By Matt Degen
KBB Expert Rating: 9.3
The Chevrolet Impala arrived in all-new form last year, wearing a sharp new suit and boasting an interior filled with technology and creature comforts. With the revamp, the Impala gained a new lease on life and again became a standout in the waning full-size sedan segment that includes the Dodge Charger, Ford Taurus, Chrysler 300 and Toyota Avalon. For 2015, the Chevy Impala continues to redefine the segment with helpful features and the availability of a bi-fuel model that can run on gasoline or compressed natural gas (CNG). Like the generations of models that came before it, the 2015 Chevrolet Impala is notable for its plush ride manners, eye-catching design and generous space for passengers and cargo, but this latest version offers so much more.
If you're looking for a big, comfortable 5-passenger family sedan with style, technology and value, the 2015 Chevy Impala should top your list. If you want to enjoy the lower prices and cleaner emissions of natural gas, the Impala is now among the few vehicles factory-fitted to run on it.
If you prefer tire-smoking action over cushy road manners from your full-size sedan, the Chevy SS, Ford Taurus SHO or Dodge Charger can satisfy your appetite for adrenaline. On the other hand, if efficiency is top of mind, check out the Toyota Avalon Hybrid.
KBB Expert Ratings
For 2015 the Chevy Impala is offering a bi-fuel model that can run on gasoline or compressed natural gas (CNG). The eAssist mild hybrid model is no longer available. The base 4-cylinder engine gets start-stop technology to save fuel, and 4G LTE with built-in Wi-Fi hotspot is now an option.
The optional 3.6-liter V6 gives the Impala both praiseworthy fuel economy and the highest horsepower number of any naturally aspirated V6 in the segment. Its quicker-than-you’d-guess 0-to-60-mph time of 6.8...
... seconds is just one indication that the V6-powered Impala feels powerful in any situation. For 2015, only one 4-cylinder engine is available, a 2.5-liter that puts out an adequate 196 horsepower. It aims for fuel efficiency with start-stop technology that switches off the engine at idle, but its 31-mpg highway rating can't match the 35 mpg of last year's mild hybrid. Furthermore, you can't disable the start-stop system and it may take some getting used to having the engine shut off at stoplights. No matter what engine you choose, the Impala offers luxurious comfort and quiet. The suspension employs MacPherson struts up front and a 4-link rear setup that translates to a highly comfortable and refined road-going experience.
SAFE TO SECURE VALUABLES
Behind the Impala’s optional 8-inch color touch screen is an area similar to a hotel-room-style safe. When you use a 4-digit code to lock the safe, it locks the screen in the lowered position and locks out any private info entered into the Chevrolet MyLink system, including your address book.
The 2015 CNG-capable Impala is one of just two factory-equipped sedans able to run on natural gas. And unlike the other – the Honda Civic – the Impala version is bi-fuel, meaning it can run on compressed natural gas or gasoline.
The Chevy Impala may be considered a mainstream vehicle, but inside it feels more like a premium or even luxury sedan. Cabin materials are attractive and upscale. The large dash is notable for its flowing, well-executed design. Upper-trim models boast leather seats, soft trim and an 8-inch touch-screen command system in the center dash. Unlike some rivals, Chevy's big sedan doesn't feel the need to make all controls touch-oriented. Settings for climate, volume, fan speed and the like are easily changed with buttons and dials. We found the front seats comfortable and attractive. Rear-seat legroom is excellent.
The new Chevy Impala is nothing like the uninspiring former model. This big 4-door now has serious presence thanks to its long hood, sculpted front end and long, swept-back roof. In front are low-profile projector-beam headlights. Top-line LTZ models HID headlights and LED daytime running lights, taking a further step upscale. The overwhelming sense in the new Impala is one of contemporary luxury. That's enhanced by an array of 18-, 19- and 20-inch wheels. Though the trunklid is exceptionally short, trunk space is not compromised: a substantial 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space (or 10 cubic feet for CNG models).
Depending on trim, the 2015 Impala will be a comfortable and competent 5-passenger sedan with generous room, or a luxury-like cruiser filled with advanced safety and entertainment systems. But even a base Chevrolet Impala comes with a power driver's seat, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, and 60/40 split-folding rear seats. Standard audio is provided by a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD system with USB/auxiliary inputs and 4.2-inch color display. Stepping up trims levels gains features such as dual-zone climate control, an 8-inch color infotainment screen, Bluetooth audio streaming, a leather interior, push-button start, and heated front seats.
A variety of options allow you to equip the Impala like a luxury sedan, as does stepping up trim levels. Notable options include navigation, a rearview camera, keyless entry, keyless start, a heated steering wheel, a power tilting/telescoping steering column, and heated and ventilated front seats. Bose surround-sound audio is available, and easy-to-use MyLink is standard on LT and LTZ models. The new 4G LTE feature with built-in Wi-Fi turns the Impala into a mobile hotspot. In addition to its standard 10 airbags and traction-control systems, the 2015 Impala offers adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure alert.
Three engine choices are available in the 2015 Chevy Impala family sedan, all transferring power to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission. The base engine is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder. This powerplant aims to be the fuel-saver with its start-stop to turn off the engine at idle. The more robust offering is a 3.6-liter V6 that makes over 300 horsepower. New this year is a modified version of the V6 that runs on regular unleaded gasoline or compressed natural gas. The tank for the latter is in the trunk, cutting into cargo space. CNG range is expected to be 150 miles, after which the car switches to gasoline for an estimated total range of 500 miles. Drivers can also manually select fuel source.
196 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
186 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/31 mpg
305 horsepower @ 6,800 rpm
264 lb-ft of torque @ 5,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/29 mpg
3.6-liter V6 (bi-fuel)
260 horsepower @ 4,800 rpm (gasoline, estimated)
230 horsepower @ 4,800 (CNG, estimated)
247 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm (gasoline, estimated)
218 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm (CNG, estimated)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: NA
The 2015 Chevy Impala has a base price of roughly $27,700 for an LS model with the 4-cylinder engine. Impala V6 models start around $31,000 and can run up to the low-$40,000 mark. The new bi-fuel gasoline/CNG Impala starts just over $38,000. At its base price, the 2015 Impala undercuts the Toyota Avalon, Nissan Maxima, Hyundai Azera and Kia Cadenza, though all of those come standard with a V6 and their prices become more comparable with a V6 Impala. V6 models of the Dodge Charger and Ford Taurus, meanwhile, start near the base price of a 4-cylinder Impala. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their Chevy Impala. In the years ahead we expect the Impala's resale value to be good, outpacing its Ford and Dodge rivals, but still trailing that of the Toyota Avalon.