2014 Chevrolet Impala: Not Your Dad’s Impala Anymore

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From powerless to powerful, introducing the 2014 Chevrolet Impala

As my brother likes to say, the 1967 Chevrolet Impala on which we learned to drive was “four wheels and one steering wheel. And that was it.”

In other words, the car my dad had bought for $2,000 cash years earlier was as stripped down as it could be. It had power nothing. Turning left took every muscle in my 16-year-old arms. Rolling down the window was no easier. Stopping required standing on the breaks.

While my gearhead husband assures me that my first Impala is now a collector’s item much in demand by muscle car enthusiasts, I have no fond memories of that car. So I was less than enthused to hear I would be driving a Chevy Impala around southern California during my February escape from Chicago’s polar vortex winter.

Then I climbed into the 2014 Chevy Impala. It is not my dad’s Impala.

Power Galore

This one had power everything–from the brakes to the sun roof. And, yes, there was a sunroof. Something that would have been unthinkable for my teenage self.

The 2014 version of the Impala that I tested was a 2LZ. It had four doors, an easy-to-use electronics system and the smoothest ride this side of the Pacific Ocean.

True, it costs a little more than $2,000, but the $26,860 price tag seems like a pretty good deal as far as comfortable, family friendly sedan prices go. Best of all, it handled much more like a luxury car than the Impala of my youth.

Comfortable Design

Tooling up and down the California coast, I relaxed in the driver’s seat, all the electronics within easy reach. While my family wasn’t with me on this trip, if they had been, they wouldn’t have complained. The back seat offered more leg room than our SUV.

What We Loved

  • Keyless access has to the mom-friendliest feature ever. Simply having the key in my pocket or purse as I touched the sensor on the door handle and I was in–without having the find the key in the bottom of my overstuffed purse.
  • The easy-to-figure out navigation system was a life-saver as I traveled up and down the southern California coast.
  • The smooth, quiet ride made all those hours on the California freeways pass pleasurably as I listened to the high quality stereo system.
  • When I needed a little SoCal warmth, I opened the top to let the sun shine in through the sunroof, a real treat for a Chicago native in February. Surprisingly, even with the roof open, the ride was quiet enough to still hear the nav speak to me.
  • The crash avoidance system actually helped me avoid a crash when the car in front of me on the 405 stopped suddenly. (It did get a little annoying as I attempted to squeeze into a tiny parking space as the system beeped.)
  • While I didn’t need either in southern California in February, the heated and ventilated front seats are built to keep the driver comfortable and the heated steering wheel would have been a welcome comfort if I was test driving the Impala at home in Chicago.
  • The cockpit is designed for moms–lots of nooks and crannies to keep all of our stuff organized, from the console storage with the USB port for our phone to the door pocket for a wet umbrella.
  • I didn’t test the Driver Memory Package, which allows for two preset positions for the adjustable mirrors, seat and steering wheel. I didn’t need them since the only two drivers–a girlfriend and me–are about the same size. Had I been sharing this car with my six-foot, four-inch husband, we definitely would have tested that. I suspect he would have appreciated the option that makes getting in and out of the car easier by pulling the seat and steering column back and out of the way. No more bruised kneecaps.
  • Rear vision camera. Who doesn’t love being able to see what’s behind you without a neck-straining look of the shoulder?

What You Need to Know

2014 Chevrolet Impala

The 2014 Chevy Impala: power everything–from the brakes to the sun roof.

  • Chevy’s Chevrolet Complete Care, offered on all 2014 models, includes a two-year, 24,000-miles of scheduled maintenance (even oil changes).
  • Bumper-to-bumper warranty includes powertrain and rust-through protection for five years or 100,000 miles –real peace-of-mind features.
  • Base price: $26,860. Fully loaded 2LTZ model I drove retails for $36,715.

Cindy Richards is a Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist who serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the TravelingMom LLC companies, TravelingMom.com,... More about Cindy Richards