The Tesla Model S has had a good month. Research firm Strategic Vision reported that the Model S is the most-loved car in America. And now Consumer Reports has named the Tesla Model S “Best Overall” car of the year — quite an accomplishment for a vehicle with less than two years on the market.
Consumer Reports already raved about the Model S when it released the road test last May. Momentarily abandoning its conservative nature, the magazine said that the Tesla S may be the best car it ever tested and that the Model S “takes everything you know about cars and stands it on its head.” While Consumer Reports was reluctant to recommend the car then, it has apparently come around.
“It’s truly a groundbreaking car,” Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports’ director of auto testing who oversaw this year’s review of 260 vehicles, said in an interview. “You get into it, and it really stands out. It’s the very best car I’ve ever driven.”
The Model S beat the Audi A6, Toyota Prius, and BMW 328i, becoming the first U.S. car to receive a “best overall” pick. The magazine praised the Tesla’s “blistering acceleration, razor-sharp handling, compliant ride” as well as its roomy, flexible interior which can seat up to seven people, provided two are small children.
But the recent praise surrounding the Model S, does not mean that the road ahead will be easy for Tesla Motors and Elon Musk.
“The competition in the marketplace has grown fierce. There was a time when a handful of brands dominated our Top Picks list, but in recent years we’ve seen a more diverse group make the cut,” said Rik Paul, Consumer Reports’ automotive editor.
More competition and a higher-company standard could explain why Tesla has decided to delay the anticipated Model X. Production of the all-electric SUV was recently pushed back until 2015 with Musk admitting that it’s “damn hard to make an SUV. . . that is beautiful yet incredibly functional at the same time.”
According to CleanTechnica.com, “the pressure is on Tesla to follow up the universally lauded Model S with an equally exceptional vehicle, and Musk knows it. It’s better to delay a design than to roll out a half-baked product.”
Let’s hope Musk isn’t too afraid of his own shadow.