2016 Impala New Car Test Drive
When Chevrolet reworked its Impala full-size sedan for 2014, the transformation was stunning. Instead of a bland, dowdy four-door like the previous Impala, the reworked version could truly be called beautiful, as well as comfortable, appealing, and abundantly equipped. Fuel-efficient, too.
With a heritage dating back to 1958, peaking during the legendary muscle car era of the 1960s and early 1970s, the Impala name has stood for performance and distinction in the Chevrolet lineup. Recent generations of the Impala have shirked that duty, but the current generation harks back to the nameplate's illustrious past.
For 2016, little has changed other than adding Apple CarPay to the MyLink smartphone interface. There's also a new option for wireless smartphone charging. Today's Impala is connected to the digital world.
Much of the Impala's running gear is shared with the Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac XTS. Inside, the dashboard shows intensive work, though a more subdued approach would have been nicer.
Equipped with stop/start technology, the standard 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine makes 196 horsepower. That's sufficient to propel an Impala most of the time. Still, even a brief, modest hill saps strength. EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 2.5-liter Impala is 22 mpg in city driving, 31 mpg on the highway.
With a V6 under the hood, the Impala turns into quite an energetic performer, neatly matching its engaging mix of comfort and well-composed handling. Generating 305 horsepower, the V6 mates with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy for the 2016 Chevrolet Impala with the 3.6-liter V6 engine is rated by the EPA to be 19 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, or 22 mpg combined.
Even with available 20-inch wheels, occupants can expect a neatly damped ride. Electric power steering reacts promptly and doesn't feel too heavy.
The Impala is more spacious than the Ford Taurus, Hyundai Azera and Toyota Avalon. Impala boasts supportive seats up front. Headroom falls short in the flat, bench-type back seat, though legroom satisfies.
Ten airbags are standard. Optional on LT trim, a backup camera is standard on the LTZ.
Infotainment meets today's standards. Bluetooth is standard in V6 models. Navigation is available. Chevrolet's MyLink system, using an eight-inch LCD touchscreen; has space for a thousand contacts. OnStar with 4G LTE provides a built-in wi-fi hotspot.
The 2016 Impala is available in three trim levels: LS, LT, and LTZ. A four-cylinder engine is standard, with a V6 optional in LT and LTZ. Each drives a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Impala LS comes with air conditioning; power windows, door locks, and mirrors; cruise control; and 18-inch wheels. Impala LT has cloth/vinyl upholstery and includes a power driver's seat; powered seat-height adjustment for front passenger, satellite radio, CD player, and Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment setup.
Impala LTZ gets leather seat upholstery, a power passenger seat, pushbutton start, 19-inch wheels, parking sensors, rearview camera, and sunroof. A Midnight Edition for LT/LTZ with V6 features a Jet Black exterior, black grille, sport pedals, and black-accented 19-inch alloy wheels.
Chevrolet continues to offer an Impala Limited from the previous generation, a new example of an old car, but only to fleets.