I took a 3 day road trip this past weekend down to Miami from Dallas and back which ended up being around 2700 mile round trip. 17hr drive down 15 hr drive back. My rental for this trip was a loaded impala V6 LTZ only missing a sunroof option.
Prior to this trip my first encounter with a vehicle on a similar platform was a XTS V-Sport which I drove for about 100 miles late last year. This time around I was able to get quite intimate. The characteristics are quite similar between the impala and XTS but I would say the XTS was definitely more buttoned down in the suspension tuning.
For a full size sedan the impala does everything you ask of it without much compromise. Things that I thought looked weird like the steering wheel has a lot of function to the design. The ambient lighting wasn't too gawdy. The interior layout functions perfectly. The interior didnt feel too narrow and the design of the exterior with the wheels made you feel like you were driving something special.
The ride and suspension tuning for long highway rides is spot on. Even with the long wheelbase it didn't feel too floaty or nose heavy. Steering feel was much better than I had expected as well. Power delivery from the V6 felt broad and torquey as well. Quite a bit torque steer around town though with how I drive. Fuel economy was pretty dang impressive. I did the best driving down because I started off at midnight from Dallas and encountered about 9hrs of the trip without traffic where it was the opposite coming back. Driving down I made it on 2 and a half tanks of gas but with ideal situations I felt like two tanks was possible.
There's not much I would have wanted that I didn't have. Maybe massage seats and a cooler up front would be nice. For me sedans arent dead at all but the volume leaders for sedans will probably remain in the 20 to 42k price range and maybe shrink down to top off at 35k. Anything above that price range will probably be dominated by SUVs and crossovers for the foreseeable future.
After having spent time with both an Impala and XTS I can say there is a definite spot in GMs lineup for multiple full size fwd based sedans. It would be nice if the Malibu grew to midsize/fullsize status and the impala switched to a rwd platform but as it is now it's a winning formula for sure.