2012 Chevrolet Impala LTZ 3.6 V6 from North America


A very nice full-sized car


First of all, this was a rental car that I used while my Fusion was in the body shop for repairs after a minor accident. I feel that reviews on rental cars can be a very helpful guide to those looking for a car, especially if the car is driven long enough to get a decent feel for it. Obviously in the short time I had the car it had no problems.

General Comments:

Very impressed. The car was a top-of-the-line LTZ model, with every option including moon roof and leather. As with most rental cars, it was immaculate and the leather interior was absolutely showroom fresh, even after over 35,000 miles of use. Contrary to popular myth, rental cars are not "strippers". Many are very well-equipped. My family has bought three former rentals, and they have been the best used vehicles we have ever owned. All were well-equipped top-line models. Two were GM, one was Toyota.

This car had the awesome 300 horsepower V-6. It provided plenty of power. It did, however, have two very disconcerting behaviors that would probably keep me from purchasing this particular car: The torque steer in this car was the very worst I have seen in any car, including some very powerful turbo-charged cars I have driven. It was distracting to the point of feeling almost dangerous. I'm not a fan of high-powered front-drive cars, and this is one of the reasons. The other factor I found disturbing was a very subtle sort of shudder or hesitation between the 3-4 upshift under normal acceleration. Under hard acceleration it was flawless. This may have just been a minor glitch with this particular car. None of our other GM cars has shown this behavior.

The handling was not as sporty and crisp as my Ford Fusion, but as the Impala is a full-sized car with more emphasis on a luxury feel, that is understandable. The handling was quite precise, and certainly competent for a full-sized car.

As would be expected, the interior was very plush and roomy. The LTZ interior is every bit as nice as my friend's Lexus, and the Chevy plastic wood looks just as good as the Lexus plastic wood. The interior fit and finish was excellent, and I was amazed at how well the luxurious leather seats had held up. They looked brand new. The rental company obviously uses a good leather cleaner/restorer on them. Of course the interior was black, and black tends to look better longer than lighter colors.

I found the seats very comfortable, and very easy to properly adjust with the easily accessible electric controls. Entry and exit were easy, and did not require stooping or contorting the body excessively to get in as some cars do. The rear seat looked plenty roomy (though it was not used during my use of the car).

All the controls, such as the power seats, climate control, moon roof and (the excellent) Bose stereo system worked very well, and were very easy to use. All the instruments were very visible and easy to read. I've always loved the automatic headlight feature (that turns the lights on automatically when it gets dark). I miss that feature on my Ford.

All-in-all, I found this Impala LTZ a very impressive, well-built and solid-feeling car. I loved the large wheels and wide tires, rear spoiler and sculpted rear fascia, with the twin exhausts framed like a Mustang GT. I'd like to see more attention to taming the torque steer, but with 300 horsepower on tap, I guess that is not easy. I generally prefer rear-drive cars if I'm after performance, and frankly would not buy a front-drive car with this much horsepower, regardless of who made it. My other car is a Mustang.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th July, 2012

2012 Chevrolet Impala LS 3.6L V6 from North America


Great engine, but destined for the rental fleet


Nothing so far, just regular maintenance.

General Comments:

Great engine. The 300hp V6 absolutely hauls. However, torque steer is very noticeable.

Transmission is OK for most of the time, however can be jumpy at times.

Suspension is overly-soft. Chevrolet listed this car as "Sport Sedan" on their website, and nothing is sporty about the handling.

Interior quality is sub-par for a car this size (just sit inside a 2012 Honda Accord and you'll know what I mean). Plenty of soft-touch materials, but everything looks cheap. Chevy should be ashamed.

The BIGGEST complaint I have about this car is the uncomfortable front and rear seats. It's impossible to get a comfortable driving (or sitting) position with those headrests canted forward so much. It's even hard to relax in the back seat.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st May, 2012

18th Jun 2012, 11:52

All of the complaints you made were for things that would have been obvious on the test drive. If the car is so bad, why in the world did you buy it? I don't get it.

19th Jun 2012, 21:23

I recently took a road trip in a new Honda Accord. It was so noisy you couldn't carry on a conversation inside on the interstate. We were hoarse from yelling at each other when we arrived home. I also recently rented a new Chevy Impala LTZ. It was whisper-quiet, solid as a rock and the beautiful leather interior made the Honda interior look like a Yugo. Believe me, next trip if I rent a car, it will be an Impala. You could have closed your eyes and thought you were in a luxury car such as a Buick.

2nd Jun 2014, 13:51

Agree... The 2012 Impala was absolute junk. Even the leather and interior trims on top of the line seems cheap. The good news: Everything is much improved on the 2014 version!

4th Jun 2014, 16:26

If you were hoarse from yelling at each other on the interstate in a 2012 Honda Accord:

a) Somebody must have been driving it flat out with all of the windows open & the stereo blasting.

b) Somebody ran over debris on the interstate and the muffler was torn off of the Accord.

c) Somebody in the car could possibly be hard of hearing.

P.S. Is the interior of a 2012 Ford Mustang quieter than the interior of a 2012 Honda Accord on the interstate?