Everyone needs a least one sharp-looking jacket to wear in a variety of situations, and the 2016 Chevrolet Impala is the automotive equivalent of this essential piece of attire with an iconic name on the label.
The Chevrolet Impala has been in production since 1956. Not only has the Impala been around for a very long time, but it has also consistently been one of GM’s most sold vehicles. However, in recent years the majority of those sales have come in the form of fleet vehicles.
Chevrolet sought to inject some excitement back into the flagship with the release of its 10th generation Impala. All-new from the ground up in 2014, the Impala had fresh styling, more interior room and advanced technologies.
For 2016, the Impala adds Apple CarPlay capability and wireless charging technology to build on its connectivity. Also, a special Midnight Edition, featuring a blacked-out package to make the Impala’s styling even more dramatic, is available.
The new Impala utilizes architecture borrowed from GM’s European brand, Opel. The more rigid chassis makes it feel more sophisticated and modern.
There hasn’t been this many conversations surrounding the styling of the Impala since the 60’s. The bold new design clearly has a big emphasis on aerodynamics.
Taking styling cues from the new Camaro, influences can be seen in the sharp new grille, the aggressive hood and the creases over the rear wheels. It retains the unique Impala emblem on the C-pillars, however.
Top of the line models get HID headlights with LED daytime running lights. Also, 20-inch alloys are an option to replace the standard 18-inch steel wheels.
The cabin has received an equally dramatic makeover. Material quality is very high and the layout is logical yet pleasing to the eye.
Interior dimensions have grown with this generation of Impala. This means there is plenty of room for five passengers, plus 18.8 cubic feet of luggage space in the trunk.
From the driver seat, all pertinent information is displayed through two modern-looking analog dials and a 4-inch configurable screen in the centre. Heated and ventilated seats are available upfront, as well as a heated steering wheel.
Opting for the MyLink infotainment system with navigation and rearview camera results in one of the easiest to use combinations on the market. Also, the 8-inch colour touchscreen display can slide up, revealing two additional USB ports and extra hidden storage.
While the touch panel controls the advanced features, basic settings for climate, fan speed and volume have been left separate for quick access. Light blue ambient lighting also helps to provide a calm atmosphere.
Of course, don’t forget about the availability of GM’s OnStar with 4G LTE connectivity and Wi-Fi hotspot. That calms the nerves of everyone who needs to stay connected while on the move.
Rear seat passengers are provided with a substantial amount of leg and headroom. Despite the central tunnel, the Impala can realistically accommodate three adult passengers in the back.
Safety was also a top priority. The Impala comes with ten standard airbags along with a range of available safety features including collision mitigation braking, forward collision alert, and lane departure warning.
The 2016 Impala is available with two different engines to appeal to a range of customers.
The standard Impala comes with a 196 hp, 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine with Start/Stop technology. The 6-speed transmission has been refined to create a greater sense of performance.
Topping of the range is the most powerful naturally aspirated V6 in the segment. The 3.6-litre V6 is rated at 305 hp and 264 ft-lbs of torque and lightweight materials give a more balanced driving experience.
Upgrading to the V6 may be a wise choice. Not only is it a smoother powertrain, but it also powers this large car better, especially at full capacity.
On the road, the lighter and stronger structure, and reworked suspension, delivers a more comfortable and quiet ride than in the previous generation. Not only is the new Impala more composed, but it also shows a surprising amount of agility for a car of this size.
The Impala has a good stability control system and strong anti-lock brakes. They combine to inspire confidence in any driving condition, especially the brakes which offer authoritative stops with firm pedal feel.
If there is one complaint, it would be the steering feedback. While the electric stability control system does a good job keeping you safe, it does numb road feel considerably.
The new Impala is large and offers a lot of interior space, however while driving, the excellent new chassis makes it feel like a smaller car. However, with so many large sedans being redesigned lately, this segment is ultra competitive – the Impala will need to prove it’s more than just a company car.
Tell us what you think about the 2016 Chevrolet Impala. Do you think its sharp styling and high quality interior make it worthy of the iconic name?