2016 Chevrolet Impala 2LZ new car reviews

Our Impala came with the optional "Midnight Edition Appearance Package."
It's a large car, no doubt.
While comfortable, the interior is still tastefully simple compared to many other new cars.

Our test Impala was a top-of-the-line example, featuring the 3.6-liter V6 and the optional "Midnight Edition Appearance Package." (Ooh, Ah) The V6 makes 305 horsepower and claims an adequate 29 mpg on the highway. It also has quite a large and powerful appearance.

The Impala 2LZ starts at $35,540, but our example had a few extra bells and whistles and came in at $39,825.

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Tim Suddard Tim Suddard
Publisher

The 2016 Impala 2LZ sedan is an interesting attempt at building a BMW 3 Series. With its Midnight Edition package, that includes black emblem and grille special 19” wheels and rear spoiler, the new Impala is a striking automobile in a world of increasing sameness.

Inside, Chevy spent the money right where it counts, putting rich looking leather right at eye level, where you instantly notice it and think; “wow, what a nice BMW”. Elsewhere, the interior is well laid out, has comfortable seats, adequate room for five and well thought out driving dynamics. Chevy is leaps and bounds ahead of where they were even a few short years ago when it comes to designing and implementing a modern interior.

Underneath the hood, the 3.6-liter DOHC V6 engine is smooth and more than adequate to haul the Impala. While this engine is not race ready, or perhaps even tack day ready, for daily driving, it is plenty smooth and quick enough. We recorded overall fuel mileage in the mid twenties, which is good—if not outstanding—in a modern sedan. The drivetrain is only let down by the six-speed automatic transmission. This transmission is not especially smooth. Why everyone doesn’t use the silky smooth ZF 8-speed that so many companies have gone too is a mystery to us.

A tight suspension means great handling, right? Well, as the new Impala proves, this is not necessarily always true. While BMW or Mercedes provide a taught ride, they generally also provide handling that is at the top of the class in all their cars. This may be getting a bit nit-picky, but while the Impala offers that European ride (although almost too stiff) the handling was not awe inspiring to match.

I guess it says a lot for Chevy that we can easily compare their cars with some of the world’s best, and at just under $40,000 you could cross shop BMW 3 Series cars. But, while the Impala is very impressive and a very good looking car for the modern age, Chevy needs to modify their suspension tuning a bit and choose another transmission if they want to make a truly world class sedan.

Marjorie Suddard Marjorie Suddard
General Manager

The Midnight Edition Impala turns Chevy’s full-sized sedan into a black-on-black, with more black, styling exercise sure to please folks who like, well, the color black. It also denotes those who are willing to pay more than $1000 extra to make sure the color is splashed around everywhere possible, up to and including the bowtie on the front of the car. While that’s not necessarily something this Floridian was looking for, especially considering the record-setting heat still lingering here, I did appreciate the Impala’s ample people-hauling abilities during a family-filled Thanksgiving weekend. Rear legroom was positively spacious, and there was plenty of supple, jet-black leather for guests to slide over as I tossed the competent chassis around corners. Had it not been for the road noise, I probably could’ve convinced myself I was in a much more expensive European sedan. A very, very black one.

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Comments

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Raze
Raze UltraDork
12/4/15 11:21 a.m.

Pet Tim's review...the reason no ZF8speed is this is a FWD car...with a 6speed automatic. The fact BMW 3 series was mentioned in his review instead of an Avalon, Camry, Accord, Maxima, Altima, speaks volumes....Disclaimer...I have one as a company car and it is quite impressive...

NickD
NickD Reader
12/4/15 11:59 a.m.

The new Impalas are pretty slick cars, a far cry from the rental-grade quality of the '07-'13s. I don't know if the transmission's mechanicals are to fault, more likely it is GM's garbage transmission calibrations that they put in everything. Even cars that should be fun with automatics (SS or Camaro SS or G8) make me cringe. You hit the gas, wait a second as the engine revs, transmission kicks down a gear, a few more seconds of revving with no real action, then it knocks down another gear and it finally goes.

edizzle89
edizzle89 HalfDork
12/4/15 12:20 p.m.
NickD wrote: Even cars that should be fun with automatics (SS or Camaro SS or G8) make me cringe. You hit the gas, wait a second as the engine revs, transmission kicks down a gear, a few more seconds of revving with no real action, then it knocks down another gear and it finally goes.

one of the biggest things i hate about all these new gazillion speed automatics, the wait for it to drop somewhere between 2-4 gears before it actually starts moving. I see the need for them and im sure with time they will get better but so far its a pain

flatlander937
flatlander937 Reader
12/4/15 1:27 p.m.

I can't get over the disproportionate front vs rear overhang.

From the side they look like an aerodynamic bicycle helmet.

TRoglodyte
TRoglodyte SuperDork
12/4/15 1:37 p.m.

LULZ

drainoil
drainoil Reader
12/5/15 8:05 p.m.

i know it's all about $$$ but jeez can't they at least offer, dare I say as an option, a split front bench seat with column mounted shifter for those of us that would like to fit 6 people in a car once in a while?

Coldsnap
Coldsnap HalfDork
12/5/15 8:08 p.m.

It looks like a new corolla with a camaro front end.

Rustspecs13
Rustspecs13 Reader
12/5/15 9:41 p.m.

I thought the title said 2jz and I was confused for a second.

Osvolant
Osvolant New Reader
12/6/15 9:37 p.m.

Isn't this car quite a bit bigger than a 3-series BMW? Comparison to 5-series or Ford Taurus would be more apt. Need to proofread a bit, Tim. "Tack ready" and "taught" suspension?

Nick (LUCAS) Comstock
Nick (LUCAS) Comstock UltimaDork
12/6/15 10:37 p.m.

Me thinks you may need to re-read what he wrote.

novaderrik
novaderrik UltimaDork
12/7/15 12:05 a.m.

those things are ugly.. but then again, so is everything else on the road these days.

my cousin has an old body style '14 Impala LTZ (i think) that is fully loaded and has that same engine... it really hauls the mail for a little V6 in a 3500 pound car- and according to some "testing" they did on a backroad it's a bit faster than another cousin's slightly older Impala with the 5.3 in it.. it's also a much cleaner and better looking car than the newer ones..

NickD
NickD Reader
12/7/15 6:04 a.m.
novaderrik wrote: those things are ugly.. but then again, so is everything else on the road these days. my cousin has an old body style '14 Impala LTZ (i think) that is fully loaded and has that same engine... it really hauls the mail for a little V6 in a 3500 pound car- and according to some "testing" they did on a backroad it's a bit faster than another cousin's slightly older Impala with the 5.3 in it.. it's also a much cleaner and better looking car than the newer ones..

For it to be the old bodystyle and a '14 it'd have to be a Limited, which was the fleet sales variant. But yeah, the '12-'13 and '14 Limited with the 3.6L are absolute screamers. The 3.6L does make more horsepower than the LS4 5.3L V8 after all. Had a co-worker that our dealership was sending to New York City (About a 5 hour drive) every weekend for GM training courses and when they send us on training they give us a used car off the lot. He kept requesting '12-'13 3.6L Impalas because they would shorten the trip greatly.

SyntheticBlinkerFluid
SyntheticBlinkerFluid UltimaDork
12/7/15 8:36 a.m.

I got a ride in a 2015 LTZ and I was quite impressed. Definitely not the Impala of old.

Now if it was just RWD.......

SilverFleet
SilverFleet UltraDork
12/7/15 8:48 a.m.

They look a lot better than the old "fleet specials" they churned out for most of the 2000's. Only two styling gripes I have are the steering wheel (it just looks strange) and that rear 1/4 crease that goes too far down.

And why haven't they made an Impala SS with AWD and the 450HP twin turbo 3.6 from the XTS V-Sport yet?

SilverFleet
SilverFleet UltraDork
12/7/15 8:50 a.m.

In reply to SyntheticBlinkerFluid:

They do make that... in the form of the Chevy SS.

They need to consolidate the SS, the Caprice fleet car, and the Impala into one RWD-based car. Seems dumb to have 3 completely different cars that could basically fit the same slot in the lineup.

iceracer
iceracer PowerDork
12/7/15 11:09 a.m.

Our police dept. loves Impalas . They prefer the FWD.

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