Product testing magazine Consumer Reports recently evaluated the Tesla Model 3. While the compact electric car impressed in range and handling, the vehicle’s problems with its brakes and ride quality ultimately prevented the Model 3 from earning a recommendation from the magazine.
In a recent report, Consumer Reports noted that there was “plenty to like” about the compact electric car, such as its zippy handling and its impressive speed. The magazine even stated that performance-wise, the Model 3 could be a competitor to the BMW’s 3 Series and the Audi A4 — ICE vehicles that are famed for their performance. Despite this, however, CR’s evaluators noticed several considerable flaws with the vehicle.
According to CR, one of the most notable flaws of the Model 3 lies in its brakes. The magazine stated that the Model 3 has a stopping distance of 152 feet from 60 mph, a full 25 feet longer than the figures of its larger, heavier sibling, the Tesla Model X. Overall, CR noted that the Model 3’s stopping distance, is “far worse than any contemporary car” that Consumer Reports has tested.
CR’s brake tests are based on an industry-standard procedure designed by SAE International, a global engineering association. The magazine’s testers accelerate to 60 mph, then slam on the brakes to the distance the car needs before it comes to a complete stop. According to Consumer Reports, the Model 3’s brakes continued to perform poorly even after letting the electric car rest overnight.
A Tesla spokesperson has issued a statement regarding the results of the Model 3’s brake test results.
“Unlike other vehicles, Tesla is uniquely positioned to address more corner cases over time through over-the-air software updates, and it continually does so to improve factors such as stopping distance,” the Tesla spokesperson said.
Apart from poor brakes, the Model 3 was also weighed down in CR’s testing by its touchscreen controls. The Model 3 utilizes a single, center-mounted 15-inch panel as a means for drivers and passengers to interact with the vehicle. According to Consumer Reports, however, interacting with the touch panel forces drivers to take their eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel. Lastly, CR also noted that the Model 3 features a stiff ride, unsupportive rear seats and excessive wind noise at highway speeds.
Nevertheless, Consumer Reports did state that the Model 3 is an “otherwise impressive sedan,” exhibiting a 0-60 mph time of 5.3 seconds. The handling of the vehicle was praised as well, with CR comparing it to the Porsche Boxster. The magazine further noted that the Model 3 set a new record for range among the electric vehicles it has tested, managing 350 miles on a single charge with regenerative braking. Without regen, the Model 3 was still able to travel 310 miles per charge, well in line with Tesla’s own estimates for the vehicle.
Earlier this year, Tesla has managed to take a spot in Consumer Reports’ Top 10 list of Car Brands. The Elon Musk-led company is the lone American automaker in CR’s Top 10 list, with the Model S gaining a 4/5 predicted reliability score, a perfect 5/5 for predicted owner satisfaction, and a perfect 100 rating on the road test.