By Eve Pickman.
It’s one of the oldest rivalries in the automobile industry – both on NASCAR track and in the showroom. The all-new 2014 Chevrolet Impala 2LTZ is hard to beat on looks, package content, driving dynamics and handling, but the 2014 Ford Taurus Limited sure gives it a run for the money. Both are unapologetically American full-sized sedans, with loads of standard feature and golfing foursome sized trunks.
Full-sized sedans are all about spacious interiors, comfortable seating and abundant legroom. The Chevy Impala, with its 305 hp 3.6L V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission scores high marks for excellent chassis dynamics, smooth shifts, EPA estimated 22-MPG highway and abundant safety features. At 201.3-inches long, it’s slightly shorter than the 202.9-inch Ford Taurus, but has more interior volume, with 105 cubic feet of passenger space. Impala also offers 39.8-inches of rear passenger legroom compared to 38.1-inches in the Taurus, though the Taurus rear seat cushions are at a more comfortable angle, with enhanced lateral support. The Ford Taurus also offered better rear window visibility than the Chevy Impala. In addition, the Taurus is comes in both FWD and AWD configurations, the Chevrolet Impala is FWD only.
The 2014 Ford Taurus is largely unchanged for the 2014 model year, with a few new colors and safety features. The 2014 Taurus Limited is equipped with a 288 hp 3.5L Ti-VCT V6 paired with a six speed automatic transmission, rated for an impressive EPA-estimate 29 MPG highway, with standard 10-way power driver seat with available multi-contour driver and front-passenger seats massage, available heated rear passenger seats and available power adjustable pedals. Impala 2LTZ has standard heated seats for both the driver and front passenger, only the driver’s seat is ventilated; heated rear seats are not offered. Both the 2014 Chevrolet Impala and Taurus feature 60/40 split-folding rear seats for carrying oversized items.
On the outside, there’s no confusing these two vehicles. Both proudly wear their oversized logos in the center of their large grills, though the Taurus appears larger and bulkier at 4035 lbs. The sleeker Chevy is trimmed in a mix of brushed and polished bright work, including chrome tipped dual exhausts, the Taurus is dressed in shiny chrome bits. The Impala’s 19-inch brushed aluminum wheels are shod in road gripping Bridgestone Potenzas; the Taurus’ 19-inch nickel-plated aluminum wheels sport Michelin tires. The Taurus is equipped with Ford’s exclusive SecuriCode Invisible Keyless Entry Keypad; the Impala has GM’s EZ Key Passive Entry System. The 20.1 cubic foot Taurus trunk edges out the 18.8 cubic foot Impala trunk, though the Ford’s trunk narrows behind the back seat, given the Chevy the edge on useable space.
There’s more to full-sized family sedans than powerful engines, legroom and trunk space. The all-new Chevy Impala’s safety features outshine the Ford Taurus when compared side-by-side. With 10 standard airbags, standard Forward Collision Alert, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Rear Park Assist, a Rear Vision Camera, Side Blind Zone Alert and six months of GM’s OnStar service, the Chevrolet Impala is very safety focused. The Ford Taurus only has six airbags, well below the norm for cars in its class. A Blind Spot Information System with cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support, Lane Keeping System and active park assist are all optional.
Impala’s Chevrolet MyLink system with 8-inch touch screen is easy to use, pairing a smart phone is clear cut and all but fool proof, where the Taurus’ SYNC with MyFord Touch is still a bit of a challenge. The Impala’s large touch screen even rises out of the dash at the push of a button to reveal extra storage and a hidden USB port. An available 11-speaker Bose surround sound system and SiriusXM add to the luxurious experience. The 2014 Ford Taurus also has an 8-inch LCD screen located in the center stack, the Ford’s second USB port and additional audio jacks are neatly tucked away inside the armrest. Navigation and SiriusXM are available on Taurus Limited, where 6 months of OnStar Directions and Connections and 3 months of SiriusXM and HD Radio are standard on Impala 2LTZ.
While the 2014 Ford Taurus Limited may get better fuel economy and feature a lower MSRP of $34,200, the $35,770 Chevrolet Impala 2LTZ is the better value, with more standard equipment, easier to use infotainment features and a wider range of safety enhancements.