Each year, Kelley Blue Book offers its Brand Image Awards to recognize automakers who produce exceptional products. A positive brand image award from such a reputable source can appeal to new buyers and draw return customers back for another look. In 2020, Tesla received two Brand Image Awards from KBB.com for the new lineup year. What were the awards and why did Tesla receive them?
‘Best Value Luxury Brand’
First, Tesla won the Brand Image Award for Best Value Luxury Brand. While Tesla first showed up on the scene with their Model S and Model X electric vehicles (EVs), it was the more modestly priced Model 3 that appealed to the KBB.com audience. Sure, EVs cost more than standard vehicles, but they outperform their combustion-engine peers over a period of time.
Tesla EVs offer great value in that the cost of operating them is low. Tesla owners save money because they are able to skip the gas pump and maintenance costs are fewer.
KBB.com reviewed the 2020 Tesla lineup including the Model 3, Model S, and Model X. For the Tesla Model 3, KBB.com favored the impressive electric driving range offered along with its first-rate infotainment system and top-shelf driver-assist technology. Tesla does a good job of keeping their software updated with perpetual improvements. They also cited an enjoyable driving experience.
KBB.com loved the Tesla Model S because it gets nearly 400 miles on a single charge and offers free unlimited use of Tesla’s Supercharger network. Like the Model 3, the Model S offers an impressive infotainment system and driver-assist features with proper updates.
The Tesla Model X impressed KBB.com with its standard all-wheel-drive system, impressive performance, and generous cargo space. Like the Model S, it has an impressive electric range with 328 miles on a single charge and free unlimited use of Tesla’s Supercharger network.
‘Best Styling Luxury Brand’
Tesla also won the KBB.com’s Brand Image Award for Best Styling Luxury Brand. It was the first time Tesla received this particular award. It’s interesting because the Model 3, Model S, and Model X haven’t changed significantly since they came on the scene.
Tesla’s lineup, even so, has caught the eye of interested consumers. KBB.com noted that the Tesla sedans have timeless silhouettes for real visual appeal while the Model X with its falcon-wing doors appeals to car enthusiasts who want something new and exciting.
KBB.com loved the styling of the Model 3 inside and out. They found the interior to be “minimalist and handsome.” They consider its exterior to be enough to set it apart from the rest of its class. They admired the aerodynamic roofline, low cowl, and flush door handles.
The Model S, according to KBB.com, has aged well, and they love the practicality of its five-door hatchback design. The inside wowed their crew with its vegan “leather” upholstery and real wood trim.
KBB.com finds the Model X to be egg-shaped on the outside, but they maintain that it looks like nothing else on the road aside from another Tesla. They find the interior to be much like that of the Model S which they admired.
Why consumers love Tesla
The first reason is obvious. Tesla vehicles are EVs that don’t use fossil fuel and that benefits the planet. Owners feel good about that, and they should.
But Tesla earns its customers’ loyalty by taking cues from consumer technology and not solely from the traditions of the auto industry. Computers have been an integral part of vehicles for a while now, but how they were used was pretty basic. When technology needed to be updated, owners took their vehicle to the dealership to make this happen. And it could take a while.
With Tesla, updates are wireless. They can download and install overnight without the owner having to lift a finger. The method transcends model years because the updates happen and the vehicle is no longer strictly a 2015 Model S or a 2017 Model X. Owners still have to take the vehicle in to update the hardware but that’s not needed very often.
And at the end of the day, Tesla creates very good vehicles. Consumers only need to check out reviews from trusted sources like Consumer Reports and similar reputable sources to see that their vehicles are highly thought of by experts in the industry. Teslas are exciting to drive, technologically advanced, and highly versatile. The awards they received in this year’s KBB.com Brand Image Awards aren’t all that surprising.