Although I’ve reviewed automotive related technology in the past, I’ve yet to actually review a car. I’ve been driving for some decades and have had the fortune to drive quite a few different cars, from the high end to the beaters and buckets but I wouldn’t consider myself a gearhead or expert. Enthusiast? Yes. So, I was on board when I was offered the opportunity to check out Chevy’s 2017 Midnight Edition Impala.
For this video, I did something different than I normally do. I hope you enjoy it! I had a lot of fun making it. Let me know what you think in the comments below. The text you see in this post is basically a transcript of the video.
Admittedly, I wasn’t a huge fan of the body style of the early 2000s Impala when Chevy reintroduced them. Sure, the old school Impalas were just my type, but the new ones… nah. I didn’t tell Chevy that because, well, I was more interest in what was inside the car than outer details. I can quite comfortably say that changed with the Midnight Edition Chevy Impala.
The exterior details on the Midnight Edition are fit for a Villain. Aggressive, yet refined and well thought out. From the 18 inch alloys which are silver in broad daylight, but their polish makes them look black in the evening, to the ground effects kit that gives the car a street tough appearance without being so low that you’ll be breaking pieces off of it pulling into driveways, pulling too far over the tops of parking blocks. The body styling actually looks reminiscent of the larger Chevy Camaro to me, and that is not a bad thing at all!
The interior appointments are pretty nice as well. Contrast stitching, night time “limo” lights and well thought out power slots. Yes, in a car with black interior, it may be difficult to find those usb plugs in the center console and behind the monitor but the designers at chevy made the receptacles white so they actually stand out. You had one job! And you did it marvelously. Additionally, you get a full size, three prong plug on the back side of hte center console for those in the back seat and plenty of leg and headroom.
A couple things I’d like to point out which have always been pain points for me when it comes to American cars: steering and blind spots. The Impala feels like it has adaptive steering because the wheel is so light at parking lot speeds but as your speed increases, so does the road feel. The steering wheel feels like it gets heavier at highways speeds and I really like that. Also, they’ve done a good job keeping blind spots to a minimum with the pillar design. I didn’t feel like I was driving bling like I have when I’ve rented some other sporty american sedans in the past.
But, let’s get to the heart of the matter. The reason Villain McBeardface decided to give the Midnight Edition Impala the chance to be his mobile lair… the gadgets. I’m not your average, skulky, miserly, menace, nope, I’m also a family man and wanted to test out the 4G LTE and OnStar Smart Driver tech that Chevy has built into the car. Also, my current moving fortress is a tad dated and doesn’t have all the driver safety features many current models have available to them so that was a plus.
So, in-car hotspot? Ideal for families who no longer needs tons of monitors in their family vehicle because, many already have tablets and smartphones. Just load up the content and go. But, the inclusion of AT&T serviced 4G LTE means that a host of options are now available to your little minions.
The upsides are this: the little ones can stream their favorite movies and shows on those long summer road trips, if you have little gamers (or larger ones) you’re all set, if you’re using a separate carrier than the one providing the hotspot and you’re getting no signal just jump on the wifi. Just make sure you brought along headphones or you’ll be wanting to throw everything out the windows an hour or two in.
Downsides: all the same problems that any cell phone has. The main one being coverage. For my test of the car, I took the McBeardface family up the California coastline. We had coverage for much of the ride, but there were spots along PCH where there were holes in the coverage, so no wifi, no streaming. You should know that the hotspot supports 8 connections, but with this being a 5 seater, I highly doubt you’ll tax it. We had a tablet, four phones, a Macbook Air and Chromebook 13 and didn’t have any issues streaming as long as the signal was solid.
OnStar Smart Driver is an interesting addition and comes with the basic 5-year OnStar package that comes with every Chevy car. Think of Smart Driver like a Fitbit for your motoring life. Here in California, that’s a big deal. You want to know how much your bad driving is costing you? Those hard braking incidents, that aggressive pedal mashing on the green light, it’s all here in living color on the web. You can see in easy to read detail how you’ve been operating behind the wheel. Again, back to those minions, if you have young ones driving the car you can see how well they’ve been driving. You can’t parse that data by driver, as it only shows you a week view of the driving habits.
Special thanks for the music goes to: www.instagram.com/obrienmedia You can hear more of his music at that link!