Pros/Cons of moving from 2015 to 2020 Model S

Pros/Cons of moving from 2015 to 2020 Model S

I've loved my 2015 Tesla Model S 70D since taking delivery (back when you had to wait months once ordered) but I'm considering replacing it with a 2020 model. Would love to hear pros and cons from those of you that have upgraded from an older model.

Uncle Paul | June 27, 2020

The cost to do so is not as much as it used to be, as the latest Model S Long Range + has a new base price of only $74,990. Raven package has newer motors, better performance, better lighting etc. Great value and perhaps not much more than you paid for your original 70D.

It has much faster charging, far greater range (+400 miles EPA) the amazing adaptive air suspension, premium interior and sound packages standard. It will come with a handy basic Autopilot, updated interior and exterior styling.

You will get a fresh new warranty and a much faster and more capable computer system. Displays are more clear and the Music has much more quality as well as a now included sub woofer.

Comes now standard with a handy flat folding second row of seats allowing lots of storage, a handy place to nap and a large under foor bonus storage area.

All in all a great value.

Aerodyne | June 27, 2020

30k more, at least, and you give up the leather and sunroof. Loss of use of funds, higher insurance, etc

Have a long trip? Want to track the car or do launches? Rent a 2020 on Turo or similar rental service.

Aerodyne | June 27, 2020

Also, no more summon unless you pony up for FSD.

rxlawdude | June 27, 2020

The new pricing strongly suggests a product update in the near future. The downside of getting another S (I dithered before deciding on the Y) is that the design is 8 years old, and I didn't like wasting most of the center display when using Tesla Theater (plus the image is very small).
Another, more significant issue is the batteries, while they do charge faster than earlier MS, still don't take the 250kW Supercharging, where the 3 and Y do.

RandallKeith | June 27, 2020

+1 Paul excellent write up
I drove a 2020 the other day. Not that much different than my 2014,however my 2014 is low mileage and mint condition.
I was actually disappointed because I had heard so much great things about the new Raven. Honestly, I don’t know what all the fuss is about.

Things I like,
Upgraded interior
Way nicer seats

Things I don’t like,
Air suspension
Glass roof
All wheel drive

Same inferior build quality as my 2014. I know I am in the minority here. It’s a personal decision only you can make.
Nothing else performs like it for 75 grand.

Aerodyne | June 27, 2020

Is that really the SAME inferior build quality, or Covid induced? Only time will tell I guess.

Ohmster | June 27, 2020

I am waiting for Plaid or at least a significant exterior and interior refresh. That may never come, but until then, am more than happy with what we have. Plus the HW3.0 + MCU2 upgrade will put me on par with most newer vehicles.

‘17 S75 + ‘17 X75D Both: Uncorked [E]AP MCU1 FSD AP2.5 Intrusion 20.20.1 Grin on!

akikiki | June 27, 2020

susanme, Its simple too. Remember the first time you have ice cream, tasted so good. Then you added chocolate on top? Oooo, even more yummy. Well when you got your '15 S, it was a 10 and all other cars became 4's. Now if you get in a 2020 S and drive it, your '15 will feel like a 7 because you are in another 10. Go give it a try.

EVRider | June 27, 2020

@susanme: I upgraded from a March 2016 pre-refresh S85 to a December 2018 S100D. No regrets. The 2020 models have even more and range than my S100D (about 335 miles for me). The only thing I liked better about my S85 was that it had a much larger frunk. | June 27, 2020

The latest change to the 2020 S/X is the max charging rate has been increased to 225 kW. It may be all LR+ have this, but we don't know yet. New production does have the 225 kW charging.

Another change from 2015 to 2020 is the car is quieter inside.

On the downside, AM radio has been removed if that's important to you.

Hard to say if any major interior or exterior changes are coming. Tesla has so much on its plate with the Roadster, Cybertruck, and Semi, I don't think there is much going on with the S, but I could be wrong. The design still looks fresh and modern to most people and is still dramatically better than the competition. I do expect some battery changes by the end of the year, but likely just another incremental change. One can wait forever on the promise of something new appearing.

aaronleider | June 27, 2020

Great question, had a 2013 60. Bought a 2016 70 pre refresh because I wanted summon and autopilot, thinking about a 2020. The bio filter, Enhanced summon, improved ap, charging speed, raven suspension and range (not needed but like the sound of 400 miles) has me thinking. However, I’m a car addict, my 16 is perfect new tires and 8 year warranty, so I’ll hang tight for now. GMC, replaced with a 2020 x and my son got a 3. Having said all this don’t judge me if I write that I got a new 2020S. Tesla is amazing

claytond | June 27, 2020

When I was shopping for a used Model S, I got pretty familiar with the generational changes. To be fair, I was never looking at a 2020, but I'm sure people will correct me if I get something wrong.

1. The biggest upgrade is "obvious"... HW3. A 2015 should be HW1 with no upgrade path. I just got my HW3 upgrade (from HW2.0) and the autopilot is definitely improved. For example, I found HW2 a late/hard braker (and I gather it's a big improvement on HW1). Naturally it also has FSD features. Stop lights/signs is promising, but is limited to the speed limit when combined with Autosteer. Where I live, that's a non-starter (even 5 can make you the slow car), but if you're willing to steer, you can use the feature at your desired speed.

2. At some point, Tesla started advertising "vegan" interiors i.e. no leather. I like leather seats and am pretty sure I picked up a pre-vegan version. You'll also note the narrowed options, especially interior configurations. A lot of features are now "included" which means an unavoidable cost if you don't care about the features. On the flip side, the seats are supposed to be better (2-3 generations, but you can judge for yourself in a test drive).

3. Premium connectivity and supercharging. I imagine you have lifetime connectivity. Not sure about your supercharging situation. Make sure you consider that as part of the upgrade cost.

4. Also consider that some new features are a catch-22. For example, air suspensions (in general) are notorious for breaking and being expensive to fix. Tesla doesn't exactly have a stellar track record on these sorts of things. If you're looking at a new platform like Raven, there's a whole bunch of new parts that are once again unpolished. This is exemplified by some recent articles on battery degradation. You could easily find yourself off-warranty on a car with a lot of growing pains. If you're not going raven, it's less of an issue.

Someone (I think consumer reports) recently suggested leasing EVs. Normally the math doesn't make sense, but it's a great hedge against maintenance issues with a new platform like Raven. If things are looking good, you have the option to buy the car out of the lease, but double check CPO prices before you do. I had a family friend offer to sell me their car at the lease buy-out price and comparable CPO cars were much cheaper (and included the CPO warranty).

Anthony J. Parisio | June 28, 2020

I like my loaded 2017 85 D with FSD. So I updated my MCU to give me all the new FSD features. I feel like my care is as modern as my neighbors 2020 Model 3. Plus I didn't give up my Sunroof and saved a tune of money. However you have a 2015 70 D. The difference between your car and a new S is much greater then my car and a new S. Even my total range is only about 100 mikes less than the new S. Your's is much greater. Considering that the price of a new S is about what you pay for yours, I would definitely by a new S. However their is one caveat. Their is most likely a refreshed S coming with the more advanced batteries. It might even look different. My bet is this car may cost more then the current car. So if you have a lot of money and want the latest and greatest wait to get the future refreshed S. As you can guess I do not gave money to burn. So If I was in your position I would not wait and take the current S for the same as what you paid for 70 D. I wish you all the best.

tes-s | June 28, 2020

Pro - better car.
Con - cost.

susanme | June 28, 2020

Thanks all for your very thoughtful and thought provoking comments. As Aerodyne suggested, I may try renting one for a trip to get a better feel for the differences. I’m definitely intrigued by the longer range and faster charging times plus the FSD features. I do have unlimited super charging with my current car and it looks like Tesla has removed that option again on the new models. Lots to consider. Whatever Model you’re driving...enjoy!

Aerodyne | June 28, 2020

I did a excel sheet some time back when I was considering a new MS.

I could rent on Turo for 6O days a year and break even with the costs of owning a new car.

I went used from Tesla, only felt the need to rent twice since.

Anthony J. Parisio | June 29, 2020

Check into getting an inventory car. Some people have gotten free supercharging with these cars.

EVRider | June 29, 2020

There's a current promotion that includes one year of free supercharging for an inventory car if you take delivery this month, but that doesn't leave you much time. :-)

Darthamerica | June 29, 2020

I have a 2015 P90D. Still a great car. With 234 miles of range @~100k miles It doesn’t have the range of today’s cars but I do not have Anne issues with that. I can make it from LA to San Diego without stopping. LA to Vegas with one or two SC stops. LA to San Francisco with 3 SC stops. This means every 2 hours or so, 150-200 miles, and by then I’m quite ready for a break. So while the extra range would be good, it’s not compelling enough to upgrade. Performance is great for city and HWY driving but unsuitable for motorsports. 2020 Model S doesn’t offer enough performance improvements vs 2015 in ways that make it a track car so I’ll pass on a few tenths of a second off of an already impressive 0-60 time. I don’t want to give up my pano roof. I do like FSD but it’s still half baked and AP1 is good enough until FSD is beyond BETA without the NAG. 2020 cars offer only minor interior improvements, mostly the seats but going vegan vs leather sucks. For me I’m going to hold on to 2015 until Model S gets a more thorough update. If not I’ll replace it with Taycan and Cybertruck. Otherwise for me I would be throwing away money for a car that’s arguably not substantially better day to day than what I already have. However FSD actually getting out of BETA and actually being FSD could change my mind.

Tldickerson | June 30, 2020

@Darthamerica, I have the same feeling that you expressed except I don't have the pano roof, I didn't want it on my P2016D. I ready to take that Taycan road trip with you when your ready. I'm waiting to see what changes they make on the 2021 models.

sullender | June 30, 2020

I'm doing the same upgrade now (2015 85D to a 2020 Long Range Plus). Got a brand new car in inventory so they added lifetime unlimited supercharging. Will report back on the differences.... I waited for about 18 months to do this - the longer range and elimination of ridiculously slow supercharging times on the 2015 Model S finally made me take the leap.

EVRider | June 30, 2020

@sullender: I think the current free supercharging promotion is only for a year, so if you were led to believe otherwise, get it in writing.

Aerodyne | June 30, 2020

@sullender....I would be very interested in your report as I have the same model and year. Consider making a new post when able.

sentabo | June 30, 2020

susanme, like you we have a 2015 70D. Last year we decided to go all electric, so we sold my wife's Highlander and bought a Raven. You've seen all the pros and cons, so no need to go into that. I love both cars. I never thought any car could drive smoother than the 2015. I was wrong.

Darthamerica | July 1, 2020

@Tldickerson I just need to see what Tesla has planned for the update to decide on Taycan or go with a newer Tesla. Unless one pops up on Turo!

Darthamerica | July 1, 2020

One more thing, I do not want to totally blow off the 2020 range advantage. For day to day driving, it’s not relevant. If you take a lot of road trips, you’ll charge faster and you could potentially need to stop at the SC less often. It would probably shorten trips 500+ mile trips by 20% to 30%+.

Tldickerson | July 1, 2020

I agree Darth, I too want to see what Tesla does. I rarely take long trips but if I do it's real nice to have free charging.

Bighorn | July 1, 2020

It would shorten >500 mile trips by ~9%.

sullender | July 2, 2020

I'll post something longer once I drive the car more, but first impressions are that the 2020 Long Range Model S drives WAY smoother than my 2015 Model S 85D. Love the "hold" driving mode - the auto braking works MUCH better and truly allows you to have one-pedal driving. Initially, the navigate on autopilot (auto lane changes, stop sign/light recognition, off ramps) is very glitchy but may take some learning on my part. It's far more expanded than the basic autopilot options I had on my older car. It also seems smoother and works WAY better on non-highway roads. The 2015 Model S 85D was sketchy on those.

sullender | July 2, 2020

I should also note - since it was delivered on July 1 they are trying to not give me the free supercharging. Evidently it ended on June 30. Hopefully they get this resolved, because it would be kind of $*#&(@-y if just because the truck got delayed multiple times. Delivered first thing in the morning on July 1 - just after the offer I was promised expired.

repineheart | July 3, 2020

Keep the 2015 for now. Buy a used 2020 Raven in 2021. Tesla will offer SC in 2021 for used MSs, am sure.

sullender | July 3, 2020

The added range was key for me, but may not matter to everyone. The slower supercharging that hit the 2015 85D a year or so ago made traveling even a few hours away a real drag. Having 400 miles of range and fast charging is huge.

lolachampcar | July 5, 2020

I've got an early 85 now 90PD with 80K miles on it and I've been considering this move as well. The primary hold back for me is that I actually like the very firm suspension of the early PDs. From a more general perspective, it is obvious that Tesla's interest and focus on the future is not Model S. I like a larger car so it would seem as waiting for the last of the S production would be the best course of action for me as it seems unlikely Tesla would spend valuable engineering resources to dramatically update the S when those same efforts would do so much more for the core Tesla mission if they were applied to 3s, Ys and the like.

We got lucky and hit the "time" of the S. I'm just not so sure that there is a significant future for the model.

BarryQ | July 5, 2020

lolachampcar - Welcome back! We've missed you!

akikiki | July 5, 2020

Ditto BarryQ, Glad to see a post from you lolachampcar.