2013 Tesla Model S Electric Car: Consumer Reports Still In Love

Consumer Reports tests the Tesla Model S (video screen capture)

Consumer Reports tests the Tesla Model S (video screen capture)

Enlarge Photo

Consumer Reports' love affair with the Tesla Model S electric car is proving to be more than just a casual fling.

One year and 11,380 miles after taking delivery of its Model S, the magazine is still raving about its battery-electric luxury sport sedan.

The appeal of the Model S' electric powertrain--particularly its "rocket-like launch feel"--and its well-appointed interior apparently hasn't worn off.

Consumer Reports' readers are also pleased with Tesla Motors' luxury electric car.

The Tesla garnered the highest-ever marks for customer satisfaction in a Consumer Reports survey, and received a reliability rating of "Average" based on reports from 637 owners.

Only a few minor issues have cropped up during the Model S's tenure with Consumer Reports.

While the 85-kilowatt-hour Model S is EPA-rated for a 265-mile range, significantly greater than other electric car, it largely wasn't able to achieve that range in real-world driving.

2013 Tesla Model S

2013 Tesla Model S

Enlarge Photo

Testers were able to get a maximum 225 miles of range.

This was partially due to the use of the "normal" charging mode (Tesla cautions against using the "max range" setting too frequently), and the battery pack's susceptibility to changing weather conditions.

Drivers found that, in typical Northeast winter weather, the range indicator would drop by 3 miles for every 1 mile traveled.

Consumer Reports' Model S also suffered from "vampire" power draw, even after a software update that was supposed to remedy the issue was installed.

Despite those issues, the magazine's staff is still enamored with the Model S, saying its shortcomings haven't dampened its drivers' spirits yet.

Last spring, the Model S earned a test score of 99 points on Consumer Reports' 100-point scale, making it the highest-rated car since 2007 tested by the magazine.


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