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 Giant Gene on Tuesday, January 20, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Affordable, roomy, comfortable to drive."
Cons: "Cabin is noisey"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"My 2013 Chevrolet Impala was one of the lower priced full size cars available when I bought. The exterior does not appear as large as some other full size cars but the interior is spacious with plenty of room for the driver and front passenger. The dashboard instrumentation is simple. The rear seat space seems average. The V6 engine and 6 speed automatic transmission delivers more than enough power and I average 22 mpg city and 33 mpg highway. The car is comfortable to drive with a soft suspension and steering meant more for straight highway driving than cornering or sport driving. One negative is the cabin is noisy and could use more insulation from outside sounds."
8 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By Raz on Monday, January 19, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Dependable, comfortable"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I leased a 2007 Impala LT and it was flawless for 3 years.My 2011 only needed a front crankshaft seal which the dealer replaced under warranty.The only problem is that they drop in value big time in the first year.After owning this one for 4 years which after owning more then 50 cars and trucks I would say it has been a good car.I will trade when I get a good offer. So far no good offer.If Pontiac was still around I would not have bought this."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By Coco on Thursday, January 15, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Peppy, reliable, smooth vehicle"
Cons: "Needed updating, which GM did already"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"It's a wonderful car! Smooth to drive, quite quick too. Gets ~32 mph cruising down the highway and a respectable 25 in city driving. Plenty of room for four adults and a large dog! The trunk is huge and has a wide opening, so boxes and bins aren't even an issue. Nice suspension, which is a plus on Michigan's deplorably pot-hole riddled roads. Love it! If I wasn't under contract to buy a car every three years, I wouldn't hesitate to keep this car for many more years."
By CART on Wednesday, January 14, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Had much enjoyment out of this car '"
Cons: "paint bad"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Loved the car but with 41,000 original miles on it has several problems. Muffler went which is ok for 8 yr. old car but $2,000.00 to replace the muffler!! Many electrical problems; had to disconnect horn, door locks don't work and now tire pressure gauges gone and engine light on. Had car serviced regularly. Exterior paint job bad. Several recalls."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Eric on Friday, January 02, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Cheap to Buy, average reliability, good handling"
Cons: "Bad resale value, boring looks, cheap interior"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"I have owned this car for 7 years no and put many miles on it. Have the LT 3.9 with leather. The car has withstood the harsh winters of Northern PA and NY, which is where most of my driving occurs. The Leather seats are a must and hold up much better than the fabric, plus heated seats are pretty nice. Handling is good and transmission is smooth, especially for an ancient 4-speed. The rear folding seats are great and I have actually used this car to sleep in on particularly rainy camping trips where I can lay flat from the trunk into the back seat. Gas mileage is only 19-21 city but have averaged a really good 28-31 highway. Issues with this car have been with its emissions sensors and tailpipes. I have replaced each of these items three times now. Brakes and rotors will also wear fast. Winter tires are a must and found that nitrogen in the tires are the best for it keeping tire pressure even in hot and cold weather. Its just like any other car. If you take care of it, it will last. Also have the 2013 Chevy Impala. All the same other than a much more powerful and refined V6 3.6."
11 people out of 19 found this review helpful
By Nicole on Monday, December 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 155,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "cost efficient, fun to drive, easy to fix"
Cons: "poor gas mileage, blind spots, not a winter driver"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"My husband and I bought this car about a year and a half ago from a buy here pay here used car lot. Like most used vehicles, you don't know the history of the car so it's a hit or miss. This car honestly hasn't given us many problems. Right now we have a vacuum leak we're trying to track down and we had to replace the car lot's battery which is pretty typical I suppose since they just rotate them. Other than the vacuum leak though the car has been pretty reliable and she's been good to us, as long as we've been good to her. Keeping up with maintenance is a big deal with the impala. It's like she has phantom symptoms when she needs something as simple as spark plugs. So if you're buying this car make sure all of the routine maintenance is good to go and kept up. When we bought this car it had 123k miles on it. It now has 155k on it and runs like a champ, for the most part. The main thing I don't like about the impala is the gas mileage. It gets just typical gas mileage. This car though is the perfect family car. Lots of interior space for car seats, lots of trunk space. Easy to work on under the hood. And when taken care of properly has a sporty side to her nature, sticks to the ground when you punch it and just flies. So she's got power where she needs it. All in all, with the Impala I would say that if you take care of this car, this car will take care of you. She's a firm believer in karma. And she has a few above-average blind spots but that's a usual result with a larger vehicle. I am from the northern states and I must say, winter driving isn't the best. However, we only had one slide off and I think that was due to us needing new tires. So if you know how to drive in snow and ice you should be alright. If the gas mileage wasn't so typical I'd buy a new one."
13 people out of 18 found this review helpful