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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Five stars Overall; five stars frontal, five stars side
'Good,' frontal and side impact
Leading-edge safety features include options such as forward collision alert, collision-mitigation braking, adaptive cruise with full stop-and-go functionality, plus the usual lane-departure, cross-traffic, and blind-zone alerts and 10 standard airbags.
While other big sedans have marched ahead in safety scores and equipment, the Impala had lagged. That changes with the 2014 model, which adopts a whole range of new technology for active and passive protection.
From ten airbags in all, to standard OnStar, the Impala could deliver the same excellent crash-test scores as the Buick LaCrosse that runs on the same platform. It's already earned a top five-star overall rating from the federal government, including five-star ratings in frontal and side impact, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has only released its basic frontal and side impact test results for the Impala so far--both 'good.'
Beyond the basics, the Impala's been brought up to speed with a suite of standard or available features like blind-spot monitors; lane-departure warning system; adaptive cruise control; a rearview camera and rear parking sensors; and a forward-collision warning system.
The Impala is also the first Chevrolet model to get full-speed-range adaptive cruise control, as well as a radar-based Crash Imminent Braking feature that will help intervene and apply the brakes to help avoid a crash or lessen its severity.
If there's a quibble with the Impala's safety package, it comes down to two features we think are essential on family cars, given the competition and given how most drivers can use help in driving more safely. Bluetooth is standard on the V-6 car, but not on the base LS; likewise, a rearview camera's an option on the Impala LT, and only standard once you've moved up to the LTZ. Visibility's fine, but side-view and surround cameras are becoming the norm on cars like the less expensive Honda Accord.
We wish a rearview camera were available for less; but there are loads of safety-tech extras on offer, and crash-test ratings are top-notch so far.