It’s not your dad’s Impala. It’s better. Check out 2016 plans for Chevy’s full-size four-door.

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What changes will make it different?

An entirely new version of the famous nameplate was introduced as a 2014 model year, and there isn’t too much wrong with it. Thus, model-year ’16 should bring only a refreshing.

Why should I wait for the 2016?

The latest Impala is such a departure from the car’s recent past that there aren’t likely to be seismic shifts for quite some time. If something doesn’t feel right to you with the model-year ’15 offering, then wait and see what type of fine-tuning occurs. Otherwise, there isn’t much of a case for waiting so long.

Should I buy a 2015 model instead?

We can’t think of anything that should hold you back. This model is a feature-packed, good-looking four-door sedan that is sure to grab that attention of anyone shopping in the segment.

Will the styling be different?

If you took the model-year ’15 Camaro and made it look about 98 percent more conservative, you’d probably end up with something that looks like the Impala. Considering the Camaro might be toned down for model-year 2016, we’re not likely to see a sportier or edgier Impala when it gets a mid-cycle tidy-up. It may receive a few LED lights at the front and rear and a softening of the face, but don’t expect much else.

Any mechanical changes?

It’s possible we’ll see a model that can run on compressed natural gas. The model-year ’15 offering utilizes GM’s latest 3.6-liter V-6, which is rated at 305 horsepower and does a pretty good job all round, so it’s unlikely that the conventional gasoline units will be altered significantly.

Will fuel economy improve?

With the Eco model having been dropped in favor of stop/start technology in four-cylinder models, there’s plenty of room to improve gas mileage. The Eco model delivered a city/highway-combined figure of 29 mpg, while the stop/start models are at about 25 mpg. Many manufacturers are introducing considerably more efficient models at the moment, and it will probably take something beyond the introduction of a CNG-capable model to prevent Chevy from taking flak over its step backward. Expect improvements in the V-6’s economy, even if it’s just via fine-tuning.

Will it have new features?

The model-year ’15 vehicle is bristling with features such as Bluetooth, navigation, Chevy’s MyLink system controlling the secondary features via an eight-inch touchscreen LCD, and numerous standard and available safety systems. There will always be new features when a car like the Impala gets refreshed, but the smart money this time around is on more advanced safety systems rather than infotainment or connectivity.

How will 2016 prices be different?

Since you already pay anywhere from $27,735 to close to $41,000 for a new Impala, costs should remain the same or even come down a little. Manufacturers are, after all, being careful to keep their price tags from rising.

When will it come out?

Chevy isn’t in any rush. Even though the ’15 model is already with us, we should expect the next version to appear before the third quarter of 2015, and it may even be as late as the end of the year.

Best competitors

Buick Lacrosse, Ford Taurus, Hyundai Azera, Nissan Maxima, Toyota Avalon

What change would make it better?

There were some poor models for a long time, but the Impala is back. It isn’t perfect, mind you, but there isn’t really much that shouts out for serious change either. Fuel economy is the one area that needs a boost.

Quick hit

Although there isn’t a great deal of headroom in the back, that’s the price you pay for styling that is winning so many people back to the nameplate. Chevy has done a great job in resurrecting the Impala from the ashes, so there’s no real reason to mess with a good thing. Not for a while, at least.

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at [email protected]