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Consumer Reports Says Tesla Model S Is Best Overall Vehicle 318

Posted by Soulskill
from the opinionmaker-has-opinion dept.
cartechboy writes "When one thinks of Consumer Reports, refrigerator ratings and car seat reviews usually come to mind, but the organization actually reviews cars too. In fact, it just released a new round of top vehicle picks and it said the Tesla Model S is is the Best Overall Car you can buy. It's unusual, to say the least, for an outlet that typically names a Toyota or Lexus to choose an electric car that costs nearly $100,000 in most popular configurations from a Silicon Valley upstart. Interestingly, the Toyota Prius was named the Best Green Car. Isn't the Model S green? But I digress. A company that many thought would be bankrupt and closed by now has produced a brand-new electric car from scratch that Consumer Reports feels is the best car it's actually tested since 2007."
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Consumer Reports Says Tesla Model S Is Best Overall Vehicle

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  • by Virtucon (127420) on Tuesday February 25, 2014 @06:22PM (#46339579)

    "f you wanna live, you'd better step on the gas! Oh wait, is this a Tesla? Shit! Well press on the prissy pedal!" - Cartman

  • "Green" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jxander (2605655) on Tuesday February 25, 2014 @06:31PM (#46339681)

    Interestingly, the Toyota Prius was named the Best Green Car. Isn't the Model S green? But I digress

    Because the Prius is completely ordinary (or even sub par) in every aspect EXCEPT for it's "green" profile.

    The Tesla S is a genuinely great car. From power to handling to in vehicle infotainment systems, everything in the Model S is top notch.

    That might be related to the price tag of a Model S being about triple that of the Prius, but hey, you get what you pay for.

  • Best car overall?? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by David_Hart (1184661)

    So, the best car overall is a $100,000 luxury vehicle that can drive, at most, 4 hours and then needs to recharge for 5 hours??? Obviously Consumer Reports has a different set of standards than 99% of people who live in North America. Most of us are lucky if we afford one car worth $30K, let alone two (Tesla for city driving and another one for long distance).

    I thought that the Consumer Reports mission was to test and report on consumer items not luxury goods...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It only needs to recharge for 20 minutes. AND, in teh long run, the Total cost of ownership is way less than that "$30K" car. Difference is the cost basis is loaded up front. Look at what your monthly overall bills are for the life of your vehicle, including fuel and repairs, and you'll see that a Tesla is cheaper in the long run.

      • So you don't pay for repairs to the Tesla or any battery replacements?

      • by OhPlz (168413)

        $70k is going to buy a heck of lot of gas and routine service, especially if the comparison vehicle is a relatively efficient hybrid.

        Figure $3.50 for gas.. that's 20k gallons. 40mpg, that's 800k miles. Subtract a bit for periodic 6mo maintenance, I bet a lot of us would be trading in for something newer before we ever hit the point where the Tesla ends up cheaper. The Tesla owners almost certainly would be trading in sooner, shiny object complex. Repair costs remain to be seen.

        • by icebike (68054)

          So $89,000 car Minus 70,000 for your gas bill, leaves you enough money to buy and drive a $19,000 dollar for 800K miles?

          I'm afraid I'll have to bow out. I'm not spending that much time in a $19,000 car. No thank you.

        • by jxander (2605655)

          It's not just gas.

          Ever had to replace a water pump in your car? Serpentine belt? Timing belt? Radiator leaks? Head Gasket? There are a LOT of things that can go wrong with internal combustion engines

          Not that electric engines are indestructible by any stretch, but there are significantly less bits to fall off.

      • by ranton (36917)

        It only needs to recharge for 20 minutes. AND, in teh long run, the Total cost of ownership is way less than that "$30K" car. Difference is the cost basis is loaded up front. Look at what your monthly overall bills are for the life of your vehicle, including fuel and repairs, and you'll see that a Tesla is cheaper in the long run.

        Well, considering repairs are usually more expensive for more expensive cars, I doubt that the Tesla saves you on anything but gas. And if driving 15k miles per year at 20 mpg while paying $4 per gallon, it would take 20 years to break even on your Tesla purchase. Considering you probably won't keep your Tesla for 20 years, I doubt it is cheaper in the long run.

    • by DogDude (805747)
      I don't know about most people, but if I'm driving more than an hour or two, I'm renting a car so as not to put the miles on my own cars. I would never drive my commuter long distances
      • I don't know about most people, but if I'm driving more than an hour or two, I'm renting a car so as not to put the miles on my own cars. I would never drive my commuter long distances

        I do that for work trips but it doesn't work for me for vacation trips. When I drive home for Christmas (6.5 hr drive) in the Northeast we usually have snow, ice, etc. and I wouldn't trust the tires on a rental car as far as I could throw them. During the summer I need to tow stuff and, unfortunately, you cannot rent a tow vehicle...

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        You're not most people. Most people have a car in part so that they can make trips like those. A two or three-hour trip in a car turns into an epic on public transportation.

      • by PRMan (959735)
        Seriously? I'm in Southern California and I've driven to Yosemite (multiple times) Oregon, Yellowstone, Carlsbad Caverns, Arizona, Las Vegas, etc. What's the point of owning a car if you don't get to enjoy it on a long drive?
    • What makes you think expensive products for individuals aren't consumer products?

      CR is not called "Thrifty Reports".

      • What makes you think expensive products for individuals aren't consumer products?

        CR is not called "Thrifty Reports".

        My definition of a consumer item is one that most people can afford, even if it is a tiny bit of a stretch. You have to admit that a $100,000 car is well outside of the price range of most consumers. I'm not saying that it has to be the cheapest POS that everyone can afford. Just that it should be, in my opinion, somewhat affordable...

    • by icebike (68054)

      vehicle that can drive, at most, 4 hours and then needs to recharge for 5 hours??

      Quote [topspeed.com]:

      Despite all these challenges, a full seventy-six hours after leaving Los Angeles, the team rolled into New York City. The total trip was 3,427 miles and the team only spent 15 hours and 57 minutes tied to a charger.

      So lets do the math: 76(Total time) - 16(charge time) = 60 hours drive time.
      60h drive time is 4.75 greater than 16h charge time.

      So somewhere your math went off the rails.

      Of course most people sleep.
      So they can charge at home or on the road at a slower rate without inconveniencing themselves.

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      http://www1.eere.energy.gov/ve... [energy.gov]

      Your standards are low. Americans own over 1.2 cars per driver. So a 2-driver house has 2.4 cars, or about half of all 2-driver households have 3 cars.

      With the statistics as they are, it seems you are the one that's out of touch.
    • So, the best car overall is a $100,000 luxury vehicle that can drive, at most, 4 hours and then needs to recharge for 5 hours??? Obviously Consumer Reports has a different set of standards than 99% of people who live in North America. .

      CR uses a predetermined formula to rate their cars. Their formula puts heavy emphasis on fuel economy, safety, handling, comfort and practicality, and some emphasis on performance, and little or none on things like off-road capability. (As demonstrated by the Jeep Wrangler often coming in dead last in the past.) Other magazines for different audiences obviously use different weights for evaluating cars.

      I don't think that they factor price into the formula at all. The formula says how objectively "good" the

  • Stock Bump too (Score:5, Interesting)

    by icebike (68054) on Tuesday February 25, 2014 @06:42PM (#46339793)

    The Consumer Reports article plus solid financial news and analyst forecasts [go.com] for Tesla today and widely circulating speculation about their planned Gigafactory [bloomberg.com] to be announced in a couple weeks with an aim of cutting battery costs by at least 50%, all lead to a surge in the stock today (2/25).

    Even the confirmation that the Model X would indeed not surface until 2015 [cleantechnica.com] seemed to have no effect.

    The stock was up as high as 17%, and closed up just under 14% (+$30 on the day to $248). With Morgan Stanley estimating a $320 price there is probably significant growth left, It seems they will have no problem funding that 5 to 7 Billion dollar battery plant. The "giga" refers to Tesla's need to build the equivalent of all of the world’s current production of lithium ion batteries under one factory roof. May be time to invest in on Lithium stocks as well.

    Of course, the next drunk that crashes his car and lives to watch it burn will provide a stock dip, but that just sounds like importunity knocking.

    Still, I predict Haters going to Hate. They should be arriving in about 3 seconds.....

    • by Lucidus (681639)
      I don't know whether 'importunity knocking' is original to you, but that phrase made my day.
  • A company that many thought would be bankrupt and closed by now has produced a brand-new electric car from scratch that Consumer Reports feels is the best car it's actually tested since 2007.

    I have yet to meet anybody who thought Tesla "would be bankrupt and closed by now" who wasn't actively scheming toward that end. And yes, FUD counts as actively scheming.

  • Is Tesla and their cars great because they have to be -- selling a new kind of car at a high price to a customer base that demands to be catered to, in small enough quantities to care?

    Or are they great because they're doing it better and even if some magic happens to the basic technology and they can sell a mid-sized sedan with model S specs in the mid-$40s will they still be great, or will they just devolve into yet another car company with all the car company shenanigans?

    Or, to put it another way is the T

  • I haven't driven one but played around with the interior at the mall. The human/car interface is by far the best one I've used. The multitouch screen is responsive and intuitive. The material quality is top of the line. I totally would buy one if I had the money.

    • by cbhacking (979169)

      I think that's part of their genius in using in-mall showrooms. Not only does it let them use a nice small space to show off their cars, they can put them where everybody will see the car and can come ask questions about it. Very few people will go to a dealership just to look at new models unless they already plan to buy one (partially, of course, because car dealers are often quite annoying people). Almost everybody goes to the mall, though, and if they can see first-hand how awesome a car Tesla makes, it

  • by Buck Feta (3531099) on Tuesday February 25, 2014 @07:20PM (#46340149)
    And now CR Best Overall? Tesla's on fire!

    *ducks*
    • by PRMan (959735)
      Renault Alliance was Motor Trend's Car of the Year. My dad bought one and it sucked. I quit listening to anything they had to say after that.
      • by zwede (1478355)

        Renault Alliance was Motor Trend's Car of the Year. My dad bought one and it sucked. I quit listening to anything they had to say after that.

        In their defense: What other new cars were there in the early 80's? The Chrysler K-car? Maybe the Renault really was the best (least sucky) at the time.

    • Tesla's on fire!

      Is it the shoes? Boooom shakalaka!

  • Besides how much the car costs how much does it cost to get your electrical installation in your house upgraded to support charging the car? (My house was built in the 50s and it can barely handle the load of a modern house. I'm thinking I'd need to upgrade it if I want to have a tesla. I know I have to upgrade it if I wanted to add central air.)
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      First, you have to be able to upgrade. If you have 100 amp service, and you live in a dense residential neighborhood, you may not be able to upgrade to 200 amp service. You might just be SoL.

      If you can upgrade, you have to pay a contractor to bless your new service connection, and you need to pay for the connection. You may well need a new panel, and you'll need a new circuit.

    • by zwede (1478355)
      It cost me $55. My house was built in 1999 and already had 200A service. I went to Lowes and got a NEMA 14-50 receptacle, a 50A breaker and some 6 gauge wiring. I installed it according to code, of course. Don't want to take any short cuts with a 50A circuit.
  • "When one thinks of Consumer Reports, refrigerator ratings and car seat reviews usually come to mind"

    Actually i bought my subscription to Consumer Reports specifically because of the car reviews, and if i were to name the top two things that come to my mind when i think of them it would probably be cars and TVs.

    ...wait, they review car seats too?
    • by rts008 (812749)

      I haven't looked at a CR since the 1980's, but by then the aftermarket for high performance items were dying off somewhat.
      But during the 1970's, there was a strong market for that stuff.
      I can recall several reviews back then in different issues of several of the more popular 'racing seats' makers.
      Recaro were one of the more popular 'racing seat' makers.(they were VERY nice!)

      I actually used the CR article on a Recaro seat as a partial tie breaker when I bought mine in 1975 for my '69 Chevelle I raced Super S

  • by sk999 (846068) on Tuesday February 25, 2014 @08:18PM (#46340553)

    Consumer Reports has been reviewing cars forever, and I relied on them for my first two car purchases. Then I zeroed in on a Jeep (needed to get into the back country) and CR went out of its way to expressly say "DO NOT BUY THIS VEHICLE". I bought it anyway, and it was the best I've ever owned. Repair record was not perfect but still better than all those previously highly recommended vehicles, and the ergonomics were superior to anything I've have before or since. If that same model were still made today I'd buy another.

    If you are looking to buy a new vehicle, ignore CR.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

      All you have done is show how worthless anecdotes are. I'm sure some people were perfectly happy with their Zunes, and a few Sinclair digital watches probably never broke down.

      I'd take Consumer Report's advice over yours I'm afraid. They have more experience with a large number of vehicles over many decades, and most importantly if there are consistent problems with a model they will probably hear about it where as you only have one data point.

What is wanted is not the will to believe, but the will to find out, which is the exact opposite. -- Bertrand Russell, "Skeptical Essays", 1928

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