Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

P85D vs. BMW M5 Nighthawk review

ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,321
2,670
Redmond, WA
I haven't driven a BMW like that so I can't speak from experience...but it sure sounded like a really, really fair comparison. Though it was slightly incomplete - they covered acceleration, price, luxury, tech, handling - but not, say, high speeds (favors BMW) or utility (favors Tesla). Or, of course, efficiency or emissions; not that I expected them to. Their praise and criticism for both cars seemed spot on (except for, as jgs notes, a comment about regen and braking that didn't make sense to me). They didn't seem to be shooting for a pre-determined conclusion or media-and-controversy-invoking rhetoric. Refreshing.

It's 8:40 long; spoilers for those that don't want to watch: they really love the BMW's steering feel and handling, which really does trump the Tesla's; and it feels very luxurious. But the Tesla is lower-priced, more serene, quicker, and has cool new tech so the reviewer would prefer the Tesla, even after range considerations - he pointed out that with a charger in your garage, it really just doesn't matter.
 
Last edited:

Grendal

SpaceX Moderator
Jan 31, 2012
5,747
7,002
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Not bad. He seems to be confused about the Tesla brakes though.

He seemed like someone not used to how they work and comparing them to standard brakes. I'm guessing that the BMW brakes are the very best there are for a traditional automobile. The Tesla, like everything else about the car's drivetrain, works in a completely different way from "standard."
 

jgs

Active Member
Oct 28, 2014
1,581
933
Ann Arbor, Michigan
He seemed like someone not used to how they work and comparing them to standard brakes. I'm guessing that the BMW brakes are the very best there are for a traditional automobile. The Tesla, like everything else about the car's drivetrain, works in a completely different way from "standard."

Actually the thing is that the brakes on a Model S are exactly standard friction brakes. No regen on the brake pedal at all.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,198
13,847
San Mateo, CA
Actually the thing is that the brakes on a Model S are exactly standard friction brakes. No regen on the brake pedal at all.
Yes, the reviewer really did not understand the Model S "deceleration system" at all.
He completely failed to evaluate the two cars in terms of people and cargo carrying capacity, where the Model S wins handily.
I was amazed at how expensive a BMW 5 series could be at the top end!
And I laughed when he said that the Model S could be configured with a long list of options. I think he mentally flipped the BMW and the Tesla options list. The Model S has the shortest option list of any vehicle in its class.
 

smac

Active Member
Aug 4, 2013
1,745
837
Nottinghamshire
I was amazed at how expensive a BMW 5 series could be at the top end!
And I laughed when he said that the Model S could be configured with a long list of options. I think he mentally flipped the BMW and the Tesla options list. The Model S has the shortest option list of any vehicle in its class.

Depends on the market. The night hawk is basically an every option ticked model out of the box, and imported luxury cars in Oz aren't cheap to begin with.

For another data point, here in the UK the base 70S is half the price of a fully loaded P90DL, so at least in £ terms the option list is pretty extensive ;)

But then it's a bit like comparing a base 520D to a fully loaded M5.
 

Mayhemm

Model S P85+ "Lola"
Nov 9, 2012
1,966
32
Saskatchewan, Canada
A very nice review, seemingly without an agenda for a change. The only thing that raised my hackles a bit was the obligatory discussion of range in the Tesla segment.

Drive.com.au handled it in a fair manner, but why the need to even bring it up? I'm sure the range of many performance cars is worse than Model S (perhaps even the NightHawk with its twin-turbo V8) yet it never comes up when discussing them. It seems almost a Pavlovian response; Journalists hear "electric vehicle" and immediately "range anxiety" pops into their heads. Is it just the (incorrect) perception than ICE vehicles can be refueled instantly, at all times, no matter where you are or what you are doing, so their range doesn't matter? Or is it something more?

I'm interested in the psychology that goes into this double standard.

And really, is a bit of feedback and steering feel worth a $50K premium? Pricing is often brought up when trying to make Model S seem unavailable to the layperson, but what's almost never mentioned is how much of a value it can be in comparison to other performance cars.
 

smac

Active Member
Aug 4, 2013
1,745
837
Nottinghamshire
Is it just the (incorrect) perception than ICE vehicles can be refueled instantly, at all times, no matter where you are or what you are doing, so their range doesn't matter? Or is it something more?

I'm interested in the psychology that goes into this double standard.

I can only give my psychology not that of a journalist. I have a 200 mile range ICE, and have experienced "range anxiety" in that whilst doing a road trip with it across central Sweden avoiding the main routes. The biggest difference however is the ubiquity of "charge stations".

Now if you can string together Superchargers to get to a destination it isn't a problem (though my first attempt at this was met with big delays due to congestion :( ). However if you want to deviate, then a level of logistical planning comes in to effect that is simply greater than in the ICE. I _could_ have got to my ultimate destination via Superchargers only, but the scenery and small towns I visited would have been a chunk more challenging in the Tesla, and due to the price of hotels with overnight charging probably negated the fuel savings.

So range in and of itself isn't necessarily the issue, but the current infrastructure exacerbates the issue. (Probably even more so in the Oz market)

As for the premium for steering being worth it, that's a tough call. I bought an S60 and used the difference to buy the 200 mile ICE that has arguably the world's best steering feel ;)
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top