TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

Thinking about getting a Model S

Discussion in 'Model S' started by acolas, Mar 4, 2018.

Tags:
  1. acolas

    acolas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    San Jose
    Good afternoon,

    I am seriously considering purchasing a Tesla Model S and I have been reading quite a bit of information in this forum, it is really helpful for a Tesla newbie. Thanks for the great information out here.

    I have some questions I would like to ask you.

    1) I currently own an Audi S5 and would like to know what do you guys think about the MS (and MX and M3) build quality. It looks like several owners are complaining about it. Also, for such expensive car, it doesn't seem that you have much luxury compared to german automakers. Would I regret it?

    2) I initially thought about the idea of the Model 3, but it looks a bit simple compared to Model S (single screen, super simplistic,...), what are your thoughts?

    3) I was considering buying a used 90D or 100D with at least AP HW 2.0 (so late 2016) and if possible AP2.5 (mid to late 2017), but I started to evaluate other options such as new and inventory/loaner. A good perk is free supercharging for life. What is your advice here?

    4) I have seen MS 100Ds 2017 models for high 80s, do you think that in a few months when Model 3 is all over the place will go even lower than that?

    5) Do you think the tech in the Model S is inferior the Model 3? Keep in mind Model 3 has new screen, much smoother GUI, I have heard better lights at night, etc. Does it really make sense to buy a Model S? Who would buy a MS and not a M3?

    6) If someone wants to sell their MS with AP2.5 please let me know, I might be interested.

    Thank you so much for all the help!

    Cheers!
     
    • Helpful x 1
  2. dcmetro

    dcmetro Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2018
    Messages:
    184
    Location:
    Virginia
    I just posted on another thread earlier today re: the comparison to other german cars. Honestly, there a lots of small things here and there that make you feel it isn't yet a super luxury car (for its high price) but nothing deal-breaking. In general, I think Tesla is a fantastic tech car but not a super luxury for being $90k upwards. In owning the car for 4 days, few things I noticed were leather quality, cooling seats, wifi hotspot, rear view mirror size/quality, lack of space in console, door, stereo quality, door buttons on passenger side, lack pull tray/console in back seat...just to name a few.

    Again, don't get me wrong. I LOVE this car and have NO REGRETS. I've had german cars (BMW, Audi, MB, 2nd Audi) for over 15 years and find this car a marvel to own and drive. They don't come even close in the most imp feature - drive! It makes up for LOT in its driving and technology but it does have minor steps to go...perhaps in a year or two, all will be there and more. Just my opinion.

    No idea with comparison to Model 3. The only thing I find quite laggy is the browser. Needs a serious update or redesign. My car has bunch of cameras on side and door that my friend's car (a 1.5 back) does not have. Perhaps that means it can support AP 2.5 when it comes out. Or thats my hope :)
     
  3. luckyj

    luckyj Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2016
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I had a 2012 A4 and don't miss much. Certainly not enough to make me think about going back.

    Sometimes I miss the door storage, and the better rear visibility. Also I missed auto wipers, but that's finally come to AP2 (though needs improvement especially at night).
     
  4. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    7,033
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Regarding #1, you’re not paying for interior luxury, you’re paying for the large battery and the EV drivetrain. It depends what your priorities are. After driving a Tesla I would never want an Audi ICE or any other ICE.
     
    • Like x 2
  5. novox77

    novox77 1.21 Gigawatts

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2017
    Messages:
    969
    Location:
    NH, MA
    #5 novox77, Mar 4, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
    1) in my humble opinion, many of the luxury features in traditional ICE cars are excessive and just there to differentiate the car from other ICE cars. When you get a Tesla, your whole perception of driving and car ownership are completely upended. That experience is worth way more than any luxury feature in a German ICE. Again, just my opinion. Such a first world problem, but I hate driving ICE cars, now that I have my Model S. (context: I used to be in love with BMW's M3. Not for luxury features, but the shifting and the handling).

    2) I was a Mar 31, 2016 online reservation holder for the Model 3. Last October, I decided that with my 2 kids, I'd probably be better suited for a Model S. I ended up getting a used one from Tesla (CPO) and spent what I predicted I would if I had waited for Model 3. Again, the experience of driving a Tesla just blew my mind. Now my remaining ICE feels like a total sh*tbox, and I'm getting the Model 3 as well. If you can only have an S or a 3, then ask yourself whether you want a large car or a small car. Either car is still going to blow you away.

    3) Even with an older CPO (like my 2014 S 85), it is an amazing car. I still get OTAs, and my car is continuously improving. I'm ok without AutoPilot for the S mainly because I live in an area where roads and lane markers are just awful.

    4) If you are looking to save money on an S, go with a CPO. They've absorbed the steepest part of the depreciation curve.

    5) Pre-facelift headlights are better. They are HID projectors, not LED reflectors. But I love the facelift DRLs with the perfectly smooth diffuser. The "tech" you will notice most is EV driving, regeneration, the silence, the amazing handling and traction control. You buy a Model S for its size. And at the moment, you might also consider an S because Model 3s are scarce and still working out production kinks. I'll also say that Model S is a more comfortable transition from your ICE. Model 3 interior is a much more drastic adjustment. All depends on how well you adapt to change; might be a non-issue.
     
  6. GatorGuy

    GatorGuy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2018
    Messages:
    533
    Location:
    Jacksonville
    I am trading in my S6 for a Model S. There are things certainly better about the Audi and then obviously things Tesla does better. Just like with anything in life, there are trade offs and before you approach buying a car, you should decide what is most important to you. For instance, the Audi may have better headlights than the Tesla (my Audi's LED headlights were pretty stellar) but how important is that really?

    For me, what I was looking for was performance in a daily driver, looks and the self driving capability of the car/safety features. Those 3 things Tesla did better than anyone else for a 4 door, mid size sedan.
     
  7. eyedrop

    eyedrop Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2018
    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    Prescott AZ
    #7 eyedrop, Mar 4, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
    1. Much of the interior build quality issues were sorted by December 2014 and had made huge improvements. The new cars are even nicer. I would suggest buying a late 2014 or newer if you want something more refined with better fitment, less noise issues, etc... Most of the complaints I see are for 2012-2013..... The design isnt the typical plush cushy feeling with analog clocks on the dash and leather from massaged cows and perfect fit/finish. It feels more like the cockpit of a Star Trek vessel and not focused on pure business class feel. So its not luxuriously built in the classic sense, but at the same time it does make Mercedes and Audi feel dated in comparison when it comes to design language, and the fit and finish is certainly still a step above your average car and still feels premium. You just dont get the pillow headrests, massaging seats, and wine cooler in the back. That isnt the intention of the Model S.. And honestly, those cars usually have slightly more noise dampening and an ICE to help drown out wind noise. But the Model S certainly is still quiet and less vibration, especially during acceleration. It really is just an entirely different experience that screams "Im a spaceship" instead of "Im a car that transports a filthy rich investment banker".

    2. The Model S is simply a nicer car IMO. More luxurious, better build quality, more space, more features, smoother ride, more power, quieter etc... The M3 feels simple and stripped down, straight to the point. Not a bad thing, but the Model S really does strike one as a luxury car whearas the M3 is more of a sporty little thing geared towards the younger crowd. The Model S is more of a gentlemans car.

    3. Get the latest model you can that fits your needs. I really value performance, build quality, free supercharging and price so I picked up a used P85D with AP1 and the + suspension. For the same price, I could have got a newer 70D or 75D but the power and sporty suspension feel just wasnt there. But in general, get the newest model you can and expect to wait for the right deal to come around, and then wait even longer to get your car.

    4. I think the older Model S will start to drop in value more substantially when the 3's are common. But for now, the Model S has held its value even better since everyone wants a Tesla now. Availability on brand new cars is now a waiting game, so used prices right now are a bit inflated if anything... I wouldnt bother waiting. I would buy a slightly used CPO now. It will be awhile before the prices drop, especially on newer models such as the ones your looking at.

    5. Tech wise, I think the M3 does have the edge in GUI refinement and features. The MS is a bit dated in its maps and general layout/feel. I think both will improve with software updates. For me, the MS display is not a dealbreaker by any means. Still lightyears ahead of everyone else. But the M3 sure is nice in that respect.

    6. Unless you find an amazing deal on private party, I would suggest going CPO if you can endure the 2-3 month wait. The only real advantage with private party is getting the car immediately. The advantage with CPO is they go through a very thorough refurb process and honor every little thing. My local service center has treated me like a king and took care of every concern. The guys over there always want to go the extra mile, whereas traditional dealerships often try to weasel their way out of fixing stuff it seems...
     
  8. acolas

    acolas Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    San Jose
    Thank you so much everyone with the responses. I will let you know as soon as I find a good one and see what you guys think!
     
  9. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,635
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    And dont forget to use a referral code ...
     
  10. dcmetro

    dcmetro Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2018
    Messages:
    184
    Location:
    Virginia
    Good luck with your decision. And yes, do use a referral.
     
  11. Lhshockey24

    Lhshockey24 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2017
    Messages:
    104
    Location:
    Livermore, CA
    I’ve said this on other forums before - DO NOT buy a Tesla unless youre 100% sold on the mission and values of the company. I hate seeing people leave luxury German brands only to complain about a sun visor rattle and threaten to return the car under lemon law... The model S is the most incredible car ever made, and possibly one the greatest consumer products next to the iPhone. However, if you value things like luxury, refinement, fluffy cross-hatch stitched leather 24-way adjustable seats, massage seats, 8 drive modes, 10 speed transmission 6cyl twin-scroll turbos - get a Bimmer :)
     
    • Like x 3
  12. dcmetro

    dcmetro Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2018
    Messages:
    184
    Location:
    Virginia
    Completely agree. Having driven a german car for 15+ years (Bimmer, MB and Audi), I love the luxury and attention to detail in them, and miss them in my MS but when it comes to the Drive, they have nothing on Tesla. I don't regret Tesla a bit and if I had the money, would switch my SUV to Tesla too (once they redesign the exterior a bit :) )
     
    • Informative x 1
  13. THXULTRA

    THXULTRA Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2017
    Messages:
    170
    Location:
    Chicago
    1) I currently own an Audi S5 and would like to know what do you guys think about the MS (and MX and M3) build quality. It looks like several owners are complaining about it. Also, for such expensive car, it doesn't seem that you have much luxury compared to german automakers. Would I regret it?
    I don't regret getting mine one bit. The German cars do have a nicer fit and finish though I will admit that. The interior on the Mercedes and Audi is hard to beat. That being said though I don't miss the tech on the Mercedes. The Tesla is so much nicer. Love the big center screen, built in streaming radio, Open feeling with the glass roof. I haven't had any issues with build quality on my model S either. Only issue was a scuffed wheel on delivery which was noted by Tesla and replaced with no issues.

    2) I initially thought about the idea of the Model 3, but it looks a bit simple compared to Model S (single screen, super simplistic,...), what are your thoughts?
    I got the S because of the extra screen. I also like the hatchback design and extra space. Also the car is tested model 3 is a first year production car. Both are super nice and have their advantages.

    3) I was considering buying a used 90D or 100D with at least AP HW 2.0 (so late 2016) and if possible AP2.5 (mid to late 2017), but I started to evaluate other options such as new and inventory/loaner. A good perk is free supercharging for life. What is your advice here?
    I found with the Tax credit new or inventory was the way to go. CPOs seem pricey to me.

    4) I have seen MS 100Ds 2017 models for high 80s, do you think that in a few months when Model 3 is all over the place will go even lower than that?
    With the model 3 being so hard to get for a while I don't see it doing anything but making more model S's sell.

    5) Do you think the tech in the Model S is inferior the Model 3? Keep in mind Model 3 has new screen, much smoother GUI, I have heard better lights at night, etc. Does it really make sense to buy a Model S? Who would buy a MS and not a M3?
    Not at all. You can display more in the S with 2 screens. I have heard the model 3 screen is a bit sharper but wouldn't sway me to by the model 3 over the S. One thing I really use in my model S is the power meter on the dash screen. No way to get the small meter with everything else I want to see on the model 3. To me two screens is better then one slightly higher res screen.

    6) If someone wants to sell their MS with AP2.5 please let me know, I might be interested.
    Not me sorry!! :)

    Hope this all helps. Best of luck to you in your search.
     
  14. D.E.

    D.E. Uncorked

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2016
    Messages:
    295
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    I can't tell you if the Tesla S is right for you. It is right for me.

    I'm retired. I've had numerous cars, some were awful (Rambler, MGA, MGB, Mazda RX2) some were good (Plymouth Barracuda, Plymouth Fury, Jeep CJ7, several Hondas), some were very nice (BMW 540, BMW 330ci), some were sporty, some were dogs (Dodge Ramcharger, Ford Econoline van). The MGA even had a crank, you could start it with that if necessary. After all those and several more, I have a Tesla S 75D. It's the best car.

    There are tradeoffs. You must charge it on trips. It takes half an hour or so, fairly often. No more climbing into the car and driving pretty much nonstop, just getting gas and food. I find it more restful. I should have driven this way from the start. You need to find the superchargers. The paint is a little soft. The software is in constant beta. Sometimes it wants a minute before it is ready to go. Not often but occasionally. Sometimes my left knee hits the passenger electric window button. And no one can work on them except Tesla. If you crunch it, it is going to be expensive to fix, and it'll take a while. In Michigan, yearly car tags are in the upper hundreds. And there is Elon. He's an amazing guy. It's that his attention is divided. I'd like him focused on just Tesla, preferably riveted on the S, more specifically, riveted on my S.

    Then there's the good stuff. The battery is heavy and low, the car is almost all aluminum so the center of gravity is 18” or so from the ground. It is powerful. Mine is the entry level S now. It's a thrill to drive. It isn't the violent acceleration of the P100 but it is a thrill. There is no oil to change. There is no tranmission to leak. The car is dead simple, batteries and electric motors. Well, there are the electronics, quite a lot, actually. There's an Internet connection all the time. You can pick any song you want and the stereo will play it. When you work out the conversions, it gets the equivalent of 80 mpg or so. With Tesla picking up the supercharger tab on trips I can drive cross country virtually free. Oh sure I spent $88K so that free travel wasn't really free but it is free now, and I live in the now. In many areas the car is uncommon. Strangers come up and ask about it. It has some automatic steering and a dandy cruise control. I'm not sure about the full self driving yet. I think it will be a while. I'm older so I just hope it gets here before I start drooling..

    I understand it can park itself. I don't do that. I have a CNC mill, a little hobby one. The computer controls it. When things go well, it's amazing, cutting metal tirelessly and with a precision I could only imagine otherwise. But when things go wrong, things break, and they break fast. By the time you realize there's a problem, it's way too late to hit that big red button. I think of that when I think of that big, heavy, expensive, Tesla parking itself, using instructions from last week's beta software. I can park it.


    We tend to keep cars. Our minivan is 14 years old and we have a Toyota that'll be 20 soon. This Tesla will likely see me through. It's a joy to look at, to drive, to travel in. And it can't drip oil.

    It's a heavy car. It doesn't feel heavy to drive. It is heavy, though.

    It doesn't pollute. Well, it does, but the pollution is at the electric company. And it took energy to build. And those tires don't come from trees in bird filled orchards. Overall, it is far less polluting than those other cars were. But it pollutes. Just not much.

    I could have bought 6 Honda Civics for the cost of that S. A Civic will go a quarter of a million miles with good maintenance, and we are very good about maintaining our cars. So the 6 Civics would go at least 1.5 million miles. A series of Civics would have been a much more cost effective choice.

    But my S is just the best car.



     
    • Love x 3
    • Like x 1
  15. Atlantan

    Atlantan Car Obsessed

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    Messages:
    237
    Location:
    Berkeley Lake
    My son has an A5 coupe, so for the transition from S5 to Model S, the S feels considerably bigger than the A5. I say rent the S and the 3 on Turo and see how you like them relative to the Audi. Driving dynamics, and see which size (S/X or 3) will fit most of your needs and the one you will like best.
     
  16. buttershrimp

    buttershrimp Click my signature to Go Mad Max Mode

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2017
    Messages:
    2,209
    Location:
    ATX
    Buy the S. Get a Performance version. Get face cream to prevent wrinkles from permanent grin on face.
     
    • Like x 1

Share This Page

  • 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