2012 Subaru Outback vs. 2012 Chevrolet Impala: Which One Should I Buy?

When you compare a 4-door sedan versus a 4-door wagon, there are going to be some obvious differences. Even though the Outback looks car-like, the ride, the handling, and the mileage are going to make it more similar to an SUV. Both of these classes of vehicles are made for moving a good number of people around, being relatively cost-effective and easy to drive.

The Outback stays true to its name and offers goat-like sure-footedness with all-wheel drive and is a great all-around athletic vehicle with rewarding handling and capable performance, blended with surprising interior volume. The versatility and number of high-end options are a bonus. The Impala’s design is quite dated and unexciting, but the powertrain is smooth as ice and the simple layout and the truly excellent interior space help offset the design challenges making this a cushy highway ride.

Chevrolet Impala 2012
2012 Chevrolet Impala

Fuel Economy

The city fuel economy for both vehicles is less than exciting, with only 19 mpg city for the Outback and 18 mpg city for the Impala. While the highway mpg goes up to 30 for the big Impala cruiser and 27 for the Outback, neither are setting any records. The fuel tank capacity for the Outback is a generous 18.5 gallons, while the Impala lags with only a 17 gallon tank.

Interior Features

The Impala’s dowdy and anonymous interior is not helped by the fact that it’s lacking some must-have features like USB and navigation. The Outback has SUV-like styling that certainly won’t appeal to all tastes and also has somewhat basic equipment setups. However, the interior of both is spacious and comfy for the most part.

Exterior

The Outback is unquestionably more SUV than wagon, while the Impala is all cruising sedan. The length of the Impala is surprisingly 20” longer than the Outback, making it a little tougher to turn, but the Outback is higher and offers more head clearance and is easier to get into and out of due to the height.

Safety Ratings

It’s when you get to the safety ratings that you start to see some real differences. You couldn’t consider either of these two vehicles top safety picks, between the two they are missing a significant number of stars: the Impala loses 3/5 stars for the side barrier driver rating while the Outback loses stars in nearly every category. Choosing between these two models may be difficult, but if you’re going for safety alone you might want to consider the Outback.


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Attila

19 years of experience
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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
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Shawn

12 years of experience
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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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