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
"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
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
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
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
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.