2021 Tesla Model S

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2021 Tesla Model S Review: The Super EV

by Aiden Eksteen

The 2021 Tesla Model S is to the electric vehicle industry what the Ford Model T was to the combustion engine . With Tesla's concerted focus on EV technology and its now established experience, not only is the Model S sedan one of the longest-standing mainstream electric vehicles but it's also one of the fastest and most capable EVs on the market today. It's powered by an advanced EV system comprising two electric motors and a battery pack mounted on a skateboard platform that generate a combined 670 horsepower. On top of leading performance, the 2021 Model S also boasts a futuristic and high-end aesthetic paired with a spacious, modern, and minimalistic cabin. That's not even to mention its extensive list of advanced features and technologies. Though technically still in its first generation, the 2021 Tesla Model S is always under review for enhancement and improvements from Tesla, and this year, the sedan receives its most extensive update yet. As new impressive EV sedans like the Porsche Taycan, Lucid Air, and Audi RS e-tron GT enter the market, will the Model S maintain its appeal or will it just become more of a classic novelty?

2021 Tesla Model S Changes: ๐Ÿš™Whatโ€™s the difference vs 2020 Model S?

The 2021 model year upgrades are substantial. There are three trims to choose from, with the new Tesla Model S Long Range slotting in below the Plaid. The latter is so savage in terms of performance that we decided to review it separately. The standard Long Range received a noticeable facelift, along with some interior upgrades that will undoubtedly be at the center of many internet debates. The latest Long Range now gets to 60 mph in only 3.1 seconds and has a 412-mile range; these are some phenomenal specs.

We'll start with the least controversial and work our way up. First, the rear passengers now get a screen mounted to the back of the center armrest. Rear passengers can use it to watch movies and series, or even play games. In the front, you'll still find Tesla's minimalist dash design, but the large tablet infotainment system is now mounted horizontally. This opens up space beneath for two smartphones that can be wirelessly connected. The old digital instrument cluster has been ditched in favor of a sleeker interface. In terms of design, the new interior looks like it was though up by the person with the thinnest spectacles at Ikea. Finally, and most controversially, is the new steering wheel. Tesla though a steering square with the top half removed would be cool. This particular feature was either designed by a massive Knight Rider fan or somebody who wanted to incorporate some Formula One into the cockpit.

Pros and Cons

  • Exhilaratingly fast
  • Unprecedented all-electric range
  • Commodious and high-tech interior
  • Comprehensive driver-assist suite
  • Best possible official safety rating
  • EV competitors are quickly catching up
  • Still no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
  • Service network is inconveniently scant
  • Polarizing new steering wheel design

Best Deals on 2021 Tesla Model S

2021 Tesla Model S Trims and Prices

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Long Range Plus
Single Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
Long Range
Single Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive

Model S Exterior

2021 Tesla Model S Front View Driving Tesla
2021 Tesla Model S Driving Front Angle Tesla
2021 Tesla Model S Driving Front Angle 1 Tesla
See All 2021 Tesla Model S Exterior Photos


  • Length 196.0 in
  • Wheelbase 116.5 in
  • Height 56.9 in
  • Max Width 77.3 in
  • Front Width 65.4 in
  • Rear Width 66.9 in
  • Curb Weight 4,883.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Midnight Silver Metallic +$1,500
  • Deep Blue Metallic +$1,500
  • Solid Black +$1,500
  • Red Multi-Coat +$2,500
  • Pearl White Multi-Coat

Model S Performance

2021 Tesla Model S Side View Driving Tesla
2021 Tesla Model S Side Perspective Driving Tesla
2021 Tesla Model S Infotainment System Tesla

Engine and Transmission

Performance from electric cars is phenomenal and often times very entertaining, but it can be difficult to describe to anyone that hasn't driven one, as their power responses are conveyed in a completely different manner to how they are in combustion engine-powered cars. Motivating the Model S Long Range are two synchronous magnet electric motors - one positioned up front and one at the rear - that are supplied by a floor-mounted battery. A total of 670 hp is ceded from the Tesla's electric motors through a single-speed automatic transmission to the Tesla's simulated all-wheel drivetrain. This setup results in a 0-60 mph sprint time of 3.1 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph. Charging the Model S sedan on one of Tesla's home Wall Connectors can take from six to 15 hours, depending on the outlet.

  • Engine
  • Transmission
    Single Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain

Model S Gas Mileage

  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 121/112 mpg
* 2021 Tesla Model S Long Range Plus AWD

Model S Interior

2021 Tesla Model S Dashboard Tesla
2021 Tesla Model S Sunroof Tesla
2021 Tesla Model S Back Seats Tesla
See All 2021 Tesla Model S Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 42.7 in
  • Front Head Room 38.8 in
  • Rear Leg Room 35.4 in
  • Rear Head Room 35.3 in

Model S Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Tesla Model S Maximum Trunk Space Tesla
2021 Tesla Model S Screen Tesla
2021 Tesla Model S Cup Holder Tesla
  • Maximum Cargo Space
    58.1 ft³

Model S Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    8 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Corrosion:
    12 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

  • Rollover Rating

Verdict: ๐ŸIs the 2021 Tesla Model S a good Sedan?

When it comes to EV performance, the Tesla Model S sedan remains the unprecedented leader in speed and range with its 3.1 second 0 to 60 mph sprint time and 412 miles of successive driving range. It looks, feels, and truly seems like a car from the future with its eye-catching, novel design aesthetic and high-tech minimalistic interior. Its intelligent design has also earned it some of the best safety reviews in America, and its pioneering skateboard infrastructure has bestowed it with once unimaginable qualities that benefit both its performance and its passenger comfort. The Tesla Model S is a special car, but the new yoke steering wheel looks a bit pretentious and gimmicky, though no fanboy will admit this. Tesla's second-rate build quality is evident in the Model S, too, as it is in all of the company's vehicles. But as time goes by, the Model S, in particular, has been maintaining a fairly decent reliability record. Tesla offers the 2021 Model S sedan at a price of $79,990, which is quite a lot for a 4-door sedan. Even so, it's the best EV money can buy in the USA and still a little more affordable than its ankle biting rivals.

๐Ÿš—What Tesla Model S Model Should I Buy?

You don't get much choice with the latest iteration of the 2021 Tesla Model S, being that it's presented as a standalone model. There aren't many options or packages available for the Model S either. It looks striking in any of the five exterior colors it's offered in, but we'd stick with the Black and White cabin, as it complements the futuristic aesthetic. We'd certainly opt-in the Full Self-Driving Capability for the bragging rights and significant increase in convenience and safety. If you'd like to get behind the wheel of the fastest electric vehicle in the world, the Model S Plaid will teleport you from 0 to 60 mph in around just 1.99 seconds, according to Tesla, and up to a top speed of 200mph.

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