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2017 Tesla Model S Review

The Tesla Model S ranks highly among luxury hybrid and electric cars. This classy all-electric vehicle has a long driving range, athletic handling, and a spacious interior.

Pros & Cons

  • Swift acceleration
  • Long all-electric driving range
  • Engaging handling, comfy ride
  • Luxe, high-tech cabin with plenty of space
  • Limited repair center availability




Critics' Rating: 9.9
Performance: 9.6
Interior: 8.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.2
Safety: 9.4
This model has never been fully tested for reliability. Its overall score is being calculated without reliability.

2017 Tesla Model S Overview

Is the 2017 Tesla Model S a Good Used Car?

The Tesla Model S is an excellent choice in the hybrid and electric car class. It is fun to drive, offers up to 335 miles of driving range on a single charge, and has generous seating and cargo space. The Model S packs one of the best infotainment systems on the market, as well as a large number of advanced safety features. However, reliability for the Model S is a bit questionable. Be sure you live near one of Tesla’s service centers. Otherwise, addressing even minor problems can prove to be a major headache.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 40 Tesla Model S reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2017 Tesla Model S?

You can expect to pay between $66,900 and $92,000 for a used 2017 Model S. These figures are based on listings for the 2017 Tesla Model S on our site. The average price is $77,600. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2017 Tesla Model S Cost to Own?

At this time, we are unable to provide projected five-year ownership costs for fuel, maintenance, repairs, and insurance. However, the total cost of ownership (which takes depreciation into account) is high for the class.

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

The 2018 Model S starts at $74,500, but its price can climb to over $135,000 in top trim levels (before available tax incentives). You can save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used 2017 Model S. You won’t miss out on many features by doing so, thanks to Tesla’s frequent over-the-air software updates. Notably, you will have to search the used marketplace if you want a rear-wheel-drive Model S. Beginning with the 2018 model year, the Model S is only available with all-wheel drive.

Read about the new Tesla Model S »

There are many new-car alternatives that cost less than the 2017 Model S. The 2018 Kia Stinger (starting at $31,900) and 2018 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe ($44,600) mirror the Tesla’s sleek four-door hatchback styling. Both offer zippy engine performance, spry handling, and posh interiors, but at much lower starting prices. Another alternative is the all-new 2018 Tesla Model 3 sedan, which starts at $49,000, but with its long waiting list, it could be months before Tesla assembles and delivers your car.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Tesla Model S Is Best?

The Model S debuted as an all-new vehicle in 2012 and remains on sale. It received a mid-2016 exterior redesign. Otherwise, Tesla has introduced most changes throughout the years via over-the-air updates. There have also been hardware changes (like a larger battery pack) once new components became available. This means that 2013 to 2018 models benefit from many of the same infotainment updates, but not all models offer the same safety or performance features.

Still, there are a few things to consider. You don’t have to opt for a new Model S to benefit from a lengthy all-electric driving range. All models dating back to the 2013 Model S (with an 85 kWh battery) are capable of driving a 265-mile driving range. All-wheel drive and the Autopilot suite of safety features were introduced as options for the 2014 Model S.

Some autopilot features eventually became standard on all cars built after October 2016, though the optional Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving packages are still required to enable the more advanced features, such as automatic lane change and a self-parking feature.

Check out our Used Tesla Model S Buying Guide for a deeper look at the history of the Model S and for more information on things to consider when buying a used model.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Model S »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Tesla Model S?

J.D. Power has not given the 2017 Tesla Model S a reliability rating.

Read more about Model S reliability »

2017 Tesla Model S Recalls

There are no recalls for the 2017 Model S as of this writing.

See more information on Tesla Model S safety recalls »

Which Used Tesla Model S Is Right for Me?

The 2017 Model S is available in a wide variety of configurations. There are multiple battery pack sizes, which have driving ranges from 210 miles all the way up to 335 miles. Check out the specifications of each variant in the performance section below to see which best fits your needs.

All models share the same standard features: a 17-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, navigation, internet radio, Bluetooth, USB ports, keyless entry, a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, leatherette upholstery, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, parking sensors, and alloy wheels.

Available features include leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, a panoramic sunroof, air suspension, and the Enhanced Autopilot suite of active safety features.

See 2017 Tesla Model S trims and specs »

How Safe Is the Model S?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2017 Tesla Model S the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the small overlap front crash test, as well as the top rating of Good in four other crash tests. The car received the lowest rating of Poor for how well its headlights illuminate the road ahead. However, this Tesla's standard front crash prevention features earned the best possible rating for their effectiveness.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Model S a perfect five-star rating for rollover safety.

The Model S comes standard with a rearview camera, parking sensors, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning with brake assist. The Enhanced Autopilot package is optional, and it adds adaptive cruise control, automatic steering and lane changing, and hands-free parallel parking.

2017 Tesla Model S Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Tesla Model S or 2017 Porsche Panamera?

The trendsetting Model S had no direct electric-car rival for 2017. However, if you're looking for luxury, performance, and practicality, the 2017 Porsche Panamera comes pretty close. Both of these luxury hatchbacks offer quick acceleration, agile handling, roomy seating and cargo areas, and many advanced tech and safety features. You can’t go wrong with either model, but if its efficiency you’re after, the Tesla wins hands down. The Panamera plug-in hybrid wasn’t available for the 2017 model year; it returned for 2018.

Which Is Better: 2017 Tesla Model S or 2017 Cadillac CT6?

The 2017 Cadillac CT6 is another compelling alternative to the Model S. The CT6 is available with a range of brawny four- and six-cylinder engines, but it’s also available as a plug-in hybrid, which provides up to 31 miles of electric driving range. That’s not very far compared to the all-electric range of the Model S, but it’s at least an efficient option for shoppers who don’t want to go fully electric. The CT6 has a comparably long list of advanced safety features, and used models are typically less expensive. That said, the CT6 offers much less cargo space, and its infotainment system isn’t as nice as the Tesla’s. Test drive both cars to see which you prefer.

Compare the Model S, Panamera, and CT6 »

2017 Model S Performance

How Does the 2017 Tesla Model S Drive?

The 2017 Model S comes in seven configurations: 60, 60D, 75, 75D, 90D, 100D, and P100D. Each number corresponds to the car’s battery pack size measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh). The “D” signifies all-wheel drive (rear-wheel drive is standard), and the “P” indicates a high-performance model.

Regardless of the variant, this Tesla offers rewarding driving dynamics. The Model S accelerates up to speed quickly and delivers strong passing power on the highway, thanks to its large electric motors. It also has a refined suspension that keeps the car stable and secure when rounding turns, yet it soaks up bumps and dips in the road comfortably. The steering feels quick, and the brakes provide robust stopping power.

Does the 2017 Tesla Model S Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Model S offers excellent efficiency. The EPA rates the Tesla’s electric efficiency between 98 and 104 MPGe. To learn more about that rating, check out What is MPGe?

The Model S 60 and 60D have an EPA-estimated driving range of 210 and 218 miles, respectively. The Model S 75 and 75D have a range of 249 and 259 miles. The 90D and 100D have a range of 294 and 335 miles, and the P100D has a range of 315 miles.

Drivers can recharge the vehicle’s lithium-ion battery at public charging stations, or at home using a 120- or 240-volt outlet. For the quickest charge, plug in at one of Tesla's Supercharger stations. Supercharging can charge the battery halfway in just 20 minutes, though this rate varies depending on the size of the battery pack.

Read more about Model S performance »

2017 Model S Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 Model S Seat?

The Tesla Model S is a four-door hatchback with seating for five, though it’s styled to look like a sedan. There’s generous head- and legroom for adults in both rows. Notably, the Model S is optional with a pair of rear-facing child seats, which raise its seating capacity to seven. These seats are equipped with five-point safety harnesses, and they can fold flat into the cargo floor when not in use.

The cabin is filled with tons of high-tech gadgetry. The hushed interior has a quality look and feel, but it isn’t quite up to the standards set by the 2017 BMW 6 Series and 2017 Genesis G90 in this segment.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Tesla Model S?

The Model S has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the vehicle’s LATCH system the second-lowest rating of Marginal for ease of use, because some of the anchors are hard to access and difficult to maneuver around.

2017 Tesla Model S Features

The highlight of the Tesla’s interior is its huge 17-inch touch screen. It provides access to all of the car’s audio and air conditioning functions, and it’s as simple to use as a smartphone, though some drivers may become frustrated with the car’s lack of conventional buttons and knobs. The screen recognizes smartphone gestures like pinching and swiping. The graphics look sharp, response times are quick, and you can configure the on-screen buttons to your liking.

See 2017 Tesla Model S specs »

Read more about Model S interior »

2017 Tesla Model S Dimensions

Tesla Model S Cargo Space

The Model S has a rear liftgate with 26.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats, expanding to 58.1 cubic feet with these seats folded. The Model S also has a front trunk (or “frunk”) underneath its hood with an extra 5.3 cubic feet of storage.

2017 Model S Length and Weight

The Tesla Model S is 16.3 feet long. Its curb weight ranges between 4,469 to 4,941 pounds, depending on configuration.

Where Was the 2017 Tesla Model S Built?

Tesla built the 2017 Model S in California.

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