Tesla Model S & Chevrolet Volt Make Consumer Reports’ “Top Picks For 2015” List

APR 3 2015 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 23

When Yahoo examined Consumer Reports’ “Top Picks For 2015” it found that two “American” plug-in electric cars made the list.

Selected as the “Best Car Overall,” the Tesla Model S is a repeat winner in 2015, once again topping the list of all cars evaluated by Consumer Reports.

Yahoo is looking only for “American” brands listed as “Top Picks” and the Model S fits that billing.  Here’s what Yahoo says:

Best overall: Tesla Model S

That’s right: Consumer Reports’ top-scoring car is not only all-American, it’s all-electric. Real-world usable electric range makes the Model S a viable choice for many well-heeled buyers, as proven by class-leading sales figures. But the Model S isn’t just a great electric car, it’s a great car, period. Handling and ride comfort rank among the best. An innovative interior seats up to seven and has a giant, well-designed touchscreen for most controls. Continual updates from both over-the-air software and new hardware help keep the Model S out in front. Now, the addition of available all-wheel drive and advanced safety features further add appeal.

2015 Chevy Volt

2015 Chevy Volt

But there’s one more “American” plug-in electric car that made the “Top Pick” list.  It didn’t win the “Green Car” category (that honor went to the long-time winner, the Toyota Prius), but it still managed to make it onto Consumer Reports’ “Top Pick” list:

Green car: Chevrolet Volt

No car has ever quite beaten the Toyota Prius at its own game. Instead, the Chevrolet Volt plays by a different set of rules. The extended-range plug-in has 35 miles of electric-only range, which enables many drivers to commute gas-free. Owner satisfaction remains second only to Tesla among owners of fuel-efficient cars. Attractive leases make the high sticker price easier to swallow. A 2016 redesign promises more electric-only range, simpler controls, and a fifth seating position. Reliability of this high-tech car has been average.

Editor’s Note:  We will forgive the outfit for not knowing the Chevrolet Volt’s range was officially expanded to 38 miles in 2013, and unofficially to around 40 miles in 2015 (with slightly larger 17.1 kWh battery pack).

So, those are the only two “American” plug-in electric cars listed as “Top Picks” for 2015 by Consumer Reports.  “American,” by Yahoo’s definition, would exclude vehicles like the Nissan LEAF, which is American-built, but Japanese owned.

Source: Yahoo & Consumer Reports

Categories: Chevrolet, Tesla

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23 Comments on "Tesla Model S & Chevrolet Volt Make Consumer Reports’ “Top Picks For 2015” List"

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Another badge of honor to added to their many.

Since they started delivering 2013’s, in 2012, the Volt has had 38 miles of range.

pj, I wonder whether the 2015MY Volts would earn 39 or, more likely, 40 miles of EPA range given the new pack. I think the 2015MY Volt is going to be a prized car 5 or 10 years down the road. I like my 2013 but an extra 2 miles of range….

I think there are going to be some very happy Volt buyers coming up in December and January. Prices are going to phenomenal for Gen I Volts.

Yep – I was about to say the same thing. The 2015 year models unofficially have 40 miles of EPA range. But you’d think they could have at least quoted the correct figure of 38 miles, right?

I added a little disclaimer note in there…so as to not drive everyone around here (myself included) insane.

CR seems to always state AER numbers lower than EPA, even on the Model S. I have heard them say 200 – 250 mile range on it.

Pessimism is pretty much their specialty, which make these honors all the more impressive.

Consumer Reports’ rating of around 200-220 miles of range for the Model S reflects an 80% charge, not a 100% charge. Consumer Reports selected an 80% charge because the manual recommends that for everyday charging.

I think that’s a bit unfair, because anyone familiar with driving a BEV would charge to 100% if they’re setting off on a trip which will challenge the car’s range. And altho I can’t fault CR for following what’s in the manual, I think they did a disservice to their readers by not putting in a note, along with the 200-220 rating, that this was only an 80% charge, and that with a 100% charge the car has a higher expected range.

My Volt has 40-50 miles or range

My Volt averages 60 miles, yep 60 miles on a charge… Every day 60 with mindful driving… about 10 months now.

What’s with the “quotes” around “American”? Both of these vehicles are American — no quotes needed.

LOL good one

People love their plug-ins. I’ve seen many reports of two LEAF families, two Tesla families, two i3 families (Hi Peder!), two Volt families, or mixes thereof.

It is nice to kick-gas. I can’t ever see buying a car without a plug again.

Yep, our LEAF won my wife over.

Our ideal garage would be a 150+ mile BEV sedan for me and a PHEV SUV for her.

+1, that would do nicely for us too.

That’s us too… 2 Leafs… and considering a Tesla next. Just wondering what the actual domestic content percentages are between the VOLT and LEAF. Seems like both should easily be considered American Cars.
Also when they mention the Average reliability of the VOLT… sad really. I think the LEAF gets it better their too with its far simpler design and tons fewer parts.

Volt, Telsa Model S and LEAF are all rated as “average” according to CR’s reliability rating.

The Volt is the best kept secret in the history of car making…..and if the general public is to stupid to get it then much the loss for them.

I have yet to meet a Volt owner who is not overflowing with enthusiasm about his/her car. People love their Volts

Dr. Miguelito Loveless

The Leaf was dropped fr CR’s recommend list for failing the off-set crash test. Until it passes it will stay off.

Prius as the best overall? I rented one last month and I was unimpressed. Under-powered electric drive, very loud road noise levels at highway speeds, and no better milage than I get in my wife’s Fusion hybrid, which is an all-around much nicer car. I would take my Volt over a Prius any day.

Hmmm, that’s not what the article says. It says “No car has ever quite beaten the Toyota Prius at its own game.”

That could mean nothing more than the Prius out-sells every other hybrid electric vehicle. Certainly doesn’t mean Consumer Reports thinks it has superior quality.

Mmmm…average reliability???? I’ve owned 4 German cars, supposedly the pinnacle of engineering. Yet each one required significant maintenance after year 4 with the A4 witnessing 2 major catastrophic engine failures. My volt has had only 1 oil change to date with no other maintenance. (40,000 kms).

Disappointed that there’s no mention of Honda’s new Insight! Let’s hear more about your opinion of it!