Tesla Model S Scores Highest Ever Consumer Reports Rating

The news just keeps on getting better for Tesla Motors. The Silicon Valley based company recently reported record sales and its first ever quarterly profits, and now the Tesla Model S has received the highest rating ever from Consumer Reports.

Car ratings from Consumer Reports are viewed as unbiased by car buyers as the publication is put out by a nonprofit organization and does not accept advertizing. This rating is therefore likely to do more for sales of the Tesla Model S than the awards it has previously won from car magazines such as Motor Trend and Automobile.

Jake Fisher, the director of testing for Consumer Reports, awarded the Tesla a score of 99 out of a possible 100. That’s the highest score it has ever given in a car review, and the first such score since 2009. Fisher added that the Tesla should be considered a great car, not just a great electric car. The Model S scored top marks in every category used to determine car ratings, and Fisher summed up, “It does just about everything really, really well”.

The eclectic motor delivered power that was “instantaneous” and the easy to use 17 inch display in the car was compared to “a giant iPad”. The Tesla was also the quietest car that the publication had ever tested and was complimented for its energy efficiency, which was double that of a Toyota Prius.

The only drawback that was mentioned in the car review was the limited range the car’s electric batteries provided. Fisher said, “I can drive from New York to Cleveland in a Toyota Corolla, I can’t do that in a Tesla”. The review also mentioned how long it took to replenish the car’s enormous batteries, and noted that there was a significant power drain when the car was not in use.

Observers may be tempted to think that Consumer Reports was giving undue praise to electric cars. That they are enamored with their green credentials and overlook problems that would lower the scores of a conventional car. However, this is not the case. Consumer Reports have been remarkably consistent in their car ratings, and have not hesitated to post scathing reviews when justified. One of the Tesla’s main competitors, the plug-in Fisker Karma was referred to as being “plagued with flaws” in a write up the magazine published in September.

Value for money is usually one of the most important components of Consumer Reports car review, but even here the Tesla fared well despite its $90,000 price tag. Where most hybrid or electric cars are measured by how well their fuel savings offset their higher costs, the Tesla occupies a place in the market alongside some of the world’s most prestigious brands. Tesla also received kudos for opening a number of fast charging stations that owners can use for free.

In summing up the Tesla Model S, Fisher gave the kind of straightforward analysis that his company is known for. “This car performs better than anything we’ve ever tested before.”

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