The car that started the EV revolution is showing its age. While the 2023 Tesla Model S lags behind its redesigned competitors with more features and extended range, the sedan-like hatchback remains competitive. After all, the Model S offers up to 405 miles of content on a single charge. Plus, the three-engine Plaid model with 1,020 hp. It jumps to 60 mph in just 2.1 seconds, as fast as a multi-million dollar hypercar. However, high-end rivals like the BMW i7 and Lucid Air have caught Tesla’s eye. The Model S also has a six-figure price tag that doesn’t match its luxurious interior, especially compared to Lucid and BMW’s luxurious cabins. We think Tesla’s strange steering wheel also affected the driving experience, but at least the regular steering wheel is back. Still, the Model S 2023 remains the brand’s flagship, offering access to the latest software and Tesla’s sophisticated, if somewhat iffy, hands-free AutoPilot mode.
What’s new for 2023?
This year, the Model S added a new key card that replaced the previous standard car-shaped key fob. The regular steering wheel is also returning as a no-cost option (a $700 upgrade is also available for current owners). Since Tesla is known for making changes to its cars every model year, be prepared for more changes to the Model S to come later.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We’ll stick with the base model, which has an estimated range of 405 miles on a single charge. The ultra-high-performance Plaid sounds appealing, but its nearly $138,000 starting price represents diminishing value – unless you need a car as fast as a Top Fuel dragster.
EV Motor, Power, and Performance
With one electric motor each for the front and rear axles, the Model S offers full all-wheel drive no matter which version you choose. The acceleration of different models varies from amazing to amazing. Our 2020 Model S test car produces a staggering 2.4-second sprint to 60 mph and proves to be endlessly entertaining thanks to its instant power delivery. The Plaid version has a third electric motor, increasing the combined power to 1,020 hp – enough to accelerate to 60 mph in just 2.1 seconds. The standard S model was an agile sports sedan with well-controlled body movements and direct handling. Two different settings allow the driver to choose heavy or light steering effort, but neither allows for more feedback from the road. Unfortunately, the available yoke steering wheel is poorly integrated and detracts from the driving experience; The regular steering wheel is a free option. The ride comfort is good, the handling is agile, and it is sovereign and almost relaxed on the highway.
Range, Charging, and Battery Life
The battery pack is under the Tesla floor, ensuring a low center of gravity and weight distribution from front to back. Range and acceleration performance vary from model to model, with the base battery offering up to 405 miles of range, while the Checkered model offers up to 396 miles. Lucid Air is the tallest currently at an estimated 517 miles; The maximum range of the BMW i7 is the shortest at 318 miles.
Real fuel consumption and MPGe
While EVs like the Chevy Bolt and Polestar 2 offer decent range, the Model S remains a formidable alternative to gas-powered vehicles for long-distance driving. The base model has the highest MPGe values in 124 cities and 115 highways. In our road fuel economy test at 75 miles per hour, the 2020 Model S produced 222 miles, which is still far from the EPA’s then-rating of 326 miles. The boxes manage 280 miles of a claimed range of 390 miles. For more information on the Model S’s fuel economy, visit the EPA website.
Interior, comfort and cargo
With the Model S starting at $100,000, it’s reasonable for buyers to expect a certain level of luxury in the car. Cabin ambiance is pleasant enough but less extravagant than our favorites like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Volvo S90 – which are significantly less expensive. The Model S’s sloping roofline cleverly hides the rear liftgate, which opens to reveal a massive 26 cubic foot trunk. We can store our eight carry-on bags without folding the rear seats. Little storage space for small parts throughout the interior – especially in the back seats – is offset by large containers under the floor in the rear cargo area.
Infotainment system and connectivity
Modern minimalism fans will love the Model S’s cabin, which has a giant infotainment screen that controls nearly all of the car’s functions. Tech buffs will be in heaven, but we’re not entirely sure. The screen placement on the dashboard requires some drivers to lean forward to reach specific icons, especially those near the top-right corner of the screen. Unlike the less expensive Model 3, the Model S offers additional displays for the instrument cluster and a small touchpad in the rear seats.
Safety and driver assistance functions.
Although the Model S has sparked a national conversation about the safety of semi-autonomous vehicles and is reported to have caught fire after some type of high-speed impact, confidence in its security is backed by good crash test results from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the knowledge that car fires are not uncommon in vehicles. Electricity and petrol. For more information on Model S crash test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key security features include:
- Standard automatic emergency stop
- Standard lane departure warning
- There is adaptive cruise control with hands-free driving mode
Warranty Coverage and Support
Tesla offers a comprehensive warranty package to protect the Model S hybrid powertrain and components, but lacks Jaguar I-Pace’s expanded bumper-to-bumper coverage and additional scheduled maintenance package.
- The limited warranty is four years or 50,000 miles
- The powertrain warranty covers eight years and unlimited kilometers
- No free scheduled maintenance