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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.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
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:

View attachment 759750
(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.
View attachment 759752
(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.
Phenomenal review. Thank you !!!

My Plaid arrives this Sunday. Does it have "phone as a key" or do I have to carry the key fob with me?
 
Thanks for the very objective and thoughtful review. Its refreshing to read a review from the perspective of the "car guy". Personally, I dont care if it is electric. The capabilities of the car and experience provided by the car are important to me. I had a 2015 P90D. It was quick, but lacked top end. What annoyed me most was the build quality. Ultimately I traded the car for a 2018 Mercedes Benz E63S AMG. Great car, I still miss that one.

Ive driven a Plaid a few times. Monstrously quick but I wonder if ill grow tired of it as a "one-trick" pony. I have owned many exotics, and know that there is more to the ownership experience than just straight line acceleration.

I have a long commute (40 miles in traffic daily) Im currently daily driving a 2021 Audi RS7. There is nothing wrong with it, great tech, fantastic fit and finish- good looking car. It lacks FSD (albeit the tesla is on Beta) and its traffic assistant is an scary joke. I feel that the RS7 is quick, but its slow compared to the 991 Turbo I had as a daily driver before this. The Audi's on road manners for cruising the freeway are better than all my other german cars. Its mastered it. Not bouncy, not too rough. Confident.---- But its slow (relatively to my other toys)

So thats the context, here's my question. Do any of you regret the purchase? GIven the quality issues (wind noise, panel gaps, misalignment, paint issues), missing creature comforts like ambient lighting, and tesla eccentricities like the yoke and haptic buttons. Problem with selling the a hard-to-find RS7 for a plaid is that I wont be able to buy it back without paying over MSRP should I regret the decision. I know Im asking a tesla forum for opinions about tesla so there is likely some inherent bias, but seems that a few here are also other "car guys" who have owned many other nice vehicles. Curious on your perspectives.
 
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Reactions: Arctic_White
Great post, we just picked up a 2018 S and so far my wife is happy with it. It definitely feels a little more dated than my M3P as far as tech goes but still a great car. We looked at the new MS but my wife is a little more traditional and I feel like she would hate the Yoke
 
Thanks for the very objective and thoughtful review. Its refreshing to read a review from the perspective of the "car guy". Personally, I dont care if it is electric. The capabilities of the car and experience provided by the car are important to me. I had a 2015 P90D. It was quick, but lacked top end. What annoyed me most was the build quality. Ultimately I traded the car for a 2018 Mercedes Benz E63S AMG. Great car, I still miss that one.

Ive driven a Plaid a few times. Monstrously quick but I wonder if ill grow tired of it as a "one-trick" pony. I have owned many exotics, and know that there is more to the ownership experience than just straight line acceleration.

I have a long commute (40 miles in traffic daily) Im currently daily driving a 2021 Audi RS7. There is nothing wrong with it, great tech, fantastic fit and finish- good looking car. It lacks FSD (albeit the tesla is on Beta) and its traffic assistant is an scary joke. I feel that the RS7 is quick, but its slow compared to the 991 Turbo I had as a daily driver before this. The Audi's on road manners for cruising the freeway are better than all my other german cars. Its mastered it. Not bouncy, not too rough. Confident.---- But its slow (relatively to my other toys)

So thats the context, here's my question. Do any of you regret the purchase? GIven the quality issues (wind noise, panel gaps, misalignment, paint issues), missing creature comforts like ambient lighting, and tesla eccentricities like the yoke and haptic buttons. Problem with selling the a hard-to-find RS7 for a plaid is that I wont be able to buy it back without paying over MSRP should I regret the decision. I know Im asking a tesla forum for opinions about tesla so there is likely some inherent bias, but seems that a few here are also other "car guys" who have owned many other nice vehicles. Curious on your perspectives.

I love my cars and also have a 2017 RS7 that I have tuned to 700 hp. I still love that car but never drive it and when I do I wish I was driving the Plaid. For me, the benefits of DDing an EV are legion. If you appreciate all of the tech stuff, there is even more benefits. RS7 feels like it is from the stone age compared to any Tesla.

The Plaid's performance makes everything else feel slow. All the power in the world whenever you need it, no downshifting or waiting for turbos to spool up. It is ridiculous. You will never miss a yellow light in a performance Tesla, that I can guarantee you. The perfect DD for someone that cares about performance IMO as long as you still have a fun ICE for the weekend.
 
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As an update, I drove the P90D to wash it yesterday as I have several different potential buyers and anticipate it won't be with me much longer. I am going to miss that thing. It is such a great car and offers 80-90% of what the Plaid does at half the price. Even "older" Teslas still feel incredibly modern and stack up well against contemporary offerings from other manufacturers. The car is still super solid, still feels pretty quick even coming from a Plaid, and the round steering wheel/blinker stalk was refreshing. Not to mention the free supercharging and free connectivity is a really nice perk as well. Heck, I also miss the faster home charging. Being able to charge at 72 amps on the older cars that had the option like mine is very nice in a pinch.
 

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