2021 Tesla Model S electric


Ranked #3 in Midsize Sedan

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Key Spec of 2021 Tesla Model S electric
fuel economy


fuel type



1020 hp

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

ProsConsWhat's New

Extensive charging network

Not as luxurious as gas-powered rivals

New top-spec Plaid variant launched 

Engaging driving dynamics

Door handles create a fuss

Refreshed exterior and interior

Loaded base trim

Cramped rear seat entry/exit

Yoke-type steering wheel 

Futuristic look

Limited dealerships, difficult to service

New alloy wheel design

Posh interior

Discontinued Performance trim

2021 Tesla Model S electric Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: May 10, 2022

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

The Tesla Model S is one of those cars that did face a lot of challenges when it entered the market but slowly, it started to build a fan following of its own - a following of a bunch of people who prefer luxury, quick acceleration, serene cabin, and an eco-friendly solution to performance cars without compromising on the exhaust note, which the Model S omits altogether. 

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Over All Rating


Out of 10

Notable Rankings

Pictures & Videos


Plaid$119,990 onwards

  • 19-inch gray aluminum Wheels

Colors and Styles

2021 Tesla Model S electric in Deep Blue Metallic color
Deep Blue Metallic

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

The 2021 Model S receives a much-awaited update for the 2021 model year which introduces a new trim that posts unbelievable acceleration figures and impressive range as well. The Model S range kicks off at nearly $80,000 and competes against the likes of the Porsche Taycan and the Audi e-Tron

2021 Tesla Model S electric Sedan Front Angle View
2021 Tesla Model S electric Sedan Rear Angle View


The 2021 Tesla Model S consists of two trims, with the range kicking off at $79,990 for the Long Range and extending till $122,900 for the Plaid. One reason the Model S trims are very easy to decipher is the reason that the Long Range comes with everything the car has to offer and is loaded to the brim with everything to compete with the gas-fed rivals. The Plaid is just a trim with an extra motor and a lot more power with brutal acceleration. 


Long Range





Key features

Heated front- and second-row seats

Adds to the Long Range


LED headlights 

Extra motor


LED fog lights

Upgraded battery system


LED tail lights

1,002 horsepower


Adaptive air suspension

21-inch wheels


Tinted glass roof


Power liftgate


Power-adjustable, heated steering wheel


22-speaker sound system


17-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation system


We recommend

The 2021 Tesla Model S is best had in the base trim - the Long Range. For the price, there is everything that one expects from a car in this segment and the 0-60 MPH acceleration time of 3.1 seconds is, in no way, slow. Adding to this is the claimed range of 412 miles which is more than enough to suffice the needs of people who drive a lot on the daily. 

Engine and Performance

The 2021 Tesla Model S is powered by a 100 kWh battery pack which is channeled via two motors in the base trim, and three motors in the Plaid trim. The base trim churns out 670 horsepower at its peak and a torque figure of 723 lb-ft. The power is channeled through a single speed transmission which means that the torque is available at a low point of 0 RPM. 

The talk gets crazier once one steps up to the Plaid trim. This bumps the output to 1,002 horsepower and a massive 1,050 lb-ft of torque! AWD is standard which ensures blistering performance right from the get-go. 


2021 Tesla Model S

2021 Audi e-tron

2021 Porsche Taycan






100-kWh battery with two motors

95.3-kWh battery with two motors

79.2-kWh battery with one motor






1-speed direct drive

2 single-speed direct-drive

1-speed direct drive


670 hp

402 hp

402 hp


723 lb-ft

262 lb-ft

254 lb-ft

0-60 MPH 

3.1 seconds

5.3 seconds

5.1 seconds


10.4 seconds

14.0 seconds

13.2 seconds

Top Speed 

155 MPH

125 MPH

143 MPH

The Tesla obliterates its rivals in terms of the overall value proposition and also in terms of performance. Where the rivals seem to have started their launch, the Model S skyrockets towards the finish line. The Porsche also did well considering the power gap between it and the Tesla, and also with the RWD powertrain. 

How well does the 2021 Tesla Model S handle?

The 2021 Tesla Model S launches brutally and with a 3.1 second 0-60 MPH, it is not lethargic at any cost. It is incredibly fast but when in the city, it does its job well. Driving is not an issue since the soft suspension takes care of all the undulations on the road while the soft and comfortable seats ensure that the driver is not fatigued. The cabin is very quiet and the light steering makes maneuvering very easy. 

2021 Tesla Model S electric Sedan Driving View

On the highway, the driving dynamics of the car remain as is and pose no issues whatsoever. The car is quick to overtake and the powertrain doesn’t feel under stress at highway speeds, despite it running in a single gear all the time. The cabin is surprisingly quiet even with the larger wheels on, while the driving position is sporty with ample visibility out the front and the rear windows. 

Braking Performance

The 2021 Tesla Model S is a fast car and does accelerate quickly but seeing this, the carmaker has equipped it with massive disc brakes to make it stop efficiently. Handling the braking is a pair of 14.4-inch rotors at the front and 14.0-inch rotors at the rear which are assisted by tech like ABS and EBD to keep control of the car when braking hard. The brake pedal is very confidence-inspiring and the braking also recoups energy into the battery, providing more range and also taking care of any range anxiety.


2021 Tesla Model S

2021 Audi e-tron

2021 Porsche Taycan

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)




Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)




Curb Weight (lbs)




60-0 MPH (feet)




The Audi e-Tron has the biggest rotor setup in the competition but the higher weight that it carries does affect the braking distance, making it stop later than usual. The others are comparatively lighter and have pretty big rotors for themselves that are expected to drop the anchor hard so as to not hit something. 

Fuel Economy

The 2021 Tesla Model S is powered by a 100-kWh battery pack which is estimated to give out a range of 412 miles on a single charge, with the actual mileage ranging from somewhere between 370 miles to 380 miles. That said, the EPA rated fuel economy equivalent for the car stands at 124 MPGe in the city, 115 MPGe on the highway, and 120 MPGe combined with the 100 kWh battery, having an estimated range of 405 miles.


2021 Tesla Model S

2021 Audi e-tron

2021 Porsche Taycan

MPGe (City)




MPGe (Hwy)




MPGe (Combined)




Battery Capacity 

100.0 kWh

95.3 kWh

79.2 kWh

Estimated Range

405 miles

222 miles

200 miles

The Tesla Model S has a bigger battery than its rivals and hence also gets more MPGe numbers and a better range than all the others - which is more than twice that of the Taycan! That said, all the cars can recoup energy back into their batteries while braking which also helps in extending the range by some miles. That said, one major advantage in the Tesla’s favour is the massive Supercharger network spread across the States to take care of their range-anxiety of people. 


The 2021 Tesla Model S has a very spacious cabin which is also made better by the minimal design philosophy the company carries. There are no buttons or tabs or anything on the dashboard and the centre-mounted display is in charge of controlling all the functions that one’d expect on the dashboard. The AC vents are massive and, needless to say, are more than enough to make the rear vents obsolete in terms of cooling. 

2021 Tesla Model S electric Sedan Cockpit Area

The materials used inside are as posh as one’d expect from a car at this price point. Everything in the interior has a soft-touch layer to it to add to the comfort. The seats are super comfortable and are covered in leather upholstery, even the rear ones. They provide a lot of support and are super-adjustable thanks to the range of power-adjustability on offer. That said, the seats also have heating for both the rows along with a rear-seat entertainment system for the rear occupants. 

2021 Tesla Model S electric Sedan Rear Seats


2021 Tesla Model S

2021 Audi e-tron

2021 Porsche Taycan

Seating capacity




Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room) (in inches)




Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room) (in inches)




Trunk Capacity (cubic feet)




The Prosche’s dimensions aren’t known yet but it is very comfortable to seat in the 4 occupants without any issues. Between the Audi and the Tesla, the former takes the props due to it being a crossover while the Model S is a sedan. That said, the Model S offers plenty of space for the occupants and also has a big combined trunk storage that aids in carrying luggage. The interior is posh and has very good quality, which is highlighted by the following features:

  • Tinted glass roof
  • Heated front- and second-row seats
  • Power-adjustable, heated steering wheel
  • Rear seat entertainment display with gaming computer
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Wireless smartphone charging pad

How intuitive is the car’s infotainment unit?

The 2021 Tesla Model S is powered by a big 17-inch infotainment screen which controls each and everything from the interior - be it the climate control, seat adjustments, glove box open/close, etc. The layout is very functional and the user won;t be confused as to what does what in this system. The operation is fluidic and there’s no lags or stutters, even in the navigation system which displays HD graphics. 

2021 Tesla Model S electric Sedan Infotainment System

In terms of practicality, the system comes with AM/FM/SiriusXM radio out of the box and also boasts Bluetooth for smartphone connectivity. The system can also integrate smathone via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for easy screen mirroring and that too without wires. The output is shared via an impressive 22-speaker setup which is sufficient for all the music critiques to appreciate. Some of the highlighting features of this infotainment system include:

  • 17.0-inch infotainment touchscreen
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto 
  • Navigation
  • Satellite radio
  • AM/FM
  • USB Type-C ports
  • Wireless charging pad
  • 22-speaker system

The 2021 Tesla Model S uses typical clean lines that have been seen on a Tesla since eons, that also helps in reducing the aerodynamic drag and increase acceleration by improving aerodynamics. The face of the Model S is similar to all the Tesla cars out there, with all LED headlight setup and functional vents to cool the battery down and keep the temperatures in check.

2021 Tesla Model S electric Sedan 

The car follows its clean lines to the side as well, with a low roof and two new alloy wheel designs to boast of. Along with this, the rear is rather aggressive with a beautiful tail light setup and a clean underside due to the lack of any exhaust pipes. 


2021 Tesla Model S

2021 Audi e-tron

2021 Porsche Taycan

Curb Weight (lbs)




Length (inches)




Width (inches)




Height (inches)




Ground clearance (inches)




Wheelbase (inches)




The Porsche Taycan and the Model S are very similar in terms of their curb weights, but the Taycan’s Porsche roots make it a very dynamic package which is way better than the Tesla’s. The Audi is a heavy car with a curb weight of more than 5,500 lbs but for its weight it also looks good and hides it well while on the go. That said, the Model S does have a very simple look to the exterior which becomes more prominent at the rear with clean lines and simple design, which is also highlighted by:

  • Adaptive air suspension
  • LED headlights 
  • LED fog lights
  • LED tail lights
  • Tinted glass roof
  • Power liftgate
  • 20-inch alloy wheels

The 2021 Tesla Model S comes packed to the brim with modern driver assistance features and also a lot of other safety features which are touted to make the driving experience safer on the roads. To back it up, the IIHS and the NHTSA have rewarded the car with the best accolades they have in their stable, and also proving Tesla’s claim of its vehicles being impossible to tip over due to the battery placement. 

That said, the Model S has Full Self-Driving Capability as an option that adds in various high-tech features like Summon feature and the ability to change lanes by a flick of the indicator. The safety quotient is covered perfectly in this case and some of the highlighting features are:

  • Front and rear parking sensors 
  • Blind-spot monitor 
  • Lane departure warning 
  • Lane keeping system 
  • Adaptive cruise control 
  • Forward collision mitigation 

2021 Tesla Model S Vs. 2021 Audi e-Tron

In terms of performance and range, the Model S beats the e-Tron hands down due to the massive lead it has with a bigger battery with a higher output and additional motors. It also offers a nice interior with a similarly big combined trunk space, making it a very lucrative buy. The Audi has little to defend itself from the Tesla by way of a better and more posh cabin which is very well-appointed, better service network, better cabin space, and a lesser MSRP.

2021 Audi e-Tron

2021 Tesla Model S Vs. 2021 Porsche Taycan

The Porsche Taycan is the closest rival to the Model S and does possess very good handling characteristics right from the base trim itself. The interior is better than the Tesla and is very tastefully made with luxurious materials used here and there that are made even better in the higher trims. The Model S offers blistering performance, double the range, and more features as standard, unlike the Taycan whose MSRP climbs up quite high with the options. 

2021 Porsche Taycan
Final Verdict

The 2021 Tesla Model S makes a very bold statement in a market which isn’t well contested but is expected to gain a lot of traction with more mainstream manufacturers coming up with their offerings. The Model S is a car that suffices all the needs of an individual in terms of comfort and ease of driving, along with taking care of the range anxiety of people while doing impossible acceleration runs on traffic lights.


vehicle bio
base price


body style

4dr Sedan

engine type
horse power

1020 hp


1 speed automatic


196 in


116.5 in


77.3 in

curb weight

4941 lbs


56.9 in

Ground Clearance

6.3 lbs

passenger volume

94 cu ft

cargo volume

60.2 cu ft

passenger capacity

5 Seats

fuel economy

102/101/90 mpg

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

powertrain warranty

8 yr./ unlimited mi.

Tesla Model S electric 5 year Cost To Own

Cash Price(MSRP)
5 Year Cost To Own
Total 5 year Cost To Own -  $60,711
Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5total
Financing Interest$2,189$1,761$1,303$815$295$6,363
Taxes and Fees$3,394$265$240$218$199$4,316
Total Cost-To-Own$17,720$11,530$11,558$10,390$9,513$60,711
Read more about Cost-To-Own »

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