Consumer Reports Cover Highlights Hot New EVs - Where’s Tesla?
Is the bloom off of the Tesla rose? As exciting new electric vehicle options make headlines, Tesla seems to have lost its mindshare monopoly. The Mustang Mach-E, Toyota RAV4 Prime, and a preproduction vehicle from Rivian all make the April Consumer Reports (CR) Annual Autos Issue cover this year. Notably missing is a Tesla Model Y or Tesla Model 3, despite each of them outselling the entire rest of the EV market. Yesterday’s news?
Interestingly, Rivian’s vehicle is not even being delivered to consumers yet. Turnabout is fair play. No manufacturer garners more press before the launch of a vehicle than does Tesla. How many years has it been since the Semi, Roadster II, and Cybertruck were “launched?” Having a plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle from Toyota bump the Tesla Model Y off of a cover will surely earn some eye rolls from the EVangelist Tesla fans.
Consumer Reports Green Choice
The big news in the April issue is the announcement and overview of CR’s new Green Choice designation. A green leaf icon will be applied to green vehicles in each segment so that consumers can make an informed decision when shopping for a vehicle with meaningfully lower carbon and pollutant emissions.
That label won’t just be the opinion of CR’s (expert) editorial and test team. Rather, the Green Choice program is a collaboration with the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The goal of the EPA and CR is to help consumers understand how vehicles stack up when it comes to the amount of greenhouse gas and other pollutants they emit.
CR says that 61 percent of its members report that tailpipe emissions are a "very or somewhat" important factor when they're choosing a car to purchase or lease. Consumer Reports does advocate for environmental and public health initiatives, but at its core, the group is a consumer advocacy organization. The Green Choice label fits that fundamental mandate for CR perfectly since Green Choice vehicles also help consumers save money on fuel.
Tesla Is Still A Favorite Of Consumer Reports
Although CR does not pander to Tesla the way many battery-electric advocacy publications do, the brand is still a favorite of the non-profit organization. This year, four of CR’s “10 Top Picks” vehicles earn the Green Choice designation. The global benchmark for electric vehicle excellence, the Tesla Model 3 sedan, is included on that list. Other notable Green Choice vehicles that also earn a spot on CR’s 10 Top Picks list include the Toyota Prius, Toyota Camry, and the Toyota Corolla. Of course, Rivian didn’t make that list since Rivian doesn’t actually produce EVs. Yet.
The Consumer Reports Annual Auto Issue is available now if you prefer to read a magazine old-school style. We suggest an online subscription to Consumer Reports. Its site is one of the single-best data sources for vehicle research in the world, and the information is updated frequently.
John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. Following his engineering program, John also completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin