By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 6.4
The 2012 Chevrolet Impala sedan is the last of a dying breed. The nearest thing Chevrolet has to a full-size sedan, the 2012 Impala retains the classic American full-size attributes of a big, roomy cabin, an equally big trunk, and a soft, comfortable ride. Of course, there is a host of newer sedans with more modern interiors, suspensions and powertrains including the Kia Optima, Dodge Charger and Ford Taurus just name a few. Yet, many of these cars also feature high-tech gadgetry and a firmer ride some buyers are just not interested in. With the 2012 Chevy Impala sedan, you get a powerful, safe and reliable sedan with simple and straightforward functions for the radio, heating and A/C. And, while the Impala's resale figures can't match those of the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, it does have a pretty solid reliability rating.
If you're looking for a roomy, reliable sedan with basic features and conservative good looks, the 2012 Chevy Impala sedan is worth a look. The suite of OnStar services provides an added measure of personal service you won't find on the Impala's competitors.
The 2012 Chevrolet Impala rides on an aging platform whose engine, interior and suspension just can't compete with the likes of the Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Ford Taurus. And, despite Chevrolet's value claims, for about the same price as the base LS trim, you can get into a nicely equipped Hyundai Sonata Limited.
For 2012, the Chevrolet Impala sedan sees a 300-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission made standard on all trims. Other changes include dual exhaust outlets, new 16-inch cast-aluminum wheels on the LS trim, and a flip-and-fold rear seat plus a rear spoiler for the LT.
Driving Impressions The 2012 Impala gains greatly from its new 3.6-liter V6 engine. This 300-horsepower engine is velvety-smooth, silent and strong. The new 6-speed automatic transmission delivers seamless shifts and helps the...2012 Chevy Impala sedan to achieve an impressive 30-mpg highway figure. The Impala's seating is supportive both front and rear, with wide bucket seats long on comfort but short on side bolstering. Engine and road noise have been minimized considerably, which may explain why wind noise seemed so noticeable. Regardless of trim, the Impala delivers a soft, comfortable ride ideal for straight, smooth pavement, but sporty handling is not its strong suit. However, if you do plan to do a bit of aggressive driving now and again, the top-level Impala LTZ offers a more solid feel and better handling, thanks to its 18-inch wheel-and-tire package.
A feature usually not found in basic family sedans, the 8-speaker Bose audio system, available on the LT and standard on the LTZ, is a definite must for music lovers.
Fold-Flat Split Rear Seat
Flip up the seat bottoms, fold down the seatbacks, and the Impala's already massive trunk becomes a virtual cargo bed more than six feet long.
The 2012 Chevrolet Impala sedan's interior is highlighted by simple instruments with large, easy-to-read numerals and lettering. Large rotary knobs for the radio and ventilation are also a nice change from smallish, hard-to-decipher buttons, and it's easy to find a place to store small items thanks to the numerous cup holders and storage areas throughout the car. The 2012 Chevrolet Impala sedan is one of the last cars to offer an available front bench seat, although most trims will likely go out the door with a comfortable set of bucket seats separated by a wide console. The Impala's available flip-and-fold rear seat increases an already massive trunk capacity, as well as provides an additional storage bin hidden beneath the seat bottom.
Conservative yet stylish, the 2012 Chevrolet Impala's look is punctuated by a new grille (silver on LS and LT, black on LTZ) flanked by a pair of highly stylized rearward swept headlights. The Impala's clean linear lines give the look and feel of a sedate luxury sedan, while the sporty LTZ trim stands out with its 18-inch split-spoke wheels and front foglights. We like that the 2012 Chevy Impala sedan's roofline remains high as it moves rearward, a design that improves rear-seat headroom. The Impala's trunk lid opens straight up to allow for easy loading and the low lift-over height aids when loading heavy or large items.
A base 2012 Impala LS comes equipped with a 3.6-liter V6, 6-speed automatic transmission, power windows/locks/mirrors, air conditioning, AM/FM/CD player with auxiliary input, XM Satellite Radio, remote keyless entry, front airbags, side-curtain airbags, front-seat side-impact airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), traction control, stability control, power driver's seat, cloth interior, tilt steering wheel, remote trunk release, 16-inch alloy wheels, tire-pressure monitor and six months of free OnStar service including Turn-by-Turn navigation.
Trim-level, package and stand-alone options vary among the three trims (LS, LT and LTZ) and include leather seating, power sunroof, dual-zone air conditioning, 8-way heated power driver's and heated power passenger's seats, flip-and-fold-flat rear seat, single- or 6-disc CD player with MP3 compatibility, Bose premium sound, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, universal home remote, Bluetooth, auto-dimming inside and outside rearview mirrors, heated outside mirrors, metallic-look trim, factory-installed remote vehicle start, engine-block heater, foglights, rear spoiler and aluminum wheels up to 18 inches in diameter.
The Impala sedan's sole powertrain consists of a 3.6-liter DOHC engine with variable valve timing and E85 compatibility. This is the same excellent GM V6 used in Buick and Cadillac sedans, and it serves the Impala equally well. The new 6-speed automatic is one of GM's best and provides smooth shifts as well as the ability to avoid hunting for the right gear when climbing hills.
300 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
262 lb-ft of torque @ 5,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/30 (gasoline), 13/22 (E85)
By Topfan337 on Monday, March 23, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,200overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Performance.. Looks .... Reliabilty"
Cons: "None that I can find YET!!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"All I can say about the car is I'm glad I purchased it when I did.... The very next year of this car production in 2009 it shrunk significantly...Size was everything to me when I purchased it ..."
By Phil on Wednesday, March 18, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "It fun to drive"
Cons: "Nothing just that's it's not a Buick"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love this car and it's like brand new and I just got new tires on it 3 weeks ago. But I had a Buick before this Impala and I want to see if I can get another Buick."
By JSHAHAN44 on Wednesday, March 18, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"2ND IMPALA I'VE OWNED. THIS ONE HAS MOST OF THE BELLS AND WHISTLES FOR COMFORT. HANDLES WELL IN WINTER. DRIVES SMOOTH. GAS MILAGE IS EXCELLENT. ONLY COMPLAINT I'VE HAD SO FAR IS THE CUP HOLDERS ARE JUST IN AN AWKWARD PLACE AND REALLY 2 DRINKS IN THEM DON'T FIT."
By CIA.Chef on Sunday, March 15, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable ride, large trunk"
Cons: "Major mechanical issues. Unreliable!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought this car in 2009 (is a 2006 model year with about 60,000 miles) from a dealership whom had obtained the car from a rental company. It would seem I should have been more wary of the possibility of issues from the start. After 18 months without any issues, the decline began. It started with a flat spot on the starter, not allowing the car to start upon my return from a weekend trip out of town. Then the brake pads went soon after. The following year was the biggest disaster. I have always kept up with normal maintenance of my vehicle, in spite of this, the engine completely seized and was deemed un-usable by a mechanic and a dealership in the Tampa Bay Area. I could either replace the engine with a used engine (for about $2500) or a new engine (for about $5000). Needless to say, I chose the former. After spending the money to have the entire engine replaced, it stopped working again about 10 days later, turns out some wiring had gone bad and needed to be replaced. Soon after, there were issues with the gas cap staying tightly sealed, thus reducing the car's already poor fuel efficiency. A few months later, it became increasingly difficult to turn the steering wheel. Rather than a simple fluid exchange, this problem was caused by a faulty steering fluid pump (another costly piece of hardware) which had to be completely replaced. Additionally, the car is now having issues causing an external metal-grinding sound when turning the wheel at slower speeds. It has also been stalling out in the middle of turning through an intersection as well as at stop lights (randomly). I am more than pleased to announce I am getting rid of this car and will be getting a more reliable vehicle, after much consumer review-reading and research on Consumer Reports and Edmunds."
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By StevenE. on Sunday, March 08, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"For a program car this vehicle is a bit old on looks but with the 300hp 3.6 v6 matched to the 6 speed automatic acceleration is great with appropriate shift points. Remember, this is a family sedan. Not a sports car. I consistently get 31 mpg on the highway. The LTZ suspension helps the vehicle corner acceptably for a large car. Minor irritations are the size of the interior controls, especially the heat/ac. Bose stereo is great though was a bit hard for me to figure it all out. I am not too tech savvy. Blue tooth is great. The rear wing on the trunk obstructs vison. Trunk is spacious and folding rear seats are helpful."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By ImInLoveWithTheCoCo on Friday, February 27, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,700overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive, roomy"
Cons: "My plastic in the car makes noise very irritating"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"I'm young and I thought this car would be way too big but my dad loves Impala's so I bought one. OMG this car is so comfortable and roomy. I've haven't had it that long, so i'm still trying to get a hang of driving a longer vehicle. I would highly recommend this car, maybe not to my age range but to maybe 25 and up. Its more of a mature adult car. I still love "CoCo" she's white ;)"
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful