2012 Chevrolet Impala Gets New Engine

For the 2012 model year, the Chevrolet Impala gains a new, more modern V-6 engine, transmission and appearance updates.

The 2012 Impala ditches the tried-and-true pushrod V-6 powertrains — the 3.5-liter and 3.9-liter V-6 engines — with a modern 287-horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, replacing the outmoded four-speed autos formerly found in all Impalas. The V-6 will be E85-capable, like the engines it replaces.

The 3.6-liter V-6 is more powerful than either engine it replaces and is likely more fuel efficient. The current base Impala returns 19/29 mpg city/highway — already good for a full-size sedan. The V-6 is already found on some trims of the Malibu and is standard on the Traverse.

On top of those changes, the 2012 Impala will get a new grille, fog lamps, rear-end appearance and dual exhaust outlets standard on all trims. Inside, there will be new interior color schemes and new wood trim pieces. A new shifter design will come to the LT and LTZ trims.

We won’t know how extensive these exterior and interior updates will be until late May or early June, when photos will be made available, according to GM sources.

Aside from powertrain and aesthetic revisions, each trim gets more standard equipment. The LT trim now gets the flip-and-fold rear seat, rear spoiler, Bluetooth and floormats. The LS trim gets a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.

A front 40/20/40-split cloth bench seat is still an available option, making the Impala one of the last six-passenger full-size family sedans available.

The updates will probably be enough to keep Chevrolet’s flagship model chugging along for a few more years, especially with fleet customers such as government municipalities and rental car companies.

Expect the new Impala to go into production in mid- to late June or early July. Pricing and fuel economy information will be released closer to the sedan’s sales date.



It will be interesting to see if the new V6 and 6 spd auto will really enhance MPG that much. Impala already has great MPG for such a large car with a V6. You would expect just the 6spd to add a pretty good bump and when mated to a more modern engine, even more improvement. For some reason I have a feeling I will be disappointed in the increase. Hopefully not.

Mark of Excellence

If Chevy makes enough improvements, VW/Audi will probably come knocking on their door to sell a rebadged Impala as an A9 and Phaeton, in the same way they rebadged the Chrysler Minivan to be the Routan.
The 3.6 engine and 6 speed tranny will be big improvements to a good car and an already strong seller.



i agree w/you 100 percent. i know many enthusiasts did not care for gm's pushrod engines, but they all returned good power and exceptional fuel economy.


The malibe does not have this engine. It has a 252hp v6 without di. This is a new, e85 capable version of this v6.


GM also needs to upgrade the Impala's rear seat.. it's the most uncomfortable rear seat in category.


Triple Good News

1 - Only 1 engine which is proven in Traverse, Lacrosse and so on.

2 - Being a flex fuel qualifies it as an alternative fuel vehicle.

3 - Applying 6-speed transmission which brought success to many GM models.

Please retain the 6 seater version as it will be ideal for many families who cannot afford a minivan.


The Impala is a great car as long as you compare it to cars from eight years ago. And to think this is one of GM's best accomplishments to date. GM is a great at being a joke.


I like! this could be a good daily driver! i like the way big american cars drive! i did not like the interior of the new taurus! it does not have that openness this cars cabin has, or like the 08 Taurus!


Hey Kyle- My wife has a new '11 Sonata, I have a '11 Implala LT. Her car sounds like a buzz saw, rides like a truck, and looks like something out of a comic book. We take our Impala on long trips, it's allot more comfortable and gets 30 mpg on the hyw. So much for being 8 years behind....

Derrick G

Wow Jim, you must be caning your Impala. CR managed to get 32 on the highway. But the Sonata managed 39. Plus it was 1.3 secs faster to 60 despite being down 2 cylinders from the Impala. Plus they specifically complained about how busy the Impala's highway ride was while saying how composed the Sonata's was (neither was praised for being quiet). But what do they know? Only 45% of Impala buyers said they'd not buy another one if they had it to do again. Of course, only 23% of Sonata buyers said the same thing, less than any other family sedan except the Prius and several versions of the Fusion. Actually, yeah, that does sound 8 years behind.


Do people actually buy these out of choice or are they forced into them?


Yes people buy this car. Its affordable, has effortless steering, a large trunk and decent mileage. Aside from lack of a four cylinder its a lot like the camry. A car that's pretty dull but greay for highway cruising.


Dull cars are for dull people. Too many people see a car as "Just Transportation". When you spend an average of 3 waking hours each day in your car or about 1/5th of your waking day, dull is not what you want or need. Comfortable, yes, but not dull.

Dull puts you to sleep when you need to be awake. Dull gets you in trouble when performance is needed. With the exception of the Camaro and the Corvette, Chevrolet and GM in general is DULLSVILLE. I got 32mpg 15 years ago in my '96 3.8l Chevy Camaro and still had performance that surprised people. Taking this long to do so with a car that's no heavier and only marginally less aerodynamic is the fault of the head office even before the government took over.

Take a look at the cars currently on the road. Few of them are as generic and underperforming as the current round of GM cars and most of them average better gas mileage. No, GM has invested far too much money on oversized trucks and truck engines and not enough on making driving fun as well as utilitarian.

I'm not buying a Chevy as my next car; my '96 Camaro was the last Chevy unless they make some significant changes. I'm looking at a MINI.

I heard on some news channel that Overall Impala is a pleasing to drive, comfortable and roomy car, that promises good reliability and represents solid value for money

Bob B

I drove a rental 2012 Impala yesterday. It is wicked fast! I had no idea.


I drive the 2012 Impala LTZ.
Completley loaded, black graphite, sunroof, leather, Bose. This car is jet fast, plush as any high end luxury sedan for a great price. Solid rebate program really drops the price.
Couldn't be happier.


i have a 2012 chevy impala with the 3.6 engine it has 2050 miles on it and they pulled the engine to fix an oil leak should have bought the ford


We have a black 2012 Impala LTZ. Good ride. Mileage with E85 16.7 city and 19.7 on trip. On first tank of 87 octane gas its getting 23.7 in mixed but primarily city driving. What a difference the fuel makes.. We will keep checking and try to get mileage with gasoline on a trip.


Some people know American made value, while others snobbishly criticize it. No matter, I'll enjoy a quality car that gets great mileage and will last, while others pay twice as much, for a car that'll possibly last for half as long. Stupid is, as stupid does. Even Forest can see the value here.

Ninja Courier

Wilt...similar experience withy 2012 LTZ and E85. 3 mpg less than 87 octane and the supposed "performance gain" was negligible. If the cost of a gallon of E85 was half that of a gallon of 87 octane, I wouldn't care about the mileage, but it's not, so I'm sticking with 87 octane.


i cant believe i wasted 90 seconds of my life reeding a post written by a person whos next car is gonna be a "MINI" is'nt that an oxymoron anyway.

Ron J

I have a 2013 LT white with 33,000 klicks and no problems,paid $16,500-i used to drive small Toyotas before but got tired of the tinny doors and thin body metal and the loud "whinning" sounds.
My lt brings me back to the good old days of what a car is ,big,roomy powerful...and love the warrenty 65,000 bumper to bumper and 120,000 on the power-train a great American modern muscle car!

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