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.


Next Step

Schedule Pre-purchase Car Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Pre-purchase Car Inspection. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Pre-purchase Car Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(4,858)

Rating Summary
4,531
175
36
38
78
4,531
175
36
38
78

Michael

21 years of experience
159 reviews
Michael
21 years of experience
Ford Transit Connect - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Pomona, California
Very prompt, knowledgeable, honest and super thorough. I had a pre-purchase vehicle inspection at a car lot. Michael's detailed attention helped me bargain the price down significantly, more than enough to cover the cost of his services. I'm super satisfied!!!!
Jeep Wrangler - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Norco, California
I hired Michael through YourMechanic to perform a pre-purchase inspection on a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon before I pulled the trigger and purchased it from a used car dealership. I am SO glad that I did--Michael was able to not only immediately identify that the Wrangler was NOT a Rubicon as advertised (he identified Dana 30 lockers instead of standard Dana 44s) but also that it had a host of other electrical and mechanical issues. He was prompt, professional, and saved me from what was bound to be a nightmare. Glad to be out $100 rather than the cost of a Jeep that was misadvertised, and grateful to have a Jeep expert have my back.

Peter

25 years of experience
437 reviews
Peter
25 years of experience
BMW 320i - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Reseda, California
Peter was flexible and provided me an inspection report within less than an hour of completion. Would highly recommend him for pre purchase inspections!
Volvo XC60 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Sherman Oaks, California
Peter was extremely helpful and available for any questions I had. He is very knowledgable and I would highly recommend him for any services. I used his services for a pre-car inspection and am very satisfied with the results. Would use again. Thank You.

John

27 years of experience
808 reviews
John
27 years of experience
Honda Element - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Webster, Texas
John completed a pre-purchase car inspection for me. I was feeling a bit nervous about purchasing a car from out of state, but after seeing John's inspection notes and then talking with him over the phone about the few issues he found, I feel confident in his knowledge, honesty, and professionalism, and I feel very comfortable about my upcoming purchase.
GMC Yukon - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Webster, Texas
John performed a pre-purchase inspection for me and was great to work with. He is punctual, communicates really well and overall made the experience very easy for me. If I lived local he would be my regular mechanic.

David

13 years of experience
339 reviews
David
13 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Marietta, Georgia
Great experience. Saved me from buying a car with fairly significant issues which were not disclosed. Well worth it!
Nissan 370Z - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Marietta, Georgia
We had a great experience with David on a pre-purchase inspection. He was very thorough, detailed, and knowledgeable. Definitely would recommend him and book him again.

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Acura TSX SportWagon
The The 2012 Acura TSX SportWagon has the perfect combination of utility and performance. The vehicle is pleasant to drive and makes luxury a priority. The TSX SportWagon uses electrically boosted power steering, which provides you with more stability driving...
The Best Used Cars to Buy If You Have Limited Mobility
When When you have limited mobility there are a number of challenges you face, one of these can be with your vehicle. Finding a car that meets your specific needs, and addressing your challenges can mean the difference between being...
A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta
In In the second year of the completely redesigned new Jetta, Volkswagen continued its campaign to bring a more affordable compact car to the market and to further raise the bar on their US sales numbers. The base model 2012...

Related questions

My car keeps stalling - 2012 Ford Escape

Hello there, stalling issues with your 2012 Ford Escape can be caused by many faults. The most common faults are the MAF sensor, vacuum leak, oxygen sensor, fuel pump, or crank position sensor. I am unsure what you mean by...

How do I turn on the air conditioning?

To turn on the air conditioning, press the A/C button on the climate controls. The air conditioning will only come on if fan is on, the temperature is not below freezing, and the AUTO button has not been pressed.

Car hit by lightning and won't start.

You will need to have the vehicle towed to a dealer. I have seen many vehicles like this and in most cases, if not all, the computers in the vehicle get zapped and fried. I would recommend contacting your insurance...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com