Chevrolet Impala vs Toyota Avalon: Which is the Best Full Size Sedan?
While looking for a full size sedan that I could chauffeur my mother and her friends in, I considered the Chevy Impala and the Toyota Avalon. The Impala and Avalon are designed to carry up to five passengers and their luggage in comfort, mile after mile.
The Chevy Impala was an all-new design for 2014 and the Avalon got a refresh in 2015 after a full redesign in 2012. This is the tenth generation of the Impala, and they have done the brand justice. It’s very different from my grandfather’s 1962 Impala sedan, but they got the lines right on this one. While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, to me, this model brings back the boldness of those early Impalas.
The Avalon has appealed to me over the years and this is why I was considering it, but I’m not fond of the big front grill that Toyota is adopting. That factor, along with the two cars being priced similarly, was also a consideration.
The base engine in the Chevy Impala LS is a 2.5-liter EcoTec four-cylinder that produces 195 horsepower and 187-pound feet of torque. In the Impala LT and LTZ models, you can opt for Chevrolet’s 3.6-liter flex fuel V6. Producing 305 horsepower and turning out 264 feet pounds of torque, I found the larger engine more appealing.
Both engines offer good gas mileage and, of course, the four cylinder is more economical with an estimated 21/31 mpg, city/highway. When powered with the V6, the estimated mileage is 19/29mpg. A shiftable six-speed transmission is used with both engines and powers the front wheels.
The Avalon’s 3.5-liter V6 produces 268 horsepower and 248 feet pounds of torque, giving it significantly less power than the V6 powered Impala. The V6 Avalon has the same estimated mileage of the four cylinder Impala, due to less weight, but in real world driving tests, the two were almost equally matched on mileage when the Impala was equipped with the V6.
Spacious is the best word to describe the interior of the Impala. Chevrolet states that it is “purposeful elegance” and I will have to agree. The central layout of the controls make for easy use and Chevrolet MyLink can keep you connected. All Chevrolets come with OnStar® security.
Standard features of both cars include cruise control, remote powerless door locks and one-touch power windows. They also have large trunks, but the Impala wins hands down in this area with 18 cubic feet of space to the Avalon’s 16. That extra space will make a big difference when trying to squeeze in the last piece of luggage.
Both the Impala and Avalon boast five-star crash ratings and high reliability rating. Both also boast numerous safety features. Blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and forward crash alert anti-lock brakes and traction control are standard on both vehicles and the Impala has ten standard airbags.
I liked both cars but the V6 Chevy Impala has quicker acceleration and a more powerful engine. Road feedback is better in the Impala, too, and as someone who enjoys driving that is important to me. This is why I chose a new Impala over an Avalon.
Take a drive to your local Valley Chevy dealer and test drive a Chevy Impala, yourself. If you are in the market for a full size sedan, I am completely confident that you’ll love it!