Pros: Handsome styling; cutting-edge interior includes enormous center screen; impressive performance beats many gas-powered cars
Cons: Not many Tesla dealers for service support; reliability is unknown; expensive pricing, especially for options
What's new: The 2013 Tesla Model S is an all-new, fully electric luxury sedan from Tesla, the California-based electric vehicle manufacturer who created the all-electric Roadster. Early Model S units were 2012 models. A base model with a smaller battery joined the lineup for 2013.
The Tesla Model S is a fully electric, 4-door sedan with a rear hatchback. All Model S sedans are rear-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive unavailable. The sedan's rear hatch opens to reveal a cargo area or two optional rear-facing seats that increase its seating capacity to seven.
The base-level Tesla Model S is powered by a 362-horsepower version of the sedan's electric motor. The Model S Performance has 416 hp. Also available is an upscale Model S Signature trim level. A 60 kWh lithium-ion battery is standard in the base model, while 85 kWh batteries are optional. The larger battery is standard on Performance models. The 60 kWh battery returns a range of just over 200 miles, while the 85 kWh battery can reach 265 miles on a single charge.
The 2013 Tesla Model S starts at just over $60,000 including shipping. The Model S Performance is over $95,000. Last year's limited-edition Model S Signature is no longer available. Each Model S features a large, center-mounted touchscreen with navigation and automatic climate control. Options include larger wheels and tires, a panoramic sunroof and a high-definition reversing camera.