Tesla Model S Is The World’s “Most Satisfying Commuter Car” According to Consumer Reports

2 years ago by Mark Kane 37

Consumer Reports tests Tesla Model S

Consumer Reports tests Tesla Model S

Road Feel Goes To The Chevrolet Volt

Chevrolet Volt

Consumer Reports’ Annual Auto Survey with data on ~230,000 vehicles includes answers to the question of how satisfying vehicles were for commuting.

As it turns out, plug-ins dominated the most satisfying commuter cars list.

Interesting is that Tesla Model S again won. Model S placed ahead of the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan LEAF and Ford C-Max (Energi).

Most satisfying commuter cars according to Consumer Reports’ survey:

  1. Tesla Model S
    “Subscribers said:
    “It is a joy to drive: comfortable, agile, responsive, quiet, and ‘green.’”
    “Driver assist and cruise control with tracking are very convenient for routine rush hour stop and go traffic.”
    “Auto Pilot 1.0 keeps a safe distance between my car and others; Quiet; Comfortable; Navigation automatically adjusts to the fastest route (huge when the 405 is backed up).””
  2. Chevrolet Volt
    “Subscribers said:
    “Essentially I gave myself a raise. My electric bill increased about $100 overall. However my employer has free charging stations at work, so I no longer pay the cost of commuting home. The HOV sticker took me about 60 seconds to appreciate.”
    “Able to complete my daily commute using no gas on most days. The car is much more comfortable than I anticipated. Nice to see an American manufacturer stepping up to the plate with a great EV.”
    “My wife uses this car for her daily commute. She can do so easily on battery alone, even on the coldest days. We then recharge overnight in the garage at a fraction of the cost of a gasoline powered vehicle. The car is smooth, comfortable and quiet.”
  3. Nissan LEAF 30 kWh from Nice to Paris

    Nissan LEAF… takes train

    Nissan LEAF
    “Subscribers said:
    “This car is pretty much a perfect commuter car. Plenty of power, comfortable and super quiet. And of course it NEVER NEEDS GAS!!!”
    “Perfect commuter car, can use HOV lane, CHEAP to operate, enough range for daily commute and more.””

  4. Ford C-Max (includes plug-in hybrid Energi version)
    “Subscribers said:
    “Great car, great gas mileage. Plenty of room. This has become the most popular car in the house.”
    “98% of my commuting and local driving is within the approximate 25-mile range for this car to run 100% on a battery charge from when I was last at home. Thus, the vast majority of my use is electric with only a tiny bit of gasoline mileage.””
  5. Lexus ES
  6. Mazda3
  7. Subaru Legacy
  8. Toyota Prius
  9. Honda Accord
  10. Volkswagen Passat

Source: Consumer Reports

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37 responses to "Tesla Model S Is The World’s “Most Satisfying Commuter Car” According to Consumer Reports"

  1. pk says:

    Hmm, let’s see.

    Great performance. check
    Quiet ride. check
    HOV lane access. check
    autopilot features. check

    My Leaf is a great commuter car too but I’d trade up to a Tesla in a heartbeat if it was in my budget.

    1. Yeah me too! The Tesla would have the added bonus of not ever worrying about whether I’ll get enough charge from the L1 outlet to get back home again 145 km round trip, 90 miles).

      1. BraveLilToaster says:

        I see that more as a failure of infrastructure than it is a failure of the car. Level 1? I’d personally buy someone one of these http://www.clippercreek.com/store/product-category/20a-charging/ if I had to do that more than twice a year.

  2. taser54 says:

    Twice the price, check.

    1. Nick says:

      I realise you’re being flippant, but it really is quite impressive that the Model S can deliver such an amazing ride for only twice the cost.

      Seems like quite a bargain.

      1. Taser54 says:

        No. Just stating a fact, doubling the price makes designing a vehicle much simpler. As for a commuter, the Model S is oversized and overpriced even if it is a great car.

        1. Goodbyegascar says:

          Tesla Model S is a great car.

          1. Tom says:

            A big plus one… Traded my LEAF in for a MS a year and a half ago. It’s a superior car in every category and it turns out I can afford it with careful budgeting….

        2. Foo says:

          …but not as over-sized and over-capable as the average gasoline-powered vehicle.

          Nobody needs a 7-seat SUV with 400-mile range to drive their average single-person, 20-mile commute to work.

          1. John in AA says:

            Yes! One of the common anti-EV talking points is “oh, Model S MPGE isn’t any better than an efficient gas car”. But they leave out the details that that’s worst-case MPGE, and that nobody is cross-shopping a Model S type vehicle against a Honda Fit. If you see the MS as displacing an SUV or full-sized luxo-barge, it’s a totally different story.

          2. Taser54 says:

            Exactly the same point with the Model S. Far too big for a single-person commute.

  3. Robb Stark says:

    Thrice the value, check.

    1. DonC says:

      I’m not sure the Volt has thrice the value. Twice for sure but thrice is not a slam dunk.

  4. Breezy says:

    Top four go to plug-ins. No surprise.

    1. TomArt says:

      Yep – that’s the deal.

  5. Three Electrics says:

    For the cost of the Model S you can commute by Uber or Lyft multiple times a day and still have money left over. No parking fees, can be “summoned” by a smartphone app, can use the HOV lanes, and is fully autonomous, so you can get work done during your ride. Many cars are hybrids and thus have better greenhouse gas emissions than a Tesla in many states, to boot.

    1. As a past owner of #8 – Toyota Prius – and haven briefly driven at some shows a few EV’s and a Friends Tesla Model S, I would agree it is number 1! I would also say that the most prolific Hybrid – the Toyota Prius come nowhere near ANY Electric Car for response, agility, handling, and Efficiency, although is is Better Efficiency that Most other Cars, and even most other Hybrids, but – in the general count of cars – Many Cars are still not ‘Hybrids’ per your sentence. And a Tesla only is as dirty as a Prius – in the Dirtiest of States – and only if the owner is using Peak Daytime Charging Power, and never installed any personal Solar for direct charging of the vehicle, or for offsetting Peak Coal Power!

      1. Foo says:

        The Prius has been a great success as a “ticket into the HOV lane”, but as for fuel efficiency, it’s pretty big disappointment. The Prius isn’t even as fuel-efficient as some gasoline cars. And over the model’s lifetime, the fuel-efficiency improvements have been relatively stagnant. The Prius has succeeded in bringing the idea of a “green car” to the masses, but it has failed to advance its own technology in any significant way.

      2. BraveLilToaster says:

        As a Leaf owner who once drove a Prius, not only do I know exactly what you mean, but I’m going to try to avoid that in the future if I can. 😉

    2. Tech01x says:

      That math doesn’t even start to pass the smell test.

      Two round trips a day, 6 days a week is easily over the price of a Tesla With full TCO.

      One inter city round trip easily eats 1/4 of the entire months Tesla TCO.

      1. John in AA says:

        I wonder how to factor in risk of death or serious injury in a Prius vs. a MS as well.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Three Oil Companies Three Electrics continued his anti-Tesla FUD campaign:

      “For the cost of the Model S you can commute by Uber or Lyft multiple times a day and still have money left over.”

      I guess Three Oil Companies is hoping nobody will exercise critical thinking, and so won’t realize how Ludicrious™ that claim is.

      It might be amusing to wonder if we could find any situation, no matter how extreme, where that could be true, even if the “commute” was only a short walking distance? 😀

  6. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Tesla Model S is awesome. But calling anything over $40K a “commuter car” is a first nation criteria…

    I totally think Model S is an overkill for a commuter car.

    Volt is a good choice. LEAF is decent in that aspect as well (except for the concern on safety due to its poor IIHS small overlap performance).

    C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi are both good choices as well. So is Fiat500e, Spark EV and Sonata PHEV.

    The upcoming Bolt will be even superior due to its compact exterior (easy to park) and spacious interior while having plenty of range for longer commute in “bad weather”.

  7. Richard Joash Tan says:

    The Volt WILL deserve the no. 1 spot.

    1. Forever green says:

      I have the 2016 Chevy Volt and the car truly is a pleasure to drive, however it doesn’t have adaptive cruise control. Adaptive cruise control makes a big difference in heavy traffic. If you have never used it you would not understand why I said that. To use it is to love it. The Tesla Model S has it. Everything else being equal that would give the Model S the edge.

      1. Richard Joash Tan says:

        Adaptive Cruise Control ONLY exists in the 2017 Volt.

      2. Koenigsegg says:

        adaptive cruise is dumb

        I control the car and use cruise control when i want

  8. miggy says:

    How can Consumer Reports say that the Tesla Model S Is The World’s “Most Satisfying Commuter Car” when they only test cars that are available in the USA.
    They should state that the Tesla Model S Is America’s “Most Satisfying Commuter Car”

    1. Jim_NJ says:

      Insideevs says that the Tesla Model S is the “wporlds” most satisfying commuter car, not Consumer Reports.

  9. ffbj says:

    Not all that surprising with a 97% satisfaction rating from owners, far above the nearest competitor in the 60% area.
    Sometimes these definitions are annoying. If you commute in it and its a car that makes it a commuter car, no? I don’t really think of big sedan as a commuter car though.

  10. Breezy says:

    97% is very impressive, but these cars all have high satisfactions ratings:

    For example:

    Volt: 82%
    Leaf: 76%
    C-MAX: 74%

    1. Manu144x says:

      No matter how much dealers hate them, but ev’s like Tesla and leaf will have more satisfaction by default because of much less needed maintenance.

      Many less moving parts, many less things that can go wrong.

      The dealers lose a TON of money because of this, and I understand them.

      So did stables, horses and carriage manufacturers lose when Ford mainstreamed the automobile.

  11. Proton says:

    In fact, Studebaker, the wagon maker recognized the coming of the gasoline engine and instead of losing out, switched from wagons-only to automobiles and trucks in the early 1900’s.

  12. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Consumer Reports classifies the Tesla Model S as a “commuter car”?

    That’s about as strange as CR labeling the Model S “not recommended” even though the car has the highest customer satisfaction rating on CR’s own surveys!

    1. Breezy says:

      No, this was a survey question asked of subscribers. Subscribers were asked how much they liked their cars for commuting.

      And just to reiterate there’s nothing unusual about a car having high owner satisfaction ratings but not being recommended. The Corvette, for example, scores 94% in owner satisfaction, but it’s also not recommended due to poor reliability.

  13. Spider-Dan says:

    I am surprised that there is one ~$90K car and a bunch of sub-$40k cars on this list. Why no BMW 7 Series or Benz S-Class? Why no Corvette or Porsche 911?

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