DETROIT — The first American sedan in 20 years to earn Consumer Reports' top score is the Chevrolet Impala. Really.
The magazine has ranked the completely reworked 2014 version of the full-size car as its top U.S. sedan, based on ride, handling, quality of materials and other factors.
The redesigned Impala, which began arriving at dealers in April, scored 95 out of 100 points in the magazine's testing to get an "Excellent" rating. That put it ahead of traditional large car competitors like the Toyota Avalon and Chrysler 300. The Impala even outscored high-end luxury sedans such as the Audi A6 and Lexus LS460.
With that ranking, the Impala's starting price of $27,000 seems like a bargain. The Audi costs about $15,000 more. For the Lexus' base price of almost $72,000, you can buy two Impalas and have change left over.
The Impala, made by General Motors, surprised the magazine's auto testers with its agility, braking, paint and interior quality, and quiet, roomy cabin.
Only two cars earned higher overall scores: the electric Tesla Model S, which starts at $62,400, and the BMW 135i coupe with a base price of $39,300.
How it compares
$27,000: The Impala's starting price.
Only two cars scored higher overall in Consumer Reports, with starting price listed first:
$62,400: Tesla Model S, an electric.
$39,300: BMW 135i coupe.