2012 Chevrolet Impala Review
The 2012 Chevrolet Impala offers a new, more powerful engine and an updated transmission, but still falls short with lackluster handling and an interior that’s short on quality and comfort.
Critics just don’t like the 2012 Chevrolet Impala. Despite a new drivetrain with competitive power, the Impala’s shortcomings are just too great to ignore. Car and Driver writes, “It's a dull and basic vehicle, especially compared with all of its segment competitors, but it is roomy, cheap, and completely innocuous in every way.”
Though that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement, it doesn’t mean that the Impala isn’t without a few strong points. Along with its new, more powerful drivetrain, which it borrows from the Chevy Camaro, the Impala continues to deliver good fuel economy, a large trunk and a cabin that can be configured to seat up to six. Unfortunately, that’s where the highlights stop.
While the Impala may be able to seat more passengers than many rival affordable large cars, test drivers say that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be comfortable. Some say that the front seats lack support, while the back seat lacks sufficient space for taller passengers. Along with substandard comfort, most agree that the Impala’s interior quality falls behind rivals such as the Chrysler 300 and Ford Taurus. And while Chevrolet has added Bluetooth to its list of standard features for 2012, the Impala still trails the competition when it comes to interior tech.
With so many demerits, it’s difficult for the 2012 Chevrolet Impala to compete with newer affordable large cars that offer better styling and higher-quality interiors for roughly the same amount of money.
Other Cars to Consider
Unfortunately for the Impala, finding a better affordable large car is like shooting fish in a barrel. The Ford Taurus continues to win praise for its spacious, comfortable interior, stylish exterior and class-leading interior features like Ford’s Sync infotainment system. What’s more, the Taurus offers all of these advantages at the same price as the Impala.
If you’re willing to spend some extra dough to get a car with more standard features, consider the Buick LaCrosse. The LaCrosse comes standard with Buick’s IntelliLink infotainment system, which allows users to connect their phones and music players via Bluetooth or USB connections. Additionally, the LaCrosse is available with comparable V6 power or a fuel-sipping eAssist drivetrain, which pairs a small electric motor with a four-cylinder engine for outstanding fuel economy.
Chevrolet Impala: The Details
The 2012 Chevy Impala is available in LS, LT and LTZ trims. Updates for 2012 include a new, more powerful engine and six-speed automatic transmission, which comes standard in all models. Inside, the 2012 Impala adds Bluetooth and a leather-wrapped steering wheel to its list of standard features.
While these updates make the 2012 Impala more competitive with other affordable large cars, GM fans may want to wait. Autoblog reports that the redesigned 2014 Chevrolet Impala is expected to go on sale in the first quarter of 2013.
- "Chevrolet's venerable midsize car is affordable, relatively roomy, and has competent road manners. Still, this sedan feels dated when compared to class leaders." -- Consumer Guide
- "Despite a spacious cabin and comfortable ride, the 2012 Chevrolet Impala is outdone by most competitors. You can do better." -- Edmunds