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CR Model X Review

CR Model X Review

Just read the Consumer Reports review of the X, and they gave it a score of 59 -- placing it 15th out of 16 SUVs! I cannot understand how CR can give the Model S a score of 99, and the Model X a score 40 points lower. CR cites poorer ride quality, FWDs and overall form over function as reasons for the low score. CR sums it up by saying that "the X sacrifices practicality and pragmatism for the purpose of showboating" and that it "isn't as quiet, doesn't ride as comfortably, and demonstrates severely compromised utility in everyday use [compared to the S]".

I've owned both cars, and to me, ride and handling are comparable. Obviously, the interiors are similar. Yes, the 6 and 7 seat X's aren't quite as flexible as the S, but if you don't need to fold the second row seats (which I don't), then the X wins by having more interior room for passengers (with the 6 or 7 seat configurations).

Am I missing something? Seems to me like a hit job by CR.

elguapo | 26 november 2016

You're missing a lot. First, CR got an X with lots of issues, so that's what they reported on. Second, they follow the forums and see all the people with issues.

Also, they're right, no folding second row makes it a lot less useful than other SUVs and the FWDs are very helpful, but most people see them as over the top (which they are, pun intended). It IS a louder ride because of the bigger windshield.

Bottom line - The S is a great sedan that makes literally no compromises with other sedans, but for the Tesla spartan interior. The X makes a lot of compromises compared to other sedans, including a useless third row (if you have a seven seater), very little cargo space, no folding second row, etc.

CR acknowledges it drives well, but they slam it for utility and that is well deserved.

Please note, I own two Xs and an S, so I am a huge Tesla fan, but also below they whiffed big time on the X design and manufacturing.

elguapo | 26 november 2016

Sorry, one other thing. CR has gotten crap from ICE makers ever since they gave the S the 99, so they've been itching to slam the X - I agree it is a harsher review than warranted.

CR is fine for toasters and microwaves, not car reviews.

borodinj | 26 november 2016

@elguapo, while the X is marginally louder than the S, I think the difference is negligible. In fact, I took my neighbor who owns a new Range Rover for a ride a couple weeks ago and he marveled about how quiet it was. Certainly, if you compare it to an S, it is a bit louder, but it's still quieter than most ICE cars.

Utility is subjective. Clearly, if you want flexibility or max cargo space, then the 6 or 7 seat versions are a sacrifice. Again, I'm not one to fold seats, so that's not an issue for me.

What I just don't get is how the X can score 40 points lower than the S. The two cars are much more similar than not. Also, having been in a Range Rover and Escalade, I'd take the X any day of the week. The Range Rover is very nice and I love the looks, but the X is much faster, rides as well, and is about 4 times more efficient.

Dcp9142 | 26 november 2016

I've had both X and S. The second row seats really should fold. The FWDs are badly flawed, even now. A slider would have been much better. But a door that can randomly decide to close on your head while you are putting stuff in the car is just bad design. Ride is just OK. Seat backs are frankly stupid, get scared badly quickly. Why not upholster them like any other car? The auto opening door is a mess that I finally disabled.

Al least we got decent cupholders in the X. Now if they can figure out how to get grab handles and coat hooks, that will be a major advancement.

That said, an electric CUV with 250 mile range is a definite big deal.

borodinj | 26 november 2016

My FWD's are fine. Definitely not necessary, but they haven't been a problem either. I love the auto-presenting front doors. In fact, it's one of my favorite features.

AlMc | 26 november 2016

@borodinj: Your FWDs and autopresent front doors may be great but they have been a headwind for adoption of the X, not the tailwind that EM expected. he even admitted as such.
Depending on your frame of reference the CR evaluation could be considered overly harsh or evenly balanced.

They praised aspects of the vehicle but pointed out QC issues/need for service calls as well as the well documented and discussed lack of the U in SUV.

dortor | 26 november 2016

Foreseeable review, not inaccurate, offensive to the fan boys, but probably an accurate assessment of the X as an SUV - damage to Tesla brand has been done by this car and Tesla's hubris with this car hasn't helped, and they continue to have problems due to poor design.

We will wait for the 3 to see if Tesla is done - but the X has been a disaster.

borodinj | 26 november 2016

Dorter, if you don't own one, I would withhold judgment. You are the polar opposite of a "fanboy".

I have owned both an S and X, so I at least have experience from which to draw. Some of CR's criticisms are valid. The real question is whether a score of 59 -- 40 points lower than the S -- is a fair assessment. I don't think it is.

lilbean | 26 november 2016

This thread certainly isn't helping Tesla.

socalsam | 26 november 2016

I like the X but man oh man every day I drive I am noticing more and more compromises. The lack of cargo space is really starting to bother me. Didn't think it would. The X is utterly useless for moving anything beyond grocery bags. The lack of folding second row seats is becoming a problem.

What else- head rests that don't adjust, no arm rests in second row, third row seat has cup holders right in the middle of seat- windshield is stupid, I could go on.

One of the biggest issues is range. I started today with 205 miles on the range. Drove less than 20 miles- came home with 120 miles. Drove 20 miles lost 80 miles of range. I wonder when the first lawsuit will come for deceptive advertising.

I do like driving it but car has significant compromises.

burdogg | 26 november 2016

Wait, isn't range a given number that has been tested etc, not just a Tesla given range? How on earth did you lose 80 miles?

burdogg | 26 november 2016

Here is the problem for me, consumer reports has been all over the place. Model S fantastic car, broke the scale and was recommended. Then all of a sudden, it was not recommended, now it is again. Make up your mind. I am sorry but CR is influenced by more than just unbiased findings. Nothing in this world is unbiased.

I have an S and am glad I did not listen to the crappy review with a not recommend from CR. My car is a year old now 12,000 miles and absolutely no problems. I love it and am glad I got it, so much so I put in my order for the X in October so our family can take it on trips as we don't fit in the S.

Is the X quality up to the S, the jury is out, some have been great, some not, but the nots seem to be going away as they build more and more. Time will tell, but I will not and have never in my life trusted CR (not just because of Tesla either) this world is swayed by money and if you really believe CR is not, I have some ocean front property for sale in Arizona

socalsam | 26 november 2016

My post has nothing to do with the CR review. Didn't read it. I was giving my insight as an owner.

lilbean | 26 november 2016

@socal, funny thing is, my ICE hasn't gotten this much love since getting the X. I tend to drive it a lot more when I'm not in the mood to deal with the doors or having to park far enough away for it to be safe.

dortor | 26 november 2016

for the record I do own an S - my 2nd one - and on the whole it's a well reviewed vehicle by all comers - both formal car mags and owners - the X charitably has received mixed reviews - some people love it - but I would venture it's not the success the S represents - and of the formal reviews I've read they lack the effusiveness of the reviews for the S - unscientific polls among co-workers and friends - I know several people that opted for "other SUV's" after desperately wanting an X, and then experiencing it and passing on it due to it's lack of utility…

the CR review in my opinion is closer to the general public's overall view of the X and represents a data point in the X's overall reputation - which has been more of a headwind for Tesla as opposed to a tailwind (thank you AIMc).

I'm not a fan of the X, I am a fan of Tesla, and I'm a big fan of the Model S, and I'm a fan of Elon Musk, but I will call them out - the X is an unabashed disaster and years from now - it will be a footnote representing a "mistake" in Tesla's history like the Apple III to Apple's history.

burdogg | 26 november 2016

socalsam - I understood your insight, I was just asking more of is that normal (the mileage issue) or was it extra cold etc...

Dortor - I wonder too though if it is what you expect or want in a crossover SUV. Some want the utility aspect of folding all seats down and having big cargo room. Others are looking for the people carrier that gives more seats than a Sedan but could care less on putting in lumber or other big items into the SUV, they just want people mover and not a van. Some love FWD, others hate them. Some love the big windshield, others don't. I think the SUV here has many that love and many that hate it. From the looks on the forums, the issues are getting less and less - the S seemed to have the same problems - people talk about all the complaints on the S forums and waited to buy until those started dropping off. It seems like the same thing is happening for the X.

Time will tell - I am hoping as I did just order the X that it works like my S and I end up loving it - to me there was no other option - I need 6 seats and after being spoiled with the way the S drives, nothing else would compare. So X was the only option. We shall see if I am back on here with complaints, or not. :) (But back to the original post, I don't trust CR, not just because of what they have to say about Tesla, it is a lot deeper than just a single car situation, or me being a blind lover of Tesla, it has to do with the sway they "hold" over people and it is gospel.)

burdogg | 26 november 2016

@lilbean - what problems are you having with the doors?

lilbean | 26 november 2016

I just don't drive when I'm not in the mood to deal with finding a perfect parking space for it. It seems parking spaces are getting smaller these days and it's difficult to open the FWD doors when the spaces are tight. The door fails to open in those situations and my kids have to climb over the center console onto my lap and exit through the driver side door.

burdogg | 26 november 2016

Yuck - While the FWD seem cool and all - I think it would be nice to just have regular doors. Sure it has a wow effect, but I will be interested to see the day to day practicality of them. Getting into the back seat was cool with them up and all, but is it necessary :)

burdogg | 26 november 2016

Oh and parking spaces are getting smaller like everything else - i mean have you checked out a candy bar lately? When I was a kid, you got what you paid for, now you just get a little tiny something for the same or more price. Smaller, but same cost is the new food mantra. I guess same with parking - need more room for more people, but same amount of real estate space :)

lilbean | 26 november 2016

They used to be great before 8.0. Now they just don't open up enough for the kids to crawl out. It seems the hinge in the middle of the roof opens fully before the hinge above the window opens. Then it detects an obstruction and the wings won't open up. Very frustrating.

burdogg | 26 november 2016

Sorry, just thought this through, so another post.

Wasn't that the whole idea with the FWD? Tight spaces and the doors can still be opened as opposed to regular doors. The whole release that was the big deal with them and they showed the close cars. Is there just something wrong with your FWD's or is the reality not what was proclaimed?

burdogg | 26 november 2016

Have you talked with Service Center? Do they know that things changed with 8.0? Do they think it is isolated incidents, or is this fleet wide? Just things I am wondering as I wait for my X and things I may have to deal with.

lilbean | 26 november 2016

I think the obstacle detection is too sensitive. It seems like there is plenty of room but it won't even try it. The screen asks to hold to override but that is a pain to do especially if you have already exited the car. You could also,hold the switch on the b pillar but I'd rather not bother with it and drive my other cars. The X has not moved out of the garage since Tuesday.

burdogg | 26 november 2016

That is too bad :( Are there other issues you are having too? I just really am hoping I don't have as much problems as everyone seems to make out - I live 180 miles from the service center. So constantly going in is not a great option.

lilbean | 26 november 2016

Well, hopefully you won't have any problems. I live close to an SC and it was like a full time job taking it back and forth. But then again, I was an early adopter. My mileage speaks for itself. Only 6500 in 8 months. It sounds like they have figured out the door problems so you should be fine. Mine has stayed out of the SC for a couple months now. In the beginning, my kids said, "Does it have to go in every week?" "No honeys, every other week". Don't let me scare you. It's been trouble free for a couple of months now.

burdogg | 26 november 2016

Thanks :) I have felt that the forum has had a lot of negative, but it seems to be slowing down a lot and more positives so my fingers are crossed and others seem to say the same thing, that it is doing good now.

Your car was like kids in a divorce it sounds like - one week with you, one week with the Service Center - Good thing you finally won full custody :)

burdogg | 26 november 2016

Thanks also for being an early adopter for the rest of us! Without early adopters, this would never take flight, so THANK YOU!

burdogg | 26 november 2016

Thanks also for being an early adopter for the rest of us! Without early adopters, this would never take flight, so THANK YOU!

burdogg | 26 november 2016

Double post of shame! Guess you needed to be thanked twice anyway :)

lilbean | 26 november 2016

Haha! Also, my husband thought the car was hard on our marriage. I didn't think so but he was growing very tired of me because the problems and visits were all I could talk about. The frustration and headaches were taking a toll on him. But that just tells you the state of our marriage. Smh.

burdogg | 26 november 2016

Sorry to hear that :) Marriage is work. I won't try to give you any of my all wise advice tonight, just great to discuss things with you :) Good luck!

lilbean | 26 november 2016

Thanks @burdogg! Great chatting with you!

burdogg | 26 november 2016

Just one piece of advice since it fits with this week - remember to find the little things in life that we all take for granted and realize that no matter how down or sad, or struggles you may have, there is always something to be grateful for. A quote from someone I admire "Could I suggest that we see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation? ...We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is. How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?"

lilbean | 26 november 2016

Wow. Great reminder! Thank you, @burdogg!! I really appreciate it! :-) Yes, I need to practice that more.

burdogg | 26 november 2016

Anytime, I am hear 7 days a week :)
I have the quote handy because I really need to practice it more too :)

lilbean | 27 november 2016

Thanks so much!

elguapo | 27 november 2016

@lilbean So sorry to hear about the Ford and other stuff. Really hard to keep things in perspective sometimes. I hope all goes okay. :-).

lilbean | 27 november 2016

Thanks so much, @elguapo. :)

borodinj | 27 november 2016

lilbean, I also occasionally notice that the FWDs don't fully open. I stopped by the SC last week for new wiper blades, and mentioned the door behavior to one of the service techs. He asked if anyone was standing next to the door when it was opening, and I said in most cases, that my daughter was. He told me that if you stand right next to the door, the door will sense you as an obstruction, which will prevent the door from fully opening. To test it, he stood next to the door and opened it. Sure enough, the door wouldn't fully open. Then, he move back a few inches (or in a tight parking spot, move to either side of the door) and opened the door. The door fully opened. He told me standing right next to the door seems to be the ultimate cause of this issue. Now that I've told my kids -- who now move back a few inches -- the issue seems to be resolved.

burdogg, great point. When you are dealing in the heat of a problem, that problem can seem overwhelming. However, if you look back at what you thought at the time to be major problems, in most cases, those problems weren't nearly as significant as they seemed at the time, and in almost every case, those old problems really left no scars. The car problems -- and any other problems -- will eventually be a thing of the past.

Saxman | 27 november 2016

@brooding
Great info to know. Thanks for sharing

lilbean | 27 november 2016

Thanks, @borodinj. Great info and reminder.

borodinj | 27 november 2016

Also, on the greater point of this post, I agree that the X is short on utility, at least if you have a 6 or 7 seat version (the new 5 seat config should help address this issue. If you want an SuV, the X is a great car. If you want an sUv, there are probably better options -- provided you are OK with an ICE, crappy fuel economy, and having to deal with gas stations.

I'm not sure that decision about utility should have a big effect on CR's assessment. The features are what they are; some will like them, others will not. To me, the score should be based on how the car drives, how it performs, how efficient it is, how satisfied owners are with it, and how reliable it is. On most of these points, as with the S, the X performs well. I don't think an overall score of 59 is representative.

borodinj | 27 november 2016

Take a look at CR's assessment of the Porsche 911. It has a road test score of 95 and an overall score of 82. My stepfather has a 911. It's a great car, however you certainly aren't buying it for utility or for comfort. Sure, it handles great, but it's not comfortable over long distances. That said, the person in the market for a 911 doesn't care about those issues. For the sake of argument, if you were to compare the X to a 911, the X is as fast or faster, offers far greater utility, is much more comfortable, is about 4 times more efficient, and equals it on owner satisfaction. The 911 beats it on reliability, but that said, reliability for the 911 is only average. Again, it's not a meaningful comparison because one would never cross shop the two cars. The point is that it's hard to justify the score differential between the two cars based on overall performance metrics.

Saxman | 27 november 2016

@brooding
You raise good points. We all should try to put both CR and fellow forum posters in our own perspective.

I am still new to Tesla Family (waiting for my 1st vehicle) as well as this Forum. My emotions have been like a See Saw these last few weeks! Sometimes feeling HIGH and often feeling LOW, based on reading the various posts.

I'm going to try and not anticipate problems and deal with any as best I can.

@burdogg I'm in a similar situation as you. When I'm in CO the SC is 120 miles from my home. However the SC in Austin is only 6 miles from my home.

Is my glass half empty or half full?????? :)

Saxman | 27 november 2016

Sorry Borodinj the auto correct dissed your name not me :)

PedanticOne | 27 november 2016

I'm going to be moving from a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited to an X. In terms of cargo room, I was a bit worried due to the lack of fold-down rear seats. But as it turns out, the distance from the back of the second row to the trunk door is just about the same as the Wrangler with the rear seats folded down. Now, the Wrangler is not really a classic SUV, but in my case, it doesn't seem like I'll give up much room (though it is more boxy in back which can help).

And because I'm getting a 6-seater I can put long things through, which I currently can't do at all unless I fold my rear seats. But if I do that, I actually need to move my son's car seat over to behind me on the left because the split puts the 60% on the right where he sits :-/ (at least the X fold down 5-seater puts the split on the left). And then my son gets less legroom because I'm tall. So for me, I think the 6-seater config is going to be a big win for me. My son will get more legroom, I'll have just as much cargo space, and I get a space to put long items through the middle. And it just feels more spacious. So this is good for me, he said, optimistically.

Also, speaking of CR and reviews, the Jeep got only so-so reviews because again, they are comparing it against ginormous SUVs that are quieter, etc. But the Jeep is not a normal SUV. It's adult legos. And it's owner satisfaction is off the chart. I am hoping that once TM gets the X coming off the line as well as the MS, CR might change their reviews as well to reflect all of this.

elguapo | 27 november 2016

CR is very hard to gauge. That's the bottom line. It is not consistent.

The X is an acquired taste and there are compromises, as with every single car or SUV out there.

I would hope nobody is making a decision purely on CR, especially for a Tesla. There is much better information on forums.

I believe, as an owner with little kids who needs easy access to third row seats, the FWDs are much more useful than sliders. But that's just me. CR is trying to play to the broad audience and that audience likely doesn't need FWDs.

Regardless, I still believe CR got tons of blowback fro rating the original S so high, and is now looking for ways to push the X down.

AlMc | 27 november 2016

IMO: The CR rating of the X is low. They, and I, have several issues with the X.

IMO: The S was a no compromise sedan. It competed well or blew away comparable competition on just about every measure. Performance, Appearance, technology, Interior space (passengers and stuff)
OTOH: The X has compromises for an SUV. It would do better if it were compared to a Minivan.

elguapo | 27 november 2016

@AIMc Agree S really had no compromise but for the interior being spartan.

X can't compare to a minivan because of space. I think it should be compared to compact SUVs - like a CRV or a BMW X1.

As you know, biggest issue for many people is the second row not folding. They "fixed" that with 5 seater and I am sure they'll roll that out to 6 and 7 seater next year as another demand lever.

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