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The Tesla Model S was one of the best cars Consumer Rep... The Tesla Model S was one of the best cars Consumer Reports ever tested. (Tesla)
Consumer Reports adores the Tesla Model S. That's the latest honor for the luxury electric vehicle, which also won Motor Trend Car of the Year. The news is pumping Tesla's share price, rewarding investors who took a chance on the start-up company.

After putting the Model S through a rigorous evaluation, the Yonkers, N.Y., independent product-testing organization has given the electric vehicle a score of 99 out of 100, the highest score it has ever awarded any vehicle. But it is holding back actually putting the car on its "recommended list."

Consumer Reports doesn't often hand out such high marks. The last car to achieve a similar score was the Lexus LS 460L, which Consumer Reports tested in 2007.

"The Tesla Model S ... accelerates, handles and brakes like a sports car, it has the ride and quietness of a luxury car and is far more energy efficient than the best hybrid cars," said Jake Fisher, director of Automotive Testing for Consumer Reports in a press release announcing results from the evaluation.
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But the fact that Tesla is still a young company with a limited dealer network and no track record of resale value or reliability was also a concern. Despite its top score in the battery of tests, Consumer Reports stopped short of giving the Tesla Model S its coveted "Recommended" rating, because there is not yet enough reliability data on the vehicle.

The good news keeps coming for Tesla. Late Wednesday, the automaker reported adjusted earnings of $15 million on revenue of $561.8 million, up from just $30.2 million last year. It was the company's first quarterly profit since it was founded a decade ago, and the news sent shares soaring, up 20 percent before the stock market opened Thursday.

Tesla reached $70.46 today before sliding back a little. That is up from a 52-week low of $25.52, far out-pacing the gains of the S&P 500 and Dow Jones this year.

"It is an astonishing run on the shares," said AOL Autos Editor-in-Chief and director of industry analysis David Kiley. "But this feel like a late 1990s dot-com stock to me ... there is ceiling on how many luxury electric vehicles the public will absorb, so I say investor beware at these prices."

Check out Daily Finance's take on Tesla here.

Voted 'Most Practical'

Consumer Reports editors said that the $89,650 Model S is the most practical electric car they've ever tested, thanks to its large 85-kilowatt-hour, lithium-ion battery, which gave it more than twice the range of the Ford Focus Electric and Nissan Leaf.

It drove 180 to 225 miles on a single charge, depending on how cold it was outside. When the temperature dropped, so did the range, because batteries discharge faster in cold weather. Road conditions, such as hilly terrain, can also severely curb the distance electric vehicles can drive on a single charge. The Environmental Protection Agency has certified the Model S equipped with the 85-kilowatt-hour battery for a range of 265 miles. A smaller, more affordable battery is also available and is EPA-certified for 208 miles.

The Tesla Model S returned the equivalent of 84 miles per gallon, which is considerably better than a Toyota Prius' estimated fuel economy of 50 miles per gallon overall. At the national average of 11 cents per kilowatt-hour, it cost about $9 to fully charge the battery, which Consumer Reports said is like running a conventional car on gasoline that costs $1.20 a gallon.

Editors liked the way the Model S drove and likened its sharp handling to that of a Porsche. Its acceleration was impressive, sprinting from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 5.6 seconds. Editors also gave high marks for the interior, which they deemed as beautifully crafted as the inside of an Audi-and quiet. In fact, the Tesla Model S is the quietest car Consumer Reports has tested since the Lexus LS, not surprising given its electric propulsion.

The review wasn't all positive, though. Editors dinged the Model S for its range, which though good for an electric car, is still limited when compared to conventional vehicles. They also cited long charge times and "coupe-like styling that impairs rear visibility and access" as significant downsides.



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  • 29 Comments
      avanticrzy
      • 1 Year Ago
      And as long as you just use your 100K car to run to the store it'll keep being great..............but wait till you really want go somewhere, that's when you opt for your VW TDI................
      Bob
      • 1 Year Ago
      What CR tells me is not worth much !..
      macdoodle47
      • 1 Year Ago
      How many car guys love consumer reports?
        • 1 Year Ago
        @macdoodle47
        I do. :)
      Brian Workman
      • 1 Year Ago
      Do you think CR is getting a huge $$$$$ kickback in advertisement fees!?!?
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Brian Workman
        No, they most certainly are not. They buy all their own vehicles. They are a non-profit.
      tony941
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why would I want to spend all of that money for a car with a range that is good enough to get me back and forth to the store, get my kid to school and other short trips around town, with out worrying about running out of power? What if I lived in the inner city where parking was limited to where I couldn't park close to my residence to plug it in for a charge? The average full charge will last approximately 3 hrs of highway driving. The average quick charge will take approximately 3 hours, if you're fortunate enough to find a facility to plug it in. With this type of range and recharge rate, the approximate driving distance of 900 miles from Jacksonville, Fl to New York City would take approximately 14 hours with a gasoline driven car, and will be doubled to that at 28 hrs in one of these nice quiet electric cars. I don't even want to think about the expense of the cost of service and drive train replacement, such as motor, drive line and battery. These high costs have already demonstrated themselves in today's hibred cars. What was Consumer Reports thinking by not giving a complete open evolution of this car? Range and recharge times are the biggest draw backs in all total electric cars, and it was noted as a small after thought in this evaluation. This type of powered car has been tried in the past and had gone by way of the others like it, such as the steam powered vehicle.
        CarNutMike
        • 1 Year Ago
        @tony941
        See, now you're just making stuff up. I'm no Prius fan (would sooner poke my eyes out with a number 2 pencil than own one) but they have proven to be DIRT CHEAP to own. The batteries almost never die and there's a cottage industry of people to refurb them. In exchange for the battery/motor, you lose a traditional multispeed transmission, a big source of problems on old cars. If you take lots of long drives like that, this car is not for you. Do you? I get on a plane. I just noticed that a Corvette makes no sense if you have 4 kids. You should post about it on the Corvette forums. If you live in the "inner city", this car is probably not for you either. An SL Mercedes might be a bad choice too. There are probably Mercedes forums too. Personally, I SLEEP 8 hours a day. Waking up to a "full" car every morning would be kind of sweet.
      sfagen08
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm sure not what Tesla had in mind.
      ooc5477
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good for this electric! But at $85,000, how many of us can afford to own one---certainly not I!!!
      Dennis
      • 1 Year Ago
      I can bur a lot of gas for the di9ffent in price , who flooing who...
      a214943
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'd buy one if I was in the market for a new car!
      legacymedimaging
      • 1 Year Ago
      who can trust Consumer Reports remember the Jeep CJ report
      Rampant
      • 1 Year Ago
      My local electric monopoly charges us $.29/KwH, which would make a full charge of the batteries cost about the same as filling up a car at $3.12/gallon. WHAT A SAVINGS!!! At least with a conventional vehicle you have the option of price shopping to get a better deal, at least giving you the appearance of a choice of which gigantic, money grubbing corporation you can support with your dollars. Also, n6fb's comment is 100% correct - We are burning coal to power EV's which creates increased volumes of not only carbon emissions, but also mercury emissions, poisoning the oceans. Repeated conversions from A/C to D/C and the stubborn refusal to go to a true 60 cycles per second, in addition to other issues, cause parasitic losses in efficiency that have yet to be fully researched. Current battery tech is reaching its limits without some major breakthrough and no matter how you fund it, research is very expensive.
        CarNutMike
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rampant
        Feel free to correct my math below. CO2 from a Tesla FULLY charged from coal (which never happens...) is equivalent to a 30mpg car if that kind of thing keeps you up at night. Assume you drive a Prius. I don't and I don't lose much sleep over it. "Repeated conversions from A/C to D/C and the stubborn refusal to go to a true 60 cycles per second, in addition to other issues, cause parasitic losses in efficiency that have yet to be fully researched." What in the world are you talking about? The charger in the car converts AC to DC, then the inverter converts it back to a *variable* waveform to control the AC motor. What research is required? Sorry your electricity is so outrageous. National average is 11 or 12 cents. Most utilities have time-of-use options that make night time/weekend charging ridiculously cheap.
          Rampant
          • 1 Year Ago
          @CarNutMike
          I accept your challenge. It takes .813 lbs of coal to produce 1kwh of energy. *source - http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/energy/question481.htm* .813 x 80kwh = 65.04lbs of coal or 29.5 kilos of coal. Each kilo of coal produces 2.93kg of CO2 *source - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal and http://www.eia.gov/coal/production/quarterly/co2_article/co2.html* 29.5 kilos x 2.93 = 83.425kg of CO2 The average combined economy for 2013 car sales is 24.5mpg *source - http://www.treehugger.com/cars/new-vehicle-average-fuel-economy-reaches-record-245-mpg-january-2013.html* So to equal the Tesla's maximum range of 225 miles it would take an average of 9.19 gallons of gas. Each gallon of gas produces 19.564 lbs of CO2, or 8.88kg *source - http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2006/11/how_gasoline_becomes_co2.html*. 8.88 x 9.19 = 81.6072 81.6072 < 83.425kg So yes, you are wrong. And you don't get some massive break because of renewable energy, 89.6% of US energy production comes from fossil fuels or nuclear *source - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coal_power_in_the_United_States*. Before you argue - yes, nuclear is a dirty energy source. Anything that leaves behind toxic waste for tens of thousands to millions of years is a dirty energy source.
      Fred
      • 1 Year Ago
      How does your local electricity provider generate electricity you need to charge an electric car? Coal, Oil, ??? Why does the Model S cost in eccess of 85K? How about going back to the drawinmg board and come out with an electric like the Model S, that retails for 35K? Why is it 85K? Battery cost???, salaries of execs? or what! Fred Gramcko
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