52: Tesla Model S – Flawed poster boy of luxury electric

Top cars for 2019: With this you really can divorce yourself from the petrol pump with very little, if any, penalty

Tesla Model S: The batteries and electric motors are truly, impressively, ground-breaking

Tesla Model S: The batteries and electric motors are truly, impressively, ground-breaking

 

One barely knows where to start. With the Model S’ astonishing Ludicrous Mode, that allows this weighty four-door luxury saloon to accelerate with the venom of a 911 Turbo? Or the long-legged one-charge range that, in theory, wipes out any range anxiety that you might be feeling?

Or the, ahem, excessive personality of Tesla owner Elon musk, whose character inhabits and informs every part of this car, and whose acolytes will not be long in descending upon you should you dare to question its (or his) greatness on social media? Or the occasionally shoddy build quality, with panel gaps and interior trim fit, and rattles and noises that simply have no place in a car costing this much? Or the fact that, once you’re past the acceleration, it’s actually only quite average to drive? All of that, and an awful lot more, go into making up the character and reality of a Tesla Model S, and all of that makes it the glorious, maddening, thing that it is.

The batteries and electric motors are truly, impressively, ground-breaking, and if you can afford one, then you really can divorce yourself from the petrol pump with very little, if any, penalty. The rest of the car is something of a mixed bag, and Tesla really needs to up its game now that the major car makers of the world are increasingly focused on electric power.

Best model: Model S 100D for €128,654

Price range: €96,910 to €168,828. Finance from €903 per month.

Co2 emissions: 0g/km

Sum up: Astonishing. Irritating. In equal measure.