Just because a car has been discontinued doesn’t mean it’s undependable. In fact, Consumer Reports recently compiled a list of six discontinued vehicles that owners say are very reliable. One of the cars that made the cut is the Impala. Let’s look at its reliability and the other models on the shortlist.
How did Consumer Reports decide which cars are reliable?
Consumer Reports surveys its members annually. These questionnaires allow owners to record their experiences with vehicles they’ve purchased over the years. For 2020, CR’s surveys gathered data on a whopping 329,000 vehicles spanning model years 2000 to 2020.
The owners who fill out the yearly surveys record any problems they experience with their vehicles in the past 12 months. They also note which issues are serious and which ones weren’t. They’re asked to include problems covered under warranty, but the surveys don’t include issues resulting from an accident or recall.
Consumer Reports looks for problem areas with engines, transmissions, climate systems, brakes, and electrical systems. There’s even an area where owners can write about their experiences with these problems.
Then the CR staff inputs the data into a reliability history file that encompasses model years from 2000 to 2020. The vehicles that don’t experience many issues earn higher predicted reliability scores, while those that see multiple problems get a lower score.
Which 2020 models made the list of most reliable discontinued vehicles?
Consumer Reports‘ overall scores show two vehicles garnered the highest ratings. Both earned 89 out of 100 points. They’re the Lexus GS and the Lincoln MKZ.
The Lexus GS’s EPA rating is 32 mpg on the highway and only 13 mpg in the city — average compared with others in the class. But it earned a five-star rating for reliability, which few vehicles get. It also came in third on CR’s list of luxury midsize cars.
Lincoln’s MKZ was second in Consumer Reports’ midsize luxury class, coming in just ahead of the Lexus GS. It beats out the Lexus because of its fuel economy ratings of 29 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. However, unlike the Lexus GS, it received only 4 out of 5 stars for reliability.
Tied for third place are the Lincoln Continental and Chevy Impala. The Continental gets around 32 mpg on the highway. Its reliability rating is 4 out of 5, and it came in fourth place in the luxury midsize car category. Like the Continental, the Impala scored an overall rating of 85.
How did the Chevy Impala fare?
Originally, the Impala was at the bottom of Consumer Reports’ lists in the large-car segment. But a 2014 redesign propelled the Chevy up the list. The 2020 version made it to the number two spot in its class.
Powering the Impala is a 3.6-liter V6 paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The combination gets this sedan 34 mpg on the highway but only 14 mpg in the city.
The Impala excels in other areas, though. It handles well, boasts excellent braking, and offers fairly comfortable front seats. One of its best features is the trunk. It’s so large it can accommodate four big suitcases and at least two duffel bags. Payload capacity is rated for 945 pounds, which is plenty for hauling a large number of items.
Regarding reliability, the Impala earned four stars. Since the 2014 redesign, this Chevy has experienced only a few problems. There were some issues with the fuel system one year, a couple of minor engine problems, and some trouble with the climate system for a couple of model years.
The Chevy Impala has been a solid choice for many drivers wanting roomy sedans. And now that it’s retired, the 2020 model earns the distinction as one of the most reliable discontinued cars.