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Model S with Rear Seats vs Model X

Discussion in 'Model X' started by mickeyme, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. mickeyme

    mickeyme New Member

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    We are still EARLY in the stages of looking at buying, but it would be nice if we could at least narrow it down to S vs. X.

    Here is our situation: This would be my husband's car, used primarily for in town driving, and maybe some work trips (up to 4 hours away, typically). We have 4 kids (16, 11, and 3 year old twins). He picks the kids up from school a fair bit, so it would be nice to have the option to put all 4 kids in one car if necessary (realistically, the 16 year old will usually be driving, so it will probably be just 3 most of the time). However, it would not be the primary kid car.

    We figure for occasional in-town trips, the rear facing seats would work for the little ones for a few years, but is this a good solution? Would we be a lot happier with the X?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Zaphod

    Zaphod Galaxy President (former)

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    You will be happier with the X. Biggest issue with the S and the rear seats is that there is no HVAC vents back there, so can get hot in summer with sun shining through the back window and cold in the winter. The rear seats in the S are more of a novelty and work in pinch or random occasion, but would not consider using them long term for years.
     
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  3. ModelX

    ModelX Active Member

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    Love my X! I think it would be the better solution, especially as your kids grow!
     
  4. dlsspy

    dlsspy Member

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    I had a loaner S over the weekend. It felt like a downgrade from my X in many ways. Some little things like being confused by the doors not opening for me to feeling limited by the view (the X has a seemingly infinite windshield which you get used to very fast).

    I've got the five seat variant, and have never filled them up.
     
  5. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Active Member

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    Think the S would work fine, but the X is a much more convenient package.

    While the S will hold 7 pretty well (if 2 are kids) you then have very little storage for all the stuff the kids often want to bring along. Both S and X have a front trunk (frunk) that will hold some stuff, but not all that much.

    Tesla showrooms usually have both an S and X. Might be worth a trip with the kids to pile in. Might make your decision obvious.

    X has those really cool falcon wing doors that will have your kids the center of attraction when you pick them up.
     
  6. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    I was told by my local service center that the 3rd row option for the Model S was about to be discontinued.
     
  7. IdaX

    IdaX Member

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    I've got 4 kids and they love the X. S has rear seats, but no vents back there so it gets real hot in the Sun and kids would have to wear jackets in winter. Good enough for occasional use, but not regular use IMHO.
     
  8. Need

    Need Member

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    I got an older MS (2014) as a loaner too for 2 weeks. The 2017 MX is so much better! I am 5'9" and it is not easy for me to get into the MS driver seat. It is very low car, but it doesn't handle turn as well the the much taller MX. Also the back seat of the MS has very low ceiling. And the windshield of the MX like you said is just amazing. And the 7-seat MX is really a good deal if you want it because it is only $3000 more. We got the 5 seats as we only got 1 kid.
     
  9. realvvk

    realvvk Member

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    While I do agree that the MX is better for 6-7 people vs MS, I had an MX loaner and felt it was definitely inferior to my MS in several areas. Specifically, the windshield was a huge turnoff, as even in the cold of the winter I felt very uncomfortable from the blinding sun beating down on me and the inadequate sun visors. The ride and handling were noticeably inferior. The MX was definitely much louder, especially in the back seat. We listen to audiobooks all the time and my kids kept asking me to make it louder because they could not hear the words in the back due to road noise. I was uncomfortable getting in and out because of the wide door sill, making it very difficult not to ruin my pants with all the salt and grime. The rear doors were just ridiculous and impossible to use in my garage. When I was buying my MS, I really wanted to get the MX but the windshield and the rear doors turned me away. The rear seats of the MX are far more comfortable and the third row is a huge improvement on the rear jump seats we have in our MS.

    I notice that you are in California, so perhaps the difference in our impressions is due to the different climate. It was between -5 and 15'F when we had the MX loaner.
     
  10. Need

    Need Member

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    One of the things I thought I have to do with the MX was to tint the windshield (California and all), but surprisingly it wasn't really that hot inside even when the temp has been around 80 to 90 this last week. I think it has some kind of heat reflect built in to the glass. I have the 2017 Dec MX. Maybe they improved the windshield heat shielding.

    I thought I would not be able to open the FWD in the garage but again, both opens fully in the garage and it was a tiny garage. I have under 2 feet of space on each side. It is harder to get out from the front doors than the back doors inside the garage. Also the self presenting door is amazing. When we first got the loaner MS, we don't know what to do with the handle... then we realized that we actually have to manually pull the door open LOL.

    I tried cornering with the MS and the suspension is very soft and I don't feel like it has a good grip. The MX suspension is more like our old BMW X5, it sticks to the road. But I think the newer MS is probably made better.
     
  11. polymathic

    polymathic Member

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    I would say the MX in 6-seat configuration without hesitation. I was driving a loaner MS 100D the last week and was surprised at how inferior it felt to the MX. The MX is just a better car in many ways, and unlike some of the other posters, I missed my big MX windshield, and I live in California.
     
  12. Cirrus MS100D

    Cirrus MS100D Member

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    Just to opine as an owner of an S that we specifically bought because of the RFS: We are thrilled with our decision, but YMMV and all that. Some of the points that folks bring up on here we find ourselves on the opposite side and given the age of your older ones, the X may be the better call overall, but just in case you're curious about our decision, here are a few (and yes, all of this is debatable, it's just like, you know, our opinion man...)
    • Hate SUVs. (Don't even get us started on minivans...) I realize the X is probably less SUV than SUV, but would gladly take any sort of hatchback/wagon over an SUV any day of the week. The S is faster, handles better, gets more range, can throw a roof rack on it with a roof box and/or bikes for road tripping, (IMO) looks better, and (while still a land yacht) is more fun to drive.

    • At time of purchase, we had a 5 y/o and 3 y/o. The RFS is "their space" and it's great to be able to keep the rest of the car clean for adults. We also had our 2 y/o niece move in next door (yay! :) ) recently so now we're taking her to/from school as well, which means she is in a traditional rear facing CAR seat in the second row, and our 2 kids take the RFS. When our oldest outgrows the RFS, that'll be time for our niece to move back there, so they can swap. All this and we can STILL transport 2 more adults. Your older kids are much older, but as you know, putting 2 car seats in any car devours those seats, so saying you have a 7 pax SUV with two 3 y/o might be tricky when it comes to loading/unloading, depending on placement of said car seats. In our S, I can drop our 2 kids off at the grandparents, fold the RFS down, and have a full trunk again- no lugging around car seats and nobody having to do various acrobatics to climb over car seats to sit down.

    • We believe the HVAC argument is a bit overstated. We live in PA and saw temps in 100F this summer and -10F this winter. Undoubtedly the rear window needs aftermarket tint. We got complaints from both kids in the dead of summer as we were taking our very first trip in the car, which (not coincidentally) happened to be the tint shop. We installed 35% back there with high IR blocking and it made all the difference. Combined with some pre-conditioning and using the factory guidance of selecting the fresh air (as opposed to recycle), we can get complaints from the RFS passengers that it's too cold in the middle of the day in the summer. In the winter time, we don't tend to have them wear their coats while sitting in car seats (whether they be traditional car seats or RFS- just something we're not comfortable with and they tend to hate the feeling of being so cramped.) That said, we keep 2 small blankets back there for when we leave the grandparents late at night and they're in their jammies. Again, pre-conditioning is key here, but we can get the cabin plenty warm and toss them in as the dash temp shows sub zero (I didn't mean sub freezing) and they'll kick the blankets off usually within a mile or so. (FTR, they ALSO like to use blankets on road trips in our Subaru.)

    • There is plenty of room in the "cubbies" in the wheel wells for backpacks, jackets, umbrella, boots, etc. and we haven't run into a "space" issue using them day-to-day. (Grocery store trips has them in the RFS and enough groceries for a week in the frunk where things don't slide around.) I don't think I would take them on a 6+ hour drive with 5 other adults packed to the gills, but I honestly don't think ANYBODY would like that, and it's not something we've ever planned on doing. I will say that when we do our long trips (7+ hours) we will install their regular car seats so we have more convenient trunk space and have the ability to hand them stuff. Again, hard to discount the ability to add a roof box to greatly expand storage space. Can't do that on an X.
    Our plan is to try and hang onto this car for a while, knowing that at SOME point, the RFS will likely no longer be usable by our immediate and extended family. Our best guess easily shows us having those seats filled by a little friend or two for at least another 7-10 years, after which point, who the hell knows what the car landscape will look like. Plus, the RFS are removable should we ever want to fully reclaim the trunk space when the kids have fully outgrown it.

    Bottom line: It sounds so silly, but the RFS were one of THE top 3 selling points for us (electric + safety being the other two.) We briefly entertained the idea of the X, but it just didn't feel right to us, while the S feels like it became an immediate part of the family. Truth be told, my wife gave our S the same name of what our son would've been named if he were born a girl. We figured, hell, the car payment on the S is as much as their 529 contribution, so might as well treat "her" like a member of the family.

    Fortunately, no matter what you decide, you can't go wrong.
     
    • Informative x 2
  13. Sandiegodoug

    Sandiegodoug Member

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    We love our x. I would drive both, have your family ride in both. We have 6 seater and six adults can ride in it. I much prefer being up high in the x. And the windshield is amazing.
    Very good visibility. I really feel my new Model 3 has better visibility than my brothers
    S. And the x even better.
     
    • Like x 1
  14. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Well-Known Member

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    As a past (5 seater) Model S owner and current (6 seater) Model X owner I have no immediate experience with the RFS, but otherwise plenty of experience with the cars, IMO there are three ways to look at this:

    1) Model X is an upgrade over Model S in many areas, such as interior storage and comforts. (And Model 3 is an ugprade in this area over both). Basically the point is: newer the Tesla model, more it has things older ones do not. So do check out whether something that matters to you is available in one car and not the other. A simple case in point: Model X has USB on the third-row if charging something is needed, Model S does not.

    2) Model X 6/7 seaters have additional rear fans, A/C control and heating, meaning they will be significantly more comfortable A/C wise than a Model S with no A/C in the RFS trunk and limited circulation there from the rest of the car. Model X third-row also handles people of any age, Model S RFS only young ones. A pop-in sunscreen for the back window is recommended in the Model S (Tesla sells one). So basically Model S RFS only for very short periods for very short people, Model X third-row is suited for long periods for small people and short periods for adults...

    3) Above is often nullifiedby a simple personal preference: are you happier driving a sedan/hatchback or a SUV? This probably decides the case for many people and we can not answer for you. :) Model S also will get you quicker 0-60 times and for less money, if those things matter.

    Finally, if getting the latest and the greatest matters, I recommend following the rumors of an impending Model S/X refresh possibly this year: Rumor summary: Blind-spot cameras, Rain sensing, Level 3, Big battery, Interior/HUD and Model S range and interior update imminent? though it may be delayed to late this year (all unknown/rumors).
     
  15. mattack4000

    mattack4000 Member

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    Maybe it’s me, but having kids and not having doors I can control from the driver seat? Hell no.
     
  16. Yinn

    Yinn Member

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    Hi, welcome to the forums! I'm an owner of both a Model S w/ rear facing seats as well as a 6 seat Model X so hopefully we can help you out.

    We use the Model X as a minivan replacement and as our primary kid car and it does a great job at it. With that said, it's not nearly as efficient when commuting by just myself. The range is significantly reduced compared to a S. It's larger to navigate in traffic. It's more expensive, and just not needed for commuting duties and a kid pickup here and there. Don't get me wrong, it's a great primary kid car; but it doesn't seem like that's what you're going for.

    The Model S is a great..I call it Dad car, but really for a secondary kid car. It's more efficient and nimble making it easier for highway and local zipping. And since I'm driving it to and from work, it's more obscure and doesn't scream look at me! With the rear facing seats and especially with the 3 years old, I don't need to have car seats installed, saving some money and having the hassle of pulling it out if I'm taking coworkers. When I take the X, my coworkers take a separate car or climb into the 3rd row since my car seats are in the middle.

    We tried and I wouldn't use the S as a primary kid car if you have 3+ kids, the X is just easier for that. But since you have a primary kid car, I think the Model S would be perfect for your needs. It functions as a normal sedan, but when I get a text "Can you do pickup today?" It takes me 30 seconds to open the trunk, flip the rear facing seats up, and tada I can take my kids; their friends, and go grab some ice cream. PS. All backpacks and gear go into the frunk.

    Feel free to ping me directly if you have any questions, pictures requests, etc. beyond what you've posted. Of course I have a referral code for when you're ready to buy if you need one, and I have one that's still eligible for $500 in accessories in addition to the free charging.
     
    • Informative x 2
  17. LukasSwan

    LukasSwan Member

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    Spot on. We have the RFS in our MS and have a 7 seater MX. The MX is nicer, but you feel very tight due to layout. The RFS work great for our 7 and 4 year old. And our third is only one year old so her day is coming.
    If you like a sedan better, this is the way to go.
    If you like SUV, then go X.
    Either way, it will be a squeeze with 4 kids.
     
    • Like x 2
    • Informative x 1

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