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2013-05-10 11:20

TOP MARKS: The Tesla Model S eletric car scored 99 out of 100 in the Consumer Reports magazine for 2013. Image: Wheels24

DETROIT, Michigan - The Tesla Model S electric car has tied an older Lexus model for the highest score yet recorded in Consumer Reports magazine's automotive testing.

Jake Fisher, the magazine's director of automotive testing, said: "The Model S, which starts at an equivalent of R561 600 in the US after a federal tax credit, scored 99 points on a scale of 100 in the magazine's battery of tests. 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."

View the Model S gallery

The magazine tested a Model S that costs about R806 850 and was equipped with an 85kW/h lithium-ion battery that's larger than the standard one. The car reached 100km/h in 5.6sec and "handled like a Porsche" - yet it was the quietest car it had tested since the Lexus LS, said the magazine. The interior was beautifully crafted and reminded testers of an Audi, the report said.


Consumer Reports found that the Model S had a range of about 290km on cold winter days and 360km in moderate temperatures, far higher than other pure electric cars that can manage only about 125km on a fully charged battery pack. Tesla claims the 85kW pack can cover 300km at about 90km/h.

Charging the Model S costs about R80 at the national average of 11 cents per kilowatt-hour, the magazine said, making the car equal to running a conventional vehicle on gasoline that costs R10.80 per 3.8 liters, Consumer Reports said. The magazine calculated that the Model S got the gasoline equivalent of 36km per liter.


The Model S, though, didn't get Consumer Reports' coveted "Recommended Buy" rating because the magazine doesn't have sufficient data to judge reliability of the car, which went on sale in 2012.

The car was not without shortcomings. Consumer Reports said its drawbacks include limited range, long charging times and coupe-like styling that hinders rear visibility and limits passenger access. The magazine also was concerned about buying a car from a start-up company with no track record of reliability or resale value and a "skimpy (although growing) service network."

The Model S tied a Lexus 460L full-size luxury car tested in 2007 for the record score.

Read more on:    tesla

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