Car Show Coverage...

...and other automotive ramblings

Welcome to the NewAndPreDrivenCars.com blog, where we will extensively cover the car show and cruise night scene in the Chicago area during the summer months, and write random auto related articles during the winter months. If you have a car show you think we should cover, please let us know!

Why all the hate for the current Chevy Impala

March 9, 2013

Recently I watched a video car review of the 2014 Chevy Impala and the reviewer said the car was “last redesigned when early life was first venturing onto land” This is not the first time I have heard the currently generation Impala bashed by someone in the automotive press. The current generation Impala has been around since 2006 and has been the choice of many Police Departments and Fleet managers.

The Chevy Impala was also my choice when I purchased a 2008 Impala LT in January of 2009. My car criteria for picking a car were pretty simple, Heated Seats, Good Storage, Decent Gas Mileage, Winter Handling and Aux in on the Radio. I looked at a Pontiac G8. It was a fun looking car as well as fun to drive. I discounted it immediately however upon discovering that the rear seat does not fold down. The trunk was average size, but sometimes I need to haul larger stuff. I was also worried about winter handling. The Impala seemed to meet all my needs as well come in at a low price point, so I purchased a Certified Used six month old Impala with 5,000 miles on it for about 10 thousand under the sticker price of a new one.

In my four years of ownership of the Impala, the car has given me no trouble. I find the heated leather seats very comfortable and supportive. Many reviewers complained about the cheap feel of the plastics in the interior, I do not see anything in the interior/dash that is not on par with other cars in the price range. The Impala with its Front Wheel Drive has done very well in some snowy and icy conditions for me. Its seems to me that auto reviewers are automatically obligated to bash any full size car that is not Rear Wheel Drive.

Certainly some of the problem with the perception of the Impala is GM’s doing. Rather then being an entry level car brand for the American Worker , Chevy seems to be trying to be a full spectrum from entry level to luxury. I probably would not have been interested in a base Impala with cloth seats and no options, and maybe the interior would feel cheap. Chevy also pushes out many of the cheaper versions of the Impala to the Fleet business, and this is where most of the public comes in contact with the Impala. If GM would have kept the Impala a more basic car and left out the options like Heated Leather Seats, I would probably be driving a Buick, and would that be a bad thing for GM?

So what about the 2014 Impala due to come out soon? I have not had the chance to see it in person yet, but from the videos and photos, it looks like a gorgeous car, of course the one making the show circuit is the loaded luxury version. But my question is , is this gorgeous car right for Chevy (and GM/Buick?). If you covered all the badging and told someone this was the new GM car, they would probably ask if it was replacing the Buick Regal or the Buick Lacrosse. GM seems to be repeating their mistakes of the past, not creating a separation between brands. That separation should not just be adding a few stylized port holes on the Buicks. GM needs to differentiate Buick from Chevy both on price point and luxury features, otherwise Buick could be joining Mercury on the scrap heap of brands that were no longer needed.

The 2014 Impala certainly looks great and if buying a new car, I would certainly shop it. But I would encourage anyone looking for a new full size car to shop the current generation of Impala’s as well. Pick up a low mile Certified Used Impala, and you will find good value and a comfortable car.

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