Originally published on X Auto.
The Tesla Model 3 is the only electric car, as well as the only domestic US model, that made it into the “10 Top Picks of 2020: Best Cars of the Year” list published by the Consumer Reports magazine. All other brands are either Japanese or Korean.
This year Consumer Reports categorized the cars under price range and then types of vehicles, rather than categorizing them under types (e.g., SUVs, Sedans large and small, EVs, etc.).
In the $45,000–$55,000 category the Tesla Model 3 was selected, as was the Toyota Supra in the sports car category and the Lexus RX in the midsized SUV category. (Although, note that the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus base variant starts at $39,900 before incentives. On that matter, Consumer Reports putting the Model 3 in a higher-priced category might drive away potential customers.)
According to Consumer Reports, safety features were the organization’s top priority when ranking the cars this year, and pedestrian safety features were a requirement for the first time ever to make it onto the privileged list. The article states:
“When selecting Top Picks, we only consider CR-recommended models that come standard with forward-collision warning (FCW) and automatic emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection. This is the first year we’ve required standard pedestrian detection to be eligible. This feature works with AEB to sense when people are in a car’s pathway and automatically brake if needed. We believe all of these features have the potential to save lives and shouldn’t cost extra as part of an options package.”
Consumer Reports gave extra points to cars that had the Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), pedestrian detection, and Blind Spot Warning (BSW) as standard features, not as paid options — Tesla Model 3 has almost all of these safety features as standard, no matter if the owner has the Full Self-Driving package or not
The things that Consumer Reports did not like about the Model 3 are “stiff ride” and “notable wind noise.” In my opinion, these are petty issues. They wrote the following when awarding Tesla Model 3 one of the 10 top positions for 2020 cars:
“The Model 3 proves that EVs can challenge conventional upscale sedans by offering invigorating performance with a high-tech vibe. It boasts rapid acceleration that’s delivered in near silence, with instant passing power available at any speed and enough thrust to push the driver back into the seat. The car’s superb handling and quick, precise steering help it feel like a sports car. The Model 3 has excellent visibility and a stark interior dominated by a floating 15-inch touch screen that governs many controls. Its impressive road performance is diminished only by the stiff ride and notable wind noise. But its long range of 250 to 330 miles (depending on the version) and green credentials offset those drawbacks.” Source
Last year, Consumer Reports published a customer satisfaction survey report that revealed Tesla Model 3 owners are the most in love with their cars, and this is due to many reasons we constantly tell our readers about — low cost of maintenance, over-the-air software updates, 5-star safety rating with lowest probability of injury, etc., etc.