Consumer Reports Top Picks for 2014

Consumer Reports Top Picks

Tesla Should Get A Charge Out Of This

By Ron Amadon

Tesla S

DAMASCUS, MD – “The Tesla is a glimpse into a future where cars and computers coexist in seamless harmony” Consumer Reports said in naming the Model S as its “Best Overall” Vehicle today.

While admitting the Tesla is “pricey” starting at $89,650, it said the all-electric sedan is brimming with innovation that provides an ultra-quiet, zero-emission driving experience.”

For those on a tighter budget, the magazine named the four-cylinder Honda Accord as the best midsized sedan. It called the car “roomy, well-equipped and competitively priced but added consumers should avoid the HondaLink infotainment system on the EX-L trim line “because of reliability problems.”

Those seeking a small SUV could do no better than the Subaru Forester, CR said. “The Forester delivers a class-leading 26 mpg overall and a frugal 35 on the highway” with a space efficient design, large windows and doors, plus one of the roomiest rear seats in the category.

Subaru got a second nod among the Top Picks when its Impreza was named the top compact car. While it was said to have “pronounced road noise” it was not enough to make it deal breaker. CR said the Suby is a well-rounded package with nimble handling and an impressively compliant, absorbent ride that’s among the best in its class. CR testers also cited the “simple controls.” May more follow!

Yours truly found the Hyundai Santa Fe to be a comfortable, feature laden midsized SUV on a test drive through the mountains east of San Diego. CR agreed naming it the top SUV in the mid-sized bracket. “Santa Fe offered a lot of features for the money” the magazine said with a “comfortable ride, quiet interior and a limolike rear seat.”

The Top Pick Green car was a no brainer. The Toyota Prius captured that category for the 11th year in a row.

2014 Ram 1500

CR’s top pickup was the Ram with an interior that feels more like a luxury car, yet it is a truck that “is fully capable of getting its hands dirty when duty calls.” But this award may not last long. CR said the Chevy Silverado outscored the Ram in its testing but “its reliability is unknown.” But let Chrysler cheer for a while – the Ram is the first of its products to land on this list in 16 years.

Audi’s very likeable A6 was named the top Luxury Car. “It’s potent, supercharged V6 engine and super-smooth eight-speed automatic transmission deliver invigorating power,” said the editors. They added that some controls “take getting used to, so you may have extra homework, (yet) it’s worth cramming.”

Year after year competitors try to top the BMW 3-series, but here again it was named the top Sports sedan. “The current model delivers excellent handling and a high fun-to-drive factor,” said CR. The 3-series, editors said, “has long set the standard for sports sedans.” Amen.

And the Top Pick for a minivan was the Honda Odyssey that CR called “the most complete family vehicle you can buy.”



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