Product Reviews

Welcome to Consumer Reports.

We’re so glad to have you as a member. You now have access to benefits that can help you choose right, be safe and stay informed.
With its futuristic gee-whiz innovation and astonishing performance, the fully-electric Tesla Model S seems like a car from another planet. The Model S was the highest-scoring car we'd ever tested, with its high-performance all-wheel-drive version scoring even higher. As advanced as the Tesla is, what makes it so impressive is how seamlessly it blends into everyday life.
Alerts
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph (sec.) 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
NA
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard.
Road Test

With its futuristic gee-whiz innovation and astonishing performance, the fully-electric Tesla Model S seems like a car from another planet. The Model S was the highest-scoring car we'd ever tested, with its high-performance all-wheel-drive version scoring even higher.

As advanced as the Tesla is, what makes it so impressive is how seamlessly it blends into everyday life. No other fully-electric car comes close to its 200-mile-plus range, limiting a key compromise inherent with electric cars. The Tesla also happens to be enjoyable to drive, it is brimming with technology and benefits from hatchback practicality. It matches the acceleration of the world's top sports cars mending it with the usability of a family sedan. But compared to other luxury cars brushing with a six-figure price tag, the Tesla's interior quality and seats aren't quite up to par.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear, 2 third
Drive Wheels
AWD , Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 1-speed Direct
Engines Available
  • electric (691 hp)
  • electric (302 hp)
  • electric (416 hp)
  • electric (362 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2014 Tesla Model S owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

“air leak in left rear window”

Anonymous, IL (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“drain hole in trunk hatch got clogged ,Tesla fix it ASAP”

Thomas G., CA (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“Small water leak driver window”

Scott D., TX (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)

“Water was leaking into the tail lights when the vehicle was washed. Tesla replaced the tail light”

John H., CA (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)
Seals and/or weather-stripping

“The lift gate leaked water after a heavy rain apparently due to a defective seal around the tail light. Tesla promptly came to my house and updated the seal to prevent the problem in the future”

Walter M., PA (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)
Squeaks or rattles

“in dashboard, driver's door, and rear of vehicle”

Anonymous, HI (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“Some rattling noise intermittently comes from the panoramic sunroof area. I'm not sure of the cause”

Michael L., CA (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)

“Driver's seatbelt rattles above the shoulder”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“Since my car was manufactured in early 2013, it was one of Tesla's early cars. They figured out how to fix/retrofit them and everything was fixed perfectly, the first time I asked, like always and for free with great service”

Melissa D., WA (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“Squeaks coming from driver side and pano roof, annoying constantly squeak from passenger back seat area”

Benigno F., FL (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“pesky noise in door was solved”

Scott D., TX (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)

“loose cable in rear deck”

Anonymous, AZ (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“The side mirrors were making noises when they were retracted. Fixed by Mfg”

Michael R., OR (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“squeaking at the sunroof area”

Holger M., CA (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)

“Left windshield wiper motor made squeaking noise when returning blade to home position”

Dawn T., CA (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)

“The only tires/wheels available for the P85+ model at that time were 21". These tires make too much noise and cause the body to shake on freeways and rough roads, which sometimes deafens the interior”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)

“About 6 different rattles from dash, to A-pillar to rear cargo area. They have successfully fixed 4 and they'll take another stab at the other 2 during the next service. They work really hard to make everything right”

Richard B., CA (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“Car creeks alot when driving, might just need lubrication”

Anonymous, ON (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)

“The A/C condenser fan at the front of the car developed a rattle. Tesla corrected the issue by securing the plastic shroud more securely”

Russ W., CA (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)
Wind noise

“Excessive for a 100k vehicle”

Benigno F., FL (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“Passenger side window had excessive wind noise. Tesla arranged for and picked up vehicle. Replaced small corner front window due to poorly placed seal. Delivered it repaired”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“Air noise from rear hatch was quickly adjusted and repaired by Tesla”

Burt L., CO (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“The wind noise, coupled with the loud tires, cause excessive noise in the passenger area. The noise seems to come from windows and the sunroof that are not tight enough”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen goes blank

“Display screen seemed dead and wouldn't reboot. Tesla replaced for free”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“My main computer, the big display in the car, failed and had to be replaced”

Anonymous, NV (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)

“Freezes”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

“Sede prior comment. Display screen wouldn't reboot, no GPS or anything else controlled by the display screen. Vehicle ran fine. Tesla replaced for free,”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)
Backup or other camera/sensors

“Front camera failed which entirely disabled vehicle. Tesla arranged for pickup of vehicle, rental and then delivered repaired car 2 days later”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)
Display screen freezes up

“It freezes and locks - takes a while to reset”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)

“Freezes”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)

“Freezes”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)

“static/interference near tall buildings, mountains, under bridges/roadway under passes”

Anonymous, CT (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“Mute button and voice command button worked intermittently. Mute button was hazardous as radio could not easily be muted when needed for concentrating on traffic or parking”

Dawn T., CA (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)
Voice control commands

“Voice commands repeatedly ignored, or described as "uninterpretable" even when a standard simple command was used, such as calling a telephone number, or navigating to a street address. Fixed by rebooting whole car, but recurred”

Dawn T., CA (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Locks and latches

“Rear door would not unlock. Tesla sent a service tech to my house the next day and fixed it in my garage for free”

Anonymous, IN (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“The passenger door handle failed to present. The issue was repaired satisfactorily under warranty”

Anonymous, LA (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)

“Front trunk latch had to be replaced because it was defective”

Anonymous, MD (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“Outside door handles would not operate (can't open door). Problem happened twice”

Anonymous, QC (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)
Doors or sliding doors

“Door handle wouldn't retract”

Anonymous, OR (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“Electronic door handle did not come out autoatically”

Anonymous, NY (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)
Sunroof

“Noise from sunroof”

R T., IL (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“would not close. Warped and needed replacement”

Anonymous, IL (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“Panorama roof sometimes wouldn't close properly. Had to reopen and reclose. Tesla cut out and replaced the track on one side, which fixed it”

Richard B., CA (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

“A/C compressor failed. Replaced under warranty”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)

“Loud noise from front of car when A/C is running”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)
Automatic climate control

“3 or 4 times a year my Tesla does not produce any heat. It just blows cold air. next time I get in the car it works fine. As this problem does not reliable repeat itself the service center cannot replicate or fix it”

Steven B., MA (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)
Condenser

“High noise and high vibration. Fixed properly”

Anonymous, GA (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)
Refrigerant leaks

“Car advised me to stop driving. Leak of battery cooling pump. Car picked up, loaner provided, repaired in 1 day”

Anonymous, ON (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

“main battery had to be replaced”

Stefan R., AZ (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“If set idle for a few days, it can't wake up and the screen was blank and needs service to restore”

Anonymous, OH (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)
Traction control

“Can not drive in snow. Dealer said snow tires will solve the problem”

Anonymous, OH (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

“A trim strip peeled off the trunk lid. It was fixed at my home by the traveling service agent”

Anonymous, LA (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)

“Trim panel in front of the rear wheel had to be replaced several times”

Anonymous, MD (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)
Loose interior trim or moldings

“Carpet attachments pulled loose. Rattle behind glove box”

Anonymous, TX (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Calipers

“Original calipers were engineered for warm dry weather. They performed poorly in heavy rain. New ones installed on warranty at no cost. They work fine now”

Anonymous, WA (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“During an update at the dealership they warped them”

Anonymous, NV (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)
Squeaking

“The brakes are so rarely used in the car that rust and other gunk can build up and then cause squeaking”

Anonymous, NV (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

“Car started making a clunking noise when I turned the steering wheel. Linkage had to be replaced”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)
Ball joints

“Had a creaking ball joint in the driver front lower control arm. Tesla replaced it the following day after they were notified”

Marc L., NY (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

“electric motor needed to be replaced due to bearings issue. dealer took care of it and no charge to me under warranty”

Alan C., CA (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

“Backlash in main drive unit - replaced main drive unit under warranty”

W D., FL (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Tire pressure monitor

“Dealer said cause of tire pressure indicator problem was two dented wheels. Having owned more than twenty-five new cars over time, I have never had that problem even once. In this case it was two wheels that were dented”

S A., PA (2014 Tesla Model S Unsure Electric)
Wiper motor or washer

“Wipers stopped working about a week ago. We drove to Tesla dealership and they replaced the motor while we waited for a short while”

Roseann D., IL (2014 Tesla Model S Base Electric)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Hybrid/electric system and battery (excluding replacement)

“Car went dead a number of times and had to towed”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Tesla Model S Performance Electric)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Change Vehicle