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2 weeks with my inventory 85D (including 700-mi road trip) - impressions and musings!

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I’ve had possession of my 85D for the past 2 weeks, and I wanted to write in to give my impressions and takeaways. I actually wrote a thesis-length post a few nights ago but my web browser crashed as I hit post, and I lost everything. So…anyway, here goes again…

The Purchase:
I walked in and asked a sales rep to show me the available inventory cars, and he pulled up his laptop and went over everything that they had in stock in the southwest region. Picked out a bare-bones 85D (autopilot convenience + obsidian black paint were the only options) with about 600 miles on it. Got a $2500 showroom discount - not much, but I decided to go for it since it was close to what I wanted and I’d be able to get it in a week. I put a $2500 reservation on my Amex, and took delivery of the car 6 days later at the Costa Mesa service center. Secured financing at 1.99% through Alliant - easiest loan approval process ever. Even though it was only 6 days from reservation to delivery, it was one of the longest weeks of my life. I commiserate with those of you who have 6+ week waits for your model S.

The Drive:
Sublime. Buttery smooth, instant power delivery, super quiet and comfortable ride. Everyone I’ve given rides to has been thoroughly impressed. A sampling of the comments overheard from the passenger seat include:

“You have to warn me when you’re going to do that”
“I thought electric cars were slow”
“Have you gotten any dates since getting it”
“Wait, HOW much horsepower?
"You must have a really good job"

“Your life is complete”

Honestly, there’s nothing that anyone here on this board isn’t likely already aware of re: the driving experience, so I won’t spend any more time on this. One thing I’ll mention though is that even in its current iteration, TACC is a game-changer. Took a few drives to get used to it, but the fear and panic about rear-ending someone has dissipated. Stop and go traffic has actually become…relaxing?? I actually end up missing my exits because I zone out sitting in my comfy car listening to my podcasts and music! TACC and autopilot were the primary reasons why I bought the car - and so far haven’t been disappointed. Although, I think TACC should sound a beep when it goes into "hold" mode, so I don't sit in the middle of traffic drawing the ire of other drivers. Can’t wait for the auto-steer!

Road Trip:
I took a trip to Phoenix from Orange County via I-10 a few days ago. Supercharging stations were great - filled up around 300-350 mph at each one. Never had any of real range anxiety (i.e. not making it to my destination) during the actual road trip - but I was being extra cautious so I decided to stop for at least 10-15 minutes at each station. This equaled 3 stops, and provided more than enough charge to make it the roughly 350 miles to Phoenix. Destination charging was a bit more of an issue - the place I was staying didn’t have a 240v outlet, so I was stuck with the 110v sipping at 4mph. Still though - 10-12 hours overnight yielded 40-50 miles of range, which was typically more than enough juice for the day’s commuting. I took every chance to plug in to public outlets and the Scottsdale Tesla store was kind enough to let me hook in to their HPWC.


  • Applied cQuartz finest w/ paint correction - $950. I’m not actually 100% sold on cQuartz just yet. Supposedly helps to maintain luster and gloss, and also stave off swirling. Expensive, and not sure it does much more than a good detailer could do with a every month or two wax job. Time will tell.
  • Went with Suntek Carbons 18 all the way around - $550 (overpaid, could have gotten it for less)
  • I’ve been mulling over the Reus upgrade, but at $3000-$5000, it’s a bit pricey for me.
  • Picked up Mobius action cam to use as a dash cam. $120 for the camera, a capacitor, and the car kit. Will probably just hook it into the 12V rather than deal with hard wiring.
  • Lastly, considering getting the wheel powder coated matte gray. We’ll see…

Options: Again my car is stock with nothing but autopilot and obsidian black paint, so take this for whatever it’s worth

  • Seats: My car has the textile seats. Had a loaner P85+ for the last few days with standard leather upgrade. The leather looks better, but honestly wasn’t any more comfortable than stock. If I was getting a seat upgrade, I’d go with the next-gen seats - those actually feel noticeably better from the textile. Bottom line though, textile is still great.
  • Premium Interior: my loaner p85+ had the premium interior (or so I think). If not for the power liftgate (which I love), I’d skip this.
  • Black vs. Obsidian black: The obsidian black is shinier and more “glittery” than the regular black. Does it look nice(r) in the sun? Absolutely. Worth $1000? Tough call. Probably would have saved the $1000 and gone with basic black - but I’m still happy to have it.
  • Sound: The loaner P85+ had upgraded sound, mine does not. The upgraded sound is no doubt better than stock (and why wouldn’t it be?) If you’re not opposed to aftermarket, the Reus supposedly sounds much better for not a whole lot more money.
  • 19s vs. 21s: Go with 19s. 21s look badass, but for $4500, you better be sure the louder tire roar isn’t a big deal to you.
  • Sunroof: would have gotten this if I could have. Love it on the P85 loaner. Interior felt roomier, and heat from the SoCal sun wasn’t a big problem.

Not all roses…

  • Data connection has gone kaput at least once, requiring a soft reboot of my display.
  • A couple of paint chips were present at delivery. Small enough that I didn’t even notice until my detailer informed me about them. Tesla service touched it up for me, no issues.
  • GPS antenna was super flaky. Would drop connection constantly. Tesla service fixed it though.
  • Passenger door mirror had issues with the chrome finish bubbling up, and also had issues getting “stuck” while being adjusted. Tesla service replaced the mirror.
  • The display is sloooooow. Too used to my iPhone and iPad. Hopefully a hardware retrofit with a new SOC (system on chip) will be made available to us.
  • I get the “deflated balloon” noise under hard acceleration occasionally. Booo…another service visit in my future?

Amazing car. Expensive. Feels like I am living in the future. People think I’m much more well off than I actually am. Impresses family, friends, and girls. Car is not perfect, but Tesla service has been great so far. Looking forward to auto-steer!


Signing the papers for my baby!


Just cQuartz'd!


Supercharging in Indio, CA


Supercharging in Quartzite




At Home...


Drove my loaner P85+ to the top of a hill...because why not?
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