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Tesla’s reliable electric powertrain is the cornerstone of its success, but the company has led the industry in other ways too, including the advancement of driver-assistance technology. Its “Full Self-Driving” mode is the closest thing we have to a fully autonomous vehicle today.
Those advancements earned Tesla the best score in J.D. Power’s Tech Experience Index Study, but the company was awkwardly blocked from winning the ‘Advanced Technology Award’ anyway. A closer look at the marketing firm’s award stipulations reveals why.
Why J.D. Power didn’t give Tesla its Advanced Tech Award
For its Tech Experience Index Study, J.D. Power surveyed over 110,000 recent car buyers across all 50 states, asking them questions about the features in their new vehicles like how often they used them and whether they were happy with each feature’s performance.
After scoring each automaker based on the study’s results, Tesla came out on top with 668 points, well ahead of Genesis, which came in second with 634. Yet despite the positive result, Tesla was not awarded the top prize.
As opposed to other manufacturers, Tesla only gave J.D. Power permission to survey its customers in 35 states. Because the customers of other automakers were surveyed nationwide, the results concerning Tesla were not as accurate, and the company was barred from winning.
What’s so great about Tesla’s tech features?
Every major automaker has embraced advanced technology, and every year the list of standard features gets longer and longer. But not every automaker can offer the level of technology available in a Tesla.
Tesla’s AutoPilot, its highly responsive adaptive cruise control system, has been a standard feature since 2016. The company also offers “Full Self-Driving” as an upgrade, which enables the car to change lanes, stop at traffic lights, and exit parking spaces with the click of a button.
At the same time, Tesla doesn’t offer common infotainment features found in most competing models. The company relies on Bluetooth and its own display instead of device-syncing systems like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. AM and Sirius radio are also not available.
Owning a Tesla
Since its first release in 2009, Tesla’s price range has changed significantly. While the first Roadster cost over $100,000, the company’s cheapest model, the Model 3, starts under $40,000—not bad for such a high-tech car.
That said, owning a Tesla still isn’t cheap. MotorBiscuit says the company’s latest home charging station costs $500, and installation can cost anywhere from $1,700 to $5,000. Car insurance for a Model 3 is still higher than the national average.
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