New York: Chevrolet Impala unveiled – aims to compete with luxury sedans image

At the 2012 New York Auto Show Chevrolet has unveiled the new 2014 Chevrolet Impala – a car that is less like the junky rental car you might call to mind.

The new sedan competes with the likes of the Hyundai Azera, Ford Taurus, Chrysler 300 and Toyota Avalon, all of which have been through at least one major model change in the past three years.

Outside: Much of the Impala’s front fascia has been cribbed from the Camaro — the hood is low and long, the front lights are slim and menacing, and the taillights are rectangular and wide.
In back, the rear fenders have dramatic haunches, and there is a sloping C-pillar that accentuates the greenhouse. The taillights–always the signature of the Impala–are rather understated.

Interior: The five-seat Impala adopts a version of Chevrolet’s now-familiar dual-cockpit dashboard, which is used in the Malibu and Cruze. The backseat head restraints fold for improved rear visibility, but trunk capacity, while very large at 18.8 cubic feet, falls behind the Taurus’ 20.1-cubic-foot figure.

Engines: 2014 Impala comes with three engine choices, including the carryover 3.6-liter V6 and a 182-horsepower Ecotec 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with the eAssist hybrid system. According to the automaker, Impalas with eAssist are expected to achieve 35 mpg on the highway. All are paired with six-speed automatic transmissions.

All models also come with A MacPherson-strut front suspension and four-link rear suspension, an isolated front cradle and hydraulic ride bushing that help deliver a smoother, quieter ride.

“When I first saw this vehicle in the design studio – probably about 16 months ago – I could not wait for today to come,” said Chris Perry, vice president of global Chevrolet marketing, during a media event last month in Detroit.“

This new vehicle reestablishes Impala as the flagship passenger car in the Chevrolet lineup.”

Price: The company declined to reveal the price for the new Impala. Aaron Bragman, automotive analyst for IHS Automotive, expects it will be more expensive than the current Impala.