A luxury EV with terrific features and power.
If you're looking to drive something a little different and crave an electric vehicle (EV), the 2020 Tesla Model S is an excellent option. Originally unveiled in 2012, this luxurious EV blends a roomy cabin and high-tech features with excellent driving dynamics. If you want potent acceleration, the 2020 Model S Performance trim delivers it in spades, going from zero to 60 mph in as little as 2.4 seconds.
While we currently do not sell the 2020 Tesla Model S on our lots, we do have other electric vehicles available at CarMax. If you love the plug-in-and-go lifestyle that the Tesla Model S provides, this review might inspire you to consider other makes and models with similar features.
Here's what you'll learn in this 2020 Tesla Model S review:
Key Specs and Features:
- The Model S Long Range with an all-electric powertrain and dual-motor all-wheel drive gets an EPA-estimated 111 MPGe combined.1
- The Model S Performance with an all-electric powertrain and dual-motor all-wheel drive gets an EPA-estimated 104 MPGe combined.1
- The 2020 Tesla Model S offers 28 cubic feet of cargo volume.
- Folding the 60/40-split rear seats expands cargo volume to 63.3 cubic feet.
- The 2020 Model S also features a second cargo area in the front of the vehicle for extra storage.
- The 2020 Tesla Model S provides seating for five passengers.
- This model uses dual motors that independently drive the front and rear wheels.
- A 100-kWh battery pack comes standard on the 2020 Tesla Model S.
- Model S Performance models include Ludicrous Mode for quicker acceleration.
- Convenient over-the-air software updates
- 17-inch central touchscreen display
- Driver information screen located behind the steering wheel
- Premium audio system with 11 speakers and an eight-inch subwoofer
- Bluetooth® audio-streaming capabilities
5 Reasons to Buy
1. Superb Electric Range
The Tesla Model S delivers an incredible electric range, allowing you to enjoy the freedom of long-distance travel. The 2020 Model S Long Range has an EPA-estimated range of 373 miles on a full charge, which means fewer stops along your way.2 Convenient home charging options also allow you to juice up the battery overnight so you're ready to tackle your commute in the morning.
2. Strong Performance
The 2020 Model S features an all-electric powertrain and a low center of gravity that form the basis of the EV's remarkable performance. Power is generated by dual motors that independently drive the front and rear wheels, providing excellent all-wheel traction and torque for superior control in varying conditions, including snow. Able to go zero to 60 mph in just 2.4 seconds (according to the manufacturer, when new), the 2020 Model S Performance with Ludicrous Mode is extremely fast and can even reach top speeds of 163 mph. Whether hitting the slopes or driving to the office, this EV doesn't flake-out when it comes to performance.
3. Room for Everything and Everyone
Thoughtfully designed to be both roomy and comfortable, the Model S provides lots of space to carry five passengers and their belongings. Since this EV doesn't use a traditional combustion engine, the front of the 2020 Model S extends forward so that all occupants have ample legroom. Tesla also designed a unique second cargo area under the hood of the vehicle, which is a convenient spot to store an extra suitcase. Around back, a power liftgate reveals a trunk with 28 cubic feet of volume, which expands to 63.3 cubic feet by folding the 60/40-split rear seat down. That's enough room to transport a bike for a day on the trail.
4. Premium Interior
A really cool standard feature inside the 2020 Tesla Model S is its expansive glass roof, which provides a brighter, more spacious in-cabin experience with a full view of the sky. Tesla's quiet powertrain and meticulous noise-suppression engineering also create a whisper-quiet environment for a peaceful commute. A HEPA filtration system comes standard on Long Range and Performance trims to help maintain air quality, while heated front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel keep you comfortable on chilly days. If you're an audiophile that enjoys pristine sounds, the 2020 Model S's 11-speaker audio system with neodymium magnets and an eight-inch subwoofer ensure a concert-like experience each time you get behind the wheel.
5. Innovative Technologies
When it comes to the latest features, the 2020 Tesla Model S delivers an innovative mix of forward-thinking technology. Both the Long Range and Performance models come standard with automated emergency braking and lane-departure warning, while adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode is an available option as well. Driver data is displayed on an expansive screen behind the steering wheel and there's a 17-inch central touchscreen display to control the EV's media, navigation, and cabin controls, and to view real-time energy consumption and range estimations. All this is supported by convenient over-the-air software updates, which introduce new features and functionality to the 2020 Model S as soon as they are available.
What You Need to Know
2020 Tesla Model S: Available Trims
- Long Range: Includes 19-inch silver wheels, a 17-inch capacitive touchscreen display, heated seats throughout the cabin, a premium 11-speaker audio system, 12-way power-adjustable front seats with driver memory, and more.
- Performance: Includes the same standard features as the Long Range, but adds Ludicrous Mode for quicker acceleration, two additional interior styling choices, and a carbon-fiber spoiler.
2020 Tesla Model S: Available Colors
- Deep Blue Metallic
- Midnight Silver Metallic
- Pearl White Multi-Coat
- Red Multi-Coat
- Solid Black
2020 Tesla Model S: Interior
- Provides seating for five passengers with generous legroom in all rows.
- An expansive glass roof comes standard on the 2020 Tesla Model S for a brighter and airier atmosphere.
- The 2020 Model S uses noise suppression engineering for a quiet in-cabin experience.
- All models feature a HEPA filtration system to help maintain air quality.
- The 2020 Model S comes standard with front- and rear-seat heaters and a heated steering wheel for your comfort.
If you're interested in the 2020 Tesla Model S, you should also check out these similar vehicles from previous model years.
If you're shopping for an electric vehicle with mass-market appeal, the Nissan Leaf is an easily-accessible model to explore. Originally unveiled in 2011, there is a wide market of used models to choose from—all of which offer a quiet all-electric driving experience, convenient at-home charging, and smooth handling with quick acceleration. All 2018–2019 S, SV, and SL trims use a 110-kW AC synchronous electric motor with a 40-kWh lithium-ion battery and 6.6-kW on-board charger delivering an estimated 150-mile range on a fully-charged battery2 For the 2019 model year, Nissan also offers the Leaf Plus, which generates power from a 160-kW AC synchronous electric motor with a 62-kWh lithium-ion battery for an estimated 226-mile range on a fully-charged battery.2 As for standard features, the mid-range SV includes the following comforts and conveniences on 2018–2019 models:
- Quick-charge port and portable charging cable
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- Seven-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
The BMW i3 is a stylish hatchback with a clever reverse-open rear-door design that's available in two trim levels: i3 and i3s (2018–2019 models). Both versions run off a 170-hp electric motor with 184 lb.-ft. of torque that sends power to the rear wheels while a 0.6L two-cylinder gasoline generator range extender is available on 2018–2019 models for extra oomph on longer trips. The 2019 BMW i3 with a 42-kWh battery has an EPA-estimated range of 153 miles on a full charge and full tank of gas.3 The 2019 base i3 includes the following standard features:
- 19-inch wheels
- Navigation system
- Cloth upholstery
- Front and rear parking sensors
The Kia Soul EV is the all-electric version of its gas-powered sibling, the Kia Soul, and is offered in two trims for 2018–2019 models: EV and EV+. All models use a 30-kWh lithium-ion battery and a 375-volt electric motor that makes 109 hp and 210 lb.-ft. of torque. Even with its tidy dimensions, the Soul EV offers up a spacious interior with seating for five passengers and 18.8 cubic feet of cargo volume. The base-level standard features are quite impressive with the following inclusions on 2018–2019 EV trims:
- 16-inch alloy wheels
- Eight-inch touchscreen display
- Navigation system
- Bluetooth connectivity
The Bottom Line
The 2020 Tesla Model S is an intriguing luxury EV, delivering an invigorating mix of performance, high-end appeal, and leading technology. If you crave thrilling acceleration from an all-electric powertrain, this EV's two trims are worth considering.
Want to learn more about similar vehicles to the Tesla Model S? Check out these related articles:
1Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Actual mileage will vary based on things like battery age, vehicle condition and history, driving and charging habits, accessory use, and driving conditions. Battery capacity may decrease with time and use. See fueleconomy.gov for more info.
2Range figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new and assume a full battery charge. Range will vary based on things like battery age, vehicle condition and history, driving and charging habits, accessory use, and driving conditions. Battery capacity may decrease with time and use. See fueleconomy.gov for more info.
3EPA-estimated 153-mile range based on 100 MPGe combined estimate (electric); additional EPA-estimated 47-mile extended range based on 31 MPG combined estimate (gas). Range figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new and assume a full battery charge and full tank of gas (if applicable). Range will vary based on things like battery age, vehicle condition and history, driving and charging habits, accessory use, and driving conditions. Battery capacity may decrease with time and use. See fueleconomy.gov for more info.
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