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Consumer reports rates Tesla Model S with a "near perfect" score...

99 out of 100. Best ever in the luxury sedan category. Previous high score was 97. Great write up in the Road Test.

Wonder what it takes together a "100?"

Now we can await the Fox News report that highlights "Consumer Reports Dings Tesla"

8--))))))

Wow!....just wow!

Any guesses on where MS came up short. I'm stumped.

CR says the only reason for not getting 100 is length of time to "refill" the battery.

Today is the day that all MS owners should celebrate! We had attack from Broder. We had doubt from EV and TM bashers and haters. However, we believe in TM and MS. Today MS and TM are vindicated through CR and Wall Street.

There is no greater accolade than to get a great review from Consumer Reports. This is the "smart consumer" bible. People sitting on the fence will be convinced. Doubters will be convinced. Right Wingers will be convinc . . . well maybe not.

SamoSam....I 'lean' more to conservative/'right' and I am 'all in' both investing in the company and buying an 'S' :)

Some of the vocal conservatives are either bought out by the big oil or are just plain dumb(Bachman, perry, beck, etc).

We need more conservatives like huntsman.

Why the hell no 100 out of 100? I don't get what it would take to get that? Maybe I should read the article first though, huh? :)

Pity there are still no crash test ratings - that would seal it.

Elon just commented on the last 1% point, refill speed. He says its possible (worldwide) to refill faster than a gas car can. My tweet: "Holy MegaWatts, Batman!"

it's

Made a killing in the last feew weeks and still making one!

Maybe they are reserving 100 as a carrot?

Yes, it's like scores in the Olympics. If you have a 10 point scale, you don't give a 10 to the first competitor. You wait and see how the rest of the field stacks up.

In CR's case, the 99/100 was as good as can be expected. You always want to leave a little room at the top for improvement. Apparently Elon is working on changing the Lithium pack into a Dilithium back chargeable in moments. Consumer Reports will still give it a 99 as it took out 20 city blocks when they plugged it in.

No worries. 99 is as good as it gets. We probably got screwed because of the cupholders, but that can be fixed.

Our Model S arrives later this month, but it will not be perfect, nor even as close to ideal as it should be, e.g. No seat memory, no storage in the doors, no rear seat cup holders, no corner tracking headlights....

Niggles? For sure but examples of details that remain to evolve, and there are others that have been noted elsewhere. Still, an amazing overall "first effort" and worthy of a 99, but Elon knows there is room on the road ahead for even more polishing and development.

They raise a number of issues in the article, I'll copy/paste for you. (note, these are just the negatives raised in the article)

"When it’s left unplugged, we noted a parasitic loss of energy that amounts to 12 to 15 miles of range per day. That could be a concern if, say, the car is parked at an airport for an extended period. Tesla has promised a fix for that."

"But the (touch-screen) system has several downsides. Most functions can’t be performed without looking at the screen, even if briefly. Some simple tasks that require only one button in other cars take an extra step or two in the Model S. And some features, such as Internet surfing, can be very distracting while driving. The screen is easy to read, but it can wash out in direct sunlight."

Lows: Limited range, long charging times, access, visibility, some controls

Access: Impeded by low stance; short, thick doors; and tall sills

Visibility: Coupelike styling, small windows, and thick pillars impair the view.

Cabin storage: There’s a large open enclosure on the floor but no enclosed storage other than a modest glove box.

Head restraints: Rear ones are not tall enough to provide adequate protection

Child seats: It’s difficult to secure child seats.

If anyone else wants to read the full article, it's here:
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2013/07/tesla-model-s-review...

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It's kind of surprising the rating is so high given the issues they noted, honestly.

But yeah, the 99/100 is basically a "road test" score, not an indicator of overall value, reliability, etc.

Funny thing is, they aren't even testing a MSP - just an 85kwh Model S (0-60 5.6 seconds).

@gparrott - The S does have seat memory and corner tracking headlights.

@archibaldcrane

Thanks.

@JZ13,

Thanks, that is good news for us. My wife is 8" or so shorter than me, so having the seats move to my position will save me some bruised knees. Our BMW 3 series had seat memory, but it never worked consistently.

As I sit in a campground charging at 240V and 40A, waiting to add 200 miles at 28 mi/hour of charging, I agree with CR about the length of time it takes to recharge. I will spend 5-6 hours here. Yesterday I used the superchargers in Calif. and they were great. Three hours of driving and one hour of charging while I exercised my legs and had a bite to eat. Today, I have exercised and eaten and still have several hours to wait.

Archibaldcrane,

THANKS for access to the full CR article. I subscribe to the mag., but let my online subscription lapse.

I wonder if they did quarter mile testing?

Our incoming Model S is the base 85kW version too.

For those that do not subscribe to consumerreports.org online, here a copy of the article without the embedded video, photos & comparison chart on cost efficiency:

Slipping behind the wheel of the Tesla Model S is like crossing into a promising zero-emissions future. This electric luxury sports car, built by a small automaker based in Palo Alto, Calif., is brimming with innovation, delivers world-class performance, and is interwoven throughout with impressive attention to detail. It’s what Marty McFly might have brought back in place of his DeLorean in  “Back to the Future.” The sum total of that effort has earned the Model S the highest score in our Ratings: 99 out of  100. That is far ahead of such direct competitors as the gas-powered Porsche Panamera (84) and the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid (57).

The Tesla rivets your attention from the start. Simply touching the flush aluminum door handles causes them to slide outward, welcoming you inside. With the car-shaped fob in your pocket or purse, a tap of the brake pedal brings the Model S to life. There’s no need to insert a key or press a button. You’re immediately greeted by the glow of a huge 17-inch video display that dominates the center of the dash and allows you to control everything, such as adjusting the suspension’s ride height and setting up a new Slacker Radio channel. And as you dip into the throttle, you experience a silent yet potent surge of power that will make many sports cars weep with envy.

With its hefty 85-kWh lithium-ion battery, our Tesla is easily the most practical electric car we’ve tested. Though the Ford Focus Electric and Nissan Leaf can go about 80 and 75 miles, respectively, before needing a charge, our Model S has been giving us around 200 miles: ample for commuting, running plenty of errands, and still being able to take the long, winding way home. Those results have ranged from about 180 miles on cold winter days to about 225 in more moderate temperatures. Moreover, our car has delivered the energy equivalent of 84 mpg. With a full charge costing about $9 (at the national average of 11 cents per kWh), it’s like running a conventional car on gasoline that costs $1.20 per gallon.

The Tesla not only leaps beyond all normal expectations of electric cars but it also shines in several areas compared with conventional cars. From a standstill, it catapults from 0-to-60 mph in a mere 5.6 seconds, rivaling the V8-powered BMW 750Li and Jaguar XJL. Its pinpoint handling is reminiscent of a Porsche. The beautifully crafted interior calls to mind that of an Audi. And it’s the quietest car we’ve tested since the Lexus LS.

Even the buying experience is innovative; you can order your car online directly from Tesla, with no dealer interaction.

Reality check

Under the hood there’s a modest front trunk, called a “frunk” by Tesla. Though the Tesla doesn’t come with the usual range anxiety of other EVs, you still need to plan ahead to avoid running out of juice. And charging our battery, which is the largest available, takes a long 12 hours on a standard 240-volt electric-car charger. That’s why Tesla offers a dedicated high-power wall connector, $1,200, that replenishes the battery in 5 hours. Still, that requires the $1,500 Twin Chargers option and an 80-amp circuit at your home or workplace. We’ve been charging in standard mode because Tesla advises against frequently using the max-range mode.

If you’re driving on a major highway in California or the Northeast, you may be able to use one of Tesla’s free Supercharger stations, which let you fill the battery halfway in about 30 minutes.

When it’s left unplugged, we noted a parasitic loss of energy that amounts to 12 to 15 miles of range per day. That could be a concern if, say, the car is parked at an airport for an extended period. Tesla has promised a fix for that.

The Model S also lacks some high-end features that are expected at this price, including a lane-departure warning system.

Another concern is investing in a new car and startup company with no track record for reliability or resale value, and a skimpy (although growing) service network. So, yes, despite its stratospheric road-test score, we can’t recommend the Model S until we have sufficient reliability data.

All of its goodness comes at a price of $89,650, which is competitive with other luxury cars. Still, even if you factor in the federal tax credit of $7,500, for about the same amount you could satisfy your urges for luxury performance and green frugality by buying an Audi A6 plus a Toyota Prius, two of our 2013 Top Picks.

You could opt for a smaller 60-kWh battery, which drops the price by $10,000. But if you’re buying a Model S, you’ll want the added power and range of the larger battery. It also grants free access to Tesla’s Supercharging stations, which is otherwise a $2,000 option.

High-tech luxury

This $1,500 rear-facing third-row seat holds two small children. With no engine over the front axle and the battery mounted low on the chassis, the Tesla provides lithe, agile handling that makes it invigorating to drive.

You’re also treated to a luxury-car ride. With 19-inch wheels and the optional air-suspension system, our Model S feels taut but supple over bumps, and it glides serenely on the highway. But the larger 21-inch summer tires provide less isolation.

Braking is excellent. In standard mode, lifting off of the throttle causes the regenerative braking system to rapidly decelerate the car to recapture energy. Initially that can feel like, well, you left the emergency brake on. But the system can easily be set to feel more normal.

Inside, the Tesla’s seats provide good support but are frills-free. The rear seat provides good leg room but is too low for optimum comfort. Three adults will fit back there, but it’s crowded.

The all-digital instrument cluster is colorful, crisp, bright, and easy to read. All except a few functions are controlled through the giant touch screen. Icons, fonts, and virtual buttons are large, clear, and easy to use. And the screen is very responsive. You can split the display between two functions—the navigation map, say, and the media player—or you can have one big display. Some functions are performed by swiping, like on an iPad.

But the system has several downsides. Most functions can’t be performed without looking at the screen, even if briefly. Some simple tasks that require only one button in other cars take an extra step or two in the Model S. And some features, such as Internet surfing, can be very distracting while driving. The screen is easy to read, but it can wash out in direct sunlight. On the plus side, Tesla can download software updates and new features down the road.

With a handy smart-phone app, you can remotely control the charging, monitor battery level, and heat or cool the cabin while the car is plugged in to maximize range.

The Model S has no spare tire, no air compressor, and no run-flats. If you have a flat, you’ll have to call Tesla’s roadside assistance.

Highs Energy efficiency, acceleration, quietness, ride, handling, braking, easy-to-use touch screen, luggage capacity, fit and finish
Lows Limited range, long charging times, access, visibility, some controls
Trim line Base, 85 kWh
Drivetrain 362-hp electric motor, single-speed direct-drive transmission, rear-wheel drive

Major options 85-kWh battery, panoramic roof, leather, technology package, air suspension, third-row seat, twin chargers
Tested price $89,650
Other Trim Lines 60 kWh, 85 kWh Performance
Other drivetrains 302-hp, 416-hp electric motors
Base prices $69,900-$94,900 (without the $7,500 federal tax credit)

More test findings
Braking Short stops on all surfaces
Headlights Standard xenon lamps provide good all-around visibility. The intensity was good but not as bright as in other xenon lamps
Access Impeded by low stance; short, thick doors; and tall sills
Visibility Coupelike styling, small windows, and thick pillars impair the view. The rearview camera is excellent
Cabin storage There’s a large open enclosure on the floor but no enclosed storage other than a modest glove box. A center console is available
Head restraints Rear ones are not tall enough to provide adequate protection
Child seats It’s difficult to secure child seats. A rear-facing, third-row jump seat is available

Pennies per mile
The Tesla Model S costs far less to operate per mile than gasoline-powered cars, even hybrids, and can go farther than other electric cars before needing a charge.

Watch this:

Talking Cars with Consumer Reports: #5 Tesla Model S - YouTube

@archibaldcrane

Thanks for access!


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