Tesla Model S Ground Clearance

The 2022 Tesla Model S rides low, with a minimum ground clearance of 4.6 inches.
Written by Sophie Boka
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Tesla’s groundbreaking Model S rides low. This year’s 2022 model’s minimum ground clearance clocks in at around 4.6 inches.
The Tesla Model S requires no introduction. It’s an unprecedented vehicle. It's sexy, powerful, and insanely fast. When riding in a Model S, you know you’re driving at the highest level. But when it comes to ground clearance, the Model S is pretty low.
What exactly does that mean? Here to help break down the Model S’s ground clearance is
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2022 Tesla Model S ground clearance

Despite the growth in the electric vehicle market, Tesla still reigns king. And its Model S sets the standard. The 2022 model comes in two trims, the Model S and the Model S Plaid. 
The base S sports some impressive specs, including a 0-60 time of 3.1 seconds, 670 horsepower, and 4.6-inch minimum ground clearance
The Plaid trim manages to enhance its specs, accelerating 0-60mph in just 1.99 seconds and sporting a ridiculous 1020 hp. But its ground clearance is the same: 4.6 inches.

Model S ground clearance over the years

Tesla first introduced its Model S to the world of motor vehicles in 2012, and the world of motor vehicles hasn’t been the same since. 
With each passing year, Tesla has tweaked the Model S’s features to optimize perfection. As the Model S has been tweaked, its ground clearance has gone up and down
Check out the numbers over the years:
  • 2012: 6 inches
  • 2013: 6 inches
  • 2014: 5.7-6.1 inches
  • 2015: 5.7-6 inches
  • 2016: 5.7-6 inches
  • 2017: 4.6-6 inches
  • 2018: 4.6-5 inches
  • 2019: 4.6-6 inches
  • 2020: 4.6-6.3 inches
  • 2021: 4.6-6.3 inches
  • 2022: 4.6-6.3 inches

What is ground clearance—and why does it matter?

So now you know the numbers. But what do they mean exactly?
Ground clearance is just a measurement. It’s the distance between the vehicle’s chassis (the frame) and the ground. The minimum ground clearance is the distance at the lowest point of your chassis, measuring the smallest distance between your vehicle and the ground.
Who should care about that? Good question. You might, if want to take good care of your Tesla.
If you’re driving on rough roads, you’re going to want to ride in a vehicle with a higher ground clearance so you don’t destroy your chassis.
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Is the Model S a good off-road vehicle?

The Model S can do many things, but off-roading is not one of them. Or at least, you probably don’t want to go off-road if you plan to keep it around for a while. 
Let’s compare the Model S to the Model X, Tesla’s SUV. The Model S has a minimum ground clearance of 4.6 inches. The Model X’s ground clearance is 9 inches. The higher your ground clearance, the more ground you can clear. So if you’re looking to off-road or traverse bad weather in a Tesla, the Model X may be a better ride for you.
That said, the Model S can handle a bit of rough terrain. If there’s light snow, you’re probably fine in the S.

Guard against accidents with the best Model S insurance

While you can do your best to keep your S away from bumpy roads, sometimes the unexpected happens. Bad weather hits. Construction leads to rocky terrain. To ensure your Tesla is protected, you’ll want to outfit it with the best car insurance you can afford.
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