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Consumer Reports top cars and auto tips for 2014




A Tesla Motors Model S is displayed in the Tesla showroom before a news conference at Tesla Motors headquarters May 20, 2010 in Palo Alto, California.
A Tesla Motors Model S is displayed in the Tesla showroom before a news conference at Tesla Motors headquarters May 20, 2010 in Palo Alto, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Consumer Reports tested and tinkered with hundreds of car models in 10 categories for its Top Picks auto report card. This year, the publication surveyed 260 models and rated them on three criteria: reliability, safety and performance.

All cars considered for the list are tested at the publication's 327-acre test track in Connecticut.

Topping the list for 2014 with a best overall rating is the all-electric Tesla Model S, which the publication calls, "a glimpse into a future where cars and computers coexist in seamless harmony."

In the pickup truck category is the Ram 1500, the first time in 16 years that a Chrysler model has made the list.

Holding down its position as best green car is the Toyota Prius, which has claimed ownership of that category for the 10 years (the Honda Civic Hybrid was named best green car in 2003).

Even if you choose a car off the Top 10, what are the must-have car features and which ones can you skip? What are the best cars under $25,000? How do brands stack up in Consumer Report’s “manufacturer’s report cards?”

Guest:

Jennifer Stockburger, Director of Operations, Consumer Reports Auto Test Center