Model X

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MX 2016 Infortainment Upgrade - WOW! If you don't know

Its been a few weeks since I elected to get the MCU2 Infotainment upgrade and WOW. I wanted to share some details since even my Service Advisor wasn't able to tell me the right info - including the free upgrade to the full self driving computer. I have a Dec 2016 Model X that had autopilot 2.0 and the MCU1. Total cost is $1500 installed.

I always balked at the price, thinking it would just improve maps and nav. I am shocked at how many improvements there are, way more than what is advertised on tesla's page that describes the upsell. I thought this could help others as they consider it..... so away we go:

- the obvious main one is the screen response and processing. Its most noticeable in the maps and nav. That was one of my biggest issues why I chose to upgrade, and now its very fast. Similar to an ipad pro with just a tiny lag. Pinch and zoom on maps is almost instant also. LTE service seems to be stronger. Web browser is the same but we all have cell phones, not a big feature for me

- screen clarity is definitely sharper but only minimal it seems. Does appear brighter even when on lower brightness. Netflix video quality is awesome, full HD

- added access to video games, netflix, youtube, hulu. Only available during park/charging. Not sure how much I will actually use these features

- addition of Sentry mode and dashcam. This was a coveted feature I always wish I had in my 16 and now I have it. My Service Advisor didn't even know this and there is no mention of it on the tesla page about infotainment. Wondering maybe he was just new. This new feature alone is worth a chunk of the upgrade cost! So great to finally have this feature which includes HD video from 4 different cameras during any sentry trigger. Hard to put a price on peace of mind for any theft or damage.

- voice commands. Whoa! Again unexpected, and originally this feature was completely useless on my 2016. I never even used it because it was so slow and often would not translate my commands correctly. Now the response is immediate thanks to the brand new computer. Combined with quick maps/navigation processing, I find myself using this a ton more.

- Full self driving computer! Of course it doesn't give you the 10K upgrade but it includes an upgraded AP computer to the newest FSD AP3.0. On my daily 100 mile drive to/from work, I have noticed a much smoother AP experience going from 2.0 to 3.0. Another feature worth a lot. In addition, under the AP settings it gives you the chance to turn on the 'Full Self Driving Visualizations'. Basically it adds stop signs, real time traffic lights, cones, trash cans (is hitting trash cans a serious issue?). Although the features seem gimmicky at times, I am excited my car has the latest and greatest AP computer even though its 5 years old. And if I did want to upgrade to FSD or test the monthly option, good to know the computer is already there. I think thats the real reason they do this, so its a quick OTA upgrade in the future.

- Car start up time. I had learned to live with the minor issue that my car sometimes took 10 seconds to 'wake up' when I got in it. On rare occasions, it would take 30 seconds that felt like 5 minutes. Now, as soon as I sit in seat, its ready to drive! First world problem but it was super annoying and I'm thrilled its gone

Hopefully this is helpful! Add some comments below if I missed anything


  • Great review. Thank you. However, many of the "perks" you describe--I believe--are only applicable to AP2 vehicles. I don't think AP1 models get the dashcam or Sentry features. I would do the upgrade for that someone please correct me, if I am wrong. Obviously, AP1 is also incapable of the FSD features. That said, it is great to hear how much faster everything is, and much better the voice controls work. Might still be worth it, but seems much less valuable for AP1 drivers. I still need to replace the eMMC under the recall, so I very much considering going all in on the full upgrade. Side note: did I hear that you lose the radio tuner?
  • @michaelmreno - Yep, AP1 doesn't have the cameras, so no dashcam feature.

    The MCU2 Retrofit will not work with the old analog AM/FM/XM tuner. For $500 more they can replace the analog tuner with an FM/XM tuner. You'll only get XM if your car already had XM.
  • Did you lose the FM Radio when you upgraded?
    I also have 2016-11 MX and I have heard that IF I was to upgrade, I lose FM radio, which I feel is essential up in Canada. There are sections of highway (especially in mountainous BC) with no mobile phone coverage, but you can usually get the local CBC-FM on the radio.
    FYI - My MX purchase included FSD and I did get the computer upgrade to a Full FSD computer in 2020.
    My Sentry now records from 3 cameras (Narrow angle front and the two fender cams) but not from the Back up cam.
    The videos it does record are not very smooth, with drop outs and smearing.
    Does anyone know if this is from having an 8Gig MCU-1 infotainment system.
    Also I have had No mobile in car Web access since last year. The browser just does not work.
  • @Hugh-SG - See my post above yours on FM radio.

    Yes, the dashcam is limited to 3 cameras with MCU1, and when I had FSD/MCU1 the video is choppy and poor. The web browser was always hit-or-miss with MCU1 - nothing to do with eMMC or 8 GB. The processor in MCU1 is just too overloaded to-do dashcam and the browser well. MCU2 Retrofit has a more powerful processor and provides a full four-camera dashcam that works well. The browser with MCU2 also works fairly well, but not a speed demon.
  • Thank you TeslaTap for taking the time to reply.
    I was still on my 1st cuppa here when I wrote that 07:14am.
    Spotted your "above" comment after I posted. (sheepish grin).
    Unfortunately there is no option to Edit a post after you press Post, so I could not correct my gaff.
    My 8Gig chip was reformatted late last year to keep it functional and I have just received notice that my 2016-11 MX is being Recalled to get the 8Gig upgraded to 64Gig for free.
    Apparently this means a whole circuit board replacement.
    Shame that it was not designed like home computers to allow Pop Out, Pop In replacement as RAM chips do degrade over time.
    As for the browser, it worked okay when I first got the car, albeit very sluggish up in Canada.
    In fact worked great in the USA on road trips, even showing traffic cones in work areas on Interstate Hwys. Does not show traffic cones up here in Canada.
    Since last fall, I have had Zero web browser access.
    Apparently the SIM card is a USA telecom SIM card, so up here in Canada we are constantly on Roaming.
    I have heard that the Roaming partner up here is not the best choice and a lot of us MX and MS owners are pushing for Tesla to use different Roaming partner in Canada or even better use a Canadian based Telecom's SIM card so that our In car browsers actually work reliably.
    I am hoping it will be Rogers-Fido should they actually decide to do something to alleviate this problem that Canadian legacy MS and MX owners are facing.
    Thank you again for responding, Cheers!
  • No issues with missing a post or lack of editing. I just made a major blunder in the General forum restating a tweet I realized after posting that it was 2 years old!

    My first S was back in 2013 and the browser sort of worked then. As more and more features were added and the processor loaded up, the browser kept getting slower. I'm convinced it has nothing to do with the eMMC, although a bad eMMC will cause worse problems!

    The free eMMC upgrade is worth it, but don't expect any browser improvement. I switched to the MCU2 in my current car (had HW2.0/MCU1) and it was a big improvement all around. That was back when it was $2500 (US). Now at $1500 including labor is a bargain. A far simpler 10" infotainment system in a Lexus costs over $4000 for the part, without installation.
  • I also did the Infotainment upgrade on 2/25/2021. So worth it!!! Only one complaint. When I picked up the car that day, I had real time traffic lights showing. Meaning if the light was red or green it displayed it. Since then my car has gotten two updates. I'm on 2021.4.11. The traffic light colors are gone? Has anyone experienced this?
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