• 2010 Tesla Roadster

2010 Tesla Roadster
Original MSRP: $109,000 - $128,500

2010 Tesla Roadster Review

This review was written when the 2010 Tesla Roadster was new.

The all-electric 2010 Tesla Roadster proves that you don't have to go slow to go green.

The Tesla Roadster is the world's first mass-produced, all-electric, high-performance sports car. While that may sound counter intuitive, test drivers assert that the Roadster lives up to the hype.

The Tesla Roadster provides 100 percent of its available torque all of the time, from 0 to 14,000 rpm, allowing it to accelerate from standstill to 60 mph at break-neck speed. What's more, it can travel up to 220 miles without a recharge, maxes out at 125 mph, and doesn't require a single drop of gas. Sports performance aside, the environmental benefits alone are astounding.

Still, the Roadster isn't perfect. Like the Lotus Elise, with which it shares some components, the Roadster's interior cabin lacks comfort, luxury, convenience and cargo room. However, most drivers won't mind. "We can easily deal with any of the Roadster Sport's minor faults because this car is so blessed fun to drive," writes Autoblog. "This isn't some concept vehicle made out of unobtanium. It's available today (well, there's a three month backlog in Roadster orders), and it certainly won our hearts again just as it did the first time we drove it. "

Because the Tesla Roadster is the first-ever mass-produced electric sports car, it has no competitors. Those in the market for a thrilling track-tuned sports car can get similar -- or even greater -- performance specs and figures from a Porsche, but no car in its price range can match the Roadster's quick delivery of torque, let alone its Earth-friendly engineering.

Shoppers take note that the 2010 Tesla Roadster qualifies for a federal tax credit of $7,500 -- in addition to whatever tax incentives, sales tax waivers or rebates your state is offering for residents who purchase a electric vehicle. In fact, if you live in Colorado, you may be eligible for a $42,083 rebate (no, that's not a typo) if you buy a new Tesla before December 31. Act fast!

The ‘10 Roadster, which is available in both base and Sport trims, carries over from the 2009 model year mostly unchanged.

  • "If this is the future of cars, enthusiasts have nothing to worry about." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Tesla has picked up where others left off and has showed the world fuel efficiency can be fun." -- Detroit News
  • "The Tesla Roadster produces no emissions on its own, though electricity produced by coal- or natural-gas-fired power plants obviously has associated emissions. Because of the Roadster's highly efficient nature, however, Tesla claims the associated carbon dioxide emissions would only be about a third of those for a popular hybrid car." -- Edmunds
  • "Tesla...is a roadster's roadster. It's a head-turner, jaw-dropper. It is sexy as all get-out. And, at $109,000 a copy, it's pricey.  ... Wheeeeeee! If this is the future of the automobile, I want it. Let's do whatever we can to get the price down." -- Washington Post
  • "For whatever missteps and overreaching Tesla has been guilty of, and whatever follies there are to come, the Roadster is here now, a divine spark, an animating lightning stroke of a whole new kind of car industry." -- Los Angeles Times
Review Last Updated: 11/30/09

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