New for 2015
After a major redesign in 2014, the Impala remains largely the same for 2015, but drops the eAssist 2.4-liter model, instead offering engine stop-start technology on the base 2.5-liter I-4. To accommodate the new technology, the 2.5-liter I-4 gets a heavy-duty starter and engine mounts tuned for smoother restarts. A bi-fuel model is now available that runs on CNG or gas, while Blue Velvet Metallic, Rainforest Green and Autumn Bronze Metallic are added as exterior color options.
The Impala is Chevrolet’s full-size sedan that slots above the Malibu as the largest sedan available from the automaker. The Impala borrows heavily from its luxury platform mates (Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac XTS) and provides a quiet and luxurious ride that continues to make it a great value.
The 2015 Chevrolet Impala is available with two engines, both of which get front-wheel drive. The base engine is a 2.5-liter I-4 that makes 196 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque, which is equipped with an engine stop-start system to boost fuel efficiency around town, netting an EPA-estimated 22/31 mpg city/highway. We noted that the power band is higher on the four-banger, causing the six-speed to hunt busily for the right gear. Shifts are less than smooth. The recommended 3.6-liter V-6 makes 305 hp and 264 lb-ft of torque. The gasoline-only V-6 is EPA-rated for 18-19/28-30 mpg.
The new, 2015 Impala bi-fuel model that runs on gas and CNG; 260 hp on gas and 230 hp on CNG. Thanks to a tank in the trunk, the special Impala has the capacity of the equivalent of 7.7 gallons of gas, or about 150 miles of range. Overall, Chevrolet says the car has a total CNG and gas range of about 50 miles in the city.
Notable safety features include full-speed-range adaptive cruise control, crash imminent braking, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, and a rear vision camera with cross traffic alert. The 2015 Chevrolet Impala received a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars), and in IIHS testing received two ratings of good for moderate overlap front and side crash test categories (the highest possible rating is good).
What We Think
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. Epsilon II has worked for Chevy engineers because they have been able to cherry-pick all the best bits Buick and Cadillac have developed and refined.
The latest Impala is an excellent sedan, one we suggest sampling with the available V-6. The V-6, which Chevrolet claims is the most powerful naturally-aspirated V-6 in the segment, is well paired to the six-speed automatic that delivers almost sporting upshifts.
Basically the car is tuned by its tire selection, so you pick 18-, 19- or 20-inch tires depending on your preference for sporty handling. We’ve tried the 20s and find that the 19s on this car deliver a better balance of good handling and refined ride comfort.
We drove around the Great Lakes in a 2014 Impala, covering 7,000 or so miles through two nations and eight states.
We’re a little amazed that the 2014 Chevrolet Impala never once upset us. Not up here in the woods along Lake Superior, anyway. In the urban scrum or stop-and-go traffic back in Chicago, we would’ve hated its light-effort steering, compliant, easy-going suspension and especially its large size. But not up here.
- Copious rear-seat room
- Power of the V-6
You Won’t Like
- Overly light steering
- I-4 model’s power
- Reduced trunk space on low-volume Bi-Fuel model
- Ford Taurus
- Toyota Avalon
- Nissan Maxima
- Hyundai Azera