Our friends at Kelley Blue Book have taken an unflinching look at the Tesla Model S in a new video. The crew originally planned to pack up and whip the electric sedan all the way to Las Vegas from Los Angeles, but got sidelined by a flat tire. The ensuing detour to a Tesla service center resulted in a day of hopping from charge point to charge point and a number of close calls on the range front. Confronted with cold temperatures, a desire to make time and some serious topography, the Model S pulled up short on projected range but never left the guys stranded.

The team eventually makes it to Vegas and discovers the aggravation of trying to charge the car with anything other than the company's supercharger stations. The return trip goes quite a bit better, however, and KBB starts to figure out what makes the Model S so special. We won't ruin the end for you. You can check out the full clip below.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 165 Comments
      mustang_sallad
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good review, pretty fair, but yeah, this is getting pretty repetitive, going after the one thing this car doesn't do well. It's like we're seeing review after review of the new Viper, and every single reviewer is fixated on using the car to help friends move or something like that.
        macutty
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mustang_sallad
        People who buy vipers arent considering it over a truck. People (potentially) looking at Teslas are considering it over other vehichles that can log long distances and can be refueld to continue such journeys in minutes. The buld quality, features, meterials were covered months ago add nauseum. This is the achillies heal of the car (compared to others in its class) so its only natural that it is what stands out with a road test. The car is very significant, but significant in the same way Windows 1.x through 3.x were.....its not going to be revolutionary until it hits its 4th or 5th generation like Windows 98. The fanbois will tell you otherwise but the simple fact remians that new technology almost always needs a few generations to mature and Tesla is on its way but not there yet.
          fly by wireless
          • 1 Year Ago
          @macutty
          Next they'll try hauling boats with Miatas and Corvettes. Such trollshit.
          Joeviocoe
          • 1 Year Ago
          @macutty
          "People (potentially) looking at Teslas are considering it over other vehichles that can log long distances and can be refueld to continue such journeys in minutes. " Bull..... Crap. Some regular drivers may want to buy a Tesla as their only car... most will not. The very price-point ensures that the drivers are wealthy enough to have more than one car. Automotive journalists don't review that way though. They review based on having this one car, as your only car.
          jkirkebo
          • 1 Year Ago
          @macutty
          The Model S won't be our only car at least. We will also keep the Leaf ;)
      Generic
      • 1 Year Ago
      Because a review of a trip to work and the store and back with 200 miles left to spare would make for one boring ass review.
      rmt_1
      • 1 Year Ago
      Isn't it amazing just how far one can go, literally, with a little common sense? The only potential real flaw that was discovered here was the Tesla's wheel/tire combination that required the car be taken to a specific tire repair location to deal with the leaking tire. If the car had a more common tire size, Mr. Muzio could have taken it to one of a hundred tire places in Southern California to get the tire fixed or replaced and not compromise the car's range in the first place. Other than being cautious driving an expensive car that he didn't know well and certainly didn't own, Mr. Muzio drove the car in a normal fashion and unlike Broder, he actually understood what the range information meant and thought about what driving up a mountain could do to the car's range. Also, he didn't follow Broder's lead in being oblivious to the fact there are electric car chargers available out there that could be used to extend the Tesla's range enough to create a safety margin when in doubt. Over the course of the trip, Mr. Muzio learned that there are times when he should have charged the car longer in order to drive at a faster speed and at other times he could have saved some time if he didn't charge quite so long; basically, there's a bit of a learning curve just like any other car on the road and that in most ways the Tesla is just another car. If Broder had some of Mr. Muzio's common sense, he wouldn't be the subject of so much ridicule.
        Micah Muzio
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rmt_1
        Thanks for the vote of support. We really weren't trying to be salacious. Everything happened exactly as presented, imperfect decision making and all. We learned, adapted, and hopefully emerged wiser. For the record, I would happily drive a Model S to Vegas again. Having done it once the balance between speed, time and battery charge should be much easier to manage. Cheers, Micah
        bajohn3
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rmt_1
        A $10 tire plug kit would allow you to fix a puncture anywhere that has a tire inflator, without taking the wheel off. Throw in a 12V inflator and you can do it anywhere. Something to keep in the trunk, or the frunk.
      Daniel D
      • 1 Year Ago
      There are two things about this electric car that I am always reminded of when I see reviews like this. This is the only electric car out there I would love to drive and think is just down right cool on its own terms and this is the Model T of electric cars. It proves we can live with electric cars, from here, like the Model T and what followed it, it only gets better.
        SloopJohnB
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Daniel D
        Well said. It's probably more the Model A or Ford flathead V8....the real issue with electric cars, same as in the early Model T days if not before that is the battery.
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      And here is another spectacular review of the car by Road & Track: http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-reviews/road-tests/road-test-2013-tesla-model-s Besy line: "Beautiful, well-crafted, cool, and seriously fast, the Model S isn't just the most important car of the year. It's the most important car America has made in an entire lifetime." Which is very similar to some of the reasons given by Motor Trend when they gave the Model S the Car of the Year award.
      Tyler Davis
      • 1 Year Ago
      Everyone should subscribe to KBB's YouTube Channel. Micah Muzio does a great job with the reviews.
      Jonathan Wayne
      • 1 Year Ago
      Very good review, love the Tesla. And as it has been mentioned before several times, if you are going on that rare long road trip across the country and you are worried about range, rent a car. This car will only get better and cheaper as time goes on.
      Moreno636
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why is every review of the Model S a 1% review? Why dont they do a 30 day Daily Driver review...that would be helpful for 99% of the actual use of this car.
        JakeY
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Moreno636
        Because they know people love the drama of almost running (or actually running) out of charge.
        Joeviocoe
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Moreno636
        That is not how automotive journalists review cars. It is a paradigm shift on many levels. Tesla would have to loan the car for a month. Which means a lot fewer cars for other reporters or customers.
        EVSUPERHERO
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Moreno636
        Range is a major aspect for Americans, As a result journalists must cover it. It is also a relatively easy thing to prove or check. Yes, it is easy to check without getting a flat bed tow truck, just slow down a bit and you will make your destination. 55 mph is faster than walking, riding a bike, and is more comfortable on a motorcycle without a windshield.
      chambo622
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great video - I had no idea KBB had such quality stuff! I think nearly every reviewer feels the need to at least bring up the "range anxiety" topic to make the story more interesting...otherwise it's just another review of what is unarguably a stellar car. Eagerly awaiting the delivery of my white 60kw model in April/May. Day to day, I'll never worry about range, charge up for next to nothing from my home solar array, and with proper planning and supercharging, occasional trips to Vegas or Northern California will not be a problem.
      flammablewater
      • 1 Year Ago
      Where are the reviews of using this car to drive to and from school & work & shopping? Can you leave it at work for 8 hours with no charger, outside where it's sub-0, and then drive home to the 110v outlet in your garage? Boring, yes, but this car is still a CAR, not just a science experiment.
        Cayman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @flammablewater
        What would be the point of that? I think everyone knows it can drive 100 miles without much of an issue. It would be like writing an article to see if you can fit a normal bag of groceries in a Ford Explorer (spoiler: you can!).
          Greg
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Cayman
          I think a better analogy would be "Can you take an Explorer off road?" The answer is "Technically, yes, but be careful because that's not what it's meant for."
      raktmn
      • 1 Year Ago
      Lessons I learned from this drive: 1) Get the 19" wheels. More places should be able to fix flats on them. 2) If you find yourself at the Tesla repair place, and you know you don't have enough charge to get to your next destination, don't Broder your trip. Take the time to have Tesla fully charge your battery before you leave.
      Ryan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Even though I live on the other side of the country, I've been to all of those places. I know that the Las Vegas EV charger he stopped at first is on the 6th floor parking garage at the Venetian. ;) And he should have mentioned that Green Valley Resort is pretty far away from the strip, but is a good place to stop at. I saw a good cover band there. Yes, Tesla needs to work with a casino to build a Super Charging station in Vegas (and in Baker). I think that will be a very common trip for Tesla drivers to make and they will want to drive 70mph all the way. Maybe if they do the test in the Spring or Fall it won't be a problem. Doing this in the middle of the Summer might be an issue if they need to use the the AC the entire way.
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