2018 Tesla Model S

2018 Tesla Model S
MSRP range
$74,500 - $135,000
2018 Tesla Model S

Pros

  • Electric range is impressive on higher-end models
  • Wicked quick acceleration across the board
  • Liftback design affords abundant cargo space
  • Advanced technology unavailable from other luxury brands

Cons

  • Small dealer network means few service centers nationwide
  • Lacks the luxury polish of some similarly priced sedans
Tesla Model S years
2018


Which Model S does Edmunds recommend?

The right Model S for you depends on your travel needs or wants. If you commute to an office 20 miles away, you could cover a full week of round trips and then some on a full battery in a Model S 75D. The 75D would be our pick for its lower cost of entry and impressive performance. For those who want maximum range, moving to the 100D gives you an extra 76 miles, for a total of 335 miles, but commands a pretty significant jump in price. As for options, the Enhanced Autopilot is a good idea. And for those particularly bullish on tech and autonomous driving, the Full Self-Driving Capability option, though not currently in operation, is probably a worthy add-on.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

Until Tesla came out with its Model S, electric vehicles were never thought of as fully viable replacements for gasoline-powered vehicles, and they didn't have much appeal beyond their potential eco-conscious benefits. Today, though, the 2018 Tesla Model S boasts tremendous acceleration, cutting-edge tech, and an electric range that now resembles that of a gasoline car. It's well-suited for just about any luxury vehicle buyer, not just EV converts.

Tesla has made the 75D the base model, which means the Model S now has a minimum EPA-rated range of 259 miles. That's significantly more than most other EVs. And with the 100D model rated to cover 335 miles on a full charge — combined with access to Tesla's Supercharger rapid charging stations — the Model S is a legitimate long-haul road tripper.

Then there's the range-topping P100D. When fully charged with electrons, this Model S will rip from zero to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds. That's quicker than many exotic cars these days, and it's the kind of speed that can pin back your eyelids and distort your sense of self-restraint. It'll also put a quick drain on your battery and large loads on your drivetrain, so it's best to be judicious.

Tesla is a car company that operates like no other. It releases new firmware updates — installing new features, optimizing software and fixing bugs — that get beamed to your car over the air. Newer cars equipped with the latest hardware will eventually have access to more functions over time. A good example of this is the Full-Self Driving Capability option that's available now, which should allow your Model S to drive itself someday when technology and legislation allow. It changes the car-ordering experience a little if you're paying for features that you can't use immediately, or may never use.

Despite its many upsides, the 2018 Tesla Model S may still feel a bit unpolished next to some of its German contemporaries. The latest modern comforts such as cooled and massaging seats, or even Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, don't appear anywhere on the Tesla ordering sheet. Even so, this is a car that is a great choice for an EV, a luxury sedan or both.

Notably, we picked the 2018 Tesla Model S as one of Edmunds' Best Electric Cars and the Model S P100D as one of the Best Sport Sedans for this year.

Trim levels & features

The 2018 Tesla Model S is a five- to seven-passenger luxury sedan available in three variants: 75D, 100D and P100D. The digits refer to the kilowatt-hour capacity of its battery, which directly impacts range. The D denotes the dual-motor, all-wheel-drive models, which is standard for 2018. Effectively, there's a single, feature-loaded Model S that buyers can then upgrade with several option 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 75D is EPA-rated for 259 miles of range. It comes standard with 19-inch wheels, all-season tires, an adaptive air suspension, LED headlights, access to Tesla's Supercharger network, a power liftgate, 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, automatic wipers, blind-spot warning, automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning.

Inside, you'll find cloth and premium vinyl upholstery, power-adjustable front seats with heating, 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, lighted door handles and LED cornering lights, a premium 12-speaker sound system with satellite radio (when paired with the sunroof), a full row of heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, wiper blade defrosters and washer nozzle heaters.

Enhanced Autopilot comes with three extra cameras and upgraded sensors, and it allows for limited hands-free driving of the Model S. This includes 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 to the Full Self-Driving Capability package that Tesla says will eventually support full autonomous driving.

The 100D uses a larger 100-kWh battery pack for the most available range at 335 miles, quicker acceleration, and a higher top speed of 155 mph.

The top-of-the-line P100D uses the same battery pack and a second electric motor on the rear wheels, yielding an EPA-estimated 315 miles of range and an astonishing 0-60 mph time of just 2.5 seconds. The P100D also comes with all the features in the Premium Upgrades package and the option of a carbon-fiber spoiler.

All variants can be outfitted with optional fold-flat, rear-facing jump seats, suitable for small children, which increases total passenger capacity to seven.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2015 Tesla Model S P85D (dual electric motors | direct drive | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Model S has received some revisions, notably the discontinuation of the P85D trim. It's similar to the current 100D and P100D, however, and our findings remain applicable to this year's Model S.

Driving

5
If the Model S P85D simply accelerated with unbelievable speed yet did nothing else well, it would still get a top grade. 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
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. A P100D should be even quicker. 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. It gives a more predictable pedal feel than some other electric vehicles.

Steering

5
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
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. It's far more fun than such a heavy vehicle should be.

Drivability

5
With instantly available electric power, the Tesla is a cinch to drive. The car's adaptive cruise control is among the best in the business.

Comfort

4
There are no obvious missteps in the Model S. 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
The seats are well-bolstered, grippy and adjustable, and they rival the seats from the class leaders. But no cooling feature is available.

Ride comfort

3.5
The ride remains on the firm side even in our Model S test car with 21-inch wheels and an air suspension. That's not a real complaint because it's never coarse, but it's far from cushy.

Noise & vibration

4
The Model S 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

3.5
Be prepared to like virtual touchscreen controls because that's what you get. But the look of the digitally rendered icons artfully mimics tactile controls of old, so they will seem very familiar. We found the air conditioning has a hard time keeping up in hot weather.

Interior

5
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
The cabin feels huge, and all occupants have a ton of leg- and headroom. Overall, a very airy and wide feeling.

Visibility

5
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. The panel gaps are tight, the materials are excellent, and everything feels expensive.

Utility

4
The Model S offers significantly more space than most large luxury sedans. But some might find the open center console concept a little polarizing.

Small-item storage

4
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

5
The Model S has a usable front trunk and a massive rear trunk. It's a lot more space than other large luxury sedans offer.

Child safety seat accommodation

3.5
The Model S features three standard LATCH anchor points in the second row, tucked tightly between the seat cushions. Optional rear-facing seats are fixed to the car's chassis and feature a 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 (such as Autopilot) aren't as effective as you might think they are.

Audio & navigation

3.5
The main touchscreen is huge, and it responds very well to inputs, though the control menus are complex. The audio 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
The Model S offers standard Bluetooth hands-free phone with voice control, but there's no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto integration yet (mirroring solutions are reportedly in the works).

Driver aids

4
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.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Tesla Model S.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Truly Special
Stephen,04/08/2018
The 75D Model S is more than a car — it’s a movement and Tesla found a way for us all to become part of the automotive transformation with zero sacrifices. There is something for everyone in this car. It’s fast, clean, classy, high tech, and it drives itself. I have not owned my car long enough to speak to reliability but so far so good. Customer service (Springfield NJ) has been excellent. The Model S is pricey (even with incentives applied) but never buyer’s remorse. In fact, every time I drive this car I am amazed by how much technology is at my fingertips. Autopilot is by far my favorite feature. The ability of the car to park itself into the garage is a major convenience. My garage is tight. Seeing the car perfectly position itself between walls and columns is impressive to say the least. As much as I love the 75D, there is room for improvement. Tesla needs to refine the operation of the Fronk door. No need to simulate a classic car hood. It’s a storage area not an engine compartment. As it stands, the Fronk is not set up for high volume use. The lack of Apple Car Play is a disappointment. And although the bright white seats are a highlight (stunning in fact), the seats in form, control, and sophistication lag most high-end luxury cars. In short, the value of this car is far greater than the cost. Elon Musk created something very special with the Model S and the 2018 Model demonstrates Tesla’s commitment to excellence.
Terrible customer service
drj,02/16/2018
I’ve had a tesla for almost a year. It had several problems that where fixed. Yesterday my rear tire was punctured with an object on the road. I called Tesla roadside and my car was transported to the service center. I called early to make sure I had my car back on the same day Unfortunately there where NO spare tire or inventory tires in stock. Then there where NO tesla loaners cars. For a 100k+ vehicle that doesn’t come with a spare tire the support is ridiculous and unacceptable. I’m left without a car for a problem that could be resolved in 5 minutes with a spare tire. I had a full day a Patients to see at different hospitals and had to cancel on them because I had no reliable transportation. I called management and I’m still waiting for a call back. I love the car, but I’m done with customer service. Last tesla I will buy. I finally got my car back. Terrible car wash and vacuum job.
The best car I've ever owned
PR,07/24/2018
Got rid of all my gas powered cars after getting a Tesla. Take one for a test drive and you won't regret it!
After owning a Tesla I will never own a gas car
Kevin W,08/29/2018
Tesla has been the best car I have ever owned. I am on my second one. The technology is amazing. The self driving capabilities relieve the burden and increase of the safety. The giant touch screen is very pleasing it convenient. Being able to pull into my garage and plug in rather than touching snotty gas candles has been my favorite. I have never had to have it serviced. No oil changes. No engine to dips. Unlike the Boxee electric cars of the past this car is very sporty and a beauty to look at.
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Features & Specs

MSRP
$135,000
MPG
92 city / 105 hwy
Seats 5
1-speed direct drive
Electric
N/A
MSRP
$94,000
MPG
101 city / 102 hwy
Seats 5
1-speed direct drive
Electric
N/A
MSRP
$74,500
MPG
102 city / 105 hwy
Seats 5
1-speed direct drive
Electric
N/A
See all 2018 Tesla Model S features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite Model S safety features:

Enhanced Autopilot
Uses four cameras and a dozen sensors to monitor and improve safety and semiautonomous 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 the steer car back into the 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
    Acceptable
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

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More about the 2018 Tesla Model S

With as much commotion as Tesla has made about its new, more affordable Model 3, the truth is that its 2018 Tesla Model S sedan is still a great luxury sedan. With the 70D as the new base model Model S, its 259 miles of range, and long list of standard features will suit many luxury sedan buyers 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.

It's a pretty significant jump to the 100D and the P100D, one that speed and adrenaline junkies will certainly consider. But the upgrade not only makes the Model S one of the fastest cars on the road, it also offers electric range on par with many gasoline-burning cars. These factors are what put Tesla on the radar of even the atypical EV buyer.

Tesla offers a handful of options for the Model S, ranging from some of the best semiautonomous driving features to fully autonomous driving, once the tech and regulation switches are ready to be flipped. There's also an upgraded sound system, a fully heated rear passenger seat row and upgraded air filtration system. And lastly, optional old-school rear-facing jump seats for the back row could help revive the lost art of the 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. And even if you're paying for the car's electricity, it's still going to cost you less than what you'd pay for gasoline in a regular luxury sedan.

Overall, the 2018 Tesla Model S is an attractive choice whether you're shopping for an EV, a luxury sedan or a performance car. Let Edmunds' incomparable shopping tools help you find the ideal Model S for you.

2018 Tesla Model S Overview

The 2018 Tesla Model S is offered in the following submodels: Model S Sedan. Available styles include P100D 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD), 100D 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD), and 75D 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD).

What do people think of the 2018 Tesla Model S?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Tesla Model S and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 Model S 4.5 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 2018 Model S.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Tesla Model S and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 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 2018 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) 2018 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 Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Tesla Model S.

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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 2018 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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