For the first time in two decades, a car built by Detroit’s Big 3 has bested the likes of Japan’s and Europe’s best to win the top spot among all sedans from Consumer Reports.
The 2013 Chevrolet Impala, a completely revamped model that was previously a rental-fleet mainstay, scored so high in the magazine’s testing that it is on the same footing as luxury models like Lexus and Jaguar.
The magazine, the most respected reviewing publication because of its legendary independence, says the Impala’s high score is proof that Detroit’s auto industry — and General Motors in particular — is coming back.
“The Impala’s performance is one more indicator of an emerging domestic renaissance,” says Jake Fisher, director of Consumer Reportsautomotive testing, 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.”
The high score is made even more dramatic by how forgettable the outgoing version was considered. With a score of 63 out of 100, the old one was not on the coveted recommended list. The new one earned a 95.
Now the score is so high, only two models can best it. One is the BMW 135i. The other is the all-electric Tesla Model S, which drew raves from CR as the best model it has tested in years.
Impala got high marks for its comfy ride, agile handling, spacious cabin, peppy acceleration and big trunk. It even scored well for fit and finish, long one of the biggest rubs on Detroit’s Big 3 automakers, held up as proof of laxity in making cars.
Impala got 22 miles per gallon overall with its 3.6-liter V-6 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, which was fine, but not class leading. But that didn’t seem to matter.
“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,” the magazine writes in the announcement.
Courtesy of USA TODAY