Few cars are as significant as the Tesla Model S hatchback. The venerable Tesla model didn’t just advance electric cars, it also propelled electric cars past being a shrugged-off science experiment. Once the Model S passes into history, its name will rightly join the ranks of other seminal automobiles that dramatically and permanently altered the automotive landscape.
But that day is still somewhere in the future. For now, the 2020 Model S continues to be made at Tesla’s home turf in California and offers the best performance in the lineup. We give the latest Tesla Model S a 8.0 out of 10 overall for its efficiency, performance, and style. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
This year is the ninth model year for Tesla’s superstar sedan, not that it shows its age. The Model S’s simple but alluring design has aged remarkably well. The hatchback body style stirs in a level of practicality that’s unexpected from with something this stylish.
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The performance here is astounding: 0-60 mph happens as quick as 2.4 seconds if you activate the Ludicrous Mode feature, which is now included as standard on the Performance-trim Model S.
The standard Model S setup is the Long Range model, which gets a 100-kwh battery pack and a 373-mile range. Performance models get the same battery but lose 25 miles of range in pursuit of speed. All-wheel drive is standard on every Model S.
The interior of any Tesla is minimalist. The Model S cabin’s dominant feature is its 17-inch touchscreen, which is an all-encompassing affair that skips most buttons. Pretty much every control is bundled into the Tesla’s dash tablet. Unlike the Model 3, the Model S does retain a traditional gauge cluster, but there’s nothing unnecessary inside the cabin of the Model S.
If you’re concerned about road-tripping in an electric car, Tesla’s fast-charging Supercharger network should put you at ease. Here in the U.S., their charging stations can be found along most major highways in the lower 48 states. Stick to the interstates and you’ll have no issue driving from Connecticut to California.
Charging times are quick and are only going to get quicker as Tesla upgrades their infrastructure. On a fast-charger, the Model S can recharge about 130 miles of range in 15 minutes—or less than an hour for up to 80 percent.
The Model S costs about $80,000 for a Long Range model and goes up to about $107,000 for a Performance model with Autopilot added. That’s before any applicable state tax breaks; Tesla’s federal tax credit expired at the beginning of 2020.