Tesla has been given a boost by the influential Consumer Reports (CR) organisation in the US, with its Model S receiving the highest score in ratings: 99 out of 100, a tally rarely achieved.

"The US$89,650 EV, built by a small automaker in Palo Alto, California, performed better, or just as well overall, as any other vehicle - of any kind - ever tested by Consumer Reports," the organisation said in a statement.

"The Tesla Model S is packed with technological innovation," said automoive test director Jake Fisher. "It 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."

The last vehicle to achieve a 99 was the Lexus LS 460L, evaluated in 2007. The Model S is the first electric vehicle to earn achive score.

CR buys its test cars and said: "With a hefty 85kWh lithium-ion battery, the Tesla is easily the most practical electric car that has been tested to date. While the Ford Focus Electric and Nissan Leaf, for example, can go about 80 and 75 miles, respectively, before needing a charge, the Model S has been delivering closer to 200 miles - ample for commuting, running plenty of errands and still being able to take the long, winding road home. Range has varied from about 180 miles on cold winter days to about 225 in more moderate temperatures.

"Over that distance, CR's Model S returned the equivalent of 84 mpg. And with a full charge costing about US$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."

Criticisms included limited range, long charging times, and coupe-like styling that impairs rear visibility and impedes access.

"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," CR said.

However, the Model S will not yet be 'Recommended' by CR "because the organisation does not have sufficient reliability data". To achieve that, a vehicle must perform well in tests, have average or better reliability in the annual auto survey and perform well in government and industry crash tests.

CR's rating announcement came as Tesla itself reported its first ever quarterly profit.

Show the press release

Consumer Reports: Tesla Model S Earns Top Overall Test Score


Model S delivers the performance of a sports car, versatility of a wagon and better energy- efficiency than the best hybrids


YONKERS, N.Y., May 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Tesla Model S, an all-electric luxury sports car, has earned the highest score in Consumer Reports' ratings: a 99 out of 100.


The $89,650 EV, built by a small automaker in Palo Alto, California, performed better, or just as well overall, as any other vehicle--of any kind--ever tested by Consumer Reports.


"The Tesla Model S is packed with technological innovation," said Jake Fisher, director of Automotive Testing for Consumer Reports. "It 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."


The last vehicle to achieve a 99 in CR's testing was the Lexus LS 460L, which CR tested in 2007. The Model S is the first time any electric vehicle to earn that score.


From a start, the Model S catapults from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 5.6 seconds. Engineers said its pinpoint handling is reminiscent of a Porsche, and the beautifully-crafted interior calls to mind an Audi. It's also the quietest car that Consumer Reports has tested since the Lexus LS.


Complete tests and ratings of the Model S appear on www.ConsumerReports.org today, and in the July issue of Consumer Reports, on newsstands May 30. Updated daily, ConsumerReports.org is the go-to Website for the latest auto reviews, product news, blogs on breaking news and car buying information. Check out CR's ongoing Twitter feed at @CRCars.


With a hefty 85-kWh lithium-ion battery, CR's Tesla is easily the most practical electric car that has been tested to date. While the Ford Focus Electric and Nissan Leaf, for example, can go about 80 and 75 miles, respectively, before needing a charge, the Model S has been delivering closer to 200 miles--ample for commuting, running plenty of errands and still being able to take the long, winding road home. Range has varied from about 180 miles on cold winter days to about 225 in more moderate temperatures.


Over that distance, CR's Model S returned the equivalent of 84 mpg. And 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 Model S isn't perfect. Its lows include limited range, long charging times, and coupe-like styling that impairs rear visibility and impedes access. 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.


The Model S cannot yet be Recommended by Consumer Reports because the organization does not have sufficient reliability data. To be Recommended, a vehicle must perform well in CR's battery of tests, have average or better reliability in CR's Annual Auto Survey and perform well in government and industry crash tests.

Original source: PRN