Product Reviews

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The Tesla Model S is so revolutionary and advanced, it's like a car from another planet. That planet happens to be Silicon Valley, where this startup automaker has its headquarters and is run by the same CEO as Space X, the space exploration company with visions of flying to Mars. The Model S requires no excuses -- electric car or not.
Alerts
There are 3 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 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.
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NA
2013
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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.
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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

The Tesla Model S is so revolutionary and advanced, it's like a car from another planet. That planet happens to be Silicon Valley, where this startup automaker has its headquarters and is run by the same CEO as Space X, the space exploration company with visions of flying to Mars.

The Model S requires no excuses -- electric car or not. That's why the Model S is the best-scoring car that we've ever tested, with the high-performance P85D variant scoring even higher.

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 (328 hp)
  • electric (532 hp)
  • electric (417 hp)
  • electric (315 hp)
  • electric (463 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2016 Tesla Model S owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

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

Backup or other camera/sensors

“Main Autopilot camera had issues with calibration and was replaced”

S T., VA (2016 Tesla Model S 75 Electric)

“Front camera was malfunctioning. It was replaced as a warranty item”

Anonymous, IN (2016 Tesla Model S 75D Electric)

“Forward camera for auto pilot system. Tesla replaced free. Gave us a loner car. Love Tesla and love my model s”

Anonymous, NC (2016 Tesla Model S 85D Electric)

“The large central display screen went blank and had to be replaced. The car and its essential features continued to function without the screen”

Anonymous, CO (2016 Tesla Model S 75D Electric)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

“MP3 player freezes at random and is incapable of actually shuffling. Repeats same ~200 songs out 5000+ on a usb drive”

Anonymous, TX (2016 Tesla Model S 90D Electric)

“The Bluetooth system needs to be reset at least biweekly. Really just a hindrance not a total issue”

Katherine L., VA (2016 Tesla Model S 75D Electric)
Radio

“The Slacker radio logged me out and would not log back in. The vehicle had to be physically taken in to be repaired”

Scott G., OH (2016 Tesla Model S 60D 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

“Alignment keeps needing to be adjusted - which effects how autopilot works.. been in twice for the repair”

Paul J., CA (2016 Tesla Model S 75 Electric)

“Brand new car, off the lot and it veered right with the steering wheel was center”

Anonymous, NJ (2016 Tesla Model S 75D Electric)
Ball joints

“needed to replace both front suspension bars I think they call them. Covered by warranty. Did not cover abnormal tire wear that I think was associated with it. Took two weeks for repair to be accomplished. Had to drive a rental car from enterprise”

Anonymous, NH (2016 Tesla Model S 90D Electric)

“Control software did not perform properly from day one. Had to leave at dealership to fix, and was issued a loaner car for about 3 days”

Anonymous, CA (2016 Tesla Model S 60D Electric)

“leak as detected by warning light; fixed”

Anonymous, CO (2016 Tesla Model S 85D Electric)
Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

“power steering failed. tesla fixed right away”

Anonymous, MA (2016 Tesla Model S 75D Electric)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

“Poor fit of door seals all around”

Cameron R., CA (2016 Tesla Model S 85D Electric)

“very minor and fixed with a service call”

Anonymous, MI (2016 Tesla Model S 75D Electric)

“Clicking sound in dash area”

Anonymous, CA (2016 Tesla Model S 90D Electric)

“Slight rattle in the dashboard, but only at certain speeds. It comes and goes”

Anonymous, WA (2016 Tesla Model S 90D Electric)

“passenger side door seal was not correctly installed. Fixed by Tesla no cost”

Anonymous, MT (2016 Tesla Model S 75D 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

Glass defects

“Car was delivered with a distorted front windshield and was replaced under warranty”

Paul J., CA (2016 Tesla Model S 75 Electric)

“The passenger window had vertical scratches upon delivery of the vehicle, among a number of other defects elsewhere on trim of car. Tesla service was atrocious in their lack of communication and follow up on repairs. I had to drive the entire process. It took two service visits of one week each to get repairs taken care of. Emails to service have never been replied to. Phone calls getting answered are possible, but not probable. They like to give out loaner Mercedes C series cars, the dict”

Anonymous, CA (2016 Tesla Model S 75D Electric)

“Right front door handle failed to retract. Could not open door from outside the car”

William W., NC (2016 Tesla Model S 90D Electric)

“the hood of the vehicle (frunk) was not not aligned with the right front quarter panel”

Scott G., OH (2016 Tesla Model S 60D Electric)

“Film on windshield, probably spray in the factory, replaced at no charge”

Anonymous, CA (2016 Tesla Model S P100D Electric)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

“Car came with bent trim on the passenger side fender light/indicator”

Scott W., NV (2016 Tesla Model S 90D Electric)

“Trim fit and finish was extremely poorly done and some trim was damaged by service center”

Keith K., FL (2016 Tesla Model S 90D Electric)

“there were a few small imperfections in the paint. Tesla immediately repaired them at no cost as soon as they were informed. I am satisfied with repair”

Anonymous, CA (2016 Tesla Model S 85D 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

Driveshaft or axle

“vibration from the whole car when accelerating between 30mph-42mph. Front axles were out of balance causing a vibration noise during various driving conditions. Front Jackshaft Assembly and R and L Front Halfshaft Assemlbies replaced under warranty”

Anonymous, NY (2016 Tesla Model S 90D Electric)

“see previous comments”

Anonymous, NY (2016 Tesla Model S 90D Electric)

“12V battery needed replacement”

Anonymous, WA (2016 Tesla Model S 75 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

“Hazard lights operated/blinked continuously. Service Center replaced a control module the following day at no charge. SC also replaced the hazard light button although that did not cause the problem. Again at no charge. Service was thorough and fast. Tesla provided a free loaner car which included the gasoline”

Craig D., VA (2016 Tesla Model S P100D 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

Climate System

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

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.

Engine Minor

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

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.

Brakes

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

Exhaust

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

Engine Major

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

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