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Chevrolet Impala review

Redesigned for 2014, this model is now our highest-scoring sedan

Published: July 2013

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U.S. Automakers are clearly in the midst of a bona fide ren­aissance. In recent years, we’ve seen a number of redesigned American models deliver world-class performance in our tests, including the Chry­s­ler 300, Ford Escape and Fusion, and Jeep Grand Cherokee, which has positioned them near the top of their class­es. But the most dramatic turnaround yet is the phoenixlike rise of the revamped Chevrolet Impala.

Chevy’s large sedan is now based on the Buick LaCrosse and Cadillac XTS platform. It has been transformed from a woefully uncompetitive and outdated model that was to be avoided even as a free upgrade at the rental-car counter into a thoroughly modern and remarkably enjoyable vehicle. It has gone from lingering at the bottom of its class in our Ratings, with a mediocre score of 63—too low to be recommended—to a stellar 95 that places it not only at the top of its category but also among the top-rated vehicles we’ve tested overall.

This new Impala rides like a luxury sedan, with a cushy and controlled demeanor, while delivering surprisingly agile handling, capable acceleration, and excellent braking. 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. Overall, the Impala is competitive with cars that cost $20,000 more, including the Acura RLX and Jaguar XF. One of our testers, not known for effusive praise, said, “There’s little the Impala doesn’t do well.”

OK, the 22 mpg we 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 class. And the rear visibility is rather limited, which is particularly disturbing when backing up in a crowded parking lot.

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