Tesla Model S
(2012 - 2020)

  • Incredible performance
  • Hugely practical
  • Smooth and silent driving experience
  • Acquiring one provides attention, instant popularity and a fan club
  • Various build quality issues
  • Exterior door handles known to fail
  • Range anxiety
  • Interior not wearing well
Overview

The first mass-market Tesla was launched all the way back in 2012 (with Australian deliveries beginning in 2014). While battery and EV technology has improved since then, the Model S remains almost completely unchanged.

The stylish four-door, five-seat saloon is not only the car that established Tesla as a true competitor to the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi, but one that has grabbed the attention of even non-car people like nothing else in the last decade.

There’s no denying the Tesla Model S was and is a game changer and when new, is an excellent vehicle but now that Model Ss are coming out of warranty and lease periods, and are appearing on the used car market, are they still worthy of the hype?

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What goes wrong
  • Various exterior trim and panel issues
  • Interior quality issues e.g faulty seat bases
  • Air suspension faults
  • Paint discrepancies
  • Expensive replacement parts
  • Touch screen failure and discolouring
  • Main computer issues
  • Failing door handles
  • Reports of the glass panoramic roof coming loose
Check out some of our other Cheat Sheets
Model range, pricing and features

Standard features

  • Price when new:
  • Price used:
  • 19-inch alloy wheels (optional 20-inch & 21-inch)
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Automatic windscreen wipers and headlights
  • Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming
  • Satellite navigation
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Lane-departure warning
  • Rear cross-traffic collision alert
  • Six airbags
  • 5-star ANCAP safety rating
  • Electronic stability control

60 (2014-2017)

  • Price when new: $100,628
  • Price used: $50,000 - $75,500

Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
Power: 225kW / 430Nm (285kW / 430Nm from 2015)
Range: 335km

60D (2016-2017)

  • Price when new: $128,532
  • Price used: $72,000 - $83,000

Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
Power: 386kW / 525Nm
Range: 351km

70 (2016-2017)

  • Price when new: $122,208
  • Price used: $65,000 - $75,000

Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
Power: 285kW / 441Nm
Range: 370km

70D (2016-2017)

  • Price when new: $131,958
  • Price used: $68,000 - $79,000

Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive
Power: 386kW / 525Nm
Range: 442km

75 (2016-2019)

  • Price when new: $131,522
  • Price used: $75,000 - $85,000

Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
Power: 285kW / 441Nm
Range: 401km

75D (2016-2019)

  • Price when new: $141,402
  • Price used: $79,000 - $92,000

Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive
Power: 386kW / 659Nm
Range: 417km

85 (2016-2017)

  • Price when new: $134,687
  • Price used: $59,000 - $69,000

Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
Power: 285kW / 441Nm
Range: 426km

85D (2015-2017)

  • Price when new: $144,047
  • Price used: $67,000 - $77,000

Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive
Power: 386kW / 658Nm
Range: 430km

P85 (2014-2017)

  • Price when new: $133,257
  • Price used: $65,000 - $72,000

Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
Power: 350kW / 601Nm
Range: 426km

P85D (2015-2017)

  • Price when new: $181,487
  • Price used: $71,000 - $77,000

Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive
Power: 568kW / 931Nm
Range: 407km

90D (2016-2019)

  • Price when new: $161,032
  • Price used: $77,000 - $95,000

Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive
Power: 386kW / 658Nm
Range: 473km

P90D (2015-2016)

  • Price when new: $197,738
  • Price used: $75,000 - $93,000

Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive
Power: 568kW / 931Nm
Range: 430km

100D (2016-2020)

  • Price when new: $170,717
  • Price used: $90,000 - $100,000

Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive
Power: 931kw / 660Nm
Range: 539km

P100D (2016-2020)

  • Price when new: $251,577
  • Price used: $90,000 - $117,000

Drivetrain: Four-wheel drive
Power: 592kW / 1373Nm
Range: 507km

Should you buy it?

Well…..maybe, as there are conditions.

For what Model Ss are asking for on the used car market, you can buy a brand new Model 3 which has (hopefully) a better build quality, a more modern design, excellent driving dynamics, near equivalent performance and is equipped with the absolute latest tech. Therefore, the sensible decision would be to buy a new Model 3 instead of a used Model S.

But, if you need the extra size and practicality of the Model S and for whatever reason the Model 3 just doesn’t float your electric boat, you could consider a Model Y (when it arrives).

However, if you don’t fancy yourself as an SUV owner and you must have a Tesla right now but cannot justify the expense of a new Model S, then yes, a used Model S is a decent choice.

But which Model S should you buy?

Our recommendation is a post-facelift 75. A 2015 (or more recent) 75 will provide you with the most up to date styling, improved build quality and almost all of the latest tech while only missing out on the mind-bending acceleration and extended range the likes a P90D can provide.

Plus a 75 will save you tens of thousands of dollars when compared to its higher-powered siblings. In Australia, 75s are currently selling for around $90,000 whereas a fully-optioned P90D of the same vintage will set you back around $140,000.

But this recommendation comes with a warning. While a Tesla Model S 75 is all the electric car you’ll need, it may be wise to set a few thousand dollars away for any other issues that might (and probably will) pop up.

Warranty
  • 4-years/80,000kms
  • 8-years/240,000kms (for the battery)
Tech specs

Body style:

  • 5-door sedan

Engine:

  • Electric, reduction gear

Dimensions:

  • Height: 1445mm
  • Length: 4978mm
  • Width: 1964

Weight:

  • 1961kg (60)
  • 2090kg (60D)
  • 1999kg (70)
  • 2090kg (70D)
  • 1999kg (75)
  • 2090kg (75D)
  • 2108kg (85)
  • 2188kg (85D)
  • 2112kg (P85)
  • 2239kg (P85D)
  • 2120kg (90)
  • 2200kg (90D)
  • 2250kg (P90D)
  • 2200kg (100D)
  • 2250kg (P100D)
Disclaimer

Information correct as of December 17, 2020.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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