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  • Blake Noble
    Blake Noble

    Chevy's New Impala Will Only Leap On Its Two Front Legs

    G. Noble

    Editor/Reporter

    CheersandGears.com

    April 7th, 2012

    Without a doubt, the 2014 Chevrolet Impala probably turned out be one of the more pleasant surprises of the recent New York Auto Show. In a mighty effort to shed itself of the current model’s dowdy image as a car that you wouldn’t want to drive even if you rented it, the new car is certainly lightyears ahead of the outgoing model inside and out. It’s also millions of millennia ahead of the outgoing car with its option list too, which almost seems Xeroxed from some snooty banker’s big Mercedes.

    There is one option that, unlike its competitors from Ford and Chrysler as well as a banker’s Mercedes, won’t be appearing on the spec sheets, however — all-wheel drive. GM-centric website GMInsideNews.com spoke to Chevrolet representatives at the New York Auto Show about the new Impala and outright asked if the car would have all-wheel drive optional. After all, many curious minds have wondered aloud about it since the wraps were pulled off the big Chevy and both of its mechanical cousins at Buick and Cadillac offer it. The answer was no since Chevrolet believes full-sized all-wheel drive sedans only capture a small sliver of buyers in the segment.

    Source: GM Inside News via Autoblog

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    If they would add AWD to this car it would drive the price of an Impala to where few would pay. The Buick and Cadillac will both offer it and anyone willing to pay that much will just move to them. An AWD systme would drive the Impala LTZ to over $40. while it looks to be a winner of a car few people will go for a 300 HP AWD sedan at that price point. It is kind of like the Regal. where the Opel OPC offered a Turbo V6 and Haldex AWD but it was at a price over $50,000. While I would have loved to have seen the car come here as it was in Europe I suspect few would have been sold at a similar high price here. The GS is already a slow go on price even at the out the door price of $33K. I know what you can get one for as we just priced one when we bought our new car.

    Right now AWD is not cheap on a SHO but it also offers a performance model the Impala will not be offered in. The RWD Sport Sedan will take care of that As a resident of one of the areas that gets above normal snow in the winter few people here clamor for AWD. While they are sold here they are not as common as some would like to think. Where my inlaws are from in the Moutains out of state they make do with FWD and RWD too unless they do a lot of off roading.

    We opted out on AWD on out Terrain as the wife saw no need as she gets around find. I found the extra $1700, extra weignt and less MPG for somthing we did not care for as a waste of money in our case. Now if I lived on a long driveway out in the country I may think different but even on the large hills here I have yet in 34 years of driving not made it where I was going yet, Note I do not even use snow or ice tires as most in this area. Note too most people here work for the tire companies and they only use all seasons too.

    The greatest issue here is the great number of people on worn out tires.

    The lack of AWD on the Implala is not an issue. I do see a lack of an engine in the 200-300 HO range as an issue. I would like to at least see a mid range Turbo 4. There is just too much of a gap between the 4 and the V6.

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    GM is right in not having the Impala come with AWD. The need is simply not there. As for the I4 vs. V6 horsepower gap, that is easily explained: MPG. Basically GM wants every Chevy to have a 4-banger as the primary engine (excluding the trucks). Good idea given that unleaded is $4/gallon these days.

    I would like a RWD Impala/Caprice though alongside this FWD car.

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    I think the desire to see all-wheel drive as an option on this car stems solely from a group of enthusiasts who believe Chevrolet will never build another rear-drive sedan again and thought all-wheel drive would be an acceptable compromise.

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    Overall a nice execution. It's targets the Avalon, just like Malibu targets the Camry. Longer wheelbase, roomier, more feature laden, nice UI on the infotainment suite. Unlike the Bu, it is available with a V6 for people who value refinement over a few points in fuel economy which is about 1/3 of the Camry/Accord buyers and presumably 1/3rd of the mid-size market in general. Now, when you divide the class up between a smaller Bu and a larger Imp, the ratio for the Imp probably skews closer to 1/2 while that for the Bu skews towards 1/4.

    The one thing I don't like is the grill -- it seems somewhat out of step with the rest of the Chevy lineup in not adhering to the new corporate split grill DNA. That and it is a lttle messy -- too many lines, too much clutter in the front end treatment. Also, it's curious that active noise cancellation is used only on the I4s.

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    AWD is for people who don't know how to drive anyways....

    I not only have to disagree with you, but I find your statement to be totally arrogant!

    Yes AWD helps those that do not know how to drive or are very conservative drivers handle bad weather. Be it a heavy rain storm, snow, etc.

    Yet for those of us that have learned how to drive in bad weather from Ice storms, to compact snow and ice in the mountains to a heavy flash flooding storm, Having good driving skills and adding a bit extra of traction allows you to become an even better driver.

    If you live in a relatively flat Midwest or South and your biggest challenge is a mild hill, then FWD or RWD with Traction control or even without should be easy to handle for the rare snow. But get into true hills with a 45 degree incline/decline or greater and added traction is required and AWD can make the difference of being successful or failing and running into other people's property.

    Do not judge a person by their ability to afford AWD, doing so short changes yourself and shows narrow vision and thinking.

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    I think the desire to see all-wheel drive as an option on this car stems solely from a group of enthusiasts who believe Chevrolet will never build another rear-drive sedan again and thought all-wheel drive would be an acceptable compromise.

    AWD would be a nice option, as the competition does offer it. AWD is no substitute for RWD--even w/ AWD, Epsy Dos is still just a transverse engine FWD platform, which is in no way comparable to RWD. I'd take a Charger or 300 over any of GM or Ford's FWD/AWD big cars (that's just me, though..I know the general public prefers FWD vanilla).

    As far as the winter driving aspect, nothing wrong w/ AWD...I'd rather have AWD over FWD. But I'd rather have 4WD w/ ground clearance over AWD...and mud and snow tires instead of weak all-season tires..years of driving in Colorado, Michigan and Ohio winters honed those preferences.

    Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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    I think the desire to see all-wheel drive as an option on this car stems solely from a group of enthusiasts who believe Chevrolet will never build another rear-drive sedan again and thought all-wheel drive would be an acceptable compromise.

    But those people are the ones that go 'HURR DURR TEH ALL WHEEL DRURRVE IS NOT RURR WURR DRURRVE BIURRSED."

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    I think the desire to see all-wheel drive as an option on this car stems solely from a group of enthusiasts who believe Chevrolet will never build another rear-drive sedan again and thought all-wheel drive would be an acceptable compromise.

    But those people are the ones that go 'HURR DURR TEH ALL WHEEL DRURRVE IS NOT RURR WURR DRURRVE BIURRSED."

    They're known to be a bit contradictory at times. :AH-HA:

    Edited by black-knight
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    The bottom line is the price point of an Impala would go beyond what most would pay for a Chevy. If there was not already a Buick or Cadillac that offered it I could see it. But with the other cars who here would pay near or over $40K for a AWD Impala? Once you get to $40K there are too many other good choices for just a little more and I am sorry I see few sain people here that would pay what it would take to get one.

    This is another one of those things a few cry for it but even less would pay the price.

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    The bottom line is the price point of an Impala would go beyond what most would pay for a Chevy. If there was not already a Buick or Cadillac that offered it I could see it. But with the other cars who here would pay near or over $40K for a AWD Impala? Once you get to $40K there are too many other good choices for just a little more and I am sorry I see few sain people here that would pay what it would take to get one.

    This is another one of those things a few cry for it but even less would pay the price.

    The Taurus is available w/ AWD. Don't know if the new Avalon or Azera will be though..

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    The bottom line is the price point of an Impala would go beyond what most would pay for a Chevy. If there was not already a Buick or Cadillac that offered it I could see it. But with the other cars who here would pay near or over $40K for a AWD Impala? Once you get to $40K there are too many other good choices for just a little more and I am sorry I see few sain people here that would pay what it would take to get one.

    This is another one of those things a few cry for it but even less would pay the price.

    The Taurus is available w/ AWD. Don't know if the new Avalon or Azera will be though..

    And how much is the AWD Taurus? Most AWD Taurus are SVO's and are well over $40K Sticker. If you charge that much for an Implala you may as well get a ATS or even better yet a CTS.

    Edited by hyperv6
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    The bottom line is the price point of an Impala would go beyond what most would pay for a Chevy. If there was not already a Buick or Cadillac that offered it I could see it. But with the other cars who here would pay near or over $40K for a AWD Impala? Once you get to $40K there are too many other good choices for just a little more and I am sorry I see few sain people here that would pay what it would take to get one.

    This is another one of those things a few cry for it but even less would pay the price.

    The Taurus is available w/ AWD. Don't know if the new Avalon or Azera will be though..

    And how much is the AWD Taurus? Most AWD Taurus are SHO's and are well over $40K Sticker. If you charge that much for an Impala you may as well get a ATS or even better yet a CTS.

    The cheapest AWD SEL is approx $31k. As far as Cadillac models, it's a different customer...an Impala customer isn't going to be shopping Cadillacs.

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    I'd take a Charger or 300 over any of GM or Ford's FWD/AWD big cars

    Nope, not just you. I'd rather have a 2011 Dodge Charger, too.

    *sighs*

    Cort | 38.m.IL | pigValve + paceMaker + cowValve | 5 MCs + 1 Caprice Classic

    CHD.MCs.CC + RoadTrips.hobbies.RadioShows.us66 = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort

    * rNw-CC+event: http://rdwhl-capriceclassic.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=whatsgoingon *

    "Let's don't let a good thing die" __ Elvis Presley __ 'Suspicious Minds'

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    Charger or 300 easily over this.

    I'd take a Charger or 300 over any of GM or Ford's FWD/AWD big cars

    Nope, not just you. I'd rather have a 2011 Dodge Charger, too.

    *sighs*

    Cort | 38.m.IL | pigValve + paceMaker + cowValve | 5 MCs + 1 Caprice Classic

    CHD.MCs.CC + RoadTrips.hobbies.RadioShows.us66 = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort

    * rNw-CC+event: http://rdwhl-caprice...rd=whatsgoingon *

    "Let's don't let a good thing die" __ Elvis Presley __ 'Suspicious Minds'

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    Quote: In a mighty effort to shed itself of the current model’s dowdy image as a car that you wouldn't want to drive even if you rented it.

    As a current 2008 Impala owner I think this statement is a bit much. Not everyone wants a technology riddled, over sized tired, 4 cylinder powered butten crazed sedan these days that is hard to see out of and costs a fortune. The current Impala is getting long in the tooth but it still does many things well at a reasonable price, especially now that the 3.6 DI/6 speed drivetrain is being used. My 2008 2LT 3900 is one of the best cars I have owned to date, has been very reliable, rides well, is quiet, obtains 30 MPG on the open road pretty easily, has a nice large trunk and cruises down the road in a very agreeable fashion. The 3900 has also exceeded most of my expectations so far and with 93k miles has been totally bullet proof. I briefly drove a 2012 with the new engine/trans and was impressed at how it transformed the feel of this car. It will for sure be the engine of choice in the new upcoming 2014 model which will weight several hundred pounds more than the current car.

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