Tesla Model 3 fails to get recommendation from Consumer Reports because of ‘big flaws’

Consumer Reports did not recommend Tesla's Model 3 sedan.

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Consumer Reports did not recommend Tesla’s Model 3 sedan.
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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

  • Tesla‘s Model 3 sedan did not receive a recommendation from Consumer Reports, which published its review of the vehicle on Monday.
  • Consumer Reports criticized the Model 3’s stopping distance, touchscreen, ride quality, rear seat, and the amount of wind noise it produced while driving at highway speeds.
  • The publication said it was impressed by the vehicle’s range, handling, and acceleration.

Tesla‘s Model 3 sedan did not receive a recommendation from Consumer Reports, which published its review of the vehicle on Monday.

“We found plenty to like about the luxury compact sedan … including record-setting range as well as exhilarating acceleration and handling that could make it a healthy competitor to performance-oriented cars such as BMW’s 3 Series and the Audi A4,” the publication wrote. “Our testers also found flaws-big flaws-such as long stopping distances in our emergency braking test and difficult-to-use controls. These problems keep the Model 3 from earning a Consumer Reports recommendation.”

Consumer Reports said it took 152 feet for the vehicle to go from 60 mph to a complete stop, which is “far worse than any contemporary car we’ve tested,” the publication wrote.

A Tesla representative told Business Insider the company recorded an average stopping distance from 60 mph of 133 feet and said stopping distance results can vary based on multiple factors.

“Stopping distance results are affected by variables such as road surface, weather conditions, tire temperature, brake conditioning, outside temperature, and past driving behavior that may have affected the brake system,” the representative said.

The representative also said Tesla can make improvements to the vehicle’s performance through over-the-air software updates.

Consumer Reports said its first test resulted in a stopping distance of 130 feet, but it was unable to replicate that distance, even after letting the vehicle’s brakes cool down overnight.

According to Consumer Reports, the Model 3’s 152-foot stopping distance is 21 feet longer than the 127-foot average for luxury compact sedans and 25 feet longer than the 127-foot stopping distance recorded for Tesla’s Model X SUV.

Consumer Reports also criticized the Model 3’s touchscreen, ride quality, rear seat, and the amount of wind noise it produced while driving at highway speeds. The publication said the touchscreen made it difficult to adjust some of the car’s settings and said its ride quality and rear seat compared unfavorably to rival vehicles.

But the publication said it was impressed by the vehicle’s range, handling, and acceleration. With regenerative braking activated on the vehicle’s long-range version, it achieved a range of 350 miles on one charge, which Consumer Reports said was the longest it had recorded for an electric vehicle.

As of July, Tesla’s Model S sedan was Consumer Report’s highest-rated ultra-luxury sedan. The publication didn’t recommend the Model X.