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2012 Chevrolet Impala

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2012 Chevrolet Impala Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 11/10/2011


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 It 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.

Favorite Features

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.

Vehicle 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 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.

Notable 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)

Pricing Notes

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2012 Chevrolet Impala ranges from just under $26,500 for the LS to about $31,000 for a fully loaded LTZ. A check on kbb.com will show you the Fair Purchase Price, which shows about what others in your area have paid for their cars. Kelley Blue Book expects the 2012 Chevrolet Impala sedan to hold resale values slightly better than previous Impalas, but, overall, to lag behind the Chrysler 300 and the Ford Taurus and be far outpaced by the resale values of the Honda Accord, Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry.

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