If I’m being brutally honest, the loss of the Chevrolet Impala from The Management Fleet fills me with…well…I suppose…er…[Not a valid template]
|Date acquired:||September 2014|
|Kilometres this month:||689|
|Costs this month:||$0|
|L/100km this month:||9.6|
…actually that’s just it. I can’t honestly say I’m overly pleased or saddened to see the Impala disappear. Our time with the ninth generation Impala has been pretty uneventful, with only the smallest of (as it turns out) falsely diagnosed slow punctures to worry about. To all intents and purposes, the Impala has been…fine, raising neither the heart rate nor the blood pressure. And for a crankandpiston.com fleet car, that’s unusual.
Inside for instance, the sea of grey leather and upholstery didn’t win many admirers, and the ‘thrill of driving’ proved hard to come by. The steering for instance is ideal for motoring through heavy commuter traffic and long-haul highway journeys, but proves a little on the light side to really connect you with the front end. The suspension ironed out bumps in the road, eliminating those hefty chiropractor invoices, but didn’t offer enough stiffness to erode bodyroll through the corners. Paddle-shaped controls for the radio mounted behind the steering wheel also proved confusing: press the left paddle for a ‘downshift’, and you’ll find either the radio changing stations, the volume going up, or the SatNav woman suddenly springing into life. And the less said about the thumb-activated rocker-switch for manual gear changes, the better.
Still, once we’d put our sensible trousers on and stopped fannying around with high-revving sprints to the Hatta mountains, Chevy’s flagship saloon did start to make more sense. The 3.6-litre V6 under the bonnet for instance offered 296bhp-worth of reasonable poke – and linear albeit relaxed acceleration – cabin and boot space proved cavernous both horizontally and vertically, and Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system proved a doddle to use too. Once we started ignoring the manual side of the six-speed automatic gearbox, gear-changes proved silky smooth, and the seats were as comfortable as we could have hoped. Then there are the looks: it may not have broken many hearts, but there’s no denying the ninth gen Impala is a very good-looking car.
Neither tears of joy nor sorrow then are being wept for the loss ?of our long term Impala. So how ?about a Corvette long termer next time Chevy?
|Engine||V6 / 3564cc|
|Power||296bhp @ 6800rpm|
|Torque||264lb ft @ 5300rpm|
|Transmission||Hydra-Matic 6T70 six-speed automatic / front-wheel drive|
|Front suspension||MacPherson strut twin-tube dampers with gas-charged valving / 28.5mm hollow direct-acting stabilizer bar / hydraulic ride bushing|
|Rear suspension||Multi-link with coil springs and stabilizer bar / gas-charged twin-tube dampers|
|Brakes||Split dual-circuit four-wheel-disc with power assist / 321 x 30mm vented (front) / 315 x 23mm solid (rear)|
|Wheels||18-in front and rear (standard)|
|Tyres||P235/50R18 front and rear (standard)|