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2015 Tesla Model S Review

The 2015 Tesla Model S has a comfortable ride, quick acceleration, and an easy-to-use infotainment system. Add in high safety ratings and a large cargo area, and it's no surprise that this sedan ranks near the top of the luxury large car class.

Pros & Cons

  • Brisk acceleration
  • Comfortable, athletic ride
  • Large cargo space
  • User-friendly touch screen
  • Questionable reliability
  • Seats aren’t as comfortable as rivals




Critics' Rating: 9.6
Performance: 9.1
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership:
This model has never been fully tested for total cost of ownership. Its overall score is being calculated without total cost of ownership.
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.

2015 Tesla Model S Overview

Is the 2015 Tesla Model S a Good Used Car?

The Tesla Model S is a game changer in the luxury large car class. This stylish electric vehicle can travel up to 270 miles on a single charge. The Model S has a large cargo area, and it comes loaded with a suite of advanced safety features, with some models able to drive semi-autonomously. Factor in supercar-like acceleration and deft corner-carving abilities, and the Model S is on par with the best gas- and hybrid-powered cars on the market. This EV's questionable reliability is one of its few blemishes.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 30 Tesla Model S reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability ratings and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of automotive industry experience combined. While we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To ensure our reviews remain impartial, we refuse expensive gifts and trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 Tesla Model S?

Based on about 200 listings for the 2015 Tesla Model S on our site, the average price is around $57,200. Prices range from about $48,000 to $70,000 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2015 Tesla Model S Cost to Own?

At the time of writing, we do not have enough data to project the Model S’ five-year costs for charging, insurance, repairs and maintenance.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Model S?

Tesla has streamlined its trims over the past few years. Older Model S cars incorporate the size of the battery into the model name, and each number relates to the size of the car’s battery pack in kilowatt-hours. The larger the number, the longer the all-electric driving range.

You won't find any battery designations for new Teslas. Instead, your choices for a new 2019 Model S are the standard Long Range trim, with a price around $75,000 and a range of 335 miles, and the Performance trim, which starts at around $90,000 and offers a range of 315 miles. You can add Ludicrous Mode to the Performance trim for $20,000. This upgrade provides 20% faster acceleration, according to Tesla.

Thanks to Tesla's constant over-the-air updates, you may not miss out on many features by going with an older model S. If you want a rear-wheel-drive version, stick with an older model. All new Model S sedans are all-wheel drive.

Read about the new Tesla Model S »

For what you might pay for a used Model S, consider buying a 2019 Tesla Model 3. This luxury small car is available with most of the technology and capabilities of its older sibling. A new Model 3 starts at around $40,000 and boasts a range of 240 miles. All-wheel-drive Long Range models retail for around $50,000 and have a range of 310 miles. The Performance model has the same 310-mile range along with quicker acceleration and a higher top speed. Its starting price is around $60,000.

Buying a new Tesla may also qualify you for tax credits, which can lower the total cost.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Tesla Model S Is Best?

Comparing Teslas is tricky, because unlike other automakers, Tesla makes software updates to their models as they become available. However, the company does make some hardware changes, such as adding a larger battery pack. This means that 2013 and 2014 models benefit from many of the same infotainment updates as newer models, but they may not have the same performance or safety features.

Stick with a 2015 model if you want standard driver assistance features like lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and forward automatic emergency braking. Depending on their updates, some older models may not come standard with these features.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Model S »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Tesla Model S?

The 2015 Tesla Model S does not have a reliability rating from J.D. Power.

Read more about Model S reliability »

2015 Tesla Model S Recalls

At the time of writing, there are four recalls for the 2015 Tesla Model S. These recalls address a front passenger air bag that may deploy unexpectedly, corrosion in the steering assembly that may cause a loss of power steering, a parking brake that may not fully apply or release, and front seat belts that may not be correctly secured.

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Tesla Model S safety recalls »

Which Used Tesla Model S Model Is Right for Me?

The 2015 Tesla Model S comes in six trims: 70D, 85, 85D, P85D, 90D, and P90D. Each number relates to the size of the car’s battery pack, with the number getting larger as the all-electric driving range increases. The P indicates a performance version, and D signifies that the car has dual-motor all-wheel drive (rear-wheel drive is standard).

The base Model S 70D has a range of 240 miles, and the Model S 85 has a range of 265 miles. The 85D and 90D get a slight bump to 270 miles, and P85D and P90D can go 253 miles.

All trims have the same standard features, which include a 17-inch touch screen, navigation, Bluetooth, dual USB ports, keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a power liftgate, a rearview camera, parking sensors, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning with brake assist.

Available features include Autopilot, a sunroof, rear captain’s chairs, rear-facing jump seats, and an air suspension.

See 2015 Tesla Model S trims and specs »

How Safe Is the Model S?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2015 Tesla Model S an overall safety rating of five stars out of five. It earned five stars in the rollover, frontal crash, and side crash tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not crash tested the 2015 Model S.

The Model S comes standard with many advanced safety features, including a rearview camera, parking sensors, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. The available Autopilot is a semi-autonomous system that increases the car’s self-driving capability. The system features automatic steering, traffic-aware cruise control, automatic lane changing, and hands-free parallel parking.

See Model S safety scores »

2015 Tesla Model S Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Tesla Model S or 2015 Porsche Panamera?

The Model S has no direct electric-car rivals, but the 2015 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid comes close. Both sleek hatchbacks have lots of cargo space, muscle-car acceleration, luxurious cabins, and many advanced safety features. But the Panamera offers just a short 15-mile electric driving range before its V6 gas engine kicks in, and it only seats four. Both are solid picks if you’re shopping for an efficient luxury car.

Which Is Better: 2015 Tesla Model S or 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class?

The 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S550e is another worthy plug-in-hybrid alternative. Like the Tesla, the Mercedes has a buttery smooth ride, brisk acceleration, and many standard advanced safety features. It tops the Model S with superior interior quality, a roomier cabin, and luxuries like massaging seats. That said, it offers much less trunk space and only 12 miles of all-electric driving range.

Compare the Model S, Panamera, and S-Class »

2015 Model S Performance

How Does the 2015 Tesla Model S Drive?

Regardless of configuration, every Model S rockets up to speed with authority and provides swift passing power. The standard 70D sedan zips from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds. The muscular P85D with Insane Mode cuts that time to 3.1 seconds. Introduced late in the model year, 90D and P90D trims were the first to offer Ludicrous Mode. The Model S P90D was the first four-door production car to nail a zero-to-60 run in less than three seconds.

The Model S offers a smooth, pillowy ride yet remains sporty. It has confident braking power and quick steering, and its body motions are well-controlled in tight bends.

Does the 2015 Tesla Model S Get Good Mileage?

The 2015 Tesla Model S 70D has a driving range of 240 miles on a full charge. The Model S 85 has a range of 265 miles, while 85D and 95D models get a slight bump to 270 miles. Performance P85D and P90D models can go 253 miles.

Drivers can recharge the car’s battery at home using either a 120- or 240-volt power outlet. An adapter is available for using public charging stations. For the quickest charge, drivers can plug in to one of Tesla's Supercharger stations, which provide up to 170 miles of range in 30 minutes.

Read more about Model S performance »

2015 Model S Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 Model S Seat?

The Tesla Model S seats five. The cabin is exceptionally quiet, thanks to the car’s silent electric motors. There’s generally enough room for occupants in both rows, though taller rear passengers may be a little short on headroom. The front seats are supportive, but they’re not the most comfortable on longer drives.

You may find older models equipped with rear-facing jump seats, which bump seating capacity to seven. This available third row is intended for children, and both seats have five-point safety harnesses. An Executive Rear Seat package is available, and it replaces the rear bench seat with two captain’s chairs. Synthetic leather upholstery and heated, 12-way power-adjustable front seats are standard. Genuine leather upholstery and heated second-row seats are available.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Tesla Model S?

The 2015 Model S has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes that the lower anchors are deep in the seat, and there’s not a lot of room to maneuver your hands around them.

2015 Tesla Model S Features

Tesla equips all Model S sedans with a 17-inch touch screen, navigation, a web browser, Bluetooth, and dual USB ports. The touch screen dominates the futuristic dashboard, and it’s easy to use. The display responds quickly to inputs and operates much like a tablet, recognizing pinch, swipe, tap, and zoom commands. The screen is configurable, so you can arrange the layout to your liking.

See 2015 Tesla Model S specs »

Read more about Model S interior »

2015 Tesla Model S Dimensions

Tesla Model S Cargo Space

The 2015 Model S has a generous 26.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats and 58.1 cubic feet with the seats folded down. A smaller cargo compartment under the hood offers an additional 5.3 cubic feet of storage. 

2015 Model S Length and Weight

The Tesla Model S is 16.4 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 4,597 pounds to 4,936 pounds.

Where Was the 2015 Tesla Model S Built?

Tesla built the 2015 Model S in California.

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