, dull body to the scrap heap. The Impala you see before you today is one of GM's best big-car efforts. It's muscular where it needs to be, chiseled without looking too busy, a cut above its class.
The Impala's sheet metal makes up for those excesses. It's a gorgeous collection of panels. The lines are crisp and attractive, getting right what vehicles before it 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.
The shape catapults into overdrive at the rear door, where a complex, Mercedes CLS-like intersection of surfaces echoes the rear quarters on the Buick LaCrosse, until it darts off at the shoulder line into a new and smartly pressed crease. It's one of GM's best efforts at mingling looks while keeping the brands distinct.
The Chevy Impala has some of the best big-car road manners in its premium niche. In the greater universe of all cars, its ride earns a point above average, but its Avalon-besting steering and acceleration are just average.
The 3.6-liter V-6 you'll find in most Impalas has the strong, smooth power we'd want in a pricey mass-market four-door. With a good exhaust rap and a 0-60 mph time of about 6.8 seconds, the 6-cylinder Impala sports 305 hp, a big flat torque band and throttle response without the hair-trigger responses of some of the other big sedans in its class.
All Impalas get a 6-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode activated by a click switch on the shift lever—where no one will use it, since the tall console makes it an awkward motion. It's also not a "sport" mode, in that the timing of the shift doesn't change. The transmission isn't as seamless as the GM benchmarks of the past. Because the torque converter's set up to lock up more often in the name of fuel economy, a jumpy foot can trigger what feels like half-shifts as the converter unlocks. It's still ready to react quickly to the right amount of pedal.
Open the wide, tall doors, and the Impala V-6's nicely shaped seats aren't too deep a knee-bend away. At least five different seats are specified across the lineup, but that's mostly because of optional seat heating and ventilation—only the base versions are cloth, while mid-grade seats mix synthetic leather and cloth. Leather Premier seats feel better than the cloth/vinyl seats, and have lumbar adjustment.
Up front, head room and leg room are more than enough for even 99th-percentile types; the Impala's one of the rare new cars where you can power the driver seat too low and too high.
*This vehicle is Certified Pre-Owned and is eligible for our third party warranty program.