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Consumer Reports electrifies its Annual Auto Issue
Posted on April 24, 2020 by Charles Morris
Consumer Reports has a long history of reviewing automobiles, and like most of the car mags, it is open-minded about electric vehicles.
Above: Tesla Model 3 is front and center on the recent Consumer Reports Annual Auto Issue cover (Source: Consumer Reports)
The consumer advocate has had a couple of historic exchanges with Tesla—in 2013 it gave Model S an important seal of approval, awarding the new EV its highest possible rating: 99 out of 100, and it piled on more praise a year later (the reviewers were less impressed with Model X in 2016). In 2018, the magazine noted braking issues with Model 3, prompting Tesla to make an immediate improvement via an over-the-air update.
Consumer Reports recently delivered its annual Auto Issue, and it includes a record amount of material about EVs. Tesla’s Model 3 is on the cover, and both Model 3 and the Toyota Prius made the “Top 10 Cars” list. There’s also a two-page spread about the new plug-in vehicles scheduled to hit the market this year.
Above: Consumer Reports also recently released a video supporting the move to electric (YouTube: Consumer Reports)
The new issue also includes a feature called Your EV Questions, Answered (a reprint of a piece that originally appeared online in February). I found this to be pretty good—far better than most articles of this kind in the mainstream press, which often include misleading information. I did have a couple of minor quibbles. First, the general public (and many journalists) still tend to confuse hybrids, PHEVs and EVs—it would have been nice to see a clear explanation of the differences. Second, CR’s list of available plug-in vehicles includes several models that are only on sale in limited regions.
All in all, the latest Auto Issue represents a major step forward for this trusted consumer resource—readers can’t fail to be aware that driving electric is now a viable choice. Now if they could just drop the rest of the legacy ICE vehicles from that Top 10 list…