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Tesla's affordable Model 3 FAILS to earn Consumer Reports' recommendation after tests reveal difficult controls and …

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Tesla’s affordable Model 3 FAILS to earn Consumer Reports’ recommendation after tests reveal difficult controls and the worst braking distances ‘of any contemporary car’

  • Model 3 achieved 152-foot average stopping distance from 60 miles per hour
  • This is the worst of any modern car Consumer Reports has tested, report says
  • Magazine also said nearly all of Model 3’s controls are on a center touch screen
  • It noted that there are no gauges on the dashboard and few buttons inside car
  • This forces drivers to take several steps to do tasks, and can cause distraction

Long emergency stopping distances, difficult-to-use controls and a harsh ride stopped Tesla’s Model 3 electric car from getting a recommended buy rating from Consumer Reports.

While the magazine said the car has exhilarating acceleration and handling, testers were troubled by its 152-foot average stopping distance from 60 miles per hour in emergency braking tests. 

The magazine said the distance was worse than any modern car it has tested, and is about 7 feet longer than a Ford F-150, a full-size pickup truck that weighs about twice as much as a Model 3.

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Long emergency stopping distances, difficult-to-use controls and a harsh ride stopped Tesla's Model 3 electric car from getting a recommended buy rating from Consumer Reports. It tested the car at its track on pavement monitored for consistent surface friction

Long emergency stopping distances, difficult-to-use controls and a harsh ride stopped Tesla’s Model 3 electric car from getting a recommended buy rating from Consumer Reports. It tested the car at its track on pavement monitored for consistent surface friction

Tesla said in a statement that its own tests found 60-to-zero braking distances averaging 133 feet. 

It says stopping distances are affected by road surface, weather, tire temperature, brake conditioning and other factors. 

It also says it continually does software updates to improve factors such as stopping distance.

The Model 3 is Tesla’s first attempt to appeal to mass-market buyers. The car that starts at $35,000 but can run as high as $78,000 has been plagued by production delays.

Consumer Reports said it tested the car at its track on pavement monitored for consistent surface friction, using industry standard test procedures. 

The car was tested with the same 18-inch Michelin tires that were used in Tesla’s test, the magazine said.

On the first Consumer Reports test, the Model 3 stopped in about 130 feet, similar to Tesla’s findings, according to the magazine. 

But testers could not repeat that distance even after letting the brakes cool overnight, it said.

Because of the inconsistency, the testers borrowed a second Model 3 and got results similar to longer distances in testing the first one.

The Tesla’s stopping distance was 21 feet longer than the class average for luxury compact sedans, the magazine said.

 Consumer Reports also said it got a record 350 miles of range per charge with a long-range version of the Model 3 when it's set on a high mode to recharge batteries with energy from braking

 Consumer Reports also said it got a record 350 miles of range per charge with a long-range version of the Model 3 when it's set on a high mode to recharge batteries with energy from braking

 Consumer Reports also said it got a record 350 miles of range per charge with a long-range version of the Model 3 when it’s set on a high mode to recharge batteries with energy from braking

Jake Fisher, director of auto testing for Consumer Reports, said the first test shows him that the Model 3 has the mechanical ability to stop in 130 feet and that a software change may bring consistently shorter stopping distances. 

If that happens, Consumer Reports would re-evaluate the car, he said.

Consumer Reports also said that Car and Driver magazine experienced inconsistent and sometimes long stopping distances when it tested a Model 3, including one stop from 70 mph that took 196 feet.

Although it doesn’t happen often, Consumer Reports in the past has decided not to recommend vehicles based largely on long braking distances. 

Last year the magazine decided not to recommend the Hyundai Ioniq gas-electric hybrid car because of below-average braking. 

It took the car 144 feet to fully stop from 60 mph on dry pavement.

WHAT IF TESLA MISSES ITS MODEL 3 PRODUCTION GOAL?

Tesla’s released its new Model 3 electric car in July 2017 with a batch of 30 vehicles sold exclusively to members of staff.

The affordable £25,000 ($35,000) five-seat vehicle travels 215 miles (346km) on a single charge and accelerates from zero to 60mph (0-100kmh) in under six seconds.

Although the eco-friendly car is one of Tesla’s more affordable models, those looking to buy the vehicle may be waiting months before they can get behind the wheel.

Tesla had struggled to meet the impressive demand for its vehicle, with a reported 500,000 pre-orders put in so far.

Tesla has repeatedly missed production goals for Model 3, meaning those who have put down a £712 ($1,000) deposit for one of the vehicles may still have to wait until the end of 2018 to get their hands on it.

Tesla missed its production goal for 2017’s third quarter, producing only 260 vehicles compared to an earlier estimate of 1,500.

As a result, the company’s shares fell 5.4 per cent in after hours trading on November 1.

Tesla said it delivered 26,150 vehicles total in the third quarter, a 4.5 per cent rise on the same period of 2016.

But the company added that ‘production bottlenecks’ had left it behind on its planned ramp-up for the Model 3.

In November it said it hoped to achieve a production rate of 5,000 per month by the end of the first quarter of 2018, pushing back what was originally a target for the end of 2017.

The magazine also said nearly all of the Model 3’s controls are on a center touch screen direction with no gauges on the dashboard and few buttons inside the car. 

This forces drivers to take several steps to do simple tasks and can cause driver distraction, the magazine said.

The car also had a stiff ride and excessive wind noise at highway speeds, unlike competitors, Consumer Reports said.

Consumer Reports also said it got a record 350 miles of range per charge with a long-range version of the Model 3 when it’s set on a high mode to recharge batteries with energy from braking.

The magazine said it took delivery of the Model 3 that it purchased on Feb. 8, and it was the latest model available at the time.

Consumer Reports recommends Tesla’s Model S, ranking it No. 1 in the ultra-luxury car category. But its other model currently on sale, the Model X SUV, is not recommended due to low reliability.

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