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Consumer Reports gives Tesla Model S highest rating ever

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Tesla Motors

Wow.

Chalk up another huge accolade for the Tesla Model S electric car: Consumer Reports has awarded it 99 out of 100 points, and said it's the best car the magazine has tested since 2007.

In fact, the magazine's descriptions of the luxury sport sedan brim with adjectives.

The Tesla Model S "is brimming with innovation, delivers world-class performance, and is interwoven throughout with impressive attention to detail," writes the normally sober consumer publication.

Driving the Model S electric car is "like crossing into a promising zero-emissions future," and the version tested, with its 85-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, is "easily the most practical electric car we’ve tested."

CR reports that it gets a real-world 200 miles from that capacity, which is rated by the EPA at 265 miles of range. (The 60-kWh version is rated at 208 miles.)

The Model S was lauded for its quiet operation, its acceleration and roadholding, and its efficiency.

 

It wasn't perfect, CR noted, suffering a broken windshield that had to be replaced and a problem with the radio (fixed by a software update that was downloaded through the car's mobile-network connection).

The missing point was docked because the Model S takes roughly six hours to recharge its battery pack.

Jake Fisher, CR's head of auto testing, put even that drawback in context when he enthused:  "If it could recharge in any gas station in three minutes, this car would score about 110."

Clearly the CR staff pretty much fell in love with the electric sport sedan.

That stands in harsh contrast to its experience with the Fisker Karma range-extended electric car, which died during a track test and was raked over the coals in a scathing test report.

The Tesla Model S doesn't yet receive a "Recommended" rating from Consumer Reports, because the magazine doesn't yet have reliability data on the car, which has only been delivered since last summer.

To read the magazine's full test report, you'll have to have a Consumer Reports login.

But you can watch the magazine's video summary above.