Tesla Model S Grabs #1 & #2 Spot On Consumer Reports’ “Best Cars of 2015” List

DEC 31 2015 BY MARK KANE 45

elon musk cop21 paris 2015 3

Elon Musk expressing his emotions after learning Consumer Reports didn’t award the first three places to Tesla Model S

Consumer Reports announced The Best Cars of 2015 and listed the top 10.

“These models outperformed, outscored, and outclassed their competitors, demonstrating all-round excellence. Common among these all-stars are benchmark acceleration, braking, and handling performance, with superior comfort and convenience to boot. Simply put, these are cars we’d love to own.”

Since Consumer Reports rated the Model S at 103 points on Consumer Reports’ 0-100 rating scale, no one should be surprised that the Tesla Model S grabbed two spots among the 10 best cars.

Is the P85D different enough from other Model S to split it apart and consider it as its own winner? We’ll leave that for you to evaluate as we prepare for four best places for Tesla in 2016 after the Model X fully enters the game.

To the best of our knowledge, never before has a single model (example: Model S) grabbed the top 2 spots on this Consumer Reports’ list.

Eight mostly conventional models fill in the rest of the top 10 chart:

10. Audi A6

9. Chevrolet Impala

8. Audi A8

7. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

6. Mercedes-Benz E250 Diesel

5. Porsche 911

4. Mercedes-Benz S550 (plug-in hybrid version available)

3. BMW M235i

2. Tesla Model S

“Base MSRP price range: $70,000 – $105,000
Look past its slick styling, futuristic controls, rapid-fire acceleration, and superb handling, and you’ve still got a car that gets the equivalent of 84 mpg. With its optional 85-kWh battery, the largest available, it can travel between 180 and 225 miles per charge. It can fully charge in as little as five hours on a dedicated Tesla connector – and in less than 45 minutes on a roadside Tesla supercharger. The interior comes with a huge iPad-like center screen that controls many functions. How fast is fast? Our 362-hp Model S shot from 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds. That’s on par with a V8-powered Porsche Panamera S, Jaguar XJ, or a BMW 7 Series. The Tesla isn’t cheap—starting at around $70,000—but few cars have dazzled more.”

1.Tesla Model S P85D

“Base MSRP price range: $105,000
Two Teslas on our Best of 2015 list? You betcha. We didn’t think it was possible, but the 691-hp P85D wowed us even more than the base model Tesla S. The performance geek in us loves that it rockets to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds while delivering 1.02 g’s of horizontal accelerative force in less than a quarter-second. No other street-legal car can achieve that. The hot rod P85D has the same range as the standard 85-kilowatt version and still provides pinpoint handling, and a firm yet comfortable ride. All-wheel drive and Autopilot active safety features are also available. Even though reliability has dropped to below average, our subscribers rate the Tesla Model S as the most satisfying car in our survey. Considering this model’s otherworldly performance, well, that’s not shocking.”

Source: Consumer Reports

Categories: Tesla

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

45 Comments on "Tesla Model S Grabs #1 & #2 Spot On Consumer Reports’ “Best Cars of 2015” List"

newest oldest most voted

While I love Tesla, this just makes Consumer Reports seem silly in a transparent attempt to draw as much attention to themselves as possible. It will work in the short term of course, and then people will stop paying attention as they remove cars that “break” their scale from a recommend list because one metric on one survey doesn’t meet their high standards. I guess we need to start evaluating every powertrain on every car model independently because the automotive authority has deemed it necessary to promote whatever narrative they are pushing.

There is no narrative being pushed. Recent surveys submitted by Model S owners show that the Model S has below-average reliability. CR had to pull it, despite its high ratings, because they never recommend a car that has below-average reliability.

You may disagree that it’s unreliable, Musk may disagree, but owners that are reporting information to CR show it has below-average reliability.

My theory is that Model S owners are no longer exclusively fanboys and stockholders. I speculate that because more mainstream owners exist, they may be less likely to live with issues that they experience, or are less likely to censor that data from surveys. You also have more used cars out there with different owners, and what wasn’t a problem for the previous owner may be a problem for the new owner.

So I don’t think the Model S has decreased in reliability- in fact, I think Model S reliability and quality have gone up. I just think that the data is maturing. The car itself may be getting more reliable, but the data gaps are now being filled in that paint a full picture.

kubel said: “My theory is that Model S owners are no longer exclusively fanboys and stockholders. I speculate that because more mainstream owners exist, they may be… less likely to censor that data from surveys.” Well, Consumer Reports‘ own “customer satisfaction” rating for the Model S has slipped, from 99% to “only” 98%… 😀 So it seems that nearly all Model S owners consider the Model S’s reliability problems far less important than Consumer Reports does. Furthermore, the more you look into CR’s ratings based on their Model S survey, the less sense they make. In particular, as you can see on the chart linked below, in the various rating categories for the 2015 Model S, the most common rating is “Excellent”, with the lowest rating in any category being “Fair”. Yet overall, CR gives the Model S a reliability rating of “Poor”? How is that even possible? http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2015/10/Model%20S.jpg Reading comments on this discrepancy, I see claims that the overall reliability rating from CR includes a comparison to other cars of the same model year. But any way you slice it, at best CR’s survey ratings of the Model S seem self-contradictory, at worst they appear to be confusing to… Read more »

CR reports 1400 surveyed of 2013 Model S surveyed and yet the car doesn’t go to the CR Unreliable list because it is unfair to say the door lock issues fixed at your home and power train which may cost you money on a warranty that never expires does not compare to Mercedes-Benz CLA250 is on Consumer Reports list of least-reliable vehicles. The 2014 CR reliability report card is based on 1 million replies from readers. Give the Model S a fair shake. Their owners are very vocal because they know the difference between right and wrong.

From what I’ve observed CR has been even-handed regarding their Model S reporting: I don’t think there is a CR underlying agenda (be it publicity or otherwise).


I suspect there may be some divisions among the various factions at CR – maybe the whole “broke our rating system” thing didn’t sit well with everyone there. Of the 17 CR reliability categories, Tesla got excellent in 11 of them. The 2015 model got only one “fair” for body integrity, and that was actually an improvement from the 2013. ASFAIK CR never released its raw data, so we can’t verify anything independently, but the whole thing just strikes me as odd.

There is definitely controversy among the courtiers there.
I am looking forward to the implementation of the new ‘car wars’ mode for the Model S. Probably cost another 10k.

It does seem a little odd that the top two best cars also seemed to have so many reliability problems that they couldn’t be recommended.


Isn’t this the same Consumer Reports that stopped recommending the model S due to reliability issues???


Make up your mind!

….I believe it’s called ‘backpedaling.’ 🙂

I personally think it’s completely reasonable to remove a highly-rated vehicle from the “recommend” list due to reliability issues.

And I think it’s fine that put that vehicle in the #1 spot anyway, especially since they mention the reliability issue in the accompanying paragraph of text.

But it makes no sense to me that they would give the S and the S P85D two separate slots instead of one. I don’t see the point in that. They could easily mention in a single blurb that the base model does 0-60 in 5.6s while the top of the line model does it in 3.5s.

It’s like comparing a vanilla Dodge Charger to a Dodge Charger Hellcat. Same body, similar names, significantly different underneath. CR doesn’t rate the vanillar Charger the same as the Hellcat.

I think it is silly to include the same car twice. Not only that, but I think the 2016 Volt deserves a spot in that list somewhere.

Although I’m not a fan of the Chevy Impala (unless it’s a 66′), I think the Volt should’ve been on the list instead….

Gen2 Volt will likely be on the list next year; it’s a fantastic car that mostly addresses (except the new 1/2 5th seat) all of the shortcomings of the Gen1.

You can’t buy a 2016 Volt in NY where CR tests. So it isn’t possible for CR to complete the review.

You most certainly CAN buy a 2016 in NY. I looked at two on a dealer’s lot last month, and they’ve both been sold since then.

In fact, I used their vehicles to make some videos of the gauges and the parallel parking:

Parallel Parking:


Thanks for the correction.

Not sure why they didn’t have a full test complete yet. Maybe they need more than month.

Consumer Reports always buys, anonymously, the cars that they review. Obviously they don’t have the budget to buy every model year of every car sold in the USA, or even the majority of them.

David Murray: ” Not only that, but I think the 2016 Volt deserves a spot in that list somewhere.”

Your wish is granted! Except it’s the 2015 Volt. In CR’s list of “Most Satisfying Commuter Cars”, the top three are:

1) Tesla Model S
2) Chevy Volt
3) Nissan Leaf

And this is for all cars, not just plug-ins. The 4th is the Ford C-MAX (which can have a plug). Others on the list are the Lexus ES, Mazda 3, and Subaru Legacy.


I think it’s great and shows that a well done ev is better than the best ice cars. For years it seemed like the Japanese had consumer reports in their back pocket but glad to see it may have just been a case of them making better cars in the 90s and early 2000s

The big difference is that the Japanese cars of the 1990s were not simply the toys of the rich. They were well built yet egalitarian in their purpose – they had the kind of simple elegance and blend of form and function that the Swedish cars of the 1980s had. Most of the cars on this list wouldn’t be considered “mainstream” by the median American driver even though nobody would deny the fact that these are exceptional cars.

Have you even looked at the rest of the cars on the list?

Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, Porsche 911, Mercedes S550, etc?

Ridiculous to put two versions of the same car on the list, are they just rating what got donated to them as in ‘out of the 20 cars we got for free these we like best’ ?

Consumer Reports buys all the cars they test, and anonymously.

Skryll don’t need facts, dawg.

It does show that CR is learning. They don’t just answer to the big company with the most money. Just wait for them to test the 2016 and 2017 Electrics.

Based on all the reviews I’ve read and accounts from owners I know, the Volt far surpasses the Impala. It seems silly to put two Teslas on the list but leave out the Volt.

The Volt has only been out for a few months and is available only in select markets. They haven’t had enough time with the car yet.

Ridiculous to put the same car on the list twice.

Even more ridiculous is to put the car they removed off the “Recommend” list and call it “Best Car of 2015”.

Somebody’s smokin some good $h1t.

I agree, that would be ridiculous.

Good thing they didn’t do that.

85 != P85D

MW said CTSV best combo of pwr//hnd

It is good that Tesla has this achievement. However Tesla needs to invest a lot more into service and service centers. Tesla service is completely backlogged. I would not like to wait 2 weeks for simple warranty work or updates. I own a Volt and some recalls were taken care of in a hr or 2 hrs.

You get a loaner Tesla. How is that bad? And the car is usually better than your own. My dad got a P85 loaner while his 85 was in and they swapped out the dash, door panels, windows and put brand new ones in free of charge…. HOW IS THAT BAD SERVICE???!!!!!!

you crazy!

Yes I wait two weeks for the best service in the world with people than won’t ripping you off for unneeded service. You can solve your problems very easy buy a Fiat, service just walking in.

These are the subjective opinions of the editors. The Corvette is also “not recommended” because of reliability. As I and others have explained repeatedly before, a car has to score well in road tests and crash tests, and have at least average reliability in order to earn the recommended rating.

Yes, but when CR continues to give high-profile coverage of a car, and even puts it in the #1 (and #2!) place on their “Best Cars of the Year” list… then it appears something very strange is going on.


1. What CR terms “not recommended” doesn’t mean what it means to everybody else!


2. CR has no overall editorial control, and various factions among the writers and editors get contradictory articles published there.

Either way, this does not inspire confidence in Consumer Reports.

If CR is going to include the car twice, is CR going to “punish” each and every option/trim of the Model S in terms of reliability?

Tesla stock was up today. Maybe CR will send out some tweets bragging about their influence on the market? I think next year Tesla could take the top 6 spots – MS 70, 70D, 85, 85D, P85D, P90D. Oh wait I forgot about the Model X. Full sweep of the top 10 for Tesla!

Only the gov’t can legally manipulate the markets….. Of course, now I’d expect the stock price to go back up for another bite at the apple. CTS-V tested by MW to have better handling and better use of power than any BMW and didn’t even make the list.

They must not own any GM stock.

A unique and unprecedented occurrence.
Congratulations to Tesla once again.

I see Consumer Reports is continuing its schizophrenic, Jekyll-and-Hyde ratings for the Model S. On the one hand they say that from their own road tests it’s the highest-rated car ever (“It broke our ratings system!”); on the other hand they say its reliability has dropped to the point that they can no longer recommend buying the car.

Yes, I realize this is coverage from two different sources; on the one hand, their in-house car testing team, and on the other hand, detailed reliability surveys of hundreds of owners.

But when CR continues to publish articles prominently featuring a car which they say “We can no longer recommend”, then it looks very much like, as ericonline said in the first post above, they’re pandering and trying to get attention (and subscriptions) for their magazine by riding the coat-tails of Tesla’s popularity.

Volt should be on there.

You people fail to realize that they don’t recommend the 2013 model this is the 2015 model where the issues have been addressed since they first appeared. If anything this show consumer report is unbiased even today citing even though it’s dropped below average it still performs better than most. This isn’t the sir fix-a-lot model of 2 years ago this is a brand new model that is at most 15 months old fixes and all. Can’t you appreciate the speed at which Tesla addresses the issues with a lasting fix thanks to its modular design, this ain’t no hot glue patch that dealerships use.