63: Tesla Model S – Top end electric power but lags on the luxury front

Top 100 cars for 2020: If you’re going to price yourself against an S-Class, you’d better show up with build quality that price tag demands

 

Tesla’s big saloon is priced to rival the likes of the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7 Series, and that folks is what we call serious ambition.

The thing is, in many ways, the Model S makes those big German luxury machines look rather old hat. Sure, you can get plugin-hybrid versions of both, but the Model S has batteries and electric motors that make most other car makers’ electric efforts look and feel pretty half-hearted.

Where else can you get near-600km electric range with the sort of acceleration that makes a Porsche 911 Turbo feel sluggish (although, you can’t get both of those attributes in the same version of Model S - you have to choose one or the other).

The problem is that while Tesla is very good at making an electric car, it still has a way to go when ti comes to making a car, in general.

If you’re going to price yourself against an S-Class, you’d better show up with the kind of build quality and luxury that price tag demands, and the Model S doesn’t - or at least doesn’t do so consistently enough.

Still, as far as being a car that has changed, utterly, the way we view and think about electric motoring, the Model S has no peers, and that is really the point of it.

Best model: Model S Long Range for €89,800

Price range: €89,800 to €106,600 Finance from €122 per month.

Electric Range: 593 to 610km

Sum up: Astonishing performance, but the rest of the car kind of comes free.