Tesla Model S P85d Scores 103 Out Of 100

Consumer Reports scores Tesla Model S P85D at 103 out of 100 possible points. Wow.

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• Automotive: Electric Cars • Automotive: New Cars
• Automotive: Review

Matt Anderson's Take
Consumer Reports is one of the more respected reviewing and reporting firms out there for a reason: They buy the cars they test and review with their own moeny. They're not loaner cars provided by the car manufacturers like every other car show and magazine on the planet.

So why is that important? Simple, if you buy the product yourself you will be very much unbiased in your testing. On the flip side, if you get the item from the manufacturer you may be a little nicer in your review because you may need to keep that relationship friendly for future testing. Think about it, if a car magazine relies on the auto maker to supply the car to keep their magazine in business, how trustworthy can they be? That doesn't mean they're outright lying to you, but maybe not telling the whole truth.

Why does this matter so much? Because when a well respected testing firm rates a product with 103 points on a 100 point scale it's a big deal. In this case, Consumer Reports tested and rated the Tesla Model S P85D with those 103 points. Literally more than their 100 maximum score.

Tesla Model S P85D

First off, if you aren't familiar with the Tesla Motors lineup, they basically make one car which is the Model S. Within that model area few variations. The P85D is their top of the line model. It sports two motors and provides four wheel drive. The base Model S only has one motor and two wheel drive. Four wheel drive, especially on a performance car, is important as it allows all wheels to grab the road. That means less wheel spin and more speed.

It's an all electric car, no gas engine at all here, powered completely by batteries. It's also a high end car, sort of on the luxury end of the scale. Yet it's also a performance car, the numbers don't lie. So it's almost trying to be all things to all people. This is usually where most cars fall flat, but somehow Tesla pulls it off.

The Results

So, Consumer Reports initially scored it at 103 points on a 100 point scale. Something that shouldn't be possible. It was so good that they actually had to change the scale. Once that was done it lands on top with a 100 out of 100 final score.

They praised the fuel efficiency at 87 miles per gallon equivalent, as well as the speed and handling. Speaking of, their test results show a 0-60 MPH time of 3.5 seconds. This is a little slower than the 2.8 second time that Tesla Motors claims but still incredibly fast. In fact, it's the faster car Consumer Reports ever tested. To be fair, they don't test super cars or hyper cars (think Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc). See, that's the downside to buying the products you test. You're a little limited on what you can afford!

It's Not All Good

Of course, for as much praise as they pile on the Tesla Model S P85D, they also take issue with a few things. The big one being the nearly $128,000 price tag on it! Other complaints include the whole range issue. Even with the 250+ mile range of the P85D, you still have to plan out longer trips based on available charging stations. There's also the big risk of buying a Tesla as it's still a very new vehicle and hard to say what the long term reliability and resale value will be.

Want One?

Yea, us too! The cheapest Model S with the smallest battery (which is still plenty for most people) starts at $75,000. There is a federal tax rebate that will (essentially) take $7,500 of that price and some states offer a few grand on top of that. Get all the incentives and add in gas savings and, according to Tesla, you're looking at $57,500 to get into a new Model S (plus tax and fees). Still not cheap so maybe a used Tesla is a route to investigate? Either way, this is the future.

Check out the Consumer Reports Tesla Model S P85D here.
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