2018 Tesla Model S Review
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
- 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
- Lacks the luxury polish of some similarly priced sedans
- Small dealer network means few service centers nationwide
|Overall||8.6 / 10|
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.
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.
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.
The Model S offers significantly more space than most large luxury sedans. But some might find the open center console concept a little polarizing.
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.
Most helpful consumer reviews
75D 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD)
The acceleration is wickedly fun. Autopilot is hugely convenient in stop and go highway traffic. Where you live relative to superchargers and service centers could influence whether this is a good purchase. Besides the very occasional glitchy software function, or mechanical part function (for which there are few), there is almost no maintenance required. I would have gone just for an oil change 4 or 5 times in a year driving over 30k miles. I had just one routine check for the Tesla in a year. In temperatures below freezing the battery range falls dramatically. I use about 160 miles of range to travel 100 miles when the temp is down around 10 degrees. The cabin also gets very hot on sunny, hot days. Automatic temp features will keep the cabin under 103 when you're not using it (which will impact battery). As I never travel more than 130 miles/day for work, range is never an issue. Vehicle inspections are interesting. Most garage attendants have not inspected a Tesla before. Be prepared to walk them through every check they need to make. If they want to see under the car, inform them of the jack function and weight of the car.
75D 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD)
Tesla is a great car with industry changing features. The technology is great but it is definitely not a full self driving car but a supercharged cruise control. Still much better than most any car out there. Having and electric car with no gas fill is great but don't be fooled by the advertised range. You will not get close to it unless you keep it under 35 mph and in 70 degree weather. Sales process was horrible for me. I was expecting a new car with all the advertised features but received an older version with a lot of features missing including satellite radio, heating steering wheel, etc. Tesla gave me some free perks to try to make up for it but when you pay this much for a car you expect to get what was advertised. Car also came with a defective wind shield. After replacing it and spending about 30 days in service over the last 5 months I'm still having rattling noises. Car also makes a grumbling noise when you floor the accelerator. Tesla says this is normal and there is no fix for it. One of the top features of this car is the acceleration. Too bad it sounds like it's going to fall apart when you floor it. Service is horrible compared to Audi. You make an appointment on-line (no one to talk to), when you bring in your car it sits for 3 days before any one works on it, when you call the service department no one answers your call, car comes back dirty and seems no one test drives the car after service has been performed.
75D 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD)
I have had an issue with the car making loud clunking noise and the top sunroof trim coming off. I scheduled a services. Tesla cancelled the service and texted that they will send a mobile service. It has been over 2 weeks and no on knows when they will provide the service. This is almost the case every time, i have contacted Tesla for service. I am so disappointed..Where is Mr. Musk with all his promises for product and process excellence??????
100D 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD)
What you have to get used to is that you are driving a relatively simple mechanical device with very complex software. This is the future. Software is what will make a car unique, adaptable and eventually affordable. That Tesla can upgrade my software regularly means that model year of the car no longer has the same relevance it has for the legacy companies. Granted new battery technology might emerge but otherwise there is not much mechanical innovation on the Tesla horizon. We all wait for the 9.0 OS not a new engine or braking system or all the many gadgets that we used to get in our BMWs - half of which we never used. Once you understand your car (and your car understands you), it is like a relationship with you computer only it takes you places. What is particularly cool is that for this particular moment in time the realization that you are in the most technologically advanced automobile in the world. I realize that this will inevitably change but for this moment that is the truth - not the most expensive automobile but the most advanced. We have a S 100D and are now considering a 3 to replace our BMW 2 series.
Features & Specs
Our experts like the Model S models:
- Enhanced Autopilot
- 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 the steer car back into the lane.