Published on February 25th, 2015 | by Christopher DeMorro


Tesla Model S Names Best Overall Car By Consumer Reports. Again.

February 25th, 2015 by  

For the second year in a row, Consumer Reports has named the Tesla Model S as its best overall vehicle. While this should come as no surprise to Model S owners, it puts the rest of the industry on notice that Tesla has staying power, as opposed to being a fad.


To recap, Consumer Reports has reported that the Tesla Model S is the most-loved car with the highest repair satisfaction surveys, and it also received the highest review score in the history of the publication, 99 out of 100, by Consumer Reports staff. About the only thing Consumer Reports took issue with on the Model S is its average reliability score, related mostly to issues with the door handles and electric motor. But that wasn’t enough to knock the Model S off of its Best Overall Vehicle throne.

The key here is that Elon Musk set out to build a great car that just happens to be electric. Customer service has also been a top priority for Tesla since day one, and while you can’t please all of the people all of the time, other automakers are paying close attention to Musk’s low-pressure, direct sales method and his battle against car dealerships that is winning him fans across the political spectrum. And lest you think Consumer Reports has some favorable bias towards EVs, it has rated the Mercedes B-Class Electric Drive (among other EVs) quite poorly.

It’s hard to take issue with the Tesla Model S when it keeps racking up award after award from some of the most respected publications in the business. Tesla is here to stay and put the industry on notice that there really is a better way to build, and sell, automobiles.

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About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.

  • There is, in my opinion, another side to this process of getting high ratings, which is perfectionism that is slowing down the production of other models. There’s no good reason that I can see to have a car developed and being tested in 2012 that still not yet released in 2015 as is the case with the Tesla Model X. Three years ago this month, Tesla revealed a working model of the Model X as can be verified by this video: In this video, Elon announces Model X deliveries “no later than July of [2012].” It’s not 3 months late, or 6 months late, or 12 months late, it’s THREE YEARS late!

    The other car manufacturers, which deliver car after car after car on time or sometimes with typically minor delays, must be laughing at the obviously sophomoric Tesla. For what it’s worth, I love Tesla otherwise, but this perfectionism is disruptive and could cause serious problems. Am I the only one noticing this counter-productive perfectionism?

    • Philip W

      I think the exact opposite. That perfectionism is what keeps Tesla alive. Just imagine what would happen if Tesla released the Model X with lots of flaws. Media would eat them alive and it would probably break their neck, since it’s such a young company.

      Now imagine what happens, if Telsa releases a perfect Model X. People will start to realize that the Model S was not some lucky product, but the company is really able to deliver more high quality products.

      • Hi Philip, my point is that there is a middle ground to having a car already built and waiting THREE YEARS before releasing it as “perfect car,” and releasing it as a “great car” sooner. I didn’t state this next point in my original comment, but a big part of the problem, again in my opinion, is because Elon, according to his own words in an interview, spends most of his time engineering instead of managing the company. Is he the CEO or an engineer? My original point is basically that there is mismanagement at Tesla. This is of course difficult to see accurately from the outside, but this are my observation as someone who follows the company. This is the discussion section, right? lol

        • NRG4All

          Part of the issue is that for a company like GM they can get the car nearly perfected and then release it knowing that they have a huge dealer network to fix the problems in the field. I know when I worked at GM as an equipment operator, the push was for production, not 100% quality. Obviously, Tesla does not have such a network to fix poor production quality in the field. This may have a bearing on why Tesla is so obsessed with releasing a product only when they think it is ready.

        • Philip W

          3 years is indeed a bit long, they were probably a bit ambitious with their 2012 date, but I guess they learned from that and it won’t happen in that magnitude for the Model 3. Let’s hope so.

          I’ve heard that in one of Elons interviews, too, that engineering actually occupies most of his time. I was quite surprised, but it seems to work.

          What exactly indicates to you, that there is mismanagement at Tesla? I’ve never seen it this way.

          • Regarding my point that I see Elon’s day-to-day focus on engineering as mismanagement is only my opinion of how a company is best run. Your view is equally valid of course. To think of Jack Welch to have ever gotten involved in some technical engineering matters would simply never have happened. He ran GE, a conglomerate. I wonder if Elon shares his CEO responsibilities with others.

          • Philip W

            Maybe it’s the engineering that makes Elon so succesful. If he is interested in a technology he just learns everything about and can therefore make good decisions.
            I’ve seen an interview with some rocket scientist that said that Elon asked him lots of questions and read a lot of books about rockets. Elon was one of the quickest learners he ever met. He just taught himself rocketscience, that’s quite an accomplishment.

          • I have no doubt he’s a very good engineer. Tesla needs a CEO who makes sure cars get delivered on time.

          • Brooks Bridges

            In the entire life of CR, 99 is the highest rating ever given. Meanwhile Porsche, Mercedes, BMW have been around for ages and haven’t pulled this off. Elon didn’t do this single handedly – among his many talents is picking superb people to work with him. He also started up Paypal, Tesla, the Space Dragon (they’re modifying the orbiting space station right now for Dragon and Boeing’s vehicles to dock); I’d say he’s very aware of the eventual need for a full time CEO for Tesla. He also seems to be simply (and justifiably) very self confident – but no prima donna. He’s a once in a century (maybe 2 or 3 centuries) kind of genius.

            Let me put it another way: If you’ve thought of it, he had the same thought years ago and decided it wasn’t necessary at this time.

  • spec9

    Yes, the Model S is great. Bravo. But it is still a niche vehicle for the wealthy. All eyes are on the Gigafactory and the promise of the Model 3.

    • Brooks Bridges

      Yeah but: It’s still cheaper than some BMW’s, Porsche’s, etc.
      I think it’s part of looking ahead and making EV’s attractive while they R&D batteries and such. But agree totally on Gigafactory and Model 3

  • RobMF

    It’s the best car in the world. After later this year, it might be second best following the Model X. But we’ll see. There will still be so many reasons to love the S even after X…

    • spec9

      I’d still prefer the Model S. Better aerodynamics and no need for those overly-complex falcon-wing doors. But if you need 3 rows of seats, the Model X is the way to go.

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