Comfortable ride; roomy interior; huge trunk and folding seatback; available front bench seat; lots of standard features for the money
For 2012, the Chevrolet Impala gets several notable updates. Last year’s standard 3.5L V6 and optional 3.9L V6 have been replaced by a new direct-injected 3.6L V6, which uses variable valve timing and makes 302 horsepower. It’s linked to a new 6-speed automatic transmission. In addition, a new grille has been added, along with new fog lamps, and dual exhaust tips are now standard across the line. The interior features new woodgrain trim and a new leather shift knob and new 16-inch wheels are available. Red Jewel Tintcoat has been dropped, but Black Granite Metallic and Crystal Red Tintcoat have been added (at extra cost). Luxury Edition Package has also been dropped from the line, as well as fog lamps on the LT model.
The Chevrolet Impala is a favorite with fleets, offering a roomy, conservative sedan design that’s been kept updated with modern features and options. For interior space it’s still one of the best vehicles in its class, with room in back for three adults and a front bench seat available. Chevrolet also claims that the Impala is unique in its segment with the ability to fold the backseat forward for large items. Ride comfort and overall quietness are also strengths. The Impala offers a lot of features for the money.
The Impala is a roomy, front-wheel-drive 4-door sedan that comes in LS, LT and LTZ models. All trims now include a standard 3.6L V6 engine that features variable valve timing, is FlexFuel compatible, and makes 302 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with a new 6-speed automatic transmission, which allows it to hit 30 mpg on the highway, according to the EPA. With a rather conventional MacPherson strut-type front suspension and trailing-arm rear suspension, with a stabilizer bar in back, the Impala is tuned to bring a smooth ride yet handle reasonably responsively. The body and suspension systems were designed to include some significant sound-deadening measures, which make the Impala quiet on the highway and over coarse surfaces. Depending on the trim level, the Impala comes with either a front bench seat or two individual buckets. In back, there’s enough room for three adults across, and the seatbacks fold forward for a full pass-through to the trunk for larger cargo items. There’s a storage tub under the rear cushions. And a sunroof is available. Side and side-curtain airbags are standard on all Impalas, along with GM’s StabiliTrak stability control system and 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. There are LATCH child-seat connectors in all three rear seating positions. Even the base LS model includes keyless entry, cruise control, power windows and locks and air conditioning. LT models get larger machined aluminum wheels, a remote start system, dual-zone climate control and Bluetooth hands-free. At the top of the range, the LTZ comes equipped as a more sophisticated, somewhat sporty sedan, with upgraded wheels and W-rated tires, heated seats, heated mirrors, a universal remote, and Bose audio. All sound systems include an auxiliary input. The available remote-start system in the Impala is claimed to work up to 200 feet away, and will pre-heat or cool the vehicle. Also included in the Impala is the latest Gen 9.0 version of OnStar, with improved voice recognition, along with Direction and Connections services and Turn-by-Turn navigation, which allows you to beam route guidance from a call center into the vehicle.