Tesla Model S Top Pick for 2014: Consumer Reports

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As if Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) needed another boost this week, Consumer Reports magazine has named the company’s Model S sedan as its overall Top Pick for 2014. Test performance, reliability, and safety are the criteria the magazine uses to make its picks.

Here’s part of what Consumer Reports had to say:

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.

The magazine picked 2014 cars in nine categories plus its overall Top Pick. Besides the Model S, here are the other category Top Picks:

  • Small SUV – Subaru Forester
  • Midsized sedan – Honda Motor Corp. (NYSE: HMC) Accord (4 cyl)
  • Compact car – Subaru Impreza
  • Midsized SUV – Hyundai Santa Fe
  • Green car – Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM) Prius
  • Pickup truck – Chrysler Group Ram 1500
  • Luxury car – Audi A6
  • Sports sedan – BMW 328i
  • Minivan- Honda Odyssey

Consumer Reports also updated its report on best brands, and U.S. carmakers filled the bottom five slots: Jeep, Ford, Dodge, Cadillac, and Chevrolet. According to the magazine, Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) suffers from widespread reliability problems, as did the Cadillac from General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM).

The Ram 1500 pickup is the first Chrysler model to make Consumer Reports’ Top Pick list in 16 years.

We also note that the Tesla Model S is the most expensive car on the magazine’s list of Top Picks, topping the Audi A6 by more than $30,000. A savvy buyer could pick up a Prius and an Audi and still hold onto more than $6,000. Just sayin’.