2014 Chevy Impala offers comfort, new features


"This is has got a bold and expressive design, this is on a longer wheelbase, it's got more spaciousness, we're drawn back to some of the heritage of the Impalas in the 1960s, where people could identify that as a Chevy flagship, and that's what we think we've done here with the new Impala," said Ken Kelzer, chief engineer of the Impala.

That history goes all the way back to 1958, when the Impala badge adorned the top-of-the-line Chevy. Through the 1960s the name was synonymous with large family cars. General Motors sold millions of them.

But in recent years, the Impala was left to sort of twist in the wind, as a bland sedan that mostly found its way into government and rental fleets.

The clean sheet new Impala grows in size, interior space and features. It also does grow in price. Base models will be under $30,000, but the majority of cars sold will be over. The top-of-the-line LTZ can top $40,000 if you opt it out with everything.

Since the Impala is the flagship of the Chevy line, lots of attention was given to safety. Chevy even came up with an innovative idea for your personal safety.

The Impala's available MyLink includes a feature called valet. It has a compartment that closes and locks with a combination like hotel room safes.

"So if you're going into a restaurant, giving the vehicle to a valet person and you wanted to prohibit them from getting inside, to get into your cellphone, access your information about where your home setting is, this completely locks that," said Randy Fox, GM spokesman.

Increased features do abound in this car, but well-optioned examples are a lot more money than the previous Impala.

Chevrolet is convinced that this new sedan is on the right track to carry the brand as a hallmark model.

"You look at this, you identify it as the new Impala, it is a car that you want to be seen in, and that's what we're trying to do," said Kelzer.

Sales numbers will be the ultimate test, when the new Impala goes on sale in mid-April.

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