Tesla Model S

Tesla’s Flagship

Base MSRP: From $76,000 trending
Configurations:

  • 75D – From $76,000
  • Standard Range – From $78,000
  • Long Range – From $83,000
  • Base – From $85,000
  • 100D – From $94,000
  • Performance – 114,000
  • P100D – From $133,000

Destination Charge: $1,200
Tax Credit: Up to $3,750 til June 30, 2019, $1,875 July 1 til Dec. 31, 2019

EPA Range: 237-270 miles, pure electric
Charging Acceptance Rate: 9.6 – 19.2 kWh

Reviews of the Tesla Model S

Overview

Performance: Electric vehicle, 100-kWh battery, 518 horsepower
Mileage estimate: 102-105 mpge

Price estimate: $76,000 to $133,000

Warranty: 4 years / 40,000 miles
Drivetrain warranty: 8 years / unlimited miles                                                      Roadside assistance: 4 years / 50,000 miles

Tesla automobiles continue to be a marvel, a veritable rolling monument to technology.

Under the somewhat eccentric leadership of CEO Elon Musk, Tesla is out to change the automotive industry. One might say that has already been accomplished. Tesla has certainly made an impact in a big way as more auto manufacturers delve into the electric vehicle (EV) arena and many of them are experiencing successful transformations.

It’s certainly not a stretch to state that the Tesla Model S is the forerunner among luxury electric vehicles. It was quite the package when introduced to the U.S. market in 2014. The five-passenger luxury sedan was crammed with technology, was extraordinarily fast, had terrific range before a charge was required, and featured an innovative appearance – as well as a fairly high sticker price.

The initial price tag didn’t scare off car buyers and still hasn’t. Tesla sold 16,698 Model S vehicles in 2014 and sales has ranged roughly between 25,200 to a high of 29,421 (2016) over the past four years.

The 2019 Tesla Model S arrives with a few changes. The most significant one is Tesla decided to drop the smaller battery package and go exclusively with the 100-kilowatt (kWh) battery, making it standard in all four trims (base Model S, Extended Range, Performance, and Performance with Ludicrous Mode). Tesla also introduced a new pricing structure this year in regards to upgrades.

Nothing has changed when it comes to range. The Model S still leads the way among all EVs, traveling approximately 335 miles (310 in the base model) before requiring a charge. Tesla is the definitive leader in this department. Behind the Model S is the Model 3 with a range of 310 miles, followed by the new Model X sport utility vehicle that has a 295-mile range.

Car shoppers new to the Tesla brand should be aware that buying the latest model doesn’t mean changes won’t arrive later that same year. Unlike traditional manufacturers, Tesla doesn’t observe model years, instead it provides updates whenever they are ready.

So, don’t expect a Model S that was built in January of this year to be the same one produced in July. It will keep evolving because Tesla continues automatically making significant software and hardware enhancements year-round. And the regular updates should make the car even better – at least that’s the theory.

What remains the most intriguing aspect of the Model S is speed. It’s off the hook. Tramp down on the accelerator and you’re in for quite a treat. It has 519 horsepower and travels 0-60 mph in a crazy fast 4.1 seconds. Yet
more daring individuals may want to occasionally experience the “Ludicrous” mode, which is aptly named.

Indeed, the speed is ludicrous, clocked at 0-60 mph in 2.4 seconds with a top speed of 155 mph, making the Model S faster than any luxury-performance sedan in existence. The Ludicrous mode upgrade costs roughly $15,000 and using it too often definitely reduces the mileage range.

The Model S is super quick, yet slows down just as quickly. When one simply takes their foot off the accelerator, the vehicle rapidly decelerates, thanks to its highly efficient regenerative braking system, a terrific feature that is appreciated when going at high speeds because the Tesla cruises along the road so quiet and effortlessly.

Although not a fan of this new concept, the Model S can be driven in autopilot mode. Autopilot costs $3,000 and the cruise control enables the Model S to steer, accelerate and brake automatically for other vehicles and pedestrians within its lane.

We prefer handling the driving duties and were wary of employing the “look mom, no hands” method. Even with autopilot, the driver needs to remain engaged with the steering wheel – one pinky finger is enough. When going totally hands free, note that within a few seconds a verbal message will ask the driver to reengage with the wheel.

We haven’t even mentioned the Tesla Model S is one cool-looking vehicle as well, characterized by an extremely long windshield and stylish front end. The Model S has retractable door handles, which don’t appear until the key fob is within close range. Another distinctive feature is the recharging port is hidden in the taillights. In regards to recharging, Tesla has a large network of its own charging stations throughout the U.S.

The Model S has fantastic driving refinement, delivering a smooth and safe ride that one comes to expect from a luxury vehicle. The turning radius is fabulous and the Model S really grips the road, providing an enhanced feeling of driver confidence when navigating along challenging, curvy roads.

There’s a huge 17-inch touchscreen that covers much of the dashboard and is angled toward the driver for easier access. At first it seems intimidating – too much to learn in regard to infotainment, vehicle settings, climate system, etc. Despite the advanced technology, Tesla has managed to simplify the crisp, clear, and bright instrumentation so the learning curve isn’t nearly as daunting. The 12-speaker, premium audio system is first rate and comes with satellite radio.

It’s hard not to become a fan of Tesla after driving one of its vehicles even once. The Model S is an intoxicating vehicle that provides tremendous enjoyment in multiple ways, especially the stunning performance. It’s an extremely cool-looking vehicle that’s even cooler to drive.

 

Think you know fast? (2017)

Unless you’ve sat behind the wheel of the Tesla S or your profession is race car driver, there’s a good chance you’ve never experienced speed quite like this.

Be prepared. Tramp down on the accelerator of the 2017 Tesla Model S and you’re in for quite a treat. The electric vehicle (EV) Tesla goes 0-60 mph in a crazy 3.5 seconds. Yes, the speed is astonishing and admittedly not for the timid.

And more daring individuals will occasionally want to experience the “Ludicrous” mode, which is aptly named. Indeed, the speed is ludicrous, clocked at 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds, making the Tesla Model S faster than any luxury-performance sedan in existence. One more amazing thing – the Tesla Model S goes this fast without a drop of gasoline!

Excessive speed can be addicting. However, note that this type of pin-the-ears back acceleration drains the EV mileage range considerably, so it’s best to employ more normal driving habits.

The Model S is super quick, yet slows down just as quickly. When one simply takes their foot off the accelerator, the vehicle rapidly decelerates, a terrific feature that is appreciated when going at high speeds, many times without realizing how fast, because the Tesla cruises along the road so quiet and effortlessly.

OK, so we’ve established that the Tesla Model S is a speed demon. But what else is unique about this luxury sedan? It delivers the most range – roughly 315 miles – of any EV model, and tech-savvy junkies will be on sensory overload because the Model S has an abundance of bells and whistles to enjoy.

Designed and built in California, the Tesla Model S is simply a wonderment, offering another dimension of cool and establishing itself as a beacon for technology. It typically accommodates five people, yet has an optional third row with rear-facing jump seats (for children) that folds flat to the floor, allowing the Model S to seat seven people. There’s also a hatchback version that features large trunks in front (Tesla calls it a “frunk”) and back.

Although not a fan of this new concept, the Model S can be driven in autopilot mode. We prefer handling the driving duties and were wary of employing the “look mom, no hands” method. Even with autopilot, the driver needs to remain engaged with the steering wheel – one pinky finger is enough. When going totally hands free, note that within a few seconds a verbal message will ask the driver to reengage with the wheel.

The Tesla Model S is offered with seven battery sizes, varying in kilowatt capacity – 60, 60D, 75, 75D, 90D, 100D and P100D. The “D” denotes dual motor, all-wheel drive.

We haven’t even mentioned that the Tesla Model S is one cool-looking vehicle as well, characterized by an extremely long windshield and stylish front end. It received a new face for 2017 that features what some are calling a bold grille-less design. The headlights have been altered as well.

Although not a new feature, what we also love about the Model S is the retractable door handles, which don’t appear until someone with the key fob is within close range. Another distinctive feature is the recharging port is hidden in the taillights. In regards to recharging, Tesla has a large network of its own charging stations throughout the U.S.

We apologize for continually going to the “cool card,” but another fascinating thing about the Model S is there’s no start button. Once securely in the car with seat belts engaged, the driver shifts into gear and away you go.

The Model S has fantastic driving refinement, delivering a smooth and safe ride that one comes to expect from only the top echelon of luxury vehicles. The turning radius is fabulous and the Model S really grips the road, providing an enhanced feeling of driver confidence when navigating along challenging, curvy roads.

There’s a huge 17-inch touchscreen that covers much of the dashboard and is angled toward the driver for easier access. At first it seems intimidating – too much to learn in regard to infotainment, vehicle settings, climate system, ect. Despite the advanced technology, Tesla has managed to simplify the crisp, clear, and bright instrumentation so the learning curve isn’t nearly as daunting as one expects.

Because the door openings are smaller than the large doors, getting in and out of the Model S isn’t ideal. But once inside the cabin offers impressive head and leg room for both front and back seat occupants. The trunk space is large at 26 cubic feet and it expands to 56 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down.

Tesla has created an outstanding luxury sedan. The Model S is an intoxicating vehicle that provides tremendous enjoyment in multiple ways, especially the stunning performance. It’s an extremely cool-looking vehicle that’s even cooler to drive.

— J.W.

For more manufacturer details on this vehicle visit: www.tesla.com

Additional info about the Tesla Model S:

First-Time Tesla Owner’s Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide

Recommended Power Level of Charging Station for Tesla Model S = 48A

Vehicle Acceptance rate: 9.6kW – 19.2kW

Depending on Battery Size

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