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Tesla Model S vs Model X

Two tesla cars different model in one picture.

I am not much of a car driver. I happen to live in a city that is much easier to get around by foot or public transport. But I have noticed the rather silent revolution of the electric vehicle.

Ten years ago, these vehicles were rarely seen on city streets. Now they are everywhere. The streets though still filled with vehicles going from place to place have become quieter.

This is down to the growing prevalence of electric vehicles.

Tesla was a pioneer in the production of electric vehicles. Its electric-powered cars and SUVs still dominate the market. The Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X are especially popular.

What is the Tesla Model S?

It is a Sedan and Tesla’s longest-running electric vehicle in production. The Model S went on the market in 2012. It was very popular when it first came out. Ten years later, it continues to reign as the best-selling plug-in electric vehicle.

Sales of the Model S are not as high as they once were. It has faced competition from Tesla’s less costly Model 3 and Model Y electric vehicles. But the Model S is still the premiere luxury electric-powered sedan on the market.

What is Tesla Model X?

A white tesla model x plugged in to the supercharger.

This is best described as a mid-sized SUV. It is Tesla’s second-longest-running model. Although it was introduced to the world in 2012, the Model X did not hit the market until 2015.

The Model X has much in common with the Model S. The two share many of the same parts because at the time electric vehicle technology was still developing. However, the two vehicles are quite different in appearance and design.

Tesla Model S and Model X: The Differences

1. Features

A black tesla model s recharging.

Tesla Model S vs Tesla Model X: Design and interior

The Model S is quite spacious for a sedan. It has plenty of back-seat legroom and headroom. The Model S also has a large cargo area, and you will find even more space in the front trunk. 

The Model X also has a large cargo volume, though much of this additional space is the result of its greater body height. The standard model can hold five people comfortably, but there are options for 6 and 7 seaters.

One of the most striking features of the Model X is its door design. It has automatic front and Falcon Wing rear doors. The Model X is also a bit more stylish, with carbon trim flourishes as opposed to the Ebony wood finish found in the Model S. Many people find the former more appealing.

Tesla has made a point of producing the best automotive touchscreen technology. Both models have horizontal screens in the front and the rear. The vehicles also feature HEPA air filtration systems.

As for power, in the Model S, you can opt for an all-wheel-drive tri-motor or a dual motor long-range model. The Model S produces 1,020 horsepower and goes from zero to 60 in less than 2 seconds. It has a top speed of 200 mph.

The Plaid edition of the Model X has a tri-motor configuration. It also produces 1,020 horsepower. It is a bit bulkier, which gives it a top speed of 163 mph and it can go from zero to 60 in 2.5 seconds.

Given that both models are electric-powered, battery range is key. The Model S can go for 396 miles without a recharge. The Model X has a range of 340 miles for the Plaid model and 260 miles for the Long Range edition.

The two models have the benefit of access to Tesla’s 250 kW Supercharging network. In addition to pioneering the production of electric vehicles, the company was also the first to launch electric recharging stations.

Both the Model S and Model X have benefitted from Tesla’s investment in cutting-edge automotive technology. They were designed and developed around the same time, which is why they are made of similar materials and have many of the same advanced features. This includes an autopilot driver assistance function.

You will also find that the two models stand out on the infotainment front. Bluetooth, hard drive storage, satellite radio, smart device integration, and WiFi are standards in both models.

2. Cost 

A white tesla model x doors opened.

The price differences between the Tesla Model S and Model X are significant, as one would expect given that one is a sedan and the other an SUV. The standard Model S Long Range Plus costs $94,990. The Trimotor Plaid edition of this vehicle is $129,990.

The entry price for the Model X, which is the Long Range edition, will run you $104,990. The Plaid edition starts at $119,990. If you want to max out your seating in the Model X—a seven-seater—it will cost you an additional $3,500.

3. Benefits 

The Model X is the newer model. Though it is so by only a few years, a great many things were tested and developed during that time and incorporated into the vehicle. Perhaps the benefit of the Model X is the doors. The current edition comes with self-presenting and closing front doors.

It also has Falcon Wing rear doors, which make it easier to access the second and third row of seats. The Model X also has 88 cubic feet of cargo space, which is quite larger than the 28 cubic feet found in the Model S. And then there is the tow hitch, which is a standard feature. It can pull up to 5,000 lbs.

All is not gloom for the Model S. The tri-motor Plaid edition of the vehicle offers the very best range and speed in its class.

Brief History

A white tesla model s on the grass front view.

The history of Tesla’s electric vehicle begins in 2008. That was the year it launched the Roadster, which incorporated cutting-edge battery technology and an electric powertrain. The Roadster was a kind of test vehicle, a Sputnik if you will, in what would become a larger electric vehicle program.

In 2012, the company launched the Model S. This was the world’s first premium all-electric sedan. The Model S went on to become a runaway success, besting its gas-fueled rivals in every category.

The company followed up this success with the launch of the Model X SUV in 2015. The latter set a new standard for SUVs in the industry. Both vehicles continue to top the charts in automotive design, performance, and sales.

Which one will it be?

Both the Model S and Model X are excellent vehicles. In performance, comfort, design, and range, they have yet to be exceeded. If you have simple needs and you are single without children, then the Model S sedan has much to recommend it.

The latest editions of it are filled with all sorts of refinements and incorporate the most advanced technologies.

The Model X is for those with lots of children and a hectic family schedule. There is little doubt that the demands of such a family require more passenger and cargo space.

If given the choice, I would still go with the Model X, even though I am single and without children. My choice has much to do with the relative cost of the two vehicles. Although the Model X is $10,000 more than the Model S, you will still pay almost $95,000 for the latter.

This is an in for a penny-in-for-a-pound situation. If you plan to get financing to actually buy the vehicle, you may as well get the extra space and better design.