Chevrolet Impala Origins
The Impala enjoyed longevity over the decades that were practically unprecedented. It remained Chevy’s most popular full-size until the mid-1980s. In the early 1990s it was given a 5.7-liter V-8 and revised as a beefed up version of the Caprice Classic sedan. After a brief hiatus, the Impala was reintroduced in 2000 as a front-wheel drive fullsize sedan. Currently the Chevrolet Impala is in its tenth generation.About the Chevrolet Impala
When it was introduced more than 50 years ago, the Impala intended to be an affordable prestige model that could be driven by the average American. It seems little has changed, and these days the Impala remains an affordable full-size that’s capable of comfortably accommodating up to six passengers. While recent models of the Impala aren’t retro-styled, they do uphold the car’s legacy of being spacious, affordable American-made family sedans.Chevrolet Impala Features
The 2012 Chevrolet has been revamped slightly from last year’s model. For starters, it’s been given a more powerful engine. It’s also received a moderate face-lift with the exterior and interior styling having been slightly modified.
While in recent years, the Impala has been made available with a choice of two rather run-of-the-mill V-6s, this year’s model is available with a single modernized 3.6-liter direct-injected V-6 that’s capable of generating 302 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This is essentially the same 3.6-liter V-6 that GM uses to power the Chevy Malibu and the Cadillac CTS. The Impala’s transmission has also been given an upgrade with the addition of a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic. On paper, it would seem that this new engine and transmission would improve the Impala’s fuel economy. Current fuel economy ratings are a respectable 18/30 mpg city/highway.
The 2012 Chevrolet Impala is available in three trim levels: LS, LT and LTZ. Visually, the Impala was given a gentle makeover, with chrome mesh now adorning its grille and housings for foglights having replaced the horizontal slats that appeared on the 2011 model. The car can now ride on 16-, 17-, or 18-inch aluminum wheels that are an improvement from the steel rims and hubcaps that recent Impala versions had. Interior improvements include Bluetooth connectivity across all trim levels. Passenger capacity of five is standard for all models, but there is also the option of a bench front seat that can increase that capacity to six.
The base level LS features keyless entry, automatic headlamps, power accessories, cruise control, a six-way power driver seat, air conditioning, OnStar, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a six-speak audio system complete with CD player, satellite radio, and an auxiliary audio jack. The mid-level LT model features remote ignition, dual-zone manual climate control, a rear seat that folds down, a trip computer, and sporty additions such as a rear spoiler and a leather-wrapped shift knob. Meanwhile, the premium LTZ model has heated mirrors, fog lamps, leather heated power front seats, auto-dimming rearview mirrors, and eight-speaker Bose sound systems. Sunroofs are available as an option on both the LT and the LTZ.
The 2012 Impala also boasts an impressive list of standard safety features including antilock brakes, front and side curtain airbags, traction and stability control, and OnStar telematics.Chevrolet Impala Evolution
The Impala SS was a more muscular version of the car that was derived from the rear wheel drive Caprice. This version of the Impala was available from 1994 through 1996 and featured a 5.7-liter V-8 engine, beefy 17-inch wheels, and a sport-tuned suspension. Only produced for two years, the Impala SS, with its monochromatic paintjob, became something of a collector’s car.
More recent versions of the car include the eighth generation, which were produced from 2000 to 2005. This generation of the Impala is very similar to the current model and remained largely unchanged from year to year. Impalas from the early- to mid-part of the last decade were available in two trim levels: base and LS. While these Impalas are a reasonable used car option, they lack the technological, stylistic, and performance updates of the current model.