Lucky them. That’s our opinion of Consumer Reports, which really took one for the team by taking delivery of its Tesla Model S last week. The organization is noted for purchasing most of the vehicles it tests rather than reviewing ones loaned to them by manufacturers.
The institute groused about waiting for more than two years after paying its $5,000 deposit to receive the goods. While the car’s base price is $57,400, Consumer Reports managed to jack that up to an $89,650 tab by opting for the largest 85-kwh battery pack (good for a 265-mile single-charge range) as well as leather interior, air suspension and other goodies. The publication also complimented Tesla for making the purchase possible without a dealer visit – the car, which won 2012 Car of the Year golden calipers from Motor Trend, was ultimately delivered on a flatbed.
Of course, it remains to be seen how Consumer Reports rates the Model S. CR is a tough judge, and the publication notably bought a Fisker Karma extended-range plug-in hybrid last year, only to have it die with less than 200 miles on it. Naturally, that led to a rather harsh assessment of the $107,000 model. We’re hoping – and predicting – the Tesla will fare a lot better.