2012 Tesla Model S: Consumer Reports Joins Chorus Of Praise (Unofficially)

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It isn't easy to impress Consumer Reports.

Fisker Automotive knows this better than most, after its Karma range-extended sedan was savaged by the magazine earlier this year.

In contrast, the 2012 Tesla Model S looks to have gone down rather well, CR describing it as "a revelation".

High praise indeed, and it's sure to join Motor Trend's 'Car of the Year' verdict on a list of things Tesla should be proud of.

2012 Tesla Model S: First Drive

In their test of the model, Consumer Reports describes the Model S as "the electric car that shatters every myth"--adding that range anxiety is effectively "gone" thanks to the 265-mile range.

The quick charging times, vivid performance and interior room also got plenty of praise. Only a lack of interior storage space, and the flashy but occasionally impractical door handles came in for criticism.

Of course, this test is only a brief look at the Model S, and the magazine's normal practice is to buy a model itself--just like it did with the Fisker Karma.

Only then will we know CR's full verdict on the car--but we'd be surprised if it's anything less than similarly-praised after longer exposure.


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Comments (16)
  1. I am a bit confused by your article, Antony (that happens a lot, so no big deal). Consumer Reports said:
    "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.". True, there are no map pockets, but with that 17" display for maps, well...

  2. Sorry, my fault. Using the term "interior storage space" I was referring more to those map pockets than the large front and rear trunks! Rightly or wrongly I consider "interior storage" to be the little pockets and trays where you can store paper/coins/keys and other daily paraphernalia.

  3. It's easy to be flash blinded by the stunning exterior design, performance and gee whiz electronics which are truly exceptional. What Model S lacks is the interior amenities that we have come to expect in a premium vehicle. I hope CR doesn't overlook that.

  4. "It's easy to be flash blinded by the stunning exterior design, performance and gee whiz electronics which are truly exceptional." LOL, clearly you were not. Do you even like automobiles?

  5. Jeff - I'm not a gear head, but I do like cars. I've had a Model S reserved since 1/11. If you can look beyond the pizzazz of the 17" touchscreen and wicked acceleration, you'll see the interior lacks some features common to cars costing a lot less. To point that out is to risk offending Tesla fans. Clearly, the pluses outweigh the minuses. I'm glad you like your Volt. Sometime after the first of the year, my Model S will takes its place alongside my Leaf. But, if I want compartmented console storage, heated back seats, steering wheel and side mirrors, a CD player, aux input jack for my mp3 player or carpeted front and rear floor mats, I'll have to take the Leaf. If my wife wants a lighted sun visor vanity mirror, she'll take our Camry.

  6. no such thing as perfection and if it warrants the comment, then why not? So it lacks storage. thats one, albeit a very small one. Wish it were in my price range but oh well. still a great car

  7. @David - I totally agree with your comment and the thumbs up is mine except for one little issue - THE CAR DOES NOT LACK STORAGE. Consumer Reports actually praised its' storage in the article. See what you've started here Antony? ;-)

  8. Hey, don't shoot the messenger! ;)

  9. I rarely give CR any respect in their car reviews...

    But I am glad that they at least give Tesla a chance. In order to fully review Tesla S, I wonder which version of the Tesla S they will buy.

    If I have to guess, it will be the 40KWh version and there will be tons of complains from CR on this. They would also have to wait about 1 yr to get that version.

  10. Tesla Model S makes Leaf, Volt, and most ICE vehicles obsolete.

  11. Great car, of course, but $80k vehicles that haven't reached the 1k mark in production or sales yet haven't made anything obsolete. I hope that Tesla and others can, but comparing an $80k car with vehicles that sell in much more volume and cost less than half, on average, is jumping the gun a bit, I'd say... The EV rampup will be gradual no matter how good an example Tesla, and hopefully, others, set.

  12. I like my Volt thank you. I plan on driving it directly to a Tesla showroom as soon as their new 35K model rolls out, since there is more than one driver in the household. I may have 35,000 obsolesced miles on it by that point. Along with $40,000 in a bank account from not buying the vehicle that obsolesced it. Weird how that works out.

  13. I disagree.

    I love Tesla S and I love my Volt. Until the $35k Tesla is out, I think Volt is NOT obsolete. In fact, it is doing just fine.

    Even if you order a Tesla today, it will take you about 1 year to get it. At that point, my Volt will collect another 12,000 EV miles with 8,000 gas miles....

  14. Telsa is a nice car, and it is built in California. Consumer Reports only seems to like cars from the west coast or imported on the west coast. Many Japanese and Korean cars come into the USA from the west coast shipping ports. Hmmm, maybe there really is a bias, which means west coast manfacturing or importing get higher ratings.

  15. Elon Musk seems to be on a roll these days. Tesla S gets rave reviews, SpaceX delivers to ISS and I saw my first Solar City install in my town. What can't this guy do?

  16. Now build one for the masses and I'm so in.

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