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ExtremeTech » Tesla Model S review: Great sports sedan, fabulous EV, excellent commuter

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Everything you’ve heard about the Tesla Model S is true: It’s super-fast and handles like the premium sports sedan that it is. The glass cockpit — with a 17-inch LCD in the center stack — is how all cars should be instrumented. It will play virtually any song in the universe at the touch of a button while offering top-notch navigation. If you live near one the growing but still small number of Tesla charging stations, fuel (electricity) is free. If you use your own electricity, the efficiency of the electric drive is like a 400-hp turbocharged car running on $1.25-a-gallon gasoline. And then, if you commute on a California highway, Tesla ownership confers the right to drive in the HOV lane without carrying a passenger, same as with other electronic vehicles.

Mostly, a Tesla feels like a real car with established-automaker fit and finish, not a ponderous vehicle in a sleek skin sold at a lofty price, which is how the late Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid felt.

The Tesla-catching-fire situation is a conversation starter but nothing to worry about (more below). You do need to be careful watching the range indicator and learning how cold weather and your driving style affect it. The biggest knock on Tesla is that such a forward-looking car company currently lacks the useful driver aids you’re seeing from every most other automaker: blind spot detection, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. Those are the tools of a modern grand touring car, and that’s what this car can be, especially if you live between Las Vegas, Los Angeles, or Seattle, which have the most Supercharger, or DC Fast Charge, stations.



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