Consumer Reports’ 2024 Top Vehicle Rankings: Hybrid Dominance and the Rise of Plug-in Hybrids

Fisher emphasized that plug-in hybrid vehicles, which bridge the gap between conventional hybrids and EVs, are a “dark horse” within the U.S. automotive industry, with many consumers only beginning to grasp their potential.

This year’s Consumer Reports rankings showcase three plug-in hybrid vehicles, the highest number ever included in the annual list.

“In terms of surprises and insights gained this year, it’s really been about plug-in hybrids,” Fisher noted. “They’re not widely understood, but depending on your circumstances, they can offer the best of both worlds: electric vehicle efficiency coupled with the flexibility of gas.”

Consumer Reports selects top models across various price ranges and categories based on its rigorous testing of new vehicles. The organization evaluates approximately 50 new vehicles each year.

Toyota dominates with four top picks; Subaru, Tesla, Ford, Mazda, and BMW follow.

Here’s the comprehensive list:

– Small car: Mazda 3
– Midsize car: Toyota Camry Hybrid
– Hybrid/Plug-in hybrid car: Toyota Prius/Prius Prime plug-in hybrid
– Subcompact SUV: Subaru Crosstrek
– Compact SUV: Subaru Forester
– Midsize SUV: Toyota Highlander Hybrid
– Luxury SUV: BMW X5/X5 PHEV
– Small pickup: Ford Maverick/Maverick Hybrid
– Plug-in hybrid SUV: Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in hybrid
– Electric vehicle: Tesla Model Y

The Tesla Model Y emerged as a dominant force in the U.S. and global markets last year. It seems to have replaced Tesla’s entry-level Model 3 sedan in the top 10 rankings after the latter made the list last year.

According to Kelley Blue Book data, a subsidiary of Cox Automotive, 1.1 million battery-electric vehicles were sold in the U.S. last year. Nearly 655,000 of those vehicles were Tesla EVs, including 394,497 units of the Tesla Model Y, with sales partly driven by domestic discounts and tax credits.

Tesla Model Y
Tesla Model Y shines; plug-in hybrids gain traction; BMW tops overall brand list.

While sales of battery-electric vehicles continue to grow, hybrid electric vehicles remain a popular choice for many U.S. car buyers, partly due to the less widespread and reliable charging infrastructure compared to nations with higher adoption rates of fully electric cars, such as Norway.

The top picks play a role in Consumer Reports’ annual auto brand report cards, which consider internal testing as well as reliability, safety, and overall customer satisfaction based on owner surveys.

BMW claimed the top spot in the overall brand list, followed by Subaru, Porsche, Honda, and Lexus rounding out the top five brands. At the bottom of the rankings were Rivian, GMC, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Jeep.

Sajda Parveen
Sajda Parveen
Sajda Praveen is a market expert. She has over 6 years of experience in the field and she shares her expertise with readers. You can reach out to her at [email protected]
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