2017 Tesla Model S Review

Fuel Type
City MPG
Highway MPG
  • Performance
    4.8 of 5.0
  • Cost of Ownership
    3.7 of 5.0
  • Interior
    4.1 of 5.0
  • Reliability
    4.5 of 5.0
02 Dec 2016

2017 will be a pivotal year for Tesla. Not only is the much-anticipated Model 3 set to be released that year, but the classic Model S will also receive an update. This all-electric vehicle has been on the market since 2010 and has recently gained popularity. Of course, in terms of range, the Tesla Model S truly set the bar for all-electric vehicles.

While it began with a 265-mile electric range, the battery has been improved over time. So much so that the current Model S can travel 295 miles on a single charge. The 2017 Tesla Model S receives another battery update as well as a much-needed design update. The Model S will now be properly groomed after six years of wearing the same exterior. That way, it can continue to shine for the next few years.

Exterior design

To be clear, Tesla did not create a completely new look for the Model S. They’d be insane to do so, given that the Model S has such a distinct appearance that anyone can identify it. They did, however, clean up all the edges and make it look more sporty. That was obviously something the original model lacked, and it is also something that has recently become more popular.

To begin with, the most significant changes to the front of the 2017 Tesla Model S are in the nose and headlights. The latter are still the same shape as before, but the lamps have been replaced by two LED strip units. The first serves as Daytime Running Lights, while the second illuminates the road.

The grille, or rather its absence, is the most noticeable difference. The black grille with a chrome outline has been replaced with a much more subtle front embellishment. The Tesla emblem is still centered in the middle of the new Model S, with a thin chrome line running underneath it. The area next to the emblem is dark and marks the hood opening, but that’s all there is to the grille. The lower air dams are nearly identical, with the exception of the removal of the chrome lines and the enlargement of the middle vent. The lack of a visible grille is consistent with the design language of the supersleek and affordable Tesla Model 3, which also lacks a grille.

There are no noticeable changes to the side or rear of the 2017 Tesla Model S. The wheel options remain the same as well, with 19 or 21 inch sets available.

Interior design

The interior of the 2017 Tesla Model S has seen far fewer changes than the exterior. Much has remained unchanged, such as the 17-inch infotainment screen. Almost every feature in the Model S is controlled solely by this screen. A storage compartment has been added beneath the center stack for functionality.

The insert in the dashboard on the passenger’s side is another addition to the Model S’s interior. This removes the small storage space that was previously present.

Finally, some premium upgrades are available. A Premium Upgrades package adds Nappa leather armrests and dashboards, as well as ambient lighting to the interior. The Subzero Weather Package adds heated seats for the front and backseats, automatic wiper blade defrosting, heated wash nozzles, and a heated steering wheel. The aerodynamic Chevrolet Bolt EV took some interior inspiration from the Model S, which is not hidden.

The Ultra High Fidelity Sound package, which adds a more advanced audio system with 12 speakers, a larger amplifier, and a subwoofer, is the final additional interior package.

Electric motor specs

Of course, what distinguishes the Tesla Model S is that it is a fully electric vehicle with a very long electric range. The Tesla Model S was previously available in three battery editions: Model S 70 with a 70 kWh battery, Model S 90D with a 90 kWh battery and standard all wheel drive, and Model S P100D with a 100 kWh performance battery and all wheel drive. All of these Model S editions will be available for purchase in 2017, and Tesla recently announced that another edition will be available for purchase as an option. The 2017 Tesla Model S 60 and 60D, both with 60-kWh batteries and all-wheel drive. This decision makes the Tesla Model S more appealing to people who previously did not consider the Model S to be financially appealing.

The 60 and 60D will have an electric range of more than 200 miles (321 km) and a 0-60 time of 5.5 seconds. The top speed will be 130 mph (210 km), which is obviously much slower than the higher-end models but still quite fast.

The odd thing about the 60 and 60D models is that they have a 75 kWh battery but can only use 60 kWh. A software update can be purchased for a fee that allows the other 15 kWh to be used as well. In this manner, Tesla effectively added two battery options to the Model S lineup.

Tech specs

To begin with the most important technological feature, the Tesla Model S includes an optional Autopilot Convenience Feature that is available on all trim levels. Autopilot is standard on every Model S, but it is only available for a fee. On the car, Autopilot employs eight surround cameras that provide a 360-degree view up to 250 meters around the vehicle. The car also has twelve ultrasonic sensors to detect soft and hard objects around it. There is also a forward-facing radar to detect when camera visibility is low due to fog, rain, or a car ahead. All of these features combine to form the package required to use Autopilot.

Under certain conditions, Autopilot can drive entirely on highways. The car will automatically adjust its speed to traffic conditions, stay in the correct lane, change lanes automatically if necessary, and take an exit to another highway. When it is near a free parking spot, the car can also fully park itself, as well as park in and leave your garage when you call for it. Model S driving is at least semi-autonomous, and it can sometimes be fully autonomous.

The Tesla Model S also comes standard with a number of safety features, including automatic emergency braking, side and front collision warning, and automatic high beams.

Price and sale date

Prices for the 2017 Tesla Model S have dropped slightly since last year.

The 2017 Tesla Model S 60 is priced at $68,000 (or €69,020), while the 60D (AWD) is priced at $73,000 (or €74,520). The Model S 75 starts at $69,500 (or €83,620), while the 75D starts at $74,500 (or €89,120). Finally, the top trim levels of the 90D begins at $87,500 (or €99,720), 100D begins at $94,000, and the P100D with performance battery begins at $135,000 (or €149,620).

The prices for the Model S in the United States are before any tax breaks. The federal tax credit for fully electric vehicles is worth up to $7,500. This amount will be deducted from your annual income tax; if it is less than $7,500, the incentive will be equal to your personal income tax amount.

Prices in euros are those in Germany, excluding tax breaks. The price of the Model S varies depending on which European country it is purchased in. Germany is, by far, the most affordable country in Europe for new cars, which is why we use those figures.

The new Model S will be available in the United States and Europe in February 2017.