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“Electrified” Vehicles Dominate Consumer Reports’ Top 10 Car Picks

by | February 27, 2024

They may still represent only a small share of the new car market but electrified vehicles are becoming increasing desirable, according to Consumer Reports. Hybrids, plug-in hybrids and all-electric models make up seven of the models in the non-profit publication’s 2024 10 Top Cars list. For the first time, that includes a Tesla product, the Model Y, thanks to the automaker’s increasingly ubiquitous Supercharger network. Meanwhile, BMW and Subaru topped the CR Brand Report Card rankings.

This year’s 10 Top Picks list was overwhelmingly dominated by electrified vehicles like this 2024 Toyota Prius Prime.

Electrified vehicles are becoming “increasingly more desirable” than models running solely on gasoline or diesel, according to Consumer Reports, a position reflected by the non-profit organizations annual list of the U.S. market’s best vehicles.

The 2024 10 Top Picks list reflects more models using all-electric or battery-assist technology than ever before. That reflects the increasing available of electrified products, even though hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles made up just 16.3% of U.S. new vehicle sales last year, CR noted in an overview of this year’s top 10 list.

“Consumer Reports’ new Top Picks list demonstrates that models with fully or partially electrified powertrains can surpass the overall performance of their conventional counterparts: Among the standouts this year are one EV, three PHEVs, and three hybrids,” said Alex Knizek, manager of automotive testing and insights for Consumer Reports.

And the winners are…

2025 Subaru Forester - beauty shot REL

The Subaru Forester was one of the few vehicles without an electrified option on this year’s list.

The 10 Top Picks, by category, are:

  • Subcompact SUV: Subaru Crosstrek
  • Compact SUV: Subaru Forester
  • Midsized SUV: Toyota Highlander Hybrid
  • Plug-in Hybrid SUV: Toyota RAV4 Prime
  • Luxury SUV: BMW X5/X5 PHEV
  • Small Car: Mazda 3
  • Hybrid/PHEV Car: Toyota Prius/Prius Prime
  • Midsized Car; Toyota Camry Hybrid
  • Small Pickup: Ford Maverick/Maverick Hybrid
  • Electric Vehicle: Tesla Model Y

More Car Buying News

More on the winners

Hyundai Ioniq 6 connected to a Tesla Supercharger

Were it not for the Tesla Supercharger network, the Hyundai Ioniq 6 would’ve been the CR choice for top EV, said testing chief Jake Fisher.

All told, seven of those winners come either standard with electrified powertrains, or buyers can opt for hybrid and plug-in options. Only the two Subaru models and the Mazda 3 rely solely on conventional internal combustion engines.

This marks the first time Tesla made the Top 10 list, though it remains to be seen if it will carry over in future years, cautioned Jake Fisher, CR’s director of automotive testing.

“It’s not the best EV,” he told Headlight.News, noting there are all-electric alternatives that are faster, quieter, better equipped and better looking. But the Model Y largely did overcome the quality problems that have traditionally plagued the upstart brand. What Tesla did bring to the table is its Supercharger network which is both reliable and reasonably accessible no matter where you are in the country, said Fisher. If not for that, he added, “We probably would have chosen the Hyundai Ioniq 6” as the best option in the EV category.

Best Brands

2024 BMW X5 xDrive 50e - front 3-4 driving v2

The BMW X5 is one of the 10 Top Picks this year, while BMW was rated overall best brand.

When it comes to which brands are best, Consumer Reports gave nods to BMW, among the luxury segment, and Subaru in the mainstream category. (See chart, below, for full brand rankings.) The German automaker had one model among this year’s 10 Top Picks: the BMW X5/X5 PHEV. The Japanese brand placed two models in the 10 Top Picks: the Crosstrek and Forester.

It’s the second year in a row BMW topped the industry overall, as well as the luxury category – and it marks the first back-to-back winner since 2017. Subaru likewise was a repeat winner.

Porsche jumped 11 spots this year to come in as the third-ranked brand, followed by Honda, Lexus, Mini, Kia, Mazda, Toyota and Hyundai – the latter Korean brand itself jumping three spots.

The good, the bad and the ugly

2024 Jeep Grand Cherokee front

Jeep was the lowest-ranked brand in this year’s Consumer Reports study.

Domestic U.S. automakers, though they didn’t make the top 10 did reasonably well. Cadillac was up 11 spots to 14th, while Ford jumped six spots to 17th. Those rankings reflected improvements in quality and reliability.

While Tesla landed in the 10 Top Picks with the Model Y, it actually dropped a spot on the brand list, to 18.

The five worst brands were: 34th-ranked Jeep and, in ascending order: Land Rover, Jaguar, GMC and Rivian in 30th.

Of the 34 brands covered by this year’s study, CR said it “is recommending every model tested from seven: BMW, Porsche, Honda, Mini, Kia, Mazda, and Acura.”


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