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2012 Chevrolet Impala

Overview
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2012 Chevrolet Impala Review

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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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2012

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 the Impala

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.

Bose Audio
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.

2012 Chevrolet Impala Details
Interior

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.

Exterior

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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.

3.6-liter V6
300 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
262 lb-ft of torque @ 5,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/30 (gasoline), 13/22 (E85)

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2012 Chevrolet Impala Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 831 Ratings for the 2006 - 2013 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.4/10

Had a lot of surprises, all of them good.

By on Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 93,662

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "This has been a comfortable plesant car to drive."

Cons: "Front brake rotors developed "Hard spots" at 80k"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"With almost 100k miles the only repairs are tires and front brake rotors at 80k and a battery this year. Mileage is much better than expected at 33+ on freeway and 28.8 on the total miles on car to date. It is comfortable and you feel secure while driving."

A reasonably priced comfortable ride.

By on Saturday, April 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Reasonable price, powerful engine, roomy interior."

Cons: "Interior is noisey, soft suspension."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I purchased my 2013 Impala LT at a good price, pre-owned with 20,000 miles and with 20 months left on the manufacturers 3 year warranty.The interior is roomy. The front seats are more than enough for me (6'1" 300 lbs) and my wife (average size). The rear seat may be a squeeze for 3 adults but OK for smaller adults and children. The ride is smooth and soft. The suspension is good for straight highway and slower city driving. The interior is not real quiet; you can hear road and wind noise. I really like the V6 (300 hp) engine and 6 speed auto transmission. This car has a lot of power and I still get 22 mpg city and 32 mpg highway. This car does not have all of the latest technology that is available, but, I don't need or want it all. Because the newer Impalas were re-designed with a 4 cylinder engine, I will keep this car for many years."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Three years of driving it, still happy with it

By on Saturday, April 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "great value, solid car, dependable, comfy"

Cons: "poor rear window visibility, only 2 cup holders,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Overall a very good car. Got my 2011 Impala in 2012, it was a dealer "demo" with 35k miles. I was wary, as it had been a rental car, but the price was great and, after more than a dozen years of driving minivans I was ready for something that looked less like a soccer mom's vehicle.I've been very happy with it although there are many things I truly miss about the minivan! But this isn't a minivan review so back to the Impala. Other than replacing one set of brakes, we've done nothing but basic maintenance, e.g. regular oil changes. No money spent on repairs which makes me very happy. It isn't real sporty looking in my opinion, doesn't stand out in the crowd especially with the dark blue color mine is, but for me that's just fine. It's very comfy inside once you get in! Decent radio, good heat and air, the car drives and handles well to me. If you like to weave in and out of heavy traffic at high speeds this isn't your best choice, but for normal driving conditions this is a fine car. Cons: poor visibility out the rear windshield. The middle headrest in the back seat really blocks your view. Wish it was removable! This is the car's biggest flaw to me. And for some reason, no matter a person's height, size, age, level of fitness, (and believe me, every possible configuration has ridden in my car) everyone has struggles to get out. Not sure why. I think there's not enough clearance for your knees to just swing in and out of your seat. You sort of have to angle yourself and wedge yourself in and out. My 6'6" sons and my 4'11" very petite mom, and everyone in between, struggles to get in and out. And the fact there's only 2 cup holders in the car is a real bummer. But like I said, overall a good solid car. I've driven it nearly 50,000 miles in the three years I've had it, and its still almost like New."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Great Car!

By on Thursday, April 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 175,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "reliable, handles amazing in the adverse condition"

Cons: "can't think of any. I have always loved it!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"2004 Impala (SE) - Just the basic, no fancy bells and whistles. Bought this car in 2008 with 50,000 miles. I was hesitant to buy it because it had super high miles. We now have over 175,000 on it. We are horrible about regular maintenance and ALWAYS HAVE BEEN! Change oil light comes on and we might change it right away and we might drive it for another 3K miles. With 175K miles (other than tires and oil changes) we have only replaced one tie rod. Summer of 2014 we started having occasional problems with the dash gauges (speedometer & temperature) sticking in random places. The security light comes on now and then and occasionally have to wait 10 minutes before the car will start. But all-in-all, with 175K miles, she does just fine as my husbands work car beater! Actually we are looking to purchase another one (slightly newer) for me to drive back and forth to work to save miles on our "family" car."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Really nice car. Very happy.

By on Sunday, April 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,200

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"We've owned it 18 months and nothing has went bad on it. Change the oil, put new tires and wiper blades on it. More complaints against the dealer that sold it to us. Happy to know Americans are competing."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Good Luxury feel for the money

By on Friday, April 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "motor, looks"

Cons: "body integrity (squeeks and rattles)"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Bought vehicle when it was 1 year old for only slightly more then 50% of what it sold for new. Great value."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?