Home » You Can Now Buy A Used Tesla Model S Plaid For The Price Of A Kia EV6 GT

You Can Now Buy A Used Tesla Model S Plaid For The Price Of A Kia EV6 GT

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It’s safe to say that electric vehicles have reset the straight-line acceleration paradigm, and one of the biggest mic-drop moments was when Tesla rolled out the absurdly quick Model S Plaid.

We’re talking about a performance liftback that can fit the whole family and credibly line up with million-dollar machines. Initially priced in the low six-figure range, the Model S Plaid was both a performance bargain, offering hypercar-rivaling acceleration with the ability to sprint from zero to 60mph in under three seconds, and an exclusive status symbol for well-heeled buyers, thanks to its limited initial sales volumes and high-end price tag.

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Since 2021, however, a few interesting things have happened. Price cuts of new models from Tesla, combined with general used EV depreciation, have conspired to drop second-hand Model S Plaid pricing into the realm of middle-class affordability. In fact, you can now pick up a Model S Plaid for the price of a fast Kia. Never before have so many people been able to accelerate so quickly.

What Are We Looking At?

Tesla Model S Plaid

You likely already know about this car, for it’s the performance EV that broke the internet. With three electric motors on tap, this thing can dash from zero-to-60 mph in a shade over two seconds, pump out more than 1,000 horsepower, and ran a 9.4-second quarter-mile time in Car And Driver testing, tying a Bugatti Chiron Sport. Yes, the bar for Bugatti-like acceleration is now nice Kia money. We really are living in a brave new world. Mind you, these early models won’t be capable of the 200 mph top speed claimed by Elon Musk without retrofitting the $20,000 track pack, and even then, the car might sacrifice too much overall to make that an enjoyable experience. As Car And Driver wrote:

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But, trust us, you don’t want to do 200 mph in this car. Even 162 mph was terrifying, wandering and nervous to the point that we were concerned about our ability to shepherd it between lane lines. The steering doesn’t firm up enough with speed, making the task more difficult. At similar velocities, a Taycan is resolutely stable. Another reason to fear a 200-mph speed is brakes that got soft during our testing. Although our braking regimen isn’t nearly as severe as what a racetrack demands, a warning message reporting the brakes’ demise popped up on the dash. Between the flappability at high speeds and the iffy brakes, our helmets are way off to former FIA GT racing driver Andreas Simonsen, who piloted the Plaid to what must have been a harrowing 7:35 Nürburgring lap.

Still, if you’re looking for an absolute straight-line missile, you aren’t going to do much better for the money than a used Model S Plaid. These things depreciated hard and fast, and now it’s time for the patient to reap the reward.

How Expensive Are We Talking?

Tesla Model S Plaid

When I wrote that these Model S Plaids are fast Kia money, we weren’t pulling any shenanigans. A new Kia EV6 GT carries a price tag of $62,975 including freight, and while it’s a more cohesive performance package than a Model S Plaid, its 576-horsepower output is thoroughly outgunned by the top-dog Tesla, which can now be bought second-hand for less money. Just the other week, this 2021 Model S Plaid sold on Cars & Bids for $59,000, and while the bright wrap might not be to everyone’s taste, less than $60,000 for hypercar-like acceleration from a 43,800-mile sedan seems like a damn good deal.

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Likewise, if we hop over to traditional classified ads, we can see that some of the values witnessed in recent auctions aren’t wildly low. This 2021 Model S Plaid is listed for sale by a used car dealer in California for $59,899 with just 28,044 miles on the clock. By all accounts, that’s a solid deal, and it’s not the only one.

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Perhaps grey is more your color. Well, here’s a 2021 Model S Plaid on the optional upgraded wheels, and it’s listed for sale by a Mitsubishi dealer in Cleveland for $59,990. With 39,680 miles on the clock and an airy off-white interior, it seems like one hell of a daily driver.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong On A Tesla Model S Plaid?

Tesla Model S Plaid interior

As these are late-model cars with the benefit of electric power, there isn’t a whole lot that seems to go wrong with them. A few Tesla Model S Plaid owners have reported that the upholstery on their steering yokes started to peel, and build quality seems less than impressive, but no widespread patterns of mechanical failures have made themselves apparent on these cars. A software update has fixed reports of drivetrain vibrations, and that was the only truly pervasive mechanical issue we’ve seen on these cars so far. In comparison with a lot of heavily depreciated luxury cars, that’s not the worst position to be in.

Should I Buy A Tesla Model S Plaid?

Tesla Model S Plaid

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That depends. Do you value straight-line speed over everything else? If so, go for it. However, if you’re looking for a well-rounded performance vehicle or something that doesn’t feel more than a decade old at its core, maybe a used Model S Plaid isn’t the car for you.

At the same time, we can admit to this car’s limitations while still being captivated by the fact that acceleration times formerly exclusive to the one percent are now in the realm of affordability for a whole bunch of relatively middle-class people. The whole game of straight-line speed has changed with the development of batteries and motors, and the future is rather clear — if you want to accelerate quickly in an arrow-straight manner, an EV is the way to do it.

(Photo credits: Cars & Bids, Autotrader sellers)

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Jeff Max
Jeff Max
1 month ago

1 just sold on C&B for 61k

WaCkO
WaCkO
1 month ago

I’d buy the ev6 gt over this. Just like I bought an ev6 gtline instead of a model3 or Y. Better interior, no money for musk and I don’t look like a Tesla douche.

sentinelTk
sentinelTk
1 month ago

Love or hate Tesla (and Elon), but I think we can all admit…..naming a trim package after Spaceballs is awesome.

Stryker_T
Stryker_T
1 month ago

almost forgot about that stupid yolk steering wheel, even if it had a decent interior that wasn’t trying to solve problems people don’t have, I would still go for the Kia.

Mike Dt
Mike Dt
1 month ago

Even if Elon wasn’t a thing I wouldn’t buy this or any Tesla. No carplay, forced over the air updates, no round steering wheel, and no buttons or knobs. I don’t want to play with an iPad as I’m driving down the road.

Dinklesmith
Dinklesmith
1 month ago

Honestly I’d have a Tesla by now if Elon weren’t such a douche. I just can’t bring myself to give him money

My 0.02 Cents
My 0.02 Cents
1 month ago
Reply to  Dinklesmith

In principle I agree, however a good chunk of the purchase price goes to American workers and by extension their families. Whereas if you buy the Kia most of the money goes overseas to South Korean workers and their families.
I think I’d rather support my fellow countrymen and women than another countries population.
Musk is going to be someone you don’t like regardless either way.
Now I’d rather be able to afford the new Taycan than either the Tesla or the Kia, but I’m almost in reach of the Kia, so that Taycan is along way out of my budget.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
1 month ago

I tend to bristle at the idea of owning a Tesla these days, but I saw this auction and it was tempting because the Plaid is just so ridiculous.

But it is missing half its steering wheel, so just a reminder why I don’t want a Tesla.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
1 month ago

4,700+ lbs. No: accelerating that much mass that quickly is not something I want to be in charge of.

Last edited 1 month ago by TOSSABL
Toecutter
Toecutter
1 month ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

It does that better than a Hellcat! Too bad it’s AWD.

Toecutter
Toecutter
1 month ago

I could afford to buy one right now, but I have no place to keep it, and it will get even cheaper with time. I don’t think these are anywhere close to the bottom of the depreciation curve.

Nevermind that it’s an overweight pig of a vehicle.

It would be nice to see Tesla make another sports car even lighter than the OG Roadster. They have a much lighter electric motor and the current battery tech is about 60% more energy dense by mass than what went into the OG Roadster. From a technology standpoint, there really isn’t a valid excuse why we cannot have an electric sports car with 200+ miles range with ICE Miata-like weight.

Last edited 1 month ago by Toecutter
Alexk98
Alexk98
1 month ago
Reply to  Toecutter

While I doubt that Tesla will ever deliver anything close to that low of a weight, we can at least hope that Caterham succeeds in getting their Project V concept to market. 2600 lbs target weight, 268 hp targeted 250 mi range (on WLTP, so more like 200 real world) and a 2+1 seating arrangement, should be the true test of what an EV sports car can be.

Granted it’ll be 100k, but it’s a Caterham, and I have no doubt it’ll be the best handling EV on sale save for whatever cracked out Cayman EV variant Porsche ends up selling for double the price of the Project V.

Lewis26
Lewis26
1 month ago
Reply to  Toecutter

After getting our Mach-E and having a quiet drive with the windows down, we said an electric convertible would be perfect. Silent top down drives on the road less traveled sounds great.

JerryLH3
JerryLH3
1 month ago

Oh yeah, the yoke. Hard pass.

If you have to ever go more than 180⁰ while turning the wheel, a yoke makes no sense. I could probably get used to it, but I would find it hard to do so purely because of how stupid I think it is. For those that can deal with that, great value there I suppose.

Angrycat Meowmeow
Angrycat Meowmeow
1 month ago

I’d do it if I had the money. Buying secondhand negates any qualms about giving money to Musk. The yoke isn’t my preference but I bet I’d get used to it. Probably not too hard to swap for a wheel anyway. I think the wrap looks great, too.

Sklooner
Sklooner
1 month ago

The perfect gift for high school graduation

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
1 month ago

Even though I’m a card carrying Tesla/Musk hater I won’t sit here and tell you I’ve never been a bit tempted by heavily depreciated ones. You can get nice enough Model 3 Performances for GTI money right now and regardless of how you feel about Tesla that’s a ridiculous amount of performance for that price.

The Plaids are no exception. While the stupid ass yoke and shoddy build quality/lack of capability outside of straight line speed are deal breakers for me before we even get to how I feel about Musk as a human being, these are still a metric fuck ton of fun for not a ton of money. You’re basically talking about a faster Hellcat Charger that you don’t need to put gas in…although the ridiculous insurance costs will likely be comparable.

Is this right for me? No. Is it right for someone? Definitely.

Cryptoenologist
Cryptoenologist
1 month ago

Jaguar I-Pace with every option are now around $25k. For a person that qualifies for the used EV credit and some state incentives, that means a 5 year old 400hp/500lbft luxury SUV with air suspension and pano roof for ~$17k.

Kia EV6 GTs are starting to drop too…

Blahblahblah123
Blahblahblah123
1 month ago

I’ll just say it here. If it comes with the stupid Yolk steering then it is a hard, HELL NO. Full stop.

Speedway Sammy
Speedway Sammy
1 month ago

Given the stunning performance, now that this car is affordable for the masses, I wonder if insurance will be affordable also? The potential for trouble is high.

Data
Data
1 month ago
Reply to  Speedway Sammy

Hellcat owners go electric, mayhem ensues. Which oddly also happens to be the name of the Muppets band, The Electric Mayehm.

I think the Model S is the best looking of the current Tesla vehicles, but that interior and the yoke are an immediate turn off.

Drew
Drew
1 month ago
Reply to  Speedway Sammy

Anecdotally, no. The insurance is not affordable. Even a Model 3 LR commands a high premium when I throw it in the insurance estimators, and this is much more

The M3 LR, replacing my Niro, would run about 600 extra every 6 months (give or take, depending on year/VIN). This is more than I pay every 6 months for both my vehicles ($492)

The Plaid I just threw in would instead add 1268.29 every 6 months.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
1 month ago
Reply to  Drew

Jesus Christ. I pay $600 every 6 months for my Kona N in a city that’s notoriously terrible for insurance rates. I can’t even begin to fathom playing 4 figures for 6 months of car insurance. One of the reasons I like hot hatches so much is they’re way cheaper to insure than actual sports cars.

Harvey Firebirdman
Harvey Firebirdman
1 month ago

Yeah fuck that noise I pay like 830 every 6 months for a 2018 Tourx, 13 FJ and 92 D250. My Firebird under classic is like 450 a year. Guess when ever I get to car shopping really going to have to look at rates of electrics.

Drew
Drew
1 month ago

It’s not all electrics. It is Tesla. I plug in a VW or Ford electric and it’s a slight increase that I can chalk up to increased value. A new Chevy Blazer EV was going to add like $300 and that made me balk a bit, but it still looked like a $60k vehicle vs my $25k. Teslas are more expensive to insure than many luxury vehicles, even just a M3LR. It is actually cheaper for me to insure a BMW i4 than a Tesla Model 3.

Harvey Firebirdman
Harvey Firebirdman
1 month ago
Reply to  Drew

That is so weird I wonder if it is due to the “self driving” stuff and all the idiots that have crashed from it? Because you would think a tesla would have lower rates especially a model 3 over a beemer i4 as parts should be cheaper on the tesla vs beemer.

Drew
Drew
1 month ago

I assume that some actuary with a whole lot of numbers in front of them decided a Tesla is a lot more likely to cost them extra due to a combination of “self-driving,” repair costs, wait times for repairs, and likelihood of damage totalling the vehicle. I’m guessing it falls more on the side of the expense of getting a Tesla repaired with genuine Tesla parts than the software that enables poor choices, but it’s all in there.

For reference, I currently carry roadside assistance, 100/300 un/underinsured, collision, comprehensive, 10k personal medical, 100/300/100 liability, and $250 deductibles. It’s entirely possible that people with different coverage would have very different results.

Cryptoenologist
Cryptoenologist
1 month ago
Reply to  Drew

My Niro EV runs $843 every 6 months, and that’s through USAA. Although I do have full coverage etc with a $300 deductible.

Drew
Drew
1 month ago

If I bumped my 2019 Niro PHEV up to a brand new Niro EV, I’d be up to $629 every six months for full coverage with $250 deductible through Geico (I’m actually switching back to Progressive in less than a month for a similar price and better un/underinsured property coverage, but Geico makes quotes for switching vehicles easier, so I’m using that to compare until I’m officially switched).

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