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2014 Chevrolet Impala Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2014 Chevrolet Impala was new.


Performance: 8.6

Test drivers say that the 2014 Chevy Impala offers the smooth ride you’d expect from a large car. However, they also write that the Impala is still an easy car to drive, thanks to its composed driving dynamics and precise steering.

  • "You can tell the 2014 Impala is right after driving the first 50 feet. The car moves away from the curb all at once, with the confident, forthright and yet reassuring feel that Bentley and Rolls-Royce engineers have told us is the signature of a fine motorcar." -- Automobile Magazine 
  • "After driving several early-production 3.6-liter V-6 Impalas over Southern California hill and dale, we're convinced that chief engineer Todd Pawlik's team has largely succeeded. Agile turn-in, competent dynamics, smart steering, and poise are character traits new to the Impala." -- Car and Driver 
  • "Exceptional road manners are the hallmark of the 2014 Chevrolet Impala. The car is smooth, even around corners, not just in a straight line. Unlike some full-size sedans, the car doesn't feel like it's fighting you." -- New Car Test Drive 
  • "Once outside the city, our driving route provided a good mix of twisty roads and wide-open Interstate driving, and while the Impala is no canyon carver, it was at least up to the task of allowing us to have a little fun." -- Autoblog

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Chevrolet Impala comes with a 196-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. A 305-horsepower, 3.6-liter V6 engine is also available, as well as a 182-horsepower eAssist powertrain, which includes a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. The EPA reports that the base Impala gets 21/31 mpg city/highway, while the V6 model and the Impala eAssist earn 19/29 mpg and 25/35 mpg, respectively.

Auto writers report that the four-cylinder isn't very fast from a start, but it has surprisingly strong passing power considering the Impala's size. Critics say that the new Impala accelerates smoothly and confidently with the V6, which also offers good passing power on the highway. While one test driver wishes that paddle shifters were available, the automatic transmission wins points for its quick downshifts when more power is needed.

  • "Even with four adults onboard, the 3.6-liter had no problem keeping up on winding back roads, and it delivered respectable passing power when asked. There's nothing particularly spirited or exciting about this engine, but acceleration is competitive with other V6-equipped large sedans." -- Edmunds 
  • "The six-speed automatic is a smooth operator. None of the competition has an eight-speed. But if one were installed here someday, two more gears would boost fuel economy and reduce some mountain-road gear hunting in this Impala." -- Popular Mechanics 
  • "The V-6 sedan accelerates swiftly up to cruising speeds. Power doesn't arrive with the forcefulness of the Toyota Avalon's V-6, which remains one of the best V-6 engines around, but the Impala's no slouch, either; Chevrolet cites a zero-to-60-mph time of 6.8 seconds. Engine noises are especially muted in the cabin, even under hard acceleration. " -- Cars.com 
  • "The 6-speed automatic transmission kicks down responsively to provide highway passing punch and shifts smoothly. While it can be shifted manually, we would prefer steering-wheel paddles to the plus-minus toggle on the shifter." -- MSN
  • "Particularly in contrast to the 305-horsepower V6, the 4-cylinder's max output -- 196 horsepower at 6300 rpm, 186 pound-feet of torque at 4400 rpm -- may seem a little tame in a large sedan with a curb weight close to 3700 pounds (Chevrolet has not yet furnished an official curb weight for the four-cylinder Impala). But if the 2.5 Impala isn't particularly quick out of the starting blocks, its passing performance is surprisingly brisk, thanks to revised throttle and transmission mapping." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

While test drivers don’t consider the 2014 Impala a sport sedan, they also note that it handles better than its large size would suggest. They write that composed handling and accurate steering make the Impala an easy car to drive. The Impala also impresses reviewers with its strong brakes and firm, yet comfortable ride.

  • "In terms of handling, though, the 2014 Impala is capable around turns, and its steering is impressively precise. Overall, it's a major upgrade over previous Impalas and a car that we'd be happy to take on a road trip." -- Edmunds 
  • "Although the Impala will never be mistaken for a sport sedan, it never feels clumsy or sloppy when pushed. This car shrinks around you and feels more capable, balanced, and agile the longer you drive." -- Popular Mechanics 
  • "The ride is firm but not harsh, which means you do still feel bumps, manhole covers and all the other things that make a road surface imperfect. The Impala floats a bit over bigger dips, but that's one of the rare times the suspension makes the car feel like a large car of old." -- Cars.com 
  • "It drives smaller than its considerable size, rotating willingly and staying fairly flat through turns. Those rebound springs help the car feel natural when transitioning back to a straight line, and the bump stops combine with a long wheelbase and an independent rear suspension to create a smooth ride. The brakes are strong, and while the steering is a bit too light for our taste, it's direct and predictable." -- MSN 

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