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Consumer Reports Fails To Recommend Tesla Model 3

Electric Car / 18 Comments

The trusted publication won't recommend Tesla's latest. Here's why.

For all of the hype surrounding the Tesla Model 3, there have been blunders, mainly on the production line itself, and questions surrounding the automaker's financial health. But what about the final product? According to Consumer Reports, the Tesla Model 3 has some serious flaws, at least its test vehicle did. Considering Consumer Reports, a long-time go-to source for honest reviews void of advertising dollars to fund them, had issues with the affordable EV should spark (pun intended) some concern.

The bottom line: the Model 3 failed to secure CR's coveted "Recommendation." One of the main reasons why is the vehicle's long breaking distance. At 152 feet to stop from 60 mph, CR says this is "far worse than any contemporary car we've tested." To compare, this stopping distance is about 7 feet longer than that of the Ford F-150. Tesla, as expected, disputes CR's findings here, claiming its own tests show the Model 3 requires 133 feet to stop from 60 mph. The discrepancy, again according to Tesla, stems from stopping distances being affected by several factors, among them weather conditions, road surface and tire temperature.

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But CR is sticking to its guns here, explaining that the "test is based on an industry-standard procedure designed by SAE International." Moreover, the test was conducted several times with a cool down period in between runs. Interestingly, CR's first braking distance tested resulted in around 130 feet, very similar to Tesla's findings. Unfortunately however, the distance could not be repeated even after an overnight brake cooling period. This inconsistency was reason for CR to get a second Model 3 (loaned by a private owner) to verify the previous results. Sure enough, the second Model 3 has "almost identical results."

Aside from poor stopping distance, CR had issue with the Model 3's control and display placement within the large 15-inch touchscreen, unsupportive rear seats, stiff ride, and excessive wind noise. Handling and performance and driving range (up to 350 miles per charge), however, earned CR's praises. But without that CR "Recommendation," the Tesla Model 3 lacks something we're sure Elon Musk and crew very much want to have.