Autotrader’s Doug Demuro completely botches the facts about Tesla.

In his column on Autotrader, Doug Demuro writes that the Tesla Model S should not be compared with large sedans like the Mercedes-Benz S Class and BMW 7-Series, but rather midsize sedans like the E Class and 5 series. Why? So Tesla can’t make claims like “The Best Selling” large sedan in America anymore.

A word of caution – beware of advice about Electric Vehicles from someone who post videos of himself lurking at gas stations.

Doug’s arguments suggesting the Model S should be re-classified as a mid-sized sedan are factually cringeworthy. He claims the Model S is 196 inches long, making it shorter than the BMW 5-series, which is 196.8 inches long. This is incorrect. The 2016 BMW 535i is 193.1 inches long, according to BMW’s own website. (note the technical drawing on top). Where does he get his facts from – truckstop restroom walls?

His next argument for downsizing the Model S classification: it’s a foot shorter than the full-sized 7-Series or S-Class. Let’s look at the facts, Doug. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety considers any car longer than 195 inches as full-sized. This includes the Model S. Just because Doug wants Tesla to be in a smaller class doesn’t make it so. That’s like telling the IRS to put you in a lower income bracket because you’re closer to the lower one, even though you’re actually in the higher one.

Let’s look at what determines whether a car is mid-sized or full-sized. There are 2 organizations with car classification formulas.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) uses overall measurements to determine a vehicle’s classification. Since the Tesla Model S is 196 inches long, it falls into its large, not mid-sized category. Source: Wikipedia

The EPA uses interior volume, and considers the Tesla Model S a full-sized car.

But maybe Doug knew he didn’t have facts on his side, because next he introduced a brand-new measure of differentiating mid and full-sized sedans – price. This is invalid and arbitrary. Why not stick with the size classifications government and professional organizations have been using for the past several decades, instead of inventing new ones to bolster a feeble argument?!? Maybe next he’ll suggest alphabetical order as new way of classifying cars.

Doug claims “the Model S’s closest competitors are cars like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the BMW 5 Series, the Cadillac CTS, the Audi A6, the Lexus GS and the Hyundai Genesis.” Seriously? On what planet do people cross-shop like this? No established automotive publication has ever compared the Tesla Model S to any of these lower-end models.

I dare you to show me a major car publication with any of these comparisons:

Tesla Model S vs Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Tesla Model S vs BMW 5 Series
Tesla Model S vs the Cadillac CTS
Tesla Model S vs Audi A6
Tesla Model S vs Lexus GS
Tesla Model S vs Hyundai Genesis

Doug, you may have the wit of of Dave Barry, but you have the command of facts and numbers of Willie Nelson’s accountant.

When it comes to the Tesla Model S, maybe it should be in a class by itself. But until that’s official, let’s stick to the facts.

4 thoughts on “Autotrader’s Doug Demuro completely botches the facts about Tesla.”

  1. Teral says:

    Bravo, you own EPA link classifies the BMW 5 series as large too.

    The point is, Tesla in the chart they release deliberately left out 5 series, A6 and E class to make appear the Tesla as leading when the series 5 and e series have outselling Tesla in the same period, but included the Series 6 CLS class, A7. FYI, these are the four door coupe versions of the 5 series, A6 and E class respectively.
    Also they include the Maserati Ghibli that is a medium size car according to EPA.

    So this cherry picking selecting only the cars that have sales lower than model S is misleading and false.

  2. Tim says:

    I work in the industry and have access to a vast wealth of data about Tesla and its competitors. We can discuss EPA sizing and cargo capacity for days, but what it comes down to is the simple fact that 7-series, A8, and S-class buyers are, in fact, not cross shopping with the Model S.

    This is particularly noticeable when you review the previous vehicle owned that was traded in. While some Tesla owners traded in M5s, almost never did they come from the German large luxury sedans listed above.

  3. Skip McDanish says:

    The only thing worse than your article’s reasoning is your atrocious website design.

  4. Alex Rittenhouse says:

    I think Doug is digging down at the heart of the issue. Sure the model S might check EPA boxes, but what Doug is saying is that in the real world, not a piece of paper, the model S doesn’t directly compete with 7 series and S classes. Your tone is also incredibly harsh and disrespectful to Doug. I think you could have simply laid out your argument and respectfully said you disagree. After all, Doug clearly says in his article that he likes the tesla and thinks it’s great. After all, these are all ludicrously expensive cars only rich white people buy, nothing to attack someone or get upset over.

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