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Car Review

2014 Tesla Model S: Overview

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author photo by Doug DeMuro

Pros: Handsome styling; exceptional range; great power; neat center controls; excellent crash-test scores 

Cons: Seats feel a little flimsy; center controls can be distracting 

What's New: Tesla doesn't really bother with model years, preferring instead to make changes as they're needed. So while the 2014 Model S is relatively similar to last year's model, revisions could still be coming in the future. 

The 2014 Tesla Model S is a full-size luxury sedan that's taking the automotive world by storm. There are many reasons for its success: an alternative powertrain, handsome styling, a unique interior and thrill-seeking luxury-sedan buyers eager to try out the latest and greatest technology. Each factor has combined to make the Model S one of the most sought-after cars on the market. 

Under the hood of the Model S, you'll actually find a trunk, one of two in the sedan. (The other more traditional trunk is located in back, under a power-operated tailgate.) The reason is that the Model S is powered not by a gasoline engine but rather by electric batteries located near the bottom of the sedan. Drivers can choose from two versions: a 60-kWh model with 302 horsepower and an 85-kWh model with 362 hp. Both can reach 60 miles per hour in under six seconds. 

Drivers who choose the 60-kWh model will spend about $71,000 with shipping before options, though Tesla says there's a 2-month wait for delivery. Standard features include xenon headlights, 19-inch alloy wheels, a huge 17-in center-mounted touchscreen, Wi-Fi connectivity, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, heated front seats, power front seats and cruise control. 

Step up to the 85-kWh model (dubbed the Performance) and you'll spend about $91,000 before options. The 85-kWh model boasts just one extra standard feature: the Supercharger Enabled package, which allows drivers to use Tesla's nationwide supercharger network for fast charging. The package is optional on the 60-kWh model. Other options on both models include a panoramic sunroof, heated rear seats, leather upholstery, front and rear parking sensors, larger wheels and tires, air suspension and a rear-facing third row that brings seating capacity to seven. 

Of course, the biggest selling point for the 2014 Tesla Model S is its range. The 60-kWh model can travel around 215 miles between charges, which is a far greater distance than any EV competitor. Step up to the 85-kWh model and you'll see that figure increase to around 280 miles. 

While every Model S is a rear-wheel-drive sedan, many industry insiders expect the brand to expand its lineup shortly. All-wheel drive could be in the cards, while a Model X crossover is expected to debut later this year.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.