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The 2021 Tesla Model S is an all-electric sedan that sits at the top of the automaker's lineup. The Model S might be the oldest vehicle Tesla currently sells, but it's still desirable thanks to robust performance as well as unparalleled all-electric range. Currently, the Model S Long Range boasts an estimated 412 miles, which is the most from any EV on the market.

There's also the upcoming Tesla Model S Plaid. The Plaid, which presumably gets its name from an obscure Spaceballs movie reference, will gain an additional electric motor, for a total of three. The automaker is touting an output of 1,002 horsepower and a 0-60 mph time of 2 seconds. Also on tap for 2021 is an updated interior. It features a new horizontally oriented touchscreen, which is the style Tesla implemented on its Model 3 and Y. There's also an additional dash-mounted driver information display above the steering wheel and an entertainment display for rear passengers. A new steering wheel design is also raising some eyebrows — it's styled to look like an aircraft's flight yoke or, perhaps more whimsically, the twin-grip design from Knight Rider's KITT. It's unclear whether this design is fully approved for production, however.

So is the updated Model S one of the best EVs around for 2021? We'd say so. Read our Expert Rating of the Tesla Model S for our in-depth evaluation.

","datePublished":"2021-01-19T12:00:00","description":"Review, Pricing, and Specs","headline":"2021 Tesla Model S","thumbnailURL":"https://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/tesla/model-s/2021/oem/2021_tesla_model-s_sedan_plaidplus_fq_oem_3_175.jpg","publisher":{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"Organization","name":"Edmunds","logo":{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"ImageObject","url":"https://static.ed.edmunds-media.com/unversioned/images/logos/edmunds-logo-200x200.png","width":200,"height":200}},"author":{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"Person","name":"Travis Langness","jobTitle":"Reviews Editor","image":"https://static.ed.edmunds-media.com/unversioned/img/about/editorial-photos/team/travis-langness1.jpg","url":"https://www.edmunds.com/about/authors/travis-langness.html","worksFor":{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"Organization","name":"Edmunds","logo":{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"ImageObject","url":"https://static.ed.edmunds-media.com/unversioned/images/logos/edmunds-logo-200x200.png","width":200,"height":200}}},"reviewRating":{"@type":"Rating","ratingValue":"8.1","bestRating":10,"worstRating":1}}},{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"ImageObject","contentUrl":"https://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/tesla/model-s/2021/oem/2021_tesla_model-s_sedan_plaidplus_fq_oem_3_500.jpg","url":"https://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/tesla/model-s/2021/oem/2021_tesla_model-s_sedan_plaidplus_fq_oem_3_500.jpg","name":"2021 Tesla Model S","author":{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"Organization","name":"Edmunds","logo":{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"ImageObject","url":"https://static.ed.edmunds-media.com/unversioned/images/logos/edmunds-logo-200x200.png","width":200,"height":200}}},{"@context":"https://schema.org","@type":"VideoObject","description":"Edmunds' Elana Scherr lists the best muscle cars of 2020, including American muscle cars and other, more unusual choices. She also explains what makes a classic muscle car and gives her Top 10 picks for the best modern muscle cars on sale.","name":"Best Muscle Cars — Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang, But What Else?","transcript":"ELANA SCHERR: Everybody on my Instagram is posting push-up challenges right now. Don't worry. You are not going to get any exercise posts from me. But that doesn't mean I'm not interested in building muscle. I just prefer burnouts to pull-ups. Then there's going to be giant burnout. This is going to be great. \n\n[TIRES SCREECHING] \n\nThe term muscle car came about in the late '60s and early '70s, but you don't have to have a classic car to flex your muscle. This is my top 10 list of modern muscle cars. \n\n[MUSIC PLAYING] \n\nOh, we need rules. If we're doing this, we need rules, right? OK. Horsepower divided by torque with cylinders-- how many, eight? American, four doors, two doors? Could be all-wheel drive. How long a burnout versus how fast? This is hard. \n\nIn the old days, a muscle car was an American car company's most powerful engine in its sportiest mid-sized car. Think GTO, Hemi Charger, Big Block Chevelle. Then there were the pony cars, which is where you'd get your Challengers, Camaros, Mustangs, AMC, AMXs. Following those rules now would mean that this entire list would be nothing but Camaro, Challenger, and Mustang in various trim levels from base V8 to top of the line-- all great cars, but kind of a boring video. So I opened up the definition to all makes and models. \n\nThese are my only criteria. Number one, it's available now or it was within the last couple of years. Number two, it's one of the most powerful cars made by the company, and driving it will make you laugh. I expect this list is going to make you very angry. Heck, it made me angry, and I wrote it. Let's get to it. \n\n[MUSIC PLAYING] \n\nNumber 10, Tesla Model S Performance. Are you mad yet? OK, well, half of you get to commenting about how it's totally unacceptable for Tesla to be on a muscle car list, and the other half of you get to commenting about how it's totally unacceptable for it not to be number one on the muscle car list. Let me just tell you why I picked it and put it where it is-- so freaking fast. \n\nSure, no V8 engine, no engine at all, but the Tesla's performance is out of this world. And it has a lot of kind of trick options for showing off, which is very muscle car era. It has a 0 to 60 time of 2.4 seconds. That's half, half of what it took a classic muscle car. Modern times, modern muscle. \n\nSo why isn't the Tesla higher on the list? Well, first of all, price. It's $100,000 for the fastest one. And I don't think a muscle car has to be cheap necessarily, but it should be cheaper than that. \n\nMostly, though, it's about sound. Sound is a really important part of the muscle car experience, and the Tesla just doesn't do it for me. Sorry. \n\n[MUSIC PLAYING] \n\nNumber nine, BMW M8. Did I just say that price was a factor and then pick a car that cost $133,000? Yes, yes, I did. But blame Mark Takahashi. My BMW pick was the M5, which is also a 600-horsepower bruiser, but cost about $30,000 less. \n\nThen Mark came in, and he was like, no, M8 because it's a two door. It's more muscly. And you know, I just didn't have the energy to fight with him. \n\nI think he could take me, really. Think he could kick my ass. Point is, BMW makes some monster muscle. And the all-wheel drive M8 has a rear wheel drive mode so you can kick out the back end and do those very important burnouts. \n\n[MUSIC PLAYING] \n\nNumber eight, Nissan GT-R. Why is the GT-R on this list? Well, it is brutally, stupidly fast. It has a 0 to 60 time that competes with the Tesla, and it can do it all day long. Plus, it's kind of unexpected in Nissan's lineup. It's funny to look back at the early days of Pontiac and Chrysler and realize how stodgy those brands were, and then bam, GTO. \n\nThe GT-R is kind of Nissan's version of that. Why is it back at number eight? Well, the price, over $100,000. And it's a V6. Yes, it's a nearly 600-horsepower V6, but still it is missing some cylinders. Got to be a V8, new rule that I just made up right now. \n\n[MUSIC PLAYING] \n\nNumber seven, Mercedes AMG E63 and the Audi S8. Yep, it's a tie. It's a tie of two cars that at first glance shouldn't even be on this list, but hear me out. It's a tie because both the Mercedes and the Audi are nearly 600 horsepower. The AMG is a little bit over, and the S8's a little bit under. Both are surprisingly fast, faster than anything that big has a right to be. \n\nWhy are big luxury cars on my muscle car list? Again, if we go back to the muscle car era, the big engines came out of big cars. And the Chrysler 300 and huge cube Cadillacs were surprisingly powerful. Also, a lot of the popular cars like, say, Plymouth Roadrunner were available in wagon form like the Mercedes is. So you could get a big engine in an unexpected body, and that makes it a sleeper, which everyone knows is the coolest relative of the muscle car. \n\nThis is an '81 Trans Am, so it made about 200 horsepower. It's not really impressive compared to the classic muscle cars. Made about 400. But in '81, there wasn't much that was making more. So I'm going to say '81 Turbo Trans Am, still a muscle car-- just little muscle. Number six, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. \n\n[DOG BARKS] \n\nYeah, you heard me. \n\n[MUSIC PLAYING] \n\nThe Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is powered by the same engine that Dodge put in the Charger and Challenger-- 700 horsepower, 6.2-liter Hemi. So yeah, it is an SUV, but I mean, with all that horsepower and kind of a low stance, it's not really an off-roader. So if it isn't a muscle car, what is it? \n\nI'm making a new rule. Anything with a Hellcat engine is a muscle car. But nothing with four doors can be in the top three. Is that OK? Is that OK with you? Yeah? Going to be all right? He says it's OK. \n\nNumber five is the Lexus RC F. It's the least horsepower on this list, with a 5 liter making 472 horses. What a world we live in when nearly 500 horsepower isn't bragworthy. \n\nThe Lexus is on our list because it looks so muscly, with a long hood, and a short deck, and rear wheel drive, two doors. Plus, if you pay more, you can get a wing. And nothing is more muscly than a wing. Just ask anyone with a Plymouth Superbird. \n\n[MUSIC PLAYING] \n\nNumber four Dodge Hellcat Charger. Dang those pesky rear doors. The Charger has the distinction of being the only car on our list to have been an actual muscle car by the strictest standards. Dodge introduced the Charger in 1966 and redesigned it in 1968 to the more famous Coke bottle design. \n\nIn my opinion, that second-generation Charger is one of the prettiest American cars ever made. And it's also a very famous design. Seen it in movies like Bullet and Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry. \n\nIt's also in a TV show. What was it called? Um-- Dukes of Hazzard? I don't know. I never heard of it. Today's Charger has too many doors to crack the top three-- see the rule that I made during number six-- but it's one of the best all-around cars on our list, impressive even in 392 trim and downright remarkable as a Hellcat. \n\n[MUSIC PLAYING] \n\nOnto the pony cars. I wish I could declare a three-way tie for the top three because each one is good in a different muscular way. At number three is the Chevy Camaro, obviously ZL1 because it's top dog with 650 horsepower. But a Camaro SS still lifts plenty of weight. The reason the Camaro isn't higher on the list is because the back seat is small, and visibility is bad. And those are sports car attributes. A proper muscle car shouldn't feel cramped. \n\nNumber two is the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye. With two doors and a couple of variants of the incredible Hellcat engine, what else could it be but the Dodge Challenger? I mean, Redeye gets the pick because 797 horses. But the 717 horse regular Hellcat is no slouch, nor for that matter is the 392, the 485 horses. \n\nThe Challenger is the closest to a traditional muscle car on our list despite being based on a pony car design. It's roomy, comfortable, and happiest in a straight line rather than a corkscrew. That said, all the cars on this list are astonishing performers on a road course, as well as a drag strip. There's just no room for one-trick ponies anymore. \n\n[MUSIC PLAYING] \n\nAnd here we are, number one, the car that put the pony in pony cars, the Ford Mustang. For maximum muscle, we're going to go with the GT500 with its 760 horsepower and 11-second quarter mile times. But like the others in the top three, the base GT is good too, everything a muscle car needs-- horsepower, style, legacy, the ability to make you look powerful even if you've never seen the inside of a gym. That's why it's our number one. \n\nIf you want more details on exactly why the top three ended up in the order that they did, watch our previous muscle car comparison from back in the days when we were all allowed to hang out together and go to race tracks. Oh my god, that was hard. I hate top 10 lists. I'm going to go online and start arguing with myself. You should too. Tell me what you'd put on your top 10 list. \n\n[REVVING]","thumbnailUrl":"https://media.ed.edmunds-media.com/ford/shelby-gt500/2020/ot/2020_ford_shelby-gt500_actburn_ot_51820_175.jpg","contentUrl":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaJKztA0bF0","uploadDate":"2020-05-18"}]

2021 Tesla Model S

MSRP range: $79,990 - $149,990
MSRP
$81,190
Edmunds suggests you pay
$81,190

Choose the trim, color, options, packages and more for your 2021 Tesla Model S.
Build and Price

2021 Tesla Model S Review

  • Electric range is impressive
  • Wicked quick acceleration across the board
  • Liftback design affords abundant cargo space
  • Access to Tesla's extensive Supercharger network
  • Lacks the luxury polish of some similarly priced sedans
  • Small dealer network means few service centers nationwide
  • No Apple CarPlay, Android Auto or similar smartphone integration
  • Revised model lineup
  • New ultra-performance Plaid version on the way for late 2021
  • Updated interior with horizontal-oriented touchscreen
  • New driver information display and rear-passenger entertainment display
  • Part of the first Model S generation introduced for 2012
  • The 2021 Tesla Model S is an all-electric sedan that sits at the top of the automaker's lineup. The Model S might be the oldest vehicle Tesla currently sells, but it's still desirable thanks to robust performance as well as unparalleled all-electric range. Currently, the Model S Long Range boasts an estimated 412 miles, which is the most from any EV on the market.

    There's also the upcoming Tesla Model S Plaid. The Plaid, which presumably gets its name from an obscure Spaceballs movie reference, will gain an additional electric motor, for a total of three. The automaker is touting an output of 1,002 horsepower and a 0-60 mph time of 2 seconds. Also on tap for 2021 is an updated interior. It features a new horizontally oriented touchscreen, which is the style Tesla implemented on its Model 3 and Y. There's also an additional dash-mounted driver information display above the steering wheel and an entertainment display for rear passengers. A new steering wheel design is also raising some eyebrows — it's styled to look like an aircraft's flight yoke or, perhaps more whimsically, the twin-grip design from Knight Rider's KITT. It's unclear whether this design is fully approved for production, however.

    So is the updated Model S one of the best EVs around for 2021? We'd say so. Read our Expert Rating of the Tesla Model S for our in-depth evaluation.

    EdmundsEdmunds' Expert Rating
    Rated for you by America’s best test team
    The Tesla Model S has improved with age, with more range and performance than the car that debuted in 2012, plus vastly improved build quality. The hatchback form means it's plenty practical, and access to Tesla's Supercharger network should help alleviate any range anxiety and make road trips possible. It's not all rosy, though. While Autopilot remains one of the best suite of driver aids around, the in-car tech and control scheme are frustrating and distracting to use.
    The Tesla Model S Performance is comically quick. Its 0-60 mph time of 2.9 seconds shames nearly every other production car on sale today, or ever, really. Thanks to the electric powertrain and lack of transmission, acceleration is smooth and seamless. Whether you're passing on the highway or squeezing into a small gap on surface streets, the Model S delivers. The brakes are fairly impressive too, with plenty of stopping power and the ability to slow to a stop solely with regenerative braking (one-pedal driving).

    We do wish the handling could match the Tesla's straight-line performance. The steering feels loose and sloppy on center, so it feels a bit unstable at full throttle when the weight shifts rearward. The Model S has plenty of grip, so you can race through corners with speed, but the suspension doesn't feel totally buttoned-down and the car's weight becomes more apparent.
    As with the rest of Tesla's lineup, the Model S has improved immensely over the past few years in terms of comfort and quality. The seats look a little flat, but they're soft and supportive, even after a full day of driving. They don't breathe well, though, and can get a little warm on sunny days. The rear seats are also more comfortable than they appear.

    The ride quality has improved too, and it's much better at tuning out imperfections on the road. The ride was impressive even with our test car's 21-inch wheels. It's not perfect — the Model S crashed over some bumps rather than tuning them out — but it feels good for what we expect from this class. The Model S is fairly quiet, though we found the wind and road noise on the highway louder than in some gas-powered cars.
    Almost all major controls are tied to the massive touchscreen display that takes up the entire center of the dashboard. While it does make for a clean design, it can be frustrating and confusing if you aren't familiar with the menus. Simple tasks such as setting the cruise control or checking the tire pressures requires searching through the digital manual, and other controls mean taking your eyes off the road far too often.

    That said, the rest of the interior is pretty good. The doors open wide enough to make getting in and out fairly easy, and once you're situated it's easy to find a comfortable position. It's relatively roomy up front, but the back seat has less headroom than you'll find in the smaller Model 3 sedan. Visibility is good thanks to a relatively low hood, but the rear window is narrow and feels positioned too high.
    Tesla's Autopilot driver aid system is one of the best on sale today. It's smooth in operation, and it's easy to adjust braking sensitivity or the gap between cars when using cruise control. It also doesn't play Pong between the lane lines like some less sophisticated systems.

    The navigation system is simple and easy to use, and the massive Google-based map provides plenty of detail. Voice commands are limited in scope, but what's there works well. Our biggest knock: device integration. Tesla enjoys doing its own thing, so there's no support for Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. The only way to play stuff from your phone is through Bluetooth. On-screen controls are limited too, and the audio system is just good but not up to the level of the class leaders.

    One of Tesla's most significant innovations, and a big selling point for many buyers, is the capability to update their cars over the air, adding features or improving performance and efficiency. Other manufacturers are beginning to follow suit, but Tesla pioneered the concept.
    Despite what it may appear to be, the Tesla Model S is actually a hatchback. That means there's tons of rear cargo space that's easy to access and take advantage of. It features far more cargo space than many rivals, EV or not. The split rear seats fold flat, opening up the space even more. Storage up front isn't so great, and we'd prefer a better alternative to Tesla's solution of making the center console one big bin with adjustable dividers. The lack of door pockets means everything goes in the center, and small items can get lost.

    Getting a car seat in and out is relatively easy. The doors open wide, and the anchors are fairly accessible. The lack of headroom might be a bit of an issue when installing a seat.
    The 2020 model year car Model S Performance we tested was equipped with 21-inch wheels, giving it an EPA-estimated range of 326 miles at 35 kWh/100 miles. In Edmunds' real-world range testing, we came up a little short of the EPA estimates, managing 318 miles on a single max battery charge with a slightly more efficient consumption rate of 32.6 kWh/100 miles. That's more range than most EVs we've tested. Still, it fell short of the Porsche Taycan 4S we drove that had a significantly lower EPA rating.
    Tesla has improved its build quality immensely over the years, though it didn't have anywhere to go but up. We think it still falls short of the class leaders and other luxury cars at this price, but the flaws in the paint, trim and bodywork have been greatly reduced. The Model S offers a lot of performance and range for the money, but the interior isn't as nice or premium as those of other cars in this class or at this price point.

    Access to Tesla's vast Supercharger network is one of the best parts of Tesla ownership. It should help relieve much range anxiety and can allow you to take the Model S across the country on most major highways without worrying about finding a charging station. The basic warranty is four years/50,000 miles, which is about average in this luxury EV segment. The powertrain and battery are covered for eight years/120,000 miles.
    Anything with this much power is fun, and the fact that the power is backed up by sharp looks and competent handling only makes things better. There's no gap too small or highway on-ramp too short for the Model S, even the non-performance models. It's not quite as sharp to drive as the Porsche Taycan, but it's still plenty entertaining.

    The design has held up well too, and there's almost a subtlety to the Model S at this point. Even the performance models don't shout in your face like some German performance cars do.

    Which Model S does Edmunds recommend?

    Picking a Model S is pretty easy because of the simplified model lineup. The Long Range should work out best for most buyers. Should you get the Full Self Driving capability option? Probably, but just know that a lot of its automated driving features aren't enabled yet, and there's no guarantee on when (or if) that will actually happen. If you want sheer face-shattering performance, go for the Plaid trim level.

    Tesla Model S models

    The 2021 Tesla Model S is a five-passenger electric luxury sedan. Only one trim is currently available: Long Range. Previously, Tesla offered a Performance trim but phased it out in favor of the new Plaid trim level, with significantly more power and longer range.

    The Long Range and Performance trims both use the same 100-kWh battery pack and come standard with all-wheel drive. The Plaid is rumored to use Tesla's new 4680 structural battery design and employ three electric motors, also paired with all-wheel drive.

    Be aware that Tesla updates the Model S on an ongoing basis rather than by model year, so additional changes may occur throughout 2021.

    Long Range
    Standard features include:

  • 412 miles of EV range
  • Touted 0-60 mph acceleration of 3.1 seconds
  • Adaptive air suspension
  • LED headlights and foglights
  • Tinted glass roof
  • Power liftgate
  • Heated front- and second-row seats
  • 22-speaker sound system
  • Power-adjustable, heated steering wheel
  • 17-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation system
  • Driver information display
  • Rear seat entertainment display with gaming computer
  • Wireless smartphone charging pad
  • Every Model S also comes with a suite of safety systems that Tesla calls Autopilot. It includes:

  • Front and rear parking sensors (alert you to obstacles that may not be visible in front of or behind the vehicle when parking)
  • Blind-spot monitor (alerts you if a vehicle in the next lane over is in your blind spot)
  • Lane departure warning (alerts you if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane)
  • Lane keeping system (makes minor steering corrections to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane)
  • Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the Tesla and the car in front)
  • Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
  • Plaid
    Tesla's top trim level, the Plaid gets maximum performance via an upgraded battery system and an additional motor. While complete details haven't been confirmed yet, Tesla says that the Plaid trim level will have 1,002 horsepower, a 0-60 mph time of 2.0 seconds, and provide 390 miles of range.

    The so-called Full Self-Driving Capability option is available on all trims. It adds nifty semi-automated driving features, including automated parking and the ability to change lanes simply by flicking the turn signal. It also adds the Summon feature, which Tesla says enables the vehicle to drive unmanned to its owner in a parking lot. Tesla also says the Full Self-Driving Capability feature will gain additional automated driving capabilities in the future via over-the-air updates.

    Larger 21-inch wheels are optional, though adding them reduces vehicle range slightly.

    ELANA SCHERR: Everybody on my Instagram is posting push-up challenges right now. Don't worry. You are not going to get any exercise posts from me. But that doesn't mean I'm not interested in building muscle. I just prefer burnouts to pull-ups. Then there's going to be giant burnout. This is going to be great. [TIRES SCREECHING] The term muscle car came about in the late '60s and early '70s, but you don't have to have a classic car to flex your muscle. This is my top 10 list of modern muscle cars. [MUSIC PLAYING] Oh, we need rules. If we're doing this, we need rules, right? OK. Horsepower divided by torque with cylinders-- how many, eight? American, four doors, two doors? Could be all-wheel drive. How long a burnout versus how fast? This is hard. In the old days, a muscle car was an American car company's most powerful engine in its sportiest mid-sized car. Think GTO, Hemi Charger, Big Block Chevelle. Then there were the pony cars, which is where you'd get your Challengers, Camaros, Mustangs, AMC, AMXs. Following those rules now would mean that this entire list would be nothing but Camaro, Challenger, and Mustang in various trim levels from base V8 to top of the line-- all great cars, but kind of a boring video. So I opened up the definition to all makes and models. These are my only criteria. Number one, it's available now or it was within the last couple of years. Number two, it's one of the most powerful cars made by the company, and driving it will make you laugh. I expect this list is going to make you very angry. Heck, it made me angry, and I wrote it. Let's get to it. [MUSIC PLAYING] Number 10, Tesla Model S Performance. Are you mad yet? OK, well, half of you get to commenting about how it's totally unacceptable for Tesla to be on a muscle car list, and the other half of you get to commenting about how it's totally unacceptable for it not to be number one on the muscle car list. Let me just tell you why I picked it and put it where it is-- so freaking fast. Sure, no V8 engine, no engine at all, but the Tesla's performance is out of this world. And it has a lot of kind of trick options for showing off, which is very muscle car era. It has a 0 to 60 time of 2.4 seconds. That's half, half of what it took a classic muscle car. Modern times, modern muscle. So why isn't the Tesla higher on the list? Well, first of all, price. It's $100,000 for the fastest one. And I don't think a muscle car has to be cheap necessarily, but it should be cheaper than that. Mostly, though, it's about sound. Sound is a really important part of the muscle car experience, and the Tesla just doesn't do it for me. Sorry. [MUSIC PLAYING] Number nine, BMW M8. Did I just say that price was a factor and then pick a car that cost $133,000? Yes, yes, I did. But blame Mark Takahashi. My BMW pick was the M5, which is also a 600-horsepower bruiser, but cost about $30,000 less. Then Mark came in, and he was like, no, M8 because it's a two door. It's more muscly. And you know, I just didn't have the energy to fight with him. I think he could take me, really. Think he could kick my ass. Point is, BMW makes some monster muscle. And the all-wheel drive M8 has a rear wheel drive mode so you can kick out the back end and do those very important burnouts. [MUSIC PLAYING] Number eight, Nissan GT-R. Why is the GT-R on this list? Well, it is brutally, stupidly fast. It has a 0 to 60 time that competes with the Tesla, and it can do it all day long. Plus, it's kind of unexpected in Nissan's lineup. It's funny to look back at the early days of Pontiac and Chrysler and realize how stodgy those brands were, and then bam, GTO. The GT-R is kind of Nissan's version of that. Why is it back at number eight? Well, the price, over $100,000. And it's a V6. Yes, it's a nearly 600-horsepower V6, but still it is missing some cylinders. Got to be a V8, new rule that I just made up right now. [MUSIC PLAYING] Number seven, Mercedes AMG E63 and the Audi S8. Yep, it's a tie. It's a tie of two cars that at first glance shouldn't even be on this list, but hear me out. It's a tie because both the Mercedes and the Audi are nearly 600 horsepower. The AMG is a little bit over, and the S8's a little bit under. Both are surprisingly fast, faster than anything that big has a right to be. Why are big luxury cars on my muscle car list? Again, if we go back to the muscle car era, the big engines came out of big cars. And the Chrysler 300 and huge cube Cadillacs were surprisingly powerful. Also, a lot of the popular cars like, say, Plymouth Roadrunner were available in wagon form like the Mercedes is. So you could get a big engine in an unexpected body, and that makes it a sleeper, which everyone knows is the coolest relative of the muscle car. This is an '81 Trans Am, so it made about 200 horsepower. It's not really impressive compared to the classic muscle cars. Made about 400. But in '81, there wasn't much that was making more. So I'm going to say '81 Turbo Trans Am, still a muscle car-- just little muscle. Number six, the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. [DOG BARKS] Yeah, you heard me. [MUSIC PLAYING] The Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk is powered by the same engine that Dodge put in the Charger and Challenger-- 700 horsepower, 6.2-liter Hemi. So yeah, it is an SUV, but I mean, with all that horsepower and kind of a low stance, it's not really an off-roader. So if it isn't a muscle car, what is it? I'm making a new rule. Anything with a Hellcat engine is a muscle car. But nothing with four doors can be in the top three. Is that OK? Is that OK with you? Yeah? Going to be all right? He says it's OK. Number five is the Lexus RC F. It's the least horsepower on this list, with a 5 liter making 472 horses. What a world we live in when nearly 500 horsepower isn't bragworthy. The Lexus is on our list because it looks so muscly, with a long hood, and a short deck, and rear wheel drive, two doors. Plus, if you pay more, you can get a wing. And nothing is more muscly than a wing. Just ask anyone with a Plymouth Superbird. [MUSIC PLAYING] Number four Dodge Hellcat Charger. Dang those pesky rear doors. The Charger has the distinction of being the only car on our list to have been an actual muscle car by the strictest standards. Dodge introduced the Charger in 1966 and redesigned it in 1968 to the more famous Coke bottle design. In my opinion, that second-generation Charger is one of the prettiest American cars ever made. And it's also a very famous design. Seen it in movies like Bullet and Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry. It's also in a TV show. What was it called? Um-- Dukes of Hazzard? I don't know. I never heard of it. Today's Charger has too many doors to crack the top three-- see the rule that I made during number six-- but it's one of the best all-around cars on our list, impressive even in 392 trim and downright remarkable as a Hellcat. [MUSIC PLAYING] Onto the pony cars. I wish I could declare a three-way tie for the top three because each one is good in a different muscular way. At number three is the Chevy Camaro, obviously ZL1 because it's top dog with 650 horsepower. But a Camaro SS still lifts plenty of weight. The reason the Camaro isn't higher on the list is because the back seat is small, and visibility is bad. And those are sports car attributes. A proper muscle car shouldn't feel cramped. Number two is the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye. With two doors and a couple of variants of the incredible Hellcat engine, what else could it be but the Dodge Challenger? I mean, Redeye gets the pick because 797 horses. But the 717 horse regular Hellcat is no slouch, nor for that matter is the 392, the 485 horses. The Challenger is the closest to a traditional muscle car on our list despite being based on a pony car design. It's roomy, comfortable, and happiest in a straight line rather than a corkscrew. That said, all the cars on this list are astonishing performers on a road course, as well as a drag strip. There's just no room for one-trick ponies anymore. [MUSIC PLAYING] And here we are, number one, the car that put the pony in pony cars, the Ford Mustang. For maximum muscle, we're going to go with the GT500 with its 760 horsepower and 11-second quarter mile times. But like the others in the top three, the base GT is good too, everything a muscle car needs-- horsepower, style, legacy, the ability to make you look powerful even if you've never seen the inside of a gym. That's why it's our number one. If you want more details on exactly why the top three ended up in the order that they did, watch our previous muscle car comparison from back in the days when we were all allowed to hang out together and go to race tracks. Oh my god, that was hard. I hate top 10 lists. I'm going to go online and start arguing with myself. You should too. Tell me what you'd put on your top 10 list. [REVVING]

    Best Muscle Cars — Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang, But What Else?

    NOTE: This video is about the 2020 Tesla Model S, but since the 2021 Tesla Model S is part of the same generation, our earlier analysis still applies.

    Edmunds' Elana Scherr lists the best muscle cars of 2020, including American muscle cars and other, more unusual choices. She also explains what makes a classic muscle car and gives her Top 10 picks for the best modern muscle cars on sale.

    Features & Specs

    Base MSRP
    $79,990
    Battery & Range
    EPA KWh/100 mi.: N/A
    Time To Charge Battery (At 240V): N/A
    EPA Electricity Range: N/A
    Seating
    5 seats
    Drivetrain
    Type: all wheel drive
    Transmission: 1-speed direct drive
    Basic Warranty
    4 yr./ 50000 mi.
    Dimensions
    Length: N/A / Height: N/A / Width: N/A
    Curb Weight: 4561 lbs.
    Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 28.0 cu.ft.

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    Safety

    Our experts’ favorite Model S safety features:

    Autopilot
    Uses four cameras and a dozen sensors to monitor and improve safety and provide semi-automated operation in various driving situations.
    Automatic Emergency Braking
    Determines if a front collision is imminent and can initiate braking to prevent or mitigate a crash if the driver takes no action.
    Lane Departure Warning
    Warns the driver of an unintended lane change or drifting from the lane. Optional automated steering can steer the car back into the lane.


    Tesla Model S vs. the competition

    2021 Tesla Model S

    2021 Tesla Model S

    2020 Porsche Taycan

    2020 Porsche Taycan

    Tesla Model S vs. Porsche Taycan

    The Porsche Taycan is the closest competitor to the Model S, though its base price is significantly higher than that of a Long Range Plus Model S. Both sedans are fast and luxurious, but the Porsche has the edge when it comes to build quality and its interior is a bit more user-friendly. The Tesla Model S wins out on EPA-estimated range, but we've found the actual difference between the two cars in real-world range isn't as significant.

    Compare Tesla Model S & Porsche Taycan features 

    Tesla Model S vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E

    The Mach-E is one of our favorite new EVs thanks to its combination of performance, range and price. It's not the fastest, cheapest or the most efficient EV, but it performs well in all categories — and at the midlevel to high end of the Mach-E's range, the numbers stack up well against the Model S. Admittedly, the smaller and cheaper Tesla Model Y is a closer competitor to the Mach-E than the Model S is. But when performance versions of the Mach-E (like the upcoming GT) start hitting dealerships, these two EV heavyweights will make great rivals.

    Compare Tesla Model S & Ford Mustang Mach-E features 

    Tesla Model S vs. Polestar 2

    A bit smaller than the Model S, the Polestar 2 offers compact SUV-like practicality and quite a bit of luxury. Compared to the Model S, the Polestar 2 has a smaller trunk and a smaller passenger compartment. The Polestar's range maxes out at 233 miles, significantly less than the range on the Tesla, but it's also much less expensive, even compared to the least expensive version of the Model S.

    Compare Tesla Model S & Polestar 2 features 

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    Is the 2021 Tesla Model S a good car?

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    How much should I pay for a 2021 Tesla Model S?

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    Other versions include:

  • Plaid+ 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD) which starts at $149,990
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    More about the 2021 Tesla Model S

    2021 Tesla Model S Overview

    The 2021 Tesla Model S is offered in the following submodels: Model S Sedan, Model S Plaid. Available styles include Plaid+ 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD), Long Range 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD), and Plaid 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD). The 2021 Tesla Model S comes with all wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 1-speed direct drive.

    What do people think of the 2021 Tesla Model S?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Tesla Model S and all its trim types. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 Model S.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Tesla Model S and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 Model S featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

    Our Review Process

    This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

    We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

    What's a good price for a New 2021 Tesla Model S?

    2021 Tesla Model S Long Range 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD)

    2021 Tesla Model S Plaid 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD)

    2021 Tesla Model S Plaid+ 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD)

    Which 2021 Tesla Model SES are available in my area?

    Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Tesla Model S for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Tesla Model S.

    Can't find a new 2021 Tesla Model Ss you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

    Find a new Tesla for sale - 11 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $20,060.

    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

    What is the MPG of a 2021 Tesla Model S?

    2021 Tesla Model S Plaid+ 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD), 1-speed direct drive, electric fuel

    2021 Tesla Model S Long Range 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD), 1-speed direct drive, electric fuel

    2021 Tesla Model S Plaid 4dr Sedan AWD (electric DD), 1-speed direct drive, electric fuel

    EPA Est. MPG
    N/A
    Transmission
    1-speed direct drive
    Drive Train
    all wheel drive
    Displacement
    N/A
    Passenger Volume
    N/A
    Wheelbase
    116.5 in.
    Length
    N/A
    Width
    N/A
    Height
    N/A
    Curb Weight
    N/A

    Should I lease or buy a 2021 Tesla Model S?

    Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

    Check out Tesla lease specials