Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S

2021 Tesla Model S

Pros: Head-turning looks; surprisingly robust acceleration; low per-mile operating costs

Cons: Steep pricing; limited availability

CG Says: The 2021 Tesla Model S is revised with freshened styling inside and out, longer range, and more power. The base Long Range now has an estimated range of 412 miles. The topline Performance has been replaced by Plaid and Plaid+. The 1020-horsepower Plaid has an estimated range of 390 miles. Tesla claims that Plaid can accelerate 0-60 mph in 1.99 seconds and has a top speed of 200 mph. The Plaid+ is as fast as Plaid, but has a longer 520-mile estimated range. A controversial new feature is an airplane-like yoke steering wheel. The Tesla Model S is an all-electric premium midsize 4-door sedan with room for five passengers. The base Long Range is capable of 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds. All-wheel drive is standard. Full Self-Driving Capability is an option about which Tesla says, “Autopilot enables your car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically within its lane under your active supervision, assisting with the most burdensome parts of driving. With over-the-air software updates, the latest enhancements are available instantly.” An electric car doesn’t suit everyone–especially when it starts at about $80,000 (before federal tax incentive deduction)–but the Model S is an impressive effort. It’s plenty roomy for four adults, the interior is well thought out, ride and handling are exceptional, and performance is terrific (especially in the top-line Plaid and Plaid+ models). Furthermore, its “fuel” costs are far lower than in any comparable gas vehicle, and the estimated range of 390-520 miles–is longest of any electric car. However, use all that range and recharge times can get long unless you’re at one of Tesla’s Supercharger stations, which cuts the times considerably.

The Facts
Class Premium Midsize Car
Body Style(s) 4-door hatchback
Passenger Count 5
Drive Wheels all-wheel drive
Manufacturer Tesla
Nation of Manufacture USA
Base Prices Long Range: $79,990
Plaid: $119,990
Plaid+: $149,990

Base Engine
two electric motors (Long Range)
Horsepower
670
Std. Transmission
single speed
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (MPGe)
98-114
EPA Hwy Range (MPGe)
93-106

Optional Engine
three electric motors (Plaid, Plaid+)
Horsepower
1020 (1100 Plaid+)
Std. Transmission
single speed
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (MPGe)
NA
EPA Hwy Range (MPGe)
NA

Tesla Model S
2021 Tesla Model S
NHTSA Ratings
Overall - NA
0%

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Crash - NA
0%
Side Crash - NA
0%
Rollover - 5
100%

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