"Tesla is going up against established brands, and yet it is schooling them on how to make a high-tech car," Bartlett said. "It excels in all areas that we measure."
(Read more: Tesla spikes on 2014 growth forecast)
The ranking is the latest accolade for the company, which is expanding its sales and production. Last week, Tesla said it expects to sell at least 35,000 Model S vehicles in 2014. This week, it's expected to announce plans to build a "giga factory," which will dramatically increase production of lithium-ion battery cells and battery packs.
Within the next few weeks, CEO Elon Musk will go to China to deliver the country's first Model S.
"Tesla has proven they can go from nothing to building a highly regarded car right out of the gate," Bartlett said. "One would think they can continue to improve."
The "Top Pick" selection comes just hours after Morgan Stanley raised its price target for the company's shares to $320 from $153, sending its shares higher. (What are Tesla shares doing now? Click here.)
It also comes amid the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)'s investigation into the safety of the Model S battery system. There is no indication when that inquiry will be completed.
Ford quality slips
While Tesla is riding high, Ford's ranking has hit a new low since CEO Alan Mulally took over.
Its score of 50 is only slightly lower than last year's score but caused it to rank as the second-worst brand—a drop from 2013. The only automaker to perform slightly lower was Jeep, which Ford edged out by a few decimal points. (The scores were both rounded up to 50 in the rankings.)
(Read more: The giant bet that Tesla will fall 75 percent)
As has been the case in recent years, the biggest complaint from Ford owners was the reliability of their Ford Sync and MyFord Touch in-car connectivity systems.
"Sync and MyFord Touch have proved to be an Achilles' heel ... with the system locking up or being slow to respond," Bartlett said. "It is bringing Ford's overall reliability down."