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Tesla Model S gets Consumer Reports’ top score

Consumer Reports praised the Model S but noted shortcomings like limited range and long charging times.

Paul Sakuma /Associated Press/File 2012

Consumer Reports praised the Model S but noted shortcomings like limited range and long charging times.

DETROIT — Tesla Motors Inc.’s Model S electric car has tied an older Lexus for the highest score ever recorded in Consumer Reports magazine’s automotive testing — 99 points on a scale of 100.

‘‘It accelerates, handles, and brakes like a sports car. It has the ride and quietness of a luxury car and is far more energy-efficient than the best hybrid cars,’’ said Jake Fisher, the magazine’s director of automotive testing.

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The magazine tested a Model S that cost $89,650 —prices start at starts at $62,400 — and was equipped with a lithium-ion battery that’s larger than the standard battery. The car went from zero to 60 miles per hour in 5.6 seconds. The magazine said it handled like a Porsche yet was the quietest car it had tested since the Lexus LS. The interior, the magazine said, was beautifully crafted and reminded testers of an Audi.

Consumer Reports found that the Model S had a range of about 180 miles on cold winter days and 225 miles in moderate temperatures, far higher than other pure electric cars that go 75 or 80 miles on a single charge. Charging the Model S costs about $9, equal to running a conventional vehicle on gas at $1.20 per gallon, Consumer Reports said. The magazine calculated that the Model S got the equivalent of 84 miles per gallon.

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