Tesla Model S Comparison: Unveiling the Best Trim Level for Your Needs

Tesla Model S Comparison: Unveiling the Best Trim Level for Your Needs


The Tesla Model S is widely recognized as one of the top electric vehicles, thanks to its impressive combination of performance, range, and advanced features. With multiple trim options available, each with its own set of features and benefits, it's important to choose the right one based on your driving needs and preferences.

In this guide, we'll be taking a closer look at the different trim levels—70, 85, and P85D—and examining the key factors that set them apart:

  1. Driving Range: How far can each trim level go on a single charge?

  2. Performance: What kind of speed and acceleration does each trim level offer?

  3. Budget: How do the prices of these trims compare?

By understanding these differences, you'll be able to make a more informed decision when it comes to purchasing your Tesla Model S.

Now let's address some common concerns that Tesla owners may have:

Understanding Tesla Model S Trim Levels

Trim levels represent different versions of a vehicle model, each offering varying features and performance specifications. In the case of the Tesla Model S, trim levels determine factors such as battery capacity, driving range, and additional performance upgrades. Choosing the right trim level ensures you get a vehicle that meets your specific needs.

Comprehensive Review of Available Tesla Model S Trim Levels

  • Model S 70: Starting at $70,000, this trim is equipped with a 70 kWh battery, providing a driving range of 230 miles on a full charge.

  • Model S 85: Priced from $80,000, it features an 85 kWh battery with an extended range of 265 miles.

  • Model S P85D: Focused on high performance, this trim includes all-wheel drive and boasts 463 horsepower along with 713 lb. ft. of torque.

Each trim level offers unique benefits tailored to different preferences, from cost efficiency to enhanced performance.

Significance of the Electric Powertrain in the Model S

The electric powertrain forms the core of the Tesla Model S. It not only provides zero-emission driving but also delivers instant torque for rapid acceleration. The absence of a traditional combustion engine leads to fewer moving parts, reducing maintenance needs and enhancing reliability. This advanced powertrain contributes significantly to the Model S's reputation for innovation and sustainability.

For those looking to further personalize their Tesla experience beyond trim levels, options like customizing Tesla Roadster Style Emblems are available. These emblems offer added flair and individuality to your electric vehicle while showcasing your dedication to innovation and originality.

Performance and Range Analysis

Each Tesla Model S trim level offers distinct performance characteristics and driving ranges, catering to different preferences and needs.

Model S 70

  • Performance: The Model S 70 delivers solid performance with a single motor. It has a respectable horsepower of 329 HP and a torque of 325 lb.ft.
  • Range: Equipped with a 70 kWh battery, it provides a driving range of approximately 230 miles on a full charge.

Model S 85

  • Performance: The Model S 85 steps up the game with an increased horsepower of 362 HP and torque of 325 lb.ft., offering slightly better acceleration compared to the 70.
  • Range: The larger 85 kWh battery allows for an extended driving range of about 265 miles, making it suitable for those who prioritize longer trips between charges.

Model S P85D

  • Performance: For performance enthusiasts, the P85D is the standout choice. With dual motors delivering all-wheel drive, this trim boasts an impressive horsepower of 463 HP and torque of 713 lb. ft.

  • Range: Despite its high performance, the P85D still offers a commendable range with its 85 kWh battery, capable of covering around 253 miles on a single charge.

Comparison summary

  • Horsepower and Torque:

  • Model S 70: 329 HP / 325 lb.ft.

  • Model S 85: 362 HP / 325 lb.ft.

  • Model S P85D: 463 HP / 713 lb.ft.

  • Battery Capacity and Range:

  • Model S 70: 70 kWh / ~230 miles

  • Model S 85: 85 kWh / ~265 miles

  • Model S P85D: Dual motors (AWD), still utilizing an 85 kWh battery / ~253 miles

Understanding these variations can help you decide which trim aligns best with your driving habits. If you prioritize range, the Model S 85 might be ideal. For high performance, the P85D stands out. Additionally, if you're interested in customizing your Tesla, you can create your own unique turn signal indicator decal or equip your Model S with a convenient Qi Wireless Car Charger Storage Caddy for on-the-go charging and style.


Exploring Optional Packages and Upgrades

Tesla Model S trim levels offer a range of optional packages and upgrades to enhance your driving experience. Here’s a look at what's available:


The Autopilot package provides semi-autonomous driving capabilities, enhancing safety and convenience. It includes:

  • Adaptive cruise control

  • Lane-keeping assist

  • Automatic lane change

  • Self-parking features

This package is ideal for those seeking advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).

Premium Interior and Lighting Package

For luxury enthusiasts, the Premium Interior and Lighting Package offers several enhancements:

  • Upgraded seating materials

  • Enhanced cabin lighting

  • An advanced sound system

  • Customizable ambient lighting

These features elevate the comfort and aesthetic appeal of the Model S, making it a perfect choice for those who prioritize interior quality.

Smart Air Suspension

The Smart Air Suspension upgrade improves ride quality by allowing you to adjust the vehicle’s height based on driving conditions. Benefits include:

  • Improved handling and ride comfort

  • Automatic lowering at high speeds for better aerodynamics

  • Enhanced off-road capability with increased ground clearance

This option is particularly beneficial for drivers who frequently encounter varied road conditions.

If you're interested in exploring more about electric vehicles trends that will shape the future of electrification, including how they can affect various industries, you may want to check out this article on 5 Electric Vehicle Trends Seen in 2022.

Additionally, if you're considering ways to optimize your charging options and reduce your carbon footprint, you may find this article on Can You Charge Your Car with Solar Energy? helpful. It covers the benefits and options of charging your car with solar energy, from installing a solar panel system at home to using public solar charging stations.

Enhancing your music experience can also be a key consideration. If you want to learn more features on how to utilize your Tesla's music options, including playing music from your personal library and using streaming services like Spotify and TIDAL, you can check out this article on Get the Most Out of Your Tesla’s Music Options.

Cost Considerations and Incentives

Price Breakdown for Each Tesla Model S Trim Level

When evaluating the Tesla Model S, it's important to know how much each trim level costs. Here's a breakdown:

  • Model S 70: Starts at $70,000, with a 70 kWh battery that can go up to 230 miles.

  • Model S 85: Costs $80,000 and has an 85 kWh battery for a range of 265 miles.

  • Model S P85D: Designed for performance, this model starts at $105,000 and features all-wheel drive with 463 horsepower and 713 lb.ft. of torque.

Potential Incentives and Cost Savings

Buying a Tesla Model S can bring you more than just a great car. There are various programs from the government and states that offer tax credits and rebates for electric vehicle purchases.

Here are some examples:

  • Federal Tax Credit: You could get up to $7,500 off your federal taxes.

  • State Incentives: Certain states have additional rebates or tax credits available, though the amounts can vary.

On top of these incentives, choosing a Tesla can also lead to long-term savings on fuel expenses. Charging an electric vehicle is usually cheaper than filling up with gas for a traditional car.

Did you know? Tesla's Supercharger network lets you travel long distances for free on specific routes. This can further reduce your overall costs.

Upgrading your Tesla with features like Autopilot (self-driving capabilities) or smart air suspension might increase the initial price but can provide a better driving experience and potentially higher resale value in the future.

It's worth noting that maintaining a Tesla may require some additional attention due to its unique features. Websites like Pimp My EV offer practical tips for addressing common issues, such as fixing rattles in the doors of Model Y and Model 3. Additionally, they provide solutions like silicone door pocket inserts that can help keep your door storage areas clear of debris or spillage.

By understanding these cost considerations, you'll be able to make a well-informed decision based on your budget and driving habits.


Choosing the Best Trim Level for Your Needs

When it comes to choosing the best trim level for your needs, there are a few factors to consider. Here are some key points:

Factors to Consider

  • Range Requirements: If you frequently go on road trips or do a lot of long drives, you may want to opt for a Model S 85 or P85D with a higher battery capacity and longer range.

  • Performance Preferences: If speed and acceleration are important to you, the P85D is worth considering. It offers superior performance with its dual motor all-wheel drive and higher horsepower.

  • Budget Constraints: While the Model S 70 is the most affordable option, it still has an impressive range and features. It's important to think about what you can comfortably afford.

  • Optional Packages: Take a look at any additional features that might be available, such as Autopilot or premium interior packages. These can enhance your comfort and driving experience, but they also come with an added cost.

Recommendations Based on Specific Needs

  • For Long-Distance Drivers: If you frequently find yourself driving long distances without many charging options, the Model S 85 with its 265-mile range could be a good fit for you.

  • For Performance Enthusiasts: If you're someone who loves fast cars and wants the thrill of quick acceleration, the P85D is the way to go. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.1 seconds!

  • Balanced Choice: If you're looking for a balance between affordability, decent range (230 miles), and standard luxury features, the Model S 70 is a solid choice.

Remember that selecting the right trim level is about finding the right balance between these factors and your own lifestyle needs.

For more information on buying a used Tesla and getting the most out of your ownership experience, check out our Ultimate Guide to Buying a Used Tesla. This comprehensive guide covers all the aspects you need to consider when purchasing a used Tesla.

Next, we'll take a closer look at...


Choosing the right Tesla Model S trim level aligns with your personal driving needs and preferences. Balancing range, performance, and cost ensures you make an informed decision.

  • For those primarily concerned with range, the Model S 85D stands out.

  • Performance enthusiasts will find the P85D most satisfying.

  • If you seek a blend of both, consider the Model S P90D.

Exploring optional packages like Autopilot or premium interior features can further tailor your vehicle to your lifestyle.

For additional insights into Tesla features and innovations, check out our articles on Tesla Cabin Overheat Protection, Tesla’s Cash Bonus Program, and How Tesla Makes the Safest Cars in the World.



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