It’s official: Tesla is the best American car brand of 2017. Consumer Reports, a product review site which has at times had a rocky relationship with Tesla, nevertheless gave Elon Musk’s car company a score of 73 out of 100 based on its comprehensive ranking system overall. And Tesla did even better on the road test ranking, scoring a staggering 88 out of 100 and tying with Porsche for the top slot. Of the 31 brands Consumer Reports ranked, Tesla placed eighth overall.
The top 10 ranking goes:
- Audi (Overall 81, road test 86)
- Porsche (Overall 78, road test 88)
- BMW (Overall 77, road test 86)
- Lexus (Overall 77, road test 74)
- Subaru (Overall 74, road test 81)
- Kia (Overall 74, road test 77)
- Mazda (Overall 73, road test 75)
- Tesla (Overall 73, road test 88)
- Honda (Overall 72, road test 77)
- Buick (Overall 72, road test 72)
Tesla has traditionally blazed through the Consumer Report rankings, with a few major speed bumps. In August 2015, the publication showered praise on Tesla for the Model S P85D, giving the vehicle a score of 103 out of the normal limit of 100. As the original Model S scored 99 out of 100 two years prior, Consumer Reports had to come up with a new rating system to show just how much the new vehicle improved on the old one.
It didn’t last, though: by April the following year, the publication was raining concerns that early Model X customers were experiencing quality control issues with their new cars. Issues included problems with the falcon wing doors, headlight distortion, and Autopilot issues.
“Such issues are expected from a brand-new model,” Mark Rechtin wrote on the publication’s site. “Consumer Reports recommends against buying a vehicle in its first year of production.”
The small number of Tesla models in production is now seen by the publication as a positive, as it’s allowed Tesla to focus more on getting a few models to perfection and thus earn a higher score. As the company gears up to release its $35,000 Model 3, aimed at a wider audience than the Model S and Model X, lessons from the previous models will prove valuable for establishing brand trust with the mass market.Photos via Getty Images / Ethan Miller, Getty Images / Justin Sullivan