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GM: 2014 Chevy Impala Four-Banger Quiet, Fuel-Efficient

Sections: Fuel Economy, Powertrain

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Ecotec 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine press photo

GM’s Ecotec 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine will be available to power the Chevrolet Impala for the 2014 model year and will offer better noise refinement and fuel economy, GM said. (Photo courtesy General Motors.)

General Motors is touting the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine destined for its 2014 Chevrolet Impala as delivering “quiet power and fuel efficiency.”

That comes from a press release from the General, which also said, “Chevrolet expects the 2.5L model to be a popular choice among Impala buyers. More than two-thirds of Chevrolet cars sold in the first quarter of 2013 had a four-cylinder engine.”

Interesting stuff from the folks who make a huge deal out of the small block V8.

Chevrolet Vice President of Marketing Chris Perry said, “Impala customers have three engines to choose from, appealing to a wide array of needs, but the 2.5-liter model in particular offers both improved fuel economy as well as an accessible starting price of $27,535.”

That improved fuel economy is 21 MPG city, 31 MPG highway, the release said. That from an engine making 196 horsepower and 186 ft-lbs of torque. The engine has variable valve lift technology thanks to an all-new rocker arm that switches between low and high lift intake cam profiles. Actuated by an oil control valve through a dual-feed stationary hydraulic lash adjuster, GM said the engine is the first of its kind for low friction roller-type finger-follower valvetrains in gasoline engines.

General Motors Global Chief Engineer for Ecotec Engines Mike Anderson said, “Intake Valve Lift Control works so seamlessly drivers aren’t likely to notice it at all. What they will notice is a fuel economy improvement of up to one mile per gallon.”

The last-generation Impala was sold in its 2013 model year with only a 3.6-liter V6 that made a stoplight drag-worthy 300 horsepower. It delivered an EPA city/highway MPG score of 18/30, respectively. The new engine doesn’t exactly blow those numbers out of the water, while offering significantly less performance. Until we get a chance to drive one, we’ll reserve judgment. We know the same 3.6-liter V6 we experienced in a Chevrolet Equinox, a GMC Acadia, and a Buick Enclave could be pretty thirsty, but then, compared to those tall, brickish SUVs, the Impala is an SR-71 Blackbird of aerodynamic efficiency.

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