Tesla Model S And Toyota Prius Recognized By Edmunds.com

Some cars offer great value while others excel in particular features such as cargo space or in-cabin technology. But which cars are quite simply THE BEST?

Edmunds.com offers its subjective opinion for the top dog in each vehicle segment with “The 17 Best Cars You Can Buy” story.

This list, comprised of 17 categories, includes one electric/alternative technology category and one hybrid category; the Tesla Model S and the Toyota Prius won these.

“This list answers a question that we get all the time: If you could pick any car in a given segment, and money wasn’t an issue, what car would you choose?” says Edmunds.com Automotive Editor James Riswick. “Sure, many of the cars on this list cost a pretty penny, but guess what? It usually costs more to get the best.”

A total of 14 brands appear on the list, led by Toyota with three vehicles and Honda with two.

The full story can be found here. The following is what Edmunds.com’s editors wrote for both the electric/alternative technology category and the hybrid category:

Tesla_Model_SBest Electric/Alternative Fuel Vehicle: 2013 Tesla Model S

Gee, should we pick a compact hatchback with a compromised trunk that can go about 80 miles on a charge and from zero to 60 mph in 10 seconds? Or, should we perhaps choose a grand, sexy luxury sedan with two trunks that can go 265 miles on a charge and from zero to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds? Decisions, decisions…

The latter, in case you’re unaware, is the Tesla Model S. Besides the generous range and truly incredible acceleration, the Model S is most impressive for feeling like a real car from a real auto manufacturer instead of a low-volume special haphazardly slapped together using bits and pieces from other carmakers. That doesn’t mean the Tesla is normal, however. An enormous central touchscreen controls almost everything, and for the most part does a good job of it. The trunk under the hatchback (versus the one up front where the engine would be) can be equipped with a pair of rear-facing jump seats. Perhaps most abnormal of all is the way it drives. The only thing that gets up to speed this quietly, effortlessly and rapidly is a magnetically launched roller coaster, while the Tesla’s incredibly wide stance and low center of gravity allow it to take corners with similar skill. It’s an astonishing vehicle that lives up to the hype and is without question the best electric car on the planet.

2013 Prius PHVBest Hybrid: 2013 Toyota Prius

There are hybrids that are better to drive and/or have more richly appointed cabins, but the most important attribute of a gasoline-electric car is fuel economy, and no traditional hybrid achieves a better EPA mpg combined figure than the Toyota Prius. The subcompact Prius C matches it, but then it can’t match the original’s generous passenger and cargo space. Actually, no other hybrid car can, as competitors like the Ford C-Max and Honda Civic hybrids are just conventional vehicles filled with and consequently compromised by batteries. Not only is the Prius’ backseat big enough to comfortably accommodate two adults, but its hatchback trunk can fit their luggage, too. No wonder the Prius is becoming so popular with cab companies.