Tesla is 5th among top brands, Consumer Reports poll says

Article by Anita Panait, on February 7, 2014

Tesla Motors Inc. is now one of the top brands, according to a recent survey conducted by Consumer Reports. In December, the magazine surveyed 1,578 vehicle owners asked to rank brand attributes including quality, safety, value, design and technology. The survey found out the consumers rank Toyota as the best brand, followed by Ford, Honda and Chevrolet.

"Consumers are influenced by word of mouth, marketing and hands-on experience," Jeff Bartlett, Consumer Reports deputy automotive editor, said in a statement.

He said that perception can be a trailing indicator, reflecting years of good or bad performance in a category, and it can also be influenced by headlines in the media." The magazine said in November that the Tesla Model S topped its owner satisfaction poll despite a review by US regulators after two crash-related battery fires.

In May, Consumer Reports gave the $71,000 Model S a score matching the highest ever received by any vehicle. This factor, as well as Tesla’s first quarterly profit, caused shares to surge 0.9 percent to $178.73 on Tuesday in New York trading. Tesla’s shares have tripled in value since May 8, 2013, the day before Consumer Reports released its Model S review.

Tesla received 88 points in the latest Consumer Reports survey, ranking highly for "innovation, performance, and sleek styling," Consumer Reports said. The company displaced Mercedes-Benz, which dropped to seventh from fifth last year. Toyota received 145 points while Ford was second at 120. Honda dropped from second last year to third with 109 points. Chevrolet got 105 points.

Aside from being an evolution in automotive engineering, the new Tesla Model S is also resetting the expectations for the car of the modern times by combining performance, safety and efficiency. Moreover, aside from earning the highest possible safety ratings, the new Model S has the longest range of any electric vehicle. Not only that, the Model S keeps improving with over-the-air software updates.

One of the secrets to safety of the new Model S is the fact that it is underpinned by Tesla’s Architecture, which allows the battery to be located on the floor and the electric drivetrain to be placed beneath the car. This means that the new Tesla Model S has an extremely low center of gravity, which greatly minimizes the risk of rollover while optimizing both handling and performance.

This has been proven by the fact that the new Model S managed to earn the highest possible ratings from the NHTSA and the Euro NCAP while setting a new record for the lowest likelihood of occupant injury in the United States.

Likewise, the new Model S offers a large crumple zone – even larger than other performance sedans – that could absorb the impact from a front-end collision, thanks to the fact that it has no engine.

In addition, the new Model S is laden with a number of active safety features as standard like automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection and collision warning as well as lane departure warning. It could also be specified with optional convenience features such autosteer, autopark and summon as well as traffic-aware cruise control.

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