Certainly, price was not a big factor behind Consumer Reports’ rationale for selecting the Tesla Model S as the best overall car of 2014. Price as tested: $89,650.
But so what. Plenty of other affordable, albeit mundane, vehicles were honored in their respective categories.
The Tesla from Elon Musk’s surging upstart company, took reviewers’ breath away.
“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,” CR said. “But that just scratches the surface of this technological tour de force.”
CR fawned over the vehicle’s technology.
“The Tesla is brimming with innovation,” CR said. “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.”
Oh yeah, and that part about it being an electric car is neat too.
“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.”
For most of us who can’t quite afford a Tesla just yet, there is the more down-to-earth offerings that won CR’s respective categories:
Here are the rest of the year’s winners by category, with the price as tested. As you can see, Japanese automakers dominate.
Small SUV: Subaru Forester ($26,814)
Midsized sedan: Honda Accord ($23,270)
Compact car: Subaru Impreza (sedan $21,345; hatchback $$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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