Since it was awarded the “Best Overall Vehicle 2014” award by Consumer Reports last year, the Tesla Model S electric sedan has received some major updates. In addition to now being available with optional twin-motor, all-wheel drive guise, Tesla’s flagship luxury sedan now comes with lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control as standard.
Soon, thanks to a promised over-the-air software update, it will be able to do so much more too, including basic autonomous driving capabilities.
And it’s these over-the-air software updates — although not necessarily the autonomous driving capabilities — as well as the build quality and impressive driving experience of the Model S which has led Consumer Reports to crown the Model S as the Best Overall Vehicle to buy for the second year running.
“For all of the impressive new vehicles released in 2014, none was able to eclipse the innovation, magnificence and sheer technological arrogance of the Tesla,” the consumer magazine notes in its official verdict. “That’s why it’s our best overall pick for the second consecutive year.”
Previously, the magazine had awarded the Tesla Model S its highest ever customer satisfaction scores of any car to date. Save for a few early teething problems with one of the first cars ever made, its review team couldn’t’ fault the car either.
Lasvishing praise on the luxury plug-in sedan, Consumer Reports said that the over-the-air software update system allowed the Model S to do something that no other car has done to date: keep up with the latest trends and features long after it has left the factory.
Since the very first Tesla Model S sedans rolled off the production lines back in 2012, Tesla has been constantly refining the capabilities and features available to Model S owners, sending regular free over-the-air updates to customers’ cars. In that time, many features — including creep functionality and customisable regenerative braking — have been added to the car’s basic operating system. Other updates have improved basic operation of the vehicle, including a more advanced navigation system that is terrain-aware, and even a smart preconditioning system based on access to the owner’s calendar.
One day, that over-the-air system will enable cars fitted with Tesla’s latest hardware — essentially vehicles built after mid 2014 — to carry out basic autonomous driving capabilities, such as drive unaided in stop-start traffic, change lane automatically and adjust its speed dynamically according to road signs. Even without the latest hardware fitted however, Tesla owners can look forward to new functionality as their cars age, something that many owners joke makes their cars ‘better as they age.’
That fact, combined with the excellent owner satisfaction scores the Tesla Model S receives from Consumer Reports Owners, is enough to secure it the coveted award for the second year running.
Well done, Tesla.
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