2014 Chevrolet Impala 2.5-Liter Four-Cylinder: Quick Drive Page 2

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2014 Chevrolet Impala, test drive in Hell, Michigan

2014 Chevrolet Impala, test drive in Hell, Michigan

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And that’s likely to be an increasingly common characteristic of modern cars using smaller engines.

Car engines have to be sized for the most extreme power demand that the car may encounter. Consider hard acceleration along a short, uphill on-ramp into fast traffic in a heavily loaded car on a hot day with the air-conditioner running hard. That’s where peak power is demanded.

Just 15 hp for cruising

On the other hand, errands around town—and even more so steady-speed cruising—require just a tiny fraction of the engine’s peak power, perhaps no more than 15 to 50 hp.

Under increasingly stringent fuel-efficiency rules, engineers are now betting that the car will be fine in 90 percent of its usage even if that peak power isn’t there as it was in the days of standard V-6 engines and $2.50-per-gallon gasoline.

And the 2014 Impala four-cylinder is a perfect example of that. Would you accept less peak power in exchange for 25-mpg efficiency in such a large family sedan?

Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.

From $29K to $35K

For the record, our 2014 Impala test car was the 1LT model with a base price of $28,975. It came loaded up with options, though including a premium audio and sport wheel package ($1,140), a power sunroof with second-row skylight ($1,050), a premium seating package ($945), a convenience package ($940), and an advanced safety package ($890).

Adding those options and the mandatory $810 delivery fee brought the bottom-line sticker price to a more substantial $34,750. Chevrolet points out that the four-cylinder Impala is not “decontented” as are some competitors’ models with smaller engines: It retains full four-wheel disk brakes and a full range of trim levels, including the high-end choices.

Mild-hybrid coming too

A second four-cylinder Impala, this one fitted with a 2.4-liter engine and the eAssist mild-hybrid system already used in the Buick Lacrosse, will arrive at Chevy dealers before the end of the year.

That car is expected to earn EPA ratings of 25 mpg city, 35 mpg highway, for a likely combined rating of around 28 mpg.

Chevrolet provided airfare, lodging, and meals so High Gear Media could bring you this first-person test drive.


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Comments (8)
  1. I thought that I had heard, years ago, that lugging was hard on an engine. I this not true?

  2. Sounds like a car you would learn to hate as it's lack of power started to wear on you.

  3. This is a nice redesign and an important car for Chevy. They need a technology leader, like a diesel/hybrid getting 45 MPG to really get a leg up on the Avalon and Taurus.

  4. I wonder if the diesel in the Cruze would work just fine in the Impala...

  5. This monster with a 4-cylinder gets WORSE combined mileage than my brother-in-law gets with his V-6 powered 2004 Impala - a vehicle that is not preened to be fuel efficient. Once again the bailed out company offers an underwhelming product that is simply not as good as the smoke being blown our way would suggest.

  6. "at 25 mpg (21 mpg city, 31 mpg highway) by the EPA"

    That the current Impala.

    2004 Impala with 3.4L V-6 is rated for 19/22/29.

    So, EPA rating alone show what the current one is getting. What your brother-in-law is getting has NOTHING to do with the EPA rating. Unless you compare his MPG on both models.

    That leads me to believe that your other statement is just as poor in logic.

  7. "Would you accept less peak power in exchange for 25-mpg efficiency in such a large family sedan?"

    No; no compromises! It must be a fuel mizer, and it must have torque and power!

  8. When Chevy put out the Malibu Hybrid in 2008, it kept the 4 speed automatic instead of going to the 6 speed in non-hybrid Malibu's. It was a disappointment. The available power was very acceptable in every situation I was ever in though. No, I never had to climb a really steep entrance ramp to a crowded 80 mph interstate highway with 5 Sumo wrestlers on board in 100 degree weather, so I personally find "Annatar Last Name (Required)" performance quote not valid. I switched to smaller vehicles years ago for better economy and am driving a Prius now, so I can certainly say I would accept a bit less acceleration potential for better fuel economy.

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