GM’s North America President Mark Reuss spoke the memorable line I’ve used as a title, which will likely prove false if GM produces as many Impalas as it hopes. Still, Chevy has come up with a sharp-looking, interesting new mass-market midsize car.
It seems Impalas have been criticized forever for their blandness. CNN’s Peter Valdes-Dapena called it a “brown paper bag on wheels” in a video here, echoing our very own tgriffith, who called it “a brown paper sack on wheels” some days earlier. We are thrilled that CNN is stealing our stuff.
Most everything is new on this car, which takes design cues from Audi, Camaro, etc. but finally makes its own effective statement. With new sheet metal and a lot of techy stuff inside, the Impala should outclass the Malibu and convert many of those who have learned to dismiss it.
For all its contemptuous press, the Impala was still GM’s third best-selling car in the U.S. last year, beating out brands like Acura and Cadillac, Mitsubishi and MINI.
When it began its life in 1958, the Impala also made, for its time, an incredible, freaky styling statement. My sainted mother had a 1959 Impala convertible that looked something like this one and drew stares and raised thumbs. (She also, for the record, had a ’62 Corvair coupe and a ’66 Mustang. Kind of a suburban hot-shoe momma.)
The interior appears to be very snazzy for a car that will do a lot of fleet sales, though the dash is too busy for my taste. One cute trick: The touchscreen display rises up to reveal a storage compartment—possibly for you to conceal your pistola, since handguns and touchscreens are clearly the wave of the future.
The car also has 8 cupholders, though only 5 seats. What are people using these things for?
Let’s say you’ve been a Camry owner for five years. Would the new Impala interest you?