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From Clarity Electric to Used Model S - Advice Needed

mena

New Member
Mar 26, 2021
3
0
Buena Park, CA
Hi all, I'm new to this forum and am looking for some advice in buying a used Model S. My family experienced EVs for the first time when we leased a 2017 Honda Clarity Electric (not the PHEV) that we just returned. I don't think we can ever go back to a gas or even hybrid car. I've been looking for a replacement since returning the lease, and have just a few requirements for the new car:

1) Less than $40K out the door
2) 120+ mile range (don't need much)
3) reliable (don't need a headache)
4) roomy enough for a family of 5 (two adults and 3 kids - two of which are growing teens).

It's that last requirement that has me looking at a used 2013-2015 Model S, as it seems to be the only EV choice out there (except for the more expensive used X's) with enough back seat room to fit the 3 kids comfortably on my budget. Things like autopilot would be nice, but they are not deal breakers, especially on the budget that I am on.

Looking for advice...is a 2013-2015 used Model S the way to go for my situation? Any other options to suggest?
 

Takumi

Member
Aug 25, 2006
684
329
IL
I'd recommend a used Model 3 or Y. Those early years for the Model S will have problems: eMMC, powertrain whining, battery charging, A/C not blowing & more! Gotta know what's been done, but know that you'll probably be spending more for Total Cost of Ownership than getting a used Model 3 or Y. I wish the Model 3 had the same quality as the ones Made in China.

At this point, I usually recommend to my friends and family to lease (You'll always be spending money on cars). Improvements are coming too fast & Tesla is more likely to drop the prices when Berlin & Texas go on line.

As for me, holding out for the Cybertruck - more value than any of Tesla's offerings.
 

mena

New Member
Mar 26, 2021
3
0
Buena Park, CA
I'd recommend a used Model 3 or Y.

I'm not sure the rear seats of the 3 of Y could fit our two teens and 10 year old comfortably for long trips. Anyone have experience with this?

The Cybertruck is an interesting option, but fairly sure the wife will veto that. Plus, we can't wait that long - we will need to replace the Clarity in the next 3-6 months.
 

JimmyB

Member
Sep 7, 2014
70
36
Washington, DC
For your $40k budget you don’t need to restrict yourself to the 2013-2015 bracket. Given that you’re not looking for maximum range, a 2016-2017 S60 might fit the bill although there don’t seem to be that many of them. IMHO the 2015-2016 ‘nosecone’ cars represent fantastic value right now if you don’t need the latest battery or FSD - I’ve just bought a 2015 85D for “low thirties” money. If you’re worried about maintenance issues, ev-cpo.com currently lists ten Model S’s under $40k, and each will come with a year’s warranty from Tesla which is helpful peace of mind.
 

David_Cary

Active Member
Dec 17, 2012
1,182
672
Cary, NC
But don't buy from Tesla - without eyes wide open. Their used car sales is a disaster with numerous reports of undisclosed damage, poor condition not disclosed etc.
I would try out a 3 with your kids.
You say long trip but only want 120 mile range - do you consider that long?
I have a 2015 70D and it is plenty reliable but also a headache. I have done 3 door handles in 18 months. I need to do a horn. And I have a door latch to do. Hasn't cost much but not new car reliable.
Get the Clarity PHEV or a Leaf if you really want reliable vs a 6 yo Model S.
 

mena

New Member
Mar 26, 2021
3
0
Buena Park, CA
I would try out a 3 with your kids.
Doing just that. Have a test drive scheduled this Friday. Also going to check out the Niro and the ID.4.

You say long trip but only want 120 mile range - do you consider that long?
Not necessarily long, but I would say anything past a 30-45 minute drive will be irritating (for both them and their parents) if they are not relatively comfortable sitting next to each other.
 

voltaren

Member
Feb 16, 2017
262
417
Annapolis, MD
I would avoid buy a used, out-of-warranty Model S... especially after coming from a reliable Japanese brand. The battery and motor will be fine, but it’s the door handles, latches, and seemingly mundane things that break. Then realize getting a service appt can be very difficult depending on where you live (CA for sure)... not to mention the cost of service outside warranty.

Also, Insurance for even a used Tesla can be 50-100% more than what you paid for your Honda.

A Model Y seems like more of a fit for your needs. 3 adults can easily fit in the back. If you can stretch your budget and will only go electric, that would be my choice.
 

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