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Model S vs Model X for a Ski/Camping Trip Car

Discussion in 'Model S' started by robby, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. robby

    robby Member

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    My wife and I have an X reservation, however we are considering bailing on it to get an S85D. We were initially waiting for the X because we wanted AWD (no 85D at that time), but as more features got announced for the X, we got more generally excited about it. We use our car primarily for 150-200 mile trips up to New Hampshire -- skiing in the winter and hiking/camping in other months. It's pretty common to have the car loaded down with gear (and with people if we bring another couple with us). At face value, the X as an SUV seems like a no-brainer for us, but the more I think about it, the closer the comparison becomes. Here is my thinking so far:

    Benefits of Model X:
    - More interior storage
    - Can seat 7 (but probably only 5 comfortably for very long trips?)
    - Doors will be jaw-droppingly amazing
    - Cameras in place of mirrors will provide better visibility; I consider this a safety benefit
    - A little easier to deal with car seats (we expect to have kids in 2-4 years)

    Benefits of Model S(85D):
    - Better range and performance in everyday situations
    - Ability to swap range/performance for roof rack + roofbox with more storage, and back, as needed. I assume Model S + roof box would be similar in range/performance to Model X.
    - Ski/kayak/camping gear would be enclosed rather than on a rear rack where it's vulnerable to road debris
    - Probably a little less expensive

    Does anybody have other things to add that we should consider? I'm very close to pushing "confirm" but I want to ensure I'm not overlooking anything.
     
  2. PoweredByRain

    PoweredByRain Member

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    Hi robby.

    I wouldn't guarantee that the Model X will come with cameras in place of mirrors. If/when that becomes an option, I bet it will be made available on the Model S as well. In other words, this isn't so much an X vs S choice as a wait vs don't wait choice.

    The Model S actually has quite a surprising amount of storage. I coach two soccer teams, I can fit 18 balls in the back, along with an equipment bag that has... everything (oodles of cones, pinnies, GK stuff, etc), and 14 balls in the front along with two full-size nets and corner flags. That's with the rear seats still available (not folded), and the stuff in the back isn't even visible in the rear view mirror, there is no blocking of the view straight out the back. I haven't even mentioned all the stuff I fit in the compartment underneath the back cargo area. And with the back cleared out and the rear seats folded down, there's actually enough space to lie down in the back. You can almost go camping in the S.

    The X buys you added height in the back, that's it as far as I can tell.

    I'm not sure how much the front motor reduces the storage available in the front - it will reduce it a noticeable amount, for sure.

    As for your other points:
    - if you're talking about small kids, the S can seat 7 with the rear-facing seats. Whether S or X, seating 7 will significantly decrease the storage volume available.
    - you are probably correct that S + roof box would be similar in range/performance to the X. Important: order the panoramic roof if you want a roof box on the S! (There are no mounts with the solid roof)
    - the S will not just probably be a little less expensive, it will be less expensive.

    The other possible advantage you might consider for the X is a more upright driver's seat position and easier ingress/egress. I have not seen the X myself, but I know that the S is quite low to the ground and is not the easiest car to get in and out of, and I assume the X would be different in this regard as it's taller. (Note: I'm 6'5" tall; if you're more "regular sized" then this may not even seem like an issue for you.)

    Really, for me, the main thing is cargo capacity: do you envision stuffing the X to the roof, or not? If not, then I really don't think you're going to get any more usable storage in the X than you would in the S.

    (I own a 85 kWh Model S, and once was on the reservation list for an X. I don't regret getting the S!)
     
  3. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    The X is likely to have more ground clearance. Depending on where you're camping, that might be a significant advantage.
     
  4. abasile

    abasile Independent Software Eng.

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    The issue here is that the "small kids" have to be within a certain size range for those rear-facing seats to work well. What if the kids and their friends grow faster than expected? Also, when carrying a full load of passengers including both kids and grandparents, for instance, it can sometimes be nice to distribute the kids around the vehicle so that each child is sitting next to an adult. I'd like to have that kind of flexibility, and would also prefer a bit more headroom than the Model S offers.

    My only real concern about the Model X is that its range might not be as much as we'd like. Perhaps this will be mitigated by another $10K option - a sometimes-rumored 110 kWh battery pack.
     
  5. robby

    robby Member

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    Super helpful, thank you.

    You may be correct that side mirrors aren't an X vs S decision, but I think if we wait for the X they will either be available or announced as retrofittable once approved by NHTSA. Whereas, if we buy now, it will definitely be side mirrors and history dictates a retrofit isn't a safe bet.

    With respsect to storage, the S would be a big upgrade from our RAV4 (old, smaller '96 model). In most cases it would be more than sufficient. I think my only holdup is a few distinct memories like this:

    IMG_1578.JPG


    Obviously, in situations like that, more vertical space would be nice. They're pretty infrequent, though. And in the other situations, having our ski gear in an enclosed box rather than a rear rack is much preferable. (And yes, we will get the pano roof for the rack! My wife was devastated, just devastated to learn that is a must-have for us. :))

    I don't think ingress/egress is an issue. I'm 6' and my wife would mildly prefer the higher seating of the X, but it's not enough of a problem to justify waiting a year or paying substantially more money.

    Most of this seems to confirm the S is the right choice for us.

    Good point, fortunately shouldn't be an issue. Usually it's backpacking or car camping, so most often we park in a lot and walk to a trailhead.

    We would probably pass on the rear-facing seats for this reason. We wouldn't need them for a few years and then after our kids outgrow them, we'd have no use for them again. If they could hold a car seat we'd feel differently, but I can't find any model that is compatible with them. Given that, it's not worth giving up the footwell storage, let alone the cost.
     
  6. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Whether it has the rearview cameras or not will depend on the regulations. I'm somewhat surprised that cars today are running HID/LED/Halogen bulbs rather than sealed beams. Usually the regulators block real improvements.
     
  7. robby

    robby Member

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    Regulators' objections usually stem from safety and environmental issues. Side cameras improve things on both fronts. I'd be surprised if they're not approved.
     
  8. Hugh Mannity

    Hugh Mannity Mediocre Member

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    I have two small kids. Once you get them strapped into the back its a challenge to camp with a sedan type vehicle due to all the gear you end up taking. I would love a model s but plan to wait for the model x as it will have more space particularly if the kids sit in the 3rd row, you end up with a space fore, aft and mid ships if you fold the 2nd row seats down.
     
  9. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    I've taken my two kids (7 and 4) camping with a large cargo carrier on top of my Model S. With the trunk, frunk, and carrier up top, we had plenty of room for several days away. Charging was a breeze once we got their, too. I don't think the X would have helped with the trips.
     
  10. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Very likely. The only thing I can think of where the X might have helped is that you wouldn't have needed the cargo carrier which should result in greater range.
     
  11. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    #11 Xenoilphobe, Jan 3, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015
    I have a P85 and I also have the ecohitch. This gives you some more options (racks behind the car). I have also explored a small aluminum trailer - like this one -http://www.sylvansport.com for gear (bikes, kayaks etc.)
     
  12. robby

    robby Member

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    This thread began in the Model X forum, but I asked to have it moved here to get perspective from Model S owners. Do any of you care to chime in on the pros and cons, and anything else I may have failed to consider? Many thanks in advance.
     
  13. BMan

    BMan Member

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    You might consider that Elon has said the Model X will have towing capacity. We don't know how much towing capacity but hopefully will be more than what is unofficially possible with Model S. That might come in handy for the future if you get a small boat or trailer for kayaks, etc that you want to tow to campsites.

    Personally I'm hoping it can tow my 19ft runabout for which I'd need a 3500lb tow rating. Surely if Elon said it can tow then it will match the capacity of a minivan :wink:
     
  14. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    Here's our MS with a Sears X-Cargo 20 box with the Yakima Control Tower system that bolts to the roof mounting points. I didn't really see too much of a range loss with this setup, but I'm sure it shaved off a bit with the wind resistance. The car was loaded down, but the extra 20cf of room up top was nice. Also, we plugged into the 14-50 behind the oven since the rest of the park didn't have any for the RVs ;)

    10580086_10152624951954241_7546996697739670747_n.jpg
     
  15. robby

    robby Member

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    This is great to know, thanks. I have a Skybox 21, so near-identical size. Any reason you went with the Control Tower over the more aerodynamic Whispbar? Increased load rating?
     
  16. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

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    I don't believe Model X will have cameras in place of rear view mirrors. All the recent prototypes have real mirrors.

    The 7 seat option on the Model S is great for young kids and short journeys, but I wouldn't put anyone in the third row seats for more than a 1h journey.

    I expect the X will genuinely allow 7 normal sized adults to travel in comfort, but it will impact on load capacity somewhat.

    In any case I'd buy the car you can get now. Why wait?
     
  17. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    I already had the bars and some mounts. The load rating is fine for what I'm using it for, too. I didn't see the need to spend the extra money, but they do look cool.
     
  18. muleferg

    muleferg Member

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    This is the guy that drove from the east coast to west coast first.




    IMG_1688.jpg
     
  19. robby

    robby Member

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    You're probably correct about the mirrors given the recent testing footage.

    I'm not convinced the X makes 5+ person long trips any more doable for the reason you mention: storage. MS can seat 5 with storage in the frunk, trunk and a roof box. MX can seat 5 with storage in the frunk and trunk. Put 7 in the MX and you have to fit all their stuff in a frunk and drastically reduced trunk. I'm sure Tesla's rear rack solution will be great for skis and snowboards but it's hard to imagine how it would be useful for duffel bags and camping gear.

    The reason to wait rather than buy the car we can get now would be if the MX were significantly more utilitarian to us than the MS. I don't think it would be, hence our MS order, but we drive our cars until they die, so if I'm wrong it would be worth waiting 9-12 months for the right vehicle.
     
  20. Bet TSLA

    Bet TSLA Member

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    If you're trying to do the right thing given your own psychology, you should keep in mind that a Tesla is more like a high tech gadget than a car. Do you keep your gadgets until they die? Do you find that it works best to delay buying them until exactly the right feature set is available? I find that I treat gadgets very differently from vehicles, but that might just be me. I don't yet know how I'll treat my P85, but I know that if it didn't have the auto-pilot hardware I'd already be getting antsy.
     

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