The 2012 Chevy Impala is a value car. I ended up with it because the '16 Cruze that I had was too expensive once I cut down to one job. And having driven the '14 V6 for about half a year, I knew the p...
The 2012 Chevy Impala is a value car. I ended up with it because the '16 Cruze that I had was too expensive once I cut down to one job. And having driven the '14 V6 for about half a year, I knew the powertrain was efficient and reliable, so I wanted to get it again. And I came on a well-priced 2012 in a cool dark blue color.
The 2012 model isn't as flashy as the 2014 and on is, but it's got its own charms. There's something very angular and confident about its stance, and its slightly sportier looks over the 2006-'11 years are enough to be noticeable. Nice rear spoiler and 17-inch aluminum wheels. Rides off the ground with plenty of height, and presents a solid appearance. Large, practical, visible lights are a credit. Nothing too fancy.
On the inside, its faux-wood trim adds some dimension, and there is some softer-touch material higher up on the door that gives a little extra niceness to the comfortable environment. Mine is an LT with the five-seater configuration and ebony cloth; a plus for me because of the warmth and support of it. Side bolstering is a little weak, and the manual seatback adjuster could use a little in-between on its usual settings. Steering wheel tilt is the most useful and easy-to-adjust I've ever seen, though. In back, there's room a plenty, and a cupholder in the middle. The seat folds down to extend the trunk; I wish it would 60/40, but I'm not likely to need anymore than the huge trunk. Controls are real simple, and substantial. As is the overall build quality. The stereo can be a little weak, though, when using the aux port. But the instrumentation is great, and looks sharp, and changes to meet changing conditions quickly. Special kudos to the way Chevy managed to fit so many of the features of newer, complicated touchscreen radios into such a simple, button-based system.
Driving is very smooth, and effortless. The engine sound is a little more visceral in this model than in the 2014, and is programmed to bring on the output a little sooner on the rev band, too. It's not a rip-roaring V8, but the 300-horsepower is plenty to get up and moving from a stand-still or when already crusing. Merging and passing are easy and even a little fun. The transmission is quick on the shift, and does not need to hunt for gears much when changing speeds or terrains frequently. Gas mileage is excellent; I drive mostly country roads, and have had no trouble matching the 29, 30 MPG estimated. With some added days of city driving, mileage drops to 28; the lowest I've had according to my mileage app is 28.15. It's pretty good on the oil usage, too. I really appreciate the hydraulic power steering system; it transmits more feel from the road, and makes the turning feel more pleasantly hefty. Which is good because the handling is pretty mushy. I prefer the extra softness of the ride for my area's bouncy back roads -- something the Cruze kind of struggled with -- so I'll take a slightly slower turning. Road and wind and tire noise is pretty well insulated against. My 2014 did slightly better with this, but I can hold real hushed conversations with my ride mates in this one.
I've thankfully been blessed to never have to test the safety features, but this Impala has good credentials. Six airbags in the most critical places, steel reinforcement around the cabin... Stability and traction control is responsive and effective. Have had to use the anti-lock disc brakes a few times, and I can attest for the smooth way they work. Safety tests are good at four stars even under the recent stricter testing system. I'm confident and comfortable with it in this regard. And for those who feel so inclined, it does offer OnStar.
I'm glad I bought this car. It put me in a more spacious, comfortable, reliable car than I could have otherwise afforded. And the quality of its powertrain is excellent; a lot more power for not a lot of extra gas or oil. Okay, so its not flashy; you can find sportier lookers and sharper handlers for the price. But the Impala is solid, good quality. And for a used car, it's a real deal.