The 2013 Chevrolet Impala; 2004's car of the year.
The resurgence of American cars, built with American pride for Americans who love America, brings a new wave of innovative ideas and provocative concepts that exceeds expectations and shatter any preconceived notions about what a sedan should be. Ford had the right idea with Fusion. A techno centric vehicle that still has the power to haul ass all the while preserving fuel thanks to its Eco boost system. Dodge bet big and won with the Charger. A balls to the wall, in-your-face automobile that might as well include a bald eagle waving an American flag made out of freedom when you buy it off the lot. Cadillac and their absolutely stunning CTS and less-stunning-but-still-pretty-awesome-danger-butt-vibrating XTS. I know I'm jumping between price ranges here but these are all truly remarkable cars in their own rights. Were I to compare it to anything, all these cars would be akin to the power rangers. Each one brigs one really awesome thing to the table while making each other better in the process.
The 2013 Chevrolet Impala is none of this.
I recently had the misfortune of renting this vehicle to visit my parents for the 4th of July weekend. Thanks to Hertz and their lack of selection at the Akron/Canton Airport I was given this aborted abortion on wheels to drive around for 5 days. This car is the reason Americans hate each other.
Let's start with the engine. The engine is quite powerful for a sedan but it is rather inefficient. MPG is king and this engine is the poor commoner working the fields trying to keep his family alive and failing. The automatic gearbox behaves like a kid with ADHD trying to count to 4 without completely going off in a tangent. "Ok I'm in first gear and now I'm going to seco—FUCK IT 4RTH GEAR!". It is really frustrating to have when you're in stop-and-go traffic.
Then there's the cheaply made "leather" interior. Yes it's leather but it's such terrible quality, it feels like Chevy commissioned Buffalo Bill to make it. It looks cheap, it feels cheap and it makes me want to put a bullet in my brain every time I look at it...which is anytime I'm driving.
The controls are a bit of a clustterfuck. Turn signals, intermittent wipers, wiper fluid and flashing your lights are all done with one lever. Which means all the work has to be done by your left hand instead of divvying up the work between both hands (that's what she said...?). Using your windshield wiper spray is awkward and potentially dangerous since you have to take your eyes off the road to look at what you're doing. All the buttons are made out of plastic so cheap, China would reject it (lol political commentary! I so funney). The air conditioner is quite powerful I'll give them that. But for some reason, even if you have it at its lowest setting, the engine goes pants-on-head-apeshit. It has seat warmers which won't get much use during summer. It has XM radio which is nice, I guess. I'm not an XM subscriber and I have these newfangled things called Pandora and Spotify but I can see how it would appeal to someone doesn't have internet on their phone or live in a place with shit reception (then again if your cell phone reception is bad, satellite reception would be worse but I'm playing devil's advocate here).
And now we come to the worst feature you could ever have in a vehicle. When I went to the Hertz counter, I requested a Bluetooth enabled vehicle so that I can receive calls while driving but more importantly, to be able to listen to my music in the car. I was first given an Altima and though I was impressed with the vehicle (seriously, it's really cool), it had an aftermarket Bluetooth device that wouldn't even turn on. So they told me either I get the Impala or I keep the Altima. I decided for the former and holy shit-balls do I regret it. Yes it has factory installed Bluetooth. Yes you can take calls hands free. No you cannot listen to your music apps OR use your in-phone GPS (love Google maps/navigation). So basically it's a half assed attempt at copying something other cars are doing and completely fucking it up.
And that last sentence sums up the essence of the 2013 Chevrolet Impala. Chevy saw what it's competition was doing and tried to do its own version. Kinda like Mega Blocks looking at Lego and going "Shit, we could do that." This is a car built by Americans, for Americans when Americans don't want it. This is the reason non-American cars are doing so well. Because of lazy engineering and design from our own people.
Don't get me wrong, if I had a time machine I'd send this car back to 2004 and it would sell like blue meth. Hell, I bet you this car would win one of those JD Power circle jerk awards. It's pretty much a car from this era, for a previous one.
And that's a terrible philosophy to take when you're making a car.