The all-new 2014 Chevrolet Impala has been awarded the highest-possible five-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program. The full-size sedan, based on GM’s Super Epsilon vehicle architecture, employs one of the most comprehensive collections of standard and available safety technologies. To start, the occupant protection features include:
- 10 standard air bags:
- Dual-stage frontal passenger air bags with passenger sensing system
- Driver and front passenger side-impact air bags
- Driver and front passenger knee air bags
- Rear outboard side-impact air bags
- Head curtain air bags with rollover sensing for front and rear outboard positions
- Safety belt pretensioners
- Child seat restraint system
The protection features are complemented by advanced crash-avoidance technologies, including:
- Full-speed-range adaptive cruise control: utilizing radar technology, senses traffic in front of the Impala to adjust vehicle speed, including stopping the vehicle in heavy traffic and accelerating again. It is the first application in a Chevrolet.
- Crash imminent braking: another Chevy first, radar technology detects a possible crash threat and alerts the driver. If the driver does not appear to react quickly enough or doesn’t react at all, this feature intervenes to apply the brakes in an effort to avoid the crash.
- Forward collision alert: utilizing camera technology, detects a possible crash threat and alerts the driver, giving him or her time to stop and/or change course.
- Lane departure warning: utilizing a camera based lane detection system, warns the driver of unsignaled lane changes. The camera, mounted near the inside rearview mirror, identifies traffic lane markings and provides audible alerts.
- Side blind zone alert: using radar sensors on both sides of the vehicle, the system “looks” for other vehicles in the blind zone areas of the Impala and indicates their presence with light-emitting diode, or LED-lit symbols in the outside mirrors.
- Rear cross traffic alert: based on the radar sensors of side blind zone alert, warns the driver of vehicles in traffic when backing out of a parking spot – including angled parking. Visual and audible alerts are triggered if moving vehicles are detected.
- Rear vision camera with dynamic guidelines: with a display in the center stack infotainment system, the camera provides a view of objects directly behind the Impala, while the dynamic guidelines provide a reference that helps make parking and other maneuvers easier.
- Ultrasonic rear park assist: uses sensors in the rear bumper to detect objects directly behind the vehicle and alerts the driver.
- Brake pre-fill feature: to quicken the response time of the brakes and help shorten stopping distances, brake pre-fill “loads” the brake calipers in anticipation of hard braking by slightly increasing the hydraulic pressure in the brake lines whenever the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal. This feature is included on models equipped with adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation braking.
- Hill hold/start assist: applies the brakes for about 1.5 seconds to prevent roll-back when the driver moves his or her foot from the brake to the accelerator pedal.
The new Impala also utilizes various systems to enable greater vehicle control, including standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, all-speed traction control, four-wheel disc brakes with four-channel antilock brakes and electronic brake force distribution, which ensures optimal braking force at both axles for maximum stability under heavy braking.
In addition, the Impala — along with all modern General Motors products — features OnStar as standard equipment. The proven telematics system uses GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of crash, while OnStar service also includes MyLink mobile apps, which offer vehicle information and OnStar services via the customer’s smartphone.
The news of the Impala’s five-star crash test safety rating comes on the heels of the Impala’s smaller platform-mate, the Chevrolet Malibu, earning a maximum five-star crash test safety rating in China as well as in other major markets around the world.
Here’s NHTSA’s video showcasing the crash (might not be mobile-friendly):