Modern day renaissance man
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The 2014 Impala is the ultimate in understated sophisticated style: It’s your gray suit.

By Adam Brewton

Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs. If you try to stack yourself up against history’s well-known Renaissance men, you’ll find yourself facing some intimidating company. Although you may not invent a flying machine, participate in the founding philosophies of a new nation or revolutionize digital technology, that doesn’t mean you can’t get in the game. Primer Magazine offers a few pointers.

Embrace information

Knowledge is the foundation on which a Renaissance man is built. An easy way to incorporate this into your day is to listen to podcasts. Browse the iTunes store and other sites for podcasts on your chosen topics. The Impala’s available Chevrolet MyLink* system enables you to easily sync your smartphone, so you can listen to that lecture on the life of Ernest Hemingway, learn about new developments in biology, or develop yourself with the latest TED Talks while you commute to and from work.

Broaden your artistic horizons

SiriusXM Satellite Radio has 76 channels of music to choose from, and you get a three-month trial** with the Impala, so here’s your challenge: Each week, listen to a new channel for two or three days. Learn to recognize the rhythms and harmonics that define different genres. The available 11-speaker Bose Centerpoint Surround Sound System delivers every detail in concert-quality sound, so don’t be afraid to crank it up when you find one you like.

Be a gentleman

The Renaissance man is not a showboater, so keep your style sophisticated but understated. You want to stand out from the crowd in a positive way. You should appear well put together but not extravagant or flashy. The same rules apply to your vehicle. No more lowered neon-yellow tuners with huge spoilers and raspy exhausts. And stay away from vehicles that scream money and success. The new Impala has a presence that lets people know it’s there, while remaining understated and sophisticated. It fits in everywhere. In essence, it’s your gray suit.

Train your body as well as your mind

Living a healthy and active life will help you in many ways. The Impala’s trunk has more than enough room for your sports equipment bag and a cooler, so make yourself go to the gym before or after work. Agility training will not only give you better flexibility, but also improve your coordination—so you can surprise your wife by taking her dancing. The Impala’s premium electric rack-and-pinion steering and rigid body construction allow you to easily maneuver through traffic while maintaining a smooth and comfortable ride. Its available 3.6L V6 engine boasts 305 horsepower and an EPA-estimated 29 MPG highway. That’s a fitting equivalent to the Renaissance man’s mix of power and efficiency. It’s one thing to be able to run the 100-yard dash in 12 seconds but be exhausted afterwards; it’s another to play a full game of half-court and still have energy to wrestle with your kids when you get home.

Becoming a Renaissance man is no easy task, but when it’s done right it’s incredibly rewarding. The world certainly could use a few more polite, well-rounded, creative individuals.

Hey, who knows? Maybe the classic really is making a comeback.

The trademarks mentioned in this story are held by their respective owners.

Adam Brewton is the automotive contributor to Primer and currently serves as the supervisor of Student Services for Columbia Southern University in Orange Beach, Alabama. His hobbies include adventure racing, anything involving the outdoors, and zombies. He spends his free time enjoying all these things with his wife and two dogs. Follow him on Twitter @adambrewton.

Photo by Getty Images

*MyLink functionality varies by model. Full functionality requires compatible Bluetooth and smartphone, and USB connectivity for some devices.

**If you subscribe after your trial period, subscriptions are continuous until you call SiriusXM to cancel.

See SiriusXM Customer Agreement for complete terms at Other fees and taxes apply. All fees and programming subject to change.


Destination Freight Charges

To allow you to do an accurate price comparison with prices featured on other Internet sites, GM provides Internet pricing both with and without the Destination Freight Charge (see prices including Destination Freight Charge below). To get full pricing details, go to our Build Your Own section.