Is the Tesla Model S the Best Car ever?

The US journal Consumer Reports just published its review of the 2013 Tesla Model S, and it gave the electric car a 99 out of 100 — higher than any other car it has tested.

Tesla model_s_germany3The independent, consumer-oriented magazine called the Model S “truly a remarkable car,” despite its high price tag (it tested the version with the largest available battery, for $89,650) and the range limitations that make it impractical for spontaneous long trips.

Tesla is having an exceptionally good week. On Wednesday May 8, it announced its first ever profitable quarter, sending the stock up 27% since then.

The company now expects to deliver 21,000 cars in 2013, up from a previous goal of 20,000.

In its review, Consumer Reports wrote that the Tesla S became the top-scoring car “even though it’s an electric car. In fact, it does so because it is electric.”

According to editor Matt Hardigree, the car’s score was originally a 110 out of 100. He wrote:

I spoke with CR‘s Jake Fisher who explained to me that the car actually scored 110 out of a 100-point scale, but that because of the limitations still inherent in owning an electric car (range, access to charging) they regularly subtract about 10% from a car’s score.

The Model S review praised the car’s balance, handling, comfort, roominess, and control system, while noting visibility, early technical problems, and high price as demerits.

Here’s part of the review’s summary:

The Tesla Model S takes everything you know about cars and stands it on its head. It’s a very agile, super-quick electric luxury sedan (with a hatchback!) that seats seven and gets the equivalent of 84 mpg. Got your attention yet?

The magazine has not always been so kind to EVs. In January, it slammed the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, calling it “a glorified golf cart of limited use.” Which compared to the Tesla it is.

Read the full review at Consumer Reports (requires a subscription).

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