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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Chris

22 years of experience
2024 reviews
Chris
22 years of experience
Honda Pilot - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Laguna Niguel, California
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Mercedes-Benz C320 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Laguna Niguel, California
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Carlos

28 years of experience
404 reviews
Carlos
28 years of experience
Jaguar XJR - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Costa Mesa, California
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Carlos was great. On a pre-purchase car inspection he gave me a good summary of the pros and cons in easy-to-understand terms and was very helpful in giving me a balanced and intelligent overall view of the vehicle's condition.

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19 years of experience
745 reviews
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19 years of experience
Jaguar XE - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Springfield, New Jersey
unfortunately i could not view the car in person. But Attila made me trust and value his opinion not only thru his words but also his professionalism and service.
Toyota Avalon - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Midland Park, New Jersey
Atilla inspected the car and pointed out all the issues the car had, and why it was not worth purchasing.

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12 years of experience
163 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Dodge Ram 3500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Harleysville, Pennsylvania
Shawn was friendly, efficient and knowledgeable. He kept me informed as he went and did a satisfyingly thorough job. On top of that, he was fun to hang with! Would use him again, for sure.
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