The Tesla Roadster was built on a modified Lotus chassis. The Tesla Model S offered a luxury commuting experience with plenty of power to back it up. The Tesla Model X got into the growing SUV market. But this has all culminated in the “mass market” Tesla Model 3. But is it all that it’s cracked up to be?

Some people have said that Consumer Reports has a bit of a contentious relationship with Tesla, even though they’re supposed to be fully objective. Take that how you will. Whatever the case may be, Consumer Reports recently reviewed the Model 3 and the most affordable Tesla fell short of receiving a CR recommendation.

Remember that we’re suing this “mass market” positioning of the Tesla Model 3 a little loosely. While the car starts as low as $45,000 in Canada and about $35,000 in the US, it can easily creep north of $70,000 when you spec it out with options and features, like the extended range battery.

But Consumer Reports isn’t taking issue with the range.

Instead, they’re pointing out “big flaws” in braking distance, controls and ride quality. For instance, stopping from 60mph took 152 feet, a distance that is “far worse than than any contemporary car.” The first iteration was only around 130 feet, on par with Tesla’s claims, but they weren’t able to replicate it even after letting the brakes cool overnight.

Consumer Reports also argues that managing everything through the big touchscreen is distracting and unnecessarily complex, forcing drivers to take their eyes off the road. CR also didn’t like the “excessive wind noise at highway speeds” and the “stiff ride.” That said, they did indicate it’s a fun drive (with a 0-60mph time of 5.3 seconds) with handling “reminiscent of a Porsche 718 Boxster.” And they got 350 miles on a single charge too.


I don’t think the lack of a CR recommendation is really going to hurt Tesla too much here. They can’t keep up with pre-orders as is.

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