Consumer Reports Provides Initial Impressions Of Tesla Model S P85D

MAY 13 2015 BY MIKE ANTHONY 26

Clearly, the P85D travels in elite circles. But even with the regular all-wheel-drive 85D ($75,500), this is the sexiest, coolest green car out there.” – Consumer Reports. 

Consumer Reports recently got a shiny new AWD Tesla Model S P85D and now gives us their initial impressions of the electric Tesla. CR wants to “break it in” for ~2,000 miles before they do any serious driving with it.  Thus, this report focuses more on the AWD system, and the newest Model S tech goodies, rather than on the P85D’s impressive acceleration figures.

Check this out:

Consumer Reports' (OLD) Tesla Model S 85 kWh RWD.

Consumer Reports’ (OLD) Tesla Model S 85 kWh RWD.

“Initially, the Model S lacked such advanced safety features as lane-departure warning, active cruise control, blind-spot detection, and automatic emergency braking. With the optional $4,250 Tech Package and Autopilot, the Model S can now have all those features.

Tesla announced that an upcoming software update will endow the car with some self-driving capabilities, such as parking on its own and leaving its parking space to come pick you up. But this impress-the-friends trick is supposed to be done on private property only.”

CR seems to enjoy the latest Model S configurations and features. Who wouldn’t? 691 horsepower. 3.1 seconds to get from 0-60 mph!

We now wait for CR’s actual full report and the long-term report(s)…

In the mean time, you can read CR’s initial impressions on the Tesla Model S P85D by clicking here.

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26 Comments on "Consumer Reports Provides Initial Impressions Of Tesla Model S P85D"

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I’ll be interested in the full review. I wonder if will break their formula, i.e. the Model S 85 that they tested rated a 99. If this P85D is faster, better handling, and has more safety features, will it be a 100?

But CR’s P85D already had a door handle failure, making the car undriveable because the car detected a fault. I’ve always thought that the door handles were a useless gimmick. I doubt they even add a mile to the range. And I personally think the Falcon Wing Doors are also a gimmick, adding very little value and will probably be problem-prone. (Although they do look cool.)


https://youtu.be/xwPVuG5hj08

I hope the Model 3 doesn’t have those handles. KISS.

I love those handles . . . but they need to work.

Not using these expensive door handles would be a great cost-cutting move for the Model III. I can’t see Tesla putting these on a $35K car. De-contenting stuff like this is exactly what Tesla will have to do to hit $35K.

Yep. Lots of fairly aero-flat-style door handles have been used over the decades.

I get that it’s a “branding” feature, but M3 should be first and foremost– an exercise in cost and reliability.

Jim_NJ asks:

“…will it be a 100?”

Maybe it will be 99.9. 🙂

>had a door handle failure, making the car undriveable<

Is this the future we have to look forward to? Any little part breaks and your car becomes undriveable?

Can't you just acknowledge the fault and enable the car to keep operating?

This sounds ridiculous.

In the video, you can see that the driver’s door handle doesn’t extend, but the passenger ones do.

Let’s see what people have done in the past when one of their door locks wouldn’t unlock? Oh yeah! they climbed in from one of the other doors!

People have an expectation of things just working, forgetting about the trials and tribulations that got us to this point in the first place. Just give them time.

there are 3 other doors, so you could presumably open the front passenger door and reach across and open the drivers door from the inside. it is a bit of an inconvenience, yes, but in a car costing over $100,000 it is absolutely unacceptable.

I should have included the relevant text from the associated article:

“Except this time the one on the driver’s door of our P85D didn’t pop out, leaving us no way to open the door from the outside. And significantly, with the car sensing a problem, wouldn’t drive.”

So, as I said in my original post, ” making the car undriveable because the car detected a fault.”

CR was able to get someone to climb into the passenger seat and use the phone app to allow driving. I guess that’s an emergency mode to override insignificant faults.

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/05/consumer-reports-tesla-model-s-p85d-breaks-before-testing-begins/index.htm

Sounds like a Security Feature similar to fuel system cutoffs for gas cars for Theft Protection.

If I were designing a keyless security system, I certainly would think that somebody trying to drive the car that came in somewhere else besides the driver door would be a red flag that somebody might be trying to steal it. Having security authentication through the phone app seems to be one reasonable way to handle a possible theft. I’m not 100% certain it would be my preferred design choice, but it isn’t completely unreasonable if theft deterrence is a very high priority.

Woof. I thought Tesla had improved it’s quality. C’mon now.

its not a big deal

If I had to guess, it’s not a handle issue, it’s probably the keyfob or related keyless entry system. If that system fails, even if you get in the car, it won’t “start”.

“But even with the regular all-wheel-drive 85D ($75,500),”

Did they/you mean the 70D? The 85D is $85,000.

It was certainly “they”. I expect Tesla to play fast and loose with prices, but I don’t expect Consumer Reports to buy into like this.

I think they mean that they didn’t get the P85D, just the regular 85D.

this whole exercise seems like a complete waste to me. it sounds like CR received requests that they test a Tesla Model S (mostly, i suspect, from people who will never actually buy one – kind of like most of the people on this forum) and the editors used that as a rationale to convince management to let them actually buy one.

consumer’s report is presumably about the task of helping people make buying decisions. it would seem that an integral part of realizing this objective would be to test products that readers are likely to actually buy and not merely drool over. i find it hard to believe that the readership of CR are people who routinely put down $130,000 for a car.

Not saying you’re wrong, but there may be another equally valid viewpoint. Consumer Reports isn’t just reviewing products; it’s also selling magazines. I think those are mostly sold thru subscriptions, but I did see CS on a magazine rack in a drug store the other day.

It may be that reviewing high-profile luxury goods like the Tesla Model S attracts attention and helps CS sell magazines. Especially if it gives them an excuse to feature the car on their cover.

Consumer Reports regularly tests large sedans in the $100k range (such as the S-Class, 7-series, A8, LS). I see no reason why the P85D needs to be an exception, esp. if it’s as well rated as they say it is.

if you watch the video, you will see that the editor stated that the $127,000 that they spent on the Tesla Model S is the most that they have ever spend on a test automobile. so it does not appear to me that CS makes a regular practice of buying high end automobiles.

maybe the other cars that you mentioned were on loan.

They stated “Consumer Reports buys, anonymously, all the cars it tests, about 80 per year, and drives each for thousands of miles.”
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/about-us/whats-behind-the-ratings/testing/index.htm

Consumer Reports does regularly test luxury cars. The only number I found was a Mercedes S550 for $114,000 that they tested. So yes, they spent a bit more for the Model S.

Nope, they buy every car they test. So while maybe the Tesla is the most expensive one they bought so far, they have bought sedans that approach $100k or higher in the past for testing (the large sedans I mentioned are all in the same price class as the Model S).

these are cars that move 1 or 2 thousand per month (comparable to the number of Toyota Camrys sold in an average day). even though these are small numbers in the context of the automotive industry overall, it does make sense that there would still be a need to review high end cars.

Here’s a link to some videos of all the road tests they do with upscale luxury sedans:
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/video-hub/cars/upscale–luxury-sedans/111757961001/

And given consumer reports was able to gather data from 1300 subscribers who owns a Model S, I would say that a decent amount of their readership do own a Tesla (or at least has the means to own one) and is not only drooling about it:
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/video-hub/cars/hybrids–alternative-fuel/is-the-tesla-model-s-reliable/14786539001/3844761619001/