It's got a new design, it's got new objectives, it's got a five-star crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it's a central part of what could be Chevrolet's "strongest, most competitive retail sedan lineup ever," and now the 2014 Chevrolet Impala has added Turnaround Artist to its resume, going from last to first in Consumer Reports' large sedan ratings.

As if it didn't earn itself a couple of beers for that alone, the triumph is all the more noteworthy because the Impala is the first domestic sedan in 20 years to reach that position. CR only began rating cars with a score in 1992, and since then the number one slot has been from Japan 11 times, Europe nine times.

The Impala conquered with features like its "surprisingly agile handling," "excellent braking," "generally high-quality materials" and a technology interface that is "refreshingly intuitive and easy to use." Going beyond its segment in worth, whereas the previous Impala scored a 63, this one scored a 95; only the BMW 135i coupe and Tesla Model S have scored higher. And wait until you get to the part where it's considered "competitive with... the Audi A6 and Lexus LS460L...."

Yeah, you read that right. And you can read even more of it in the press release below.

[UPDATE: Consumer Reports has put together a quick video review which you can watch by scrolling down.]


Show full PR text
CHEVROLET IMPALA IS FIRST DOMESTIC CAR TO TOP CONSUMER REPORTS SEDAN RATINGS IN TWO DECADES

Outscores luxury competitors costing as much as $20,000 more

YONKERS, NY-With a phoenix-like turnaround, the revamped 2014 Chevrolet Impala has changed the landscape of Consumer Reports ratings by earning the top spot overall for all sedans-and taking a position that has been held by Japanese and European models for at least the last 20 years.

The Impala has gone from the bottom of its class in Consumer Reports ratings, with a mediocre test score of 63-too low to be CR Recommended-to an "Excellent" 95 that places it not only at the top of its "Large Sedan" category, but also among the top-rated vehicles Consumer Reports has tested. Only two vehicles have a higher test score; the Tesla Model S hatchback and the BMW 135i coupe.

"The Impala's performance is one more indicator of an emerging domestic renaissance," said Jake Fisher, director of Consumer Reports automotive testing. "We've seen a number of redesigned American models-including the Chrysler 300, Ford Escape and Fusion, and Jeep Grand Cherokee- deliver world-class performance in our tests."

Consumer Reports engineers found the Impala rides like a luxury sedan, with a cushy and controlled demeanor, while delivering surprisingly agile handling, capable acceleration, and excellent braking. The Impala corners quite well for a large car, with prompt turn-in response and controlled body lean. Steering is nicely weighted; it's light enough for parking maneuvers and provides decent feedback. When pushed to its handling limits, the Impala proved secure, responsive, balanced, and easy to control.

Inside, the spacious cabin sets a new standard for Chevrolet fit and finish, with generally high-quality materials and trim. The backseat is roomy and comfortable, the trunk is huge, and controls are refreshingly intuitive and easy to use. The 22 mpg overall Consumer Reports measured with the Impala's 3.6-liter V6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission is competitive, but it's not the best in its class.

Despite its high test score, this Impala is too new for Consumer Reports to have reliability data, so it can't be Recommended. To be Recommended, a vehicle must perform well in CR's battery of tests, have average or better reliability in CR's Annual Auto Survey, and perform well in government and industry crash tests.

Consumer Reports has been testing, reviewing and comparing cars for more than 75 years. The organization started calculating numerical scores and compiling comparative overall ratings charts in 1992. In that time, the top-scoring sedan spot in Consumer Reports tests has been held 12 times by a Japanese model and nine times by a European model.

Overall, Consumer Reports found the Impala is competitive with cars that cost $20,000 more, including the Audi A6 and Lexus LS460L, as well as the recently reviewed Acura RLX and Jaguar XF.

Complete tests results for the Impala, Acura RLX and Jaguar XF, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Kia Sorrento, appear on www.ConsumerReports.org today, and in the September issue of Consumer Reports, on newsstands August 1. Updated daily, ConsumerReports.org is the go-to Website for the latest auto reviews, product news, blogs on breaking news, and car-buying information. Check out CR's ongoing Twitter feed at @CRCars.

CR Testers find Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Forte impressive redesigns
The redesigned, seven-passenger version of the Santa Fe is one of the most pleasant and well-rounded three-row SUVs on the market. It's stylish, functional, and easy to live with. It now tops its class in Consumer Reports' midsized SUV ratings, edging out the Toyota Highlander by two points.

Spacious and accommodating, the Santa Fe has a limo-like rear seat and a generous cargo area. Yet it doesn't feel too bulky to drive or park. The comfortable ride and quiet interior make it a welcome partner on family trips. Easy access and simple controls add to its user-friendliness. And its smooth, refined 290-hp V6 engine delivers a best-in-class 20 mpg overall with little compromise in performance.

Consumer Reports testers also found the 2014 Kia Forte has made a quantum leap from the previous model. It even improves, albeit incrementally, on the highly rated Hyundai Elantra upon which it is based. Overall, it's a solid, mature compact sedan that will satisfy many buyers. Consumer Reports testers found the Forte is one of the more comfortable riding cars in this class; it has a smooth powertrain, and the cabin is relatively quiet.

The Forte's fuel economy of 28 mpg is merely par for this class, but the sedan compensates with a relatively roomy driving position and rear seat, and controls that are very easy to use. The interior is spacious and nicely finished, the seats are firm and well-shaped, and the in-car entertainment system is brimming with the latest connectivity features. Handling agility is not the car's strong suit; it just doesn't have the high fun-to-drive factor of a Ford Focus or a Mazda3. Still, it remains secure even at its limits.

Consumer Reports is the world's largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 161 Comments
      Avinash Machado
      • 1 Year Ago
      Very nice car. Now if only GM had put that much effort into the Malibu.
      bullitt2605
      • 1 Year Ago
      It looks a little high and the belt line but it's a nice looking car.
        Casey Jensen
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bullitt2605
        Unfortunately, all cars are going high belt-line. Mostly for safety.
      Polly Prissy Pants
      • 1 Year Ago
      Competitive with the Audi A6? Yea right. No way this Chevy is as unreliable as an Audi.
        Slizzo
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Polly Prissy Pants
        Totally didn't see the comment going that way as I read it. Kudos to you for eliciting a chuckle!
      gtv4rudy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not bad for a car that's not selling well.
        throwback
        • 1 Year Ago
        @gtv4rudy
        Not sure how you would know that since the car just hit lots last month.
        Sir Duke
        • 1 Year Ago
        @gtv4rudy
        Swing and a miss. After you've pulled your head out of your rectal orifice, here are the facts. Not sure when this car went on sale, but here are the June 2013 sales numbers. Impala -- 17,255 Chevrolet Impala retail deliveries rose 62 percent. - http://media.gm.com/content/media/us/en/gm/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2013/Jul/gmsales.html In other news, Ford sold: Taurus -- 8,061 Police Interceptor Sedan -- 757. I believe the PIS is Taurus based, so you can add that in. Anyone knows how many Avalons Toyota sold in June?
      Frisky_Dingo
      • 1 Year Ago
      After going completely through the comments section, I love how hung up people are on rwd. It just doesn't lend itself to this market segment very well. It eats up interior room, it calls for a more expensive and exclusive platform, it's heavier, it eats more power, etc. This may be hard for some people to accept, but not every car is intended to be drifted around roundabouts and tossed through autocross courses. I would wager my next pay check that many of you praising rwd couldn't even push a fwd compact to it's limits, let alone a 2 ton rwd sedan.
        David MacGillis
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Frisky_Dingo
        I agree, If RWD were the standard in this segment then the Camry, Accord, and Avalon would be RWD. Bringing a RWD car into this segment would be like bringing a knife to a gunfight. And I prefer RWD cars but this is just NOT a RWD segment at all.
        LoneWolf
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Frisky_Dingo
        It works for BMW, so why not for Chevy (or a Caddy/Buick version)?
          Frisky_Dingo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @LoneWolf
          Maybe because this car doesn't compete with BMW??? And because Cadillac feels that niche already??
          mikeybyte1
          • 1 Year Ago
          @LoneWolf
          BMW sells full sized family sedans fully equipped for under $40k? When did that start?
        S.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Frisky_Dingo
        The people complaining are the ones who won't (can't?) buy one anyway, making their opinion invalid. I'm glad auto manufacturers don't listen to armchair marketing specialists online.
      carboy55
      • 1 Year Ago
      There was a time when CR was credible. Not any more.
        David MacGillis
        • 1 Year Ago
        @carboy55
        You mean it was credible when it was promoting Toyota and Honda for making the best cars in the market, now that GM is making the best car in this segment and getting kudos for it, CR is no longer credible.
        S.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @carboy55
        One of your favorite cars get snubbed?
        CBJMNWLD
        • 1 Year Ago
        @carboy55
        You obviously must be a Nissan Leaf owner
      Radioactive Flea
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's nice looking. I wish it where RWD. My first disqualifier when car shopping is FWD.
        EJD1984
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Radioactive Flea
        I agree (somewhat), but..................if there was a sport/RS model with AWD, and around 350+hp, I would SERIOUSLY consider buying this car. I would also say "add an upgraded appearance package", but with how gorgeous this car is already. I just can't see how it can be improved on.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Radioactive Flea
        [blocked]
          Brad
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ Radioactive Flea Push=understeer. I think the word you are looking for is "Oversteer", RWD cars have oversteer, but thanks for playing
          Frisky_Dingo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ Radioactive Flea- You sound like someone who knows next to nothing about driving dynamics, and thinks rwd means big smoky powerslides or Ferrari handling by default. Lay off the Top Gear.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Radioactive Flea
        [blocked]
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Radioactive Flea
        [blocked]
      Victor Hoyles
      • 1 Year Ago
      I just priced a fully loaded Impala with navi....$45,000 in Canada. WOW! I don't think so!
        Victor Hoyles
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Victor Hoyles
        To put that into perspective the V6 Accord Touring cost $37,000 in Canada.
          ChaosphereIX
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Victor Hoyles
          yes but a fully loaded Impala with Nav etc. has so much more inside it than the Accord that it is worth the extra expense - adaptive cruise control being one. Plues it is a whole size segment bigger, on par with the Avalon, Taurus or...whatever Honda makes in the full size segment I forget and couldnt be bothered to look...and how much is a fully loaded Avalon?
          Email
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Victor Hoyles
          Accord Touring has Adaptive Cruise Control
          Eric M
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Victor Hoyles
          Okay, does the Accord have acoustic laminated front door glass and windshield? Acoustic deadened wheelwell liners? Soft padded dash and doors with real stitching? I can keep going...
          Eric M
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Victor Hoyles
          Does the Accord Touring have ventilated seats? (nope) 20 inch wheels? (nope, 17s) Remote start? (nope) OnStar (or anything like it)? 305hp? (nope, 278) Will the Honda's adaptive cruise hit the brakes for you? (nope) 18.8 cu ft trunk? (nope, 15.5) Direct injection? (nope, multi-port)....and on and on
          gtv4rudy
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Victor Hoyles
          But the Accord is going to last at least 10 years without any problems...
      jmi2
      • 1 Year Ago
      oh, wow! another Toyota Camry knock-off by an American, or for that matter any, car maker.
      Dom Enic
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am sorry but the A6 and the LS aren't even in the same League, and this may be a good car but just based on the interior pictures my opinion is they are at least one level higher. Whoever made that comment must never have sat in either one.
        Skicat
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dom Enic
        Well it's apparent that YOU didn't sit in one because you based your opinion on PICTURES. Sheesh!
        Knox
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Dom Enic
        Quasi-qualifications: My wife has a 2012 A6 3.0 with most options. A loaded Impala would be a reasonable alternative to a base A6.
      mjzalucki
      • 1 Year Ago
      In person, it has a lot of presence. It is big and bold, like an Impala should be.
        Bill
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mjzalucki
        A little bit conservative, but not excessive. I find it more attractive and less staid than the Passat.
          Jesus!
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bill
          Nothing wrong with some conservative. Country could use some of that right now!
          lasertekk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bill
          Conservative: no advancement, stagnation, frozen development, no evolution. While I'm not a biologist, those definitions point to a very unnatural state of being. And you that?
          lasertekk
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bill
          *want*
      sp33dklz
      • 1 Year Ago
      While I'm sure it's a nice vehicle, this is exactly why I do not read any reviews from Consumer Reports. Comparing it to an A6 and LS? Really? Really.............?
        Casey Jensen
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sp33dklz
        That depends what kind of A6 you're comparing it to. A loaded Impala versus a stripper A6? The stripper A6 is FWD 42k car with only a 2.0t and a CVT. Seems quite reasonable to compare to me.
        guspros
        • 1 Year Ago
        @sp33dklz
        Audi A6 is a front wheel drive overpriced VW. Doesn't even compare to the 2014 Impala. As for the Lexus LS....another overpriced Toyota!
          Muttons
          • 1 Year Ago
          @guspros
          Actually the Impala is also FWD and can't be had with AWD like the majority of Audis can. But you know, when you have your head in the sand it's hard to find these things out, so I understand.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @guspros
          [blocked]
    • Load More Comments