2012 Chevrolet Impala from North America


Hohum design, dangerous engineering


Did have any failures, just design flaws (see below).

General Comments:

Had this car 2 months as a rental. It is a comfortable ride, with controls that are easy to find. A bit of a blind spot, but that is the only negative I can find there. I didn't have a problem with the interior design or comfort. Mine was white, and I had trouble finding it in a parking lot, because it looked like every other sedan out there. If you want to blend in, this is the car for you.

I had an issue with the drivability. Specifically, there is a terrible lag when you press the gas pedal, enough to get you killed in an emergency situation. I think this must be the result of the electronic throttle. I would never buy this car for this reason. This made it hard to drive in city traffic with aggressive drivers. When I had to accelerate quickly, there was a delay, then it would shoot off almost out of control. Go back to the manual throttle, so much safer. I also didn't like the steering, made me wonder if this had some sort of electronic steering as well. It seemed to drift all the time, and had no road feel.

Overall, I was glad to turn this car in; I felt like it was a fatal accident waiting to happen.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th November, 2012

17th Nov 2012, 21:28

I'm in an Impala rental right now while my car's in the body shop. I was in a 2011 Jetta rental, but Enterprise called me up one day and told me they sold it, and that I had to exchange it for another. So I chose the Impala.

It's much softer than the Jetta, but the one I'm in doesn't have the lag in acceleration. I've actually been pretty impressed with the performance (it seems slightly faster than the Jetta that had an automated manual transmission and an inline 5). It's certainly not "sports sedan" responsive.

I wonder if your car needed a software update or something. I really do hate electronic throttles though. I have been in cars that lagged like that yours did, and it's infuriating (and dangerous) when you need the power.

- Mike.

2012 Chevrolet Impala LS 3.6 liter direct-injected 6 from North America


Still big on traditional virtues, but not quite an authentic highway cruiser

General Comments:

I received a 2012 Impala LS for as a rental on a brief business trip. The car had around 3,000 miles on it when I picked it up (basically a new car), and I probably put a couple hundred miles on it during my travels. I feel like writing a review detailing my experiences with it. The 2012 Impala has the distinction of having GM's newer 3.6 liter producing 300 hp, which some people might be excited about.

Basically, my expectations for this car were to provide traditional full size car qualities, which include a conservative design, a spacious interior with comfortable upholstery, possibly seating for six, good visibility all the way around, a smooth, compliant suspension that doesn't get tossed around by the slightest imperfection in the road, and last but not least, a powerful engine rich with torque, designed for comfortable, effortless cruising on the highway. These are all things I've come to appreciate in a full size car, having owned a Crown Victoria at one point.

Here's my view of how the Impala measures up: Overall, I think it meets all these criteria, albeit somewhat mediocrely, except the last one. Believe it or not, the engine and transmission are what upset me about this car! From the minute I started it up and headed down the road, I was astonished by how touchy and eager to rev it was. The transmission jumped at the slightest jab of my foot and it made driving the car smoothly practically impossible. Part of it could have been the electronic throttle, but I think basically the new engine and 6 speed are poorly suited to this car. This engine has 300 HP and 260 ft of torque, but it makes that 300 HP at a surprisingly high 6500 RPM. In contrast, my Crown Vic had only 190 HP, but plenty of torque (265 ft), and it made its HP at only 4800 RPM. Plus, it didn't have an electronic throttle. In a car the size of an Impala, I just think the way this 3.6 is designed makes it out of place, and the way the car drove during my rental period seemed to confirm that.

All that said, I think if you're looking for a traditional full size car, the Impala may still be the best remaining option out there. Don't even bother with the Toyota Avalon. I suppose the more important question though is, how many people are still looking to buy traditional full size cars?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd July, 2012

24th Jul 2012, 08:58

If I had a choice between the Impala or that Crown Vic, I would very gladly take the Impala!

24th Jul 2012, 12:02

I'm sure the Impala is a great car, but you cannot compare a mid size front wheel drive car to a full size rear wheel drive car like the Crown Victoria.

Yes, I own a Crown Victoria, and it is the best highway cruiser, especially for long distances. The gearing is made for highway cruising, and delivers amazing fuel economy on the highway for such a large, V8 powered car.

Too bad Ford decided to stop making them about a year ago; there are still a lot of people like myself who love these cars. It's the best luxury cruiser on a working man's budget; better than a Benz or BMW for less than half the price. More reliable too.