CONSUMER REPORTS: Tesla Model S Is The Best Car You Can Buy

Elon Musk’s upstart automaker has been on a roll today: Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas raised his price target to $US320, from $US153, sending the stock skyrocketing.

And now, Consumer Reports has named the Tesla Model S the best overall car of 2014, it announced this afternoon. Here’s why:

Sure, you can talk about this electric luxury car’s blistering acceleration, razor-sharp handling, compliant ride, and versatile cabin, which can fit a small third-row seat. But that just scratches the surface of this technological tour de force. The Tesla is brimming with innovation. Its massive, easy-to-use 17-inch touch screen controls most functions. And with its totally keyless operation, full Internet access, and ultra-quiet, zero-emission driving experience, the Tesla is a glimpse into a future where cars and computers coexist in seamless harmony. Its 225-mile driving range and 5-hour charges, using Tesla’s special connector, also make it the easiest, most practical, albeit pricey, electric car to live with.

Price as tested: $US89,650

The win for the Model S, picked from more than 260 cars tested by Consumer Reports, is no shock: In May 2013, the magazine gave the Model S a 99/100, its best score ever.

Here are the rest of the year’s winners for each category, with the price as tested. Japanese brands dominated:

Small SUV: Subaru Forester ($26,814)

Midsized sedan: Honda Accord ($23,270)

Compact car: Subaru Impreza (sedan $US21,345; hatchback $US$22,345)

Midsized SUV: Hyundai Santa Fe ($36,290)

Green car: Toyota Prius ($26,750)

Pickup truck: Ram 1500 ($42,810)

Luxury car: Audi A6 ($56,295)

Sports sedan: BMW 328i ($43,195)

Minivan: Honda Odyssey ($36,830)

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