The 2012 Chevrolet Impala won't turn heads, but it won't offend either. And stylistically, it's about as far from fresh and contemporary you can get and still have a new car.
On the outside, the Impala looks, quite honestly, like a used car. GM has changed so little about the the Impala in recent years that even though the design isn't at all offensive, it's just plain boring and makes even the likes of the Toyota Avalon feel edgy. And compounding that impression is that it's been a bland, rental-car mainstay for years. For 2012, the Impala gets a slightly different grille that helps it fit in with the rest of the Chevrolet car lineup, while all models get a dual exhaust.
Arguably, the Impala's only strengths from the outside, rest in the details, including the generous headlights that sweep back along the sides of the hood. But whatever positive impression the Impala makes from head-on or tail-on is likely to be brought down by its absolutely slab-sided flanks.
Likewise, the interior of the Impala hasn't changed significantly in many years, but it doesn't look quite as instantly obsolete as the exterior--at least at a few paces back. Again for 2012 GM has spruced up the look of it with new woodgrain trims and a new two-tone 'Neutral' interior combination. That's in the higher trims; in base LS trims it's drab and dull. The gauges and controls are quite clearly laid out and nothing is off-putting, but there's a utilitarian feel to the cabin that overwhelms its functional layout.