Consumer Reports' view of Tesla Model X: 'fast but flawed'


2016 Tesla Model X

2016 Tesla Model X

Enlarge Photo

Consumer Reports has an interesting relationship with Tesla electric cars: it's complicated.

The magazine initially praised the Tesla Model S, but pulled its "recommended" rating after reliability issues cropped up.

It has also become one of the loudest critics of Tesla's Autopilot system, criticizing the name and its beta status among other factors.

DON'T MISS: Tesla falls even further as Consumer Reports ranks reliability

The well-respected magazine also found fault with the initial build quality of the Model X—and it hasn't changed its negative opinion after a full review of the electric crossover.

The Model X is "fast but flawed," Consumer Reports concluded after a complete road test of a P90D version.

Testers acknowledged the Model X's much-publicized features, including roof-hinged "Falcon doors," an expansive windshield, and the P90D's impressive performance.

2016 Tesla Model X

2016 Tesla Model X

Enlarge Photo

But beyond what it calls "brag-worthy" magic, Consumer Reports declared that the Model X "largely disappoints."

Many of the noteworthy features compromise practicality, the magazine noted.

The power-operated "Falcon doors" are "prone to pausing and stopping," testers said, adding that the massive windshield allows too much glare.

ALSO SEE: Tesla Autopilot 8.0 better, still needs improvement, says Consumer Reports

While they declared the front-row seats "roomy and plush" testers said the third-row seats were only suitable for children, and dinged the second-row seats for not being able to fold.

Consumer Reports was impressed by the Model X P90D's performance, and recorded a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.9 seconds and a range of 230 miles when driven "sedately."

Tesla quotes a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.8 seconds for the P90D, and the EPA-rated range is a somewhat higher 250 miles.

2016 Tesla Model X

2016 Tesla Model X

Enlarge Photo

Consumer Reports said the Model X "corners more like a sports sedan than an SUV," but that its ride quality was too harsh for a vehicle in its price range.

The 17-inch touchscreen that has been a fixture in Tesla electric cars since the launch of the Model S also came in for some criticism.

Testers found that the screen—which controls most vehicle functions—required drivers to take their eyes off the road too often.

MORE: Consumer Reports slams Tesla on Autopilot: 'too much, too soon'

Consumer Reports' previous criticism of the Autopilot driver-assist system also applies to the Model X, which is available with the system.

The magazine has said that Tesla must add more safeguards, and has called use of the name "Autopilot" misleading, because it implies that the system allows fully-autonomous driving (it does not).

In addition to receiving a poor review, quality issues with early-build Model X vehicles also hurt Tesla's score in Consumer Reports' brand rankings.

2016 Tesla Model X

2016 Tesla Model X

Enlarge Photo

Tesla was ranked 25th on reliability out of 29 brands surveyed for 2016.

Because Consumer Reports requires two models with sufficient data for its brand rankings, this was the first year Tesla appeared as a brand.

The Model X appeared too late in 2015 to be considered for that year, although the magazine has published reliability ratings for the Model S previously.

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