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In the electric vehicle world, Tesla still reigns supreme. Well, at least if you ask Tesla owners. The reality is that the midsize electric segment is heating up, and more competitors like the 2023 BMW i5 are queueing up to take on the Silicon-valley giant. Speaking of the i5, it’s new and this BMW EV has plenty to offer. So let’s see how it stacks up against the venerable Tesla Model S.

2024 BMW i5 vs. 2023 Tesla Model S: The German car is cheaper

It may be hard to believe that the 2024 BMW i5 would be cheaper than the Tesla Model S, but it is. The i5 starts at $66,800, while the Model S starts at a whopping $88,490 with the Model S Plaid reaching six figure territory. Even if you step up to the more potent BMW i5 M60, you’ll pay a base price of $84,100. That’s still cheaper than the Tesla with similar performance.

The Tesla Model S wins when it comes to performance

A front view of the Tesla Model S on the track
Tesla Model S | Tesla

Whether you love or hate Tesla, it’s hard to deny that it knows what it’s doing regarding performance. According to Tesla, the base Model S can get up to 60 mph from a standstill in only 3.1 seconds. After that distance is covered, the Model S can reach a top speed of 149 mph. That’s impressive, no matter which way you cut it.

The BMW i5, on the other hand, can get up to 60 mph from a stop in 5.4 seconds in its base eDrive40 form. Stepping up to the M60 version drops that time to 3.7 seconds, according to BMW. That’s very quick, but not as quick as the Model S.

It’s hard to beat the Tesla Supercharger network

A blue Tesla Model S drives down the street
Tesla Model S | Tesla

Regarding charging these cars, the Tesla Model S has a clear win. Over 45,000 Tesla charging stations dot the U.S. map, meaning charging the Model S on a road trip would be quicker and more efficient than the BMW i5. Since the Superchargers charge at a level 3 rate, there’s no need to play a bunch of games on your phone for hours to wait to get to 50%.

The BMW i5 has the Tesla beat in terms of quality

The Tesla Model S is filled with faux leather and recycled trim pieces to save the environment. However, those interior materials could feel cheap compared to those found in the BMW i5. Every BMW vehicle we tested was filled with real leather, carbon/aluminum trim pieces, and the type of quality you would expect from the German automaker.

On the other hand, publications like Carscoops have reported quality issues on Tesla’s like the Model S Plaid, which costs upwards of $140,000.

The Tesla Model S has a better electric range

A view of the trunk on the 2024 BMW i5 eDrive40
2024 BMW i5 eDrive40 | BMW

Range anxiety is a huge concern when shopping for an EV, and the Tesla Model S will put most shopper’s minds at ease. The standard Model S is able to travel up to 405 miles on a single charge, which is far more than the i5’s 295-mile cap. That mileage drops when opting for the i5 M60 to 256. If you want more range, the Tesla is what you seek.

2024 BMW i5 vs. 2023 Tesla Model S: Which car should you pick?

If you want German quality and don’t want to spend over $70,000 on a luxury EV, the 2024 BMW i5 is the way to go. However, the Tesla Model S is the better choice if you need more range for long trips and want more convenient charging. We would choose the BMW i5 for our money since the i4 M50 impressed us so much. Ultimately, it depends on your needs.