2023 BMW i4 vs. 2023 Tesla Model S Vehicle Comparison

Different strokes

 If you're shopping for a premium electric car in Tacoma, Seattle, or Bellevue and want something sporty, an increasing number of exciting options are available. Two that you should consider are the all-new 2023 BMW i4 and the 2023 Tesla Model S, so let's put them head-to-head to help you decide which to buy.

How they look

Both the 2023 BMW i4 and 2023 Tesla Model S wear somewhat traditional exterior styling, but in very different ways and for different reasons. The exterior of the Model S is traditionally Tesla and traditionally Model S, which isn't the compliment it once was. The Tesla is as sleek and stylish as it was when it launched, and that's a big part of the problem. The Model S has changed very little over the years on the outside, which is almost unheard of for a car that's been around for more than a decade. It's still an attractive car but becoming familiar to the point of monotonous.

The traditional aspect of the i4's exterior styling is that it's instantly recognizable as a BMW. The BMW i4 looks very similar to its gas-powered equivalent in the current BMW lineup, which makes it a sensational-looking Gran Coupe that isn't trying to be different for the sake of what fuel it uses. If you want a sleek, sporty, and premium EV that doesn't shout to the world with its styling that you're driving something "different," the 2023 BMW i4 is the clear winner here.

Performance matters

If you're only concern when buying your new electric car is the one that develops the most horsepower and torque, and the price isn't an issue, the 2023 Tesla Model S, especially the Plaid model, easily comes out on top here. The Model S offers extraordinary power and performance numbers, but you must ask a few pertinent questions. These include do you need that much power, whether there's any chance you will ever get to use it, and whether you will be happy to pay so much for something you're unlikely ever to take full advantage of having at your disposal.

The Tesla is available in two-motor and three-motor versions, while the BMW i4 comes in single and dual-motor variants. Some may think more is always better, but the single-motor version of the BMW is a rear-drive model. Rear-wheel drive is the preferred choice of driving enthusiasts, but AWD is the only choice with the Tesla. The BMW is available in a dual-motor M50 variant with AWD, and all versions of the i4 drive how shoppers expect BMWs to drive. The numbers associated with the Model S are sensational on paper, but cars drive on the road, not on paper.  

Living with the i4 and Model S

Even before the exterior styling, the first thing that will grab your attention with the 2023 BMW i4 and 2023 Tesla Model S is the MSRP. The starting MSRP for the 2023 BMW i4 eDrive35 Gran Coupe is $52,000, while the eDrive40 Gran Coupe costs $57,100, and the i4 M50 Gran Coupe MSRP is $68,700. That compares to $94,990 for the standard 2023 Tesla Model S and an eye-watering $114,990 for the Model S Plaid.

Buying and owning the i4 is much like any other BMW, which means you have the reassurance and backup of a world-renowned brand and its vast network of full-service dealerships like BMW Northwest. Buying and owning a Tesla is a much more remote experience, and the feeling extends to the cars themselves. The interior of the Tesla has evolved over time. Instead of a steering wheel, the odd-looking yolk was always polarizing, so buyers now have the option of a proper steering wheel. However, it's still unnervingly minimalist and feels like something from a 1990s sci-fi movie. The interior of the i4 is fabulously contemporary with its stunning curved glass display, but it looks and feels like you expect a luxury sports car to look and feel, and it exudes that unrelenting BMW quality of fit, finish, and materials.  


There's plenty to like and admire with the 2023 Tesla Model S, but the 2023 BMW i4 provides a smoother, easier, and more comfortable transition into the world of full-electric performance cars. Although the Tesla offers some staggering performance figures, the i4 will make much more sense for most shoppers. The Tesla offers some performance bragging rights, but the i4 is a sensational, high-quality, luxury car with performance you can actually use and a price that makes sense.

The only way to truly appreciate this fantastic car is to come for a test drive in the 2023 BMW i4 with BMW Northwest at 4011 20th Street East Tacoma, WA, or call us (253)-922-8700 to schedule a test drive that fits your schedule.
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