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Buying a used Model S...2015 or 2017

galvatron

Member
Mar 15, 2020
118
71
WA
Wow! This is the place for a quick education. I’m definitely staying away from the 2015 because of the lackluster autopilot. So I have narrowed my options down to a 2016.5 Model S 75D AWD with Enhanced Autopilot AP2 MCU1 or a 2016.5 Model S AP3 Full Self Driving/Sentry/MCU2. The MS75 FSD AP3 can be had for $2k more than the MS75D AWD. It is also $2k more than my stated budget. I really wanted AWD but it’s not a dealbreaker. Which should I get? Is FSD really worth the $2k extra and blowing my budget by $2k? I’m gonna pull the trigger tonight or 1st thing AM.

I would DEFINITELY say go for the 75D AWD and this is why...

1) It only has 18K mile and you get a 1 month B2B warranty vs 50K mile and no B2b with the other

2) The 75D already has enhanced autopilot (EAP) which already has most of the "self-driving" features that are in the FULL self driving package... EAP was kind of in between when Tesla gave you the highway self driving features on the highway, but didn't include the enhanced summon (come get me in the parking lot) feature. The enhanced summon isn't quite ready for prime time anyways.

3) You DEFINITELY want MCU2 and the AP3 computer, which the 75D AWD doesn't have.... BUT you can get that with the new $1500 upgrade available from Tesla!!! Take the $2K you saved and spend $1500 to swap out for MCU2 on the 75D. Word is they are putting the AP3 computer in at the same time anyways, whether you have FSD or not. The FSD driving features just aren't enabled. But remember, you have EAP, so you should get the visualizations on your instrument cluster screen.

4) If FSD really does materialize into something really cool, you can always pay to upgrade when that happens. And Tesla is said to be coming out with the subscription option, so you can only pay for and activate FSD when you need it. So you have the choice to pay to have it all the time or just pay when you need it, and that's ONLY WHEN IT IS REALLY USEFUL. The key is... you have EAP, which to me is 90% of the FSD features... The Smart Summon is the only real thing I think you are missing right now when you have EAP but no FSD.

5) Finally, going this route gives you AWD, which you cannot upgrade to later. While you are in Texas and may not need it all the time, it's nice to have it not just for weather reasons, it also gives you redundancy in case one drive unit fails and better dry traction since you have AWD.


So again, I say NO BRAINER... take the 75D!!!

Yes, you are blowing your budget by $1500 doing this... but then you get MCU2 and AWD and a car at 99% of current 2021 tech level with 32K less miles less than the other option... NO BRAINER in my book.
 
Last edited:

S3XYCyber

Member
Jan 22, 2021
14
0
Texas
I would DEFINITELY say go for the 75D AWD and this is why...

1) It only has 18K mile and you get a 1 month B2B warranty vs 50K mile and no B2b with the other

2) The 75D already has enhanced autopilot (EAP) which already has most of the "self-driving" features that are in the FULL self driving package... EAP was kind of in between when Tesla gave you the highway self driving features on the highway, but didn't include the enhanced summon (come get me in the parking lot) feature. The enhanced summon isn't quite ready for prime time anyways.

3) You DEFINITELY want MCU2 and the AP3 computer, which the 75D AWD doesn't have.... BUT you can get that with the new $1500 upgrade available from Tesla!!! Take the $2K you saved and spend $1500 to swap out for MCU2 on the 75D. Word is they are putting the AP3 computer in at the same time anyways, whether you have FSD or not. The FSD driving features just aren't enabled. But remember, you have EAP, so you should get the visualizations on your instrument cluster screen.

4) If FSD really does materialize into something really cool, you can always pay to upgrade when that happens. And Tesla is said to be coming out with the subscription option, so you can only pay for and activate FSD when you need it. So you have the choice to pay to have it all the time or just pay when you need it, and that's ONLY WHEN IT IS REALLY USEFUL. The key is... you have EAP, which to me is 90% of the FSD features... The Smart Summon is the only real thing I think you are missing right now when you have EAP but no FSD.

5) Finally, going this route gives you AWD, which you cannot upgrade to later. While you are in Texas and may not need it all the time, it's nice to have it not just for weather reasons, it also gives you redundancy in case one drive unit fails and better dry traction since you have AWD.


So again, I say NO BRAINER... take the 75D!!!

Yes, you are blowing your budget by $1500 doing this... but then you get MCU2 and AWD and a car at 99% of current 2021 tech level with 32K less miles less than the other option... NO BRAINER in my book.
Now I’m really torn! Two conflicting answers. With FSD I’m prepped for an autonomous future and with AWD I have redundancy, better traction, and sportier feel. Off to check AWD vs RWD threads lol
 

galvatron

Member
Mar 15, 2020
118
71
WA
Now I’m really torn! Two conflicting answers. With FSD I’m prepped for an autonomous future and with AWD I have redundancy, better traction, and sportier feel. Off to check AWD vs RWD threads lol

Yeah, if Full Self Driving, was REALLY a full autonomous feature anytime soon, I would agree with you. But having gotten FSD with that same thought in mind, I find it gives not much more than Enhanced AutoPilot, which you have with the AWD option. That's why I advised to get the AWD car. When the FSD REALLY works and can do something miraculous, I suspect most of us would have traded up by then to something newer. I just don't see full self driving happening even with the MCU2 and AP3 computer. Seems like they have lots more work to do. There will probably be some MCU3 and AP4 before it happens. And like I said, you can always pay to get FSD later... you can't pay to upgrade to AWD unless you get a different car.
 

S3XYCyber

Member
Jan 22, 2021
14
0
Texas
Thanks so much!
A few quick questions are contributing to my dilemma.

How much is free supercharging worth?
Why are the dealers saying it’s not included on 2016.5?
If the Autopillot computer info says “Full self driving” can it still have AP1? Are more subscriptions needed to unlock it?
These are all 2016.5 Model S
Thanks
 

GeorgeSymonds

Member
Mar 16, 2018
994
597
UK
Only you can decide what free supercharging is worth. I charge at home and don’t do mega miles so it’s worth less than it might be to others.

if the car has been traded by Tesla recently they’ll strip free supercharging from the car

If the computer says full self driving, it won’t be AP1. Teslas system cam out in late 2016 so cars could have either system if built that year. If the car says it has the full self driving computer it doesn’t mean full self driving is activated, however for a 2016 car that means it’s been upgraded and that’s typically either because it has FSD activated or Tesla did it when the MCU was upgraded.

This page will help you determine what the car has
How to find out what options a Tesla has
 

Zorg

Active Member
Oct 24, 2017
1,408
1,236
Fremont, ca
I vote for the 75D as well. EAP is pretty much all you need at this point as it'll handle all your driving on the freeway. AWD is a nice bonus when needed, and lower miles means that you can keep the car longer or sell it for a higher value.

Free SC isn't worth much as you should be doing most of the charging at home (slower charging, easier on the cells, full battery every morning). Realistically, how many long trips will you take each year that will require SCing? Assume 1 KWh per 3 miles, and say $0.30 per KWh (not sure what prices are in your neck of the wood). So, it's about 10c a mile. Multiply by the number of long distance miles you're going to cover each year requiring SCing, and that's what it's worth to you.
 

S3XYCyber

Member
Jan 22, 2021
14
0
Texas
Only you can decide what free supercharging is worth. I charge at home and don’t do mega miles so it’s worth less than it might be to others.

if the car has been traded by Tesla recently they’ll strip free supercharging from the car

If the computer says full self driving, it won’t be AP1. Teslas system cam out in late 2016 so cars could have either system if built that year. If the car says it has the full self driving computer it doesn’t mean full self driving is activated, however for a 2016 car that means it’s been upgraded and that’s typically either because it has FSD activated or Tesla did it when the MCU was upgraded.

This page will help you determine what the car has
How to find out what options a Tesla has
Thanks! Would that mean that at least it’s Enhanced Autopilot? Unfortunately I’m looking at cars all over the country and I can’t physically look at them and a lot of the dealership personnel have no clue where to look or what to look for. I try to FaceTime and guide them but...
 

kwellmey

Member
Sep 21, 2016
88
38
Houston
What’s your budget?

I am also in Texas and looked at damn near every Model S for sale (I might still have notes on a vehicle you are considering). If you DM me, I’ll tell you about my recent experience buying my 2017 Model S 100D.
 
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JimEG

Member
Jan 25, 2021
14
6
USA
Not hijack the thread, but, can the 2015 MCU1 be updated to the MCU2? @ $1500?

This thread has been super helpful for my used MS research, thanks.
 

JoeCW

Member
Oct 7, 2020
28
20
DFW
What’s your budget?

I am also in Texas and looked at damn near every Model S for sale (I might still have notes on a vehicle you are considering). If you DM me, I’ll tell you about my recent experience buying my 2017 Model S 100D.

In Texas also and got my 2017 100D last September. This is a great forum and definitely made a difference when I was looking last year. My experience is posted somewhere but I did go for a low mileage 100D and upgraded my MCU. As someone else posted, I am about 90% of a 2021 MS now but I also got some nice upgrade features not in a current model and the battery is virtually the same (max distance before the Raven update).
Anyways, if you are looking at all the used tesla cars, not sure if someone has shared this site already or you've used it: https://tesla-info.com/car/<vin>
FWIW, free supercharging for me was not worth it or considered as I charge at home with a free nights/weekends deal and on my road-trips, supercharging is already way cheaper than gas.
 

JoeCW

Member
Oct 7, 2020
28
20
DFW
Not hijack the thread, but, can the 2015 MCU1 be updated to the MCU2? @ $1500?

This thread has been super helpful for my used MS research, thanks.
Pretty sure as I do not think there is/was any difference in the 2015 MCU1 vs my 2017 MCU1 that I updated recently. One thing I am not clear on is whether there really is/was an MCU1 issue that can justify a free MCU2 replacement. I already budgeted to upgrade mine to MCU2 as it was extremely slow. I was new (and impatient) to try and determine if my MCU1 really had an issue. It did start having the yellow border though. Love the MCU2 (vs MCU1), no regrets.
 

JoeCW

Member
Oct 7, 2020
28
20
DFW
One more side note for those looking (@JimEG @S3XYCyber and others) , don't forget to have a small budget for accessories. ;) That is one thing no-one warned me about. I don't know about everyone else but I do not remember any car prior to my MS that I bought so many accessories for. (phone charger/holder, center console storage insert, sub-trunk storage, parcel shelf lift, rear seat storage, charge adapters, sunroof shade). Not expensive but it adds up.
 

galvatron

Member
Mar 15, 2020
118
71
WA
Not hijack the thread, but, can the 2015 MCU1 be updated to the MCU2? @ $1500?

This thread has been super helpful for my used MS research, thanks.

It can be upgraded, but you will not get as many features as in a 2017 car because a 2015 car doesn't have all the AP2+ cameras. So you get he faster browser and games and stuff, but no sentry mode and dashcam functionality. Makes the $1500 less worth it to me. That's why I always suggest getting an AP2 or higher car as those can all be upgraded to like 90% of the current cars in terms of tech features after you get the MCU2 upgrade.
 

galvatron

Member
Mar 15, 2020
118
71
WA
Guaranteed?
I don’t think there is a guarantee on that one. The only guarantee is that a 60D can be upgraded to a 75D with a paid software update. Then after that, they can tell you if you qualify for the uncork. The later the build date of the 60D, the better your chances, but I don’t think there is a definite guarantee on the uncork.
 

BlackM3

Member
Nov 2, 2017
158
165
Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, CA
Note that the main difference in the 2017 100D with MCU2 upgrade vs 2019 Raven is the adaptive suspension and range.
The Raven suspension was redesigned and has a comfort mode, compared to the 2017 air suspension that can raise and lower, but it's not adaptive and many say it's less comfortable. But the price is so high to get Raven, that I agree to just get an older 100D model with EAP. If you want sunroof, that was available in 2017 but not 2019.
 

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