- New Car Test Drive
On the road, the Impala comes across as a near-athletic performer, adeptly balancing ride comfort and handling. In the substantial-size premium sedan category, the Impala ranks among the best for road manners.
Quick and accurate, belt-driven electric power steering never feels either sluggish or too heavy. Rebound springs help keep body lean under control. Overall composure and balance score ahead of several competitors, including Toyota Avalon, Hyundai Azera, and Ford Taurus.
Excellent suspension damping keeps the ride well-controlled, though it feels a bit stiffer when rolling over small bumps than when encountering large ones. Ride motions are subtly but effectively restrained.
Performance with the four-cylinder engine is just fine for commuter duty and most family tasks; but when extra energy is needed for passing or merging, reserve power is in short supply. With the optional V6 engine, acceleration ranks as vivid, actually approaching sport-sedan capability.
A V6 Impala can actually feel as if it’s wearing an SS emblem, though acceleration is swifter while rolling down the road than when starting off from a stoplight. Accelerating to 60 mph in about 6.8 seconds, the V6 version delivers the kind of smooth, strong power that inspires confidence.
Manual-shift mode may be activated via a shift-lever switch, though the tall center console makes that action rather awkward. All told, the Impala’s 6-speed doesn’t operate quite as seamlessly as some earlier GM transmissions. Reactions are quick, but lack of smooth foot action can result in imperfect responses.