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Consumer Reports praises 'phoenix-like' Chevy Impala as No. 1 sedan

The magazine, long critical of domestic cars, has finally found a full-size Chevrolet sedan it likes – and so have we.

By Clifford Atiyeh Jul 25, 2013 5:45AM
When your new full-size American sedan receives praise from the organization that purportedly hates American cars, something must have gone awry.

Except it hasn't. After awarding the Tesla Model S – another American car – its highest-ever score, Consumer Reports gave the 2014 Chevrolet Impala its third-highest score, a whopping 95 points out of 100, and the No. 1 spot among all sedans. Among gasoline-powered cars, only the BMW 135i coupe scored higher. Not even the Audi A6 or the Lexus LS 460L scored as high as the Impala.

The magazine's domestic-bashing reputation, a perceived notion in which mostly Japanese cars from Honda and Toyota would regularly score highest for about 20 straight years, has been justified. The outgoing Impala scored a 63, and while rental-car fleets and police departments lapped up the big Chevy, there was nothing to set it apart from newer, better-made sedans with actual technology. Not even a navigation system was offered in the 2013 Impala.
Only in the past few years has Consumer Reports started to score American cars higher, and that's because American cars – regular cars, not SUVs and pickups – have actually become competitive again. Many foreign competitors have lapsed, including the Honda Civic, which Consumer Reports took off its vaunted "recommended" list for lukewarm performance and lower-than-expected quality. Other automakers have also been subjected to the magazine's wrath, including Toyota for problems with its floor-mat recalls and for stability control systems that didn't work properly on a Lexus SUV. The tides have changed.

As for the 2014 Impala, Consumer Reports called it a "phoenix-like turnaround," with an interior that's "refreshingly intuitive" and a suspension that "rides like a luxury sedan."

"The Impala’s performance is one more indicator of an emerging domestic renaissance," Jake Fisher, the magazine's testing director, said in a statement. "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."

We drove the 2014 Impala and found much to like, noting that it "drives smaller than its considerable size" and offers tons of room. However, we weren't as pleased as Consumer Reports was over the interior, which still feels full of cheap plastic that may not hold up well to squeaking and rattling. Time will tell, but for General Motors, it's time to celebrate.

[Source: Consumer Reports]
335Comments
Jul 25, 2013 7:45AM
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Well.. I'm glad GM has some pride in it's work again... too bad the city of Detroit has sunk to an all time low....  Please.. no political responses.. I'm simply saying it would be good for manufacturing to be strong again. 
Jul 25, 2013 7:20AM
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It definitely caught me be surprise... I saw one at the gas station before hearing or reading about it... I was surprised to see the chevy badge!! it was definitely a looker!! 
Jul 25, 2013 7:54AM
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The new Impala is the same platform as the Cadillac XTS for about 20,000.00 less!
Jul 25, 2013 8:24AM
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Now all we need is MSN Auto to give up its anti American auto bias.
Jul 25, 2013 7:25AM
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I didn't think Consumer Report even knew cars were made in the USA!!!  I stopped reading that magizine years ago because all they did was advertise and push Toyota's!
Jul 25, 2013 9:58AM
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the whole American Auto industry seems to be rising again, definitely happy days are here.
Jul 25, 2013 7:48AM
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I will stick with my 1992 Buick century. No payments!
Jul 25, 2013 7:55AM
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The new Ford Taurus' look pretty good too

Jul 25, 2013 9:18AM
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I am impresed with the design and function. 
Jul 25, 2013 7:40AM
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Really complaining about not having a navigation screen?  Don't most cell phones double as that these days?  I mean really extra crap like that hurts fuel economy, add weight and watch the mpgs fall.
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