Consumer Reports Reviews The Model S. Guess How They Feel About It? (Video)

NOV 15 2012 BY STAFF 10

Rightly or wrongly, if anyone can (and will) throw cold water on a new product launch, it will be Consumer Reports.  For sure, Fisker does not have happy memories from the media outlet’s prior scathing review of the Karma.

Tesla Model S Will Be Making Its European Debut in Q4 of 2013

So we imagine that even though everything has been coming up aces for Tesla of late, they probably still had a little hesitation when CR got their hands on a new Model S Signature Performance electric car earlier this month.

In the end, there was nothing to worry about, as Consumers Reports had the same teenage glee for the car as the rest of us:

“We’ve driven almost every electric car made, and tested most, but the Tesla Model S comes as a revelation. We’ve been taking turns driving a Signature Performance version on loan to us from Tesla for about a week now and everyone has come out of it impressed.”

Consumer Reports finds that the 85 kWh version of the Model S they borrowed, has a very realistic range of over 200 miles, while adding the following other high points:

  • Range anxiety? Gone. A large (optional) 85-kWh battery realistically yields 200 plus miles with no pampering.
  • Slow charging times? Gone. A 10-kWh onboard charger or optional twin chargers (20 kWh), shorten charging times dramatically. A Tesla dedicated high-power charging station can funnel power quickly. Tesla is in the midst of setting up “supercharger” stations at rest areas along some interstate corridors to charge compatible versions of the car to 80-percent capacity in 30 minutes.
  • Slow acceleration? Gone. We clocked a zero to 60 mph sprint in 4.6 seconds.
  • Tight accommodations? Gone. The interior feels as roomy as a large luxury sedan, such as a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, with a flat floor and plenty of cargo room.

The only hint perhaps of the Model S not living up to its promise is that their test car is showing a usable range of 245 miles as compared to the EPA’s 265 (and Tesla’s ‘up to 300’).  However, they do note they had the car for some particularly frigid days in November, and that cold weather is not the electric car’s best friend.

Check out their full video report below (as well as CR’s previous report on the Karma if you want to compare the two $100,000 plug-ins):

If you prefer your reviews written, you can find Consumer Reports Model S review here.

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10 Comments on "Consumer Reports Reviews The Model S. Guess How They Feel About It? (Video)"

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It doesn’t happen very often that I find myself fully agreeing with Consumer Reports, but this is one of those occasions where I think they were right-on. For my money, it would be the Tesla Model S, hands down.

Anybody that would complain about the “Signature S” version needs their head examined. This is the 100,000$ version of the car that gets the 4.5 sec 0-60 time and 250+ mile range.

The poor boys version (60K$) does 0-60 in 5.9 seconds and significantly less range.

This model S can really be considered the game changer for EV’s. It is flawless right out of the gate. I just need to mortgage the house. But it would satisfy 99.9 % of all my driving needs.

Decisions, Decisions. A regular Model S would cost half as much and yet satisfy 98.3% of my driving needs.

If Tesla got rid of the 17 inch display and retractable door handles and other gizmo’s – couldn’t they get it under 50 K right now? That would really make GM sweat volts.

Wow, I was expecting them to pan it…. spot on this time. The absolute best EV in existence. I still can’t believe you can charge 150 miles in a half hour…


I’d say that’s a pretty good review. I just saw the Model S in Toronto and it is impressive… I wish they’d start churning out the basic model though… For some of us, that’s all we want.

yes! the basic model! produce the model for the masses Musk! that is your promise for taking the government loan. you’re just giving the taxpayer money back to the rich. Musk is just buying time. he knows he cant do it because the battery cost. So all this models S praise is a shame..shame….shame…

What’s wrong with buying time? Batteries are still too expensive and heavy. This allows them to make some cars, get experience, and test some ideas while waiting for the battery technology to improve. All new stuff (TVs, etc.) is *way* too expensive for the average person, but selling to the rich allows the industry to pay off most of the research so they can start mass production.

You could subsidize the cost of an awful lot of Model S Teslas for what was spent on the Iraq War. $50,000 off of 20 million cars. 80,000 off 12.5 Million cars. Clearly any more numbers are meaningless because there aren’t that many cars. But would 200,000 electric cars being subsidized at $50,000 each provide a benefit equivalent to 10 Billion dollars of defense spending? These questions need to be asked.

Stop making excuses. Buy a Volt as it is an amazing car at a reasonable price – just love the it and have only used 3 litres of fuel in over 1200 km of driving.

If the Federals stopped paying subsidies to the oil barons, the money recovered will be enough to give at least a $10,000 rebate for every electric vehicle purchase! We need to fight against Big Oil and go electric!