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Consumer Reports Not Thrilled With Tesla Model X, Might Be Smoking Oil Crack

Tesla Model X sideConsumer Reports recently put up its full review of the 2016 Tesla Model X P90D, providing a contrarian view to the idea that the model is the cream of the crop when it comes to SUVs (comparable to the Model S for large sedans). What are the issues identified by the popular magazine? How serious should the review be taken? Let’s take a look.

Going by the review, the Model X P90D is “fast but flawed” and it “largely disappoints.” Looking at the review, I can’t actually find much to support those statements — the model certainly delivers on its stated performance and capabilities. Consumer Reports seems to have based the negative review on the fact that the windshield is the largest in production (in some situations, they report that there was a bit of glare); the second row seats can’t be folded down; and the rear doors pause and stop briefly sometimes when closing when there’s the possibility of there being something in the way.

Regarding the windshield, that’s actually a major attraction for many buyers and many owners love it. Regarding the second-row seats, that has apparently been corrected for the 5 seat configuration:

If an SUV can do 0 to 60 mph in under 5 seconds, handles and corners “more like a sports sedan than an SUV,” features arguably the only usable semi-autonomous driving system out there, and is also the only long-range all-electric SUV out there, then how do you rate it as being worse than SUVs that are a capable of none of those things?

Tesla Model X frontSimply because of some kinks in the newer technologies or some trade-offs (windshield allowing for better view, but slightly more glare)? I don’t get it.

These issues are common with reviews in general of course, because so much is simply subjective experience, but I have a hard time reading the review as having been in good faith. And that’s coming from someone who personally hates the fancy falcon-wing doors and would prefer the option of normal ones.


The popular magazine concludes its review by stating that “it’s a car for early adopters eager to one-up their peers.” So not for those looking for unmatched performance? For those wanting an all-electric SUV (Jaguar will be remedying this in a few years, so that the Model X isn’t the only option out there)? Not because of the unmatched semi-autonomous driving functions?

Tesla Model X front seats door Tesla Model X front seats Tesla Model X black Model X

Zach Model X behind

Notably, the magazine also claims that they only managed a 230 mile range while driving “sedately,” despite the fact that the EPA-rated range is 250 miles per full charge. Every other electric offering out there matches or exceeds the EPA-rated range except for the Model X? Is that something I’m supposed to believe?

As someone who is in no way a “Tesla fan boy,” even I’m starting to wonder how much of the negative press is being pushed as a result of pressure from those with influence and money. There never seem to be genuine comparisons being made, and there’s quite a lot of disinformation out there (which is quite effective). But then, that’s simply what the modern “Information Age” is all about I guess?

I’m sure that we can expect more and more of it as the Model 3 launch at the end of 2017 approaches (which going by some Seeking Alpha articles won’t actually happen until 2019 or 2020).


All photos by Kyle Field for CleanTechnica | EV Obsession | Important Media

Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.


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