OK, I've pretty much decided to dx the Soul and buy a 2012 Impala 3.6. That is subject to change. That's unlikely, unless I just can't make a deal.
I'd like to buy local, and will need to do some negotiating with a couple of the local dealers.
However, a dealer 2,000 miles away has caught my eye and I'm linking two examples regarding my internal debate.
Shipping would be about $1,000. If I can get the dealer to knock down the price by a grand, this is a wash.
Downside is I'm buying an untested vehicle. Of the four Impalas I drove locally, one of them had a distinct and irritating GDI rattle to it, both at idle and in motion.
Main reasons for the Impala are
(1.) dual zone HVAC
(2.) flip and fold back seat (LT & LTZ),
(3.) better ride,
(4.) equal or better mileage.
(5.) Bench seat availability or twin chairs (Police Package) is also a factor.
Greater power goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway. The Soul weighs about 2800 and has a 138 HP (unless they lied about the HP) GDI four. The Impala weighs about 3550 and has a 300 HP GDI V6. Both have 6-speed autos. The Soul has an irritating habit of downshifting for me, the Impala does not seem to have that auto trans program built in.
I've located an under-4000 mile 9C1 in Ohio priced at sixteen grand.
This dealer also has a decent collection of ~10K 2012 Impala LTs priced at $15,000. Some are from GM employees, some from fleet such as rentals. All in stock have buckets. None have the wing, fine with me I don't want a wing. Wings are for aeroplanes, unless they have a real function on a car.
Low, low miles.
Slightly better Badyear tires (RS-A vs. LS on the standard Impala).
Some HD components including suspension pieces. 150 MPH top end, vs whatever the stock Impala is governed to, either about 110 or 118, I haven't seen this addressed because no one gives a poop about the Impala now that the new one is coming. Bigger front brakes, so will not take 16" wheels.
Individual front chairs.
May have full-size spare.
Possible higher resale.
No dual zone. This is the LS model.
No flip and fold. Vinyl alleged-perpetrator back seat without center armrest with cupholders.
Does the seatback fold? Probably not.
Standard LT Model:
Invisible cloaked appearance. Looking at Chevrolet Racing Beige color, though black and white are also available. I like the grey that earlier Impalas were available with, but as the line winds down Chev apparently is limiting paint supplies to the factory.
Flip and Fold. Folding back seat backs.
60/40 folding back seat seatbacks.
Same power, same acceleration figures as 9C1.
All 9C1 accessories should fit.
Minor mods will mimic 9C1 appearance. (Wheels, A pillar spotlight, for example.)
People won't necessarily pull over for you as you loom in their rearviews.
Don't find standard 17" wheels especially attractive.
I'm told the Charger, Challenger, and 300 wheels will fit the Impala. I thought RWD/AWD and FWD had different offsets and other details that generally precluded interchangeabaility.
I've found two local new 2012 LTs equipped as I want: No wing, yes bench. One black, one white.
It's possible as the year comes to a close that GM will incentivize these babys. They will have to get into the mid-teens, i.e. $17000 or to, to get my interest.
GMPP sells extended warranties that are superior to the GM Certified Used Car warranty.
Any other comments are welcome, including "All Impalaz suxx!!" and "All KIAs suzz!!" Keep it to a dull roar, though, if you would.