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2014 Chevy Impala LT 2.5 (update 2014 Impala LT 2.4 Eco and 3.6)


regfootball

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DRIVEN

 

2014 Chevy Impala 1LT 2.5

 

HIGHS

 

Who can deny it's a sexy shape? STUNNER

Lots of beautiful styling details if you look long enough and take notice

Makes good on the promise and premise of a full sized sedan, lots of room and space, front and back and trunk

This thing is definitely a great highway cruiser, in the vein of so many other GM sedans, you can be king of the cornfield states

Seating all around is very comfortable

Interior design is definitely flashy, good looking gauges and useful controls

MyLink system has a lot of nice features

Heft and solidity lacking in so many sedans these days

The 4 cylinder, if set on cruise, and settled in, and is not asked to be disturbed, cruises pretty nicely

Optional sound system was very good sound, I was sort of impressed.

 

LOWS

 

Yup, like so many recent GM products, its a bit of a claustrophobic bunker.  Blame it on the sexy roofline and greenhouse.

Mailslot view out the rear.

Side windows don't help with that, they are tiny and they suck.

Really, there is too much going on on the dash.  I love the design, but its overdone and it is in fact distracting, especially with the sun glare off the shiny parts.  It's like 'dashgasm', there's a lack of taste or restraint.

I'll pile on and call the interior plastics in many places..."cheap".  Chevy's pebble graining is getting old and really doesn't cut it at certain prices.

I am ok with the look of the strange steering wheel but the steering wheel buttons are a huge fail with their plastic skin covering.  This will break over time, it feels like crap, you can't really feel the buttons, there is a lack of tactility.

Heft and solidity mean a car that's just too damn heavy.

Low roofline / pancake roof.  See above.

MyLink stuttering and glitches with bluetooth streaming

A car that's too damn heavy means not as good of mpg as it should get; why is the mpg on the Impala so much less than the Malibu?  21/31 does not cut it when the competition gets nearly the same out of its v6's and turbo fours.

 

Biggest flaw, the four cylinder powertrain in this car is simply half baked, not ready for prime time, and not at all ready to be in this car.  You can't just simply get in and drive.  You have to get a feel for the flaws in how it shifts, where the power and lack of power is. The power delivery is not linear.  The transmission won't kick down.  you can't say its tuned for mpg, because the mpg is not there, either.  It settles in nicely to cruise at 70+ mph at only 2000 rpm....but then why the low mpg?  Otherwise, getting there, the car is confused, hiccups, is not smooth, is difficult to drive.  I noticed that after 15-20 miles I was learning how to work the throttle more to make up for the car's deficiencies, but whoa, you really end up concentrating too much to how to drive the thing.  This is not what the Impala should be (a high effort car).  It is so easy to see how the v6 would be so much better a match for this car.  The whole rest of the car has the persona of a laid back v6 cruiser, just missing the right engine.

 

SUMMARY

 

I'll give the four cylinder Impala a B-.  If they work on the powertrain of the four I will gladly upgrade the score.  Obviously, Chevy likely feels forced to put a 4 banger in this car due to fleets and the Oppressive EPA, but clearly this car rejects this setup as it is.  Whether it just needs a lot of work and magic or whatever else, remains to be seen.  Turbo perhaps?

 

All I know is I drove the Ford lot by my place today and they had a 2015 Taurus on the lot.  SEL with Sync, heated leather and v6, and the best price was 25g.  The Impala is a great car, but the Taurus is creamy smooth in its own right.  I don't think the current powertrain buys the Impala a good spot in the 25k real price class.  The concept of a 4 cylinder or diesel impala with true high mpg makes sense to me, but its not realized here.  For the same 25g, I would pop for the Taurus.  If you want to say the Impala is a better car, it may be, but only at higher prices, with a v6, and even then it will depend on equipment.  Its possible the loaded Impala with v6 will merit an A.  Fine, but then why wouldn't I get a LaCrosse?

 

All the other sins I can forgive as I know they are bought with the sexy shape.  The powertrain mess though, is just gonna frustrate the snot out of you.  Not the way to serve up a full size sedan.

Edited by regfootball
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As an owner of an Impala LTZ 3.6L, I have to ask why anyone would even remotely buy, or expect stellar performance from the 2.5L. The car is 3800lbs. In my 3.6L powered Impala I have yet to ever actually need more power. Would I desire the TT3.6L? Sure. But I have no issue with what I have and in fact have been capable of pounding everything from the smaller Maxima to the similar sized Acura TL. It moves!!! And with 19K on the odo it seems to move even faster than it did when it was doing last year.

 

Also in terms of the other complaint about the windows being "gunslit." I respectfully disagree. I have in those 19K miles of driving never had issue with visability.. and that's with 20% tint. Maybe its because the car that this replaced was a 2011 Camaro. 

 

I also find it contradictory when U say "Seating all around is very comfortable" but then say "Yup, like so many recent GM products, its a bit of a claustrophobic bunker." To me the cabin is airy and spacious and I'm 6'3, 218lbs. I would ask did U try and simply lower the seat?

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With GM developing a larger Malibu debuting in the next year or two, I wouldn't be surprised if this generation of Impala is the last one. 

 

 

I agree. I think its possible we might see the original IMPALA PLAN that was scraped return using Omega instead of Zeta and effectively merging the Impala with the Caprice and SS. Decontented a bit from the Cadillac, I could even see them simply calling it something else like Zeta II. Similar in fashion to how Sigma and Zeta were related

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As an owner of an Impala LTZ 3.6L, I have to ask why anyone would even remotely buy, or expect stellar performance from the 2.5L. The car is 3800lbs. In my 3.6L powered Impala I have yet to ever actually need more power. Would I desire the TT3.6L? Sure. But I have no issue with what I have and in fact have been capable of pounding everything from the smaller Maxima to the similar sized Acura TL. It moves!!! And with 19K on the odo it seems to move even faster than it did when it was doing last year.

 

Also in terms of the other complaint about the windows being "gunslit." I respectfully disagree. I have in those 19K miles of driving never had issue with visability.. and that's with 20% tint. Maybe its because the car that this replaced was a 2011 Camaro. 

 

I also find it contradictory when U say "Seating all around is very comfortable" but then say "Yup, like so many recent GM products, its a bit of a claustrophobic bunker." To me the cabin is airy and spacious and I'm 6'3, 218lbs. I would ask did U try and simply lower the seat?

lowered the seat yes, but the pancake roof, while looking sexy, is still too low in relation, and the height of the side glass just ain't that much.  The proportion of the length of the greenhouse glass to the height is exaggerated due to styling.  Overall, like i said, i can forgive a lot on the car due to styling.  But its definitely not an open air car.  Reminds me of my father in laws 08 grand prix which i drove today.   Same disease, just not as bad.....roof feels like its right on top of you.

 

I would imagine a moonroof would help that feeling.  Just to know too, the Taurus has some of that bunker feel going on too.  A lot of cars do.  Seating quality and feel of bunker are two different things, too.  The seat itself really does nothing to contribute to a bunker feel.  The height of the seat, even when adjusted favorably, still doesn't make the feel of a low heavy roof go away.

 

Thats just my opinion, your results may vary.  I'm certainly not trying to force an opinion on someone else, especially someone who owns the car.

 

As far as the 4 cylinder, its puzzling to me.  I really do think its there for fleet cars and because of EPA pressures.  Its like GM never got time to do the best job of it in this vehicle.  I think if they spend some time retuning the engine, the trans and shifting, and maybe work with changing the gearing, that maybe they get it so its at least drivable.  Anyone who owns the 4 cylinder will learn how to drive it more smoothly over time of course, but they will be compensating for how clumsy it is.  They won't be driving it the way they want.

 

Maybe Chevy needs to make the 2.0t the base engine in this thing.  And retune it for FE instead of 290hp.  Tune it for about 250hp and high twenties combined EPA.

Edited by regfootball
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As an owner of an Impala LTZ 3.6L, I have to ask why anyone would even remotely buy, or expect stellar performance from the 2.5L. The car is 3800lbs. In my 3.6L powered Impala I have yet to ever actually need more power. Would I desire the TT3.6L? Sure. But I have no issue with what I have and in fact have been capable of pounding everything from the smaller Maxima to the similar sized Acura TL. It moves!!! And with 19K on the odo it seems to move even faster than it did when it was doing last year.

 

Also in terms of the other complaint about the windows being "gunslit." I respectfully disagree. I have in those 19K miles of driving never had issue with visability.. and that's with 20% tint. Maybe its because the car that this replaced was a 2011 Camaro. 

 

I also find it contradictory when U say "Seating all around is very comfortable" but then say "Yup, like so many recent GM products, its a bit of a claustrophobic bunker." To me the cabin is airy and spacious and I'm 6'3, 218lbs. I would ask did U try and simply lower the seat?

lowered the seat yes, but the pancake roof, while looking sexy, is still too low in relation, and the height of the side glass just ain't that much.  The proportion of the length of the greenhouse glass to the height is exaggerated due to styling.  Overall, like i said, i can forgive a lot on the car due to styling.  But its definitely not an open air car.  Reminds me of my father in laws 08 grand prix which i drove today.   Same disease, just not as bad.....roof feels like its right on top of you.

 

I would imagine a moonroof would help that feeling.  Just to know too, the Taurus has some of that bunker feel going on too.  A lot of cars do.

 

Thats just my opinion, your results may vary.  I'm certainly not trying to force an opinion on someone else, especially someone who owns the car.

 

As far as the 4 cylinder, its puzzling to me.  I really do think its there for fleet cars and because of EPA pressures.  Its like GM never got time to do the best job of it in this vehicle.  I think if they spend some time retuning the engine, the trans and shifting, and maybe work with changing the gearing, that maybe they get it so its at least drivable.  Anyone who owns the 4 cylinder will learn how to drive it more smoothly over time of course, but they will be compensating for how clumsy it is.  They won't be driving it the way they want.

 

 

 

 

maybe its because I have the dual sunroof.. and would never buy a car of this caliber without it. ALTHO.... when I put the sunshade up.. I still have no issues with headroom in the car.  I still have no issue with the visibility of the vehicle, even when I'm dodging in and out of traffic at 90mph

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I think of the 4 cylinder Impala as the modern version of a 1960's Impala with an inline six and Powerglide. However, the 4 cylinder Impala isn't much cheaper than a Taurus SE with the 290 hp V6. The 2.5 cylinder Impala would make more sense to me if it were about $3,000 cheaper. Also, its fuel economy should be only about 1 mpg less than the Malibu's.

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Hopefully GM will realize half baked auto's hurt it more than help it and will change this sooner rather than later. I suspect allot of these could end up in the rental fleet area which is not good for building GM awareness of awesome auto's which GM has many of.

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  • 6 months later...

I finally had a chance to get a short test drive in a v6 Impala today. It was a pre-owned LT 3.6 with about 25,000 miles on it.

 

The whole rest of the car has the persona of a laid back v6 cruiser, just missing the right engine.

SUMMARY

I'll give the four cylinder Impala a B-.  If they work on the powertrain of the four I will gladly upgrade the score. 

 

 

So that is what I will do.  The v6 Impala was a nice drive and therefore, I see reason enough to give the car an A-, even though there is some minor nitpicks left.  Overall, it does a very good job of interpeting what a large family sedan could be at this time in the world.

 

Here's a modified HIGHS and LOWS

 

HIGHS

 

sexy shape? yes, even FOUR DOOR COUPE like

Nice details

Makes good on the promise and premise of a full sized sedan, lots of room and space, front and back and trunk

great highway cruiser, in the vein of so many other GM sedans, you can be king of the cornfield states

Seating all around is very comfortable.  Love the drivers seat and the lumbar

Flashy interior

Big touchscreen

Smooth powertrain with good power

Pretty quiet

Not a floater, not a sports car.  Good blend of cushy ride and handling but not a boat.

 

LOWS

 

Even though it bothered me a lot less this time, it still has a low roof and a bit of a bunker feel.  Smaller windows, including a mailslot rear window.  Knowing it is for the styling forgives it to a point.  If i got one, i would need the moonroof to help with the smash down roof feel.

Side windows don't help with that, they are not tall.

still the feeling of........ 'dashgasm'

Still feels like some cheapness inside.  I know its not a LaCrosse or XTS......

Wouldn't mind some more torque from the v6.  Maybe a turbo 4 would be the right fit in this car.  A diesel would be FANTASTIC in this thing.

Crossovers and trucks keep making sedans less and less relevant, maybe the sedans need to evolve to sit a bit higher and have taller roofs........

Depreciation is already a problem with the new body style.  Lots of used ones on the market, and selling cheap.

 

Really is a great car, would recommend this just about anyone.

Edited by regfootball
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  • 3 weeks later...

As the owner of a 2010 Taurus, I can't imagine buying another over the Impala. It certainly doesn't have better visibility. In my experience it won't generally make the mileage claims. A couple times? And the interior has nothing at all on that new Impala. Space or quality wise.

 

Though, I have heard about reluctant trans tuning. I assume you and the car get used to each other after awhile. Seems a valid complaint though.

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As the owner of a 2010 Taurus, I can't imagine buying another over the Impala. It certainly doesn't have better visibility. In my experience it won't generally make the mileage claims. A couple times? And the interior has nothing at all on that new Impala. Space or quality wise.

 

Though, I have heard about reluctant trans tuning. I assume you and the car get used to each other after awhile. Seems a valid complaint though.

 

 

No issues with that either. I would imagine that a tune, like what I did in my Yukon, of the TCM would make it even more responsive. If so,.. WOW. This car is already quick as a whip for its size especially

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I'm going to go against the grain here and say that I find the 2.5 to actually be adequate in this car. You don't notice the lack of power unless you floor it. And it's certainly enough for the average AARP member to take to bingo night.

 

Conversely, you don't notice the power in the V6.....unless you floor it. It does not have the kind of effortless, turbine-like acceleration I'd expect in such a car, and that is present in others, like the Avalon. Also, while the ride is fantastic, they certainly compromised on the steering/handling front to obtain it. I understand these aren't backroad burners, but it lacks the athleticism and fleet feeling of the aforementioned Avalon. Another sore spot is the rear seats. They have this crescent-like shape to the front that makes them uncomfortable for anyone over about 5ft to sit in. And they're flat and angled poorly, imo. The front seats are great, however. I mostly agree on the interior. It's not exactly what I'd call cheap, but it's far from luxurious. The steering wheel, in particular, is heinous. Among the worst I've ever seen in a car. I also hate that to get full leather you have to get the LTZ. That was a poor packaging decision on GM's part.

 

They're nice cars, and I certainly couldn't fault anyone for buying one. It wouldn't be my choice, though. If I were buying in this segment, call me crazy, but I'd most likely buy an Avalon Hybrid. And I don't even like hybrids.

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Frisky, for the 3.6, is it simply reluctant to down shift? Or is it that the throttle response is very linear? I find many vehicles boost the throttle response in the first half of travel to make the powertrain feel peppy.

 

Overdone, it makes it an effort not to squawk the tires at every light. Otherwise I find many people like it because it provides the illusion of more power. Though when you floor it you don't really have much left except maybe a downshift.

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Frisky, for the 3.6, is it simply reluctant to down shift? Or is it that the throttle response is very linear? I find many vehicles boost the throttle response in the first half of travel to make the powertrain feel peppy.

 

Overdone, it makes it an effort not to squawk the tires at every light. Otherwise I find many people like it because it provides the illusion of more power. Though when you floor it you don't really have much left except maybe a downshift.

 

I think it's probably just the conservative tuning. You have to really get down in it to feel a noticeable power difference between it and the I4. It's not a deal breaker or anything, it just doesn't feel as snappy at part throttle as I'd like.

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I think of the 4 cylinder Impala as the modern version of a 1960's Impala with an inline six and Powerglide. However, the 4 cylinder Impala isn't much cheaper than a Taurus SE with the 290 hp V6. The 2.5 cylinder Impala would make more sense to me if it were about $3,000 cheaper. Also, its fuel economy should be only about 1 mpg less than the Malibu's.

You get alot more usable space in that Impala than the Taurus though. And I'd be willing to bet it is probably better driving overall and gets better mileage too. I'd trade my Taurus for 4 cylinder Impala straight up. Or rather I should say; I'd take a 4 cylinder Impala over any Taurus without twin turbos.

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I'm going to go against the grain here and say that I find the 2.5 to actually be adequate in this car. You don't notice the lack of power unless you floor it. And it's certainly enough for the average AARP member to take to bingo night.

 

Conversely, you don't notice the power in the V6.....unless you floor it. It does not have the kind of effortless, turbine-like acceleration I'd expect in such a car, and that is present in others, like the Avalon. Also, while the ride is fantastic, they certainly compromised on the steering/handling front to obtain it. I understand these aren't backroad burners, but it lacks the athleticism and fleet feeling of the aforementioned Avalon. Another sore spot is the rear seats. They have this crescent-like shape to the front that makes them uncomfortable for anyone over about 5ft to sit in. And they're flat and angled poorly, imo. The front seats are great, however. I mostly agree on the interior. It's not exactly what I'd call cheap, but it's far from luxurious. The steering wheel, in particular, is heinous. Among the worst I've ever seen in a car. I also hate that to get full leather you have to get the LTZ. That was a poor packaging decision on GM's part.

 

They're nice cars, and I certainly couldn't fault anyone for buying one. It wouldn't be my choice, though. If I were buying in this segment, call me crazy, but I'd most likely buy an Avalon Hybrid. And I don't even like hybrids.

 

 

I had a conversation like this with a guy named EDGE over at GMI (ironically his avatar is the same as yours :confused0071: )  when I was posing over there as LovelyMoon last year.. as I told him.. the Avalon is no faster than the Impala V6.. after driving mine for 33K miles at this point.. the power comes on linear and strong without actually having to get into it. I have been saying this since about 5K miles to.. and after 15K.. it felt like a V8

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I'm going to go against the grain here and say that I find the 2.5 to actually be adequate in this car. You don't notice the lack of power unless you floor it. And it's certainly enough for the average AARP member to take to bingo night.

 

Conversely, you don't notice the power in the V6.....unless you floor it. It does not have the kind of effortless, turbine-like acceleration I'd expect in such a car, and that is present in others, like the Avalon. Also, while the ride is fantastic, they certainly compromised on the steering/handling front to obtain it. I understand these aren't backroad burners, but it lacks the athleticism and fleet feeling of the aforementioned Avalon. Another sore spot is the rear seats. They have this crescent-like shape to the front that makes them uncomfortable for anyone over about 5ft to sit in. And they're flat and angled poorly, imo. The front seats are great, however. I mostly agree on the interior. It's not exactly what I'd call cheap, but it's far from luxurious. The steering wheel, in particular, is heinous. Among the worst I've ever seen in a car. I also hate that to get full leather you have to get the LTZ. That was a poor packaging decision on GM's part.

 

They're nice cars, and I certainly couldn't fault anyone for buying one. It wouldn't be my choice, though. If I were buying in this segment, call me crazy, but I'd most likely buy an Avalon Hybrid. And I don't even like hybrids.

 

 

I had a conversation like this with a guy named EDGE over at GMI (ironically his avatar is the same as yours :confused0071: )  when I was posing over there as LovelyMoon last year.. as I told him.. the Avalon is no faster than the Impala V6.. after driving mine for 33K miles at this point.. the power comes on linear and strong without actually having to get into it. I have been saying this since about 5K miles to.. and after 15K.. it felt like a V8

 

Adaptive transmission starts off lazy. It took me and the Taurus 6 months or so because I don't put on my miles to get aclimated to each other after the Aura. Same transmission with a different final gear made things just a little wierd. And the Ford 3.5 doesn't have as much low end grunt as the 3.6 in the Aura did.

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I'm going to go against the grain here and say that I find the 2.5 to actually be adequate in this car. You don't notice the lack of power unless you floor it. And it's certainly enough for the average AARP member to take to bingo night.

 

Conversely, you don't notice the power in the V6.....unless you floor it. It does not have the kind of effortless, turbine-like acceleration I'd expect in such a car, and that is present in others, like the Avalon. Also, while the ride is fantastic, they certainly compromised on the steering/handling front to obtain it. I understand these aren't backroad burners, but it lacks the athleticism and fleet feeling of the aforementioned Avalon. Another sore spot is the rear seats. They have this crescent-like shape to the front that makes them uncomfortable for anyone over about 5ft to sit in. And they're flat and angled poorly, imo. The front seats are great, however. I mostly agree on the interior. It's not exactly what I'd call cheap, but it's far from luxurious. The steering wheel, in particular, is heinous. Among the worst I've ever seen in a car. I also hate that to get full leather you have to get the LTZ. That was a poor packaging decision on GM's part.

 

They're nice cars, and I certainly couldn't fault anyone for buying one. It wouldn't be my choice, though. If I were buying in this segment, call me crazy, but I'd most likely buy an Avalon Hybrid. And I don't even like hybrids.

 

 

I had a conversation like this with a guy named EDGE over at GMI (ironically his avatar is the same as yours :confused0071: )  when I was posing over there as LovelyMoon last year.. as I told him.. the Avalon is no faster than the Impala V6.. after driving mine for 33K miles at this point.. the power comes on linear and strong without actually having to get into it. I have been saying this since about 5K miles to.. and after 15K.. it felt like a V8

 

Adaptive transmission starts off lazy. It took me and the Taurus 6 months or so because I don't put on my miles to get aclimated to each other after the Aura. Same transmission with a different final gear made things just a little wierd. And the Ford 3.5 doesn't have as much low end grunt as the 3.6 in the Aura did.

 

 

 

 

^^^^^^^^^^^^This. It happens and then its not.. if your are an aggressive driver LOL

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I took an Impala 2.4 Eco for a spin yesterday.  I was curious as I had not driven any GM cars with E Assist yet.  And it seems to have the greatest benefit on a car like the Impala.

 

The system I thought was fairly unobtrusive, however, the whole thing when the engine shuts off actually puts you in a sense of 'this no engine sound is eerie and creepy", of course you would expect no noise in a full electric.

 

This really sort of makes me remember my old true hybrid test drives too.  The whole thing of 'when is my engine on and when is it not'.

 

I will say this, for what EAssist was engineered to do and how it works, I think it seemed to work well.  Despite the loss of trunk space etc.  On the Impala the trunk is large enough to offset what is lost where the LaCrosse is not.

 

As just a 4 cylinder version of the Impala, it overall had its powertrain better sorted out than the base 2.5.  Definitely not a speed demon on the on ramp or in roll on passing, the 2.4 was smooth in the stoplight to stoplight in town environment.  I can't figure out why the 2.5 is so unsorted on the Malibu and Impala.  The 2.4 Eco for most people would probably be just fine.  Yes, the 3.6 is faster and smoother, but it's not a vast divide in usefulness.  The EAssist actually has some real tangible fuel economy returns.  For a car this big to be as comfortable and get the mpg it promises is something.  

 

So what gives, why did GM kill it, and why did eAssist get panned?

 

I would imagine when it comes down to it, the cost of the system, and the notion of 'this is a good 4 cylinder powertrain, but why does it need all that extra junk'?  Makes me wonder why there is not a highly refined, simple 4 cylinder powertrain that can propel a car like this with good performance, and get the same mpg without all the 'junk'?

 

The salesguy said people were saying the v6 Impala gets about 18 mpg in town.  My van gets that.  The prospect of a car the size of the Impala touching 30 mpg mixed driving would be the sort of thing that could keep the sedan market healthy.  V6's won't return that mpg.  Neither will turbos if you lay on the gas.  I still think the notion of hybrids and start stops makes people believe the car is complicated.  A diesel would be fantastic in this car.....if no diesel than Chevy needs to do some serious work to get the proper 4 cylinder powertrain in this car.  I know the weight of this car hurts it, but they need to develop the 2.5 to get some refinement, mpg, etc. that would make the 4 cylinder a real option for many.

 

BTW the 2.4 eco cruised at about 1700 rpm at 70 mph.  No wonder it would get good mpg highway.   I could not find how to bring up the instant mpg to tell what it was getting.

 

I am on the fence on whether i would live the 2.4 Eco......it is pretty good but leaves you wanting just a bit.......yes if the price were low enough.. it should not be an extra cost deal.........I found myself asking why there is not a really sweet 4 cylinder setup in this car.

Edited by regfootball
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  • 3 weeks later...
Guest Mule Bakersdozen LS

It doesn't have a front bench seat or the V-6 engine (its not even an option on base LS models), the cloth is now the fake, hard, synthetic garbage as in nearly everything the last decade, it has Chinese FUYAO glass in the door windows, and the six-window greenhouse design...ugh, tired, played-out, gotta go! Unlike the past, and like nearly all GM cars/trucks these days, there's no center rear head restraint-and nearly all competitors now have one. And if you want a CD Player in the 2016 models, you'd better spring for the LTZ trim! Oh, did I mention its crazy-overpriced?

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