Only 1 Tesla Model Is Recommended by Consumer Reports

Tesla vehicles have been a big hit with consumers since they first debuted in the U.S. automotive market. However, that same enthusiasm and excitement aren’t shared by industry experts like Consumer Reports. The nonprofit organization feels that Tesla vehicles and electric SUVs from rival brands are among the least reliable models sold in the U.S., reflecting the risks of developing technology. CR only gave their recommendation to one Tesla model for 2022. So, which model got it and why?

Tesla models that didn’t get a recommendation

A Tesla dealership with a lineup of Model S vehicles in Shanghai, China
A Tesla dealership with a lineup of Model S vehicles | JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images

Three Tesla models didn’t get a recommendation from Consumer Reports: Model S, Model Y, and Model X.

The 2022 Tesla Model S received an overall Consumer Reports score of 60 out of 100. It performed well in the rigorous road test, with 88/100. It earned an impressive 5/5 on predicted owner satisfaction. On predicted reliability, it only received a 1/5. There are also four current recalls on the model.

CR explained that it likely would have received the highest road test score it has ever given if not for the new yoke-style steering wheel. Similar to the half-steering wheel used by pilots flying aircrafts, the yoke decreases the comfort, navigation, and usability of an otherwise pretty capable car.

The 2022 Tesla Model Y received an overall score of 59 out of 100 with a high 90/100 on the road test. Like the Model S, it earned a 5/5 for predicted owner satisfaction. Also, like the Model S, it got a 1/5 on predicted reliability. The Model Y has five current recalls.

The Tesla Model Y shares much of its equipment, underpinnings, and features with the Model 3. According to Consumer Reports, it’s basically an SUV version of Model 3. The team found it nimble, fast, and spacious. However, they didn’t care for the stiff ride and the controls that took the driver’s attention away from the road.

Then there’s the 2022 Tesla Model X, which Consumer Reports gave an overall score of 41 out of 100 with a 4/5 predicted owner satisfaction and 1/5 predicted reliability rating. The CR team felt it was so unconventional that it sacrificed practicality to showboat. It has four current recalls.

Consumer Reports only liked the Tesla Model 3

The 2022 Tesla Model 3 was the only one of the automaker’s vehicles to earn the Consumer Reports recommendation. It earned an overall score of 79 out of 100. It earned a solid 82/100 on the road test, a 5/5 predicted owner satisfaction rating, and a 3/5 predicted reliability rating. 

The Model 3 electric compact luxury sedan is Tesla’s most popular offering and competes with key rivals like the Audi A4 and BMW 3 Series. Depending on model configurations, it has an EPA-estimated range of 263 to 353 miles. The CR team liked the fun driving experience and noted that it handles very well, with satisfying acceleration. As for negatives, the reviewers didn’t care for the distracting controls and the stiff ride. They also found the rear seats to be uncomfortable.

Why the Tesla Model 3 got a Consumer Reports recommendation and the others didn’t

The 2022 Tesla Model 3 received a Consumer Reports recommendation because its pros outweighed its cons. While all Tesla EVs earned good marks for performance, only the Model 3 had an average predicted reliability rating, whereas the other three Teslas received the lowest score possible.

The CR team appreciated how its full torque allowed it to push off from a dead stop with impressive speed. They were also impressed by its capable handling and precise steering, good as a sports car. Its well-tuned suspension kept it stable while cornering. 

While the bothersome controls and stiff ride were definite drawbacks, the Consumer Reports team explained that the 2022 Tesla Model 3 will easily please fans of the brand enough that they’ll be willing to overlook its shortcomings. Meanwhile, those new to Tesla will appreciate its instant power and capable handling. 

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