Tesla Model S Review
The 2015 Tesla Model S ranks 1 out of 10 Luxury Large Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Tesla Model S, as well as reliability and safety data.
Automotive journalists are impressed with the all-electric 2015 Tesla Model S, particularly its high-tech features, terrific acceleration and composed ride and handling.
According to critics, the base 2015 Model S provides strong acceleration in any situation, and the performance-oriented P85D's acceleration is simply stunning. Reviewers also note that the Model S is extremely quiet at highway speeds. The base 2015 Model S has a 240-mile driving range and earns 101/102 mpg-equivalent city/highway, according to the EPA. Reviewers note the Model S has composed handling due to its low center of gravity, as well as precise steering. They think it has a smooth, comfortable ride, and that the brakes bring the Model S to a stop quickly.
Though some test drivers think the 2015 Tesla Model S' cabin materials aren't as nice as its competitors', most still say the Model S has an upscale interior. The Model S also has a very spacious cargo area for the class. Reviewers note that the Model S' seats are comfortable, though they add that taller passengers may find that rear-seat headroom is limited. Standard features in the 2015 Model S include Bluetooth, a rearview camera, a 17-inch touch-screen display, navigation, dual USB ports, lane departure warning, front and rear parking sensors, Wi-Fi capability, dual-zone automatic climate control and heated front seats. Available features include a 12-speaker audio system, satellite radio, adaptive cruise control, a panoramic glass roof, leather upholstery, heated second-row seats and rear-facing jump seats mounted in the cargo area that increase seating capacity from five to seven. Critics think the touch-screen display is very large and easy-to-use, with simple and responsive touch commands.
- "In addition to a spacious and forward-thinking interior, the Model S can sprint from zero-to-60 mph in a supercar-like 3.2 seconds and travel up to 265 miles on a single battery charge. And it accomplishes those feats while costing no more than a comparable fossil fuel-powered premium sedan." -- Left Lane News
- "The Model S is an all-electric flagship luxury sedan that has a performance pedigree capable of thrilling the most seasoned auto enthusiasts, as well as plenty of high-tech gadgetry and luxury interior treatments that rival tenured players like Mercedes and BMW. If there were an eco-centric mold for all other electric cars out there, the Tesla Model S would certainly break it." -- Edmunds
- "Designed from the start as an EV, the 2015 Tesla Model S is a roomy 5-passenger electric sedan boasting excellent cargo room with advantages in range and performance that its rivals can't touch." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "It's attractive, comfortable, fast, practical, technically fascinating, and not overpriced. Most important, it's not just a good electric vehicle, it's a good car." -- Car and Driver (2013)
Other Cars to Consider
The plug-in Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid can run solely on electricity, and critics report that it has quick acceleration and transitions well from its electric motor to its gas V6 engine. They also like its handsome, high-quality interior.
The Audi A7 TDI has a diesel engine that reviewers say delivers strong, linear acceleration. The A7 TDI has a large cargo area, gets excellent fuel economy for the class and auto writers praise its top-notch interior.
Details: 2015 Tesla Model S
The 2015 Tesla Model S seats five (or seven with available rear-facing third-row seats) and comes standard with two electric motors, a single-speed transmission and all-wheel drive. The Model S comes in four trims: 70D, 85 (which has rear-wheel drive and a single electric motor), 85D and P85D. The Model S debuted for the 2012 model year and has a new base model for 2015. However, the Model S is mostly unchanged from the 2012 model year, and as a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2012 through 2015 model years.