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“Consumer Reports'” Top Picks 2014: Tesla Rides High, Ford Plummets

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Tesla's Model S scores a near perfect 99 out of 100, while America's Big Three automakers are almost entirely unrepresented on this year's list

Top Picks 2014

The Tesla Model S, Consumer Reports’ Best Overall for 2014

Consumer Reports has released its Top Picks 2014 list, which details the 10 best models available today across 10 categories. In order to qualify, a vehicle must rank at or near the top of its class in CR’s overall test score, must have an average or better reliability rating (according to their Annual Auto Survey, which is conducted at the Consumer Reports National Research Center), and must receive acceptable or better scores from the NHTSA and IIHS.

The Tesla Model S Scores Again

In addition to being named America’s Most Loved Vehicle earlier this month, the Tesla Model S can now lay claim to the title of Consumer Reports’ choice for Best Overall Car. Why? Because even when one gets past its sporty performance and creature comforts, the Model S “is brimming with innovation.” Consumer Reports pulls no punches and shows no favoritism, calling it the “easiest, most practical, albeit pricey, electric car to live with.”

Of course, this might not sit well with dealerships in states like Texas, Virginia, and Arizona (the latter of which is trying to pass a moronic measure to allow businesses to refuse service to gay citizens on the basis of “religious beliefs” and, as John Voelcker points out, has a law on the books that makes it illegal for donkeys to sleep in bathtubs), but Consumer Reports is not a greasy Ohio politician whose pockets one can copiously line in exchange for favor.

Worth noting: Virginia doesn’t let kids go trick-or-treating. Therefore, Virginia hates your childhood and any private enterprise that leads to a fuel-saving EV that also drives like a beast.

Oh, Yeah. There Are Other Winners, Too!

The remaining Top Picks 2014 list goes as follows:

  • Best Small SUV – Subaru Forester
  • Best Midsized Sedan – Honda Accord
  • Best Compact Car – Subaru Impreza
  • Best Midsized SUV – Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Best Green Car – Toyota Prius
  • Best Pickup Truck – Ram 1500
  • Best Luxury Car – Audi A6
  • Best Sports Sedan – BMW 328i
  • Best Minivan Honda Odyssey

Noticeably absent: two of the Big Three, General Motors and Ford, don’t make the list in any capacity (Chrysler’s representative, the Ram 1500, is the first for the automaker in 16 years). Philip LeBeau of CNBC notes that Ford fell all the way to second to last in Consumer Reports’ Top Picks 2014.

“This shows Ford is in a troubling spot. It has to renew the faith of people in the brand,” said Jeff Bartlett, deputy editor, autos, at Consumer Reports.


Overall Standings from Consumer Reports’ Top Picks 2014

The Tesla Model S scored a near perfect 99 out of 100, which would effectively make them a top brand if manufacturing one vehicle (until the Model X, that is) a brand made. The top brand was Lexus, who scored a 79. The last place finishers? Two American classics: Ford and Jeep.

Here are the Consumer Reports Annual Auto Issue Rankings

Lexus 79
Acura 75
Audi 74
Subaru 72
Toyota 72
Mazda 71
Honda 70
Infiniti 69
Mercedes 68
BMW 66
Volvo 66
Buick 63
GMC 63
Chrysler 62
Kia 61
Hyundai 60
Volkswagen 59
Nissan 59
Chevrolet 56
Cadillac 54
Dodge 53
Ford 50
Jeep 50