The publication and organization Consumer Reports on Thursday named the Tesla Model 3 its top electric car and the Toyota Prius and Prius Prime its top hybrid and plug-in hybrid for 2020.
While the Prius is a longtime pick from the publication, the Model 3 is new to the list, and Tesla as a brand was singled out as much-improved as a brand.
Tesla jumped eight spots among brands, from 19th place last year to 11th this year—due, the organization said, to improved reliability of the Model 3 and Model S.
Model 3 reliability, as measured by CR, has been a roller coaster ride. Exactly a year ago it said that the Model 3 could no longer be “Recommended” due to declining reliability. At that time trim and glass defects were pointed to as some of the primary issues—which Tesla apparently has a better handle on after another year of production and a rise in CR’s annual reliability scores released in November.
Consumer Reports says that the Model 3 “offers a thrilling driving experience with a high-tech vibe,” and it commended the Model 3’s impressive handling, precise steering, long range and green credentials, only noting that its road performance was diminished slightly by its stiff ride.
In order to be on the Top Pick Cars list, forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection need to be standard on all versions.
2020 Toyota Prius Prime
For the Prius and Prius Prime, CR noted: “Despite their complex powertrains, these Prius models have an enviable track record for reliability.”
Consumer Reports is a non-profit organization and buys its cars, putting about 6,000 miles on each vehicle in the course of testing.