The 2012 Chevrolet Impala sedan is a four-door full-size sedan that, currently in its ninth generation, is one of the oldest models still running in Chevrolet's and even General Motors' lineup. The Impala is a capable vehicle, with its spacious interior and relatively low base price continuing to be its strengths. For the new model year, GM improved on the latter with replacement of the previous two V-6 engines and four-speed automatic transmission with a more modern V-6 and six-speed automatic that offers 90 more horsepower and better fuel economy.
Unfortunately, General Motors has made little effort in keeping the Chevrolet Impala up with the times, and stalwarts like the Ford Taurus and Toyota Avalon have passed the Impala in design, quality, engine power, and features. Even the smaller Chevrolet Malibu exceeds the Impala in desirability. Reports suggest that an all-new Impala may debut around 2014.
Body style: Sedan
Engine: 3.6-liter V-6
Transmission: six-speed automatic
Models: LS, LT, LTZ
General Motors refreshed the 2012 Chevrolet Impala with styling cues from the discontinued SS model. The biggest change, though, is that GM replaced the 3.5-liter and 3.9-liter V-6 engines with the more modern 3.6-liter V-6 mated to an equally modern six-speed automatic transmission. Horsepower is now a competitive 300 ponies, yet fuel economy jumps a couple of ticks to 18 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. Chevrolet has also beefed up the suspension and even steering to accommodate the new drivetrain.
Redesigned in 2005 for the 2006 model year, the ninth generation 2012 Chevrolet Impala is one of General Motors' oldest vehicles and, unfortunately, it looks dated compared to other full-sized competitors like the Chrysler 300, Ford Taurus, and even the conservatively fashioned Toyota Avalon. GM has added 16-inch wheels and revised the body for the model year, but even enthusiasts will have difficulty in telling the new model apart from older ones.
The Chevrolet Impala's forte has always been its interior, which is roomy enough to seat the driver and up to five additional passengers comfortably, making it the only six-passenger sedan left on the market. The trunk is large--18.6 cubic feet--and the rear seats have an exclusive feature allowing them to be used as storage space and flat surface for long items to fit through the pass-through.
The dash and center stack have a simple layout and the climate controls and infotainment system are easy to identify and use. Unfortunately, the design and materials use are dated compared to competitors or even Chevrolet's other offerings like the smaller but more modern Malibu.
Performance & Handling
The all-new 3.6-liter V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission markedly improve the 2012 Chevrolet Impala in acceleration and fuel economy. The Chevy Impala continues to be a capable cruiser with the new engine quiet while road and wind noise competitive. The stiffer suspension is by no means sporty--in fact, we found the ride plush--and handling continues to be on the soft side.
The 2012 Chevrolet Impala comes equipped with standard front, side airbags, and side curtains for a total of six airbags. Like many GM vehicles, the Chevy Impala has StabiliTrak, four-wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, traction control and available tire pressure monitoring.
EPA Fuel Economy
Chevrolet Impala LS, LT, LTZ: 18 mpg city/30 mpg highway
- Interior space
- V-6 Engine
You Won't Like
- Dated design
- Interior material quality
If You Like This Vehicle
- Chrysler 300
- Dodge Charger
- Ford Taurus
- Toyota Avalon