2017 Tesla Model S Review
Which Model S does Edmunds recommend?
The right Model S for you depends on how far you need to travel on a single charge. Those who commute to an office 20 miles away could get a full week of commuting and then some on a full battery in a Model S 60 or Model S 75. Our pick, though, is the 90D. Its extra range (nearly 300 miles total) is worth the comparably small price increase from the 75. As for options, Autopilot will improve any commuter's life through the worst slow jams and crawls, and the Premium Upgrades package offers an impressive complement of leather, LED lights, advanced air filtration and a power liftgate.
Edmunds' Expert Review
- 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
|Overall||5.0 / 5|
If the Model S P85D simply accelerated with unbelievable speed yet did nothing else well, it would still get a top grade here. But that's not the case. All-wheel drive gives it a ton of grip, and it changes direction like a much lighter machine. It's a total blast to drive.
There are no obvious missteps for the Model S P85D. The seats are very good, the ride is firm but not abusive, and the road noise is reasonably quiet. The seats could offer more adjustability as well as a cooling function.
The Tesla's interior is a very special place to spend time, with a wide-open feel and lovely materials. Owing to the advanced features in this car, there is a bit of a learning curve. But Tesla focused on the user interface and it shows.
Optional third-row, rear-facing jump seats fold flat into the floor. With 26.3 cubic feet behind the second row and 63.3 cubic feet with rear seats folded, the Model S offers significantly more space than most large luxury sedans.
From its powertrain to gadgetry, the Model S is a rolling monument to technology. Its massive central control display will feel familiar to anyone who uses a tablet. But some of its driver assistance features seem half-baked.
Most helpful consumer reviews
75 4dr Sedan (electric DD)
I read a lot of rave reviews prior to purchase, and I come from a Porsche. Yet, this car still exceeds expectations and amazes me to no end. Power delivery is so instant and smooth that you almost feel like you're floating through air. After driving this car, any gas car now feels outdated. People say the car is expensive, but you get so much for your money, and you get stuff money can't buy elsewhere, such as the amazing auto pilot with lane change capability, parallel and perpendicular self parking, over the air software updates, free LTE web surfing and music streaming etc. Operational convenience and user experience is off the charts. I never use my key. Just go to the car; door handle opens automatically; sit down and drive. Some people say the fit and finish doesn't measure up to other high end marques. That's not so much the case after the 2016 refresh with Model X style seats. The fact is that the interior is extremely comfortable. After a long drive you are guaranteed to feel more pampered than in a Rolls Royce, because most of the coachwork stuff is just visual, and doesn't really provide additional comfort. I drove a Jaguar sedan for many years when that was considered the magic carpet ride. Compared to a Model S it's not even in the same league. Besides the attributes of the car itself, there are just so many benefits to ownership, like never having to go to the gas station, never having to take the car to get a smog check, never having to get an oil change, reduced need for brake service due to regen, car pool lane privilege, etc.. As far as I can see, this car has no competition, and I can't see how anyone would opt to spend similar money on a Mercedes, BMW or Lexus.
75D 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD)
Original Review -Purchased a 75D that has far exceeded my expectations! The 75D is not the quickest of the Tesla bunch but I find it plenty fast for my needs. The acceleration is impressive, quick, and quiet. Compared to a similarly priced Mercedes or Lexus, however, the seats on a long trip do not provide the same level of comfort. Everything else about the car is just plain cool and technologically advanced. The view out the glass roof is amazing for rear passengers. On the pricey side, but it's no longer on my bucket list. Update - After 14 months of ownership I still find it impressive and fun to drive. The visibility out the rear-view mirror isn't great so I always drive with the rear camera on and viewed on the top half of the iPad-like display - love this feature. Original navigation system had flaws but a recent software upgrade improved it - now powered by Google Maps. Occasional free software upgrades continue to improve the vehicle. Nice to have free lifetime supercharging on long trips. When using nav system the computer calculates if there is enough charge to get to your destination. If not, it will direct you to supercharging locations along the way. Update - Another follow-up after 27 months - Still an amazing feeling to drive after 2+ years. Had a minor noise issue with the front window but the service center took care of it quickly. While there I requested a performance software upgrade (my model did 0-60 in 5.3 secs) and it was loaded free of charge (now 0-60 in 4.3) a huge difference. Once again not "ludicrous speed" but still plenty fast and more than I'll ever need. The battery range has degraded by approximately 2% since inception but quite acceptable to me. So, would I buy it again? Definitely!
Long Range 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD)
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.
75D 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD)
At an early age I had an unquenchable thirst from performance, reading virtually every single R&D from 1996 to 2017. I pursued power buying the best options available or testing it on the track. Having owned over 52 cars, and peddle time, behing the Ferrari, 458 F40, Acura NSX, and Porsche 993 GT3RS I thought I'd hit the pinnacle, but none compares to the Tesla... The Tesla to a car guy is a stealth bomber to the airforce, anything on the road expect a nuclear explosion. There's nothing like it! in standard form it seats 5, has class leading technology, and weighs 4500 lbs, yet will shred 0-60 in 4.2 seconds. It's so quite that when you speed people don't know how to react? There is no way to justify the speed as there's no noise, it's quite, like a mouse farting... no-one hears it. Speed isn't it's only game, utilization is off the charts! The car has two trunks, front and rear. The front alone is enough to store the groceries, the rear is large enough to put your living room in it. It's literally that big, and seems to have endless room. For me, and really the reason why I bought it was the enhanced autopilot, which allows me to dart down the road while answering emails and making follow up conversations, which gives me a leading edge over my competitors, and sets me apart from the heard. Bottom line I love it, and I hope it continues to impress.
Features & Specs
Our experts like the Model S models:
- 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.