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December 22, 2013

Consumer Reports: Would you buy your car again?

Lots of people love their cars. But as Consumer Reports has consistently seen in its yearly owner satisfaction Ratings, the vehicles that inspire the strongest loyalty are ones that are fun to drive, deliver great fuel economy, are fashionably green or envelop you in a high-tech, luxurious driving environment.

So perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Tesla Model S all-electric luxury sports sedan, which provides all of those attributes in one car, topped its latest Ratings with the highest satisfaction score Consumer Reports has seen in years: 99 out of 100. (The survey was conducted last spring, prior to the three Tesla vehicle fires in the United States and Mexico.)

While the $89,650 Model S isn’t for everyone, Consumer Reports did draw about 600 survey responses from owners of 2012 and 2013 models. Moreover, its owner satisfaction score matches the near-perfect 99 overall test score that the Tesla earned in its test program, which made it CR’s highest-rated vehicle. The Model S stands out for its innovative design, outstanding performance, surprising practicality, long 200-mile-plus driving range for an electric car and low driving costs.

Other models that topped their categories in Consumer Reports’ latest owner satisfaction Ratings are the Porsche Boxster sports car (which was second overall), Audi A6 luxury sedan, Mazda6 midsized sedan, Subaru Forester SUV, V-8 Dodge Charger large sedan and diesel-powered Volkswagen Golf TDI compact car.

The annual owner satisfaction survey, conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, asks Consumer Reports magazine and Web subscribers a key, revealing question, “Considering all factors (price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had it to do all over again?” A model’s score is based on the percentage of respondents who answered “definitely yes.” This year, responses were received on about 350,000 vehicles and more than 285 models and variants spanning the 2011 through 2014 model years.

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