The Impala is Chevrolet’s full-size sedan. Three trim levels are available: LS, LT and LTZ. Impalas compete with the Ford Taurus, Chrysler 300 and Toyota Avalon.
The biggest change for 2012 is the introduction of a new standard drivetrain that features a 300-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. The engine can run on regular gas or E85 ethanol.
Other changes include subtle exterior enhancements like standard dual exhaust tips, a new grille and an updated rear look that includes a standard spoiler on LT models. Inside, LT and LTZ models add a leather shift knob, and the LT also gets folding rear seats. Carpeted floormats, Bluetooth cellphone connectivity and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls are standard.
The Impala has a somewhat rounded shape for a sedan, with large, swept-back headlights as its distinguishing characteristic. Exterior features include:
- Standard 16-inch wheels; 17- or 18-inch wheels available
- Available fog lights
- Available power sunroof
The available flip-and-fold rear-seat cushions reveal a covered storage area and include grocery bag hooks, and the rear seatback folds down to create an opening to the trunk. GM’s OnStar communication system is standard, and the Directions and Connections service that gives audio turn-by-turn directions from an OnStar operator is free for six months. Interior features include:
- Standard cloth seats; leather optional
- Available heated front seats
- Standard CD stereo
- Available Bose stereo
- Seating for five or six, depending on choice of front seat
- Standard air conditioning
- Available remote start
The Impala has a standard 300-hp, 3.6-liter V-6 engine that drives the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. Mechanical features include:
- V-6 features direct injection
- Four-wheel independent suspension
Front and rear side curtain airbags and seat belt pretensioners for the front seats are standard. Latch child-seat anchors are found in all second-row seating positions. OnStar includes GM’s Advanced Crash Response System, which makes crash data available to 911 centers. Standard safety features include:
- Electronic stability system
- Thorax side-impact airbags for the front seats
- Antilock brakes
- Traction control