Tesla Model S Review: Will this decade-old EV still hold up?

Tesla’s mass-market, all-electric four-door Model S hit the markets in 2012 after its sporty predecessor Roadster. Over time, it has developed a massive following and is known for being one of the quickest electric cars out there.

Unlike other car manufacturers, Tesla doesn't follow a typical model year system. Despite this difference, users who could consider their recent updates as features available on the 2023 version of the Model S will benefit from new swivel-adjust hardware that provides easy accessibility to its infotainment touchscreen display.

Power and Performance.

The Tesla Model S offers full-time all-wheel drive, with 10KWh battery packs available in the 75D and P100D models. Acceleration is outstanding to unbelievable, depending on the model you choose. The basic 2020 Model S has a 2.4 second sprint to 60 mph, with immediate power delivery from its electric motors for quick passing maneuvers. For those who want even more performance, the Plaid version boasts a third electric motor pushing out 1020 horsepower allowing it to reach 0-60 times of just 2.1 seconds!

While acceleration numbers are something most people look at when buying an EV sports sedan like the Tesla Model S, driving dynamics are also important in finding that perfect vehicle for your needs.

The standard Model S is quite agile and dynamic as a sports sedan should be - well controlled body motions and direct steering make this car feel planted on roads of any condition while two different settings allow drivers to choose their desired steering effort but no additional feedback from the road unfortunately means that some may not find it engaging enough as they would hope for such an expensive car.

However there's still plenty of feedback if needed through other controls aiding agility without sacrificing too much comfort yet managing decent efficiency figures at highway speeds unlike many similar cars out there.

Battery and Charging

The Tesla Model S battery pack produces an impressive low center of gravity due to its location at the floor of the car, along with evenly distributed weight front-to-back and side-to-side which it means that handling is highly responsive. Range varies by Tesla model so you can expect a range of up to 405 miles on the base version or 396 miles in Plaid version.

The current record holder for electric vehicle range is Lucid Air with 517 miles, whereas BMW i7 has 318 miles as shortest amongst all electric vehicles available on roads today. Charging time depends upon type and power source used (ie home / public charging station) but typically 130 kW power sources reduces charging time substantially compared to typical 50kW charger like those found in shopping malls etc.

With predicted battery life figures ranging between 300000 - 500000 kilometres depending upon maintenance quality and driving style, purchasing a Tesla EV shows great value proposition over fossil fuel powered cars both short term and long term cost wise.

Interior and Comfort

The Tesla Model S is a great car for those looking for interior comfort and cargo practicality. Starting at over $100,000, you’d expect the cabin to be top-notch but it’s not quite on par with other luxury models such as Mercedes Benz E-class or Volvo S90 (both cost considerably less).

However, what sets the Model S apart is its rear liftgate that opens to reveal a large 26 cubic foot trunk capable of holding up to 8 carry on cases without folding the rear seats. There are also plenty of small item cubby storage throughout the interior offset by larger underfloor bin in rear cargo area allowing you conveniently store bigger items like suitcases and strollers within easy reach.

Overall, while this isn't quite in line with traditional rivals at similar pricing , if you're considering an electric vehicle then ultimately indoor comfort and spacious cargo will likely outweigh any negatives associated with design - making the Tesla Model S' competitive package even more enticing.

Infotainment and Connectivity

The cabin of the Tesla Model S has a modern minimalistic style, and every vehicle function is controlled through its large infotainment screen. The display currently measures 17-inches in size and offers touchscreen capability like most modern vehicles; but as expected from a Tesla, it also goes beyond that offering an ever-expanding range of features such as streaming music services, detailed maps with live traffic info courtesy of Google Maps integration, satellite navigation options and route search capabilities among many others. Technophiles will be more than satisfied.

A key issue for some drivers may be that they have to lean forward in their seat to reach certain icons on the display or use the touchpad provided behind turn signals for other functions which doesn’t make the user experience smooth while driving.

A secondary display provides gauge cluster information while passengers get access to small touchpad situated at backside of centre console near rear seats so that everyone can enjoy ride by operating media controls without interrupting driver.

Safety and Driver-Assistance features

The Tesla Model S has sparked a nationwide conversation about the safety of partially autonomous vehicles, and rightly so. Car fires are not uncommon in electric or gas-powered vehicles, but the battery systems used by all Teslas have made them a topic for intense scrutiny. Thankfully, both the NHTSA and IIHS websites provide information on crash test results for the Model S, as well as other EVs produced by Musk’s company.

Key driver-assistance features included in the Model S include standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection capabilities, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert functions to heed potential collisions from passing cars or shoppers in parking lots. Adaptive cruise control is also available with an optional hands free driving mode to help reduce fatigue during long road trips or night commutes home.

Is the Model S still worth it?

The Tesla Model S is the epitome of incredible performance, while also making minimal environmental impact; its sophisticated design boasts comfort enhancements and countless technical features.

It's undeniably futuristic compared to traditional petrol-fueled Mercedes E-Class, BMW 5 Series, and Audi A6 models who can be likened to acoustic guitars - this being because they operate on an entirely different frequency from the Model S’ astounding power.

While these luxury German cars serve well as background noise, like a humble rhythm section playing second fiddle - or even third in some cases. The electric vehicle chosen from the likes of the Tesla series leads just like a searing rock solo played by your favourite guitarist.

This particular model has been around for over a decade now and since it was first released several alternatives have sprung up trying to compete head-on with it. However, if you are out in the market for an all-rounder EV then the Model S is worth every penny.

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