2013 Tesla Model S vs. Its Competition

2013 Tesla Model S
John Voelcker John Voelcker Senior Editor

It's not immediately obvious which cars directly compete with the unique 2013 Tesla Model S.

The closest may be the pricey Fisker Karma, but it's not fully electric, the swoopy styling comes at the cost of interior space and cargo capacity, and it's the least efficient plug-in on the market.

Technology fans and early adopters may be drawn to the Chevy Volt, which is less expensive and far less roomy, but it too has an engine.

For battery electric cars, there's the Nissan Leaf, lightly revised this year and now made in Tennessee, but it only offers about 75 miles of range, and it's utilitarian, not luxurious or sporty.

Then there are a pair of mid-size sporty hatchbacks, the Audi A7 and BMW 5-Series GT.

They're closest to the Model S in luxury and functionality, but both have only gasoline engines--and no plugs--which likely dooms them for most Tesla buyers.

2013 Tesla Model S2013 Tesla Model S
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2013 Audi A72013 Audi A7
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2013 BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo 5dr 550i Gran Turismo RWD Side Exterior View2013 BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo
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2013 Chevrolet Volt 5dr HB Side Exterior View2013 Chevrolet Volt
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2013 Nissan Leaf, Nashville area test drive, April 20132013 Nissan Leaf
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Quick Specs
The Tesla Model S is a revolutionary electric car that blends sporty handling and lots of space, with a range of battery sizes so buyers can choose (and pay for) only the range they need.
The 2013 Audi A7 and S7 are design standouts, refined performers, and more exciting, practical alternatives to sedans.
If you can afford it, the 2013 Chevrolet Volt is one of only a handful of plug-in hybrids on the market, and among the best.
The 2013 is the greenest car you can buy--if you can live with between 70 and 100 miles of driving range on a full battery charge.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
18 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy35 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy
ElectricSupercharged Gas V6Turbocharged Gas I6Gas/Electric I4Electric
EPA Class    
NAMidsize CarsLarge CarsCompact CarsMidsize
Style Name    
4-Door Sedan4-Door HB quattro 3.0 Prestige5-Door 535i Gran Turismo RWD5-Door HB4-Door HB S
Rear Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront wheel driveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
SedanSedanHatchbackHatchback4 Door Hatchback
NAAutomatic w/Manual ShiftAutomatic w/Manual ShiftAutomaticAutomatic
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2013 Tesla Model S vs. 2013 Audi A72013 Tesla Model S vs. 2013 BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo2013 Tesla Model S vs. 2013 Chevrolet Volt2013 Tesla Model S vs. 2013 Nissan Leaf