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Model X vs Model S for road trips?

Venom

Leo Hates You Club Scout
May 29, 2019
748
1,512
Chicago, IL
Having second thoughts on my Model S plaid order and considering a Model X plaid instead. Right now I’m like 60/40 (S/X).

I like to travel cross country (IL - CA) a couple times per year. I've done it in my Model Y and it felt decent.
Things I dislike about my Y for long road trips:
- Exterior feels a bit chunky - I wish it was a bit more compact on the outside
- I wish the interior was a little more comfortable and had more space (trunk space is perfect though)
- Model Y performance feels a bit too slow now that I’m used to it
- Range sucks (even with my 18” wheels)

For people that have driven both the S and the X extensively and go on 2 person road trips, which do you prefer the most and why?
 
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jboy210

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
5,516
3,506
Northern California
If you have issues with the Y range, my guess is you will have even more issues with the X range. Especially if you drive considerably over 70. The X is a big car with more area creating drag and impacting range and the 22-inch wheels don't help. You can't cheat physics.

Inside there is a lot more space in the X than S to move around. In general, it is a more comfortable car and can hold a lot when only carrying 2 people. We got a 6-foot bookcase in the back.
 

DirtyT3sla

Member
Apr 17, 2019
570
640
Holly
If range is a concern have you considered a LR X? It's still considerably faster than the Y, but will have best range especially with smaller wheels.

And I think a problem with these fast accelerating cars is you will always adapt to them. Yes the X will always be faster than Y, but if you own an X for 6 months and are punching it all the time, you'll eventually adapt and it'll feel normal rather than super fast.
 
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Venom

Leo Hates You Club Scout
May 29, 2019
748
1,512
Chicago, IL
If range is a concern have you considered a LR X? It's still considerably faster than the Y, but will have best range especially with smaller wheels.

And I think a problem with these fast accelerating cars is you will always adapt to them. Yes the X will always be faster than Y, but if you own an X for 6 months and are punching it all the time, you'll eventually adapt and it'll feel normal rather than super fast.
I have considered the LR X, but it’d feel slower than my MYP. Also, not a huge fan of the MYP power curve for 50 - 85mph, which is something the Plaid models are great at.

I completely agree with your statement regarding getting used to the acceleration of any car after 6 months, but I’m hoping that’d change with the plaid since apparently you can feel your organs being pulled back 🤣
 

ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,365
2,780
Redmond, WA
My wife and I have done a lot of road tripping in both S and X. (One of the S was a performance, but the other and the X were not. I suspect wheels matter more; all had 19 or 20" wheels).

There's not a huge difference; both are really nice on road trips. Advantages to the S:
  • The S is more efficient (less cost - assuming you are paying for Supercharging - AND less time charging)
  • It is quicker and handles better, in case you get on some twisty mountain roads
  • It has more range; but Superchargers are close enough that doesn't mean we have taken trips in it that the X can't do. It more means you don't have to charge to as high of SOC, so it helps with charging being faster
And some advantages to the X:
  • The X has more space (although if the S has enough for you, this is obviously not a big deal)
  • If you get stuff in and out of the frunk or trunk, the higher position of the X is easier to access
  • The X being taller is easier to get in and out of a lot
  • We find the seating position to be more comfy in the X
  • The "panoramic" windshield is nice when you are looking at scenery as you drive through, say, Zion
  • There is a little more clearance if you drive offroad at all
A lot of these aren't going to matter to most people.
 

Richbot

Member
Oct 16, 2020
516
451
STL
I think the Model X is the best family road trip vehicle available today, bar none. As a road-tripper, the S's only advantage is range at higher speeds and that's a big one, but the interior is considerably less spacious. It's a way bigger difference than the specs would make obvious.

But for only two people? Model S all the way




*assuming absolute speed to destination is not the #1 priority, and your family isn't 7 adults. If you buy into the idea that avoiding gas stations and relatively frequent 15-minute stops are a feature, not a bug, in other words, and you only have 2 other adults and/or 2-4 kids to haul
 
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Venom

Leo Hates You Club Scout
May 29, 2019
748
1,512
Chicago, IL
My wife and I have done a lot of road tripping in both S and X. (One of the S was a performance, but the other and the X were not. I suspect wheels matter more; all had 19 or 20" wheels).

There's not a huge difference; both are really nice on road trips. Advantages to the S:
  • The S is more efficient (less cost - assuming you are paying for Supercharging - AND less time charging)
  • It is quicker and handles better, in case you get on some twisty mountain roads
  • It has more range; but Superchargers are close enough that doesn't mean we have taken trips in it that the X can't do. It more means you don't have to charge to as high of SOC, so it helps with charging being faster
And some advantages to the X:
  • The X has more space (although if the S has enough for you, this is obviously not a big deal)
  • If you get stuff in and out of the frunk or trunk, the higher position of the X is easier to access
  • The X being taller is easier to get in and out of a lot
  • We find the seating position to be more comfy in the X
  • The "panoramic" windshield is nice when you are looking at scenery as you drive through, say, Zion
  • There is a little more clearance if you drive offroad at all
A lot of these aren't going to matter to most people.
Excellent points. I think it'd make sense for me to go with a Model S plaid and then a LR X in the future. I just wish the Model S had that panoramic windshield!
 

Richbot

Member
Oct 16, 2020
516
451
STL
The panoramic windscreen is nice, but the glass I notice S vs. X is the roof and rear window and doors. Roof because the X doesn't have a giant slab of glass baking the whole interior (the X front sunshade makes a big difference); rear window because the rear view is decent and not distorted on the X, and doors because they're large enough to get into without hunching over or doing a weird body contortion because of the stupid, stupid, stupid, frameless door design decision Tesla made for the sake of wow-factor styling back in 2010 that still haunts the car to this day

The roof glass is fixable with an aftermarket shade - but the back glass and doors are baked-in
 

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