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Tesla Model S wins 'best overall' car by Consumer Reports

Calling the vehicle a "technological tour de force," the magazine awards the all-electric sedan its top ranking.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read
Tesla's Model S sedan. Tesla

The story of Tesla is a bit like that of "The Little Engine That Could." It's a smaller company, which makes a product different than the rest, that's been working to stay afloat in a world of giant car companies.

Well, it appears Tesla has just made it over the mountain.

The company's all-electric Model S sedan was selected by Consumer Reports as 2014's "best overall" car.

Here's what Consumer Reports writes about the car:

Sure, you can talk about this electric luxury car's blistering acceleration, razor-sharp handling, compliant ride, and versatile cabin, which can fit a small third-row seat. But that just scratches the surface of this technological tour de force. The Tesla is brimming with innovation. Its massive, easy-to-use 17-inch touch screen controls most functions. And with its totally keyless operation, full Internet access, and ultra-quiet, zero-emission driving experience, the Tesla is a glimpse into a future where cars and computers coexist in seamless harmony. Its 225-mile driving range and 5-hour charges, using Tesla's special connector, also make it the easiest, most practical, albeit pricey, electric car to live with.

Eleven years ago, Tesla started small with the goal of creating an all-electric vehicle that would appeal to all types of consumers. It began deliveries of the Model S in June of 2012. While production started off slow, the company was able to stay on track. By May 2013, Tesla announced it had reached its first profitable quarter ever.

Last quarter, Tesla reported stellar earnings with revenue at $610.9 million, up from $294.4 million a year ago. And, the company is on track to deliver 35,000 Model S vehicles in 2014, which is up 55 percent from 2013.

The Model S isn't cheap, however -- the price tag for its Performance model is roughly $90,000. However, in a recent interview Tesla CEO Elon Musk said one of his goals is creating a cheaper "compelling mass market electric car."

Consumer Reports' "top picks" are based on a vehicle being well-rounded, reliable, and safe, as well as having high testing performance. The ranking company tested more than 260 cars to make its selections.

Besides "best overall," there are 10 other vehicle categories, including best midsize sedan, pickup truck, and luxury car. In these categories, Honda, Subaru, Hyundai, and Chrysler picked up some top spots.