2017 Tesla Model S
- Electric range is impressive on higher-end models
- Wicked quick acceleration on those models, too
- Abundant cargo space for a sedan
- Features advanced technology unavailable from other luxury brands
- Lacks the convenience and luxury polish of similarly priced sedans
- Jury is still out on long-term reliability
- Small dealer network means few service centers nationwide
2017 Tesla Model S pricingin Ashburn, VA
Which Model S does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
Overall rating5 / 5
The 2017 Tesla Model S stands out as the only true electric luxury sedan. Tremendous acceleration, cutting-edge tech and 300-plus miles of potential range make it more suited for almost anybody, not just early EV adopters. There are drawbacks, but the overall ownership experience is very positive.
As with all electric vehicles (EVs), driving range and charging time are constant considerations. But the Model S delivers the most range of any EV on the market, with the new P100D model rated to cover 315 miles on a full charge (that's the EPA's estimate; Tesla claims it's higher). Combined with access to Tesla's Supercharger rapid charging stations, this makes the Model S a legitimate long-haul road tripper.
You'll need those superchargers, too, as the Model S forever goads you into dipping into its accelerator for a burst of effortless, astonishing speed. Fully boosted with electrons, the Model S can sprint from zero to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds. That kind of speed can pin back your eyeballs, but can drain range just as quickly, so it's best to be judicious.
Despite its luxury station and price, the Model S still comes off a bit unpolished and less opulent than some of its German contemporaries. No matter — this is a car that bleeds tech, will uniquely fascinate the tech-obsessed and will otherwise charm anyone simply looking for an alternative to living with a gasoline engine-powered car.
Trim levels & features
The 2017 Tesla Model S is a four- to seven-passenger luxury sedan available in seven variants: 60, 60D, 75, 75D, 90D, 100D and P100D. The digits refer to the kilowatt-hour (kWh) capacity of its battery (which directly impacts range) while the "D" denotes the dual-motor, all-wheel-drive models. Effectively, there's a single, feature-loaded Model S that buyers can then upgrade with several options packages and increased battery performance.
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 Model S 60 comes with 19-inch wheels, all-season tires, LED headlights, access to Tesla's Supercharger network, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 17-inch touchscreen, a navigation system, a rearview camera, keyless entry, parking sensors, power-folding and heated side mirrors, blind-spot warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, cloth and premium vinyl upholstery, heated power front seats, 60/40-split folding rear seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, Bluetooth connectivity, and a seven-speaker sound system with dual USB ports (media and charging) and HD radio. A cellular connection, internet radio and Wi-Fi connectivity are also included, as are a universal mobile connector for charging (with 110-volt, 240-volt and J1772 adapters).
The Premium Upgrades package includes adaptive LED headlights, an enhanced cabin air filtration system, leather interior surfaces (when leather seats are selected), LED ambient interior lighting, a power liftgate, lighted door handles and LED cornering lights. The Ultra High Fidelity Sound package adds a 12-speaker sound system and includes satellite radio. A Subzero Weather package adds a full row of heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, wiper blade defrosters and washer nozzle heaters.
Outfit the Model S with a second onboard charger for up to twice the standard rate of charging (up to 52 miles of range per hour) when combined with the optional 80-amp, at-home wall charger.
Enhanced Autopilot allows for limited hands-free driving of the Model S, including automatically changing lanes by selecting the turn signal indicator, semiautonomous steering, a parking-spot detection system, and hands-free parallel parking and summoning functions. You can also get a further upgrade (Full Self-Driving Capability) that Tesla says will eventually support full autonomous driving.
The Smart Air Suspension option adds self-adjusting (adjustable height) suspension. Optional fold-flat, rear-facing jump seats (for small children) increase total passenger capacity to seven, while an Executive rear-seat package replaces the bench seat with two captain's chairs, thus reducing overall capacity to four passengers. The Executive rear seats and rear-facing jump seats cannot be ordered together.
The Model S 60D adds another motor that powers the front wheels. Otherwise, all of the above features and options apply. The 75 and 75D models are simply 60 and 60D models with software that maximizes battery function and capacity.
A physically larger (90-kWh) battery is available in the 90D, which also offers options such as a carbon-fiber rear spoiler, 21-inch wheels with high-performance summer tires, the Smart Air suspension package and other features, plus revised suspension tuning. The 100D uses a larger 100-kWh battery pack for increased range, while the P100D uses the same battery pack and a second electric motor on the rear wheels. This yields an EPA-estimated 315 miles of range and astonishing acceleration from zero to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our First Drive of the 2015 Tesla Model S P85D.
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Model S has received some revisions, notably the discontinuation of the P85D trim. Our findings still remain broadly applicable to this year's Model S, however.
Noise & vibration4
Ease of use4.5
Getting in/getting out4.5
Child safety seat accommodation
Audio & navigation3.5
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
Our experts’ favorite Model S safety features:
- Enhanced Autopilot
- Uses a dozen sensors to monitor and improve safety in hazardous 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 unnoticed drifting from lane. Optional autonomous steering can steer car back into lane.
With as much commotion as Tesla has made about its upcoming "affordable" Model 3, the truth is that its entry-level, full-size 2017 Tesla Model S sedan isn't an unreasonable proposition to begin with, certainly not as big luxury sedans go. True, the base model Model S (the 60) isn't loaded with capability, bringing up the rear of the model with "just" 219 miles of range. Still, that's more range than any other EV on the market offers except for the new Chevrolet Bolt, and for many people, it will suit just fine.
Even a base Model S is loaded with an outstanding complement of standard features, including navigation, Wi-Fi and internet connectivity, Bluetooth, a high-definition backup camera, a 17-inch touchscreen command center, power-adjustable heated seats, and a suite of driver safety aids such as blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning.
Added price offers extended performance, whether that's the dual-motor 60D, which effectively turns the Model S into an all-wheel-drive sedan or the notable bump in range of the 75 model (259 miles) or the leap to a physically larger battery in the 90D, which yields almost 300 miles of range. Speed and adrenaline junkies will want the 100D or P100D, both with still higher-capacity batteries that make the Model S one of the fastest cars on the road.
Tesla offers a handful of options for the Model S, ranging from almost fully autonomous driving features to an adjustable suspension, an audiophile sound system, a power liftgate and a faster on-board charger. There are even old-school rear-facing jump seats for the back row for reviving the lost art of family road trip.
And though the Model S has a reputation as an expensive car, two factors can't be dismissed. First, federal and state tax credits for electric vehicles can dull some of the sting of the Model S asking price. Second is (potentially) free electricity when filling up at Tesla's network of Superchargers. With the right planning, you could keep the Model S off your home electrical bill indefinitely, not to mention have Tesla pick up your locomotive tab on further trips afield — all of which help make the Model S a more attractive purchase. Let Edmunds' incomparable shopping tools help find the ideal Model S for you.
2017 Tesla Model S Overview
The 2017 Tesla Model S is offered in the following submodels: Model S Sedan. Available styles include 75D 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD), 60 4dr Sedan (electric DD), 90D 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD), 100D 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD), P100D 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD), 75 4dr Sedan (electric DD), and 60D 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD).
What do people think of the 2017 Tesla Model S?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Tesla Model S and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 Model S 4 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 2017 Model S.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Tesla Model S and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 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.
Which 2017 Tesla Model SES are available in my area?
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Should I lease or buy a 2017 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.