A General Motors sedan, the 2014 Chevrolet Impala, beat out the competition, foreign and domestic, to be named Consumer Reports' best sedan in the market.
The surprising score, 95 out of 100, a first for any American car since CR started using its current ratings system over 20 years ago, almost rated the Impala as the best all-around car. Only the also-American groundbreaking Tesla S, 99, and BMW 1 Series coupe, 97, outscored the Chevy.
The CR "excellent" rating is not only enough to beat out its regular competitors, like the Ford Taurus, Toyota Avalon and Chrysler 300, it means Consumer Reports believes the Impala is a better overall sedan than imported heavy-hitters like the Audi A6.
In fact, the luxury sedan-like demeanor of the Impala was what so impressed reviewers, who said it "rides like a luxury sedan, with a cushy and controlled demeanor, while delivering surprisingly agile handling, capable acceleration, and excellent braking."
The car's "excellent" rating is second only to the potential "recommended" rating also issued by CR. The Impala was not eligible for the latter because it is too new to capture reliability data. Still, the jump in ratings is outstanding: The previous iteration of the Impala sported a Consumer Reports score of 63.
Although there is little doubt that this Impala is the best in decades -- if not ever -- not everyone would agree to call it flawless. USA Today's Test Drive calls the seats uncomfortable and the CR-praised ride "lacking in refinement."
On the plus column, however, Test Drive lists styling, interior, cargo space and power.