TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

85D First Impressions

Discussion in 'Model S' started by breser, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

    Aug 28, 2014
    North Bend, WA
    #1 breser, Feb 18, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2015
    I picked up my 85D today. I had a September 2014 built S85 before this (swapped stalks but no autopilot). So my reference point is going to be a fairly recent car. I put ~2600 miles on the car before I traded it for this 85D (had the car for 2 months but last month it sat while I worked out the trade). I have driven a P85 once back in January 2014 but it's been a long time. I have not driven a P85D and would rather never drive one since I know I'd probably want it. I don't feel I can justify the $20k extra expense for the launch fun. With my perspective framed let's get into my impressions.

    What's changed?

    Not a whole lot. What I've noticed isn't really huge news to anyone following the forum.

    • Frunk is smaller. But my airline carry on still fits with a little bit of room around it. Same as a P85D.
    • No more double latch on frunk. There is no manual release under the glovebox anymore. I had heard about this and asked about it and the tech that was handy insisted that it was still there. He went to look for it and realized I was right. Had no idea what you're supposed to do to gain access to the Frunk if the battery is dead. I assume there is some plan for this and I want to find out to be prepared for the dreaded 12V battery failures that people have. Same as a P85D.
    • Auto-closing charge port. This charge port door is no longer held shut with a magnet and is trivial to force open now. I don't think this is a huge deal. Overall I'm happy with this because I was always forgetting to close it. Same as a P85D.
    • Model S metal insert on the kick plate of drivers and passengers front doors. This is a nice touch but I'd think it should be on back doors as well. All vehicles are getting this not just Ds, but my old one didn't have it.
    • Yacht Floor is standard. Didn't order it but it's in the car. Not excited by it since I expect it to get scratched but I believe this is just velcroed down. All vehicles are getting this not just Ds.
    • 6.1 firmware. Lots of changes here, not going into detail. Car came with 2.2.140.
    • Smaller airbag stickers on visors. There is now a very tiny sticker on the exterior of the visor telling you that there is safety info on the other side. The other sticker is still much smaller than the old stickers. The stickers don't look out of place. Huge improvement. All vehicles are getting this.
    • Warmer interior lighting. The interior LEDs are now a warmer color. More of a natural light color. I rather liked the old color but this does feel more right. All vehicles are getting this.
    • Taller headrests on rear seats. The outside seats are much taller, the middle seat only slightly. It does decrease some viewing area out of the rear but I don't think it's a problem. I would have preferred the old size since I rarely use the rear seats, but not a big deal. Not worth driving around with the rear seats folded. All cars are getting this.
    • Latch points for child seats now have an IsoFix logo on the buttons. Could have done without this change, but I can understand why they did this. Given the number of people I've seen asking about how many latch points there are and where. I presume this is all cars, haven't seen anyone talk about this.
    • Tow Hook Included. I don't know if I had one and it was installed or I just didn't have one on the last car but there was a tow hook in my trunk this time.
    • Bosch Windshield Wipers. The wipers say Bosch on them now. Old car didn't. Old wipers were terrible. Wasn't raining so remains to be seen if these are better. But I sure hope so. Edit: Raining today (2/19) and yes the wipers do work better.


    Posted an album of photos to imgur. I'll be uploading some more later today when I take them. Random note, the after delivery photos are in Issaquah just down the street from where the Model S crashed into the bank this weekend. I was really tempted to do these photos in front of that bank but decided I didn't want to frighten the staff.

    Tesla Model S 85D - Album on Imgur

    Driving Experience

    I'm sure a lot of people really want to hear this bit. The car is supposedly faster but I'm not sure if I can tell or not. The S85 felt pretty quick to me and it's been a rather long time since I drove a P85. My gut tells me this isn't a hidden replacement for the P85. However, put this thing on a curvy road and it's going to destroy a S85 and probably a P85. Like people said about the P85D this thing drives like it's on rails. It does what you tell it to do. My S85 I had some uncomfortable moments in various places where I'd hit the gas a little too hard on a turn and it'd want to keep going wherever the car was pointed. That just doesn't happen with this thing. I haven't had a ton of time or opportunity to push this car but I'm am very glad I got paid the $4k for the D. I said the other night I'm not sure if I'd have paid $5k. I can say that if I'd driven them and compared I'm pretty sure I would just pay the $5k.


    I don't see any perceptible increase in regen. But I haven't been staring at the regen meter and trying to gauge it. There might be since I haven't felt like I needed the brake when I didn't want to use it but that may just be me not caring about trying to hit optimal efficiency right now.


    Too early to tell if it's really much better than the S85. I did about 330 Wh/mile today on my normal routine, including some spirited driving. When my S85 was new I was doing around 350-400 Wh/mile. Some of that might just me being more comfortable with how to drive the car though. I did use TACC a fair amount today. I'd guess it's probably not as efficient as me but I was always frustrated by traffic in my S85 because I wanted to be as efficient as possible and traffic made me micro-manage the accelerator pedal. TACC made me not care.

    When I picked up the car it wasn't charged all the way. But after charging it tonight to 80% the car got to 215. Which puts it at 268.75 at 100%. A tad under 270, though I haven't done a range charge so I don't know if that'll hold. The window sticker matches the EPA website with 100 MPGe combined, 95 city, 106 highway, 34 kW-hrs per 100 miles, and 270 miles of range.

    Edit: I'm not entirely convinced of a huge difference in efficiency range after today. It's raining today and I'm seeing Wh/mile back in the 350-400 range. Yesterday it wasn't raining, but when I picked up the S85 it was. It's going to take more time to see how much of a difference this is.


    There have been a lot of discussions about if P85Ds are louder than their RWD cousins. With varying opinions, but the consensus seems to be that it depends on the car. In my car I don't think it's louder or quieter. It's just flat out different. My S85 had the balloon noise under acceleration. The 85D has its own noise, my fiancée describes it as a very quiet jet engine starting up. The 85D noise is much lower in pitch and personally less bothersome. But I don't think it's quieter. The points that it makes noise is also a tad different. The balloon noise only happened under heavy acceleration. The 85D noise happens under pretty much any acceleration up until you get to speed. The balloon noise seemed to come from the center of the car, but the 85D noise comes from the front. My initial impression is that the noise sounds good. You're not likely to notice it with music on. But it just feels right to me.

    Autopilot Features

    Love them. I touched on TACC a bit above. I don't find them annoying. There's enough configuration to make them useful without being a pain. Glad I upgraded to get the sensors. But I can understand why some wouldn't like them.

    Auto-high beams are pretty cool. I live in a fairly rural area with Elk, but I would be lazy most of the time and not use my high beams.

    Cloth vs Black Alcantara Headliner

    I didn't think I'd like the suede look but wanted black since I thought the tan was bad with my grey seats. I've seen it on other cars but it's one thing to drive around in a car with it for a while and another to just see it. Glad I did it. Looks much better. It does make the cabin feel a little smaller and darker, but I think the aesthetics are worth it.

    D Badging

    The D on the 85D on the back of the car is painted black. It's a tad weird that the software in the car has it in red. But personally I like the understated badging. So it's fine with me. Painting it black gives it a little extra weight without making it stand out like the P85D badging does.

    Delivery Experience Thoughts

    This is more an individual thing and not about the car. My delivery is fairly early for the 85D and my car had an issue with the rear drive unit. This actually delayed my delivery by a week while the service center worked to get parts that they didn't have yet. The service center did everything they could to get this handled as quickly as possible. Monday being a holiday didn't help.

    My delivery was rather informal. I didn't really need a demonstration of everything. Most of the time was spent inspecting the vehicle for damage, putting my winter tire set in the truck and chatting with the DS about the whole experience. I did get a demonstration of the autopilot features and a quick refresher on a few things. With less chatting I could have been out of there in 15 minutes. There was a couple taking delivery of a P85D right next to me that was there when I arrived and was still there when I left.

    Last time they had me accept delivery on an iPad and this time they just had me sign to accept delivery. They said they were having issues with their Internet. The "My Tesla" page still has an accept delivery button. Which is a tad strange.

    I think Tesla felt bad about the whole thing and they gave me all weather floor mats (and installed them for me), couple of baseball caps and instead of the neoprene fob covers I got a set of the new leather ones.

    When I saw the car on Monday it was flat out filthy from the trip up here. The car had been detailed and looked a whole lot better, but there were a few small things missed in detailing it. The interior on the seats had some dirt on them (that I didn't really notice until later) and the accent had a smeary bit on it. I remember the S85 being super perfect. But I suspect there was a fair amount of rushing this time. So I'm not going to sweat it. The detail shop gets the car on Monday and I'm sure they'll clean everything up super nice.

    Despite all the issues along the way I'm a happy customer.
  2. Ames

    Ames Member

    May 27, 2013
    Abu Dhabi, UAE
    Thank you Breser for an excellent, well written, and detailed review. Look forward to the pics; I love the grey with black alcantara and piano black. I still want a P85D though :biggrin:
  3. Tedkidd

    Tedkidd Member

    Dec 8, 2013
    Rochester, New York, United States
    Thanks for the nice write up!
  4. rickgt

    rickgt Enthusiast owner/member

    Dec 13, 2014
    very well written... thanks for the analysis
  5. KennyB-FLL

    KennyB-FLL Member

    Jul 21, 2013
    Fort Lauderdale, FL and Rehoboth Beach, DE
    Great review!

    Wow! That was quite the writeup! I forgot you previously owned a Model S, so reading your impression is very helpful.
    Best of luck with your 85D!

  6. Cyclone

    Cyclone Cyclonic Member ((.oO))

    Jan 12, 2015
    Charlotte, NC
    I know in some threads people have said the black headliner with pano "is a waste". That said, I also was thinking of your combination - gray seats with black headliner with pano. Glad to hear your thoughts on it! Congratulations!
  7. dennis

    dennis P85D

    Jul 26, 2012
    Silicon Valley CA
    Congratulations on finally getting your car and thank you for the detailed write-up. Enjoy!
  8. ErstD

    ErstD Member

    Jan 27, 2015
    San Mateo, CA
    Regarding the tow hook -- I'm told that there's a place underneath the frunk liner for the tow hook. When I took delivery of my Model S, the tow hook was sitting by itself in the frunk. I think it's a mistake that the tow hook is not in its rightful place (underneath the frunk liner). Talk to the service folks, they'll put the tow hook where its supposed to be.

  9. Coiled

    Coiled Member

    Nov 23, 2014
    Las Vegas, NV
    Thanks for the impressions.

    I test-drove a P85D a couple of days ago and I can tell you that, unless you are an insane acceleration junkie, you don't need it. I felt the unbelievable, headache-inducing rocket power and I didn't want it, not even a little. But maybe I'm just old. After driving a P85D, I immediately ordered my 85D.
  10. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

    Jun 9, 2013
    Dallas, Texas
    @breser, congratulations on your new car.
    Excellent write up, enjoyed your insight since you moved up from a S85 and were familiar with the base model.
    Really glad you enjoy the driving aspect of the car.

    Sounds like I need to locate one and test drive a S85D.
    I have driven a loaner P85D and was wowed by the car's tracking around corners.
    You have confirmed what I was pretty sure would be true: the AWD car (S85D or P85D) will track like being on rails.
  11. NTech

    NTech Member

    Jan 11, 2015
    San Jose, CA

    Thanks for an excellent review!
    And congrats on your delivery...
  12. Phil K

    Phil K Member

    Dec 18, 2014
    Hong Kong
    Great write up. Thank you very much and enjoy the drive!
  13. anticitizen13.7

    anticitizen13.7 Not posting at TMC after 9/17/2018

    Dec 22, 2012
    United States
    Thanks for the writeup! Glad to hear that the 85D can tackle curves like it's on rails. When I buy a Tesla I definitely want Dual Motor:biggrin:
  14. tri335

    tri335 Member

    Feb 15, 2015
    Washington, DC
    Thanks for a great great write up. I have been looking for reviews on the 85D. i'm in the market for either a used/new model s85 but its good to get a perspective on the 85D!
  15. Jack_L

    Jack_L Member

    Feb 4, 2013
    Great write up. Thanks for sharing!
  16. invisik

    invisik Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Thanks for the great comparison between the S85 and the S85D.

  17. KJD

    KJD Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2013
    SLC, UT
    Thanks for the write up breser. What tire wheel combination do you have on the car ?

    Looking forward to how your range and efficiency numbers look after you get a few miles in the driver seat.
  18. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

    Aug 28, 2014
    North Bend, WA
    Standard 19" wheels, Michelin Primacy. I also ordered Tesla's 19" winter wheel set but winter is effectively over here so I didn't have them put them on.
  19. mnx

    mnx 2013 P85

    May 6, 2009
    Ancaster, Canada
    This sounds like understeer, which is not something I've experienced at all in my RWD P85 (except in snow of course if I jerk the wheel while coasting or accelerating it continues to go straight).

    The situation you described (accelerating into a turn) I typically experience oversteer where the back end of the car wants to pass the front and corners too much (rather than having the car unwilling to turn).

    Sorry if this is coming across as nitpicking. :)
  20. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

    Aug 28, 2014
    North Bend, WA
    The situation that stands out in my mind the most from when I had the first car would definitely be understeer.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I've added a link to an imgur photo album. I'll keep adding some photos as I take them and have time.

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.