All electric Tesla Model S P85D is the best vehicle tested – ever
Photo via Consumer Reports.
Driving an electric vehicle doesn't have to mean compromising on performance, at least with the Tesla Model S P85D version.
Surpassing the Tesla Model S’ recognition as the best-performing car that Consumer Reports has ever tested is no easy feat, but Tesla’s P85D variant has done just that–earning a rare overall test score of 100 points and setting a new benchmark.
When the Model S P85D was evaluated at Consumer Reports’ test track in East Haddam, Connecticut, it initially earned a raw 103-point score in a system that by definition doesn’t go past 100. Consumer Reports had to make changes to its scoring methodology to account for the car’s exceptionally strong performance.
Two years ago, the Model S earned a 99-point score from Consumer Reports; the P85D is the only car to score 100 in the current ratings system. The second highest performing vehicle in the large luxury car category after the P85D is the Mercedes-Benz S550, which scored a 96.
“The P85D represents a glimpse into the future of automotive technology in which cars will be more energy-efficient than ever, while still delivering a terrific blend of performance and practicality,” said Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports director of automotive testing. “The Tesla is a shining example of how higher fuel economy standards can be achieved without sacrificing performance.”
Consumer Reports engineers found the P85D’s brutally quick acceleration makes it the quickest car the organization has ever tested—needing just 3.5 seconds to go from zero to 60 mph. That the Tesla can achieve such performance while being very energy efficient is perhaps the most impressive feature of the car. The 85-kWh battery in CR’s original Model S test car gets the equivalent of 84 mpg. Still, Consumer Reports found the faster, higher-performance P85D is even more efficient, delivering the equivalent of 87 mpg. The vehicle doesn’t burn a drop of gasoline or produce any tailpipe emissions.
The complete test ratings for the Model S P85D are available online for free here.
This quick-and-efficient futuristic car manages to be practical and stylish, as well. What makes the Tesla so successful is how seamlessly it blends into everyday life. It seats five adults, plus two kids in an optional third-row seat. The cockpit feels spacious, especially with no center floor console, which opens up the space between the driver and front passenger. Innovations include a gigantic touch screen that is clear to read and easy to use. It rides comfortably, carves corners with scalpel precision, and stops on a dime—especially with the optional 21-inch wheel package. Gliding down the road, with no disruptive engine noise, it's one of the quietest cars Consumer Reports engineers have ever driven.
Consumer Reports explains the Tesla’s 100-point score doesn’t make the P85D a perfect car—even at $127,820. For instance, the interior materials aren’t as opulent as other six-figure automobiles that the organization has tested, and its ride is firmer and louder than the base Model S. While no other fully electric car comes close to its 200-mile-plus range, a lengthy road trip can be a logistical hurdle if a quick-charging station isn’t along the route.
Tesla Motors is still a relatively new company and does not have a long-term track record for reliability. The P85D is too new for Consumer Reports to have sufficient reliability data on to provide a reliability rating; the base Model S had average reliability in the 2014 Consumer Reports annual survey. (Reliability is not factored in to CR’s road test scores.)
Read more about electric vehicles and home charging stations.