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Debating between MS, MX and MY performance

DayTrippin

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Apr 30, 2021
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Park Cities, TX
I recently joined and this forum and have been reading through a lot of posts to find the info I am looking for to help regarding a potential purchasing decision of a Tesla. At this point I am leaning toward either a MS, MX or MY (performance). For the MS or MX, I am fine with the long range model.

My first choice at this point would be the long range MS. It covers almost all my key criteria except one.

* Over 300 mile range at 70-80 mph. All electric drivetrain
* Carry 4 large adults comfortably, 5 as needed
* Quick acceleration (less than 4 seconds 0-60)
* Hatchback
* A fair amount of storage
* Tow a jetski and trailer, less than 1000 pounds total, 2-3 times a month, less than a 30 mile round trip. Use a hitch mounted bike carrier to carry to ebikes weighing about 100 pounds + 40 pounds for the hitch

The trailer towing is my concern with the MS. It doesn’t look like Tesla rated it for any towing capability but I’ve seen quite a few with hitches. So it looks like it will to it. I just have some concerns regarding the unibody. I would think the drivetrain should be fine since it is used in the MX. I guess a bigger worry is about warranty issues. So curious if anyone has had any issues going in for service with a hitch mounted on their cars or had any warranty claims denied because of a hitch. I would likely go with an Ecohitch as they’ve been great on other cars.

That is probably the only reason I am considering either the MX or MY. If warranty will be an issue, then maybe safer to go with one of them. I am concerned about the rear doors on the MX as it seems overly complicated and I plan on having whatever I buy for at least 5 years or more. So longevity and reliability are issues of concern for me. That is something that sort of gives me pause about Tesla in general. I had put a deposit on an M3 the first day they were available to order years ago and when I saw how crappy they were put together in person, I canceled my order even after waiting about 18 months. I am hoping they are better across the boar now.

I can’t really see buying the MX over the MY. I road in a 3 and the ride was pretty rough. I assume the Y will be similar and even worse with the performance upgrade. The base MY wouldn’t meet my performance criteria. It also felt a bit cramped in the back when I sat in one so it might not be a good option but I don’t want to spend more than necessary to get what I want.

The other concern I have is some of the paintwork seems very hit or miss across all the models. I’ve seen a lot of stone chips on the MS’s near me but I am not sure what years they were. They seemed far worse than a car that is my daily driver with 100k miles on it. Is paint an issue across all the models? Or worse on some? What is the best way to approach it if new, have it ceramic coated or PPF film everywhere you can?

Another very big concern I have is the air conditioning. I don’t really have to worry about cold weather but I live in a hot and humid area. Daytime temps in the summer are mid to upper 90’s minimum and always high humidity. How do the AC systems cope? Are the 2021 models any better for the MS and MX? Our local Tesla store isn’t doing test drives so I can’t easily check for myself. I don't want to be sweating even if it does reduce range a bit. We have an electric Ford and even in Las Vegas at 105+ degrees it kept the car literally chilly inside.

Are the headlights pretty good for night driving on backroads? The ones I saw on the road seem to have sort of a streaked beam pattern. I drive a lot at night and good headlights for the rain and backroads are a big plus.

How has the overall reliability been? Any weak spots in the 2019 and later models? I am really leaning toward the 2021 refreshed models as I am not in a rush to buy one but if I found a good 2019 or later, I might consider it.

I think the MX just gets me more weight and less performance at a 10k premium for functionality I will use infrequently over the MS. The MY gives me the towing I need occasionally but might be less comfortable and ride worse. To be honest I hate the idea of only a center screen. I prefer my info to be in front of my eyes or at least in my main line of sight. I appreciate any other feedback would be helpful choosing between the models. I am definitely leaning toward Tesla as there aren't many options to consider. The Taycan could be an option but the range is too low and I can't ever see it being able to tow a trailer. Of course an option is the MS or the Taycan and buy something like a beater just to tow to the water.
 

DayTrippin

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Apr 30, 2021
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Park Cities, TX
Thanks for the suggestion. I was researching it earlier but not a lot of real-world info out there yet. I'd rather have a sedan than an SUV from an efficiency and driving dynamics standpoint but the Rivian does look interesting. I would definitely like to see if it really hits the performance targets they are shooting for. The tank steering sounds interesting. I think it has a good shot of really impacting both X and Y sales though.
 

DayTrippin

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Apr 30, 2021
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Park Cities, TX
Wow, that would tick all my boxes. Thanks for the info. I found it. Here it is for anyone else.


@Tigers - my son has been highly interested in the Rivian and kept pushing me to consider it. Something you said really has me thinking. Why do you think Rivian will treat their initial customers like royalty? Is it more about word of mouth advertising. I liked the looks of both models but it doesn't appear there are any slots before Jan of next year and I am looking for something in the next 3-5 months for a delivery horizon. The tax credit really improves the value proposition as well.

My first choice still likely be the MS with a hitch.
 
Wow, that would tick all my boxes. Thanks for the info. I found it. Here it is for anyone else.


@Tigers - my son has been highly interested in the Rivian and kept pushing me to consider it. Something you said really has me thinking. Why do you think Rivian will treat their initial customers like royalty? Is it more about word of mouth advertising. I liked the looks of both models but it doesn't appear there are any slots before Jan of next year and I am looking for something in the next 3-5 months for a delivery horizon. The tax credit really improves the value proposition as well.

My first choice still likely be the MS with a hitch.

I’ll take a stab.

Rivian is taking more of a luxury/lifestyle brand approach to their company and products. I’d say they’re more akin to Land Rover than they are Tesla. The reception they receive to the R1 series and how they treat their customers is going to likely be a huge deciding factor in their success. (Well that and the continued support of the company that have already invested billions into them)

Their CEO is a really smart and grounded dude. I expect them to get this right. (Which is why I too have a deposit down on a Max R1T)

As far as the timing, to be honest, I don’t think at this point you’re getting any vehicle in the next 3-5 months. (Unless you decide to go MYP) I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if a new S/X order placed today doesn’t ship until the very end of the year or even Q1 22.
 

Tigers

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Mar 10, 2020
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Wow, that would tick all my boxes. Thanks for the info. I found it. Here it is for anyone else.


@Tigers - my son has been highly interested in the Rivian and kept pushing me to consider it. Something you said really has me thinking. Why do you think Rivian will treat their initial customers like royalty? Is it more about word of mouth advertising. I liked the looks of both models but it doesn't appear there are any slots before Jan of next year and I am looking for something in the next 3-5 months for a delivery horizon. The tax credit really improves the value proposition as well.

My first choice still likely be the MS with a hitch.

My reasoning for this is the Rivian's guide program, where they have a trained specialist attached to their account that they can call (I believe most hours of the day/night) for any reason to get something answered. That's a level of service Tesla cannot and does not offer. It is also clear to them that their is a quality gap for servicing, communication, etc. and one of the things they have been public about is trying to make sure that's taken care of.

I think a lot of the push on Rivian's programs (the Guides, return policy, insurance, etc.) is ole evil Jeff who hates Musk trying to beat out Tesla in every way possible.
 

DayTrippin

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Apr 30, 2021
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Park Cities, TX
Thanks for the insight from both of you. The things you hit are clearly something missing from the Tesla experience. While I don't need a lot of hand holding, I can't say the customer experience so far with Tesla has really even met my minimal expectations. I was treated better at a Ford dealer when I checked out the Mach E than the Tesla store.

The late delivery timeframes for the ones I am interested in may cause me to rethink what I want. If I have to wait to Q1 2022, there might be other options to consider. I would really hate to buy the new Model S without a test drive. Same goes for a Rivian.

I wanted to drive the M3 or M3P and had went to the Tesla dealer for my appointment. As luck would have it, it had just been sold. So I drove the MYP instead. There is a lot to like about it but some other things I wasn't overly impressed with. The acceleration was pretty good. Didn't seem like a ton of wind noise. Lots of room. Clearly on the downside is the 21" wheels and suspension tuning. They don't do it any favors when the road is anything other than a billiard table. It crashed over big bumps like a cheap Chevy cruise. There was a lot of road noise too. You can have performance-tuned suspension without it punishing you. I can probably take it off my list now. I'd have to invest money in wheels/tires and coilovers.
 

bob_p

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Apr 5, 2012
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We've been long time Tesla owners since Jan 2013 when we purchased our first Tesla - an S P85. We now own an S 100D (first delivered in TX) and X 100D.

The difference in performance between an S and X isn't that significant - the X still has better performance than most vehicles on the road - and, to be honest, both vehicles have faster acceleration than you can safely use on most roads anyway...

We've looked at towing a small travel trailer with our X, but ended up going with a Class C motorhome instead, because range gets cut around 50% when towing most travel trailers (under 5000 pounds).

When we had our S P85, there wasn't a supercharger network, and for several years after the first superchargers were deployed, Texas was on an island - you could only drive the "triangle" between San Antonio/Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston. Away from those highways, you'd have to find slower 30A or 50A chargers - which would require hours to recharge before resuming travel. Now, with Tesla's supercharger network, you can drive almost anywhere and get fast charging (20-40 minutes for most stops).

When considering the purchase of a Rivian or any other EV, also consider where you want to drive. Tesla vehicles currently have the only long distance driving network in the US. While there may be fast chargers that support the other EVs - those networks are years behind Tesla. So look at where you plan to drive, and then investigate what fast charging stations would be available for those vehicles near or along the routes you would be taking. After driving many trips in our S P85 and relying on public/hotel J1772 chargers - we can testify about how much more challenging it is to drive long distances without superchargers...
 
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DayTrippin

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Apr 30, 2021
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Thanks bob_p, that is something I have factored in originally and always good to keep in mind. I live less than .5 miles from a supercharger now but would put in a dedicated EVSE for whatever I buy at home. The supercharger network really has been one of Tesla's trump cards if you want to travel long distances. If I had to tow much, I'd go back to a diesel pickup like I had. I could tow a pretty good trailer and still go 500 miles on a tank of diesel and tow easily at 70 mph. At most I might need to tow 300 mile and that would be a small low profile motorcycle trailer with about a 500 pound bike on it. Or more frequently a single jetski about 30 miles round trip at low speeds.

I pretty much avoid driving long distances if I can help it. If i can get at least 220 miles in temps at least 50F, @ 75 mph on a charge, I should be good. If I can then recharge overnight, without a supercharger, it will cover about 90% of the driving I will likely do. If I were to drive more, clearly a Tesla would be the way to go and I'd lean toward the MS LR. The superchargers are clearly fast and the Teslas are very efficient so that should cut down charging time.

At this point, a Tesla seems like the best option for me given my buying horizon. I might wait and see how the Mach E performance edition turns out. So far it seems like the Mach E in general has been beating its mileage estimates pretty handily. I'll be back to drive the MYP and M3P this week with my wife and see what she thinks.
 

bob_p

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Apr 5, 2012
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Cooling: We live in Houston - with high temperatures and high humidity in the summer. The air conditioning in all 3 of our Tesla vehicles have been fine. Overheat protection prevents the interior from ever getting too hot. And turning on the A/C using the smartphone app 5-10 minutes prior to entering the vehicle gets the vehicle cooled down before we get inside.

Paint: We haven't had any more paint issues with our Tesla vehicles compared to other vehicles we've owned. All vehicles pick up nicks and chips from crap on the highways - and other than adding a wrap (which Tesla had as a Paint Armor option for our 2012 S P85), there's not much you can do to stop it. Periodically using touch up paint seems to be the strategy for all of our vehicles in Houston. Always frustrating when we see a dump truck ahead dropping gravel on the road without being properly covered...

Headlights: Our Tesla headlights seem fine - haven't noticed any issues when driving on roads without street lights.

Reliability: Our 2012 required periodic service - as Tesla worked out the design/manufacturing issues with the early production models. Our 2017 and 2018 have been pretty reliable, requiring much less service than our previous Lexus and Jaguar ICEs. And much of the Tesla service can be done by mobile service techs - so you can have them meet you at your home or office.

We prefer the dashboard display - however, we have a family member who owns a 3 - and is satisfied with only the center display. With increased use of the driver assistance features, there's less need for the dashboard, with the AP system managing speed and driving much of the time. I would like to have the landscape display in the 3/Y and the refreshed S/X - which works better when displaying videos. Though, for now, we still prefer having the dashboard display - and if/when we ever get the new FSD beta - it'll be easier to oversee what the FSD software is doing by briefly looking down at the dashboard than having to shift to look periodically at the center console display. Plus, we like having the large map on the center console...
 
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Tigers

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@DayTrippin

I wanted to chime back in here as we purchased another EV (VW id4) for the SO. We took it on a relatively short road trip (600 miles round trip). While the car itself is mostly great to drive (some software bugs and alignment issues, ironically), I will say that I overestimated the non-tesla charging networks out there.

They are not reliable, with either all of the stations being used already because they are too small, aren't powerful enough or more than half the chargers weren't working. Also there is a lot less than it looks like on a generic map on something such as abetterouteplanner (we went to Electrify America, EVGO and charge point for reference).

It was an incredibly frustrating and very annoying experience with a combined couple of hours or so of wasted time trying to charge.

To be very clear: the Tesla supercharger network is by far and away, not even close, superior than all of these other networks, combined.

Therefore, if you are going to be taking road trips or anything like that, I would definitely not recommend anything other than a Tesla at this point, even the rivian, as they are going to need a couple more years minimum to build all of those chargers out.

I was pretty shocked how bad the experience actually was quite frankly. Even some of the faster chargers wouldn't do the "handshake" correctly causing it to charge at lower than capable speeds. None of it is integrated at all either so it's all manual planning. Would not do it again.
 
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DayTrippin

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Thanks for everyone's input so far. It has been really helpful. I think at this point it will definitely be a Tesla. I did a test trip with my family this week and simulated how we might have to go if driving a Tesla for the entire trip and. Basically, we simulated as if we were driving something like a Model 3 and stopping every 200 miles for gas.

It really wasn't too bad and there were superchargers along the routes we planned on taken. So now my wife is all in on a Tesla. Just need to decide on the model. I am still torn between the MYP and M3P. I really wish I could drive the new MS LR. It might better cover the weaknesses that I have with the 3 and Y. My wife will drive them both this week and make a decision. May end up just buying a MY or M3 and drive it for a while and then if unhappy, go with the MS LR.
 
On my second MS since 2015. Both cars were great! Great ride, comfortable, good hauling capacity. Long distance travel is a breeze! Love the free supercharging while it lasts. I like the concept of the X but my wife thinks that it is not a sexy as the MS. If I were single I would own the X for the "cool factor".
 
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Tigers

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On my second MS since 2015. Both cars were great! Great ride, comfortable, good hauling capacity. Long distance travel is a breeze! Love the free supercharging while it lasts. I like the concept of the X but my wife thinks that it is not a sexy as the MS. If I were single I would own the X for the "cool factor".

Hey now! Model S is pretty sexy. I had a my 3 in for service for a few days (my fault) and they gave us a loaner P85D with a spolier on it (not sure if factory or, but it looks like what the performance models have in today's cars)...

...anyway, everywhere we went people would stop and point, pull out their phones, stare at it, yell *sugar* out loud at us. I'm talking about 6-9 months ago. However, I dont live in California so idk. Either way - people love the car for sure lol.
 
My 2 cents:
Model 3 and Y have rough ride if the roads are bumpy, and also high cabin noise. So you gotta go for the S or X.
Model S will *not* seat 4 adults comfortably. The rear seats in Model S are the same legroom as the Model 3, very small. Your legs are stuck way up in the air if you're over 5'10" .
Model X has more legroom but the 2nd and 3rd room are not really comfortable, only the 1st row is. The 6-seater is super weird where there's not even an armrest for 2nd row passengers. Also the 6-seater 2nd row doesn't fold down for cargo.
Get air suspension and quiet cabin (S or X) but don't expect much comfort in any seats other than driver and passenger.
Bottom line : Spend the money and rent the car you want on Turo and then you'll know within 10 minutes. Hope this helps!
 

bob_p

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With our S & X - we can seat 4 adults comfortably, though it may require adjusting the front seat positions forward some, to provide more legroom in the back. It is possible to have adults sit in the back row of an X, but the leg room is tight - which can be improved by moving the front and middle seats forward, so everyone is squeezed a little.

We usually put the tallest adults in the front row, which helps - and the shortest adults/kids in the back row of the X.

The front seats recline and the X's middle row seats incline some - which helps improve the comfort level.
 
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There was a report from a Tesla fanpage/blog/magazine in Canada that showed a hitch on the refresh model S.
I towed a light trailer for four years on my last Model S. Hitch was designed for towing, designed to fit on my car, worked great. Never a problem. If you want to tow, the electric drivetrain has tons of torque, so you won't even feel like you're pulling anything. I have a friend that tows a small house trailer, has no problems with the weight. If you want to tow, check out the aftermarket tow packages for your car and go for it.
 

DayTrippin

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Apr 30, 2021
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@BlackM3 - the Turo idea is a great idea. If I can find the 2021 MS LR on Turo, though unlikely, it would at least give me some seat time in it. Probably easier to find the M3 or MY. I haven't used Turo but I have heard of it so worth giving it a shot.

@bob_p - good info on the seating. Doesn't sound like the MX has much more room than the MY in the 2nd row.

@roblab - that is a good data point regarding the trailer for me. My biggest worry if towing with the S would be any warranty issues. I doubt I would tow more than 300 miles a year. Glad to know you had no issues with it.
 

DayTrippin

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We had a chance to drive the M3P and MYP back to back. It was really quite helpful. We were also able to drive the cars longer and with a few more miles on the demo cars, they obviously started to loosen up a bit. Suspension compliance was a bit better on both.

I was very excited to drive the M3P again after my first test drive. So we started with it. I can say I was still feeling a lot of the same love for it but maybe not as much as before midway through the test drive. So we swapped and my wife drove for a while. She didn't like the seating position as it was lower than our other cars. She complained about the tire thump and ride compliance. She did like the acceleration and overall handling. The most telling comment was when she said don't sell the car I planned on trading.

So we went back and took out the MYP. We hadn't even gone a mile and she was clearly liking it more than the M3P. About 15 minutes into our drive, it was clear to me which one I was leaning toward. My initial impressions were starting to solidify so I swapped with my wife. We hadn't even left the long parking lot and she was clearly enjoying the MYP more. By 15 minutes in, she had pretty much made up her mind so we went back.

We did a final walkaround and discussed the things we liked about them both. Driving them so close to each other really helped highlight the differences between them. I still was very impressed with the M3P's thrust. The off the line acceleration advantage was very obvious in the M3P but this time it really felt like after about 15 mph, the MYP was right with it. In the MYP, I was really able to notice the transition of where the power was held back off the line and when it went into unbridled mode. The M3P just seemed to let it all go off the line.

The MYP also seemed quieter than the M3P. Can't say either my wife and I are a fan of either tire rim setup so will change those out. If there MS LR was going to be available sooner, and we could have taken a test drive, that might have been our preference. My wife saw the previous gen though and was concerned about the overall length of it.

In the end we ordered an MYP today. While it may be a bit more money, my wife liked it about twice as much. The extra room, hatchback, the quieter cabin, ride quality, better view from the front, and unobstructed pano roof were things she really appreciated. I liked the pano roof better, easier to get in and out of, more versatile hatchback and ability to tow a trailer pushed it ahead for me. Being so close in acceleration meant I didn't give up something that is in my top 3 priorities. It isn't quite as nimble as the 3 but close enough for what we need. We are replacing a very nice SUV and the MYP covers a lot of the things we used it for.

I really appreciate everyone's feedback. It really helped clarify and set expectations about the cars. I still could see buying a MS LR or Plaid for myself and let my wife drive the MYP. I can't wait to drive the new one of those when available.
 
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