Skip advert
Advertisement

Tesla Model S 75D 2018 review

Is the entry-level Tesla Model S 75D the pick of the electric exec range? We find out...

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Find your Tesla Model S
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Hassle-free way to a brand new car
Or are you looking to sell your car?
Customers got an average £1000 more vs part exchange quotes
Advertisement

The Tesla Model S remains one of the most convincing EVs you can buy, and this entry-level 75D model is certainly the pick of the line-up. It has nearly as much range as its significantly more expensive siblings, is almost as fast and keeps all the best attributes of the Model S intact: its incredible infotainment, spacious interior and near-silent running gear.

Advertisement - Article continues below

For anyone interested in electric cars, Tesla is just about the biggest talking point at the moment. The company has been grabbing headlines around the world, in part thanks to its non-conformist CEO Elon Musk.

But if you’re actually going to buy a premium electric car, the Model S is bound to be on your list of options. It was among the first crop of EVs that genuinely appealed to mainstream buyers, and remains one of the best choices at the higher end of the market. So how does this 75D entry model fare?

Best electric cars on sale

Most of the attention falls on the flagship P100D model, which is one of the fastest-accelerating cars you can buy. But at £123,050, its supercar-shaming abilities are diminished given that it costs as much as a McLaren.

That’s where the 75D comes in, though. It’s priced from £71,050 – or £66,550 including the Government electric car grant. That’s still firmly in the upper end of the market, but it’s much more affordable than the P100D.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

With a range of 304 miles (NEDC), it’s easily capable of supporting the average commute with only a couple of charges per week. And that sort of mileage allows users to travel all over the country, too.

Advertisement - Article continues below

• Tesla Model S 100D review

It’s still one of the longest ranges of any EV on sale and adds to the Tesla’s appeal. But it’s not even that much slower than the P100D, if acceleration is your thing. It sprints from 0-60mph in 4.2 seconds, which is quicker than almost anything on the road. The instant torque from the motor gives startling low-speed punch, too.

The Model S’s steering is well weighted but devoid of feel, and while grip and body control are good there’s not much fun to be had beyond its powerful acceleration. It’s just too heavy to feel like you can throw it into corners, and seems much more at home being driven in a more relaxed manner. A Jaguar I-Pace is more entertaining.

• Tesla Model S P100D review

The hefty kerbweight and large wheels mean the Tesla shudders over bumps and potholes, but high-speed refinement and comfort on the motorway are very good. Yet small road imperfections tend to cause trim rattles and creaks, which is hard to accept given the high price. Build quality in general falls short of virtually any other car at this level.

There are a few small issues with the interior design, the main one being a desperate lack of buttons that makes using in-car functions on the touchscreen while driving a frustrating affair. The dashboard and centre console look very modern, particularly thanks to the huge portrait display. The screen and interface are probably the best of any car on sale today; they look and behave like a modern phone or tablet, where most brands’ systems are behind current smartphone tech. It’s just a shame the Tesla’s sat-nav map seems to take forever to load.

Still, there are so many features and useful online services that it’s hard not to be impressed. Plus, the buttons on the steering wheel can directly access things like the radio and climate control, making them easier to use on the move.

The seats are very comfortable, and the interior is spacious. Back seat head and legroom is generous, even for adults.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Dacia’s Duster is Britain’s best car to own as Driver Power 2024 survey results land
Dacia Duster - front tracking
News

Dacia’s Duster is Britain’s best car to own as Driver Power 2024 survey results land

Owners have voted the Dacia Duster as the most satisfying new car to own in the 2024 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey
11 Jun 2024
Best cars to own: Driver Power 2024 results
Driver Power 2024 - best cars to own header
News

Best cars to own: Driver Power 2024 results

The best new cars to own in the UK right now according to the people who already do. It’s the 2024 Driver Power results!
11 Jun 2024
New Porsche 911 S/T 2024 review: one of the best sports cars ever built
Porsche 911 S/T - front
Road tests

New Porsche 911 S/T 2024 review: one of the best sports cars ever built

Porsche’s last hurrah for the 992.1 generation 911 is an epic driving machine with just the right dose of luxury
12 Jun 2024