Funny thing about doing what I do…occasionally you get a surprise. Sometimes it’s a bad one and sometimes a pleasant one. As a car reviewer, I pick from lists of cars to review and try to choose either one I’ve never had before, or one I get a lot of questions on. When the 2016 Chevy Impala popped up, I jumped on it because I had never done a full review of it.
So this week I present to you the 2016 Chevy Impala, a large sedan that shares a platform with the Cadillac XTS and the Buick LaCrosse. Let’s start under the hood of Chevy’s flagship sedan, where we find the 3.6-liter V6 that is putting out a respectable 305-horses.
It has a 6-speed automatic transmission, and the Impala is front-wheel drive, although it drives like a rear-wheel drive car. A 4-cylinder 2.5-liter is available, but the 3.6 is the engine you want, especially at 29 miles per gallon on the highway.
Made continuously since 1958, Impala sports a beautiful exterior, with unusual body lines that run from the front of the car to the back of the rear door, then arched lines start in the middle of the rear door and continue to the rear end. It has a sculpted hood, and a terrific front end with a spoiler. Then a rear spoiler and chrome dual exhaust set off the rear end looks. The swooping roofline completes the sporty exterior looks.
Impala sits low to the ground with a wide stance, and the tires completely fill the wheel-wells for an aggressive look.
My review vehicle is a new model for 2016 that is called the Midnight Edition. You’ll notice everything is blacked out, even the Chevy Bow Tie in the grill. It comes with terrific 19” pocketed black aluminum wheels. This package only runs $1195 and looks terrific.
Moving to the interior, it is quite reminiscent of a Cadillac, with soft seats and a lot of stitching throughout the car. The dash layout is simple and everything is easy to operate and reach. You can configure the driver information center in the middle of the gauges to get driver information that may be needed.
An 8” color monitor runs Chevy MyLink, which operates everything from the apps, to the 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, to syncing your phone, to the terrific navigation system. The screen will open up with the push of a button for a hidden compartment of sorts.
Two new features for 2016 are Apple CarPlay, and in front of the console, a built-in cell phone charger. Besides operating from the color screen, you can also operate everything from the steering wheel controls.
Impala comes in three levels, the entry-level LS, the middle of the road LT, and this is the top-of-the-line LTZ, which has a long list of standard equipment. Most notable is rear view camera, keyless entry, remote start, leather interior, power seat, and heated seats.
Standard safety features include 10 airbags, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. The Impala comes with a 5-Star safety rating from the U.S. government.
Besides the Midnight Edition package, my tester has the comfort and convenience group which includes electric tilt and heated steering wheel, air conditioned seats, and memory seats for $1035. It also has the technology package which gets you a 120-volt power outlet and an 11-speaker Bose stereo for $735.
The Impala drives great, handles really well for a large car, and is super quiet inside, which Chevy worked very hard on. Back seat room is very spacious and it has the largest trunk of any car in its class.
In fact, this car is SO good, I almost wish they had named it something other than Impala. If you think back past 2014 when this car was completely redone, the impressions of Impala for me were not good, but that has all changed. This car is a worthy competitor to Toyota Avalon, Chrysler 300, and Ford Taurus. I would go so far as to say it is elegant inside, and is full of high tech equipment.
I mentioned earlier it gets 29-MPG highway, and it’s actually doing a little better. City mileage is 19, giving it an overall 22 combined.
MSRP is $39,825, which is actually a great price for everything this car has on it.
Yes, this was one of the pleasant surprises, this is a car I really like and would recommend it highly for those who want a large, roomy sedan with plenty of space for 5 adults.
What I liked most: The exterior and interior looks, interior room.
What I would change: Truly, not a thing!
MSRP: Base price $35,540, as equipped $39,825.
Fuel Economy: EPA rated at 19 city, 29 highway, 22 combined.
Fuel Tank: 18.5 gallons of regular unleaded.
Dimensions: 16.75’ long/5.1’ wide/4.9’ high.
Weight: 3730 Pounds.
2016 Impala in a few words: A real sleeper, and an outstanding daily driver.
Trailer Towing: 3800 pounds.
Warranty: 5-year/60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper with roadside assistance, and courtesy transportation.
Miles When Tested: 460
Manufacturer’s website: Chevrolet