Tesla Model 3 denied Consumer Reports recommendation

The Tesla Model 3 failed to earn a recommendation from Consumer Reports magazine, which criticized the compact electric car for long stopping distances and complex controls.

Consumer Reports said Monday its testing revealed a 60 mph stopping distance of 152 feet, or 25 feet more than the larger Model X crossover. The Model 3’s performance in the emergency braking test was “far worse than any contemporary car we’ve tested,” according to the magazine.

Infotainment controls also dinged the Model 3’s overall score. Tesla ditched traditional dashboard gauges, placing nearly all user controls and information on a large 15-inch touchscreen.

“Our testers also found flaws—big flaws—such as long stopping distances in our emergency braking test and difficult-to-use controls,” Consumer Reports said in its review.

Tesla said its own tests had an average stopping distance of 133 feet, adding that weather conditions, road surfaces and other variables can affect results.

“Unlike other vehicles, Tesla is uniquely positioned to address more corner cases over time through over-the-air software updates, and it continually does so to improve factors such as stopping distance,” a Tesla spokesperson said in a statement.

Despite the braking issue, the Model 3 has strong battery range, handling and acceleration, Consumer Reports noted.

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The Model 3 has a starting price of $35,000, but it can cost up to $78,000 for a high-performance version.

Consumer Reports, whose automotive tests are closely followed by car shoppers, made the Model S its top-rated car after Tesla launched the battery-powered sedan. The magazine pulled its recommendation in 2015 as reliability concerns emerged before reissuing its seal of approval a year later.