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This edition of the Chevrolet Impala was way overdue for a redesign. Although it received a new powertrain for 2012, this car relies on a platform that dates back to 1988. The short list of good points begins and ends with its large trunk. The Impala lacks agility and too much noise makes it into the cabin. Interior fit and finish are low rent.
Alerts
There are 3 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Driver-only side air bag available until 2005. Head protection air bags standard from 2006. ESC available from 2008, standard from 2010.
Road Test

This edition of the Chevrolet Impala was way overdue for a redesign. Although it received a new powertrain for 2012, this car relies on a platform that dates back to 1988. The short list of good points begins and ends with its large trunk. The Impala lacks agility and too much noise makes it into the cabin. Interior fit and finish are low rent. Ultimately, this version of the Impala is outclassed, waiting for its impressive 2014 redesign.

Seating
3 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 3.6-liter V6 (302 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 Chevrolet Impala owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Antilock system (ABS)

“Harness shorted out also depleting the battery which needed to be replaced”

Anonymous, NH (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

“intermittent ABS alarm condition..resulted in replacing wheel cable”

Wayne H., MA (2012 Chevrolet Impala LS 3.6-L V6)

“ABS system was erroneously activating and caused excessive brake ware and difficult driving”

Thomas L., OH (2012 Chevrolet Impala LS 3.6-L V6)

“A sensor went bad and my break would try and lock up from time to time”

Norm S., CA (2012 Chevrolet Impala LTZ 3.6-L V6)

“warped rotors”

Anonymous, MD (2012 Chevrolet Impala LTZ 3.6-L V6)

“Replaced all rotors due to pulsation”

Joel C., WV (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)
Parking brake

“Parking brake needs adjusting regularly”

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Chevrolet Impala LTZ 3.6-L V6)
Premature brake wear

“THE BRAKE PADS WORE OUT, NORMAL WEAR AND TEAR AND REPLACED THE PADS PROBLEM SOLVED”

Bill S., TX (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

“Rear calipers needed to be replaced at 60000 miles”

Anonymous, IL (2012 Chevrolet Impala LS 3.6-L V6)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

“ball joints problems were found when ratating tires”

Anonymous, ON (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

“I think that having ball joint problems with a car only having about 34000 isn't acceptable quality for a car. And had I not had an extended warranty I would have been stuck paying for this repair”

Anonymous, WI (2012 Chevrolet Impala LTZ 3.6-L V6)

“Rear strut broke on driver side, causing damage to the tire. Replaced both struts”

Paul T., NY (2012 Chevrolet Impala LTZ 3.6-L V6)
Springs or torsion bars

“the rubber bushing went on the rear torsion bars”

Harvey L., SK (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

“While checking wheel bearing play, mechanic found one tie rod end had excessive play. Replaced both tie rod ends”

George B., MD (2012 Chevrolet Impala LTZ 3.6-L V6)
Electronic or air suspension

“Failure of electronic module (Yaw sensor). Replaced under warranty”

Anonymous, IL (2012 Chevrolet Impala LTZ 3.6-L V6)
Power steering pumps and hoses

“Had to replace entire power steering unit”

Anonymous, NJ (2012 Chevrolet Impala LTZ 3.6-L V6)
Wheel bearings

“Left front wheel bearing has excessive play. It was found at the dealer and verified by an independent mechanic”

George B., MD (2012 Chevrolet Impala LTZ 3.6-L V6)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

“Problems - Radio display on - no sound, no Bluetooth, no seatbelt/ignition key warning chimes, no turn signal 'click', no driver displays. Dealer replaced 'radio module'(?) to correct problem(s)”

Francis L., OH (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“Third LED brake light”

John W., VA (2012 Chevrolet Impala LTZ 3.6-L V6)
Keyless entry

“Fob failure”

John D., TX (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)
Tire pressure monitor

“INDICATOR LIGHT ON WRONG TIRE”

Anonymous, NY (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

“Not associated with the recall. The tire monitors have had to be re-calibrated three times in a year”

John D., TX (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)
Headlights

“both low beam headlights burned out within 3 weeks”

Anonymous, ON (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)
Remote engine starter

“System failed at 30000 miles”

Anonymous, CA (2012 Chevrolet Impala LTZ 3.6-L V6)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine knock or ping

“The engine would run extremely rough. Would likely stall. They said the injectors needed to be cleaned -- and it was NOT a warranty fix”

Crow T., OH (2012 Chevrolet Impala LS 3.6-L V6)

“Even though my car is rated E75, some regular gas we used on a resent trip did cause pinging going up hills”

Victor D., MN (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)
Oil leaks

“Turned out to be a leaking OIl filter”

Anonymous, CO (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

“There was a leak on top of the engine. The same problem occurred twice”

Anonymous, MI (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

“Leaking oil seals requiring engine to be pulled and replaced”

Steve L., AZ (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

“Rear valve cover gasket leaked oil into the air intake tube and filter”

Victor D., MN (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Traction control

“A sensor on the left front wheel went out”

Gary B., AZ (2012 Chevrolet Impala LTZ 3.6-L V6)

“I don't know what to say about it. It just started acting up again within the last week. Every once in a while when you start forward it makes a loud noise and hesitates before engaging to go forward. It has been repaired three times, but it always comes back. The dealer has never really identified the problem, but he makes it go away for awhile”

Nancy M., NY (2012 Chevrolet Impala Unsure 3.6-L V6)

“This is all part of the same problem. Please note: I have one car”

Nancy M., NY (2012 Chevrolet Impala Unsure 3.6-L V6)

“Message center indicated that stabilility control system needed service. Took 2 tries for garage to correct”

Anonymous, NH (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)
Electrical failure

“problem with computer covered under warranty”

Anonymous, MI (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

“worn sway bar bushings”

Greg S., KY (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

“Front passenger seat squeaks at every turn and bump in the road. We have taken the car to three different GM dealerships in the area six different times and it still Isn't fixed. They keep greasing the seat which works for a few weeks. It is basic”

Anonymous, OH (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

“very annoying bump sounds in back bumper, techs taking rides with me agree but they cannot find source, also they are hesitant to remove back bumper do to cost and time and are not sure if they will find the source. Info is in their files!”

Frank V., NJ (2012 Chevrolet Impala LS 3.6-L V6)

“Car is so noisey (sic) its hard to hold a conversation in normal tones”

Frank V., NJ (2012 Chevrolet Impala LS 3.6-L V6)

“At highway speeds, excessive wind, tire/road, and engine noise drown out the radio regardless of volume setting(s) and make normal conversation impossible. Chevy dealer says this is "normal" (?) for this model and year”

Anonymous, OH (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose interior trim or moldings

“The only problem is the latch on the center console lid has broken. This happened in very cold weather, -30 C. Not an unexpected problem here”

Anonymous, MB (2012 Chevrolet Impala LS 3.6-L V6)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“Bumper cracked”

Anonymous, CO (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

“There are places in the paint on the roof of the car that look like there was bubbles in the paint. When I have waxed the car the paint is just not shiny, it (the wax) just does something to the paint. It is difficult to explain”

Anonymous, MO (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

“The paint is pealing on the rear bumper and two spots on the trunk”

Anonymous, MI (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

“Rust on lower passenger door panel. Rust was cleaned and door repainted. Rust returned. Rust on top of shock towers. Rust on both door striker plates”

Anonymous, IL (2012 Chevrolet Impala LTZ 3.6-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

“One of the THREE "actuators" started clattering. The noise was loud, and independent of the ignition switch. I was irritated by the price to repair/replace ($150), but even more so, when my son's 2009 Impala had the same problem. Why would a part that sees so much action be fashioned of plastic?”

Susanne W., TX (2012 Chevrolet Impala Unsure 3.6-L V6)

“Had to replace vent motor”

Anonymous, TX (2012 Chevrolet Impala LTZ 3.6-L V6)
Blower (fan) motor

“The heater air only came out of the air conditioner vents. It wouldn't blow out of the defrost or the floor. Also my windshield wipers stopped working. The motor had to be replaced”

Marlene D., MI (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

“When set to defrost it would not blow on windshield, it would blow through the vents on the floor or through the vents in dash in my face”

Cindy R., NY (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Fuel gauge/sender

“Fuel gauge does not go to empty, car runs out of gas and gauge still at 1/8 - 1/4 of a tank. Had to replace sending unit”

Anonymous, MI (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)
Fuel injection system

“Injector/computer problems”

Anonymous, TX (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)
Fuel pump

“Wife was coming home, gauge said it had a quarter tank left, but it quit in middle of nowhere. After calling OnStar to haul in, they found out it was empty, while still registering fuel. Changed pump under warranty”

Richard M., LA (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)
Fuel cap

“APPARENTLY THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH THE GAS CAP, WHEN THE WEATHER IS WARM, GAS TANK IS FULL THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT WILL COME ON I HAD THIS TESTED AND WAS TOLD IT WAS A PRESSURE VALVE ISSUE, I TOOK THE GAS CAP OFF PUT IT BACK ON DROVE ABOUT 5 MILES AND THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT WENT OFF. I PURCHASED A NEW GAS CAP BUT THE PROBLEM STILL EXIST AND I JUST LOOSEN THE CAP, REPLACE IT AND THE LIGHT GOES OFF”

Bill S., TX (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

“I guess it was loose,, ?? they fix it free,at chev.dealer”

Earl W., AZ (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

“Car started sounding like log truck. Took 2 trips to dealer, they found cracked internal exhaust pipe, fixed under warranty”

Richard M., LA (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)
Loose/rattling heat shield

“it always rattles when you back up”

Earl W., AZ (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

“Car came from factory quart low on transmission fluid”

Anonymous, TX (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)
Transmission computer

“Having problems with sensors on traction control”

Anonymous, MO (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)
Transmission leaks

“Tubing to and from the transmission had a leak and had to be changed”

Anonymous, ON (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

“the engine went out and had to get a new one”

Steven B., AZ (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

“Dropped a valve in the engine while it was running. Band new engine put in under warranty”

Gary M., ON (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen freezes up

“At times the electronics flash on and off. Like they are getting the wrong message or something”

Anonymous, MO (2012 Chevrolet Impala LT 3.6-L V6)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

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