Tesla Model S gets near-perfect score from Consumer Reports

Article by Anita Panait, on May 9, 2013

The Tesla Model S received a near-perfect score of 99 (maximum is 100) from the highly influential Consumer Reports magazine, which cited the electric car's power, "pinpoint" handling and quiet well-crafted interior. The vehicle’s score places it ahead of competing electric and gas-powered models like the Porsche Panamera sports car and the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid.

In its review published Thursday, Consumer Reports said that "slipping behind the wheel of the Tesla Model S is like crossing into a promising zero-emissions future." The magazine added that the Tesla Model S is what Marty McFly might have brought back in place of his “DeLorean,” referring to the film “Back to the Future." The last time Consumer Reports gave a near-perfect score was six years ago, for the Toyota’s Lexus LS 460L luxury sedan.

Consumer Report’s positive review of the Model S came as Tesla reported its first quarterly profit in 10 years. Tesla chief executive Elon Musk is trying to attract a wider group of consumers with the Model S electric sedan. According to Consumer Reports, a Model S equipped with an 85-kWh battery was able to travel 200 miles between electric charges.

The electric sedan’s range varied between 225 mile on moderate weather and 180 miles on winter days. The magazine said that the major downsides of the Model S include its limited range compared to conventional gas-powered cars as well as the 12 hours requirement to fully charge it on a 240-volt electric-car charger.

Consumer Report also remarked that when the Model S is left unplugged, it noted “a parasitic loss of energy” that amounts to 12 to 15 miles of range per day – a possible concern if it is parked at an airport for an extended period. The magazine noted that Tesla has promised a fix for this issue.

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