(Reuters) – Influential U.S. magazine Consumer Reports will not recommend Tesla Inc’s (TSLA.O) Model 3 sedan, saying on Monday it braked slower than a full-sized pickup truck, taking the shine off a day of gains for shares in Elon Musk’s electric car company.
Musk had driven shares in Tesla as much as 4 percent higher with weekend tweets showing the Silicon Valley company was aiming initially to deliver higher-priced, more profitable fully-loaded editions of the Model 3.
The car is seen as crucial to Tesla’s profitability at a time when it is battling to reverse production shortfalls, confronting reports of crashes involving its vehicles and facing increased skepticism over its finances.
On Twitter, Musk said the fully-loaded Model 3, with all-wheel drive, a dual motor and a 310-mile (499-km) range – but excluding its vaunted Autopilot feature – would cost $78,000. The company has not yet begun to make the $35,000 base price version that Tesla originally claimed would make it a mass-market vehicle.
Consumer Reports, however, declined to recommend the Model 3 and criticized it for having overly long stopping distances and a difficult-to-use center touchscreen.
The magazine, which provides an annual rating of vehicles sold in the United States, 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 (46 m) when braking at 60 miles per hour (100 km per hour) 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)…