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.