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New 60 or Used 85?

Longtime lurker here, this is my first post, so please be gentle. :biggrin:

I just turned in my previous car that I was leasing, and have decided to splurge on a Tesla which I have been researching to death for the last year. Test drove one last month and fell in love. My budget unfortunately is pretty limited, probably in the 60-70k range (after any tax credit, before tax and license, etc.)

So i am torn at the moment whether I should by a new 60 (I have priced out one with tech, supercharger, wood decor at $78,700 before credits) or try to find a slightly used 85. So here are the pros and cons I have come up with:

New 60

New car
$10,000 tax credit/rebate
I can configure however I like

May not have as many options as if I buy used
Large depreciation first year or two
Have to wait until 2016 to get $7500 federal credit

Used 85

Might cost less than new 60
Longer range
I don't have to wait for tax credit/rebate
Possibly more features (panoramic roof, etc.)
Slower depreciation/possibly better resale value

Not new
Likely will not get exact configuration I want
No tax credit
Shorter warranty due to age of car

Based on past driving I only see about 3-4 times a year where I would be traveling enough to need a supercharger, so I am not sure how much important having the extra range would be, but am I thinking the resale value later on (I plan on keeping a long time) might hold better with an 85. My other concern is how much I will lose out if I don't have autopilot if I go the used route. I don't think the whole self-driving thing is that important, but the TACC and other safety features are attractive to me.

I have tried looking for inventory S60's the last month or so but they are few and far between. The small handful available only have discounts of roughly 2-3k and they usually have had something added to them that I don't need (rear facing seats - I don't have kids, etc.) that wipes out any discount.

I keep going back and forth on this, so I though I would ask the board for some advice. Thanks in advance, I have already learned a ton reading on this site.


Model S Res#P1440
Dec 2, 2009
Belmont, CA
I think you have already thought about it, but a used 85 with autopilot would be way better than a used 85 without. But probably more expensive too.

For the range question, it comes down to how willing you are to trade time for money. There have been a few cases where trips in the 60 are definitely do-able, but just less convenient because we had to supercharge more frequently or stay longer at each stop to reach 90+% instead of 80%.

Ideally you would find a used 85 with autopilot, but not sure how expensive or available those would be.
Otherwise, I would lean towards a new 60 with autopilot over a used 85 without (assuming cost after rebate were equal).
If you don't think you need the range of an 85, and plan on keeping it for a long time, I think the 60 might be the right choice. I also question how much depreciation you really get with a 60, considering the used market is so tight. I'm pulling numbers out of the air, but I suspect the higher end P85, P85+ have seen the biggest depreciation, because of people wanting to upgrade, and the high starting price. People who can't afford a new Model S, especially with the increasing prices over the last several years, were hoping to get one used. This propped up the resale value on the low end. The Audi R8 V8 and Nissan GTR have had similar non-depreciations due to severe new model price increases. I would also say to compare the new price (after the tax credits) with the used prices of the same model to get a more fair comparison.
If you have a job with deductions you can get the $7500 back faster by simply reducing your deductions temporarily, until you've gotten the $7500 back and then returning them. It's hard to say if this is applicable to you but it's possible.

Yeah just to add on, you can adjust your allowances to get all of the $ back during the year via larger paychecks (less taxes withheld).
Im kind of in the same boat as you. A fully load P85 or a P85D with tech, sound, air sus, and rear facing seats. I dont drive on the freeway much so the auto pilot wont come in that handy. I live in Las Vegas, so it doesn't really snow here. I do plan on taking some trip up into the mountain to snowboard, so the duel motor is something nice to have. If your on the highway a lot, then get the 60, but at the same time if you on the highway, your probably driving a lot, so you'll need the 85.
For anyone who is interested in long distance drives, the 85 is the only practical solution due to the increased range and faster supercharge times.

If you're not going to travel long distances, then it comes down to whether or not the power of the 60 is enough for you. Personally, I like to get as much performance as possible, so I'd get a used 85. If you're happy with the performance of the 60, just buy a brand new one:).


Active Member
Nov 18, 2014
Bay Area
For anyone who is interested in long distance drives, the 85 is the only practical solution due to the increased range and faster supercharge times.

No question the 85 is more practical, but to suggest it is the only practical option is too binary.

The charge rate in the 85 is the big difference (not for A packs though...), but as far as range goes, both models will almost always stop at the same superchargers, so its not like you save a ton of time skipping stations.
No question the 85 is more practical, but to suggest it is the only practical option is too binary.

The charge rate in the 85 is the big difference (not for A packs though...), but as far as range goes, both models will almost always stop at the same superchargers, so its not like you save a ton of time skipping stations.

Agreed. I tend to exaggerate a little too much when trying to make my point:wink:


Active Member
Dec 17, 2012
Cary, NC
If you keep the car a long time, resale becomes less of an issue. When the car is 10 years old and a 60 is worth $8k and and 85 is $10k, it really doesn't matter much. Throw time value of money in that and $2k 10 years from now is less than $1k today.

10 years from now, a 300 mile EV with similar specs to an S might be $30k new and imagine what it will have.

Autonomous driving may kill the used market in 10 years so even $10k would be a pipe dream. All it takes is the insurance industry wanting autonomous cars. Suddenly manual cars cost $2k more a year to insure....

Then 4 supercharge events a year and saving 15 minutes each time.... 1 hour. Just a thought. Now maybe you meant 4 trips with 4 SC's each. 4 hours.


Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
Toronto, ON
Depends on your driving patterns. I splurged on the 85 since I have a daily round trip commute of about 100 miles and want to be able to drive "normally" even when it's 25 below zero in the winter. I also recognized that battery degradation is normal and that after a certain number of years, my 85 might become more like a 60. Finally, an 85 battery should last a bit longer because you will have fewer charge cycles on it than you would on a 60 (1 charge cycle = 0 to 100%).
Thanks everyone for your input. Just to add some more info and answer a couple questions.

My commute to work is 17 miles each way and we have charging stations at work (though crowded) and a Level 2 charger at home so 60/85 is not an issue there
The four times a year or so we would travel, three would be to SoCal to see family. It is a 280 mile trip each way, the 60 would have to stop at two superchargers each way, the 85 just one. (One supercharger is 191 miles away which would be very tight for the 60 to make it on just one)
It's hard to predict, but initial thought is I would keep the car for approximately eight years, could be a little more or less

CPO 85 is out of the question. I got quoted $63k for a CPO 2013 S60 that would have been $79k new. It had 17,000 miles and obviously didn't have autopilot. I could buy the same car new now for 69k after tax credits with autopilot.
Get a used 85! Adaptive Cruise Control and Autopilot are nice, but not really necessary.
We've been driving for years without them and all of a sudden they are must haves? I don't think so.
Plus, you become lazy depending on them. Keep your attention to driving and you are better off.
Also, the Performance models are a waste of money in my opinion. After a couple of weeks, the novelty factor of the extra zip wears off and who are you trying to impress?
Another factor to consider is the tire wear on the P models. You will go through a lot of expensive tires quickly.

As the car gets older, you will appreciate the extra range of the 85 as the battery capacity lowers each year due to age.
I would not even think of the 60 for this reason alone.


S85 2012-2018, X90 since 2016, 3 since 2018
Aug 20, 2011
San Jose, CA
I'd vote for a used 85.

You don't think you'll use the extra range and most of the time you're right, but the times where you do you'll be grateful for the 85. Been there...

The "new/not new" is a nonsense argument IMHO. After a month in the car (less if you have kids) the cars are going to be the same.

The Autopilot feature is really only for long trips, which are not as easy to do in a 60 anyway, so catch 22.

Ideal solution would be a used 85 with Autopilot, but it'll be a while before they come down in price. You might check for a CPO 85 without Autopilot, they were giving steep discounts on those a while back, but likely they're all gone by now.
If the old addage is correct.... Hope for the best, plan for the worst, then keep in mind that your driving habits might change down the road. While you might not need the added range today, you might tomorrow. I'd rather arrive with a bit in reserve, than run out before arriving at my destination.

I also didn't see if you mentioned that if you need to add supercharging to the S60 down the road, you'll be paying $2500 (of the $10,00 difference between the new S60 and S85) for that. Also, supercharging enabled will be a factor in resale. If a S60 would work for me, I wouldn't buy one without SC enabled. Then, you also get more power in the drivetrain on the S85.

Autopilot hardware and software is a safety improvement. As you can see on ebay, there's a ton of non-autopilot equipped MS (mostly the P85 and P85+) for sale. Quite a few owners are ordering the P85D, and the flood of these cars is apparent. While some of them are reasonably priced, one of those might be your best bet.

I ordered my S85 exactly how I wanted it. It's always cheaper in the long run to order it with the options you want, rather than to attempt to add those features after the purchase. With your budget being the limiting factor, I would carefully consider whether the MS you're thinking of buying will provide you with ownership satisfaction. If you're not initially thrilled (or at least deeply satisfied) with your decision and purchase, you might regret it even more, further down the road.

My two cents - nothing beats getting a new car.

Go for a 60 - configure it the way you want it, and enjoy the new gadgets

Buying anything used, you know exactly what you're getting.

Buying a new 60 - you might end up with new headlight designs, better seats, different trim - who knows? It'll certainly be better put together than something that's a year or two old.

We went for a loaded 60 - our commute is tiny, and we'll be taking road trips a few times a year at most

Whatever you end up getting, you'll definitely love it!


Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
Toronto, ON
Tesla has been steadily improving the build quality of the Model S, a fact noted in some recent reviews of the P85D. Depending upon how old the used S85 is, you may be getting an appreciably better-made car with the S60. Just make sure it's configured with Supercharging (which comes standard on the 85).

Interestingly, as I drive almost new loaners and compare them to my 2 year old S85, my own car seems just as solid, tight and well built as the newer ones. I do miss some of the newer features that weren't available when I got my car... like the parking sensors.

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