(Reuters) - U.S. consumer bible Consumer Reports stopped short of recommending Tesla Inc’s (TSLA.O) Model 3 sedan on Monday, criticising the car for its braking and taking the shine off a day of gains for shares in billionaire Elon Musk’s venture.
Musk had driven shares in the electric carmaker 4 percent higher with a weekend twitter discussion which showed the company was aiming initially to deliver more profitable and higher-priced fully-loaded editions of the Model 3.
The car, which starts at $35,000, is seen as crucial to Tesla’s profitability at a time when it is battling reports of crashes involving its vehicles, questions over funding and production shortfalls. Musk said the fully-loaded version, excluding its vaunted autopilot feature, retailed at $78,000.
Consumer Reports, however, declined to recommend the Model 3 and criticised it for having overly-long stopping distances and difficult-to-use controls.
The magazine, whose scorecard is influential among consumers and industry executives, said even though its tests found plenty to like about the Model 3 and it was a thrill to drive, it had “big flaws”.
Tesla’s stopping distance of 152 feet when braking at 60 mph was far worse than any contemporary car tested by the magazine and about seven feet longer than the stopping distance of a Ford (F.N) F-150 full-sized pickup.
Responding, a Tesla spokesperson said: “Tesla’s own testing has found braking distances with an average of 133 feet when conducting the 60-0 mph stops using the 18” Michelin all season tire and as low as 126 feet with all tires currently available.
“Unlike other vehicles, Tesla is uniquely positioned to