Named for the second year in a row by Consumer Reports as the overall top pick among nine vehicle categories is the Tesla Model S with Toyota’s outgoing Prius Liftback nabbing the top green car designation.
Tesla launched its car June 2012, and since the time Consumer Reports bought an 85-kwh version and began testing it, the outlet has raved about it.
Since that time, it has also poked at repair issues but apparently nothing’s a deal breaker.
For all of the impressive new vehicles released in 2014, none was able to eclipse the innovation, magnificence, and sheer technological arrogance of the Tesla. That’s why it’s our best overall pick for the second consecutive year. Through the course of their life cycles, cars become obsolete quickly as newer models appear with updated gizmos. But with Tesla’s over-the-air software updates, a Model S that came off the line in 2013 has many of the same new features as one built today. Despite the Tesla’s teething problems at launch, our subscriber reports showed average reliability. The Model S is a technological tour de force, a high-performance electric vehicle with usable real-world range, wrapped in a luxury package.
As for top green car, CR named the third-generation Prius Liftback which was arrived in Japan in 2009 and the U.S. a year later.
The purity of the Prius’ functional excellence dictates that–although almost at the end of its model cycle–it remains atop our list as the best green car. Sure, there are other hybrids, and even plug-ins, but nothing can touch the sweet-spot combination of the Prius’ affordability, stellar fuel economy, smart packaging, and blue-chip reliability. That’s why it has been a Top Pick for 12 years in a row. Sure, its ride comfort is merely OK, the cornering is lackluster, and interior bits feel cheap to the touch, but the Prius has transformed an early-adopter technology into a mainstream player. It’s the perfect economical transportation solution. “Just buy a Prius” has become our testers’ cocktail-party refrain.
To derive its ratings, CR factored in issues including reliability, safety including government and industry crash test results plus much road testing.
Consumer Reports Top Picks:
Top Sports Sedan – Buick Regal
Top Large Car – Chevy Impala V6
Top Midsize sedan – Subaru Legacy
Top Compact Car – Subaru Impreza
Top Compact SUV – Subaru Forester
Top Midsized SUV – Toyota Highlander
Top Minivan – Honda Odyssey
Top Luxury Car – Audi A6
Top Green Car – Toyota Prius
Top Overall Car – Tesla Model S
For more info, see Consumer Reports.