AAA Magazines

Tesla Model S 100: sleek, stylish, and super-fast

Photo courtesy of Tesla

The first mass-production EV retains its panache nearly a decade on.

The Tesla Model S was introduced in 2012. Nonetheless, the Model S still impresses with its sleek styling, sporty handling, quick acceleration, and a sophisticated aura. Major differences worth noting are a new front fascia and increases in battery sizes. The big change for the 2019 is the elimination of smaller battery packs and respective cheaper vehicle prices. The entry model S is priced at $85,000 (all incentives disappear at the end of 2019).

All Model S versions have 300-plus miles of range and dual-motor AWD. The Model S Performance model offers much quicker acceleration and a bit more range for $100,000–$106,000 (depending on options). If that’s not quick enough, “ludicrous mode,” which provides more power, is available for an additional $20,000. During instrumented testing, we recorded a 0-60 mph time of 3.0 seconds in this mode.

The Model S is dynamically excellent, with smooth and quiet acceleration, sporty handling, and responsive steering. Ride quality, however, is on the firm side. Inside, there’s a huge 17-inch center display that handles audio, navigation, vehicle settings, and Internet access and contributes to the cabin’s modern look. However, the plastic-looking carbon fiber–like trim detracts from the minimalist cabin. 

With AAA's free Car Buying Service, members can enjoy a no-hassle experience when purchasing a new or used vehicle. Get estimated pricing and access to online inventory before visiting a AAA-recommended dealer near you. For details, go to AAA.com/auto or call 800-709-7222. 

Model years: 2018–2019
Vehicle layout: Full-size 4-door sedan, two electric motors (463 hp), single-speed automatic, AWD
MSRP: $135,000 (base), $144,700 (well equipped)
MPGe, city/hwy/combined: 92/105/98
Crash-test ratings: NHTSA: 5 stars overall. IIHS: good (all crash-related ratings except driver-side small-overlap front [acceptable])
Basic warranty: 4 years/50,000 miles
Spare tire: Tire-inflator kit
Final assembly: United States
Range: 315 miles

Follow us on Instagram

Follow AAA Explorer and Westways for the latest on what to see and do. 

Read more articles

You'll find more of the articles you love to read at AAA Insider.

Automotive offers and deals

Mechanic_AAA

AAA Approved Auto Repair

Search approximately 7,000 AAA Approved facilities throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Learn more

AAA mobile battery service

AAA Mobile Battery Service

AAA provides a convenient testing and replacement service that comes to you.

Learn more

NAPA store exterior

Automotive discounts

Use your AAA membership to unlock do-it-yourself car-care discounts.

Learn more

AAA driving school

Teen driving resources

AAA cares about your teen’s safety and wants to help them develop safe driving habits.

Learn more

back to top icon