Tesla’s reputation as a top car brand is still intact even as car sales drop off while most people stay sheltered indoors during this pandemic.
On Wednesday, car valuation group Kelley Blue Book named Tesla the top luxury car brand. The California-based electric vehicle company also took home titles for “Best Value,” “Most Refined,” “Best Performance,” and “Best Car Styling” in the luxury category. Only “Most Trusted” went to a different car company, Lexus, which makes sense given the Japanese brand’s decades-long reputation compared to Tesla’s 10-plus years of car production.
For non-luxury choices, Subaru was named the top brand for the third time in the past five years. This year marked the first time Tesla had won any KBB accolades. The KBB brand awards are based on feedback from 12,000 new-vehicle shoppers and perception data pulled annually.
Tesla’s long-list of KBB awards are proof the company’s electric vehicles have transcended the niche battery-powered category. But CEO Elon Musk might balk at the luxury labeling. With the Tesla Model 3 sedan, he has proudly boasted about offering an “affordable” electric option for the masses. The Model 3 starts at about $40,000, while older, more expensive Tesla models undoubtedly fall into the luxury category. The Model S sedan performance package, for example, is nearly $100,000.
For the more than 600,000 people who have signed up to buy Tesla’s future Cybertruck, Toyota winning the award for “Best Truck Brand” come as a harsh blow. But the electric truck isn’t expected until late next year. And after the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s likely to be delayed.