2018 Tesla Model S electric

MSRP $96,000 - $135,000

Ranked #3 in Sedan

8.1

Overall Rating

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2018 Tesla Model S electric Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: September 14, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The 2018 Tesla Model S has dropped a few variant options and concised its offering with two new battery-pack options only, 75-kWh and 100-kWh, that make up three variants 75D, 100D, and P100D. The 2018 Model S starts at $78,000 and goes up to $135,000. Until now the EV industry was lackluster in providing a performance-oriented vehicle rather the main focus was the range. Tesla came with the Model S and completely disrupted this landscape. 

2018 Tesla Model S 

The Model S not only is quick doing 0-60 mph in under five seconds but at the same time returned a respectable 259 miles of range from a full charge. Tesla didn't stop here either and plonked the bigger 100-kWh battery pack that increased the range by 76 miles while the P100D with the same battery pack and 'Ludicrous Mode' on can clock sub-three seconds 0-60 mph timing.

See detailed review »

Pros

Addicting performance

Pliant ride and handling

Class-leaading cargo space

Above average EV range

Cons

Cabin lacks fit and finish

Long term reliability unknown

Takes time to charge on household supply

Expensive in top trim

What's New?

2018 Model S gains AWD as standard.

Base 60-kWh and 90-kWh models have been dropped.

Package features have been reshuffled.


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$96000

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

top speed

130 mph

drivetrain

all wheel drive

engine type

horsepower

680 hp

torque

791 lb.-ft.

transmission

1 speed Direct Drive

chassis

suspension front

Independent front double wishbone suspension w/anti-roll bar

capacity

passenger volume

94 cu ft.

cargo volume

63.4 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

3.9 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

12.4 sec.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

8 yr./ unlimited mi.

corrosion warranty

12 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

100D$96,000 onwards

P100D$135,000 onwards

Colors and Styles

2018 Tesla Model S electric in Deep Blue Metallic color
Deep Blue Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

8.0

Engine and Performance

8.0

Fuel Economy

9.9

Interior

8.3

Exterior

7.0

Safety

7.0

8.1

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

8.1

Overall Rating


The 2018 Tesla Model S comes with some features reshuffling in the optional package and new battery pack sizes. The Model S in the base variant i.e. 75D is the jack of all trades with a sports car level acceleration timing and 250 plus miles range from a full charge of gas. While if you go for the creme-de-la-creme Model S P100D trim then you unlock supercar level acceleration timing and if driven with a light foot it can return more than 300 miles of range. The interior and exterior design of the Model S is not only sleek and stylish but receives a healthy dose of minimalism.

Up till now the impression for the Model S has been all good but step inside the cabin and you might have a change of heart. A few misaligned panels, poor fit and finish, etc are there to ensure the Model S remains far away from being perfect. The seats are also neither luxurious nor comfortable or even in the leagues of German or Japanese luxury brand rivals. Speaking of rivals, the 2018 Model S competes with Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid, BMW 7-Series Hybrid, and Lexus LS 500h.


8.0/10
Features

8.0/10
Engine and Performance

9.9/10
Fuel Economy

8.3/10
Interior

7.0/10
Exterior

7.0/10
Safety


2018 Tesla Model S electric Features

8.0/10

The 2018 Tesla Model S is available in three variants namely 75D, 100D, and P100D. The 75 in the 75D means it gets a 75-kWh battery pack and the same goes for the 100P and P100D. The 75D trim starts at $78,000 and gets all the standard features available in the Model S. The next-in-line is the 100D which starts at $96,000 and gets a bigger battery pack that translates into a better range while the features list are the same as the 75D.

The top-end variant for the Model S is P100D priced at $135,000, it shares the same battery pack as the 100D but adds more premium features over what you get in the 75D trim. The extra features on the P100D trim are otherwise available on the 75D bundles together in the Premium Upgrade package.

Trims 75D 100D P100D
MSRP $78,000 $96,000 $135,000
Features 75-kWh battery with 2-electric motor and 259 miles range Adds or upgrades to '75D' Adds or upgrades to '100D'
  19-inch alloy wheels 100-kWh battery with 2-electric motor and 335 miles range LED ambient lighting
  LED headlights   12-speaker premium sound system
  Dual-zone automatic climate control   Heated rear seats and steering wheel
  17-inch touchscreen   Lighted door handles
  Power liftgate   Adaptive LED headlights
  Power-folding and heated side mirrors   LED cornering light

We Recommend

Unless you frequently travel to places that don't have many Tesla Superchargers we recommend sticking to the 75D trim and adding to it the Premium Upgrade package. In this way, you not only save a ton of money but also end up getting all the features in your Tesla which are otherwise available on the P100D requiring you to shell out an extra $57,000.

2018 Tesla Model S electric Engine and Performance

8.0/10

"The Model S is proof that an electric vehicle can be fun to drive. Regardless of the trim, this Tesla delivers near-instant acceleration from a stop." - Cars.US News

2018 Tesla Model S Engine and Transmission

The 2018 Tesla Model S in the base 75D variant gets a 75-kWh battery pack that powers two electric motors which in turn puts out a healthy 518 hp and 387 lb-ft of torque. The other option is the 100-kWh battery pack on the 100D variant which powers again two electric motors and generates a higher combined power and torque output than the 75D. The 100D also improves the range and acceleration time compared to the 75D. The top crop P100D gets the same battery pack as the 100D but puts out a whopping 680 hp and 791 lb-ft of torque and further reduces the acceleration timings.

Models 2018 Tesla Model S 2018 Porsche Panamera 4 (E-Hybrid) 2018 BMW 7-Series Hybrid 2018 Lexus LS 500h
MSRP $78,000 $99,600 $90,700 $82,730
Engine / Motor Electric DD 2.9-liter Twin-Turbo Gas/Electric V6 2.0-liter Turbo Gas/Electric Inline-4 3.5-liter Gas/Electric V6
Transmission 1-speed automatic 8-speed automatic 7-speed dual-clutch automatic CVT
Power 518 hp 462 hp @ 6000 rpm 445 hp @ 5500 rpm 354 hp @ 6600 rpm
Torque 387 lb-ft 516 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm 479 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm 257 lb-ft @ 4900 rpm

Tesla Model S is the cheapest sedan in this foray. The rivals are hybrid as there is no true-blue electric sedan that can compete with the Model S in terms of price and performance at the moment. But when it comes to torque the Hybrid Porsche Panamera beats the Model S by putting out 129 lb-ft more.

2018 Tesla Model S Acceleration

The 2018 Tesla Model S 75D can sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds and covers the quarter-mile in 13.5 seconds. While the Model S P100D does the same 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds and covers the quarter-mile in 10.5 seconds with 'Ludicrous mode' on. 

Models 2018 Tesla Model S 2018 Porsche Panamera 4 (E-Hybrid) 2018 BMW 7-Series Hybrid 2018 Lexus LS 500h
0-60 MPH 4.8 sec 4.4 sec 5.1 sec 5.4 sec
Quarter mile 13.5 sec N/A 13.6 sec 14.0 sec
Engine Electric DD 2.9-liter Twin-Turbo Gas/Electric V6 2.0-liter Turbo Gas/Electric Inline-4 3.5-liter Gas/Electric V6

Among the rivals, the Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid beats the Model S in 0-60 mph run by 0.4 seconds while the rest of the rivals were slower than the Model S in both the runs.

2018 Tesla Model S Ride and Handling

Being an electric vehicle with the battery pack placed lower down, the center of gravity is low for the Model S. This helps in two ways the Model S is eager to change directions and feels planted at high speeds. Also, the steering wheel offers the function to make it light or heavy as per your liking but the same doesn't reciprocate in terms of feedback.

The ride of the Model S is on the firm side and the models with 21-inch alloy wheels exacerbate the ride quality. Tesla has provided Model S with air suspension and that does ensure the ride is if not better then at least at par with the competitors.   

2018 Tesla Model S Braking

The 2018 Tesla Model S took 113 feet under panic braking to stop from 60-0 mph. The 14.0-inch rotor at the front and 14.4-inch rotor at the rear coupled with regenerative braking put anchor to the 4,647 pounds Model S. The braking feels sure-footed and the feedback from the brakes are better than its counterparts.

Model 2018 Tesla Model S 2018 Porsche Panamera 4 (E-Hybrid) 2018 BMW 7-Series Hybrid 2018 Lexus LS 500h
Brake Front (in.) 14.0 15.4 14.7 14.0
Brake Rear (in.) 14.4 14.4 14.5 13.1
Curb Weight (lbs.) 4,647 4,784 4,740 5,027
60-0 MPH (ft.) 113 154 (70-0 MPH) 119 110

Among the sedans, in this comparison, the Lexus LS 500h took the least 110 feet to brake from 60-0 mph which is 3 feet less than what the Model S took to stop from the same speed.

2018 Tesla Model S electric Fuel Economy

9.9/10

The 2018 Tesla Model S for the 75D variant can go up to 259 miles on a fully charged battery. While the miles per gallon equivalent or MPGe of the Model S 75D is 102 in the city, 105 on the highway, and 103 combined. The same Model S in the 100D variant can go up to 335 miles from a fully charged battery. Charging a Model S isn't an issue either, a Tesla Supercharger can juice up the entry-level Model S from 0 to 80 percent in 30 minutes. While using the 240-volt household power outlet will juice up the Model S in 7.5 hours approximately and the 110-volt household supply gets you 5 miles of range per hour of charge.

Model 2018 Tesla Model S 2018 Porsche Panamera 4 (E-Hybrid) 2018 BMW 7-Series Hybrid 2018 Lexus LS 500h
MPGe (City) 102 N/A N/A 23
MPGe (Highway) 105 N/A N/A 31
MPGe (Combined) 103 22 27 26
Fuel Capacity (gallons) N/A 21.1 12.1 22.2
Range (Combined) 259 464 327 577

Except for the Tesla Model S, all the other sedans are hybrid so they have a better-combined range. Among the rivals, the Lexus LS 500h has the highest 577 miles of combined range from a full tank of gas which is more than double the Model S' range from a fully charged battery.

2018 Tesla Model S electric Interior

8.3/10

“The Tesla’s interior is a very special place to spend time, with a wide-open feel and lovely materials. Owing to the advanced features in this car, there is a bit of a learning curve. But Tesla focused on the user interface, and it shows” – Edmunds

2018 Tesla Model S Seating and Comfort

Step inside the 2018 Model S cabin and you will be welcomed by a clean dashboard dominated by a large touchscreen that inherently controls most of the function inside the Model S. The Model S has tried to give the cabin a modern yet elegant look but the fit and finish levels are still lacking inside the cabin. The overall visibility outside the cabin is excellent while ingress and egress of the Model S, due to its slightly raised seating surface and large opening doors, are among the best in the sedan segment.

2018 Tesla Model S Cabin

The seats of the Model S are supportive but not in the leagues of other luxury brands offering in terms of comfort and luxury feel. Although the seats hold you well and remain acceptably comfortable for long hauls. The seats can be electrically adjusted and so is the steering wheel column giving a lot of flexibility for finding that perfect driving position. 

Model 2018 Tesla Model S 2018 Porsche Panamera 4 (E-Hybrid) 2018 BMW 7-Series Hybrid 2018 Lexus LS 500h
Passenger capacity 5 4 5 5
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.) 38.8/ 57.7/ 42.7 N/A 39.9/ 59.2/ 41.4 37.3/ 58.8/ 41.0

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

35.3/ 55.0/ 35.4 N/A 38.9/ 57.7/ 44.4 37.3/ 56.4/ 38.9

For its dimensions, the Model S offers a generous amount of head, shoulder, and legroom. But when pitted against the likes of BMW 7-Series and Lexus LS 500h, which are much longer and thus get a longer wheelbase, especially the legroom feels lacking. As for the headroom and shoulder room, the Tesla Model S and the Lexus LS 500h are more or less in the same ballpark while the BMW 7-Series gets the best headroom and shoulder room among all.

2018 Tesla Model S Rear Seats

Interior Features:

Standard-

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Rearview Camera
  • Cloth and premium vinyl upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • Power-adjustable front seats
  • Power tilt and telescoping steering wheel

Optional-

  • Cabin air filter system
  • Heated rear seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Panoramic glass roof
  • LED ambient interior lights
  • Flat-folding rear-facing jump seats

2018 Tesla Model S Infotainment

The 17-inch touchscreen inside the Tesla Model S is its infotainment screen that gets a seven-speaker sound system, HD radio, Bluetooth connectivity, Wi-Fi connectivity, USB ports, etc as standard. Using Model S' infotainment is a learning curve since it is not only big in size but can get complex to use as all the functions inside the cabin are controlled by the screen itself.

2018 Tesla Model S Infotainment

Apart from the standard features if you opt for the optional Premium Upgrade package or get the Model S in P100D trim you will add features like a 12-speaker premium sound system and satellite radio.

2018 Tesla Model S Cargo Capacity

The 2018 Tesla Model S provides 31.6 cubic feet of combined cargo space. If you look individually then the rear trunk can hold 26.3 cubic feet while the front trunk a.k.a frunk offers additional 5.3 cubic feet of space.

Model 2018 Tesla Model S 2018 Porsche Panamera 4 (E-Hybrid) 2018 BMW 7-Series Hybrid 2018 Lexus LS 500h
Cargo Capacity (ft3) 31.6 14.3 14.8 15.2

Since the Model S doesn't have to accommodate an engine the combined cargo space of it is more than any of the rivals. Among the rivals, the Lexus LS 500h offers the highest 15.2 cubic feet of trunk space while the Model S offers more than double of this.

2018 Tesla Model S electric Exterior

7.0/10

"The Tesla’s clean, uncluttered lines debuted back in 2012, and it immediately became one of the most striking cars on the road. It still is."- KBB

2018 Model S Dimensions and Weight

The 2018 Model S was last redesigned in the year 2016 and since then the exterior looks have been untouched. Overall since 2013 when the car was first launched the Model S' silhouette has remained unchanged and only the front has been touched up to make it look made sharper and cleaner.  At the front, the front grille has been covered completely with two sleek LED headlight units flanking from the side.

2018 Tesla Model S Top View

The bonnet has a slight bulge that cleanly starts from the headlights and merges into the roof pillars. The side-profile has a conventional coupe-like look with the retractable door handles being the highlight here. The rear is more subtle with a thick chrome line that joins the brake lights and a small rear spoiler mounted on the boot lid. 

Model 2018 Tesla Model S 2018 Porsche Panamera 4 (E-Hybrid) 2018 BMW 7-Series Hybrid 2018 Lexus LS 500h
Curb weight (lbs.) 4,647 4,784 4,740 5,027
Length(in) 196.0 198.8 206.6 206.1
Width(in) 77.3 76.3 74.9 74.8
Height(in) 56.5 56.0 58.2 57.9
Ground clearance(in) 4.6 N/A 5.3 6.3
Wheelbase(in) 116.5 116.1 126.4 123.0

In terms of length and height, the Model S is the smallest sedan here although sitting at 77.3-inches wide it is the widest sedan. Being smaller in length there is no doubt the Model S has a smaller wheelbase and when compared to that of the BMW 7-Series the Model S' wheelbase is as much as 10-inches shorter. That said, due to the lower placement of the batteries the ground clearance of the Model S is also the least while the Lexus LS 500h ahs the highest ground clearance of 6.3-inches, 1.7-inches higher than the Model S.

2018 Tesla Model S Rear View

Exterior Features

  • Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • LED headlights
  • Power liftgate
  • Power folding, heated side mirrors with memory
  • Available adaptive LED headlights
  • Available sunroof
  • Available LED cornering lights

2018 Tesla Model S electric Safety

7.0/10

The 2018 Tesla Model S hasn't been completely crash-tested by either the NHTSA or the IIHS. The NHTSA only tested the Model S for rollover mitigation where it scored a perfect five-star rating. The IIHS on the other hand gave the Model S a rating of 'Good' for Roof strength and Head restraints parameters while the headlights of the Model S were rated with the lowest rating of 'Poor'.  That said since the Model S is equipped with advanced driver-assist features right from the base trim the Front crash prevention of the Model S was rated 'Superior' by IIHS.

Safety Features

  • Auto emergency braking
  • Rearview camera
  • Parking sensors
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Lane departure warning
  • Available Semi-autonomous driving

2018 Tesla Model S electric Competition

2018 Tesla Model S vs 2018 Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid

The Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid and the Model S in terms of exterior design strikes a resemblance as both of them are a hatchback designed to look like a sedan. The Panamera E-Hybrid gets a powerful hybrid setup that is capable of faster 0-60 mph timing compared to the base Model S while being a hybrid it also has a better range. As far as the interiors are concerned the Panamera's cabin is leagues ahead of the Model S but the minimalistic folks will prefer the Model S cabin. 

2018 Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid

The only grouse for the Panamera E-Hybrid is its higher sticker price which can further reach the $200,000 mark in the top trim is way more expensive than the Model S. That said, the Porsche is more premium than the Model S but it is not fully electric thus EV advocates would prefer sticking to the cheaper Model S.

2018 Tesla Model S vs 2018 BMW 7-Series Hybrid

The 2018 BMW 7-Series Hybrid and the Tesla Model S shouldn't be compared in a true sense as both cars cater to a completely different set of audiences. The 7-Series Hybrid is for someone who prefers to be chauffeur-driven but is going for the hybrid version for better gas mileage and a less polluting vehicle.  

2018 BMW 7-Series Hybrid

The Model S on the other hand is made for someone who loves to self-drive and isn't particular about premiumness and luxury. So picking one between the two will depend on your personal preference and of course your social standing in the society as not everyone prefers driving around in a 7-Series unless he is a hot-shot in some MNC or a startup.

2018 Tesla Model S electric Final Verdict

The 2018 Tesla Model S is the best bet for someone who is looking to jump into the ship of early EV adopters. The Model S is in no way being an EV a compromise in terms of performance or range which was the usual case with the usual suspects like the Toyota MiraiChevrolet Volt, etc. The Model S is offered in three variant choices that help it to target all kinds of customers, ones looking for a cheaper Model with sufficient performance and range can go for 75D, the ones looking for performance can look at the P100D, while the ones looking for a longer range can stick to the 100D. The only sore point of the Model S is its fit and finish level and long-term reliability ratings. If you are someone who can ignore these two things then the Model S is worth a look.


FAQs on the 2018 Tesla Model S

How fast can the 2018 Tesla Model S P100D can go?

The 2018 Model S P100D can go up to 155 mph and does 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds.

From which year Tesla Model S gets 'Ludicrous Mode'?

The 'Ludicrous Mode' was first available on the Tesla Model S in 2016. 

How much the Tesla Model S costs in 2018?

The 2018 Tesla Model S starts at $78,000 for the 75D variant and goes up to $135,000 for the P100D variant.

Does the 2018 Tesla Model S get Auto Pilot?

You can opt for the Tesla Auto-Pilot on the 2018 Model S which provides semi-autonomous hands-free driving and semi-autonomous steering. The Model S with autopilot adds three more cameras and a set of extra sensors.