Tesla And Consumer Reports Might Be On Better Terms Now

Illustration for article titled Tesla And Consumer Reports Might Be On Better Terms Now
Photo: Raphael Orlove

Tesla, which has a long and sometimes sour history with Consumer Reports, did pretty well in this year’s CR rankings of automakers, rising eight spots to take 11th, with Porsche finishing first. The rankings are based on safety scores, a reliability survey, and road tests. Maybe this means Tesla and CR are entering a period of rapprochement.


Let’s cut to the chase. Here are the top 11 in order, according to Consumer Reports:

1. Porsche
2. Genesis
3. Subaru
4. Mazda
5. Lexus
6. Audi
7. Hyundai
8. BMW
9. Kia
10. Mini
11. Tesla

A few things: Tesla is the highest American brand on this list, you’ll notice. Further, this year, CR also gave the Tesla Model 3 its pick for Best Electric Car, the first time Tesla scooped up an individual award since 2014 and 2015, when, in both years, the Model S was named best overall car.

The award for the Model 3 was its first, putting it in CR’s top ten cars, trucks, and SUVs of the year. (You can see the full list here.) CR attributed Tesla’s overall rise “to the improved reliability of its Model 3 and Model S sedans,” but also noted that it still doesn’t recommend the Model X. It’ll be interesting to see how CR feels about the Model Y when it gets its hands on it.

CR is unique in the U.S. in how it tests cars, spending its own money to buy cars anonymously before driving them on public roads and at its track in Colchester, Connecticut. That model, the company argues, sets it apart from publications like Car and Driver, which relies on loans from the automakers to do its vehicle testing. (Jalopnik also is loaned cars for testing purposes but never, as is the case with some other publications, long-term.)

A few other notable things on CR’s list: Genesis continues to be highly-rated, Hyundai has shot up, and so has Mini, too. Outside of Tesla, meanwhile American brands put in a pretty sad shift, with Lincoln at 13th, Chrysler at 18th, Buick at 19th, Dodge at 21st, Ford at 23rd and Chevy at 25th.


And then, well, here is the bottom eight:

26. GMC
27. Alfa Romeo
28. Jaguar
29. Cadillac
30. Land Rover
31. Jeep
32. Mitsubishi
33. Fiat


Where is Nissan?! I’m sure you’re wondering. Nissan actually moved up four spots to 17th, despite its recent troubles. What always surprises me (decreasingly so, I guess) is how poorly Jeep tends to fare on lists like this. And maybe that is starting to have some effect on sales, as Jeep sold more Grand Cherokees than ever last year, but fewer Compasses, Wranglers, and Cherokees than in 2018.

You can view the entire list here. I also emailed Tesla for comment and will update this post if I hear back.


Update, February 25, 1:21 p.m.: This post originally included screenshots from Consumer Reports but have now been removed at CR’s request since that information will soon be behind a paywall. For now, you can still view it all here.

News Editor at Jalopnik. 2008 Honda Fit Sport.



Well, no surprises at the bottom of the list.

Could you even imagine a world where FCA and JLR built their cool and good looking products well?  What a world that would be.