DETROIT (AP) — The Tesla Model S electric sedan is Consumer Reports' top pick in this year's automotive rankings.
The magazine cited the Model S's sporty performance and technological innovations, including its 225-mile range. But it acknowledged that the car is expensive. Consumer Reports paid $89,650 for the Model S it tested.
For less than a third of that price, the Toyota Prius hybrid got the nod as Consumer Reports' top green car. The magazine also cited strong fuel economy in naming the Honda Accord as the top midsize car and the BMW328i as the best sports sedan.
The rankings, now in their 18th year, pick Consumer Reports' favorites among the 260 vehicles its team has recently tested. The rankings are closely watched in the auto industry, since shoppers consistently cite Consumer Reports as a main source of car-buying advice.
Consumer Reports buys vehicles anonymously and performs more than 50 tests on them, including evaluations of braking, handling and comfort. The magazine's testing team drives each vehicle for roughly 6,000 miles.
Winners must earn high marks on government and insurance industry crash tests and get at least average reliability ratings from Consumer Reports' subscribers, who are surveyed each year about problems they're having with their vehicles.
The Model S, which went on sale in 2012, got the highest score ever recorded in Consumer Reports' automotive testing last spring. But at the time, the magazine didn't have enough data from subscribers to rank its reliability.
Spokesman Doug Love said Tuesday that the magazine now has enough data to give the Model S a "good" reliability rating. More than 600 Model S owners submitted responses in the magazine's latest reliability survey.