Tesla says the regular Model S can sprint from zero to 60 miles per hour in 5.4 seconds and has a top speed of 125 mph (Photo: Tesla)
(USA TODAY) -- A day after Tesla Motors reported its first quarterly profit ever, the electric car maker is receiving another huge boost: Consumer Reports magazine says the Tesla Model S is the best car it has tested since 2007, achieving its highest score.
The magazine says the electric sedan achieved a score of 99 out of 100, outperforming every other model this year in every category --from performance to interior quality. It is the first time a plug-in electric has achieved such a high score.
The findings will be presented in the magazine's July issue.
While Tesla has already received some top endorsements, including Motor Trend Car of the Year, the Consumer Reports raves are particularly important. With a famous streak for independence, which includes buying its cars at dealerships rather than borrowing them from automakers, Consumer Reports' reviews are among the most closely watched.
"The Tesla Model S is packed with technological innovation," said Jake Fisher, director of Automotive Testing for Consumer Reports, in a statement. "It accelerates, handles and brakes like a sports car, it has the ride and quietness of a luxury car and is far more energy efficient than the best hybrid cars."
Tesla was the first car to get a 99 score since the Lexus LS 460L tested in 2007. Like the V-8-powered Lexus, the electric Model S is an expensive car that few buyers can afford. Consumer Reports says the price of its model was $89,650.
What Consumer Reports loved:
--Acceleration. The Model S leaps from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a 5.6 seconds, on par with top sports cars. Yet it is the quietest car that the magazine has tested since the Lexus.
--Handling. Consumer Reports' engineers compared its "pinpoint handling" to a Porsche.
--Interior. The "beautifully-crafted interior calls to mind an Audi."
--Practicality. The test car's ability to go 200 miles on a single charge gave it a level of practicality not seen in other electric cars, which are typically limited to 75 or 80 miles a charge.
--Thrift. The test car achieved the equivalent of 84 miles a gallon of gas. At $9 in electricity for a full charge, it is like buying gas at $1.20 a gallon.
There were some things that the magazine didn't like, like long charging times and its sleek styling that can make it hard to see out the rear window. It will not be recommended because it's a new model and there isn't sufficient reliability data about it yet.