The Most Reliable Tesla Models To Buy, Ranked - SUV VEHICLE

The Most Reliable Tesla Models To Buy, Ranked

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Electric cars generally have a favorable reputation when considering long-term reliability. Electric drive units are proven to be a lot more resilient because they are composed of much fewer moving parts. Manufacturers back this by offering comprehensive warranty packages as standard with each sale. Tesla is one manufacturer consumers often praise for long-term reliability, but its concentrated range has been subject to its fair share of gremlins over the years.




Reliability always sits at the top of the priority list when you’re looking to purchase a car, specifically if it is from the used car market. Tesla certainly has its fair share of quality control issues from the factory, but its software, electric drive units, and batteries have thus far been pretty impressive. This guide dives into the reliability of all current models on sale, and what are some standout issues to look out for during the ownership experience.

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In compiling this article, we have cross-referenced information for vehicle reliability, maintenance, and pricing from sources like J.D. Power, RepairPal, CarEdge, and Consumer Reports to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible. Please note that we have ranked the following models based on least reliable to most reliable. All models have a $832 annual maintenance cost from RepairPal. Model-specific estimates are not possible due to a lack of data.


5 Tesla Cybertruck

Reliability Score: TBA


The Tesla Cybertruck is a futuristic, all-electric pickup truck with a striking stainless-steel exoskeleton for durability. The EPA claims the dual-motor model will cover 340 miles of range on a single charge and tow up to 11,000 pounds. It’s a rather peculiar truck product that seems to appeal more to niche lifestyle-minded truck enthusiasts rather than traditional customers who require hard-working utility vehicles. Tesla uses some of its existing technology in this EV, but most of its features are all new, which is why there isn’t a lot of data available to analyze its overall reliability.

Reliability

The Tesla Cybertruck is an all-new model, so it’s a difficult product to report on. Currently, there are no active recalls relating to the car’s core functions, but the NHTSA has issued one for an incorrect font size on the warning lights. We also don’t know what its operational costs are, because the EPA hasn’t published its full set of results from its testing. Tesla has also been slow in rolling out test units, so Consumer Reports and J.D. Power have not issued reliability ratings for the model.


  • Average Yearly Maintenance Cost: N/A
  • Est. Maintenance Cost During The First 10 Years: N/A
  • Total Recalls: 1
  • Worst Cybertruck Year To Buy Used: 2024

4 Tesla Model Y

Reliability Score: 70/100

The Model Y currently sits as the champion in Tesla’s new car line-up as it continues to dominate the global sales charts. It has become so popular that it poses a threat to established ICE budget cars such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. Despite this, the Model Y has some of the poorest reliability ratings and a high recall list since its 2020 introduction. Despite quality woes and ongoing reliability issues, the Model Y continues to increase its global dominance. Tesla’s upcoming project Juniper facelift is likely to further improve its current popularity.


Reliability

One of the Model Y’s strongest attributes is its low running costs. If you want to enjoy the most savings, we suggest considering the base dual-motor model with the standard battery pack. The EPA suggests you’ll spend $6,000 in energy costs over five years, thanks to its impressive 123 MPGe energy consumption estimate. It is also a fairly secure model, earning a five-star overall rating in the NHTSA’s crash test as well as being graced with the IIHS’s prestigious Top Safety Pick+ award.

Unfortunately, this car’s reputation starts to fall apart when you look at its reliability track record. Consumer Reports gives it a 41/100 for predicted reliability based on recalls and owner complaints collected since the 2020 model year. It also gets an Average 70/100 rating for quality and reliability from J.D. Power. CarEdge anticipates you’ll spend $4,732 in maintenance costs over 10 years of ownership. To date, the Tesla Model Y has been subject to 27 recalls relating to its electrical systems, body panels, safety systems, adaptive steering, and more.


J.D.Power Reliability Ratings

2020

N/A

2021

N/A

2022

73/100

2023

70/100

2024

70/100

  • Average Yearly Maintenance Cost: $832 (RepairPal)
  • Est. Maintenance Cost During The First 10 Years: $4,732 (CarEdge)
  • Total Recalls: 27
  • Worst Model Y Year To Buy Used: 2020

3 Tesla Model X

Reliability Score: 72/100


The Model X is Tesla’s most practical car, boasting two middle-row seat configurations, a large trunk and frunk, and ample headroom. The brand couples this with a choice of two high-performance dual-motor configurations, including a 1,020-horsepower Plaid option, which leaves some of the most expensive super cars available today in the dust over a 0-60 MPH sprint. This is by no means Tesla’s most popular product, primarily due to its steep price point, but it still manages to clear good sales figures every month. On the reliability front, things could be better.

Reliability

The base dual-motor option is Tesla’s most efficient Model X derivative, boasting a $5,250 estimated running cost figure over five years from the EPA, as well as a 102 MPGe combined energy consumption figure. As expected, it earns a five-star overall crash test rating from the NHTSA, thanks to a secure structure and comprehensive list of standard safety features. These are based on 2017 safety standards, so they are relatively outdated.


Things get seriously awry for the Model X when analyzing its reliability ratings. Consumer Reports slaps it with a shocking 27/100 score for Predicted Reliability, citing issues with almost all noteworthy aspects of the car and a long recall list. Contrary to this, J.D. Power awards the Model X a 72/100 score for Quality and Reliability. CarEdge indicates that you can expect to spend $5,723 in maintenance costs over 10 years of ownership, which is significantly lower than its ICE luxury SUV peers. To date, the Model X has been subject to 30 recalls relating to the electrical, safety, steering wheel, and other systems.

J.D.Power Reliability Ratings

2020

N/A

2021

N/A

2022

N/A

2023

72/100

2024

72/100


  • Average Yearly Maintenance Cost: $832 (RepairPal)
  • Est. Maintenance Cost During The First 10 Years: $5,723 (CarEdge)
  • Total Recalls: 30
  • Worst Model X Year To Buy Used: 2016

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2 Tesla Model 3

Reliability Score: 74/100

The Tesla Model 3 is the brand’s most accessible product and one of the few options still available with a single-motor rear-wheel drive configuration, but it’s also available with two thrilling dual-motor configurations. The range was recently handed a comprehensive Highland update, including cosmetic and digital instrumentation improvements. Mechanically, there are very few differences, but the brand promises some quality refinements. The Model 3 is a popular electric car option that benefits from a stronger reliability reputation compared to its crossover counterparts.


Reliability

The base single-motor rear-wheel-drive Tesla Model 3 is the most efficient, with a 123 MPGe energy consumption estimate from the EPA. It also suggests you’ll be spending $5,250 in energy costs over five years of ownership. Like the rest of Tesla’s catalog, this EV also earns a five-star overall crash test rating from the NHTSA as well as the Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS.

On the reliability front, the Model 3 performs a bit better than the aforementioned models, with a 47/100 Predicted Reliability score from Consumer Reports and a 74/100 result for Quality and Reliability from J.D. Power. CarEdge reports the Model 3 range to be the cheapest model to maintain over 10 years, at $3,587. This is a significantly lower figure than its ICE rivals. To date, the Model 3 range has been subject to 25 recalls relating to its software, electrical, safety, suspension, and lighting systems, among other components.


J.D.Power Reliability Ratings

2020

N/A

2021

N/A

2022

75/100

2023

74/100

2024

74/100

  • Average Yearly Maintenance Cost: $832 (RepairPal)
  • Est. Maintenance Cost During The First 10 Years: $3,587 (CarEdge)
  • Total Recalls: 25
  • Worst Model 3 Year To Buy Used: 2017

1 Tesla Model S

Reliability Score: 75/100


The Tesla Model S is the EV manufacturer’s longest-running product. Despite this, it remains the most aspirational model until the highly anticipated Roadster finally heads into production. A big reason for its high appeal is its incredible performance abilities, particularly when looking at the flagship Plaid model. Tesla has issued multiple comprehensive upgrades over its decade-long production cycle, but for the most part, it’s still the same luxurious and dependable luxury electric sedan with a strong reliability reputation.

Reliability

Tesla estimates that the entry-level Model S costs $5,750 to charge over five years and returns a 120 MPGe combined consumption estimate. The Model S does have a five-star crash test rating from the NHTSA, but this is based on the 2013 model, and is thus outdated.


Consumer Reports grants the Model S a relatively low 30/100 score for Predicted Reliability, which is far lower than some of its rivals. Inversely, J.D.Power grants it a 75/100 for Quality and Reliability, making it the most trusted model in its current catalog. Being a flagship model line, the Tesla Model S is a more expensive car to maintain over 10 years, as per CarEdge’s $4,566 estimate. This is still $7,395 lower than the segment average. Since its 2012 model year introduction, the NHTSA has subjected the Model S to 31 recalls relating to its electrical systems, safety equipment, body panels, interior trimmings, and other components.

J.D.Power Reliability Ratings

2020

N/A

2021

N/A

2022

75/100

2023

75/100

2024

75/100


  • Average Yearly Maintenance Cost: $832 (RepairPal)
  • Est. Maintenance Cost During The First 10 Years: $4,566 (CarEdge)
  • Total Recalls: 31
  • Worst Model S Year To Buy Used: 2013

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