SAN DIEGO -- General Motors has done an ambitious make-over of the Chevrolet Impala for its 10th generation, transforming the car from basic transportation for value-conscious buyers and rental companies to a stylish flagship. Now it needs an equally ambitious marketing effort to persuade retail buyers to spring for a considerably steeper price.
GM hopes to win the consideration of a new breed of Impala buyer with lots of technology and a bold design that turned many heads even here in import-heavy southern California, where Chevy held a media test drive event last week.
The basics: The 2014 Impala will begin arriving in showrooms in mid-April. For the first few months, GM will ship only models with the direct-injection 3.6-liter V-6 that carries over from the outgoing Impala and also does service in a slew of other GM cars, including the car's platform siblings: the Cadillac XTS and Buick LaCrosse.
GM expects more than half of Impala volume to come from V-6 versions, which goes 0 to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds while maintaining a surprisingly quiet cabin.
Two four-cylinder options will be added to the engine lineup: a 2.5-liter, which will be the base engine and arrive by early summer, and a 2.4-liter, which will be teamed with GM's eAssist mild hybrid system and arrive later in the year.
The base price rises $850 from the outgoing model, to $27,535, including shipping. But sticker prices on most trim levels jump considerably more. The LTZ stickers for $36,580 including shipping, or more than $5,000 above the same trim on the outgoing Impala.