Only 1 Electric Car Has Standard All-Wheel Drive (AWD)

Whether standard or available, all-wheel drive is a common feature on SUVs. However, the same can’t be said for sedans and hatchbacks, even if they’re EVs. That’s why the Tesla Model S stands out. In addition to being one of the fastest production vehicles, it’s the only electric car with standard AWD. Here’s an overview of the Model S and a rundown of several EVs that offer optional AWD.

You can pay extra for AWD on these electric cars

The Lucid Air Grand Touring with AWD has an impressive 516-mile range. However, its triple-digit price tag will likely push most buyers toward the single-motor version instead. The base-model Lucid Air Pure gets 410 miles of range and promises fast acceleration with 480 hp.

Starting at $67,300 for the AWD version, the BMW i4 M50 is more attainable. It can reach 60 mph in under four seconds and go 270 miles on a full charge with its 536-hp dual-motor setup.

The 2023 Polestar 2 now gets 260 miles of range when AWD-equipped. Car and Driver enjoyed testing the Performance model with all its extra equipment, like Brembo brakes and a sport-tuned suspension. Every Polestar 2 has an all-vegan interior and abundant tech features, including a built-in Google assistant. 

Is the Tesla Model S a good value?

Electric car with standard AWD: Tesla Model S
Tesla Model S Plaid | Tesla

The standard Tesla Model S packs two electric motors generating 670 hp. According to Tesla, the base model can reach 60 mph in 3.1 seconds and go 405 miles. It has a starting price of $94,990, and the upgraded Plaid trim retails for $129,990. 

The upgraded Tesla Model S Plaid has three electric motors harnessing 1,020 hp. It also boasts a top speed of 200 mph and a 0–60-mph acceration time of under two seconds. Even with all that power, it still gets 396 miles of range.

However, the Model S Plaid’s fuel economy drops to 102/99 MPGe city/highway when optioned with 21-inch wheels. 19-inch wheels are standard for both models, allowing the Plaid to average 119/112 MPGe city/highway.

According to Edmunds, riders get heated and ventilated seats and 42 inches of legroom. Most backseat passengers will be comfortable with over 35 inches of legroom and heated seats.

In addition to speed, the Tesla Model S outperforms its rivals in cargo space. It provides 58 cubic feet total, with 28 cubic feet available when every seat is in use. And the deep frunk has 5.0 cubic feet of storage space, and you can even open it from the car’s center touchscreen.

In fact, nearly all of the Model S’s interior controls are configured through the 17-inch touchscreen. It still doesn’t offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but the infotainment interface is easy enough to learn. There’s also a 22-speaker audio system, a wireless charging pad, and fast-charging USB ports inside.

These 4 electric SUVs have standard AWD

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If you’re willing to sacrifice horsepower, most electric SUVs offer standard AWD at a much lower price than the Tesla Model S’s MSRP.

For example, the Subaru Solterra retails for $44,995. Though it gets only 228 miles of range, its traction enhancements give drivers enough confidence for light off-roading. 

Standard AWD is even more common in the luxury electric SUV class. You’ll find it on the Audi e-tron, Volvo XC40 Recharge, and many others. It’s also present on some of the newest EVs, including the Genesis GV60. 

The Tesla Model S offers fiercely competitive power and range. However, if you simply need an EV with AWD, you’ll find plenty of cheaper options.