Fullsize sedans already have a reputation for safety, but Chevrolet is looking to raise the bar even higher with the 2014 Impala. The list starts with 10 standard airbags, and a long list of available safety features, some of them representing a first for the brand. The abundance of safety features is appropriate for the brand’s current flagship sedan (at least until the rear-drive SS hits showrooms), and will help it battle with a recently-refreshed 2013 Ford Taurus and comprehensively-updated 2013 Toyota Avalon.
As it shares a great deal of its hardware and running gear with the Cadillac XTS and Buick LaCrosse, some of the features debuting on the 2014 Impala are shared with one or both of its Epsilon II platform-mates. The specific safety features were not noted as being standard or optional, but will be available on some trim level of the 2014 Impala. In addition to the 10 airbags (a total matched only by the recently-introduced 2013 Toyota Avalon) the 2014 Impala will feature full-speed-range adaptive cruise control that can apply full acceleration to full braking to a complete stop. Collision mitigation braking alerts the driver to a potential threat, and if necessary, intervenes to apply the brakes to avoid the crash. This is backed up by a forward collision alert system that also gives the driver visual and audible alerts.
The 2014 Impala will also feature the increasingly-common lane departure warning, side blind-zone alert, rear cross-traffic alert and rear park assist, and a new-for-the-brand brake pre-fill feature, in which radar detection of a possible crash threat preemptively increases hydraulic pressure in the brake lines in anticipation of hard braking by the driver.
Finally, in a feature more commonly found on manual-transmission models, the 2014 Impala will feature hill hold and start assist to keep the vehicle from rolling backward on hills.
Although we’re all for safety, we have to wonder if the proliferation of all these active safety systems are actually making drivers more complacent and careless, or if the constantly-beeping electronic nannies cause drivers to mute or override these features when given the option? What’s your opinion on the latest generation of active safety features?
Source: General Motors