The Most Bang For Your Buck Tesla Model S To Buy Today - SUV VEHICLE

The Most Bang For Your Buck Tesla Model S To Buy Today


Owning an electric vehicle (EV) continues to bring a lot of questions surrounding its long-term ownership experience, the prerequisite charging infrastructure, and the resale value that is dictated by all of these factors. We recently talked about the EV with the best resale value after a year of ownership, as well as the EV with the absolute worst resale value after a year of ownership–the latter of which also happens to be a vehicle with the worst resale value among all cars.




On a per-model basis, Tesla’s vehicles have the best resale values among EVs over a five-year period, according to iSeeCars, with the top three out of five being from Elon Musk’s company. This has convinced you to opt for a Tesla as your next or your first EV, and at the same time, you don’t want it to be a crossover SUV. Instead, you want it to be a midsize executive premium sedan, so you opt for the Model S.

Well, good choice, my dear reader. The Tesla Model S, which has been in production since 2012, has received a major facelift for the second time during the 2021 model year to keep the vehicle relevant and competitive. With two variants to choose from and just $15,000 separating each other, which Model S will be the best for you?

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In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from Tesla and other authoritative sources, including iSeeCars, and Consumer Reports.



No Need For The Model S Plaid

If you want the best value out of your Tesla Model S, I’d highly recommend sticking to just the “base” Model S as opposed to stepping up to the Model S Plaid. That’s because while its 1.99-second 0-60 mph acceleration time is impressive, the base Model S is already way more powerful than what most people probably need out of their EV.

The base Model S starts at $74,990, while the Model S Plaid starts at $89,990, both of which were the result of massive price cuts by Elon Musk last year. If you think that its brutal acceleration is enough of a novelty to justify the $15,000 price premium, then by all means go for it, but for the value seeker, you’ll probably be happier to spend that $15,000 difference on a dream holiday with that base Model S as your ride on the way there.


670 HP Is Too Low, Said No One Ever

Blue Tesla Model S driving
Tesla

That’s because the base Model S, with its dual-motor all-wheel drive (AWD) setup, is already too powerful for most common folks to exploit on a public road without breaking any laws.

While Tesla does not anymore post its horsepower and torque figures, nor its battery sizes on its website, the base Model S already produces 670 horsepower and 755 pound-feet of torque, which is enough for a 3.1-second 0-60 mph time. Again, no one ever said these figures are too weak, nor is its acceleration time considered slow by any means.


Model S

Model S Plaid

Powertrain

Dual Motor AWD

Tri-Motor AWD

Horsepower

670 hp

1,020 hp

Torque

755 lb-ft

1,050 lb-ft

Battery

99.3 kWh

98 kWh

EPA Range

405 miles

396 miles

0-60 MPH

3.1 sec.

1.99 sec.

Top Speed

130 mph

200 mph

(Data sourced from Tesla)

At the same time, the Model S is already known for its great handling and fun-to-drive demeanor. The Model S Plaid, while having a lot of power, doesn’t actually get a lot of upgrades to make the car handle as good as it could possibly get. While you get upgraded brakes and torque vectoring capabilities out of its tri-motor AWD setup, its handling isn’t that different from the base Model S. You’re basically at a point of diminishing returns with the Model S Plaid–until you splurge for the optional $15,000 – $20,000 Track Package exclusive to this high-performance Model S.


And You Also Get The Longest Range Model S

Tesla Model S Dual-Motor
Tesla

A benefit that is probably worth more than the Model S Plaid’s novelty of providing brutal acceleration is something that the base Model S offers for free–a long range. That’s because the base Model S has a 402-mile EPA-estimated range, making this vehicle one of the best in terms of range for any electric sedan.

The Lucid Air Grand Touring AWD, however, has a maximum range of 516 miles of EPA-estimated range, so while not the best, the Tesla is right on top in terms of EV range for the segment. The Model S’s key rival, the Lucid Air Touring with dual motors, 620 horses, and a range of 411 miles, is a strong contender against the Model S, costing $77,900 or a little under $3,000 more than the Model S.


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Everything Else You Get In The Base Model S

Tesla Model S interior
Tesla

If I were being honest, calling it a base model is probably a misnomer since this spec of the Model S already comes with a good amount of high-tech goodies and luxury features. Especially after the second facelift in the 2021 model year, the Model S just keeps getting better despite being more than a decade old already. It’s a testament to how Tesla has managed to pull ahead of the competition, especially back in 2012.

Timeless Exterior

Blue Tesla Model S driving
Tesla


To Tesla’s credit, the Model S still looks great in 2024. The novelty factor has just worn off because of its age, but if the Model S just came out in 2024 with its current design, we would probably be amazed by how it looks. The long proportions, complemented by a better dash-to-axle ratio compared to the jellybean-like shape of the EQS sedan make the Model S look sportier and more dynamic.

The cleaner front end has a more chiseled look compared to the pre-2021 update, thanks to the slimmer and wider air intake, the J-shaped elements in the foglight area, as well as a cleaner look for the LED headlights themselves. Also noteworthy is its rear-end design, which has likewise been cleaned up and given a sportier look to the rear bumper. 19-inch Tempest wheels come as standard, but you can upgrade those to larger 21-inch Arachnid wheels, which look nicer but reduce the range from 402 miles to 380 miles. Still pretty good, but just take note of this range reduction when opting for the bigger wheels.


Completely New Interior

Tesla Model S Interior
Tesla

Where most of the upgrades happened during the 2021 facelift was in the interior design. The dash is completely new, with premium materials being used all around it, and it comes with a new 12.3-inch infotainment screen with a new operating system as well.

Being the Model S, it comes with a second digital driver’s display as well. Those seated at the back benefit from a second screen, which, according to Tesla, supports up to 10 teraflops of processing power. This will enable rear occupants (and those at the front, too, when the vehicle is stationary) to play video games that are as highly demanding as Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Also, noteworthy is that the interior is free from animal-based materials, though in terms of premium feel, the Porsche Taycan does a better job at offering a luxury car ambiance.


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The 2024 Model S comes in two flavors: a balanced powerhouse for value-seekers and a lightning-fast luxury beast for adrenaline junkies. ️

The Benefits Of Owning The Model S

Tesla Model S
Tesla

So, you’ve decided, based on all the provided information, that the 2024 Tesla Model S is going to be your pick. That’s great! All you have to do is order one for yourself on the Tesla website and wait for about a month or two until the vehicle arrives at your doorstep. Until then, here are some of the benefits that you can get from owning a Model S.

The Fastest, Most Diverse, And Most Reliable Charging Network

Tesla S3XY Range at Tesla Superchargers
Tesla


Basically, the Tesla Supercharger network is the best in the business. This is exactly why, when Elon Musk decided to offer its charging port standard, now called the North American Charging Standard (NACS), every other automaker who sells EVs in the United States has decided to adopt the brand’s charging port standard. This will enable other EVs to be able to use Tesla’s broad and reliable charging network.

However, while that may eliminate the charging advantage that Tesla has over other EVs, Tesla owners are offered cheaper charging rates than owners of other EVs. At the same time, as tested by Consumer Reports, charging a non-Tesla EV when using one of those Magic Dock-equipped Superchargers isn’t as fast as charging a Tesla that comes with the NACS charging port out of the factory. Whether a non-Tesla EV that comes with a NACS port out of the factory will charge at the same speed as a Tesla with a built-in NACS port already is yet to be seen as these EVs are only set out to hit the market by Q4 2024 at the earliest.


Safety That Evolves Over Time

Red Tesla Model S rear
Tesla

Finally, there’s also the perk about Tesla’s advanced driver-assistance tech, which is open for upgrade from the basic Autopilot that’s equipped as standard on all Model S. Actually, for the most part, the basic Autopilot, which comes on top of the usual automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and blind spot detection, is already going to be good enough for most people since basic Autopilot already comes with adaptive cruise control and lane centering.

But if you want to add more semi-autonomous capability to your Model S, you can opt for Enhanced Autopilot or Full Self Driving (FSD), either as you order the car or at any point in the future. Enhanced Autopilot is good for $6,000, and this adds the following features that come on top of basic Autopilot:


  • Navigate on Autopilot
  • Auto Lane Change
  • Autopark
  • Summon
  • Smart Summon

On the other hand, FSD adds even more ADAS features on top of everything that’s already offered on Enhanced Autopilot. Do note that despite the FSD name, this is still pretty much an SAE Level 2 autonomous set of features, which means you still won’t be able to sleep behind the wheel while FSD is in operation. Nevertheless, these are the features that FSD adds:

  • Autosteer on city streets
  • Traffic Light and Stop Sign Control



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