What's YOUR reason for getting/not getting the tech package?

What's YOUR reason for getting/not getting the tech package?

Here is the feature list for the tech package:

Xenon headlamps
Electrochromatic side mirrors
LED foglights
Convenience lighting
Power rear liftgate
High definition back-up camera
Turn-by-turn navigation with seven years of free map updates
Automatic keyless entry

Xenon headlamps and Homelink are must-haves for me, the rest is just gravy adding to the "wow" factor.

What's driving your decision to include/exclude this package?

schoendp | 24 gennaio 2013

stevenmaifert - thanks for the clarification - that makes sense.

One other question I have may be tougher to answer. This question applies to both the tech version and the non-tech version. If you don't have a 3G connection, does the maps app (non-tech) and the nav app (tech) still work on the 17" display. On tech, I believe the tbt will still work on the screen above the steering wheel, but I haven't heard if you need 3G for the maps/nav apps to work.


markapeterman | 24 gennaio 2013

My 3G cut out a few days ago and I had no map on 17in screen until I rebooted the display. I have the tech package.

schoendp | 24 gennaio 2013

markapterman - intersting, I was thinking that if I got the tech package I might be able to save the monthly charge of the data plan. However, it now appears, if you want to use the 17" display as a map (for tech or non-tech) then you need the data plan. I was not aware of this until now.

stevenmaifert | 24 gennaio 2013

@schoendp - It does appear you need data connectivity for the Google map to be fully functional. It remains to be seen if TM will someday give us the ability to cache the map and still have something to work with in the event of data signal loss.

schoendp | 24 gennaio 2013

I just talked with the Ownership team at Tesla and they said that you will be able to cache the map for future use, regardless of whether you have tech or non-tech. In addition, that download does not need to be done with 3G. You will be able to use your home wifi connection to download maps of the U.S. and store them on the car. The GPS locator will then show where you are on the map. Other than the line drawn on the 17" map (for tech), there is really no difference between the tech and non-tech when it comes to the 17" map only. Obviously you lose tbt above the steering wheel on non-tech. If you don't really care about tbt or are willing to use your phone, then the cost of the tech package really comes down to whether you want the hardware upgrades. Essentially, are xenon headlights, power lift gate, etc. worth $3,750.

schoendp | 24 gennaio 2013

stevenmaifert - can you also confirm that a non-tech car still has the cool lights that run in a slightly curved line above the headlight. It looks as though that is the case from your pics, but I wanted to be absolutely sure.

stevenmaifert | 24 gennaio 2013

schoendp - Those are the Daytime Running Lights you are referring to and yes, the non-tech MS has them.

On a separate thread you asked about fog lights in the non-tech. There are no fog lights. There is a smokey grey lens covering the assembly where the fog lights would be. If you peer in with a flashlight, you see an amber refector angled sideways (90 degrees from centerline), and the hole where the fog light would go that is plugged with a plastic blank. I wouldn't be surprised if the wiring was there, but that's a question for the service techs. I also don't have the Fog button as depicted on Pg. 8 of the Owner's Guide.

schoendp | 24 gennaio 2013

stevenmaifert - thanks for the update. My guess is some $ could make it an operable fog light down the road. I wish it came standard, but not a big loss.

DouglasR | 24 gennaio 2013


"Other than the line drawn on the 17" map (for tech), there is really no difference between the tech and non-tech when it comes to the 17" map only."

With the tech package, you also get written turn-by-turn directions on the 17" map. A box appears on the screen with arrows and street names for the next several turns. These directions are also announced over the speakers. | 24 gennaio 2013

Steven- Thanks for all your info. Quick question, saw your pic on the TMC site and was wondering if the non tech has the DRL running vertically along the bottom housing where the foglights would be. Also, are the two horizontal trims running from the foglights towards the center of the car chrome? Thanks!!!

stevenmaifert | 25 gennaio 2013 - Every new question is a learning experience for me. Look at this picture: If what you are referring to is what appears to be DRLs on the outside of the foglight assembly, I do not have that.

My assembly is covered in the smokey grey plastic I referred to above, where the picture here has some clear plastic in front of the foglight. Since I had to turn the lights on to research your question, I discovered that the amber reflector referenced above is actually the lens of a parking light.

With respect to those horizontal trim pieces, mine are black plastic although in the picture I referenced, they do look like chrome. Can anyone comment as to whether that's part of the tech package, or a feature of the Sigs?

DouglasR | 25 gennaio 2013

This probably isn't news, but on my car with the tech package, I do have fog lights (including the button on the touch screen). They go on only when the headlights are on.

ddruz | 2 febbraio 2013

@stevenmaifert - Steven, now that you've had your car for a while, would you order it again without the Tech Package? Any upddated thoughts for people deciding on their configuration? Thanks.

GeekEV | 2 febbraio 2013

I'm skipping the tech package because all I really want from it is the homelink and the automatic keyless entry, but not for that price. I'm sure a significant part of that pricing is the navigation system, but really, who can't get nav on their phone these days? Sure the headlights might be nice, but I bet they can be replaced with aftermarket LED lights for much less. I plan on replacing the mirror with an aftermarket homelink mirror for about $320. The infinity homelink mirror looks like it would be a perfect replacement.

stevenmaifert | 3 febbraio 2013 - Yes, I would still have ordered it without the Tech package. No regrets. Each of us must decide how much the features of the Tech package enhance our driving experience, and if it's worth the price. For me personally, it just wasn't there. As an aside, I was at the San Diego Service Center Friday to purchase a Tire Repair Kit and noticed they had 21 Model S awaiting delivery in the lot. Only one was a non-Tech.

DouglasR | 3 febbraio 2013

Steven, is there a way to tell it's non-Tech just by looking at it, or did you have to turn it on and look at the screen icons?

jat | 3 febbraio 2013

For me, it wasn't any one thing that I had to have it for but rather the whole collection. Basically, I just felt like if I spent this much on a car, I would resent not having these various features.

stevenmaifert | 3 febbraio 2013

@DouglasR - The fog/parking light assembly is distinctly different between Tech and non-Tech. Check out this company picture: You see the clear plastic in front of the fog light lens and what appears to be DRL's on the outside edge of the assembly. Now check the assembly on the white Model S here: The whole assembly is covered in a smokey grey plastic and no DRLs. That's my MS by the way. Additionally, there are two flat horizontal plastic trim pieces that run from the inner edge of that light assembly. The leading edge of those trim pieces are chrome on a Tech, and no chrome on a non-Tech.

wcalvin | 29 giugno 2013

FWIW, the German turn-by-turn display and coaching to the left of the speedometer is the best I have seen. They seem to have figured out what's important.

tobi_ger | 29 giugno 2013

are you referring to the display of the exit signs in the display? I've seen that in videos from US test drives as well (green US exit signs compared to blue German/EU exit signs).

Brian H | 29 giugno 2013

Garmin, not German.

Brian H | 29 giugno 2013

Garmin, not German.

Brian H | 29 giugno 2013

Sorry for dupe. Thought it had jumped threads.

michael1800 | 29 giugno 2013

I bought the tech package, but it was a close call for $3k+

Electrochromatic side mirrors - no comment
LED foglights - didn't get these
Power liftgate - no feelings about this
HD Backup cam - HD doesn't give me anything SD doesn't. Useless
Homelink - Press button on screen or visor clip remote...same to me
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ - All non-factor

Automatic keyless entry/auto-present - the real reason for me
Nav - I used 2005 mappoint for 7 years without issue, so the updates are a non-factor, and anything on the screen can be done by a stand-alone product for a reasonable price. Having the additional nav elements on the instrument panel is what I wanted. If only I could pay more for customized voices... :(
Convenience lighting - OEM style instead of DIY for the convenience.

TBH, I don't think the tech package was worth the money, but I still get it again. I loves the door handle auto-present and side nav!

LEvans | 29 giugno 2013

For what it's worth, I think a MS without the tech package would be a lot less desirable at resale time and hence will have a diminished value. Most people buying this car used one day would expect the tech package to be there as they are much more likely to appreciate some toys in the car than the general population.

ChasF | 30 giugno 2013


I don't think I can agree. I have had my non-tech car for two months now, given dozens of test rides. Everyone, without exception, is amazed by the acceleration, handling, 17-in touchscreen, etc. For them, the "user experience" is off the charts. When they really start asking more detailed questions about the car and features, I explain that I didn't get the tech package and let them know what is missing. The overwhelming response is "meh". Those features are not a big deal to them in the context of the overall experience of the Model S. I will say I believe the auto presenting handles would provide more wow factor to their first impression, but they seem just as impressed by the regular operation of the handles.
Once I tell them the cost of these extra features (almost $4K after tax), nobody thinks it's worth it, or at least, not a big deal.
Based on my experience so far, I think people's first thought is to always get the tech package or regret it later because for most other cars, bundles like the tech package are the discriminator between their new car and the 100's of other cars on the market. Specs are so close that the tech package stands out against the noise.
For the model S, however, everything else about the car is so over the top, that the abscense of homelink, Nav, power liftgate, etc is not a big deal.
That will change of course, when all other cars come up to par with the Model S. I think it will be a while though.
BTW, the Xenon HIDs were the only feature to make me really consider the tech package. I did an aftermarket xenon HID upgrade for less that $70 and am more than pleased with the results and my savings.

AlMc | 30 giugno 2013

I did get the package and am happy with the features I received for the price. Also, it appears that some of the possible future retrograde fits..parking sensors/blindspot detectors may need the tech package for the retrofit to be easily (less expensively?) added.

tes-s | 30 giugno 2013

I ordered tech package for nav, keyless entry, and homelink.

Skotty | 30 giugno 2013

* GPS navigation system with onboard maps and free map updates for seven years - I want this
* Automatic keyless entry - don't care
* High definition back-up camera - don't care now that I know you still get a back-up camera regardless
* Xenon headlights - don't care, confused why anyone cares
* Electrochromatic side mirrors - I assume this means they have automatic dimming. That would actually be very nice.
* LED cornering lights - don't care
* Ground lighting under door handles - sounds cool, nice extra, but not a big deal
* Power rear liftgate - don't care
* GPS-enabled Homelink system - much nicer than having to keep separate opener(s) in the car, though I don't get what "GPS-enabled" means. Does it open the garage door automatically? That would be annoying to me.
* Memory seats - I definitely want this, and don't know why this thread has generally ignored it completely. My wife and I share vehicles and we are always adjusting the seats.
* Auto entry? - this isn't listed as one of the components of the tech package on the order page. Regardless, don't care.

For me, it's all about the memory seats and nav system, plus a couple other nice-to-haves that come with it. But a lot of it I don't care about. For the current list price, I would probably order the tech package. But if the price goes up any before I get around to ordering, I may reconsider.

Skotty | 30 giugno 2013

Update on my previous post -- I questioned if auto entry was listed as part of the tech package. I see it is, I even have it listed twice in my prior post. Idiot mistake. No need to point it out further.

LuvTesla | 1 luglio 2013

I think this one is easy. Honestly liked the car because of these add-ons. Like the others said, I wouldnt miss these on an average car, but on a high-end, you have to get it if you can afford it.

If you're thinking if its worth it, get it. If you're thinking if you can afford it then skip it.

Xenon headlamps - These are just great when traversing highways without lighting and I this is just one of those things that impresses people when they first see it. These are just head turners.

Electrochromatic side mirrors - To me this is a +1 on safety. Something I'd rather have as a plus.

LED foglights - More lighting means safer ride. I don't want to meddle with having them installed later on.

Convenience lighting - This one makes the inside of the vehicle pop. Its trivial but just think about how much I'd have to pay if I wanted it installed on my own.

Power rear liftgate (nice to have) - I use this feature daily to charge and get stuff out. I appreciate not getting my hands dirty and just be able to make sure it closes shut the right way everytime. I honestly won't be able to pull it down (im short) if it wasn't automatic.

High definition back-up camera - This is again another safety feature for me. For someone who isn't used to it, I like that fact that I have it when backing up since our garage backs up to a street right away. Given that the back window of the Model S is relatively small, i really cant judge the back reliably and the last thing I want to do is hitting the trash container on trash day. Plus, it entertains my 3 year old nephew on trips.

Homelink - I visit a couple of places where I sleep in. I think most people forget to mention you can program multiple ones. So I can just drive up to my brothers garage/ relative's, park and charge without having to ask for him to open it or open it myself. It is so convenient. Besides you normally only have a few controllers.

Turn-by-turn navigation with seven years of free map updates - With this car you're bound to go places and this one seems a no-brainer. I do have a smartphone, but why would i need it if my car can do it? You can save money on this, but for something you will use ALOT of times during the lifetime of your car, why would you. It allows you to enjoy the 17 inch screen more.

Automatic keyless entry - This is one the coolest feature on the car for me. I don't like meddling with the keyfob. I just like it to open. Trust me when I say that this doesn't get old easy and everyday you'd thank yourself having it. Its like the first thing people will see when you show it off.

Having just a few of these installed aftermarket would cost you close to that figure anyway (assuming its installed perfectly and in the least amount of time). Otherwise you'd just be wondering what if you had it.

AmpedRealtor | 1 luglio 2013

@ LuvTesla, fog lights are not part of the tech package. Tech package lists LED cornering lights but no fog lights. I believe fog lights were removed quite some time ago.

A car like Model S almost requires the tech package to be standard equipment. Most of the non-driving wow factor comes with the tech package.

ChasF | 1 luglio 2013


Sounds like every feature is a must have for you. In that case, I would agree with springing the 4 grand.
Couple of clarifications on your rationale:
1. You don't use the 17" screen for turn by turn Nav. Only on the instrument cluster.
2. The SD backup camera is more than adequate for the use you describe. Service tech told me he could t tell the difference. I can't imagine it being much better than I experience now.
3. Not sure how the convenience lighting differs on the tech package, but my non tech has all the described interior door lighting, side mirror lighting, etc

I will caveat the my previous statements: I was grandfathered into seat memory with leather seats. If I didn't have that feature as standard, I would have seriously considered getting the tech package.

LuvTesla | 1 luglio 2013

I actually just copied somebody else's list and wasn't sure if they were the complete one. I am sure there were more that I didn't include. But thanks for the clarification.

I am not rich by any measure, but the set of features as a package is just something that you don't want not to have in the future. Might not be now for some, but at some point you will want it. For the price, I think its a hefty sum, but its alot of features, that you will be using every single day.

tobi_ger | 1 luglio 2013

I think the pricing for the whole package is reasonable when compared to ICEmakers... e.g. BMW 5 series top-line/fullscreen navigation upgrade was about 3K EUR alone, iirc.