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Thoughts on "classic" loaner

Discussion in 'Model S' started by dmcmillen, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. dmcmillen

    dmcmillen Member

    Apr 2, 2016
    Durham, NC
    Hi all,

    I’ve been following Tesla since somewhere around the time the Model S reservations began, and have test-driven them several times over the years (usually when major new features were added, like AP1 and AP2), but did not become an owner until just 3 weeks ago when my new 75D was delivered.

    I recently took the car in for a few minor issues that I noticed post-delivery and was given a “classic” (pre-AP) 85 loaner. The differences between this vehicle and mine are so striking that I thought it would be interesting to give my perspective on the changes Tesla has made these last 5 years.

    Note: I’m not saying one is better than the other, just that the differences are worth noting and sharing, and my opinion is just that.

    Mine: VIN 194xxx, 75D, white/white/dark ash/glass roof, 19” slipstream, EAP, PUP, SAS, UHFS, Cold Weather

    Loaner: VIN P38xxx, 85, silver/grey/piano black/black roof, 19” wheels, white alcantara, parking sensors, extended nappa, premium lighting, performance leather seats, tech package, SAS, parcel shelf (window sticker was in the glove box)

    Packages: It’s interesting to see the package consolidation / “price increases” (more on this later) over the years. Consolidated options can drive up the average purchase price and simplify manufacturing logistics (good for Tesla), but consumers can end up with things they don’t necessarily want in order to get things they do want (see: now-resolved PUP vs. automatic lift gate). I did order mine loaded because I had anxiety about “missing out” on certain options and would probably have done the same had I ordered a “classic,” so this is probably a moot point in my personal situation.

    Exterior: I prefer the look of the 75D’s headlights, DRLs and front fascia, though having the loaner in my garage last night the “classic” fascia grew on me a bit, especially when paired with the black roof. I would have strongly considered this 85’s exterior color combination if they were still making the classic fascia and black roof. For the DRLs, the smooth look as opposed to the discreet LED look is cleaner and more upscale. Fit and finish on the exterior of the 85 was top notch, with the exception of the hood, which has some pretty bad panel gaps in the front. My 75D had some minor exterior issues as well (not related to panel gaps, just trim).

    Roof: I enjoy the glass roof, and turns out it provides at least 1-2” of additional headroom for tall (6’3”) people like myself. Though, I fit fine (if a little bit tight) with the standard roof in the 85. Outside, glass vs. black look the same due to the heavy tint on the glass.

    Charge port: I did not initially realize the charge port on the 85 did not close automatically! Interesting how quickly one becomes accustomed to even small automatic features.

    Interior: The grey performance leather seats are not at all to my liking, either in color or comfort / support. However, it’s pretty hot (mid 90’s F) where I live at the moment, with high humidity, and the 85’s seats are far less sweaty than my high-bolstered next gens. My biggest complaint with the 75D is that I sometimes end up with a sweaty back in hot weather, especially if I’ve jumped in just after a shower on my way to work. They don’t “breathe.” Other than the seats, steering wheel control (why did they put the cruise control where the turn signal stalk goes on the 85?), and the yacht floor, they don’t appear to have made many other interior changes over the years. Overall, I love the minimalist interior look of Model S, and the stark two-tone look of my 75D feels very modern.

    Interior noise: About the same (excellent, very quiet), probably due to identical suspensions and tire sizes, but the 75D has a subtle but distinct electrical “whine” that I don’t hear in the 85. I imagine this has to do with front motor lacking in the 85.

    Driving dynamics: Completely different. It’s barely the same car. Acceleration is similar (the 85 feels a bit slower, is that true?), but handling is another story. “Sport” steering on the 75D is about equal to “comfort” on the 85, requiring much more effort. I found the 85 “heavy” and less agile when driving. I have personally never owned a RWD vehicle before, only FWD and AWD, so I’m no pro here — but I vastly prefer the way my 75D handles. To be fair: nothing beats an EV powertrain, it’s a blast to drive regardless.

    SAS: Suspension feels exactly the same. I initially thought the 75D was stiffer than I remember from my test drives, so it was nice to drive another vehicle with SAS for comparison. I also enjoy the height flexibility of the SAS when navigating my driveway.

    Technology / Driver Assistance: Not even having TACC on the 85 drove me a bit crazy on the highway. And, no blind spot monitoring? It’s amazing how far the driver assistance technology has come in just a few years, though AP2 has been a bit harrowing at times. For someone who loves to drive and doesn’t mind going without autopilot, I think the 85 is a great choice. For me, I use AP as much as safely possible to take the stress out of my commute — I can take over and get the exhilaration of driving anytime.

    MCU: Pretty much exactly the same, except the 85 had not been upgraded to LTE. I didn’t immediately notice the difference in loading speed, but then again I didn’t do any scientific testing. The fact that I didn’t notice would seem to indicate there’s not a whole lot of difference.

    Sound: This depends entirely on source, I think. With high bitrate sources on my 75D’s UHFS, I hear instruments and other nuances that I simply haven’t heard in other vehicles I’ve owned. Some songs have taken me by surprise, even. I didn’t do any even remotely scientific comparison between the 75D and 85 on this.

    Supercharging: I’m in the “free supercharging for this and all new Model S or X I buy, but does not transfer with this car” club. I guess the jury is out on how much this might affect my resale value down the line, but I will probably only supercharge during a few trips a year. This may change as Superchargers become more ubiquitous and convenient.

    Price (new): ~$96k each! For the same price as this car was in 2014, you can now get dual motors, glass roof, EAP, UHFS and cold weather for a -10 kWh trade-off. This was the most shocking fact to me, given how much more I prefer my 75D after driving the 85. I think this shows the incremental improvements Tesla has been able to make to Model S in the last 5 years, while keeping the cost about the same for the entry level model.

    Thanks for reading! Did I miss any differences between “classic” and new? Appreciate your input!
    • Like x 4
    • Helpful x 1
  2. Buster1

    Buster1 Member

    Oct 13, 2016
    Las Vegas
    Great write up! You're not helping me decide as I start shopping more seriously! ;-)
  3. schwedisch

    schwedisch Member

    Feb 12, 2015
    Lathrop, CA
    As someone who has driven 85,000 miles in a "classic" 85 with minimal options (only tech package) and recently added a AP2 75 (fully optioned except cold weather) to my fleet, I do appreciate a lot of the improvements that have been done, but there are a couple of things that I think are better in my older car,

    Charge Port - It may not close by itself, but it feels much more solid in my old car. The new charge port feels like a toy. The other problem is that it tries to close itself on top of the J1772 all the time, and it has caught my fingers a few times. I also find that sometimes I have to reseat the charging plug due to errors, something I never had to do with my old car.

    Noise - Even though I elected not to get dual motors since I find the front motor noise distracting, I find that the rear unit is slightly louder than in my older car. I'm not sure why this is, if the newer car has less dampening or if the newer drive unit is just louder for some reason.

    Frunk - The frunk is pathetic in the newer car. All it is useful for is charger and adapter storage. My old car has a huge frunk that I use all the time.

    Exterior - New car looks better, but I think the new body is thinner. For example, the hood feels much thinner and flimsier on the new car. It's a good thing the frunk is close to non-existent so I never have a reason to open the hood. The headlights on my old car are much better as well.

    Steering wheel - Old steering wheel feels and looks better, and it has the turn signal stalk in the right location. New steering wheel feels cheaper, and still don't get why they put the turn signal stalk in the wrong location. Maybe they don't expect people to have to use turn signals when the car drives itself? Or maybe they just recognize the fact that no one uses turn signals in California anymore. Either way, it drives me nuts.

    Other than that, the new car is better in pretty much every way (seats - need I say more?!). The only two things I really wish I could have on the new car is the frunk and steering wheel.

    Btw, the difference between a 75 and 85 in terms of battery capacity is much smaller than you think. The amount of usable battery capacity difference is only 5kWh, and the 75 is more efficient than the 85, so you get the same range or more out of the 75 (yes, even the RWD), so for all intents and purposes they are equal IMHO.
  4. apacheguy

    apacheguy S Sig #255

    Oct 21, 2012
    So Cal
    Hit the nail on the head here. Tesla has become so focused on AP (even at the expense of other features), and if that's your thing, then you should definitely upgrade. I personally could not care less about AP and I will not be purchasing it on future orders.
  5. croman

    croman Active Member

    Nov 21, 2016
    Chicago, IL
    Classic 85 battery is actually only about 5kwh more then the 75.
  6. whitex

    whitex Active Member

    Sep 30, 2015
    Seattle area, WA
    77 vs 72 usable KWh. 75D has higher rated miles than P85D.
    • Like x 1

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