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2016.5 P90D to 2022 Plaid Impressions

There aren't enough of these threads so I figured I would post one more. I have had my 2016.5 P90D for close to 4 years now and it has been the best non-exotic car that I have owned. I loved it so much that I picked up a 2022 Plaid a few weeks ago. While the new Plaid is impressive in its own right, it is even more so to me because Tesla has truly improved on so many little things from the older Model S cars that an owner that is new to the brand wouldn't appreciate. There are definitely some steps back but it is almost all positive from where I sit. Here is my nonexhaustive list:

PXL_20220123_155602926.jpg

(left: 2022 Plaid, right: 2016.5 P90D)
  • Regen is so much better in every way. It is significantly stronger in all situations and I haven't even tried track mode yet which cranks it up further. The ability of the motors to regen to a stop now instead of only going down to 5 MPH is amazing. I never use the brakes aside from the odd situation in which I have to stop more quickly than anticipated due to some external factor. Also, I haven't read this anywhere else, but the low temp lack of regen is gone. Recently on my old car regen was severely reduced anytime the temp dropped much below 60F and around freezing forget about it. I have driven the Plaid in temps down to 15F or so and have not yet experienced reduced regen due to cold weather. I don't preheat the car but it is garaged at night. Regardless, that is a much welcomed change.
  • The new audio system is truly among the best, and might be the best, OEM system I have ever heard. Huge upgrade.
  • Fit and finish and perceived quality of the interior is so much better.
  • Exterior styling changes make a big difference coming from an old car. The casual observer likely couldn't tell the difference in the same way normal people cannot tell a difference between a new Porsche 911 992 and a 10 year old 991.
  • Responsiveness of the new MCU or whatever it is called now is vastly better than the MCU1 but that goes without saying. The utility of the refreshed instrument cluster display is a step back. It is useless compared to the old display in that it lost most of the additional information and all of the customizability of the old screen. It is obvious that its implementation is an afterthought so that Tesla can streamline the functionality between the 3/Y and refresh landscaped MCU in the new S/X as much as possible. Everything is done on the main screen now even though we still have an instrument cluster screen. Would you like to accept a phone call/check energy usage/check your TPMS/see music information/etc? Too bad, you will be using the main screen. So much wasted potential.
  • Yoke is a pain in parking lots but otherwise not so bad. It is nice in that you can somewhat rest your hands on top of the tops of the nubs while cruising. I almost prefer it in some instances now. Until I have to make a big turn.
  • Capacitive buttons are much worse than the yoke itself. I have gotten used to the blinkers are almost prefer them now. Obviously the horn is unusable now. Also it is very difficult to use the scroll wheels to change music tracks in that it is difficult to move it to the right to skip tracks without also pushing it in and pausing the music. The dedicated audio buttons were so much better in that regard.
  • New doors/door handles feel so much more sold when opening/closing the doors.
  • Car still makes lots of crazy noises while sitting in the garage but they are different. The operation of the heat pump is louder than the old resistive heat. Performance has been about the same for me.
PXL_20220123_155657009.jpg

(left: 2016 P90D, right: 2022 Plaid)
  • Trunk opens and closes more quietly and is so much quicker.
  • No red brakes for a Plaid unless you buy the (still unavailable) CCB upgrade for $20k is silly. The upgrade cost itself is crazy too. Almost any other prestige manufacturer that offers CCBs as an option such as Porsche charge $10k or so for them. $20k is absurd.
  • The brakes themselves are better than my P90D. Front calipers are larger. I wish that the rear wasn't a floating caliper as it is an inferior design to the old fixer calipers in the rear.
  • For street driving the brakes in stock form are just fine. I have never had any problems with them even after slowing quickly from high speeds. The feel is good but supposedly some brake hardware was changed for 22 as noted in some of the other threads. I am sure they are inadequate for track driving but why someone would want to track an almost 5,000 lb luxury sedan is beyond me.
  • Suspension is like butter. I thought the P90D was comfortable and it is but the Plaid is next level.
  • The in cabin storage is so vastly improved. It has a big effect upon daily livability. I travel a fair amount and live out of my car some days. This is a huge benefit.
  • Obviously the range improvement is massive.
  • The headlights seem much better but this may be placebo as I believe them to be the same units right? They are definitely aimed better from the factory. I had the aim my other headlights way up on the P90D. No adjustments needed now.
  • When I got my old car AP2 was still in its infancy and inferior to AP1 as far as ping ponging in its lane and whatnot. Those days are obviously long gone. On the interstate for my usage there isn't much difference between the two. AP3 or whatever it is now is better but not by much. On smaller roads such as rural highways that have sharper turns, more elevation changes, etc, the new AP is a revelation. On those roads I would not use AP1 because, in my usage, it was unsafe and had constant disengagements. The disengagements still happen but are much more infrequent and it negotiates the roads so much better. That has been impressive. I don't have FSD and am uninterested. I didn't buy a Plaid to be driven around.
  • NVH is much improved. The car is significantly quieter while cruising.
  • The struts that open the frunk are ridiculously overpowered. The front hood is violent when it opens, laughably so.
  • The frunk is way smaller. The rear trunk feels about the same even though I believe it is slightly smaller.
  • The seats are way more supportive. Ventilated seats are to die for.
  • Back seat room is improved pretty significantly.
  • My 3 year old absolutely loves having his own screen in the back seat so he can watch paw patrol. It is annoying that the only way for him to have sound on those videos back there to my knowledge is to have it playing over the entire car. Hopefully in a future update the sound can be separated into zones with media content from the screen in the back only played in the back seat.
  • Straight line performance is obviously silly. From a dig is faster than the P90D but not a world different in that doing repeated launches in either car begins to make me feel queasy. I am a lightweight. The big difference for me is the acceleration from a roll, especially at lower states of charge. It is a different ballgame.
  • I don't mind shifting on the screen one bit. It guesses correctly 80% of the time.
  • Seeing all of the cameras when backing up and the new blindspot camera when the blinker is on is really nice. We really need a 360 view like Elon promised years ago. The blindspot camera implementation could be so much better. In going back to the theme of the underutilized gauge cluster, it would be so much better if the image were displayed there so it is directly in your line of sight. If Kia has figured this out I bet Tesla can too.
  • Air suspension raises and lowers much more quickly and is more consistent in properly "remembering" saved GPS locations for raising.
  • Previously my automatic homelink opened my garage door about 30% of the time. I programmed the Plaid in the exact same way and it is over 95%.
  • I had a metal roof in the P90D. The alcantara headliner was nice but the glass roof is way better. Kids love it. It is tinted super dark so that except in pretty bright light you cannot really see out. That will be nice in the summer I guess but your view is definitely lessened by it. Electrochromic roof would be really nice and cost effective for such a large piece of glass I am sure. McLaren and Porsche can do it, why not Tesla?
  • The car is slower to auto present handles and unlock than the P90D. It often waits when I am right beside it even when I am using the keyfob. P90D would do it 10 feet away or so and as a result you never had to wait on it.
  • The blacked out pieces that were chrome previously are a huge upgrade obviously.
  • You can feel that wider bodywork when pulling into your garage if you are used to an older, slightly narrower car. Be careful.
  • The coat hooks and lighted vanity mirrors are nice.
  • The usage of magnets throughout the car to latch things is welcome and elegant.
  • The glass distortion at the bottom of the glass in the rear hatch is worse but doesn't really bother me. People that complain about that have never tried to see out the rear of a Lotus.
  • The separation of the underfloor areas in the rear trunk is nice so items placed in the side cubby and not rolling into the main central cubby and vice versa.
  • My radar detector works much better at detecting forward facing signals. My previous windshield must have had a coating even though I thought only earlier models had that.
  • As has been discussed numerous times, the auto wipers are ok but the wipers on the AP1 are far better with a dedicated rain sensor as opposing to the approach of using the cameras in the newer cars. Just use the stupid rain sensor like everyone else does.
  • The inductive phone chargers are really handy as are all of the USB C outlets.

Those are all of the stream of consciousness comparisons that I can come up with at the moment. Hopefully it helps someone. I am sure that I am leaving stuff out but the improvements over the older cars are vast and I couldn't be happier.
 
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Almost any other prestige manufacturer that offers CCBs as an option such as Porsche charge $10k or so for them. $20k is absurd.

you might want to go back and look at the CCB options for a Porsche GT2RS or a GT3RS. They ain't $10K... Tesla's $20K may be high, but it's in line with similar performance cars... What's the cost on a Lambo Hurican or a McLaren 570s???
 

KyleDay

Active Member
Oct 29, 2016
1,496
3,414
AZ
I really like your list. I also upgraded to a Plaid from a 2016 HW2 75S and the plaid is just worlds better. Sound system is incredible, the air suspension is nice, and the regen is fantastic.

My only gripe is I hate the haptic buttons. I’d greatly prefer to swap the functionality of the blinker buttons with the next/past track scroll wheel functions. I want to change tracks with the blinker buttons and change lanes with the scroll wheel.
 
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WilliamG

Hinge Fanatic
Apr 20, 2019
5,980
9,726
Seattle, WA
It’s interesting you point out the pressing left and right on the scroll wheels. I actually think they’re design flawed because of the yoke. On a Model Y or 3 for example, those scroll wheels stick out noticeably further toward you, i.e., there’s more scroll wheel to get purchase on. Whether due to the yoke design or who knows what - they don’t stick out far enough on the new S. And yeah, it’s annoying.

@jebinc
 

SilverGS

Active Member
Nov 3, 2016
1,878
1,118
Ontario
There aren't enough of these threads so I figured I would post one more. I have had my 2016.5 P90D for close to 4 years now and it has been the best non-exotic car that I have owned. I loved it so much that I picked up a 2022 Plaid a few weeks ago. While the new Plaid is impressive in its own right, it is even more so to me because Tesla has truly improved on so many little things from the older Model S cars that an owner that is new to the brand wouldn't appreciate. There are definitely some steps back but it is almost all positive from where I sit. Here is my nonexhaustive list:

  • Regen is so much better in every way. It is significantly stronger in all situations and I haven't even tried track mode yet which cranks it up further. The ability of the motors to regen to a stop now instead of only going down to 5 MPH is amazing. I never use the brakes aside from the odd situation in which I have to stop more quickly than anticipated due to some external factor. Also, I haven't read this anywhere else, but the low temp lack of regen is gone. Recently on my old car regen was severely reduced anytime the temp dropped much below 60F and around freezing forget about it. I have driven the Plaid in temps down to 15F or so and have not yet experienced reduced regen due to cold weather. I don't preheat the car but it is garaged at night. Regardless, that is a much welcomed change.
  • The new audio system is truly among the best, and might be the best, OEM system I have ever heard. Huge upgrade.
  • Fit and finish and perceived quality of the interior is so much better.
  • Exterior styling changes make a big difference coming from an old car. The casual observer likely couldn't tell the difference in the same way normal people cannot tell a difference between a new Porsche 911 992 and a 10 year old 991.
  • Responsiveness of the new MCU or whatever it is called now is vastly better than the MCU1 but that goes without saying. The utility of the refreshed instrument cluster display is a step back. It is useless compared to the old display in that it lost most of the additional information and all of the customizability of the old screen. It is obvious that its implementation is an afterthought so that Tesla can streamline the functionality between the 3/Y and refresh landscaped MCU in the new S/X as much as possible. Everything is done on the main screen now even though we still have an instrument cluster screen. Would you like to accept a phone call/check energy usage/check your TPMS/see music information/etc? Too bad, you will be using the main screen. So much wasted potential.
  • Yoke is a pain in parking lots but otherwise not so bad. It is nice in that you can somewhat rest your hands on top of the tops of the nubs while cruising. I almost prefer it in some instances now. Until have to make a big turn.
  • Capacitive buttons are much worse than the yoke itself. I have gotten used to the blinkers are almost prefer them now. Obviously the horn is unusable now. Also it is very difficult to use the scroll wheels to change music tracks in that it is difficult to move it to the right to skip tracks without also pushing it in and pausing the music. The dedicated audio buttons were so much better in that regard.
  • New doors/door handles feel so much more sold when opening/closing the doors.
  • Car still makes lots of crazy noises while sitting in the garage but they are different. The operation of the heat pump is louder than the old resistive heat. Performance has been about the same for me.
  • Trunk opens and closes more quietly and is so much quicker.
  • No red brakes for a Plaid unless you buy the (still unavailable) CCB upgrade for $20k is silly. The upgrade cost itself is crazy too. Almost any other prestige manufacturer that offers CCBs as an option such as Porsche charge $10k or so for them. $20k is absurd.
  • The brakes themselves are better than my P90D. Front calipers are larger. I wish that the rear wasn't a floating caliper as it is an inferior design to the old fixer calipers in the rear.
  • For street driving the brakes in stock form are just fine. I have never had any problems with them even after slowing quickly from high speeds. The feel is good but supposedly some brake hardware was changed for 22 as noted in some of the other threads. I am sure they are inadequate for track driving but why someone would want to track an almost 5,000 lb luxury sedan is beyond me.
  • Suspension is like butter. I thought the P90D was comfortable and it is but the Plaid is next level.
  • The in cabin storage is so vastly improved. It has a big effect upon daily livability. I travel a fair amount and live out of my car some days. This is a huge benefit.
  • Obviously the range improvement is massive.
  • The headlights seem much better but this may be placebo as I believe them to be the same units right? They are definitely aimed better from the factory. I had the aim my other headlights way up on the P90D. No adjustments needed now.
  • When I got my old car AP2 was still in its infancy and inferior to AP1 as far as ping ponging in its lane and whatnot. Those days are obviously long gone. On the interstate for my usage there isn't much difference between the two. AP3 or whatever it is now is better but not by much. On smaller roads such as rural highways that have sharper turns, more elevation changes, etc, the new AP is a revelation. On those roads I would not use AP1 because, in my usage, it was unsafe and had constant disengagements. The disengagements still happen but are much more infrequent and it negotiates the roads so much better. That has been impressive. I don't have FSD and am uninterested. I didn't buy a Plaid to be driven around.
  • NVH is much improved. The car is significantly quieter while cruising.
  • The struts that open the frunk are ridiculously overpowered. The front hood is violent when it opens, laughably so.
  • The frunk is way smaller. The rear trunk feels about the same even though I believe it is slightly smaller.
  • The seats are way more supportive. Ventilated seats are to die for.
  • Back seat room is improved pretty significantly.
  • My 3 year old absolutely loves having his own screen in the back seat so he can watch paw patrol. It is annoying that the only way for him to have sound on those videos back there to my knowledge is to have it playing over the entire car. Hopefully in a future update the sound can be separated into zones with media content from the screen in the back only played in the back seat.
  • Straight line performance is obviously silly. From a dig is faster than the P90D but not a world different in that doing repeated launches in either car begins to make me feel queasy. I am a lightweight. The big difference for me is the acceleration from a roll, especially at lower states of charge. It is a different ballgame.
  • I don't mind shifting on the screen one bit. It guesses correctly 80% of the time.
  • Seeing all of the cameras when backing up and the new blindspot camera when the blinker is on is really nice. We really need a 360 view like Elon promised years ago. The blindspot camera implementation could be so much better. In going back to the theme of the underutilized gauge cluster, it would be so much better if the image were displayed there so it is directly in your line of sight. If Kia has figured this out I bet Tesla can too.
  • Air suspension raises and lowers much more quickly and is more consistent in properly "remembering" saved GPS locations for raising.
  • Previously my automatic homelink opened my garage door about 30% of the time. I programmed the Plaid in the exact same way and it is over 95%.
  • I had a metal roof in the P90D. The alcantara headliner was nice but the glass roof is way better. Kids love it. It is tinted super dark so that except in pretty bright light you cannot really see out. That will be nice in the summer I guess but your view is definitely lessened by it. Electrochromic roof would be really nice and cost effective for such a large piece of glass I am sure. McLaren and Porsche can do it, why not Tesla?
  • The car is slower to auto present handles and unlock than the P90D. It often waits when I am right beside it even when I am using the keyfob. P90D would do it 10 feet away or so and as a result you never had to wait on it.
  • The blacked out pieces that were chrome previously are a huge upgrade obviously.
  • You can feel that wider bodywork when pulling into your garage if you are used to an older, slightly narrower car. Be careful.
  • The coat hooks and lighted vanity mirrors are nice.
  • The usage of magnets throughout the car to latch things is welcome and elegant.
  • The glass distortion at the bottom of the glass in the rear hatch is worse but doesn't really bother me. People that complain about that have never tried to see out the rear of a Lotus.
  • The separation of the underfloor areas in the rear trunk is nice so items placed in the side cubby and not rolling into the main central cubby and vice versa.
  • My radar detector works much better at detecting forward facing signals. My previous windshield must have had a coating even though I thought only earlier models had that.
  • As has been discussed numerous times, the auto wipers are ok but the wipers on the AP1 are far better with a dedicated rain sensor as opposing to the approach of using the cameras in the newer cars. Just use the stupid rain sensor like everyone else does.
  • The inductive phone chargers are really handy as are all of the USB C outlets.

Those are all of the stream of consciousness comparisons that I can come up with at the moment. Hopefully it helps someone. I am sure that I am leaving stuff out but the improvements over the older cars are vast and I couldn't be happier.
Thanks for the very detailed review!! I have a 2016 75D and cannot even imagine how much more improved the new car is! Your feedback definitely helps in that regard!
 
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you might want to go back and look at the CCB options for a Porsche GT2RS or a GT3RS. They ain't $10K... Tesla's $20K may be high, but it's in line with similar performance cars... What's the cost on a Lambo Hurican or a McLaren 570s???

Respectfully, you a little delusional putting the Plaid in the same league as supercars. It is apples and oranges. The only way they are remotely comparable is straight line acceleration. That is it. The Plaid is a full size EV luxury sedan that happens to have four digit horsepower and is rapid in a straight line. The others are purpose built 2 seat supercars. I have seen this often in the media as well as they unfavorably compare the Plaid to a Senna/SF90/Bugatti etc when speaking about outright or track performance when the Plaid is only in that conversation because of the horsepower and was never meant to be a narrowly focused sports car. It is a jack of all trades.

If you compare the Plaid to its ACTUAL peers such as the Porsche Panamera/RS6/M5/AMG whatever super sedan you will find CCB options around the $10k mark. Porsche charges $8,970 for PCCBs for the Panamera. Audi charges $8,500 for CCBs. Heck, on my NSX Acura charged $10,600 for CCBs.
 
Wow, thanks for the in-depth comparison, @phaphaphooey ! I’ll be trading up from a 2017 75D so it will be an even bigger upgrade for me.

I’ve already been compiling an exhaustive list of all the upgrades I can look forward to, but you included a few I hadn’t heard about, so that’s exciting!

It’s interesting to hear about your Homelink improvements. Mine is really weird - it works 99% of the time automatically when arriving home from down the street but often needs numerous presses to close the door when I’m in the garage or right outside in the driveway. I heard that LED light bulbs in the opener might cause interference, so I’ll have to test that theory (would correlate to my experience since it usually screws up while the opener’s light is still on, shortly after opening the door).

I’m glad to hear about the stronger regen and lack of reduced regen in the cold! I was hoping that would be the case with the new octovalve system!

I’m curious if you’ve noticed any difference in the speed at which the app connects to the car. That’s one of my last annoying issues with my user experience. Sometimes it’ll take 30+ seconds to connect to the car or the preconditioning operation will fail and I’ll have to restart the app. Maybe the newer/faster computer helps with this?

That really sucks about the lack of customization of the instrument cluster. I didn’t know that. Hopefully that’s something that they will add with a future software update (along with adding the blind spot camera in there too).

Do you have more details on the upgraded brake hardware? Is this just compared to previous generation models (2020 and older), or even compared to the 2021 refresh models? I hadn’t heard about this.
 
For street driving the brakes in stock form are just fine. I have never had any problems with them even after slowing quickly from high speeds. The feel is good but supposedly some brake hardware was changed for 22 as noted in some of the other threads.
Great write up, thank you. Can you elaborate on the '22 brake hardware change?
 
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Wow, thanks for the in-depth comparison, @phaphaphooey ! I’ll be trading up from a 2017 75D so it will be an even bigger upgrade for me.

I’ve already been compiling an exhaustive list of all the upgrades I can look forward to, but you included a few I hadn’t heard about, so that’s exciting!

It’s interesting to hear about your Homelink improvements. Mine is really weird - it works 99% of the time automatically when arriving home from down the street but often needs numerous presses to close the door when I’m in the garage or right outside in the driveway. I heard that LED light bulbs in the opener might cause interference, so I’ll have to test that theory (would correlate to my experience since it usually screws up while the opener’s light is still on, shortly after opening the door).

I’m glad to hear about the stronger regen and lack of reduced regen in the cold! I was hoping that would be the case with the new octovalve system!

I’m curious if you’ve noticed any difference in the speed at which the app connects to the car. That’s one of my last annoying issues with my user experience. Sometimes it’ll take 30+ seconds to connect to the car or the preconditioning operation will fail and I’ll have to restart the app. Maybe the newer/faster computer helps with this?

That really sucks about the lack of customization of the instrument cluster. I didn’t know that. Hopefully that’s something that they will add with a future software update (along with adding the blind spot camera in there too).

Do you have more details on the upgraded brake hardware? Is this just compared to previous generation models (2020 and older), or even compared to the 2021 refresh models? I hadn’t heard about this.

I am glad it was helpful. The app seems to connect to the car more consistently quicker than it did on my older S but it is still no consistently fast. Sometimes it will still take 10 secs or so I assume based upon factors such as network signal strength and how "awake" the car is at the time.

As for the brakes, on my 2016.5 the brakes are fixed calipers front and rear with the front being slightly larger than the rear but not a huge amount. The parking brake is a separate caliper on the rear discs. Somewhere along the way Tesla updated the front calipers to be larger and more beefy while shrinking the rear brake calipers into a sliding/floating configuration with an integrated parking brake. I know this was one prior to the Plaid refresh. Whether there was a further change in brake hardware between the pre and post 2021 refresh I do not know.
 
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Great write up, thank you. Can you elaborate on the '22 brake hardware change?
Buried deep within one of the Plaid braking threads was an indication that some part had changed for the November and newer Plaid builds. I believe there was speculation that it helped pedal feel? All I know is that my 22, which has a November build date, has perfectly acceptable brake feel and performance for a car in its class for spirited street driving. For track driving I would change out fluid and pads at the very least but also I have no desire to track an almost 5,000 lb family sedan either.

After reading all of the hate for the brakes I had resigned myself to switching to a more aggressive pad first thing. I am glad I waited to order anything before trying it out. For my usage they are fine.
 
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2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
3,409
5,445
USA
Great review. And this seems to be the consensus among 99% of owners. At BEST the yoke is "not that bad". (not quite glowing reviews)

  • Yoke is a pain in parking lots but otherwise not so bad. It is nice in that you can somewhat rest your hands on top of the tops of the nubs while cruising. I almost prefer it in some instances now. Until have to make a big turn.
 
Great review. And this seems to be the consensus among 99% of owners. At BEST the yoke is "not that bad". (not quite glowing reviews)

  • Yoke is a pain in parking lots but otherwise not so bad. It is nice in that you can somewhat rest your hands on top of the tops of the nubs while cruising. I almost prefer it in some instances now. Until have to make a big turn.
Pretty much. Sometimes when I am just cruising along I think "I wouldn't trade this for a round steering wheel." Then comes a tight corner and I am back to reality.
 
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