SUM UP (2 Stars)

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for Impala in 2013

With an all-new 2014 model scheduled to hit the market in early 2013, the 2013 Chevrolet Impala sees only minor updates. The exterior color palette adds a new Crystal Red option for the LTZ trim, and a new Luxury Edition Package is made available for LT models. This package features an all-leather interior, heated power front seats, and a Bose premium audio system. ..more

The Chevrolet Impala has not been updated in years, and unsurprisingly sees very few updates for the 2013 model year. In a sense, it is appropriate that the Impala has not been redesigned for several years, as the car harkens back to an era when cars were larger and more powerful. There is no doubting that the Impala is a legend, as it has been on the road for over fifty years, but this model does not reflect the car’s heritage. While it may lack the contemporary styling of other domestic full-size cars, the Impala still carries on the Chevrolet full-size sedan category. The 2013 Chevrolet Impala is available in three trims: the LS, LT, and LTZ. Prospective buyers should not be deterred by the hefty base price. Not only does the LS model come with a large number of standard features, but Chevrolet is likely to apply heavy discounts with the recognition that the car will be completely redesigned for the 2014 model year.

Exterior

The 2013 Chevrolet Impala has a tame exterior with clearly-defined sides, narrow windows, and a tall stance. Even though the Impala is considered a full-size vehicle, it does not look as long as it actually is. The styling looks exactly as though it was made several years ago, making it difficult for the car to find a niche in the buyer’s market. The styling lacks the nostalgia that would appeal to elderly buyers and also does not have the contemporary flourishes that would cater to younger buyers. Those looking to buy a domestic full-size car will quickly be distracted by other models that have a more contemporary appearance. It will be interesting to see whether the 2014 redesign brings a more contemporary, curved appearance. The Impala is available in five different colors, although upgrading to the LTZ brings an additional color choice.

Interior & Cargo

The 2013 Chevrolet Impala offers a good deal of interior space, but lacks the features of other cars in its category. There is no standard navigation system or iPod interface, which may dissuade younger buyers from looking into it. On the other hand, families will appreciate the ample space, with 42.3 inches of front legroom and 37.6 inches of rear legroom. Cargo space is exemplary for a sedan, with 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space and 105 cubic feet of passenger space. The 2013 Chevrolet Impala is also comfortable, with front bucket seats included standard. The most unique feature of the 2013 Chevrolet Impala is that if offers an optional front bench seat, which makes it the only sedan currently in production that can actually seat six people. Given that the bench seat costs just $195, it is a great choice for families or for elderly folks that yearn for the days when bench seats were common. Of course, the 2013 Chevrolet Impala is not inexpensive, and many families may just prefer to pay for a minivan or sport utility vehicle with a taller ceiling and higher ground clearance. It should be noted that this is also the last chance for people to purchase a car with a bench seat. Chevrolet has stated that because very few people opted for the bench seat, the new 2014 Impala set to be released next year will not come with the bench seat option.

One of the obstacles facing the 2013 Chevrolet Impala is that space is really the only feature that it offers. The interior feels low-quality, and it’s clear that the car has not been redesigned since 2006. It will be interesting to see whether Chevrolet upgrades the cheap plastic with more leather and upscale touches in next year’s redesign.

Safety

The long list of safety features makes the 2013 Chevrolet Impala an attractive option for families. For example, the Impala includes child safety locks, an electronic stability control system, and a traction control system. Safety features remain nearly identical for each of the trim levels, although fog lights are included with only the LTZ trim. One nice touch is that OnStar is included on all three trims. Front, side, and side curtain airbags are also included in each trim level.

Driving Experience

Even though the 2013 Chevrolet Impala is not likely to be purchased for performance, it is still a reasonably powerful car. The 3.6-liter, 300 horsepower (hp), engine is strong enough to capably power the car’s large frame. However, the sheer weight of the vehicle will keep drivers from really noticing the 300 hp engine. The six-speed automatic transmission is also sufficiently powerful for a car in its category. Still, the 2013 Chevrolet Impala does not handle as well as its competition in the full-size sedan segment. Steering is clunky, and while the seats are roomy and comfortable, drivers will experience discomfort on sharp turns.

As a full-size sedan, the 2013 Chevrolet Impala does not bring efficient fuel economy, although it actually rates well for its category. The car averages 19-23/28-30 mpg city/highway, making it a strong option for drivers who live in remote areas and have a sizeable commute. All trim levels are front-wheel-drive vehicles, which may make the Impala an impractical option for those living in adverse climates with harsh driving conditions.

Key Competitors For The 2013 Chevrolet Impala

  • Chrysler 300
  • Dodge Charger
  • Ford Taurus
  • Toyota Avalon

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2013 Impala Standard Equipment

Braking and Handling

  • Four Wheel ABS

Climate Control

  • Front Air Conditioning

Convenience

  • Auto On Headlights
  • Compass
  • Cruise Control
  • Keyless Entry
  • Power Locks
  • Power Windows
  • Vehicle Information Center

Exterior

  • Rear Spoiler

Interior

  • Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel

Safety

  • Auto Day/Night Mirror
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Driver Air Bag
  • Front Fog Lights
  • Front Wipers, Variable Intermittent
  • Heated Outside Mirrors
  • Passenger Air Bag
  • Stability Control
  • Theft Deterrent System
  • Traction Control

Seats

  • Folding Rear Seat
  • Leather Seats

Sound and Entertainment

  • Compact Disc MP3 Capable
  • Satellite Radio

Technology

  • Blue Tooth Compatible
  • GPS/Satellite Communication
  • Homelink Universal Transmitter

Tires and Wheels

  • Alloy Wheels
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