Elon Musk CEO of Tesla with a new Model S car outside the Tesla customer deliver area at the Tesla Fremont, Calif., factory(Photo: Jessica Brandi Lifland for USA TODAY)
(CBS NEWS) -- The Tesla (TSLA) Model S and Ram 1500 scored top grades in the
annual Consumer Reports new-car rankings released on Tuesday. The Tesla electric car
took the "best overall" vehicle honor, while the Ram
topped the competitive pickup class.
The Ram truck was the first Chrysler-built vehicle in 16 years to win the influential magazine's Top Pick
designation as best in its category. The other two Detroit-based auto companies, General
Motors (GM) and Ford (F), failed to place a model in the Top Picks list, which has historically been
dominated by Japanese brands.
Consumer Reports' full assessment of 2014 cars, which will be available in
its annual April auto issue and on its website (subscription only), combine road test scores from its staff,
safety ratings and predicted reliability ratings based on surveys of readers who report on vehicles of various model years.
In separate overall rankings of luxury, Lexus, Acura and Audi topped the
list, followed by Subaru, Toyota,
Mazda, Honda, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Ford and Jeep tied for last
place on this list.
Ford vehicles got strong road test scores but were dragged
down by reliability, especially with the MyFord Touch music, phone and
navigation system. Similar problems with electronic dashboard controls hurt the
score of GM's Cadillac, which ranked No. 21 among 23 brands.
Chrysler Group got kind words for its Ram 1500
pickup, which Consumer Reports described as "surprisingly refined and
inviting" in its ride and as offering "effortless power" for hauling and
In picking the Tesla
Model S electric car as the overall best model, the magazine describes it as "a technological
tour de force with "blistering acceleration, razor-sharp handling, compliant
ride and versatile cabin."
In addition to the Tesla and the Ram pickup, here are Consumer Reports' other Top Pick choices in various categories:
Midsized sedan: Honda
Compact car: Subaru
Green car: Toyota
Luxury Car: Audi
Sports sedan: BMW
Small SUV: Subaru
Hyundai Santa Fe
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