Tesla’s Model 3 did not receive a purchase recommendation from the Consumer Reports magazine published by the consumer watch group. The testers did make some positive remarks, but particularly the breaking distance did not measure up to expectations, prompting Elon Musk to promise improvements.
While the stopping distance in the first emergency braking tests was in the claimed area, a second test showed a significantly reduced brake performance in the vehicles. The consumer watch group stated that the 46 m stopping distance at 100 km/h “was far worse than any contemporary car we’ve tested and about 7 feet longer than the stopping distance of a Ford F-150 full-sized pickup.”
Tesla claims their tests showed different results, but Elon Musk announced a firmware update to improve brake performance on twitter, to launch “in a few days” and promising to improve brake performance even beyond that which had initially been promised. “Tesla won’t stop until Model 3 has better braking than any remotely comparable car.”
Consumer Reports holds a strong tradition as a market watchdog and following the record rating of 103 out of 100 points with the Model S, the Model 3’s failure to reach a sufficiently high score for an endorsement seems to have surprised the Californian company. Aside from the braking issues, consumer reports also pointed to a “stiff ride, unsupportive rear seat and excessive wind noise at highway speeds.”
They did note some positive aspects however, including managing a range of 563 km, “the longest distance CR has ever recorded in an EV”, as well as some kind words regarding the acceleration and handling of the vehicle. The Model 3 delivered a “blistering” 0 – 60 time of 5.3 seconds, while its handling were comparable to a Porsche 718 Boxster. CR testers found the Model 3 “thrilling” to drive.
Tesla has also notably lowered the waiting times for new Model 3 orders on their website, indicating that production is picking up. While the previous orders had to wait between 12 – 18 months, new orders will wait between four and twelve months.
According to Musk, first deliveries of the basic Model 3 to launch at 35,000 dollars, will be available around three to six months after reaching the 5,000 vehicle per week production goal. This is expected to occur in July, which means the vehicle should be around by the end of the year.