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First Drive

First Drive: Tesla Model S 75D

The story:
The ever-evolving Tesla Model S range now has three options, with this, the 75D being the entry model, leading to the 100D and P100D models.
Key rival:Jaguar I-Pace
MPG:304 miles range
On sale:Autumn 2018 (deliveries end 2018)

Tesla’s model range for its iconic Model S electric executive saloon has frequently evolved over its life since the 2014 launch in the UK, with different levels of battery performance being added or taken away according to demand.

The 75D is now the entry model in the line-up, sitting below the 100D and high-performance P100D that cost an extra £21,300 and £52,650 over the 75D’s £73,450 price tag, before the Government’s £4500 plug-in car grant.Tesla Model S 75 - Image 5

Though the P100D is ridiculously rapid, with a barely comprehensible 2.5-second 0-60mph time, the 75D is no slouch, being just 0.1 seconds slower than the mid-level 100D at a supercar-level 4.2 seconds. The joys of electric powertrains aren’t just in their environmental performance.

But that environmental performance impresses almost as much as the acceleration, with the 75D offering a claimed 304-mile range. The more expensive models comfortably trump that at 393 and 381 miles for the 100D and P100D, but more than 300 miles is a very usable low-compromise range, especially when you note the 400kWh of free charging on Tesla’s own plentiful network of superchargers across the country. That’s certainly something no other brand can currently offer.

To drive, the Model S is dominated by that incredible acceleration, but when not deploying that it’s a comfortable, serene and high-quality place to travel.

The huge central screen that controls all the functions dominates the cabin, and the big comfortable seats make for good four-up travel. As is to be expected, it’s full of kit, including front and rear heated seats, a heated steering wheel, satnav, keyless entry via the ‘self-presenting’ door handles that sit flush to the bodywork when not required, powered tailgate and autonomous emergency-braking and collision-avoidance systems. Plus, Tesla’s pioneering over-the-air system for updating the car’s software, simply by the car picking up wifi.Tesla Model S 75 - Image 1

Tesla’s Autopilot system is a £4800 option, and two additional child seats for the boot are available, turning the car into a seven-seater, for £3800. The car gets a four-year, 50,000-mile warranty, with the battery offered with an unlimited-mileage eight-year warranty.

Paul Barker

The verdict

It’s still not cheap, and premium rivals are starting to appear, but the Model S offers high-performance, high-quality, long-distance electric mobility, and the entry 75D is far from the runt of the range.