2013 Tesla Model S CAPTIONS ON | OFF

There have been a lot of questions swirling around the practicality of owning a Tesla Model S. But with booming sales, and a bevy of raving critic reviews, the cherry on top may be a gushing article in Consumer Reports today that scores the Model S a 99 out of possible 100 points – their highest score for any vehicle in eight years. Is this a turning point for the EV leader?

Consumer Reports scores aren’t always taken seriously by the buying public. In 2011, CR scored the 2012 Honda Civic so low that they knocked it off their Recommended Buy list. Outraged customers responded by buying nearly 318,000 of the econoboxes. But the 99 score is still an eye-popping total from the notoriously stingy CR, and only lends more credence to the rapidly rising reputation of the Model S.

For sure, there’s a lot to like about the Tesla Model S. It even got Consumer Reports to liven up their normally dry text with some sass – “There, we said it.” – and a Back To The Future reference. The review makes the case that the Model S doesn’t score well in spite of its EV powertrain, but that it does so because of it. That’s high praise for a vehicle no one could guarantee would make it to market last year.

Consumer Reports does point out the main obstacles of owning a Model S: Price and range. The model they tested was an 85 kWh Model S, retailing at over $89,000. They also loaded it to the gills with options like the third row jumper seat and extra charging equipment. Meanwhile, they noted that while the 280-mile range is impressive, it’s still not as convenient as gas in some cases.

Still, there were no glitches or breakdowns, no defects or frustrations. The Model S came and saw the status quo, and by conquering Consumer Reports, it’s on the way to stardom.

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By Ryan ZumMallen