The 2022 Tesla Model S is almost perfect
Consumer Reportsput the Tesla Model S to the test, it sailed through the performance section, knocking out perfect scores in acceleration, transmission, braking, and emergency handling. EV bona fides were also easily proven, with three 5/5s recorded in the books for fuel economy, greenhouse gas emissions, and smog rating.
Plus, it’s a great drive. As you’re accelerating from 0-60 in 3.2 seconds, you’ll feel total confidence whipping around that mountain curve. Consumer Reports gushed about its handling, elevating the vehicle to “serious sports-car territory” after putting it through some swerving and turning paces. They praised “quick steering and hardly any body roll.”
So what’s not to love? Why did the 2022 Tesla Model S only score a 60% on a test that it should have aced?
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Reinventing the wheel
The 2022 Tesla Model S has an Achilles’ heel, and it’s unavoidably front-and-center: the steering wheel.
Consumer Reports notes, with a hint of regret, that this vehicle would have topped the road test charts if it weren’t for this unfortunate choice. “Wheel” is a generous word for this Xbox game controller, which might look cool but doesn’t appear to solve any problem or add anything significant to the driving experience.
In fact, it makes some of the quotidian driving tasks much more difficult. Forget about doing anything hand over hand, or returning the wheel to base after a turn, without taking extra care that you don’t lose grip on the other half of the rectangle, says Consumer Reports. Parallel parking is already dastardly—don’t make people get a pilot’s license too.
Additionally, says Consumer Reports, the current obsession with touch-sensitive buttons makes the 2022 Model S a fashion victim. Drivers who usually wait for the satisfying click of a mechanism moving into place to activate blinkers or windshield wipers are now reliant on the nothingburger of touching a tiny screen and hoping for the best.
Plus, Consumer Report’s test drivers always had to look down and away from the road to make sure they were activating the right one, so any safety value-adds from turning on a blinker perhaps sink right back to neutral—or maybe below.
You’ve been warned
The 2022 Tesla Model S is tremendously fast, handles beautifully, and gets a whopping 405 miles of range on a charged battery. It’s a fabulous sports car. But anyone who is willing to drop six figures on this newcomer from the Tesla garage should heed the warning of Consumer Reports. The new Model S does what no one asked for—it reinvents the wheel.
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