Tesla Model 3 Is Top Rated Luxury Compact Car By Consumer Reports Readers


It’s the only one in its class to score over 90 total points.

This just in.

Consumer Reports, in its March 2019 edition, has declared the Tesla Model 3 as the #1 rated luxury compact car by its readers. The Model 3 scored a near-perfect 92 points in total.

We should point out that Consumer Reports has been critical of Tesla over the years, but these rankings aren’t based on aspects like reliability and service. Those are two areas where Tesla still often struggles.

The rankings seen here all pertain just to the car. What’s it like to drive? How good or bad value is it for your money? Is it comfortable? In those various categories, the Model 3 wins in the luxury compact car class. It scored 92 total points, whereas the next closest vehicle got just 87.

As witnessed in the larger image below, in the compact hybrid / electric cars class, the Chevy Bolt and conventional Toyota Prius tie for first. The Nissan LEAF and Toyota Prius Prime grab the next two spots. Meanwhile, the Chevy Volt is midpack and the BMW i3 comes in dead last in the segment.

Image via Nafeez Zia – Tesla Model 3 Facebook

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59 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 Is Top Rated Luxury Compact Car By Consumer Reports Readers"

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Well it beat the kia, thats always a good start.

It beat every car.

Don’t underestimate Stinger. It’s very potent value among comparable ICE cars with 0-60 in 4.7 sec. Like with Bolt, it’s the brand name that makes it underappreciated. Otherwise, it might eclipse Tesla 3 (ie. if Tesla 3 wears Chevy badge)

Looking at the chart, the Bolt has the lowest score for comfort according to consumer reports…

Not that I personally have anything against the Bolt, but let us be honest, if Tesla Model 3 has a chevy badge, it would still outsell the Bolt.

No one will buy $50K compact Chevy sedan, and that’s what Chevy Model 3 would be. It’d sell far less than Bolt when Chevy Model 3 accelerates slower, handles poorer, smaller and less “luxury” than much cheaper Kia Stinger.

If you think people are buying Tesla for value, think again. Hundreds of thousands reserved the car online even before the spec was known.

People are buying teslas by the ton because they’re awesome cars. Best in the world, which sounds like hyperbole until you try to come up with one that’s better in all ways – price, performance, looks, design, efficiency.

Certainly people are buying Tesla cars for value. That includes the value of EV tech which is far and away better than anybody else’s, integration of intuitive controls and functionality into a “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” gestalt which is far and away better than anybody else’s, and the sheer fun to drive quality which, according to an amazing number of people, is also far and away better than anybody else’s.

Those putting in early reservations for the Model 3, even before it had been Revealed, had a reasonable expectation to find all those qualities in Tesla’s newest car, too. And from most of the reviews of the Model 3, I’d say that expectation has been pretty well realized.

Keep going Tesla!

Sparky – The Kia Forums are calling your name ‼️

I agree, the Kia Stonger is immensely impressive, value and all, and has readily spread its sales globally. Though, I’d really hate to imagine what owning one after 7 years of 100,000 miles might do to it. I’m unaware if it’s designed to be over-built like an old Merc in mind.

I wouldn’t own a used Stinger. With that much performance, chances are high that the car was pushed to the limits, and low price makes people not care as much in pushing beyond the limits to breaking point.

Cousin got a Kia Optima and it’s still running after 120k miles

Kia stinger electric would be amazing!

Hmm, so the Tesla Model 3 IS the most luxurious car in its class.

Not according to certain folks who will inevitably show up here shortly.

From Leningrad.

The Putinificators “from Leningrad”, will certainly bring their own homegrown CommieSewer Reports FUD rating system and agitprop!

It looks like “Winter has come for Electric Cars” Fortune Magazine, is now quoting Bloomberg New Energy Finance with the latest FUD.

“Tesla isn’t alone in facing this flaw.”

“It’s Panasonic that manufactures Tesla batteries,” said Salim Morsy, an analyst with Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “It’s not something specific to Tesla. It happens to Chevy with the Bolt and Nissan with the Leaf.”

Bolt / Leaf Vampire Losses, are considerably LESS significant, due to just sitting in cold weather, at up to or a full charge.


Good point as if ICE has no problems in cold weather. LOL.

The point here is that some electric cars handle this better than others.

Normally it’s (kinda ironically) because of batteries…!

I think the luxury class is purely based on price. One could argue that the Model 3’s minimalist interior is a form of luxury though Tesla is missing amenities that other similarly priced luxury cars do have (heated wheel, heads up, blind side indicators, cross traffic warning, wireless device charging to name a few).

You mean stuff that will be on standard Honda cars

The 2019 March edition?

I wonder what metric they are using to label Tesla Model 3, Nissan Leaf, Prius and etc as compacts? Officially they are classified as midsized :/


I don’t have a link handy or recall the exact criteria, but CR uses their own system for classifying car sizes/categories. Both the US government and CR categories are basically arbitrary, even though both are made on actual quantified measurements. IIRC, the government system emphasizes interior passenger space, whereas CR emphasizes exterior measurements, but I might not be remembering correctly.

And some point wasn’t GM calling the Bolt a truck?

Yes, they were calling the Bolt EV a “compact SUV”. At least in my book, an SUV is a light truck and not a “car”, altho auto maker marketing departments these days seem to be trying to paste the label on all passenger vehicles other than pickups. 🙄

In the same vein, I’m not at all convinced that Ford saying “We’re not going to make any more cars” actually means much. Maybe it just means they’re going to re-label their cars as “SUVs”.

My Telsa Model 3 is one very spacious compact. I was able to take my sister, her husband and their two kids plus all of their luggage to the airport. One medium sized suitcase fit in the bottom trunk well with the two large suitcase standing one edge above that. Then two smaller carry on bags wedged in the space in front of the big suitcases. Then a soft carry on in the frunk. the three backpacks then fit in all the nooks and crannies left over in the frunk and trunk. Three adults and two tweens fit easily in the passenger space. That’s some compact!

This summary is a bit misleading, since the March 2019 issue presents the results of the Consumer Reports OWNER SATISFACTION SURVEY, not the CR road test (their evaluation based on testing at their track and on public roads) or the overall rating (a combination of the CR road test, owner satisfaction survey, owner reliability survey, crash test data, and maybe one or two other things I’m forgetting). There are cars with excellent CR road test scores but dismal owner satisfaction scores and vice-versa. In the case of the Tesla Model 3 specifically, that’s not the case; it gets a road test score of 82 and an overall score of 77 (which incorporates that owner satisfaction of 92). Compared to some other cars mentioned, the Kia Stinger gets an overall score of 71, the Audi A4 scores 80, and the Chevy Bolt scores 70. Thus, the OVERALL CR score for the Model 3 is lower than the Audi, although the Tesla’s owner satisfaction is 12 points higher. There’s a wealth of additional data on CR’s web site, although I believe it’s mostly paywalled.

“This summary is a bit misleading, since the March 2019 issue presents the results of the Consumer Reports OWNER SATISFACTION SURVEY…”

Sorry, but that is a dumb argument if you can call it an argument.

In math (e.g. statistics), we have a concept called the law of large number. When you have a huge mass of consumers ranking a product or series of comparable products, any one individual’s opinion or outliers gets averaged away.


Unless someone argues the rankings were rigged because Tesla owners colluded, then it’s fair to use the huge population of feedbacks to form rankings.

In summary, it isn’t Consumer Reports’ opinion(s) that matters, it is the opinions of Consumer Reports’s data base of actual consumers (which happens to be large!).

I think the point is that the title is misleading. It really should be “Tesla Model 3 is highest in vehicle satisfaction” or something like that. Probably more useful that CR’s rating but that is not the issue.
CR typically over values room and acceleration. They undervalue efficiency and driving dynamics. So it would be surprising for the Model 3 to be their highest rated car.

David, the problem is deeper than the headline, since nowhere in the body of the article is it mentioned that what’s under discussion are owner satisfaction survey results. You’re quite welcome to value those survey results more highly than CR’s track tests, but depriving readers of knowledge about what’s being reported is doing them a major disservice.

Jason, anybody familiar with the publication knows that Consumer Reports does both independent testing of products and survey research to learn about owner satisfaction and reliability of big-ticket items. The overall ratings that CR presents are based on all of these data, when available, but the emphasis is usually on their own testing. For cars, this includes things like objective measurements of interior space, acceleration, etc., and subjective judgments of things like comfort and the quality of the controls. The InsideEVs article does not make it clear that the results under discussion are EXCLUSIVELY the owner-satisfaction survey, with no reference to the rest of the CR tests. This makes the InsideEVs article misleading. The Law of Large Numbers (with which I’m quite familiar) is irrelevant to this discussion of a problem with the JOURNALISM of this article.

CR’s reliability ratings are also based on surveys of actual car owners. It’s not at all that the customer satisfaction ratings are rigged, it’s that they are using very different criteria.

“I really love my car and I’d definitely buy it if I had it to do over again”, is very different from saying “My car is very reliable and I have never had to take it to the shop for anything other than regularly scheduled maintenance.”

Personally I think CR gives far too much weight to mere reliability; that completely ignores how easy or fun the car is to drive, or how useful it is, or how many luxury features it offers. Yet CR treats reliability as not merely trumping anything else, but as trumping everything else put together.

While the law of large numbers is true, it’s worth remembering this isn’t rice grain counting, but values assigned by people that have significant investment in the product they put money into and by people that are unlikely to have tried the other vehicles.

I agree. In the past, if memory serves, InsideEVs has been careful to label Tesla cars winning top spots (the Model S has always gotten the #1 spot since it was introduced) in customer satisfaction ratings, as separate from CR’s reliability ratings.

The title of this article blurs the distinction.

In US only two cars presently work well, Tesla, Bolt both aren’t affordable for everyone. Can’t talk about other cars they have small batteries, take a long time to charge/ overnight, driving rangr is lost pretty fast. Other alternative is to buy affordable Evs other than Tesla or bolt.

Tesla is a brand, not a car model.

Man the BMW I3 sure gets hammered.
I don’t necessarily agree except on Consumer Report’s ranking it lowest in value.
It is extremely overpriced when compared to the Model 3 in the lux/sport EV category.

The BMW I 3 is “Extremely overpriced when compared to the Model 3” is painfully obvious, until you look at Lease Deals on the
BMW i3.

There are some pretty good 2 & 3 year lease deals on the BMW i3, that bring it into the more affordable range, for savvy Lease shoppers, in certain areas.

Century West BMW So. Cal. is under $.40 a mile on a 2 year 20k mi. Lease. That is within ($.10 a mile) to Bolt / Leaf Lease territory (+25% to +33% more).


This result is particularly interesting when I think back to the FUD from 12-24 months ago. The narrative was that Tesla couldn’t really build a car as well as the legacy car companies and the legacy car companies would turn out something as good or better when their EVs came out.

The one thing I have noticed is that Tesla seems to be able to close the knowledge gap to most legacy car companies in a much shorter time period than expected (maybe 18 months to achieve nearly equal competence). I am still waiting to see any legacy company put out a car that competes with Tesla in terms of electronics.

That these vehicles are described as compact is so very weird. The American obsession with size is dangerous.

And the rest of the world’s obsession with America’s obsessions is hilarious.

I don’t really get the scoring method. I think the Tesla Model 3 ist a great car but in this report it has fewer dark green symbols than the Kia. So theoretically the Kia must be first. And in the other chart the Nissan Leaf hast many green symbols and no red or orange one like the other 2 on top. So why is it in third?
I just don’t get the scores. Does anybody know the differences?

I don’t have access to the raw data, so I can only speculate, but those apparent inconsistencies are probably rounding artifacts. Consumer Reports presents their results on a 5-point scale, but the underlying data are more precise than that. Thus, if the Tesla’s individual category results came at the top of their ranges but those for the Kia came at the bottom of their ranges, that could cause the Tesla to come out ahead. The individual categories also might not be weighted equally.

Well it’s like the Tesla scored two As and three Bs on its exams. Kia got four As and one B. But maybe Tesla As were all 90+ and Kia’s were all in the low 80s. So in that case Tesla numerical average could be higher even though it got lower letter grades.

No idea how that scoring system works. The Stinger has 4 strong green ratings compared to the Tesla’s 2 but is still behind.

Some explanation of scoring would be good.

CR has always loved the Teslas even when “tough love” was required on some build issues that required owners having to make frequent returns for mfg issues.

The Model 3 rating is a huge plus for Tesla and for EV’s in general as it puts both in front of consumers as the best choice to make.

A decade ago, CR was very unhappy with the Prius and then the owner surveys came back and gob smacked them. The owner survey didn’t convince them to fix their testing and ranking system but it gave them a clue-by-four. Regardless, we dropped our subscription until there were three editorial board changes.

Although not perfect, their City MPG numbers are still broken, they’ve gotten ‘less bad.’

Don’t get me wrong I love this car, but I think Tesla should do something about water running into the car when opening windows and/or the trunk in the rain. I think these are serious oversights, never mind the aqulity of the audio system. These issues can’t be solved by OTA. They need a redesign of the body. In the mean time someone aftermarket outfit could make a neat rain guide, which could be retrofitted on the roof, functional, but slim enough not destroying the overall look. No idea about a quick fix for the trunk. I hope the Model X will not have these issues.

Agree. A small glue on rubber edge a 1/4″ high around the edge of the glass over the doors and truck lid might be able to redirect most of the water away from the doors and trunk.

In one of the videos here on mitigating high speed windnoise on the Model 3, there is an aftermarket gasket that presses into the space around the glass. Something like that.

Nice to have some window washer nozzle heaters for the polar vortex. There is a heated windshields washer fluid device that looks good if that can be installed on Model 3.

As a Model 3 owner with over 17,000 miles I concur as the Model 3 is the best car we have owned. The only issue is the wife has decided SHE should be the primary driver. 😀

I almost got a i3 but Transport Evolved video on a staff i3 Rex troubles push me away


How is the model 3 and the kia stinger considered “luxury” they dont use premium materials(that are expected for that price range) no discernable “premium” features. sure the model 3 is very tech heavy but that cant be the sole reason ut could be considered luxury

A Tesla car is greater than the sum of its parts; perhaps far greater. If that’s a quality you can’t appreciate, then there are many other auto makers offering cars for you to buy. No one make or type of car is for everyone. Not even a Tesla’s cars.

The Model 3 was designed to compete with the Audi A4 and the BMW 3-Series, and it’s doing so quite well! If you think the A4 and the 3-Series are luxury cars and the Model 3 isn’t — altho to be fair, the term Tesla uses is “premium” and not luxury — well then, I guess it’s fair to say yours is a minority opinion.

Where is the Camry Hybrid LX?

Consumer Reports only rates cars they buy for themselves. Obviously they can’t afford to buy every car on the market.

My CR page ranks it at just behind Audi A4. At 77. Still recommended though. Am I looking at old info?

Not sure what the numbers mean but according to the symbolic ratings it looks like the Kia Stinger is #1, Tesla 3 is number 2 and the LEAF family car is number 3. That’s great news for those cars. What the heck is a Kia Stinger?