Consumer Reports, a body which creates test reports on products sold in the US has finally completed a report on the new Tesla Model 3 and boy, do they have a report. First up, CR says that the Model 3 has a lot of flaws. Due to these flaws, CR says that they cannot give a “recommendation” for the Model 3.
The key flaw was the emergency braking distance. Due to its price, the Model 3 was compared against the likes of the BMW 3 series as well as the Audi A4. When performing an emergency brake at around 100kmh, the Model 3 took 152 feet before coming to a full stop. A distance which was 7 feet longer compared to a heavier and larger pickup truck such as the Ford F-150.
To ensure fairness in their tests, they let the brake pads cool as well as perform the tests on another Model 3 over multiple times to ensure that the data they receive is accurate. CR also let the brakes cool overnight to ensure fairness and they still couldn’t get the braking distance lowered to an acceptable level.
In order to counter these claims, Tesla wrote this statement to Jalopnik.
“Tesla’s own testing has found braking distances with an average of 133 feet when conducting the 60-0 mph stops using the 18” Michelin all season tire and as low as 126 feet with all tires currently available. 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. 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 other flaw which consumer reports noted was the center console which is a huge LED screen which housed all of the controls. And by controls, I mean digital controls. Whenever a driver tries to change simple settings such as aircon settings or even the radio, it becomes dangerously distracting as the driver has to pay attention to the screen in order to see where they are pressing against.
Other flaws include a stiff ride and wind noise when driving on highways doesn’t really add any points for the Model 3 which ultimately led to the non-recommendation nature of the report. At least one of the good points for the Model 3 was that the testers agreed that it was an exhilarating drive.