2018 Tesla Model S Review
2018 Tesla Model S Review
View more photos
View more photos
View more photos
View more photos
View more photos
Used Model S for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
Director, Vehicle TestingJonathan Elfalan has worked in the automotive industry since 2005. As a director of vehicle testing at Edmunds, Jonathan has tested and reviewed thousands of cars and written thousands of car-related articles over the course of his career.
- 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
Tesla approaches changes in its features differently than most automakers that follow traditional model-year changes. Instead, Tesla phases in periodic rolling updates, especially to software and electronics. Most notably, Tesla is only building three levels of Model S: 70D, 100D and P100D. All of them are equipped with all-wheel drive. Also, the Premium Upgrades package now includes the features from the former Subzero Weather package and an upgraded audio system. The Executive Rear Seat option is no longer available.
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.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2018 Tesla Model S P100D 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $0.14 per kWh for electricity and $4.04 per gallon average in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
Model S P100D
Avg. Large Car
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.
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 2018 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 the rear-facing child seats are no longer available. Interior options have also changed, and the panoramic sunroof is no longer available. It's the same generation, though, so most of our general driving impressions still apply.
Edmunds' Expert Rating8.6 / 10
The 2018 Model S still stands as the only true midsize luxury sedan in the electric vehicle segment. It offers exceptional performance, range and utility. With the Model S, Tesla proves that EVs can be both eco-conscious and aspirational.
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.
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 seats are well-bolstered, grippy and adjustable, and they rival the seats from the class leaders. But no cooling feature is available.
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 & vibration8.0
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.
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.
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 use8.5
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 out8.5
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.
The cabin feels huge, and all occupants have a ton of leg- and headroom. Overall, a very airy and wide feeling.
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.
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.
The Model S offers significantly more space than most large luxury sedans. But some might find the open center console concept a little polarizing.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
2018 Tesla Model S models
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.
3.9 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4 out of 5 stars
Smartphone on tires
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.
3 out of 5 stars
Love it and hate it!
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.
4 out of 5 stars
Horrible service and customer support
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??????
5 out of 5 stars
The New World of Tesla
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
- Base MSRP
- EPA Battery & Range
- EPA KWh/100 mi.This value tells you how much energy in kilowatt-hours a vehicle would use to travel 100 miles. Unlike mpg, however, where a larger number is better (for example, a vehicle that gets 30 mpg is better than one that gets 20 mpg), a smaller number is better in kWh/100 miles because you are using less battery energy per mile.: 33
- Time To Charge Battery (At 240V)This can be tough to pin down, but we assume for simplicity that the 240V power source will enable the vehicle's onboard charger to operate at full capacity, and that the battery is fully depleted and will be recharged to 100%. Given those assumptions, the value provided is simply the battery's capacity divided by the onboard charger's power rating. For example, a battery rated at 100 kWh will need 12.5 hours to recharge fully using an 8.0-kW charger.: 12 hr.
- EPA Electricity RangeThis value is the estimated number of miles that a vehicle can travel in combined city and highway driving (using a mix of 55% highway and 45% city driving) before needing to be recharged, according to the EPA's testing methodology.: 259 mi.
- EPA Combined MPGeA combined total of 45% city MPGe + 55% highway MPGe: 103 MPGe
- 5 seats
- Type: all wheel drive
- Transmission: 1-speed direct drive
- Basic Warranty
- 4 yr./ 50000 mi.
- Length: 196.0 in. / Height: 56.5 in.
- Overall Width with Mirrors: 86.2 in.
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 77.3 in.
- Curb Weight: 4647 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 31.6 cu.ft.
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.
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriverNot RatedPassengerNot Rated
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover5 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover5.7%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More about the 2018 Tesla Model S
Used 2018 Tesla Model S Overview
The Used 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). The Used 2018 Tesla Model S comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 1-speed direct drive. The Used 2018 Tesla Model S comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 8 yr./ unlimited mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2018 Tesla Model S?
Price comparisons for Used 2018 Tesla Model S trim styles:
- The Used 2018 Tesla Model S 75D is priced between $54,978 and$64,998 with odometer readings between 11907 and53370 miles.
- The Used 2018 Tesla Model S 100D is priced between $57,800 and$72,998 with odometer readings between 14816 and68079 miles.
- The Used 2018 Tesla Model S P100D is priced between $69,977 and$87,499 with odometer readings between 9978 and42780 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Which used 2018 Tesla Model SS 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. There are currently 45 used and CPO 2018 Model SS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $54,978 and mileage as low as 9978 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 2018 Tesla Model S.
Can't find a used 2018 Tesla Model Ss you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
Find a used Tesla Model S for sale.
Find a used Tesla for sale.
Find a used certified pre-owned Tesla Model S for sale.
Find a used certified pre-owned Tesla for sale.
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.