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First Time S Buyer, some advice and ?'s

Discussion in 'Model S' started by The T-man, Jul 6, 2017.

  1. The T-man

    The T-man Member

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    So, I'm impressed enough to buy , a 2014 or later P85D is my current pick.
    <4 sec 0-60 is half the reason I'm purchasing

    What are the 4-5 most important options or features to make sure the car has? <<<<<
    Anything you didn't get but wish you had, or that you hate and wish you hadn't wasted $ on?

    Was debating buying a 2014/15 vs 2016 and save the $30-40K
    Thinking 2014 or later is best way to go on pre-owned?

    Is AP 2.0 worth the $$$ difference from AP 1.0, (I understand Oct 2016 is the implementation date for 2.0 hardware)

    19" rims vs 21" ride quality and real world roads / ruts etc, has me leaning to 19", agreed?

    Appreciate your time and answers
     
  2. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I'm really happy with my options on the X, (Fully loaded P100D, with exception of 5-seats and smaller tires). It depends on what is important to you .... I wanted performance (hence the P),the latest AP hardware, with the hopes of slightly future-proofing. I like the performance, but offset the range loss by selecting smaller tires. And with three dogs, I wanted fold flat (though I'd get the 7 seat fold flat if ordering today).

    On another note, you're going to be inundated with people offering their referral code. Please pick someone nearby in NorCal - they should be someone willing to give you their contact info & be available for the quick question you may have. I can suggest people in your neighborhood - or check out the Co-Pilot program at your local Tesla club (www.norcalreno.com). Just let me know if you'd like a recommendation.

    Best of luck!
     
  3. KidDoc

    KidDoc Member

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    If I had to find one right now I would want:
    Tech pack (nav & power liftgate)
    Pano roof (this is the #1 thing I really wish I had but I love convertibles/sunroofs)
    19" is better imo.

    I have no opinion on AP. I don't have it and not really interested in it until they fix all the issues over the next 5-7 years so I can get a Roadster v2 to replace my S85.
     
  4. David29

    David29 Member

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    #4 David29, Jul 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
    You are likely to find as many opinions as there are owners. (This is why the add-ons are called "options" -- not everyone finds them worthwhile!)
    But for what it is worth, my advice after almost 2 years in my 70D is as follows.
    • Buy as new a car as you can afford, because the cars got better over time.
    • One of the biggest changes over time has been the seats. If you are at all fussy about seats, do not buy a car until you have had a good long ride in the same type of seat you would be getting. The major seat types were: (1) "Original seats," from 2012 onward. (And supposedly today's black cloth seats are still this design.) (2) "Second generation seats," built by Recaro. These were more heavily bolstered than the original seats. Some folks loved them and some found them too firm or too confining. (I cannot recall exactly when these were offered, but I think it was from late 2014 until the summer of 2016.) (3) The current leather seats, initially called "Premium seats," which are based upon the Model X seats. These are supposedly made by Tesla and are less extreme than the "Second generation" seats but firmer and more bolstered than the original seats. To make it even a bit more confusing, the "original seats" changed a bit over time. My 2015 seats are firmer than the ones in the very early cars.
    • Spend time deciding on two options that seem to matter a great deal to some people and not to others: air suspension (called Smart Air Suspension or SAS) and the enhanced audio system (currently called "Premium Sound" but the name varied). I strongly suggest you test drive cars with each of these options and with the standard coil suspension and standard audio, and decide if these matter to you.
    • Since you want performance, you will be getting a car with the larger batteries (i.e., no 60s, 70s or 75s) so range won't be a big issue for you. (But you'll get more range if you don't drive it aggressively!)
    • In the early years, the "tech package" did make a big difference, but that term was not used after some point (late 2014?). For a comprehensive list of the car's features and options over time, be sure to read this article and keep it handy for evaluating the car descriptions when you read them: Model S - Options by Year - Tesla Motors Club Wiki
    • Almost everything else is either a matter of your personal taste (body color and upholstery color) or is relatively minor in the overall scheme of things.
    • Oh, and be careful of descriptions of car features in any used car listings besides Tesla's. Some and maybe many of the descriptions are written by people who may not know Teslas very well and may or may not have accurate descriptions of the features.
    Good luck and have fun!
     
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  5. davinci2017

    davinci2017 Member

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    Just wait, dont buy it now. It seems the folks who bought the car in the last few months really made a mistake as the car specs are changing literally every week in the lead up the Model 3. It appears Musk and gang did not think through all the details and are frantically modifying features, pricing, capabilities etc regularly to both boost sales, and differentiate the S enough from the 3. I don't think they are done, and I expect a few more twists before the 3 goes into full on regular production.

    Hold off until later this year would be my advice. Don't make the mistake I did. I don't regret buying my Tesla at all, I just regret buying it in Feb, had I waited until now. I would have saved 2 grand not having to upgrade to 75, gotten power liftgate, standard glass roof and new seats, and now the upgraded performance as well. Yes all the above in a few months :| and NOT a model year change which is what it should be. Now its like gambling with Musk on what you will not have or get hit on in a week after spending 100 grand on your car.
     
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  6. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    Congrats! I am very happy with my car as spec'd below. If I have any regret, it would be the 21's. I go through tires faster than you can imagine. If I get 10K out of them I am doing pretty good. But I absolutely love the look. So it is my own fault. I almost never open my pano roof, but love the light and airiness of it. I guess I would go with the all glass roof now. They didn't have it in the old days. Everything else is great, especially after they updated the codec for the ultra HiFi. Sounds great now. There is nothing that was offered at the time that i skipped that I want now. If they had had a heated steering wheel back then, I would have gotten the cold weather package just for that!
     
  7. JHawk

    JHawk Member

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    #7 JHawk, Jul 6, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
    Congratulations!

    I'm 5mo into ownership of my 2013 P85 with 19s, Pano, coil supspension, and tech package. For me the tech package is a must because of the power lift gate and parking sensors. I wanted the simplicity of
    coil suspension too because this is my daily driver.

    I have had a few loaners and I have to say I wish I had the UHFS, the sub really makes a difference in my opinion. The air suspension on the loaners may have been a bit softer but hard to tell because most had 21s.

    I test drove a P90DL about a year before I bought my CPO. While ludicrous mode was a real adrenaline rush I thought I could live without it. I wasn't overly impressed with AP1 during that short test drive. I never really used the dynamic cruise on my Lexus or Toyota mini van so didn't really think I would have much use for AP1.

    However, my most recent loaner was a 2015 85D with AP1 which I had overnight and was able to use on my full 75mi round trip commute. I was really impressed with how it operated and made the drive easier. I kinda missed it when driving home in my P85 the next day (but having my acceleration back was nice!!).
     
  8. Buster1

    Buster1 Member

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    There is some truth to this. A lot seems to be happening on Planet Tesla right now, and the weather is uncertain.

    However, the paradox is that as you wait, there will always be upgrades and changes, so you wait longer...but then there will be more upgrades and changes later after that. At some point you gotta pull the trigger and get what you find best, at that time.
     
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  9. Vger

    Vger Active Member

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    When I first got my Signature Model S P85 in Dec 2012, I thought I would keep it for a decade at least. I could not imagine at the time how they could make a better car. Ha! After almost exactly four years, I traded for a P100D with AP2, what a gigantic improvement!

    The best advice I can give is to not overspend on your first Tesla. No matter what, you are going to want a newer one at some point. The cars go through a continual evolution and keeping some budget power back for that inevitable trade-up will make you happier in the long term.
     
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  10. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    And the other side is things that go away. You can't order my Titanium Metallic paint any more, or the Obeche wood - or even my tan leather with a dark headliner.

    Tesla changes things over time, mostly for the better. I wouldn't say that's a reason not to buy now, but it may be worth thinking carefully about what's important to you. If there's a feature you'd love to have that they don't have right now it might be worth waiting. Otherwise you're denying yourself an awesome experience now in hopes it'll become slightly more awesome later...
     
  11. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    A 2014 or early 2015 P85D is a great car. They came with an upgraded sportier suspension package that Tesla no longer offers even on their top o the line models today. We are in the process of buying an early 2015 P85D, but I did get a 2014 as a loaner for a few days. The suspension was amazing. It was noticeably stiffer than my coil suspension, but not harsh. Body roll was reduced and the car cornered like it was on rails. It is too bad the new cars don't have that suspension anymore IMHO.

    As far as options go, that is variable. I consider the upgraded sound to be a must have, mostly because the standard sound system is terrible and I like XM. Pano roof is nice and gives more headroom (of which some is lost with the next gen seats). AP is worth it for TACC, I am less sold on its other features. Power lift gate is nice - the package it comes with has changed over time, though, so you will have to do some research there while shopping

    Other stuff like dual chargers, subzero, premium lighting were all just gravy for us, not really must haves. (I live in California so no need for subzero). Wheel choice is personal, but be aware that some of those early P85Ds did come with a staggered 21" setup and so tires can be a bigger expense with that as they don't last very long.
     
  12. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    Personally I would not get the 21 inch tires. On the plus side the car handles slightly better with 21 inch tires, but the downside is massively faster tire wear (15,000 miles is typical from what I've heard) and both rims and tires can get damaged from road hazards that the 19s would survive easily. Personally I would have gotten 17 inch tires if I could have.

    I think air suspension is a lot more flexible for the real world than the fixed spring suspension. I find getting out of the car a bit easier with the suspension at max height and it's invaluable in tricky driveways. I forgot to run the suspension up once when going up a steep driveway and the car bottomed out.

    The premium package has changed a lot over time, they keep adding and deleting features from it. It's nice, but I could live without it.

    I have AP1 and am perfectly happy with it. For me the only times AP is useful is the rare times I get stuck in traffic jams and on the open highway where I would likely engage cruise control on another car. The rest of the time I don't want the car to drive itself, I'm having too much fun driving it myself. Someday 5 years from now when autonomous driving has become a feature on a large number of cars and there are special autonomous driving lanes on freeways or something, having AP2 might be nice, but for today, AP1 is fine for my needs.

    Some people really like the open feel of glass over their heads, but I'm not into that. I like the solid roof, which isn't available now.
     
  13. hsctiger93

    hsctiger93 Member

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    2014 owner here. Happiest decision: Parking sensors. Decision I'd probably take back: Interior lighting package.

    It's a big car. If you're used to driving Mercedes S class or BMW 7 series, then you'll probably already be used to it. I came from a BMW 3 series and it was quite an adjustment.

    Unfortunately my wife ignored the parking sensors and now we have a rash on the drivers side of the front bumper where she scraped the side of the garage... ugh.
     
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  14. Kross

    Kross Member

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    First off, congratulations on making the decision. You won't regret it. I was in a similar boat as you about 2 months ago; I was looking for a used Tesla and had 1-2 things I absolutely wanted, but many others that I needed input/advice on.

    For me, it wasn't the Dual Motor; work is flexible for me (in case of bad weather) and my wife has an AWD if we absolutely need transportation. Nor was it the 0-60 times; a fast car is always a plus, but I wanted Tesla for the tech reasons. So, my base requirement was at least AP1 + Tech. This set my range of years to 2015+. CPOs seemed to be right at the cusp of my budget ($54k) so I was researching on every known site many times a day for a "good" deal to pop up. But the other non-CPO cars did not have extended warranty from Tesla (which would cost me close to $5k to purchase) and they were close to their 50k mileage.

    As luck would have it, I came across a 2016 (new nose shape) with under 9k miles on it, colors I wanted, with more options than I had aimed for, at only $9k more than I was willing to spend. I did the math on my end (especially if I factored in the fact that I wouldn't have to buy the extended warranty on it right away at least) and I took the plunge.

    EXTREMELY happy I did. This vehicle is a dream. And you will be surprised how the longest of trips aren't exhausting anymore with the assistance of AP1. I know it doesn't seem like it, but the freedom to look at your phone or look at car settings/options while the car drives itself on the highway (only periodically asking you to grab the wheel, to ensure you're still awake) goes a looooooong way.

    Hope my story helped!
     
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  15. D.E.

    D.E. Member

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    With AP2 you are buying the potential for better autopilot. I think they are close to equal at present. We assume the AP2 will continue improvement then eventually allow full self driving later if one purchases that upgrade. AP1 is pretty good but has probably reached the endpoint for improvement. So no one can tell you at present whether the AP2 is worth the cost for you.

    If you are new to electrics, I'm a month into it. One of the things I really like is the ability to turn on the AC with my cell phone. I'm in Florida this week, temperatures are in the 90's. I knew of this before but it is so very nice to get into a pre cooled car. You can dwell on the other features but you may find what you especially like has little to do with what you thought was so important earlier. I came from a 96 Econoline 250 van. It didn't even have cruise control. I liked the van, it had a lot of room, and I could camp in it. The Tesla is absolutely amazing in comparison.

    These are neat cars. There is a lot of negativity here in the forums. I don't think that negativity is representative of the overall ownership experience. I've met a number of people with cars several years old, have had no problems, and they plan to keep them indefinitely.

    I'm thrilled with mine. It isn't as quick as the ones made a few weeks later but it is still quick. If price is the most important factor, then an AP1 car is fine. If you want to be on the cutting edge, then AP2 should be on your list. The car will be expensive to fix for the foreseeable future so the warranty period should be a consideration.

    Range... mine is a 75KW. When you charge on trips, you may be able to hit fewer chargers with a larger battery. If not familiar with the chargers on your route, they are a bit of an adventure to find. Once there, about 20 minutes of charge gives about 100 miles of driving range. You don't want to continually charge to the max and you don't want to arrive with an exhausted battery so the published range numbers should be taken with a big grain of salt. It is a balancing act with effective range, anxiety about remaining charge, and the slowed charge as the charge approaches the maximim. For me I'm happy with an extra 20 minute stop so that was a big savings with the 75 as opposed to the expense of the 100. If you make regular long trips, that extra stop might make a difference.

    Anyway, I'm not sure this will be all that helpful, I ramble a bit. I'd suggest you make a long list of what you value most. I'd then sort that list with the most important at the top. Then I'd find a list of what Tesla introduced and when. Then I'd look at what is available and the prices. Then you can apply your budget. And keep in mind what you eventually like most might not be what seemed so important before. There may be features or colors you do not want. For me it is a roof that opens. (I'm old so I've been there, done that.) Anyway, I'd keep a list of things you particularly don't want as well. There will be a car that is perfect for you. If you are organized, that car will stand out and you'll immediately recognize it when you see it. More important, it will keep you for settling for a car that isn't ideal for you.

    Good luck,
    David
     
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  16. smilepak

    smilepak Active Member

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    I would get 2015 or later. They seem to have better noise insulation.

    Also that year AP hardware comes standard and it's just software activation
     
  17. BrokerDon

    BrokerDon Member

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    We have a "fully loaded" 2015 P85D and love it... especially coming from a ~ 4 second 0-60 2006 C6 Z06 Corvette. Our P85D is faster 0-60 + replaced both our Corvette AND our Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV. 2 for 1 :cool:

    AP 1.0 has been great for road trips + stop n' go traffic (lots here in SoCal). We use it a lot... and wouldn't buy a Tesla with AutoPilot. I'd prefer AP 2.0 since AP 1.0 "single camera" capabilities are probably maxed out while AP 2.0 should get better over time. Cost of AP 2.0 vs. 1.0 is the factor.

    We have both 21" Turbine wheels with Performance oriented Summer ONLY Continental tires + 19" Cyclone wheels with Michelin All Season tires and prefer the 21" Turbines around town for performance and looks. We use the 19" tires / wheels for road trips since they give slightly better range, are more resistant to pothole damage, and perform much better in cold & wet/snowy weather. It's also easier to find 19" replacement tires, they last longer, and they're cheaper. Definitely advantages to each which is why we have both.

    LOVE the Tesla advanced sound system and Recaro "Next Generation" sport seats in our P85D (including the rear). My awesome wife loves the heated seats in the cold weather package. Yes It gets chilly here by the ocean... and they were fabulous on our recent road trip to Breckenridge in the snow.

    My guess is a lot of the P85D's were "fully loaded" like our inventory P85D so you should be able to find one with every option you'd want so you don't have to choose which ones you can live without. :cool:

    Good luck!
     
  18. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    You use AP a lot, and wouldn't buy a Tesla with it?

    I'm confused, unless that was supposed to be without...
     
  19. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    Tesla is having a fire sale on inventory 90Ds right now and I suspect they will be giving deep discounts on old drive unit 75s soon. It may be too much for your budget, but that would get you AP2 hardware and the full warranty.
     
  20. bmah

    bmah Obscure Member

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    There were 2014 builds with AP hardware too, starting very late in the calendar year.

    OP was looking at a P85D. Note that all dual motor cars have AP hardware because the D cars started production after the introduction of AP hardware.

    No comment on the noise insulation, I've thought my May 2015 85D was fine but so were some 2013 P85+ that I've driven as service loaners.

    The main advice I would give is to understand what the option packages were at the time the car was built. For example the tech package was applicable to early P85Ds but it's components got refactored into different packages around April 2015.

    There's an options wiki here on TMC (sorry I'm posting from my phone and it's pretty hard to look up this way) that can help you decipher this.

    FWIW I'm pretty happy with the configuration on my 85D, most of which is applicable to the P85D as well. AP1 has been a game changer for long drives for me and I'm glad the tech package included it.

    Bruce.
     

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