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Best sedans over the past 20 years

The Chevrolet Impala is the first domestic car to make this elite list

Published: July 29, 2013 09:30 AM

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With a tremendous 95-points overall, the 2014 Chevrolet Impala stands as the highest-scoring sedan in Consumer Reports’ current ratings. An impressive feat, especially considering the previous Impala scored a meager 63 points—too low to be recommended. Digging through our archives, we find that this chart-topping accomplishment is truly historic.

Since 1992, Consumer Reports has published car ratings in its annual auto issue. In thumbing through past magazines, we found that no domestic-branded model could claim the title as top sedan for a given year—until now.

As the list below conveys, precious few models could claim this accolade, with almost all being upscale and luxury cars. Once they made the list, they tended to claim the coveted spot for more than a year. For perspective, we included the top domestic sedan for each year.

Year Top sedan
Top domestic sedan
2013 Chevrolet Impala
Chevrolet Impala
2012 Lexus LS 460L Cadillac CTS Premium, Ford Fusion Hybrid
2011 Lexus LS 460L Cadillac CTS Premium, Ford Fusion Hybrid
2010 Lexus LS 460L Cadillac CTS Premium, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Mercury Milan Hybrid
2009 Lexus LS 460L Cadillac CTS
2008 Lexus LS 460L Cadillac CTS
2007 Infiniti M35x Cadillac STS V6
2006 Infiniti M35x Cadillac STS V6
2005 Lexus LS 430 Cadillac DeVille DHS
2004 Lexus LS 430 Cadillac DeVille DHS
2003 BMW 530i Cadillac DeVille DHS
2002 BMW 530i Cadillac DeVille DHS
2001 Volkswagen Passat GLS Lincoln LS V6
2000 Audi A6 Quattro V6. 2.8 Lincoln LS V6
1999 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cadillac Catera
1998 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cadillac Catera
1997 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cadillac Catera
1996 BMW 530i Chrysler LHS
1995 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Chrysler LHS New Yorker
1994 Lexus LS 400 Chrysler Concorde, Dodge Intrepid, Eagle Vision

For a more detailed look at how the Chevrolet Impala performs in our tests, visit its model page for complete Ratings and road test.

—Jeff Bartlett

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