Why Did Consumer Reports Give the 2021 Tesla Model X a Poor Reliability Rating?

The Tesla Model X is a popular car with a pretty solid road test score and a perfect owner satisfaction rating. Yet its predicted reliability is very low, according to surveys conducted by Consumer Reports. So why is the Tesla Model X reliability so low, and is it otherwise worth the money?

A dark 2021 Tesla Model X speeds along a road.
2021 Tesla Model X | Tesla

The 2021 Tesla Model X has a pretty good road test rating

Altogether, the 2021 Tesla Model X scores an 83 for its road test. Consumer Reports gives the 2021 Tesla Model X scores a 5/5 for its acceleration. It can reach 0 to 60 in a super fast 4.9 seconds. 

Its transmission scores a perfect 5/5. Routine and emergency handling both receive a very good 4/5. The Tesla Model X’s max avoidance speed is 54 mph. Likewise, braking is fantastic in the X. It scores a 5/5 and can stop from 60 mph on wet pavement in 127 feet and dry pavement in 135 feet. However, the X’s headlights score a not-great 2/5.

As far as comfort, the 2021 Tesla Model X gets a 3/5 for its ride. It’s fairly quiet: it scores a 4/5 for its noise. While the front seat comfort gets a perfect 5/5, rear seat comfort is just a 3/5. The Model X’s interior fit and finish get a perfect 5. The trunk and cargo space scores only a 2/5, so it’s not a great vehicle for a family road trip.

The Model X comes with a decent amount of safety equipment

Consumer Reports recommends a bunch of advanced safety features that people should consider when car shopping. These include forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking at city and highway speeds, lane-keeping assistance, and lane departure warning. Consumer Reports also says that pedestrian detection, blind-spot warning, and rear cross-traffic warning are important to have. 

Of course, Tesla has Autopilot available, which includes some safety equipment. Altogether, the 2021 Tesla Model X comes standard with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist and lane departure warning. It also has a rear camera, anti lock brakes, traction and stability control, and daytime running lights. There’s no option to get blind spot warning or rear cross traffic warning. 

The IIHS hasn’t crash-tested the 2021 Tesla Model X, but the NHTSA has. It gives the 2021 Tesla Model X all good crash test-ratings.

The Model X’s reliability isn’t good

Reliability is by far the Tesla Model X’s greatest weakness. Consumer Reports gives the 2021 Tesla Model X just a 2/5 for its predicted reliability. Although there are no reliability ratings for 2020, 2019 shows a poor reliability rating. Major problem spots in the 2019 include the drive system, climate system, and suspension. Other major problem areas include paint and trim, as well as body integrity and body hardware. The power equipment in the 2019 Tesla Model X didn’t get a great rating, either. 

Despite this poor reliability rating, Tesla Model X owners seem to love their SUVs. The owner satisfaction score is a perfect 5/5. Owners give the driving experience a 95 and comfort a 76. Styling gets an 85. Value is only a 26. 82% of people would buy their Tesla Model X again. 
Is the 2021 Tesla Model X worth its base price of roughly $79,000? It really depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a green car, or love Teslas, the Model X is a great choice. Its vast Supercharger network is definitely a selling point. However, it may be worth considering other choices if the low reliability rating scares you off.

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