The ratings group called the Impala's success a "phoenix-like turnaround", going from the bottom of the class in the Consumer Reports ranking to the No. 1 spot. It went from scoring 63 points on the magazine's ratings scale – too low to be recommended – to scoring 95 points. That puts the Impala on par with the top cars Consumer Reports has tested.
Only two other vehicles score higher – the Tesla Model S, which Consumer Reports testers said was one of the best cars they'd ever evaluated – 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.”
Engineers said the Impala rides "like a luxury sedan, with a cushy and controlled demeanor." When pushed to its limits, testers found it stayed in control and was responsive to the driver.
That echoes what AOL Autos Editor-in-Chief David Kiley said in his review of the car, which he also said was quieter than a Lexus and as smooth as a Cadillac, "without being too floaty."
But there's apparently a lot to like with this new-and-improved version of the Imapala. Consumer Reports testers also liked the inside of the Impala cabin, which they said "sets a new standard for Chevrolet fit and finish, with generally high-quality materials and trim."
Even though it scored well, Consumer Reports is holding off on giving the Impala a recommended label. It hasn't been on the market long enough, the magazine said.