2020 Tesla Model S Performance Review

With smooth acceleration, sporty handling, and a 0-to-60 time breathtakingly close to 3 seconds, the 2020 Tesla Model S’ performance is unimpeachable.
Written by Ethan Moser
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Looking for a car that’s still got that new-car smell without that new-car price tag? Want that car to be unbelievably fuel efficient and have one of the most covetable EV badges on the market? Look no further than the 2020 Tesla Model S!
Tesla has been a leader in the electric car industry since hitting the market in 2008, and the Tesla Model S was the first long-range electric vehicle (EV) to be offered in 2012. With breathtakingly quick acceleration and desirable features like Cheetah launch mode and V3 Supercharging, the 2020 Model S stands out as one of the most desirable EVs manufactured in recent history. 
Here to give you a full breakdown of the 2020 Tesla Model S from price and power to speed and electric range is
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2020 Tesla Model S performance review

When it comes to performance, the Tesla Model S is literally named for it—or at least one of its two trim levels is. That ought to give you an idea of the Model S’s performance capabilities. 
Before you can get to the Model S Performance trim, you’ll have to go through the entry-level Model S Long Range Plus trim with an average used price of around $78,000. The Performance model offers true luxury to drivers, but at a used price of around $90,000. While even a used 2020 Model S might be way outside of the budget of the everyday driver, it was still one of the 10 best-selling cars on the planet in 2021, alongside the
Tesla Model Y
This is due in part to the Model S’s superb electric range, powerful dual-motor engine, quick accelerations, and full-time all-wheel drive on both trims, as well as a bevy of standard safety and infotainment tech features. 

Powertrain options and handling

The Model S Performance and Long Range Plus share the same dual-motor powertrain, providing a combined 785 horsepower and full-time all-wheel drive. Similarly, all Model S trims come with a single-speed automatic transmission. 
When it comes to handling, the Model S is agile with well-controlled body motions and direct steering. Model S owners can also choose between two selectable drive settings for heavy or light steering effort for a customized driving experience. 

Acceleration, 0 to 60, and top speed

If speed is important to you, then the Tesla Model S is one of the best models you could hope to own, considering it’s one of the fastest electric vehicles on the market. 
Here’s how the zero-to-60 times for both 2020 models compare: 
  • Long Range Plus: 3.1 seconds
  • Performance: 2.4 seconds
The additional speed on the Model S Performance comes courtesy of Tesla’s Cheetah Launch mode—an adaptive suspension software. Even with Cheetah mode, however, both models reach top speeds of 155 mph. 
By comparison, here are the speed stats for three of the Model S’s fastest luxury electric car competitors: 
  • 2021 Audi e-tron: zero-to-60 time of 3.6 seconds; top speed of 152 mph
  • 2021 Mustang MACH-E: zero-to-60 time of 3.5 seconds; top speed of 130 mph
  • 2020 Porsche Panamera E-Hybrid: zero-to-60 time of 4.2 seconds; top speed of 196 mph
While the Model S can’t reach the same top speeds as the Porsche Panamera, it is easily faster on the get-up than all three of its competitors, even without Cheetah launch mode enabled. Not to mention that the 2020 Model S is a good $10,000 to $30,000 cheaper than the Panamera

Fuel economy and range 

It’s probably unsurprising that the Tesla Model S Long Range Plus has
one of the longest all-electric driving ranges
on the market, offering drivers 402 miles of range. That comes compared to the still impressive 348 miles of range offered by the 2020 Model S Performance. 
All Model S Teslas are also able to connect to Tesla’s V3 Supercharger network for super fast charging. However, the model also comes standard with an onboard charger for at-home connectivity to 120- and 240-V outlets, as well as public DC fast chargers.
Both 2020 Model S trims receive stellar efficiency ratings. The Model S Long Range Plus boasts an EPA rating of 117 MPGe, which drops to 104 MPGe for Performance models paired with 19-inch wheels and 97 MPGe when paired with 21-inch wheels. 
Compare that to the 78 MPGe combined fuel efficiency on the Audi e-tron and 90 MPGe on the Ford Mustang MACH-E, and you’ll see—it’s not much of a competition.


All 2020 Tesla Model S cars come with standard automated emergency braking and lane-departure warning systems, as well as available adaptive cruise control with a semi-autonomous Autopilot driving mode. These safety and driver assistance features have resulted in a five-star crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 
Both models also come with a 12.3-inch liquid-crystal display electronic instrument cluster and a 17-inch infotainment touchscreen equipped with HomeLink, Bluetooth, and a built-in navigation system powered by Google Maps.

How to save on Tesla Model S insurance

While the Model S might be an impressive and enviable electric car, it’s practically worthless if not protected by a reliable and extensive car insurance policy. 
Unfortunately, Tesla Model S car insurance tends to be very expensive, but you can still save hundreds of dollars a year on your coverage when you shop for your next insurance policy with
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is an amazing app. Thanks to it, I saved a lot of money for my Tesla Model 3’s insurance. I’m so glad I downloaded the app!” —Erza S.
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