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2018 Tesla Model S: Overview

What’s New For 2018?

The most significant upgrade to the 2018 Tesla Model S is the inclusion of all-wheel drive as standard equipment. The model range begins with the S 75D that comes with a 75 kWh battery pack. The S 100D features a 100 kWh battery pack, while the S P100D features the same 100 kWh pack, but with a more powerful electric rear motor. Unlimited free supercharging is no longer offered, reduced to 400 kWh per year.

What We Like

Exceptional range; great power; neat touchscreen; excellent crash-test scores

What We Don’t

Design is aging rapidly; some flimsy controls; seats aren’t very comfortable

Overview

The 2018 Tesla Model S is a fully electric luxury sedan that continues to captivate automotive and technology enthusiasts alike. There are many reasons for the Model S’ success — including its thrilling performance, its amazing electric range and its impressive technology, which is based around a huge central touchscreen. It’s no wonder why thrill-seeking luxury-sedan buyers are eager to try it out.

Under the Model S’ hood, you’ll actually find a trunk. That’s because the Model S is powered not by a gasoline engine but rather by electric batteries located near the bottom of the sedan. The other, more traditional trunk is located in back, under a power-operated tailgate.

Drivers can choose from three versions. The base model is dubbed the “75D” and starts around $75,700, while the 100D starts closer to $95,200. Both cars feature one 259-horsepower electric motor at each axle for a combined output of 518 hp. With its Insane and Ludicrous modes, the top of the Model S heap is the high-performance P100D, which boasts around 762 hp, can accelerate from zero to 60 in 2.5 seconds and costs around $136,200. These prices include the $1,200 destination fee but exclude any federal or state tax credits.

Of course, options increase the cost beyond those prices. Depending on the model you choose, you might pay $5,000 for Tesla’s “Premium Upgrades Package,” which includes additional lighting, improved interior trim, 11-speaker audio upgrade, a HEPA air filtration system, heated seats and steering wheel, heated washer nozzles plus heated wiper blade defrosters. The brand’s enhanced autopilot system is $6,000 extra, while “full self-driving capability” is an extra $4,000. Rear-facing seats will run you an additional $4,000. Other options include a panoramic glass roof, full Nappa leather seating and SiriusXM satellite radio.

Overall, however, the biggest selling point for the 2018 Tesla Model S is its range. The base-level 75-kWh model can travel around 250 miles of range, while the 100D can reach 335 miles — more than any other electric vehicle. The high-performance P100D can hit 315 miles on a single charge.

Best Deals on a 2018 Tesla Model S for the Month of October

Considering buying a pre-owned 2018 Tesla Model S? You’d be making a smart choice, as 2018 was the year all-wheel drive and the 75-kWh system became standard.

If you’ve never shopped for a used Tesla before, there are only two ways to get one, and only one offers you the ability to negotiate a price. A private party sale allows you to make an offer lower than the owner’s asking price. Buying through Tesla’s online website does not.

A private party sale does not include any additional warranty beyond the original new car limited warranty and 8-year/150,000-mile battery and powertrain warranty that came with the car. Buying a used Model S through Tesla gets you a 70-point inspection and, on a car with less than 50,000 miles and no older than 4 years, a 4-year/50,000 mile limited warranty starting from the date the car is delivered to you.

So you can see there are advantages and disadvantages to both. If you’re sure a potential Model S has no hidden surprises like accidents or faulty systems, then a private party sale is a pretty safe bet. Otherwise, we’d opt for buying from Tesla due to the inspection and added coverage.

The best deals in brief

  • A used Model S doesn’t offer any kind of Certified Pre-Owned program, but unlike most CPO programs, the warranty period on a used Tesla takes effect from the time you take delivery, not the date the vehicle was first placed in service.
  • Used Model S up to 4 years old and with less than 50,000 miles gets a 4-year/50,000-mile limited warranty and the duration of its 8-year/150,000- mile battery and drivetrain warranty.
  • Used Model S older than 4 years but less than 6 with no more than 100,000 miles gets a 2-year/100,000-mile limited warranty from the date of delivery.
  • 70-point inspection

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Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo is a longtime contributor who started in the industry writing competitive comparison books for a number of manufacturers, before moving on in 2002 to become a freelance automotive journalist. He’s well regarded for his keen eye for detail, as well as his ability to translate complex mechanical terminology into user-friendly explanations. Joe has worked for a number of outlets as both a writer and editor. When not test driving new cars, he’s busy driving and restoring large vintage 1970s-era American cars.

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