2020 Tesla Model S
- Long Range Plus model offers a bit more range than the previous Long Range
- Part of the first Model S generation introduced for 2012
Pros & Cons
- Electric range is impressive
- Wicked quick acceleration across the board
- Liftback design affords abundant cargo space
- Access to Tesla's extensive Supercharger network
- Lacks the luxury polish of some similarly priced sedans
- Small dealer network means few service centers nationwide
- No Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or similar smartphone integration
2020 Tesla Model S Review
It's difficult to believe now — given the neat-but-flawed Model X and stupefying Cybertruck — that Tesla knocked it out of the park on its first attempt. The 2020 Tesla Model S is a continuation of the vehicle that turned the automotive world on its head nearly a decade ago. And despite no significant changes since its debut, the Model S remains one of the preeminent electric cars.
A standard air suspension provides the basis for this large sedan's comfortable ride, while the seats are both supportive and cushy. Inside is a thoughtfully trimmed cabin. It doesn't stun like the German and Japanese competition, but it quietly impresses in a restrained, almost Scandinavian way.
What isn't discreet is the giant 17-inch tablet that houses the infotainment system. While the on-screen menus are logically laid out, they are distracting to use and almost necessitate the presence of the standard Autopilot driving system. For a vehicle brimming with tech, we're also let down by the absence of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone integration.
There's nothing to gripe about when it comes to performance. Even the base version is capable of hitting 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds, and paying an extra $20,000 for the Performance knocks that down to 2.3 seconds. Those are supercar numbers, and almost unbelievable when you consider the Performance trim barely tips the six-figure mark. Estimated range also tops anything else on sale today, though we've often found real-world range falls a bit short of Tesla's figures.
Even after all this time, the Tesla Model S is one of the best EVs on the road. It faces serious competition this year with the arrival of the Porsche Taycan, but the Taycan is also a lot more expensive, offers less range, and isn't as quick.
What's it like to live with the Model S?
Edmunds' editorial team purchased and then tested a 2013 Tesla Model S for a full year. In our experience the early build Model S was prone to premature tire wear and a number of quality issues, which were sorted out in the subsequent years. That said, we found it to be a fun car to drive and unlike anything else on the road at the time.
The 2020 Tesla Model S differs from our early long-term Model S in a number of ways. It's the same generation, though, so many of our general driving impressions still apply. To learn more about the Tesla Model S of this generation, read our complete 2013 Tesla Model S long-term road test.
Which Model S does Edmunds recommend?
Tesla Model S models
The 2020 Tesla Model S is a five-passenger electric luxury sedan. Two variants are available — Long Range (later changed to Long Range Plus) and Performance. Both use the same 100-kWh battery pack and come standard with all-wheel drive.
Be aware that Tesla updates the Model S on an ongoing basis rather than by model year, so what follows might not necessarily reflect the most current offering.
The standard Model S Long Range offers 373 miles of range and a 0-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds. Standard feature highlights include an adaptive air suspension, LED headlights, a power liftgate, heated front- and second-row seats, a heated and power-adjustable steering wheel, a 17-inch touchscreen and a navigation system. Later in the model year, this was replaced by the Long Range Plus, which offers up to 402 miles of range.
Every Model S comes with a suite of safety systems that Tesla calls Autopilot. This includes front and rear parking sensors, a blind-spot monitor, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking.
The Model S Performance sees a reduction in range to 348 miles, but the sprint to 60 mph is estimated at a face-flattening 2.4 seconds. (Note: It can only deliver on that promise a few times per charge.)
The so-called Full Self-Driving Capability option is available on both trims. It adds nifty semi-automated driving features, including automated parking and the ability to change lanes simply by flicking the turn signal. It also adds the Summon feature, which Tesla says enables the vehicle to drive unmanned to its owner in a parking lot. Larger 21-inch wheels are optional on either model, though adding them reduces vehicle range slightly.
Sponsored cars related to the Model S
Trending topics in reviews
- handling & steering
- infotainment system
- electrical system
- reliability & manufacturing quality
- driving experience
- fuel efficiency
- maintenance & parts
Most helpful consumer reviews
When you need repair parts for the car they are not readily available. In my case the MCU went bad after 30 months (2017 Model S) and Tesla has not even given me a date when a replacement will be available and it has already been almost 2 weeks. This is the computer that controls all the car functions. It's hard to believe that a major car manufacturer wouldn't have ready stocks of such an essential component of a $100,000 automobile that is not even 3 years old.
I have owned and driven some very sporty cars in my life. From a BMW M3 to a Porsche Cayanne, to the car I traded in for the Tesla S ( Porsche 911 Turbo), the S blows every Car I have driven, completely off the road. I was soooo excited to get ride of my 91 Turbo in exchange for the S. Although the Porsche was an incredible car, the S is in another world! Not only is the S so INCREDIBLY explosive, but is so much more comfortable drive. Driving it doesn’t feel like driving a car, it feels more like driving a freaking space ship, honestly (atleist it is what I imagine a spaceship would feel like. The comfort/smoothness is unparralled. The tech of the car is also very impressive. Auto-pilot is cool, but not necessary . The warning system and auto brake system has saved me from a huge potential accident. I would have completely crushed a completely stopped car (not sure why that car was stopped there, but I looked away from the road for just a second (yeah my bad big time!) and the system went off (completely stopped the car from 50mph automatically), and when I panically looked up from my now stopped car, I was 8 feet from the other cars rear bumper. If the car had not automatically stopped, I would have crushed it. That a was a moving experience ,thank God all was ok. The styling is nice and although the cabin luxury is not that of a 911 Turbo, it’s nice enough for me (the 911 is a 250k car vs 100k). I much prefer porformance over overly polished and styled interior. I love charging at home. It is way more convenient. Although I agree, that a cross country road trip is not as simple as with a gas car. The Superchargers still take 20-30 mins when on the road. Still , I have not had any issues with range, although I don’t frequently need to drive over 300 miles in a day or single trip. All said, I can’t be any more enthusiastic about this Car. I will never buy another gas powered car again. Driving the S makes driving a gas car seem ridiculous. I hate driving our other car now (Porsche Cayenne S ). That car seems like a loud, clumsy tank compared to the S. If you are even remotely looking into this car or any Tesla, I highly recommend you test drive one ASAP. They are amazing! It’s by far the best car I have ever driven! I absolutely love it.
2020 Tesla Model S videoBest Muscle Cars — Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang, But What Else?
Best Muscle Cars — Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang, But What Else?
ELANA SCHERR: Everybody on my Instagram is posting push-up challenges right now. Don't worry. You are not going to get any exercise posts from me. But that doesn't mean I'm not interested in building muscle. I just prefer burnouts to pull-ups. Then there's going to be giant burnout. This is going to be great. [TIRES SCREECHING] The term muscle car came about in the late '60s and early '70s, but you don't have to have a classic car to flex your muscle. This is my top 10 list of modern muscle cars. [MUSIC PLAYING] Oh, we need rules. If we're doing this, we need rules, right? OK. Horsepower divided by torque with cylinders-- how many, eight? American, four doors, two doors? Could be all-wheel drive. How long a burnout versus how fast? This is hard. In the old days, a muscle car was an American car company's most powerful engine in its sportiest mid-sized car. Think GTO, Hemi Charger, Big Block Chevelle. Then there were the pony cars, which is where you'd get your Challengers, Camaros, Mustangs, AMC, AMXs. Following those rules now would mean that this entire list would be nothing but Camaro, Challenger, and Mustang in various trim levels from base V8 to top of the line-- all great cars, but kind of a boring video. So I opened up the definition to all makes and models. These are my only criteria. Number one, it's available now or it was within the last couple of years. Number two, it's one of the most powerful cars made by the company, and driving it will make you laugh. I expect this list is going to make you very angry. Heck, it made me angry, and I wrote it. Let's get to it. [MUSIC PLAYING] Number 10, Tesla Model S Performance. Are you mad yet? OK, well, half of you get to commenting about how it's totally unacceptable for Tesla to be on a muscle car list, and the other half of you get to commenting about how it's totally unacceptable for it not to be number one on the muscle car list. Let me just tell you why I picked it and put it where it is-- so freaking fast. Sure, no V8 engine, no engine at all, but the Tesla's performance is out of this world. And it has a lot of kind of trick options for showing off, which is very muscle car era. It has a 0 to 60 time of 2.4 seconds. That's half, half of what it took a classic muscle car. Modern times, modern muscle. So why isn't the Tesla higher on the list? Well, first of all, price. It's $100,000 for the fastest one. And I don't think a muscle car has to be cheap necessarily, but it should be cheaper than that. Mostly, though, it's about sound. Sound is a really important part of the muscle car experience, and the Tesla just doesn't do it for me. Sorry. [MUSIC PLAYING] Number nine, BMW M8. Did I just say that price was a factor and then pick a car that cost $133,000? Yes, yes, I did. But blame Mark Takahashi. My BMW pick was the M5, which is also a 600-horsepower bruiser, but cost about $30,000 less. Then Mark came in, and he was like, no, M8 because it's a two door. It's more muscly. And you know, I just didn't have the energy to fight with him. I think he could take me, really. Think he could kick my ass. Point is, BMW makes some monster muscle. And the all-wheel drive M8 has a rear wheel drive mode so you can kick out the back end and do those very important burnouts. [MUSIC PLAYING] Number eight, Nissan GT-R. Why is the GT-R on this list? Well, it is brutally, stupidly fast. It has a 0 to 60 time that competes with the Tesla, and it can do it all day long. Plus, it's kind of unexpected in Nissan's lineup. It's funny to look back at the early days of Pontiac and Chrysler and realize how stodgy those brands were, and then bam, GTO. The GT-R is kind of Nissan's version of that. Why is it back at number eight? Well, the price, over $100,000. And it's a V6. Yes, it's a nearly 600-horsepower V6, but still it is missing some cylinders. Got to be a V8, new rule that I just made up right now. [MUSIC PLAYING] Number seven, Mercedes AMG E63 and the Audi S8. Yep, it's a tie. It's a tie of two cars that at first glance shouldn't even be on this list, but hear me out. It's a tie because both the Mercedes and the Audi are nearly 600 horsepower. The AMG is a little bit over, and the S8's a little bit under. Both are surprisingly fast, faster than anything that big has a right to be. Why are big luxury cars on my muscle car list? Again, if we go back to the muscle car era, the big engines came out of big cars. And the Chrysler 300 and huge cube Cadillacs were surprisingly powerful. Also, a lot of the popular cars like, say, Plymouth Roadrunner were available in wagon form like the Mercedes is. So you could get a big engine in an unexpected body, and that makes it a sleeper, which everyone knows is the coolest relative of the muscle car. This is an '81 Trans Am, so it made about 200 horsepower. It's not really impressive compared to the classic muscle cars. Made about 400. But in '81, there wasn't much that was making more. So I'm going to say '81 Turbo Trans Am, still a muscle car-- just little muscle. Number six, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. [DOG BARKS] Yeah, you heard me. [MUSIC PLAYING] The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is powered by the same engine that Dodge put in the Charger and Challenger-- 700 horsepower, 6.2-liter Hemi. So yeah, it is an SUV, but I mean, with all that horsepower and kind of a low stance, it's not really an off-roader. So if it isn't a muscle car, what is it? I'm making a new rule. Anything with a Hellcat engine is a muscle car. But nothing with four doors can be in the top three. Is that OK? Is that OK with you? Yeah? Going to be all right? He says it's OK. Number five is the Lexus RC F. It's the least horsepower on this list, with a 5 liter making 472 horses. What a world we live in when nearly 500 horsepower isn't bragworthy. The Lexus is on our list because it looks so muscly, with a long hood, and a short deck, and rear wheel drive, two doors. Plus, if you pay more, you can get a wing. And nothing is more muscly than a wing. Just ask anyone with a Plymouth Superbird. [MUSIC PLAYING] Number four Dodge Hellcat Charger. Dang those pesky rear doors. The Charger has the distinction of being the only car on our list to have been an actual muscle car by the strictest standards. Dodge introduced the Charger in 1966 and redesigned it in 1968 to the more famous Coke bottle design. In my opinion, that second-generation Charger is one of the prettiest American cars ever made. And it's also a very famous design. Seen it in movies like Bullet and Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry. It's also in a TV show. What was it called? Um-- Dukes of Hazzard? I don't know. I never heard of it. Today's Charger has too many doors to crack the top three-- see the rule that I made during number six-- but it's one of the best all-around cars on our list, impressive even in 392 trim and downright remarkable as a Hellcat. [MUSIC PLAYING] Onto the pony cars. I wish I could declare a three-way tie for the top three because each one is good in a different muscular way. At number three is the Chevy Camaro, obviously ZL1 because it's top dog with 650 horsepower. But a Camaro SS still lifts plenty of weight. The reason the Camaro isn't higher on the list is because the back seat is small, and visibility is bad. And those are sports car attributes. A proper muscle car shouldn't feel cramped. Number two is the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye. With two doors and a couple of variants of the incredible Hellcat engine, what else could it be but the Dodge Challenger? I mean, Redeye gets the pick because 797 horses. But the 717 horse regular Hellcat is no slouch, nor for that matter is the 392, the 485 horses. The Challenger is the closest to a traditional muscle car on our list despite being based on a pony car design. It's roomy, comfortable, and happiest in a straight line rather than a corkscrew. That said, all the cars on this list are astonishing performers on a road course, as well as a drag strip. There's just no room for one-trick ponies anymore. [MUSIC PLAYING] And here we are, number one, the car that put the pony in pony cars, the Ford Mustang. For maximum muscle, we're going to go with the GT500 with its 760 horsepower and 11-second quarter mile times. But like the others in the top three, the base GT is good too, everything a muscle car needs-- horsepower, style, legacy, the ability to make you look powerful even if you've never seen the inside of a gym. That's why it's our number one. If you want more details on exactly why the top three ended up in the order that they did, watch our previous muscle car comparison from back in the days when we were all allowed to hang out together and go to race tracks. Oh my god, that was hard. I hate top 10 lists. I'm going to go online and start arguing with myself. You should too. Tell me what you'd put on your top 10 list. [REVVING]
Edmunds' Elana Scherr lists the best muscle cars of 2020, including American muscle cars and other, more unusual choices. She also explains what makes a classic muscle car and gives her Top 10 picks for the best modern muscle cars on sale.
Features & Specs
|Long Range 4dr Sedan AWD w/Prod. End 05/20|
|MPG||115 city / 107 hwy|
|Transmission||1-speed direct drive|
|Performance 4dr Sedan AWD|
|MPG||104 city / 104 hwy|
|Transmission||1-speed direct drive|
|Long Range Plus 4dr Sedan AWD|
|MPG||N/A city / N/A hwy|
|Transmission||1-speed direct drive|
Our experts’ favorite Model S safety features:
- Uses four cameras and a dozen sensors to monitor and improve safety and provide semi-automated operation in various driving situations.
- Automatic Emergency Braking
- Determines if a front collision is imminent and can initiate braking to prevent or mitigate a crash if the driver takes no action.
- Lane Departure Warning
- Warns the driver of an unintended lane change or drifting from the lane. Optional autonomous steering can steer the car back into the lane.
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
|Side Impact Test|
|Roof Strength Test|
|Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint|
|IIHS Small Overlap Front Test||Not Tested|
|Moderate Overlap Front Test|
Tesla Model S vs. the competition
Tesla Model S vs. Porsche Taycan
It sounds difficult to believe, but the new Porsche Taycan poses the first significant threat to the Model S since the Tesla debuted in 2012. On the downside, the Taycan uses smaller battery packs that can't match the range of the Model S, and the Porsche is quite a bit more expensive. However, the Taycan is more refined overall, with unequaled handling, a richly detailed cabin and a more intuitive infotainment system.
Tesla Model S vs. Tesla Model 3
While the Model S is a true luxury sedan, the Tesla Model 3 is the EV for the masses. Though not terribly more expensive than rivals, the Model 3 feels more luxurious and better-equipped. The base version has competitive range numbers and a full features list, while more expensive trims increase range and acceleration. The Model 3 is an inexpensive way to get the full Tesla experience without paying an arm and a leg.
Tesla Model S vs. Audi e-tron
The Audi e-tron is one of the newest luxury electric vehicles on the market. It's essentially one of those SUV/hatchback vehicles that's all the rage these days, but one powered by electricity. It's not the fastest EV on the market, nor does it post headline-grabbing range figures. But it's quite well-rounded and features typically exceptional Audi build quality.
Is the Tesla Model S a good car?
What's new in the 2020 Tesla Model S?
According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2020 Tesla Model S:
- Long Range Plus model offers a bit more range than the previous Long Range
- Part of the first Model S generation introduced for 2012
Is the Tesla Model S reliable?
Is the 2020 Tesla Model S a good car?
How much should I pay for a 2020 Tesla Model S?
The least-expensive 2020 Tesla Model S is the 2020 Tesla Model S Long Range Plus 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $74,990.
Other versions include:
- Long Range 4dr Sedan AWD w/Prod. End 05/20 (electric DD) which starts at $79,990
- Performance 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD) which starts at $94,990
- Long Range Plus 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD) which starts at $74,990
What are the different models of Tesla Model S?
More about the 2020 Tesla Model S
2020 Tesla Model S Overview
The 2020 Tesla Model S is offered in the following submodels: Model S Sedan. Available styles include Long Range 4dr Sedan AWD w/Prod. End 05/20 (electric DD), Performance 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD), and Long Range Plus 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD).
What do people think of the 2020 Tesla Model S?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2020 Tesla Model S and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2020 Model S 3.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2020 Model S.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2020 Tesla Model S and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2020 Model S featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
What's a good price for a New 2020 Tesla Model S?
Which 2020 Tesla Model SES are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2020 Tesla Model S for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2020 Tesla Model S.
Can't find a new 2020 Tesla Model Ss you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
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Why trust Edmunds?
Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.
Should I lease or buy a 2020 Tesla Model S?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
Check out Tesla lease specials