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Best Year/Model to Buy Used Model S

I'm looking at a 2014 P85+. Do you think the reliability is there or should I pursue a different year?
Biggest risks with this car are : 1) 85kwh battery doesn't charge as fast, has been slowed down or capped over the years. 2) Battery and motor warranties are about to expire in a few months. 3) I hear that suspension on the P85+ is extremely firm and bumpy. 4) Seats back then are less comfortable.

My advice for a cheaper performance S is to get a 2016 post-refresh P90D (built in May 2016 or later). The 90kwh battery had problems in 2015, but after mid-2016 all is good. Various quality improvements after the nose refresh, and resale value will be higher on that one. 2.5 more years of battery and motors warranty. You could even get white vegan seats or HW2/HW3/FSD if you get a November 2016 build or later. Last note : If you're charging easily at home, I wouldn't bother trying to find one with free supercharging. Might only save you $200 a year.
 
Thank you GTBrandon for posing the questions I have been wanting to ask Tesla S owners so well. I am in the same boat as you; former BMW (5 series) owner and wanting to get into a Model S in the used market. We currently have a 2021 Model Y long range lease and am disappointed with the road noise and ride quality. We were spoiled with the 1999 BMW 540i that pampered us for over 10 years. I too wanted to stay sub $30K but realized that price point will not check most of my boxes. Thanks for starting the conversation.

And to all the responders, thank you for the input! It has been most valuable. Tally ho!
 
is the MCU2 update still $1500? They are trying to charge me 2k.
Looks like it's $2000 for cars made in November 2016 or later, and $1500 for cars made in September 2016 or earlier. See official Tesla link:
 
I'm surprised at the number of people who try to equate gas-engine cars with electrics. There IS NO comparison. Now, if you like dropping your car off at the dealers every few weeks for an oil and filter change, or a differential check, or new spark plugs, and enjoy sitting there while they do the work (several hours), and know the service manager by name, then an EV may not have the same draw as on others. But, if you'd rather drive and drive and drive and not need hardly any maintenance at all, well, consider electric. Sure, there's that eight-year warranty on the battery, but eight years on a car engine is over a hundred thousand miles. Not much difference, other than the electric doesn't need new plugs.

Then there's the fun of going to the gas station. When I lived in Missouri it was ten miles to the gas station, so about every week you had to pull up next to a pump, get out into the snow or rain or wind (and sometimes balmy sunshine) and pump your gas while your hands, even in gloves, sometimes froze, while my car refills its own tank by itself in my garage every night.

Add to this that my car is faster, quicker and prettier than most other cars on the road, there's no comparison at all! And this doesn't even touch the problem of burning gas and oil so fast that our world can't hardly handle it any more. EVERYBODY needs to be driving electric. In a few more years it will be a law that no more gas cars will be allowed to be sold, and that will be a good thing.
 

GeorgeSymonds

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The different prices are because they cars with Tesla AP hardware also get upgraded to the latest FSD computer, cars with the old AP1 hardware can’t be upgraded so they just do the MCU.

If you listen to the radio you may also want to factor in a further $500 for that too as the MCU upgrade otherwise removes it.

As for roblabs post.. Our ICE gets serviced every 2 years and has been faultless in between, whereas our Tesla has been fairly reliable compared to some, but it’s still needed to go into Tesla about once a year for one reason or another. Don’t buy an EV, especially an older MS or MX thinking you’ll be guaranteed trouble free motoring.
 
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SO16

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The different prices are because they cars with Tesla AP hardware also get upgraded to the latest FSD computer, cars with the old AP1 hardware can’t be upgraded so they just do the MCU.

If you listen to the radio you may also want to factor in a further $500 for that too as the MCU upgrade otherwise removes it.

As for roblabs post.. Our ICE gets serviced every 2 years and has been faultless in between, whereas our Tesla has been fairly reliable compared to some, but it’s still needed to go into Tesla about once a year for one reason or another. Don’t buy an EV, especially an older MS or MX thinking you’ll be guaranteed trouble free motoring.
Nothing is guaranteed of course.

I have had to bring my Tesla in twice in 5 years. Once to replace a broken windshield . Once for the MCU2 upgrade. I wish my gas cars had been as trouble free.
 
If affordable, buy the earliest dual motor facelift model and get a MCU upgrade. Battery size depends on your budget.

Such car shall be substantially the same in look and functionality as the latest non-Plaid model (only material differences I can think of are CSS and boom box).

If your budget can go further, get a 2018 MS as you still benefit from Tesla official warranty to hedge against the risk of non disclosure of issues from unscrupulous sellers (and it already has MCU2)
 
If affordable, buy the earliest dual motor facelift model and get a MCU upgrade. Battery size depends on your budget.

Such car shall be substantially the same in look and functionality as the latest non-Plaid model (only material differences I can think of are CSS and boom box).

If your budget can go further, get a 2018 MS as you still benefit from Tesla official warranty to hedge against the risk of non disclosure of issues from unscrupulous sellers (and it already has MCU2)
I'd agree in principal that an early facelift is a good choice but there are loads of differences between those and the pre 2021 facelift model including different motors which enabled one foot driving and increased efficiency, new air suspension which improved the ride noticeably. I think some of the options became standard such as premium audio and cold weather pack. The roof changed to glass There's a fairly comprehensive list of changes by year here


For me the choice would be a very early facelift that still has free supercharging (which needs to be checked carefully as it does get stripped now) or as you say get one a least a little of Tesla 4 year/50k warranty in place so issues can get fixed. The flip side of that is anything from early (April?) 2017 until early 2018 won't tick either of those advantages and still need the MCU updating so best avoided.
 
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I'd agree in principal that an early facelift is a good choice but there are loads of differences between those and the pre 2021 facelift model including different motors which enabled one foot driving and increased efficiency, new air suspension which improved the ride noticeably. I think some of the options became standard such as premium audio and cold weather pack. The roof changed to glass There's a fairly comprehensive list of changes by year here


For me the choice would be a very early facelift that still has free supercharging (which needs to be checked carefully as it does get stripped now) or as you say get one a least a little of Tesla 4 year/50k warranty in place so issues can get fixed. The flip side of that is anything from early (April?) 2017 until early 2018 won't tick either of those advantages and still need the MCU updating so best avoided.
I disagree that there loads of differences that are material. A lot of the differences are software which you will get with MCU2.

Single foot driving is not possible. Front headlights and handles are likely to fail more. I agree with you on efficiency. There's also boom box and live view. Can you think of anything else that's material, maybe I've missed a material feature.

A dual motor 2017 motor can come with air suspension but not adaptive air suspension. A 2017 model also comes with premium connectivity but, as you note, not free supercharging. 2017 also comes with the ultra white vegan seats.

For those that care about money, a facelifted MCU MS in my opinion is great value. I'd go 2017 MS facelift with MCU upgrade or, if money is not a consideration, go 2022 and get the yoke and horizontal screen!

In any event, it's all subjective.
 

GeorgeSymonds

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Raven cars were a big step forward, bigger than the 2015 facelift if you ignore the cosmetic changes. I don’t know why that’s been dismissed as not material?

AP1 is also on early facelift cars and the MCU upgrade will give you very little extra because you need the Tesla hardware, software can’t fix that. There’s a very small period (about 3 months) where you could get free charging and Tesla AP hardware, after that is also wait for a 2018 or later car
 
Raven cars were a big step forward, bigger than the 2015 facelift if you ignore the cosmetic changes. I don’t know why that’s been dismissed as not material?

AP1 is also on early facelift cars and the MCU upgrade will give you very little extra because you need the Tesla hardware, software can’t fix that. There’s a very small period (about 3 months) where you could get free charging and Tesla AP hardware, after that is also wait for a 2018 or later car
Disregarding MCU2 which you can upgrade for, boom box, live view on sentry mode, faster recharge times, and adaptive air suspension, what other material changes were there?

I appreciate there were minor changes like the design of the DLR, handles and panel gaps.

If you're referring to range / recharge times, I also agree. Perhaps heat pump too but I'm not sure if that's relevent.

I can't think of anything else that's material but I could be missing a trick.
 
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GeorgeSymonds

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A link has been posted which goes through them all, but..

The suspension was a major update that transforms the ride of the car, the old air suspension only allowed ride height to change

The move to permanent magnet motor was significant giving one foot driving (not sure why you say it hasn’t got it)

Efficiency and performance was boosted on the Long range

As previously said, early facelift cars didn’t get Tesla AP hardware so sentry mode etc aren’t available even if you upgrade the MCU, the facelift didn’t bring the 100 battery pack, that came later, so the facelift itself didn’t bring that many technical changes.
 

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