2012 Chevrolet Impala vs. 2012 Toyota Camry: Which One Should I Buy?

In the battle for the family vehicle, the 4-door sedan is a strong contender that just continues to be a viable option even with the rise of the crossover SUV and the popularity of passenger vans. These sedans offer a relatively cost-effective option that still gets good gas mileage; though not as good as compact or sub-compact cars.

The Chevrolet Impala and the Toyota Camry are two of the long-standing offerings in this class and while you may think of the Impala as strictly a police car, this versatile vehicle has been a consumer car for many years and continues to have a life in that role. The Camry is the most conservative-looking sedan but offers the ongoing value and comfort that many families state are the most important things when car shopping. The Impala offers a little bit stronger and smoother powertrain, although the interior and exterior are both notably bland.

Toyota camry 2012
2012 Toyota Camry

Interior and Exterior Design

While redesigned for the 2012 model year, the Camry still lacks excitement, and probably the best thing you can say for the overall design is that it's straightforward and elegant. There are no nods to style but the comfort area is well-covered by the Camry. The Impala goes even further beyond boring, to nearly-anonymous interior which appears almost dowdy. The dated exterior design lacks excitement but there is a great deal of interior space made possible by a simplified interior layout.

Economical Options

The Camry, while boring on the outside, does offer a very exciting statistic in its fuel economy of 35 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg in the city. The Impala is technically considered a large car while the Camry is a mid-size, but the difference in size shouldn't cause the huge drop in gas mileage: the Impala only gets 18 mpg in the city and 30 mpg for highway miles. Both vehicles have a 17.0 gallon fuel tank capacity, which is more than generous for vehicles of this class.

Safety Ratings

Where the Impala really suffers is in the safety ratings. The side barrier rating for the driver, in particular, is dismal with only 2 stars of 5 for this critical safety point. The combined side rating for the front seat is also quite poor, with only 3 stars versus the Camry's solid 5/5 star rating.

If you are looking for a more solid, dependable and economical ride, you'll likely want to consider the Camry. If sheer space is what makes a difference, check out the Impala.


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Attila

19 years of experience
906 reviews
Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
He is very good—offered all the significant details we needed from the inspection. Helped us figure out what needed to be fixed.

Shawn

12 years of experience
285 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
320 reviews
Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

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