All go with just enough show. The Tesla Model S practically invented the fun electric vehicle (EV) segment, thought the Tesla Roadster technically came first. The 2020 Tesla Model S combines power, efficiency, and outward style into one incredible sedan
For years, the Model S was virtually uncontested. Today, however, there are plenty of competitors offering higher-end cabins and more eye-grabbing designs, while the Model S continues to focus on perfecting its powertrain and chassis. Here’s how the Model S stacks up against these younger EVs.
Sleek exterior, but the cabin doesn’t match. Other thank nips and tucks, the Tesla Model S’ outward style has remained mostly unchanged since 2012. While some may see that as a detriment, we see it as a benefit, as it was stunning then and remains stunning today.
Inside, though, the Model S’ cabin is showing its age. It’s not poorly designed, but it's too simplistic for many of today’s buyers. Consider the starting price of $81,190, and the interior simply doesn’t align with the cost.
Absurdly quick and confident cornering. The Tesla Model S has been through countless powertrain options over the years, ranging from quick to ridiculously fast. The Model S now plays only in the ridiculous area, as even its base model boasts dual-motor all-wheel drive, a 100-kWh battery, and a 3.7-second 0-60 mpg time. Opt for the Performance trim, and it boasts a supercar-killing 2.4-second 0-60 time.
Only the Porsche Taycan comes close to the Model S’ straight-line performance, as it scoots to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds. The Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron are relative snails with 0-60 sprint times of 4.5 and 5.5 seconds, respectively.
What’s more, it performs this wildly with minimal drama. It accelerates in virtual silence with only the faint sounds of tire and wind noise. Plus, the Model S is the range champ at 373 miles (Long Range) or 348 miles (Performance), according to the EPA. Every competitor falls well short, as the Taycan can travel up to 201 miles, the e-tron up to 204 miles, and the I-Pace up to 234 miles.
The Model S also has the chassis to match this speed, as its standard air springs offer plenty of firmness to tackle cornering like a true sport sedan. That said, it also offers superior ride comfort, delivering the balance buyers crave.
All the features you need, but it’s no Mercedes. The Model S boasts all the key features most buyers want, including leatherette upholstery, front and rear heated seats, 12-way power seats with memory, a heated steering wheel, LED fog lights, a location-aware garage-door opener, a panoramic roof, and more.
But keep in mind, despite its price, the Model S is no luxury car. You won’t find the truly premium features like supple leather upholstery, 30-way power seats, a 2,000-watt audio system, 80-color ambient lighting, or other top-shelf amenities. You also won’t find Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.
The latter is likely the biggest drag, as this is now standard on most new vehicles. The I-Pace and e-tron both feature standard smartphone integration.
Final thoughts. No matter what way you slice it, the 2020 Tesla Model S is an amazing sports sedan that's also friendlier to the environment than a Mercedes-Benz AMG or BMW M model. Plus, it has the range to deliver a similar driving experience as a gasoline-fueled vehicle
There are a few trade-offs with getting such an advanced powertrain and chassis, as not much of that MSRP went toward dressing up the cabin or adding premium features. Buyers seeking interior features that better fit the price tag will find them in the e-tron, I-Pace, and Taycan.
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