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2014 Tesla Model S Review

The 2014 Tesla Model S sits among the best used luxury large cars. Its acceleration and smooth ride are unrivaled, and its 17-inch touch screen makes controlling the cabin a breeze. The Model S also has a perfect safety score. 

Pros & Cons

  • Responsive, powerful electric motor
  • Large, user-friendly touch-screen display
  • Ample cargo space
  • Limited second-row headroom
  • Long charging times with some models




Critics' Rating: 9.8
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.5
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
This model has never been fully tested for reliability. Its overall score is being calculated without reliability.

2014 Tesla Model S Overview

Is the 2014 Tesla Model S a Good Used Car?

The 2014 Tesla Model S is a great all-electric, hatchback-designed luxury large car. The futuristic cabin has a large infotainment screen that controls nearly all interior functions. Performance is exhilarating, with instantaneous acceleration that rockets the S to highway speeds and strong brakes that keep the driver firmly in control. Charging is the only issue – especially if you’re not near a Supercharger station. Still, driving ranges topping 200 miles will reduce your range anxiety – and they’re far better than what you’ll get with the Nissan Leaf.

Used 2014 Tesla Model S Performance and Interior

An electric motor paired to one of two battery packs – 60 kWh and 85 kWh – powers the rear-wheel-drive Tesla Model S. Horsepower ranges from 302 to 416. The base model S 60 has a 208-mile range, according to the EPA. The S 85 can travel up to 265 miles on a single charge.

The dual-motor Model S P85D with an 85-kWh battery pack makes an exhilarating 691 horsepower. Standard all-wheel drive enhances the trim’s handling. Its driving range is 242 miles.

The Tesla’s strong brakes inspire confidence. The car shows little body lean through turns, while crisp steering and the car’s low center of gravity keep it firmly planted. Bumps in the road are easily absorbed.

Using a standard 240-volt outlet, it’s possible to charge the S 60 in about 10 hours. The S 85 can be charged in 12 hours, according to the EPA. A 240-volt outlet with an 80-amp dual charger cuts those times to 3.5 and 4.5 hours, respectively. Charging at a Supercharger station takes about an hour.

Read more about Model S performance »

The Tesla Model S seats five on standard cloth and vinyl upholstery. Seating capacity rises to seven with the available fold-flat rear-facing seats, though they are useful only to very small children. The Executive package drops seating capacity to four; it removes the rear bench seat and adds two captain’s chairs. Heated front seats are standard.

Leather seats are available. While decent, they do not live up to the level of quality one expects from a car in this price range or segment. Front-seat passengers enjoy plenty of head- and legroom. In the back, occupants have plenty of legroom, but the hatchback reduces headroom. Taller passengers may feel cramped. The back seats split 60/40. When laid flat, they expose a whopping 58 cubic feet of storage space. With the rear seats in use, you’ll have 26.3 cubic feet of storage room. There are two complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors in the outboard rear seats. The anchors are spaced relatively close to one another, so check to be sure your car seat will fit.

A number of features come standard, including Bluetooth, dual USB ports, and Wi-Fi connectivity. A 17-inch touch screen – which looks and acts like an iPad – is also standard. Nearly all of the cabin’s controls can be found on this screen. Notably, you can place these controls where you’d like on the screen, much like moving icons on handheld devices.

Read more about Model S interior »

Used 2014 Tesla Model S Prices

Used Tesla Model S cars run from about $43,300 to $48,900. The price you pay will depend upon trim, location, and wear. Demand also affects price.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

We Did the Research for You: 23 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 23 Tesla Model S reviews, as well as fuel economy estimates, reliability ratings, crash test results, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain impartial, we do not accept extravagant gifts from automakers, and an outside source handles our advertising.

How Reliable Is the 2014 Tesla Model S?

J.D. Power has not issued a reliability score for the 2014 Tesla Model S.

How Safe Is the Model S?

The 2014 Tesla Model S earned five out of five stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with perfect scores in its three crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not tested the Model S.

A rearview camera is standard. Models equipped with the Technology package add adaptive cruise control and frontal collision warning. 

See Model S safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used Model S?

The 2014 Tesla Model S is part of a generation that launched for the 2013 model year. Instead of rolling out changes with each model year, Tesla adds improvements year-round. If you’re looking to save money, consider purchasing the very similar 2013 Model S. The big difference for 2014 was the addition of the all-wheel-drive P85D model.

Compare the 2013 and 2014 Model S »

Which Used Tesla Model S Is Right for Me?

There are four Model S trim levels: 60, 85, P85, and P85D. All share essentially the same features: keyless entry and start, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 17-inch touch screen, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a seven-speaker sound system with dual USB ports (media and charging), internet radio, and Wi-Fi connectivity. A universal mobile connector (with 110-volt, 240-volt, and J1772 adapters) is included as well.

The 85 trim is equipped with a Supercharger connector. The P85 and P85D add red Brembo brake calipers and a simulated suede headliner. With such a rich array of features, the Model S 60 will please most buyers.

Several packages are available. These include the Tech package with a number of active-safety features, a power hatchback, and a navigation system. The Smart Air package includes an adaptive suspension. 

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Tesla certified pre-owned program »

2014 Tesla Model S and Other Cars to Consider

Because the 2014 Tesla Model S is so unique, cross-shopping can be tricky. Its all-electric powertrain outperforms many of the gasoline engines in its class, and no other 2014 all-electric vehicle can match it for range. In addition, this large luxury vehicle is closer in size to most midsize vehicles. However, if you aren’t wedded to an all-electric vehicle, you’ll find a lot of other options.

Which Is Better: 2014 Tesla Model S or 2014 Audi A7?

There is no all-electric version of the 2014 Audi A7 – or even a hybrid model – but it closely rivals the Model S in most other ways. The Audi has a range of potent powertrains that top out at 560 horsepower. The A7’s interior is outstanding, and its standard features rival what you’ll find in the Tesla. Like the Tesla, the A7’s low roof can make rear-seat head space tight. If you suffer from range anxiety, the Audi is more appealing. Otherwise, the Model S takes the win.

Which Is Better: 2014 Tesla Model S or 2014 Porsche Panamera?

The 2014 Porsche Panamera offers an impressive range of engines that make between 310 and 570 horsepower. It also has a hybrid model: the S-E Hybrid. The Panamera’s leather seats hold four and provide all-day comfort. Its infotainment controls, however, are confusing. The system has lots of buttons that are neither as intuitive nor as clean as the controls on the Tesla’s 17-inch screen. The Porsche also provides much less cargo space. Like the Model S, the Panamera demonstrates little body lean and handles turns with ease. In the end, both vehicles are great options – though the Porsche will likely cost you more.

Compare the Model S, A7, and Panamera »

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