2017 Tesla Model S Review

Pros & Cons

  • 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
Other years
List Price Range
$50,995 - $59,995

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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

Overall rating

5.0 / 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.

What's it like to live with?

Edmunds' editorial team was one of the first to acquire and live with a 2013 Tesla Model S for a full year. To learn more about the Tesla Model S of this generation, read our complete 2013 Tesla Model S long-term road test. 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 2017 Tesla Model S differs from our early long-term Model S in a number of ways. The front bumper and grille have been revised, range has improved, and all 2017 models come standard with all-wheel drive (ours was rear-drive only) except for the base 75 trim. It's the same generation, though, so most of our general driving impressions still apply.

2017 Tesla Model S models

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.

Trim tested

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.

Driving

5.0
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.

Acceleration

5.0
Tesla calls its most aggressive performance setting "Insane" mode, and it's not far from the truth. The sprint from zero to 60 mph takes just 3.5 seconds and is incredibly easy: Just floor the accelerator pedal. Even in normal situations, acceleration is impressive.

Braking

4.5
Routine deceleration is aptly handled by the regenerative braking, while panic stops are smooth, short (just 102 feet from 60 mph) and stable with consistent distances. Gives a more predictable pedal feel than some other electric vehicles.

Steering

5.0
The steering effort is variable between three different modes, but all are quite quick. The steering feels lighter than it does on non all-wheel-drive models, but it's not too light.

Handling

5.0
Thanks to sharp steering and incredibly sticky summer performance tires, the grip available with this car is impressive. Corner-carving is also aided by immediate pedal response. Far more fun than such a heavy vehicle should be.

Drivability

5.0
With instantly available electric power, the Tesla is a cinch to drive. Autopilot was not available at time of review, but the P85D's adaptive cruise control, a key component of the autonomous driving suite, was the best we'd ever sampled.

Comfort

4.0
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.

Seat comfort

5.0
Seats are well-bolstered, grippy, adjustable and rival the seats from the class leaders. Still no cooling feature available.

Ride comfort

3.5
The P85D we tested had 21-inch wheels and air suspension but the ride still remains on the firm side. That's not a real complaint because it's never coarse, but it's far from cushy.

Noise & vibration

4.0
The Model S still suffers from an odd resonance at the back of the vehicle and our test car had quite a bit of electric whine from the front powertrain. Still, compared to most other cars on the road, it's quiet.

Climate control

Be prepared to like virtual touchscreen controls because that's what you get. The look of the digitally rendered icons artfully mimics tactile controls of old, however, so they will seem very familiar.

Interior

5.0
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.

Ease of use

4.5
The giant 17-inch touchscreen is amazingly easy to use. Everything works great except the power exterior door handles: They frequently fail to deploy right away. Annoying.

Getting in/getting out

4.5
The large door openings, good seat height and a medium-low step-in height make this an easy car to get in and out of, in spite of its seemingly low-slung stance.

Roominess

5.0
The cabin feels huge and there's a ton of leg- and headroom for all occupants. Overall a very airy and wide feeling.

Visibility

5.0
Excellent visibility all around is augmented by the largest backup camera display we've ever seen, with a high-definition camera and advanced parking sensors. Simply outstanding.

Quality

4.5
It's truly impressive that a company as young as Tesla has the build quality buttoned up this tightly. Panel gaps are tight, materials are excellent and everything feels expensive.

Utility

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.

Small-item storage

There are cupholders, yes, but the open center-console concept — basically just an open channel running between the two front seats — isn't so much a storage space as a drop zone for wallets, bags, shoes, banana peels and packets of beef jerky.

Cargo space

4.0
The P85D loses some front trunk storage compared to the regular Model S due to AWD hardware and second electric motor. It still has a massive rear trunk, and it still has the polarizing open-concept center console. No bins, just a tray.

Child safety seat accommodation

Features three standard LATCH anchor points in the second row. Optional rear-facing seats are fixed to the car's chassis and feature multipoint safety belt. No additional safety seat is required.

Technology

3.5
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.

Audio & navigation

3.5
The main touchscreen is huge, and it responds very well to inputs, though the control menus are complex. Audio sound options are limited, but the premium audio system has an appealing sound quality. Internet radio, scrolling and playlist creation are all well executed. Navigation is unreliable.

Smartphone integration

3.0
No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration yet ("mirroring" solutions are reportedly in the works), but the Model S offers standard Bluetooth hands-free phone with voice control.

Driver aids

4.0
The screen depicting the proximity of objects near you when parking is industry-leading. The large backup camera display is very helpful, too. We also like the adaptive cruise control, but full Autopilot is a mixed bag and should never be used without full attention.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall5.0 / 5
Driving5.0
Comfort4.0
Interior5.0
Technology3.5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Tesla Model S.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Never seizes to amaze
Roger Peng,07/23/2017
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.
Repairs are a problem
Bill,05/28/2020
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.
Very Cool but not Cushy - 27 Months Later
Bill F,06/22/2017
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!
I've owned a lot of cars
James Malarkey,11/02/2017
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

See all Used 2017 Tesla Model S features & specs

Safety

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.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover5.7%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2017 Tesla Model S

Used 2017 Tesla Model S Overview

The Used 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's a good price on a Used 2017 Tesla Model S?

Price comparisons for Used 2017 Tesla Model S trim styles:

  • The Used 2017 Tesla Model S 100D is priced between $59,995 and$59,995 with odometer readings between 38191 and38191 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Tesla Model S 75D is priced between $50,995 and$50,995 with odometer readings between 24035 and24035 miles.
  • The Used 2017 Tesla Model S 90D is priced between $58,000 and$58,000 with odometer readings between 11374 and11374 miles.

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Which used 2017 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) 2017 Tesla Model S for sale near. There are currently 3 used and CPO 2017 Model SES listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $50,995 and mileage as low as 11374 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned 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 Used 2017 Tesla Model S.

Can't find a used 2017 Tesla Model Ss you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Tesla Model S for sale - 12 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $24,812.

Find a used Tesla for sale - 4 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $12,838.

Find a used certified pre-owned Tesla Model S for sale - 11 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $21,758.

Find a used certified pre-owned Tesla for sale - 4 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $23,094.

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.

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