Consumer Reports 10 most improved vehicle designs

Chevrolet Impala (Photo: automobilemag.com)

Now that we know the 10 top-rated vehicle redesigns of the last 15 years – yesterday’s post on The Open Road blog – we’ll look at the 10 most improved designs of more recent cars, brought to us by Consumer Reports.

Only one vehicle – the “impressive” 2014 Chevrolet Impala – made both lists.

“The Impala scored not only the greatest points gain (32) among the 10 vehicles in the CR rankings but also the highest point total (95),” according to Consumer Reports, which ranked vehicles by improvement in the overall test score from a combination of results in more than 50 tests.

“It literally went from zero to hero, or from being a non-recommended outdated and outclassed car to one of the very best on the market,” wrote Liza Barth in an article for Consumer Reports.

The Audi A6 scored the second highest total, 93 points, and the third greatest improvement, 14 points. The Hyundai Accent, which recorded the second highest points gain (20) still finished with only 72 points, ranking ninth of the top 10 gainers in total points.

Following is a summary of all 10 vehicles ranked by points gain with new scores on the Consumer Reports tests:

  • Chevrolet Impala (32 to 95 points) – Impala went from being dated and inferior rental car option to contemporary, roomy, comfortable and enjoyable – one of the very best cars on the road.
  • Hyundai Accent hatchback (20 to 72) – The 2012 redesign helped escalate Accent to near the top of subcompact ratings.
  • Audi A6 (14 to 93) – The A6 is agile, quiet, and quick with impeccable interior fit and finish, commendable fuel economy and a variety of high-tech features.
  • Land Rover LR4 (13 to 73) – The LR4 was an effective freshening of the LR3.
  • Mazda6 (12 to 85) – The 6 is a sporty alternative to conventional midsized sedans.
  • Ford Escape (11 to 75) – Latest redesign helped propel it to the top tier of our small SUV Ratings, joining the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4.
  • Honda Accord (10 to 90) – Four-cylinder took over top spot among mainstream midsized sedans.
  • Kia Rio hatchback (10 to 63) – Most recent update helped it join the better cars in this segment.
  • BMW 328i (9 to 86) – BMW 3 Series has always been the quintessential sport sedan … Redesign helped improve fuel economy and the rear seats picked up some breathing room.
  • Buick LaCrosse (8 to 78) – Latest LaCrosse is a sophisticated and thoroughly modern sedan.

Ranking by total points, after the Chevrolet Impala (95) and the Audi A6 (93), were the Honda Accord (90), BMW 328i (86), Mazda 6 (85), Buick LaCrosse (78), Ford Escape (75), Land Rover LR4 (73), Hyundai Accent hatchback (72) and Kia Rio hatchback (63).

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