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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