Last year Consumer Reports reviewed the Tesla Model S, giving it a 99 out of 100 - the best score the publication has ever given a vehicle. That review was then backed up by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which gave the Model S the highest safety rating it has ever given a car. Now that sentiment has been sustained over the past year to the new Consumer Reports' annual auto issue.
Consumer Reports has chosen the Tesla Model S as the overall best vehicle for 2014. The car was chosen for both its performance and what the publication calls its "impressive technological innovations." This is despite the car's current hefty price tag.
Having an electric car top the Consumer Reports list is actually one of a few surprises for the Consumer Reports 2014 top car picks. The Ram 1500 was named this year's best pickup truck, marking the first time in 16 years that a Chrysler vehicle has taken a top spot in the publication's yearly rankings.
Japanese car brands took only five top spots in this year's report, the fewest of any year since Consumer Reports began picking top cars yearly. Honda and Subaru both placed two cars in four different categories (the Honda Accord, Honda Odyssey, Subaru Impreza, and Subaru Forester), while Toyota placed only one (the Toyota Prius).
“The competition in the marketplace has grown fierce," said Rik Paul, automotive editor at Consumer Reports. "There was a time when a handful of brands dominated our Top Picks list, but in recent years we’ve seen a more diverse group make the cut.”
The Toyota Prius' place at the top of the green car category was the least surprising aspect of this year's list. The Prius has now topped that category for 11 years straight.