The 2014 Chevrolet Impala has received the highest score of all new sedans tested by Consumer Reports. The Impala, which has previously received low marks from the magazine, is the first American-made sedan to top its list in over two decades.
In its review, Consumer Reports says the Impala “has been transformed from a woefully uncompetitive and outdated model that was to be avoided even as a free upgrade at the rental-car counter into a thoroughly modern and remarkably enjoyable vehicle.”
The 2014 Impala scored 95 out of a possible 100 points using a numerical score developed in 1992. The Tesla Model S all-electric vehicle, which Consumer Reports said is the all-time best vehicle it has ever tested, received a score of 99 out of 100.
Consumer Reports points out that the Impala outscored a number of other vehicles costing as much as $20,000 more.
Consumer Reports’ high praise bodes well for General Motors and other domestic automakers. The magazine’s director of automotive testing Jake Fisher said, “The Impala’s performance is one more indicator of an emerging domestic renaissance.” He said the Chrysler 300, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Ford Escape and Fusion also scored well.
Among the features lauded by Consumer Reports in its review are the Impala’s handling qualities and refined interior which it says “sets a new standard for Chevrolet.”
Although not the best among vehicles in its segment, Consumer Reports characterized the Impala’s fuel economy as “competitive.”
In spite of the Impala’s high score, however, Consumer Reports said that it cannot yet give it the highly coveted status of “recommended” due to insufficient feedback from actual owners regarding the Impala’s dependability.
Consumer Reports does not accept advertising, and actually purchases the vehicles it tests. For these reasons, the magazine is considered by most consumers to be more objective in its testing and reviews than industry publications such as Car and Driver and Road and Track.
That being said, Edmunds.com analyst Jeremy Acevedo says the positive review make for good press, but don’t necessarily ensure a vehicle’s success. Acevedo says, “Consumer Reports scores don’t generally dictate the sales success of models. Indeed some models that score the highest sell modestly due to having a limited audience, and others that score poorly still remain popular with car buyers.”