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

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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

18 years of experience
573 reviews
Attila
18 years of experience
Volvo XC90 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Passaic, New Jersey
Excellent, knowledgeable, hands-on, and experienced mechanic. Polite, helpful, focused and answers any questions. Examines everything thoroughly and explains what he is doing and offers immediate insight. Great energy, hard-working and provides great support for pre-purchase inspection. I'm a professor and do my own research but wanted the added confidence of a good mechanic who could see and inspect every detail that mattered. This is the guy I want to be working with as far as cars are concerned. I'll be hiring him to do all my inspections, until I get my car. Then I'll hire him as the mechanic for my car. Then I'll repeat when its time for my daughter's car etc. When he found a problem, he showed me, and explained, and then had me test it out. Then he would show me the variations. At the same time, he was efficient. He did his job well and moved from task to task, and didn't linger over random discussion, and conscientiously moved from one inspection to the next in a timely manner. He was looking for everything that might be wrong and made a good remark when something was right and showed me what he meant. When we went for a test-drive he felt out the entire set of behaviors that should matter to a person interested in a good engine, in good performance, and in safety. At the end of the day, people who love their work do it extremely well. I would say Atilla represents that kind of person and he was a pleasure to work with.
Volvo XC70 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Plainfield, New Jersey
Attila was very throughrout with the inspection of the car and confirmed my suspicions about the breaks

Michael

15 years of experience
554 reviews
Michael
15 years of experience
Honda Odyssey - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Decatur, Georgia
Wonderful experience with Mike! He was punctual, thorough, and professional. Would definitely choose to work with him again!
Lincoln Mark V - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Alpharetta, Georgia
Mike was very professional . His inspection was detailed and to the point. I avoided a major headache. Thank You!

William

18 years of experience
45 reviews
William
18 years of experience
Toyota Tacoma - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Scottsdale, Arizona
Very detailed, honest and knowledgeable mechanic. Saved me from buying a lemon. Will be returning to Your Mechanic to hire William in the future.
Infiniti FX35 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Tempe, Arizona
William was excellent and really helpful as we were buying from away. We highly recommend him. Thanks

Jason

14 years of experience
130 reviews
Jason
14 years of experience
Toyota Corolla - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Jamaica, New York
I recommend Jason. I know little about cars and needed him to check out a car for me. Jason did a pre purchase car inspection for me. He explained what looked good and what looked to be of concern about the car. If it was a concern, he explained what needed to be done to get the car in good shape before the purchase. He had all the equipment to check out the car. I would book him again for any other services as he knows what he's doing and is friendly.
Kia Rio - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Brooklyn, New York
Jason did a thorough job inspecting a car I was considering buying and answered all my questions after the inspection

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