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Critique My Strategy: Blindly Buying the Base Model

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by Eric S, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. Eric S

    Eric S Member

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    I suppose many of you have owned other pricey cars, so your Telsa wasn’t such a big step-up for you, but I’m considering an S and the most expensive car I’ve ever owned was a Miata. So this is a wild extravagance; way more than I really want to spend on a car (but I don’t want to wait...and wait...for the model 3).

    I’m figuring the base S will seem ultra luxurious for me; i.e. the base power, features, and luxuries will totally delight me. So my idea is to not even investigate costlier versions, because that will either 1. give me regrets later re: what I’m missing (and I don’t want to feel like I’m missing out after spending $70K on a car!), or 2. tempt me into paying even more money I don’t want to spend.

    If I follow my “head-in-sand” idea, will I miss anything that I may, in retrospect, see as having been truly “necessary”, rather than “kind of nice”?

    Thanks!

    PS - No refreshes expected for the foreseeable future, right?
     
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  2. TSLA Pilot

    TSLA Pilot Member

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    Well, the Smart Air Suspension is nice for the car wash--raises the car enough for the underbody strakes to clear the track guides.

    Aside from that, I think you'll be fine with a base car, assuming you don't mind manually closing the hatchback.

    Another consideration: use ev-cpo.com to find and buy a low-mile 70 or 70D for the about the same price as a base 60 . . . there are some deals there.
     
  3. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    The base Model S is an awesome car, and the drivetrain is way beyond what any other manufacturer is offering.

    I suggest that you schedule a test drive at your local Tesla showroom. Ask them if there is a 60 available, or the lowest optioned car they have. Make sure they clearly explain to you what options the car has that you test drive so you understand its differences from the base model (you will likely find it impossible to test drive a Model S with the base seats, unfortunately, but people who have them like them). Study the Model S order web page carefully to be clear on what the base model comes with and what things are options. After your test drive you can make your decision.

    Note that many people do not get the optional Smart Air Suspension and feel no need for it.

    As @TSLA Pilot notes, consider buying a CPO car to save money. Good suggestion.
     
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  4. Eric S

    Eric S Member

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    Thanks!

    I'm certain that every extra option and option level is "nice". No doubt!

    But, again, the base model is surely "nice" enough for me. Are there options I'd really kick myself for missing? Or am I safe blindly buying at base and not even looking at other options?

    Good idea about the second-hand. OTOH, I'd question why someone would give up their Tesla. Maybe if the economy tanked or something...
     
  5. Eric S

    Eric S Member

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    That last response was for TSLA Pilot. Great advice, ecarfan, thanks.
     
  6. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    @Eric S this is a genius move! I have to say this as your approach is identical to mine... I have a base September 2015 RWD S70. My only options were the color and carbon fiber trim. My only splurge was the panoramic roof. Autopilot is a no-brainer. I have not missed any other option, and thought I should have gotten X.

    And just to make sure I went through the with this plan, I did not even test drive anything, for fear of getting into a D or a P model. Granted, I did drive a 70D for 2 minutes when they came with one for a garage check (tiny garage, big incline).

    So, considering where you are coming from, I absolutely agree that you will be pleasantly surprised by the car's luxury features, trim and finishes. The same cannot be said for folks who are used to high-end cars.
    You will definitely be shocked by the large size of the car (this ain't no Miata), but you get used to that. The parking sensors and backup camera are awesome.
    A base RWD s60 sounds like one heck of a deal right now. The car just got a refresh, and has some new bits here and there that mine does not have. Go for it, best decision you'll make on the automotive side. Ever.
     
  7. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I would not buy "blindly". That is why I advised you to take a test drive and get the options clearly explained to you by a Tesla salesperson.

    Only you can know what options might be really important to you. Everyone has a different opinion about what they think is critical. It varies tremendously! That is not surprising, people are different, come from different car ownership backgrounds, have different preferences and priorities.
     
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  8. Eric S

    Eric S Member

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    Thanks, e-FTW, that was incredibly helpful. My Miata's my luxury car...I also have a Camry with 160K miles on it, so I'm used to size (damn thing is like driving a puffy pillow, however, I can't stand it). And as a longtime NYC resident, I pride myself on my parallel parking and would never outsource it.

    When I said "base 70" above, I see now that I meant a "base 60". My willful ignorance is explained by my OP....I see no benefit in having a broad understanding of the range of options. I want to do this with blinders on, because otherwise it's all pain (financial or emotional). I can picture you with your anguished 2 minute higher-model garage text, hilarious! That's me!!!
     
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  9. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    @ecarfan raises a valid point. I will say this though: if you are not planning on getting options at all (or very few), the test drive might be one temptation too many. ;-)
    Of course I researched the heck out of this car before putting my order in, and like many, spent many an agonizing hour staring at my order over the course of the 7 day grace period before it locked in. But since my options mix was pretty limited, I felt not having physically agonized over said options was better for me. YMMV. :)
     
  10. GSP

    GSP Member

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    Eric,

    I think you are right that the base Model S is an awesome car. It really is very well equipped, and does not need any options (of course, the options are quite tempting). The new 60 kWh even provides the longer battery life, extra performance, and faster charging of the 75 kWh model. It is a great value.

    The one thing I would consider is the cold weather package. It can extend range by requiring less use of cabin heat. If you don't carry passengers in the back seat, you are paying $1000 to get a heated steering wheel. Sounds extravagant, but if there were a way to retrofit a heated wheel it would cost way more than that.

    Good Luck,

    GSP
     
  11. Porfiry

    Porfiry Member

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    I think the powered liftgate is now standard on all new builds.
     
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  12. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    Also, @Eric S I don't know about the rest of your car history, but a Model S will blow the doors off the two cars you mentioned, in a straight line. My previous car was a WRX (last two actually), and those had similar 0-60 times to the S. But this thing gets off the line in such an efficient and irrepressible fashion, I get a grin every time. Now, in NYC, the 0-15 time is probably more important, and the S will definitely be awesome to beat a cab off the line!
     
  13. Eric S

    Eric S Member

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    $1000 heated steering wheel! Will consider! Thanks!

    e-FTW, which options DID you wind up springing for? Also, I've always believed (and serious racers I've spoken to agree) that driver skill trumps equipment specs. I once outran a friend in a Porsche 944 with my Toyota Celica (not from a hard stop, of course). I can make anything drive snappily; it's more the geeky stuff and the autopilot that are pulling me to this purchase. If I could pay $15K less for an extra second of 0-60, I gladly would.

    A lot of this is my Miata training, of course. If you've ever driven one, you'd understand how easy it is to remove brute power from the equation without by any means limiting the death metal farfegnugen of the driving experience....
     
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  14. Ryan MF

    Ryan MF Member

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    I sort of went with this strategy and put myself on a strict low options diet. In the end we went with just the upgraded battery (90D, it's our only car) and autopilot. Very happy with the base paint and all other options. You will be happy with the car no matter what options you get!
     
  15. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    My options, as you'll see in my first post, are Autopilot, multi-coat red, carbon fiber trim and pano roof. Lately, I've checked out other cars ar the Supercharger, and think that carbon fiber does not complement the dark interior enough. You don't really notice it. There are some pretty nice wood trims, or the base piano black might actually be a better fit since it is glossy. IMHO.

    @Eric S I hear you on the Miata. Never driven one, but totally agree that straight line speed alone does not make a fast car. But it doesn't hurt to have it. This thing will definitely handle way better than your Camry, but I would avoid direct comparisons to your Miata. You'll tell us!
    What you will enjoy is the RWD. The traction control is fantastic, and even with it on, the car feels alive when giving it the beans on onramps (straight or not). The instant torque means that it feels like it could break away at anything below highway speeds if you turned off the nannies. It might only be an impression, but I like it. Pretty sure you'll enjoy that part with your training!
     
  16. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    If you order shortly, the current referral program will get you that $1000 knocked off the price of the car. Problem solved!
    Just use a referral link from a helpful current owner. :)
     
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  17. NikeWings

    NikeWings Member

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    Eric, I never test drove any Tesla at all. My first ride and visit to a showroom/SvC was the day I picked it up. I studied and understood the technology and performance of the car(s), was very familiar with an EV transition (company car was an EV), found minimal owners that regretted their buying decision and learned tons (fact & fiction) from lurking at this forum. I proceeded to settle on the design/options that best suited me, often against the judgment of others, and determined it was statistically probable to a very high degree that I would have no regrets and pulled the trigger. Well, I love the car and have no regrets at all.

    So, I very much happen to like your approach and believe there will be no regrets if you are confident in the premise of your plan. There is always something better, faster, and prettier out there no matter what you select, but if you deliver on your personal goal, you'll be completely satisfied. Good luck and I hope you have a NYC parking spot for your new ride.
     
  18. Eric S

    Eric S Member

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    Why "shortly"? Are referrals ending?

    NikeWings, thanks. FWIW, I'm no longer in city; 45 mins north, in a house. Which reminds me, I need to investigate what I need to set up, electrically, including options for snaking a cord out to the driveway (luckily, my basement's fuse box faces the driveway and there's a window.
     
  19. CapeOne

    CapeOne Member

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    Has that been confirmed? It's still listed as part of the $3K "Premium Upgrades Package."
     
  20. CapeOne

    CapeOne Member

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    Unless extended, the current referral program is due to end July 15th.
     
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