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2012 Chevrolet Impala Review

Test drivers said that while a more potent engine provides competitive power, many large cars outclass the 2012 Chevrolet Impala with better driving dynamics and higher quality interiors.

Pros & Cons

  • Large trunk
  • Sloppy handling
  • Bland interior styling
  • Second-rate interior materials

New for 2012

  • More powerful V6 engine
  • New six-speed automatic transmission
  • Updated exterior styling
  • Bluetooth became standard




Critics' Rating: 6.5
Performance: 6.6
Interior: 6.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 8.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Chevrolet Impala Overview

For 2012, the Chevrolet Impala received a new, more powerful V6 engine, and reviewers agreed that it’s a major improvement that provides a competitive amount of power for the class. A new six-speed automatic transmission also replaced the four-speed automatic found in the 2011 model. The 2012 Chevrolet Impala gets an EPA-estimated 18/30 mpg city/highway, which is in line with what most affordable large cars get. While test drivers wrote that most competing large cars offer greater agility and a more enjoyable driving experience, they also reported that the Impala has strong brakes and a comfortable ride.

Reviewers were disappointed with the outdated design and hard plastics that dominate the 2012 Impala’s cabin, noting that most competing cars have better interiors. The 2012 Impala seats five, or six when equipped with a front bench seat, which is rare for the class. Some auto writers praised the Impala for its spaciousness, while others said the rear seat could use more legroom. At 18.6 cubic feet, the Impala’s trunk is large for the class. The Chevrolet Impala’s standard features include Bluetooth, satellite radio, a six-speaker audio system and a power-adjustable driver’s seat. Available features include leather upholstery, heated seats and a Bose audio system.

Other Cars to Consider

The 2012 Ford Taurus has a slightly larger trunk, and reviewers liked its attractively designed cabin. The Taurus is also available with all-wheel drive, and auto writers praised its comfortable ride.

Critics agreed that the 2012 Dodge Charger offers powerful V6 and V8 engine choices, as well as handling that’s surprisingly controlled for an affordable large car. It also gets slightly better fuel economy when equipped with an available eight-speed automatic transmission.

Compare the Impala, Taurus and Charger »

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