What options make sense for the 85, and buy used or new?

What options make sense for the 85, and buy used or new?

Brief history, I've been following the Tesla for a long time. I've driven a Prius for about 6 years and it's getting about time to replace it. I do very well in the healthcare industry, and my other vehicle is a 2012 Cirrus turbo airplane with all factory options (so I get delays, etc. coincidently, I'm one of a handful of pilots alive today because of the built in parachute, google 450TX for that story). I do sorta want the X since my plane has gull wing doors but I'm not that vein. This isn't an anti emissions statement, I liked the Prius. It fit my personality. So does my Cirrus, and I fully believe the model S or X would too. I'm not in a huge hurry, really might consider the X but I'm not a huge fan of early adoption.

I drive 80-90 miles a day round trip. For longer trips we take the plane or mini van for the kids. I spend close to 2 hours in my vehicle daily so I like comfort. I like sporty handling and acceleration. I have a truck when I need to get dirty. The price difference in 90-120k is negligible, but I don't want to get things I won't use. I've never driven a Tesla, but am just north of Nashville and my planes service center is Marietta (50 minute trip via air). If anyone has an 85 performance around, I'd gladly trade flight time for some drive time. If you have never been up front in a performance aircraft, the view is amazing.

So, if your me, what do you buy option wise? What is worth it, what's not?

James | 25/05/2014

You seem like a perfect fit for a Model S right now. Ok, I'm a bit of a fan, but you really need a test drive. That's likely all it will take. Almost nothing else will matter.

For you and your family, one of the most compelling reasons to get the MS is the dramatically better safety. While there have been a few really bad accidents, owners have walked away from them, where I feel in just about any other car the occupants would have been killed or severely injured in a similar situation. The 110 MPH crash in Mexico is just one example where he went through a cement wall and into a tree, yet walked away.

Of course you can't discount the fun factor either. Let us know what you think after you get that test drive. I'd offer up my car, but you're a bit far away from California!

Tâm | 25/05/2014


The problem with Model X is you have to wait longer than Model S.

After I drive a Tesla, I just wonder what's the nonsense that I had to suffer with driving an ICE for all these years.

I used to drive a Prius for 6 years from 2006 to 2012 too!

I found the Model S seat (at least driver's) is much more comfortable than the Prius'.

I found the Model S is much more relaxing. I enjoy its internet music for my road trips for the past 17 months and more than 39,000 miles.

I live in Los Angeles Metropolitan area (another name for parking lot instead of high speed freeways and infamous for all those road rage due to traffic congestion!).

However, I've found it so relaxing driving or stopping in my Model S.

Since you can spend some money, I would suggest you to get all you could, including all the pre-paid Service Plans and Extended Service Agreements.

Pay for Rangers so you don't have to miss work, meetings, fun at home or vacation while your car's being serviced (semi-annual tire rotation, annual maintenance, unexpected services and recalls...)

Not only all options, but I would spend money on post-delivery, third party installation of Mobileye Camera Advanced Driver Assistance System for 5 crude features:

Forward Collision Warning (Mobileye FCW)
Pedestrian Collision Warning (Mobileye PCW)
Headway Monitoring Warning (Mobileye HMW)
Lane Departure Warning (Mobileye LDW)
Intelligent High-beam Control (IHC)
Speed Limit Indicator (SLI)

Those are alarm system except for the high beam control which is active.

In a few years, Tesla will offer built-in Autopilot System which will actively control your car (not just providing alarms.)

Good luck!

Tâm | 25/05/2014

New Disadvantages:

1) Order now in May and you'll get it in September or 4 months.
2) It costs more than a used one.

New Advantages:

1) Choose your own options
2) Less wear and tear


Used Disadvantages:

1) wear and tear.
2) Others chose options for you.

Used Advantages:

1) Get it in a day or so.
2) Cheaper.

ir | 25/05/2014

If you appreciate performance handling, then consider the P85+ since cost is no object. Keeping mind the 21" asymmetric wheels (back are wider on the plus) means more wear and tear tire maintenance costs.

If you are taller, the panoramic roof gives you a little more headroom.

Jump seats are fun for your kids if they are the right age. They cannot be retrofitted, so you need to decide ahead of time.

If you drive short range and have a van for longer trips, then dual chargers are optional and can be added later at more cost.

If you're in dirtier, wetter, muddier places. The trunk, frunk, floor mats could be handy.

Skip the factory paint armor and get a full wrap.

The rest is personal taste.

NOLEK SUM | 25/05/2014

Tech package is a must have, as are parking sensors, at least for me. If you have never had them, they are awesome and very functional. Sound package is almost a necessity if you travel, because it is the only way to get XM. But I find it an awesome package anyway. I have always been a news junkie, and found myself never listening to music in the car. But not this car. I listen to music all the time now when traveling. Standard leather is really nice, but the high end leather is a waste of money as it only adds red piping. The Alcantra head lining is really nice and for me worth it. Stock headliner is cheap vinyl.

Sun Roof: I hate the look [that's just me] and there are many complaints of problems on this forum.

I ordered twin charges but no HPWC. I think I will get it back at resale, and I also think the car will be able to take advantage of it at future non-Tesla superchargers if EVs really catch on. Plus, I can easily add the HPWC if I so choose.

I ordered the paint armor and am really happy with it. Here in Arizona we get a lot of dings from rocks etc and the armor is really doing its job.

Things I was going to order until the manager at my Tesla store told me they were a complete waste of money: Smart air suspension, premium lighting, parcel shelf, extended leather. I don't miss them, that's for sure.

One other point: if range is not a concern for you, consider the 60 kW. I had one the other day as a loaner, and noticed no difference in acceleration. In terms of driving, I noticed no difference at all.

Thomas N. | 25/05/2014

The manager at a Tesla store told you that smart air suspension was a complete waste of money? What was he smoking? It's the greatest feature of my P85. We use it every day to both lower and raise the car depending upon our needs and it allows you to make the car tight like a sports car or cushy like a Cadillac. I wouldn't have a Model S without the smart air suspension.

NOLEK SUM | 25/05/2014

That's what he told me. I prefer a very tight ride and that is what I have. I don't miss it and wouldn't buy it. You love it and can't live without it.

That's why they have horse races.

Jamesrm@bellsouth: if you want a car that rides like a Cadillac, order the air suspension, or if you want to save about $50,000, buy a Cadillac.

socalsam | 25/05/2014

I got a p85 and after hemming and hawing on the air suspension - I got it. Car is being delivered in July, so I can't comment on it. Another option that I debated was the interior lighting. I ended up getting that as well. Pure waste of money but I figure it's a best feature to show off the high tech look.

Must haves- tech package, leather, dual chargers- the one time you wish you could charge fast and you don't have the dual chargers, you are going to regret it.

Since I got th p85, it came with a bunch of features such as supercharged enabled, Alcantra, fin, etc

I did not get the + package. 6k for very little benefit unless you track the car.

As far as waiting for the x- you are two years away from it. Buy the a and drive it for two years and the. Get the x after they work out the bugs.

NOLEK SUM | 25/05/2014

If you want to wait until they work out the bugs, you'll have to wait another two years for the S as well.

NO2PTRL | 25/05/2014

Not only does the air suspension allow you the option to drive your MS like a Porsche sports car or a Lexus luxury sedan, but if you ever have to go up a steep driveway, your own or at a party, you can raise the car up to avoid harm to your baby.

You can't do that with coils.

jai9001 | 25/05/2014


Sincer the standard height on the air suspension is lower than the coils on average you are more likely to cause harm with the air.

I have coil suspension for over a year and I have never scraped on any driveway. I also personally like the "feel" better.

socalsam | 25/05/2014

Whether you want to wait for bugs or not, you won't get a model x for a minimum of two years. Why wait- get the s and enjoy it in a few months

Koz | 25/05/2014

You sound the the perfect candidate for the loaner program if you can find one in inventory that you. A lot of strong opinions above about options but not a ton of info. Research what the features are for each and make your decisions based on your preferences. Hard for others to make worthwhile recommendations without knowing a little more about what you value.

NO2PTRL | 25/05/2014


Since the high setting on the air is much higher than the coils, I can go over anything. I tried the standard setting coming into my driveway for the first time and had some touch down.

I love my air and personally like the feel better, but how can I say that???????.

I can not really comment on the coils anymore than you can on the air, since I have never driven over 100 miles with the coils, nor you with the airs.

It is just a preference, maybe you can stop by and we can swap cars for a day and see which one we really like.

I like chunky but many like smooth.

Tâm | 25/05/2014


I have air suspension and 19" tires.

I drove a loaner for a day with coil and I immediately felt and hear the difference. It's bouncier, noisier with every crack on the road.

However, many people cannot feel or hear the difference at all!

It's the same way that some people can feel the rumbling, thumping bass from the extra $2,500 subwoofer system, some just can't hear any difference between basic sound and the more expensive sound system.

Thomas N. | 25/05/2014

My wife can hear the fan on the cable box while we are watching a movie and it's 12 feet away in a closed speaker box. She'd kill me with 21's or coil suspension.

NO2PTRL | 25/05/2014


Nice comparison. Without a side by side comparison, it is just to hard to tell. It is good to hear that you got to try them both and still prefer the air.

I guess there is a reason that they are a $2250 upgrade.

The air gives me the Porsche's cornering feel and the Lexus comfort if I want that, plus allows me to get into tough driveways. All good!

DLebryk | 25/05/2014

What a great conundrum. Schedule a test drive at a store, and my guess, you'll order one on the spot. Even though your commute is short, the 85 is well worth the extra money. Given that you drive a Prius now, the P will probably be way more than you really want or need. The 85 is more than fast enough.

I'll make an odd suggestion to you, if you can charge your car at work. Take a look at the Ford Focus Electric. Drive one of those. You might like it a lot. Especially if you've driven a Prius - you don't mind a small car. The Focus is a much better car than the Prius or the Leaf.

Brian H | 26/05/2014

Mobileye for 5 "crude" features? Means what? And then you list 6!!.

david.baird | 26/05/2014

I love my pano roof and even in the cooler weather we get in Belgium, I open it at every opportunity. A lot of people say that the alcantara is a waste of money when you have the pano, but I disagree; it's very nice and adds a luxurious feel - the cost to Tesla must be the same as they need the sale size piece, but then cut a big hole in it. Shame about the nasty, black plastic thing in the middle of the pano though, that's horrible and would be nice also covered with padded alcantara (now there's a little project for someone...)

Biggest regret for me is that I didn't get the second charger at build - I figured I wouldn't use it and I would add it later if needed. Reality is that there's a lot of high-power public chargers in Europe and I would have made use of it on many occasions, but now I'm baulking at the cost to have it installed, which seems ridiculously expensive.

Tech package is a must, ambient lighting, nice but meh, parking sensors are very good. I use the air suspension regularly, putting it on HIGH when I traverse some of the very uneven cobbled streets here in Brussels.

amitb00 | 26/05/2014

I am very cost conscious person. I can easily afford Tesla but on principle could not imagine me spending that kind of money. Following options I got in my Stela:
85: it is a must. If one can't afford 85, he should wait to save more money. Also reevaluate if he really can afford 60
Tech Pkg: again a must have feature. So many things come with it and makes car cooler. Home link, auto folding mirrors, maps, driver profile etc.
Pano roof: even if you don't open it, view itself is panoramic.
Dual chargers: now it is unbundled. When I bought, I had to request to unbundle from HPWC. In my view it will future proof the car. You never know if u suddenly need charge from say Tesla super center. Basically you should get largest battery and what ever you can do to expedite charging.
Rear seats: I have two small kids and use this heavily. Depends on your family. If you have little kids, they love to show it off to their friends. Makes car much more usable.
Park sensors: again few nice features available and I got it.

I analyzed every feature in big detail and am extremely happy with my configuration.

socalsam | 26/05/2014

Dual chargers is a must. The one time you are stranded and find the capabilities of fast charging only to realize you did to get dual chargers- you will kick yourself. Get the dual chargers- no question about it.

Brian H | 26/05/2014

" charge from say Tesla super center." A Tesla SC can mean either a SuperCharger or Service Center. There is no such thing as a "super center".

amitb00 | 26/05/2014

Hi Brian, u r right. This is service center with HPWC.

NO2PTRL | 26/05/2014

Between charging at home and a SCS, I really don't get the need for the extra charger.
If I did get into trouble "highly unlikely" I could stop at a level 2 and get enough charge to get me home or to a SCS.

In what real life situation would I need to charge that fast? I guess if I was driving ALL day for work, otherwise, I can charge at home, at work, at the mall, all places where I will be for awhile.

Upon learning about being able to double up on my charge, after I bought the car" I felt insecure that I didn't get it, but after learning my driving and the car, I just don't see the need for it.

TonyR63 | 26/05/2014

Where would look for a used Model S?

amitb00 | 26/05/2014

eBay., used car forum at tesla motors club, Craig list and of course nearest Tesla service center itself can give you good selection on used cars.
Sometime back I did not see used cars at good rates. Owners will not depreciate the car or even ask for premium, will not take away federal rebate from cost etc. not sure how it is now.

TonyR63 | 26/05/2014

I checked many of those sites. It appears that there is no difference between a new one and a used one. Some used ones are even higher than a new one. I guess that option is unavailable.


amitb00 | 26/05/2014

Ok, so situation has not changed. There are folks in dream land asking for insane prices. If you can wait, just order a car which you like. Once you do that, ask the manager at Tesla that u r interested in an inventory car. Many folks have reported great deals on inventory cars. Challenge is that mostly these cars are loaded but u get great car at say 10 k discount. They give you 1$ off for miles over 50 and 1 percent off for every month.

DaveT. | 26/05/2014

If you're going to take a minivan for longer trips (or fly) and you drive 80-90 miles per day, perhaps you should consider a 60kwh Model S.

I love my P85, but I also find a S60 is fast enough.

Tâm | 26/05/2014

Hi Brian:

5 "crude" features because they are just an alarm system.

Current third party installation can sound an alarm but it cannot automatically apply the brake if you are about to hit a pedestrian or a car in front, nor can it automatically turn your steering wheel to avoid an impending head-on collision due to crossing over to the wrong traffic flow, and so on...

However, there is an additional feature that automatically turns your head light to high or beam low beam. It is not a dumb warning system. It's a smart system that actively scan for others' head lights and tail lights and adjust high/low beams on its own.

Thus, 5 plus 1 is six, as listed.

KidDoc | 27/05/2014

I suggest getting an S85 with at least tech & parking sensors. I find no need at all for dual chargers as I either charge at home or with superchargers when travelling. Even if/when I need to use public chargers they are nearly all sub 40 AMP down here in Texas right now so dual chargers would not be useful anyway.

The rest is up to you as far as taste. I do think the S85 is plenty of speed I don't think the P85 is worth it unless you just want to toss an extra $10k at the car. I have coils and very happy with them but, as mentioned above, pretty much impossible to compare.

I would buy new or you can call Tesla and check on inventory cars (loaners mostly). The inventory supply tends to be very small so usually not much luck. The used cars tend to not be cheaper and you miss out on the $7500 federal tax credit if you buy used. Inventory still gets the credit.

Good luck you will love it, amazing vehicle.

Rocky_H | 27/05/2014

I'm also with KidDoc and NO2PTRL generally. S85 was what I went for--plenty fast enough. I didn't get the second charger. If they had it unbundled from the HPWC when I ordered I might have thought about it. There are almost no charging sources higher than 40 amps around me, so it doesn't matter. In the future, who knows, but also in the future there will be a lot more Superchargers.

NO2PTRL | 27/05/2014


Your comment about buying the Tesla new makes me laugh because I have purchased my last four cars used. A Porsche Turbo with 5000 miles, a Mercedes SL55 with 5000 miles, an Toyota FJ with 45000 miles, and our last car a Lexus LS 460 with 10,000 miles. Cars have gotten so good these days that I have not had a problem with even one of these cars,

BUT, when it came to buying my Tesla MS P85, it had to be brand new. I don't know what it is about this car that makes me break all of my own rules. But it had to be NEW.

Red Sage ca us | 27/05/2014

NO2PTRL: I'm with you on that, Brother! I haven't bought a new car since 1990. Everything since has been used. My next vehicle will be a NEW TESLA. Of that I have NO doubt.

NO2PTRL | 27/05/2014

This car makes you do crazy things. I find myself listening to the Led Zeppelin channel allot, I guess it's to hear all of the old music that I played when I got my first car.

This car is the first car since getting my FIRST car that has given me that kind of excitement!

Brian H | 28/05/2014

arice, amit;
Either the used cars listed will sell, or not. If not, their listed prices will come down. However, the market for the MS may not follow the depreciation patterns we are used to. A car available today, with all glitches combed out may be worth as much as a new one to some buyers, and if the # of those buyers exceeds sellers, the price will not drop below new, and might even be higher. In other words the actual transactions determine the "real" price and value. In Economics, there is no other standard.

Brian H | 28/05/2014

There is one other (possibly actual) situation that may be occurring: potential sellers may not be willing to part with their cars for the prices buyers are willing to pay. In that case, the "real price" is unknown, as there is "no market".

Captain_Zap | 28/05/2014

I drove a couple loaners with all the newer options. From my experience, I wouldn't miss the folding mirrors or the parking sensors.

I don't have the Pano roof. I might miss it one or two days a year. Essentially, I wouldn't be exercising it enough, and that can cause trouble.

I don't think I'd miss the ambient lighting either.