First Drive Of Model X Leaves Consumer Reports Bewildered – Video


When Consumer Reports first got its hands on the Tesla Model S P85D last year, it could not rave enough about the car.  The love affair was so extreme, the all-electric sedan was ultimately rated 103 of 100 on CR’s rating scale, while tweeting “#carofthefuture”.

There will be no repeat of that result for the Model X P90DL, as Consumer Reports “rented” a X from Tesla while they wait on their own copy to be delivered in the near future.

“Our first impression: Where were the responsible grownups when this machine was birthed?”

Check out CR’s video on the X above, and also the magazines full (and very articulate ) written report here.   But for those in a hurry, here are the bullet points of the review:

Performance? Consumer Reports is a fan! (via Consumer Reports)

Performance? Consumer Reports is a fan! (via Consumer Reports)


  • shares platform with the Model S
  • large battery options 75/90 kWh battery
  • all models are AWD
  • extreme performance
  • low center of gravity, well tuned steering – sporty handling
  • center touchscreen
  • blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning
  • Autopilot


  • Fancy gadgetry and full transparent roof? CR is not a fan (via Consumer Reports)

    New fancy gadgetry and extended transparent windshield? CR is not a fan (via Consumer Reports)

    many of the new extras feel like “a Detroit show car from the 50s or 60s” – but not much substance/value behind them

  • not a fan of the windshield that extends into the roof, as the tint doesn’t provide enough “escape” on a sunny day, also point out the sun-visors were “skimpy”
  • thick front roof pillars, rear view is tight thanks to spoiler
  • Falcon Wing doors – slow to operate, and don’t function in a consistent manner (repeated cycling of the operation is sometimes necessary to complete the assignment of opening fully)
  • front doors are overly complicated, open and close wildly
  • not enough utility for a SUV, not enough legroom, seatbacks don’t recline fully.  CR notes that the Model S actually can have a deeper cargo utility than the Model X because of the way the seats operate in the X
  • hefty pricetag


“The Model X doesn’t quite match the comfort or overall utility of a luxury SUV like the Audi Q7, which costs half as much.  (Also) remember that the Model X shares a lot with the Model S, which our reliability data shows that it has been unreliable.  Model X complicated doors aren’t likely to help”

Hat tip to Jim I!

Category: Tesla, Test Drives

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107 responses to "First Drive Of Model X Leaves Consumer Reports Bewildered – Video"
  1. Ambulator says:

    No surprises. If you like the Model X and can afford it, fine, buy it. Most people will see more utility in a standard SUV, though.

    1. RexxSee says:

      Zero toxic Emissions.

      1. beta995 says:

        Esp. compared to the Stink Bomb Audi.

      2. Tobie says:

        Where does your electricity come from?

        1. nwdiver says:

          Really? It’s 2016… if it’s not solar then it could/should be.

        2. jimstack007 says:

          QUOTE=Where does the Electricity come from?

          Most Electric plug in at night Off Peak.Most power companies have excess at night since they can’t ramp down and then us again to meet the next day peaks. So they dump power at night, they offer low rates and can’t store it.
          So Electric cars use the excess with no added pollution.

          1. Bill Howland says:

            “…They dump power at night..”

            Huh? They throw electrons out the window or something?

            Utilities never DUMP electricity, they at least try ramping down a little bit – causing in some cases a calculated amount of plant damage. Or they try to sell some excess electricity to others who CAN safely ramp down more.

            But the excess electricity problem means that ev charging 3rd shift should be cheap. The cost should be less than the marginal cost of the added fuel since increased loading causes increased efficiency in this case.

            1. Jamcl3 says:

              Negative electricity prices have become quite common. More so in Europe but with some regularity in Texas and Iowa for example. Economic dumping in that sense.

              1. Kacey Green says:

                not to mention that an ICE uses the same electricity as the EV, plus the refined fuel. That fuel is refined using many KWh

        3. John says:

          Definitely not from my city center.

        4. MDEV says:

          This is a ridiculous argument, if you want clean power plants push for the change, EVs are part of the force that will help to the transition to clean energy. I guess you think we may still us horses. Is not the automaker responsibility to provide clean energy is a National policy that needs to change.

        5. Nix says:

          Tobie — I don’t recognize you as a regular poster, so I don’t know your perspective.

          But in my experience, usually the folks who use power plant emissions as a line of attack against EV’s, are also the same folks who are against regulations reducing power plant emissions. They usually end up being pro-coal, and actually don’t care at all about emissions, and only become so, so absolutely Concerned!! about emissions from power plants only when talking about EV’s.

        6. Spider-Dan says:

          RexxSee drives a (non-plug-in) Prius. He just thinkss everyone else should move off of gasoline immediately.

    2. Nom de Plume says:

      I have to say, I really don’t get Tesla’s obsession with doors. Of all the features on a car, they have put more engineering into their damn doors than anything else.

      I’ve been opening car doors for 51 years now, and I can assure you that it’s really not a big deal. Why the emphasis on making opening the damn doors such a transcendent experience? I don’t need the doors to welcome me and usher me in. I can get in the damn car by myself, thanks.

      1. Snowman says:

        Now I have a vision of a Tesla with the happy doors from the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy.

        1. Phil Trubey says:

          Yes indeed, and they are just as annoying, believe me.

      2. wavelet says:

        Same here. Standard car doors need a pretty minimal amount of force to close or open (about what a 6-y.o. can manage, which is just about right — I wouldn’t want smaller kids opening/closing doors on their own). Standard hinges & mechanism last as long as the car, unless doors have been left open in the rain and hinges have rusted.

        What utility does adding electric motors to this scheme add (*)? You now need sensors and complex software to determine when the doors can be opened/closed, the process is slower for safety reasons, and it adds a lot more failure points later on (and electric motors do go bad occasionally), with expensive repair.
        It’s also a safety issue — what if a motor goes bad, so the door can’t be opened? and would make such mechanisms illegal.

        (*) Except for disabled folks, obviously.

      3. Bob Nickson says:

        One forum commenter speculated that the Model X is ultimately designed to be an autonomous taxi, and the Falcon Wing doors are to facilitate its functionality for that purpose.

        I think he may be right.

      4. Stuart22 says:

        Why the doors? Simple arrogance. At the time, Musk was riding high on the wave of Model S success. I think he succumbed to the mindset that nothing was impossible to do. So let’s come up with something even more impressive than the S….

        The falcon doors were intended to be a statement to the world of the greatness of Tesla. The impression they would create anytime they were to open would be a reminder to the world of that greatness. Their utility was of lower priority to their attention-getting ability.

        Unfortunately for Musk, the reality of the doors – their complexity and inherent inconsistencies – snuffed out the dreams of the X being a symbol of Tesla world conquest and dominance.

        Today, even Elon admits to the hubris behind it all.

        1. dRanger says:

          That’s quite an elaborate fantasy you have there. Unfortunately, the Model X prototype with falcon wing doors was shown to the public 3 months before the first Model S was produced. But good story, bro.

          1. Nix says:

            ^^ What dRanger said.

          2. Kacey Green says:

            I was amused they were afraid of the self presenting doors in the city, if you don’t get in they close back

      5. Brian Rose says:

        Musk is a very long-term thinker, and has been a long-time believer in the inevitability of autonomous vehicles (especially with the Google co-founders being among his closest friends).

        The Model X’s doors were essentially just R&D for a future autonomous Tesla Mobility service.

        Autonomous taxis will be most economical in urban centers, and several companies will offer these services.

        Tesla will have a visibility advantage – every time those doors open people can see it a block away, and it will be an instant reminder and mental reinforcement that Tesla’s autonomous taxi service is a thing that’s here and you can use now.

        It was ultimately a bad idea to include the doors in the Gen 1 Model X, but it was a clever way of having the R&D pay for itself and to give years of data feedback before putting a refined falcon wing on autonomous taxis.

  2. Rightofthepeople says:

    An Audi Q7 costs half as much as Model X?

    1. Anon says:

      Many things do. But they also belch far more hydrocarbons and nitrogen dioxide directly into the atmosphere. And they just don’t have the same performance or “cool” factor as Model X.

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        Seriously, if you give any … about environment, you don’t buy oversized SUVs for driving around the city. You emit more of all these dioxides and PMs when $100k SUV is manufactured and then when charged from power plant, and again from tire rubber dust, comparing to regular size car of any kind. You buy it to be cool, fashionable and superior to others, let’s admit it straight.

        1. Foo says:

          Facts, please?

        2. floydboy says:

          Do you have any idea how ridiculous that sounds? It’s more than likely, you have absolutely NO idea the manufacturing pollution levels of this vehicle.

          Also since charging emissions are directly related to source power, you would have to know how charging affects those emissions.

          1. Anon says:

            We have a significant network of large wind turbines in my area, and nuclear. Low carbon electric isn’t a problem for us.

            As for production emissions, they can’t be much different than any other ICE SUV of the same size being built today, that has significantly fewer moving parts. There are also a lot of foreign SUVs imported to the US (lots of carbon), so please try FUDing elsewhere. Production emissions aren’t the real issue– lifetime vehicle emissions are. And electric always beats ICE. 🙂

            1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

              There are numerous studies done on the matter, there is no point to repost them again and again. E.g. one of them:
              You may choose to believe whatever is most convenient for you if you are not interested.

              Small electric car driven a lot may offset battery manufacturing emissions over its useful life, assuming it is not on coal powered grid with disabled sulfur dioxide scrubbers like in China. Fish high in food chain is not eatable anymore not because of oil, but because of mercury poisoning from coal (and electric grid).

              $150k heavy weight tire burning SUV with big battery – no way it can be as friendly to environment as some regular size hybrid, and it isn’t just carbon dioxide.

              1. EV Driver says:

                Mercury poisoning? You got to be kidding me if you think that registers a blip on the radar of environmental hazards that will destroy this planet. Carbon emissions are the main priority, and anything else is a smoke screen being used by the Koch bros and their ilk.

          1. Tobie says:

            The Leaf is around 25% more efficient than a Model S. When I live in the Mid West our power is mostly coal, that puts the Model S it inline with a VW Beetle emissions wise.

            1. Nix says:

              So stop buying your electricity from somebody burning coal to produce your electricity.

              Depending on where you live in the mid-west, you may be a prime candidate for solar, or for purchasing WindSource electricity produced from any one of the many wind power production locations throughout the windy mid-west.

              1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

                You may sell your solar to the grid whatever you drive or not drive. It is not related to your charging at night.

                Canada has somewhat cleaner grid than US thanks to hydro. But it is still the same DC or AC interconnected North American grid. Everything is mixed and each generator depend on another for backup. You don’t earmark electrons “wind” or “solar”. If you would, you would have no way to balance this intermittent solar/wind “grid”, it would not be 100% available grid anymore.

          2. ModernMarvelFan says:

            “The purple truth vs the big stinky fat gray lies.


            Your link does shows that driving an ICE car such as Prius or Honda Civic Hybrid is better than driving a LEAF in Alberta.

            The funny part is that the comparison uses PHEV such as Prius Plugin rather than Volt or i3 REx to illustrate the point of potentially lower emission overall than either LEAF or Prius on Alberta’s electricity grid.

        3. SparkEV says:

          If you really cared about the environment, you’d switch job closer to where shops are located and move closer to them so you walk without using powered transit of any kind. This is what humans have been doing for “billions and billions” of years until last few years. If it’s truly only about the environment, you wouldn’t be talking about cars at all.

          Fact is, choosing to drive X, hybrid or small EV (even the best in the world like SparkEV) is a choice in compromise between saving money and flaunting wealth by looking cool; SparkEV is often derided as ugly despite being second most efficient vehicle in the world. While I think that’s misguided, I completely understand in choosing to drive anything rather than change careers to be able to move / walk everywhere.

          So if you drive anything or depend on public transit, you’re no better than those who drive giant gas SUV (maybe just tiny, insignificant bit better if you drive SparkEV).

      2. tftf says:

        If you really cared about the environment, you would buy a smaller car and use a bike/public transport more, not a giant SUV – electric or not.

        1. Anon says:

          You just can’t seat a family of five – seven on a bicycle, and take everyone (including the dog) to grandma’s for the weekend.

          Sorry, nice try. 🙂

          The simple problem with the Model X– is too much ‘Cowbell’.

          1. wavelet says:

            People caring about the environment should care not just about emissions, but about lowering global energy use, which affects emissions as well.

            SUVs have a huge amount of energy embodied in their production, EVs as well (the power embodied in producing a Model S pack is enough for riding an electric bicycle a million miles). An electric bicycles uses about a tenth of the energy per mile.

            But what about that family trip to grandma?
            If she lives far away and you drive there twice a week, sure — hard to get along without that SUV.

            If you drive there (or another long trip) 6-7 times a year, which I suspect is true for many families (2 vacations, 4-5 family visits), you’d be better off, financially and energy-wise, renting an SUV for the trip, if that’s available in your area.

            If it’s a short trip (<10mi), there are electric cargo bicycles which can carry 2 kids, for under $2K .

          2. SparkEV says:

            Move closer to grandma or have grandma move closer to you if your primary concern is the environment.

            While bikes are pretty good (at least well maintained ones), walking is the most environmentally friendly option. Why? Because people don’t like to walk, they will cover fewer miles. Even if walking pollutes as much as gas cars, you’d put far fewer miles on those shoes, thus lowering emissions.

            As for public transit, that’s one of the most polluting options, at least in US. Have you seen the bus with only 1 or 2 riders in it during mid-day? That happens for almost all buses since they still need to carry (often homeless) people during the day. While electric buses could make it little better, it’s still far too wasteful and inconvenient for most in US to use.

            The best compromise is self driving BEV (small ones). BEV part is almost there, we just need self driving part, which is just matter of time.

  3. beta995 says:

    CU funded by Koch Brothers.
    They highly rate the CMAX!
    One of the Least Efficient plugins you can get, with No Luggage space, and the oldest battery on the planet, with No Collision Prevention software of any kind.

    20 miles range!
    They don’t take any points of for this miserable range!

    It’s like they live on planet Fox News.

    1. AlphaEdge says:

      Then thay would be consistent in their reviews, and Model S would not have been praised. You did read the article right.

      1. beta995 says:

        They don’t release their reliability data, you don’t know:
        1) If the Tesla’s with reported problems where early model year.

        2) The size of the sample, was it statistically valid?

        Also, CU survey, if the sample size isn’t large, surely leads to self-selection bias. People with problem cars are more likely to report those problems in CU’s survey.

        1. Terawatt says:

          Not an issue for comparative purposes. Unless you are prepared to argue people with problem Teslas are more prone to report it than people with other problem cars.

    2. Dan says:

      Oh, come on. You’re starting to sound like one of Bernie’s lemmings. Don’t go conspiracy theory on us. It’s a car review. Take it for what it is. They make some valid points – those are some stupid doors on a vehicle with flaky reliability. It’s also a subjective review – They’ve also given positive reviews on other Teslas.

    3. Tom says:

      I love my C-Max! 20 miles of range take to work where i charge it up and drive home. over 50% of my driving has been electric. I also can drive long distances at 42 MPG when i need to take a longer trip. C-Max has a roomy interior that is comfortable. Don’t knock a car that simply does not fill your needs. I have put a deposit on a Model 3 but will keep the C-Max for my daughter.

      1. Open-Mind says:

        You’ve obviously been paid-off by the sinister Koch brothers. 😉

        1. SparkEV says:

          How do you get paid from Koch brothers? I’d like to sign up. Could use the extra money to upgrade my Tesla 3 options.

  4. ffbj says:

    I would think that if you prevent the door from opening that it would stop. So don’t do that when the door to open.

    In the latest shareholder meeting Musk says that software updates coming soon will improve the operation of the doors.
    No mention of TCTO.
    The sort of review, well if you want the fastest, most technically advanced, with all the bells and whistles Electric Suv, buy a Tesla Model X, or nothing.

    1. beta995 says:

      Exactly. The guy STOPPED the door. What does CU expect to happen.

      You know, that ALSO happens on Ford’s auto-opening hatches on Ford Escape’s for example. Stop it from rising and it’s dead. You have to reset it with another button push.

      So, this guy is exaggerating trivial “problems”.

      1. sven says:

        CU probably expected the FW door to continue opening from its stopped position after pushing the button again, instead of the FW door having to completely close in order to begin opening again. That seems like a reasonable expectation.

        1. sveno says:

          What is reasonable? I’d think from a safety perspective it must close first as it already hit an obstacle. What if the obstacle is not movable? This can only be solved with separate open/close buttons.

    2. Jacked Beanstalk says:

      Sorry, but why the eff would a car need software to open a stupid door? I’ve opened the doors on dozens, nay, HUNDREDS of cars over my lifetime, all of them based on the same fundamental design, and all of them worked effortlessly and flawlessly.

      And fast.

      I can open a door far quicker than Tesla’s automatic geegaws.

      Save the automatic doors for the handicapped bus.

      1. SparkEV says:

        The thing is, even Tesla has overly complicated door handles. What’s with Tesla and their stupid door handles? If Tesla 3 has complicated door / handles, I’m moving to Canada.

  5. Bill Howland says:

    Well in general I’ve always hated CR reviews for decades, but there is some interesting information – such as the ‘doors open and close wildly’.

    You mean THEY ALL do that? I have yet to see one review of the X that didn’t have trouble with the doors, and of course the S and the Roadster have had plenty of door troubles.

    Another thing: why do they always have to spend $150k on a car? Can’t you get a stripped model for $80K? I’d much rather see a review of THAT model since it would be much closer to something I’d consider purchasing – but CR is saying that the Model S seems to have more utility than the X, and is usually cheaper.

    So is this ultimately going to be another CR “NOT RECOMMENDED”?

    All in all, A useful review. That is – if you’ve made the decision to NOT purchase it.

    1. beta995 says:

      “Wildly”, no actual example in the video.

      1. sven says:

        Ask and you shall receive! 😀

        The above YouTube video (not the only one) shows the front doors on the Model X opening and closing in rapid succession like a scene from the movie Poltergeist. It’s like the Model X is possessed.

        Some of the affected Model X owners seem to believe that the apparent “paranormal activity” of the front doors is caused by having one key fob near the Model X, while the other key fob is just at the fringes of the Model X’s key fob detection range, with its signal fading in and out. The Model X apparently gets confused and thinks it’s one key fob coming into and out of range, which results in the doors opening and closing in rapid fire succession. That’s one theory at least.

    2. beta995 says:

      Agreed. They buy the LOADED one and then Bitch about the Price.

      You can also configure one for maximum range that’s much less expensive.

      1. beta995 says:

        The 75D with some options: $93,000 before Federal Tax Credit.

        -Tan interior
        -Standard Tires
        -Five seat interior
        -Air Suspension
        -Ultra high-fi stereo
        -High amp charger

        -Changing to the 90D bumps it up to $103,000.

        ( Auto Pilot after delivery, plus $3000 )

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          But Tesla isn’t build those right now…

          If you want a car quickly like CR to do the review early, you have to buy the “fully loaded” version now or wait.

          For auto reviews, waiting isn’t an option as readers only care about the latest and greatest.

  6. beta995 says:

    Wow. What a way to be whiny about trivial issues.
    The only thing that might be a real complain is the inability to fold flat the second row seats. No car is perfect, and those seats are nice.

    But, this guy is always whiny about hybrids/plugins and EV’s. Period.

    And comparing a Tesla to that UGLY Audi Truck on wheels???
    Wow. That’s really kind of incompetent.

  7. ffbj says:

    Btw Tom Hanks is driving a Tesla Model S in the opening segment of ‘Maya and Marty’. The segment is called “The Astronaut.”

    1. Ken says:

      Tom Hanks is no stranger to electric cars. He received the first AC Propulsion E Box back in 2007 before there was even a such thing as a Roadster.

      1. ffbj says:

        I vaguely knew he was a fan. I wonder if it was his idea to use the Tesla.

      2. Anti-Lord Kelvin says:

        And he used to drive a GM EV1.

  8. MatteM3 says:

    Every car will have some less than ideal features but I doubt people who can afford this car really care about the utility per dollar comparison. Performance, Range, Supercharging, Autopilot, Zero Emissions are good enough selling points. Not to mention the brand and the awesome looking doors (even if they don’t function perfectly yet).

    1. sven says:

      They might care that the third row is really cramped.

      1. floydboy says:

        There are far more cramped second rows in some vehicles than this car’s third.

      2. Quartzav says:

        This would be with a qualifier that for people more than 6 feet tall and in 7 seat configuration. In my direct comparison with a local XC90 T8, Model X’s third row actually feels more spacious than the Volvo (espically with foot room) and with bigger cargo area behind the third row seat (not counting the under-loading floor space)

  9. Joeski1 says:

    Well I for one having been in a few MXs don’t like that huge windshield at all.. it will be hard to keep clear of snow and ice.. lets way too much sun and heat in.. has sunvisors that do not block enough area.. and will be the first thing to crack when errant stones take abuse on the vehicle.. the seating in back is extremely tight.. esp. in the 3rd row.. the middle seat in the 2nd row is useless.. has no headroom.. the front doors do open wildly.. and will bang into things.. esp. closely parked cars alongside.. the vehicle is huge.. but really doesn’t offer much more storage space than the MS.. esp. when all 3 rows of swating are put into use.. the front seat did move forward.. and it caught an unsuspecting front seat driver jammed between the seat and the steering wheel during a demo I attended.. was that supposed to happen?.. the vehicle is hard to see out of the back of.. I do not think it will be easy to back into a parking space at all.. I did not see the falcon door windows open.. or even pop out.. which makes the two front door windows the only operating windows in the entire vehicle.. when the falcon doors close.. it feels like a coffin lid closing..albeit one with glass.. headroom is okay.. if you sit in one spot the whole ride.. the middle 2 nd row seat is severely limited in headroom.. Ive read a baby stroller will not fit in the frunk.. white seats will get dirty quick with kids spilling things and getting sick… should I go on? Don’t like it.. unimpressed.. big whoop.. fancy doors for show and tell.. 6 months and that MX will be in the shop with door problems… perhaps consumer reports is right on this time…

    1. beta995 says:

      A baseball cap fixes the sun issue.

    2. Michael Will says:

      Lol way too negative – backing into parking spots is easy with rear view camera and auto park and summon are even better. The windshield is awesome, driving through the mountains looking up while autopilot keeps you safe is wonderful, and driving across bay bridge the view really blows my mind. Pre cooling car from phone while walking to it is very helpful in California. The headrests of third row seats are a bit hard but the other four seats in our six seater are way more comfortable than in the model s. The perfect car for long road trips in comfort, kids love USB ports and cup holders in second row.

    3. flmark says:

      I went for a test drive in a Model X a few weeks back and have to wonder if you aren’t on, or off, some meds. I disagree COMPLETELY with all assertions about the windshield and glass exposure. The test drive was in May in Florida with lots of sun in the sky. I was actually worried about the exposure, as I do not regularly use sunglasses…again, I live in FLORIDA. I was actually quite amazed at the care taken to find the right balance of visibility and screening.

      And anyone who can complain about the habitability of the 2nd row seating is way off the mark. I have a Tahoe Hybrid right now, as well as a 2017 Volt. My spectrum of vehicles is everything except pickup trucks. I have never experienced more room in a back seat than in that X. I will state that it was a 6 seat version, but I tried to mentally compensate and if I just stared at the room in front of my knees, I knew it was spacious. And when the description of ‘coffin’ comes in, that’s when I go back to the question about needing medication.

      Some commentaries speak volumes about a slanted agenda. I write this in response to one of those. Go take a test drive and come to your own conclusions before letting anyone else make up your mind for you.

      The X is not perfect, and eventually, some better all electric SUV will come along. For now, there is nothing else that can run only on electricity, carry around 7 people and tow a respectable load. As written about here, I am using ‘blood money’ from a BP Spill Settlement for a majority of the purchase price…karma seemed to dictate it

    4. Gautam says:

      The cost of replacign the windshield in the not-for-profit Tesla service is also huge: $2290 + tax.

  10. Four Electrics says:

    This review is fairly accurate. However, the actuated front doors and the windshield have grown on me. The latter is a real treat, even if it does cause the car to heat up incredibly quickly. The AC is always on in my X.

    The FWDs take some getting used to, but they do turn out to be free great for small children.

    Interior room is a big downside of this car. The X is for those who want a big car but without all of that space. That said, it’s not unmanageable.

    Now if only “leg crusher mode” were fixed, such that the third row can be used by kids. That’s my number one ask.

    1. ffbj says:

      So with that information it require less heater use in the Winter, due to the greenhouse effect of the glass, the cabin will be warmer. Not sure it, the panoramic roof, would be the best in lower latitudes though, it seems a bit too much.

      1. Four Electrics says:

        Yes, I expect it will be a big win in the winter. I’ll let you know.

      2. Jacked Beanstalk says:

        Doubtful. The sun isn’t out much in the winter. Shorter days and low angles mean it doesn’t heat up car interiors significantly. At least here in MI I’ve never gotten into a car on a sunny but cold day and noticed the car felt any warmer than the outside (unless it’s windy, of course).

        1. Djoni says:

          I do park my Leaf in the sun in the winter and it does heat a lot the interior.
          Sun is extremely powerful in winter because it’s closer to the earth and the air is less obstructive with vapor or else.
          It just doesn’t shine as long.
          BTW, I live in Québec, a bit more north than MI.
          Even cruising on the highway you use much less heat and are more comfortable when the sun is up in the winter.
          The bad point is when the sun go down, you feel the heat going out through the glass.
          In summer I look for shade.
          So sun is a big factor.

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            “Sun is extremely powerful in winter because it’s closer to the earth and the air is less obstructive with vapor or else.”


            Closer isn’t the dominating factor. It is the tilt and angle that determines how much sun light a given spot gets. In the winter, due to shallow angle, far more sun energy gets dispersed. That is why solar panels generate far less energy even during its peak hours.

      3. Mikael says:

        Its the other way around. In winter you need isolation and the glass areas provide little of that.

        Bjorn is his Millenium Falcon even made his own homemade insulation to put onto the glass ceiling in the winter to not get too cold.

  11. floydboy says:

    I’m really disappointed here, especially as a subscriber, in this shoddy work by CR. You DON’T grab or stop automatic doors mid-cycle, start jerking them around, then complain that they don’t work.

    Get out of the way and allow them to operate as intended. Like they’ve done on numerous YouTube videos.

    1. Four Electrics says:

      You must occasionally grab the front doors to keep them from hitting other cars, signs, pillars or lampposts. They don’t have their own sensors, so they can only see what is next to the falcon wing doors. They cannot see obstacles in their own arc of operation. Lame, but you quickly learn to grab them when necessary.

      1. sven says:

        It kind of mind boggling that Tesla didn’t put sensors into its automatic opening front doors.

      2. floydboy says:

        That’s completely incorrect! The front doors also have sensors that keep them from hitting things. The ‘walk around’ feature of the front doors operates using the sensors.

        This feature is where you approach the car from the front. The door will open but only a little to allow you to pass. Once the sensors detect you’ve passed the door, the door then opens up the remainder of the way.

        The doors do stop themselves when they sense an object, but because they open quickly, people think they’re going to hit, so instinctively grab them.

        1. Quartzav says:

          The front doors mostly stop correctly with the current suite of sensors. It is very impressive but not without fault, I would still vote for grabbing the doors for that small chance that the sensor could be wrong.

          1. floydboy says:

            I was merely pointing out that the sensors are in fact in the door and how they work. As to their level of accuracy, I can’t say.

  12. Texas FFE says:

    There are now 15 Model Xs on AutoTrader. They range from $119k to $165k and they all have very low millage. It looks like at least a few people bought a Model X just to turn for a profit to people who don’t like waiting lists, either that or the sellers saw Consumers Report and decided to get rid of the lemon before it turned on them.

  13. Terawatt says:

    Good to see that CR has got its critical sense back and can be skeptical even of a Tesla. The X has been a huge disappointment in my opinion. Not only the unnecessary and doubtful features that make it so unique, some of which could be good ideas if only Tesla could execute them properly, but above all the cramped interior and overall lack of utility.

    The slogan “utility, meet performance” always summed up what Model X was supposed to be about. Seems to me its ended up as a poser’s car for people with more money than sense. It’s a real pity; the car damages Tesla’s brand, makes no money, might well be a liability, and the resources poured into it would have been better used working towards Model 3.

    You gotta forgive, gotta forgive…

    1. floydboy says:

      You know how much money the Model X does or doesn’t make?

    2. sveno says:

      I agree that it has a poser element – rear doors but that’s about it. Its a big people hauler. It’s for rich mothers – are you one?

      Just about every new car article (ICE, EV whatever) has people whining that the tiny car is tiny, the big car is too big, the fast car has little luggage space, the off-road car has poor milage, the hand-made supercar is expensive and so on.. its funny.

      1. Mr. M says:

        But here the big car is to small inside. Either you buy a SUV or not. But if you do i would expect a lot more storage romm than the comparable sedan, the Model S.

        Well the same applies to Audi. The Q3 is smaller insude than the A3. What is this usefull for????

  14. Maaz says:

    No problem, I disagree. Ownerer of two Tesla Model s, previously owned Nissan Leaf and Toyota rav4ev. The model X is the best car I’ve ever owned. To me it is far superior to the model s.

  15. floydboy says:

    “Gull wing doors” CR? I wonder if that was deliberate?

  16. James says:

    I really hate the X. I hope they don’t keep that stupid windshield in the 3. The X was a dumb mistake for a smart company and I hope they learned their lesson.

    1. Agzand says:

      Unfortunately they did not. Model X cooks the front passengers, Model 3 the rear passengers. The glass roof is larger and closer to the passenger head, so even a sunshade is not practical. The glass roof has been tried by a few cheap European models and even with better implementation than Tesla it did not take off.

  17. xado says:

    the x could be the dead of tesla.
    its a 100% flop
    stop production,it only costs more money,and start the model 3
    the s is a good car,i like it to own and drive,i would never buy a model x,with this ugly falcon door,which are for nothing.

    1. Anti-Lord Kelvin says:

      “Ugly falcon door”? Well, no one can discus individual taste, but the majority seems loving the appeal and cool factor (the Tesla X moments that owners reports in parking mall are invaluable). For the rest, complexity and reliability of them, it’s an other story.

  18. CDAVIS says:

    Own Model S but have had chance to drive X several times (including a long road trip). Conclusion: Great car. Should it have been designed to be a more standard cookie-cutter CUV? NO!

    Those that dare to step outside of accepted convention always have been and always will be criticized for pulling us forward to new uncharted ground.

    1. ModernMarvelFan says:

      “Those that dare to step outside of accepted convention always have been and always will be criticized for pulling us forward to new uncharted ground.”

      There is pushing boundary and there is design for being practical. Engineers always have to make trade offs to find the “best solution”. It seems to me that the trade offs done on extended windshield, falcon doors, automatic doors and 2nd row seats aren’t designed to favor practicability but rather “being flashy to draw attentions”.

      Model X is really Tesla’s way of getting more “free coverage” without doing any ads.

  19. ModernMarvelFan says:

    Well, CU got it right… Model X is there to impress your neighbors with too much blings…

    It isn’t designed to be practical. The fact is that it is an expensive, ugly and heaviest pieces of unpractical but fastest crossover you can buy.

    That is a miss IMO. Model S was a hit. Model X is a miss. I hope Model 3 is a hit again since I got my money on it.

    1. CDAVIS says:

      @ModernMarvelFan said: “… Model X is there to impress your neighbors with too much blings…”

      I disagree with that. Model X is (despite the cool wizbang of the falcon doors) is quality yet minimalist in style both interior and exterior as apposed to some of the traditional luxury SUVs/CUVs that are to me seem over-the-top gaudy.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        Falcon doors? No need.

        Automatic doors? No need.

        Extended windshield? No need.

        Single pole/unfoldable 2nd row seats? No need.

        With those feature, Model X would be a simple/awesome still fast and ugly crossover, but it would do just fine and saves Tesla a lot of headaches…

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          Without those features.

          1. CDAVIS says:

            Same thing “No Need” was said by critics when in the 1940s electric windows were first introduced into cars.