$27,095 - $40,810

2016 Chevrolet Impala Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Chevrolet Impala was new.


Performance: 8.5

According to automotive journalists, the 2016 Chevrolet Impala delivers a comfortable ride and controlled handling, though most agree that it isn't a sport sedan. They say its base four-cylinder engine has sufficient power, but most prefer the more-powerful optional V6.

  • "For a large family sedan, the Impala is effortless to drive." -- AutoTrader
  • "Regardless of which model you choose, you'll find a comfortable sedan with a big-car ride, a luxurious interior and one of the most refined road experiences in the segment." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "If you haven't driven an Impala since you were at the rental counter a few years back, we strongly recommend giving Chevy's reborn full-sizer a chance." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "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 (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Chevy Impala comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 196 horsepower. A 3.6-liter V6 that makes 305 horsepower is optional. With either engine, a six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The four-cylinder Impala returns an EPA-estimated 22/31 mpg city/highway while V6 models are rated at up to 19/29 mpg. Most of the Impala's closest rivals come standard with V6 engines, and the V6-powered Impala's fuel economy trails that of its rivals slightly.

Test drivers write that the four-cylinder Impala generally has sufficient power, but most comment that the Impala feels much stronger with the V6. Reviewers mention that the transmission responds quickly when more power is needed, though they say that some shifts are a bit rough.

  • "When equipped with the available 3.6-liter V6, the 2016 Chevrolet Impala sedan delivers praiseworthy performance and fuel economy. Capable of sprinting to 60 mph in less than seven seconds, the Impala sedan is quicker than one might guess, and its ample torque and effectively programmed automatic transmission permit confident passing maneuvers. The base 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine is unique in this segment, but it is surprisingly capable, with a respectable 196 horsepower to pull around the Impala's sizable body." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Strong acceleration gives the Impala V6 the fortitude required to negotiate city traffic, merge onto freeways with the flow of traffic and climb mountain grades, all while returning better than 20 mpg on average." -- AutoTrader
  • "You may be tempted to stick with the four-cylinder engine on account of its lower price and higher fuel economy, but if you shell out for the V6, you won't regret it. The unremarkable sprint to 60 mph doesn't tell the whole story here -- when you punch it at cruising speed, the six responds with real authority. The base four is smooth and willing, but its 110-hp deficit is readily apparent from the driver seat." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "The automatic transmission is reasonably responsive with controllable part-throttle kickdowns and quick downshifts under full throttle. It's pleasantly unobtrusive in all respects except one: When quickly decelerating, like on a highway off-ramp, it occasionally makes a jarring downshift." -- Cars.com (2014)

Handling and Braking

According to reviewers, the Chevrolet Impala delivers a cushioned and controlled ride, though a few critics say that the optional 20-inch wheels hurt ride quality. Auto journalists report that the Impala isn't especially sporty but still feels composed while cornering.

  • "The new Impala's electric steering offers pleasing heft regardless of vehicle speed and crisp response when bending the Impala into a curve or turning into a parking space. … Suspension tuning provides a deft blend of ride smoothness and handling prowess -- and while the Impala is not a sport sedan, it can cover ground at a rapid pace on twisty roads." -- AutoTrader
  • "As expected, the Impala takes road impacts in stride, soaking up the bumps and ruts like a big car should. … For maximum ride comfort, however, we advise skipping the 20-inch wheels, as they ride a little too harshly over sharp bumps. Taken around turns, the Impala demonstrates modest handling limits that don't quite jibe with the car's sleek styling. In the absence of sporting performance, though, the Impala still provides a secure feel on winding roads." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "No matter what engine you choose, the Impala offers luxurious comfort and quiet." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "Though its suspension lacks the effective HiPerfront strut suspension and adaptive damping system seen on more expensive full-size GM sedans, the Impala nonetheless manages to strike a commendable balance between ride comfort and well-controlled body motions." -- Left Lane News (2015)

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