Had the chance to compare the 60 versus P85+

Had the chance to compare the 60 versus P85+

I own a 60 model with 19" wheels and tech package and have been driving it since January. Over the weekend I took it in for service (which was a great experience, by the way), where the San Rafael, CA service center gave me a P85+ loaner with 300 miles on it. Having driven the P85+ for three days, I make the following observations:

+ All things being equal, having the extra range is good; there's something psychological about having a rated range of >200 miles versus below - it's pretty absurd, because for normal driving it is totally irrelevant

+ I actually prefer the 19" wheels to the 21" wheels - the ride's a little quieter and more smooth

+ P85+ is obviously quicker, but for daily driving I am not sure I need/want that extra speed

+ Whatever that suede headliner was seemed as if we were trying too hard; in fact I saw some stains that looked hard to remove

If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably get a larger battery, but keep everything else the same. Hopefully with the battery swaps and future upgrades the range issue will be a non-issue. The 60 is plenty fast for every day street driving.

There are obviously people who will just want the top-line of everything; more power to them, but all things considered, the chance to test both models on an extended basis confirmed that I am very very happy with my purchase.

carlk | 2 juli 2013

Sorry but this is the most subjective "comparison" I've seen for a while. You basically just reaffirmed what kind of car YOU are willing to buy. I see no value of publishing it.

AmpedRealtor | 2 juli 2013

Great post! I'm sure this will help those who may be more casual drivers than the typical performance-oriented folks who come here make a decision. It's very easy to feel that you are missing something by not getting the 21" wheels, P85+ and every bell and whistle, but from a real world perspective of someone who isn't a "performance" driver, it's possible that a fully loaded P85+ may result in a disappointing driving experience.

I appreciate your post.

Winnie796 | 2 juli 2013

I am getting a P85+ and I really appreciated your post. I think your points are very valid.

cfOH | 2 juli 2013

Yes, thanks for posting....we need more actual butt-in-seat comparisons.

SamO | 2 juli 2013

Great post. Confirms how I imagined things would be and in the real world. Glad to have made some different decisions, and your description fills in some gaps.


S4WRXTTCS | 2 juli 2013

Thanks... I appreciate any kind of review comparing the two even if its subjective.

CalabasasKid | 2 juli 2013

Don't worry about carlk's "rebuke" of your post. He has a habit of attempting to be the forum "watchdog". Keep posting and you'll see more individuals intent on either censoring content here, condemning it in the name of "flagging" or simply claiming that it offends them.

Xerogas | 2 juli 2013

+1, thanks for the comparison post.

I bought the least-expensive model available (back when 40kW was an option); on Friday I'll be getting a loaner, so I can do my own comparison. I've never been a 21" wheel or grippy-tire kind of guy, so everything I've heard about the 19's having a comfortable ride has confirmed my decision to stick with the regular tires. Very curious about the acceleration though: hopefully I'll notice the difference, but not care enough to feel bad when I get my own car back :)

jonesxander | 2 juli 2013

+1 at "rebuke" lol

JohnnyMac | 2 juli 2013


I too appreciate your post. Helped me to reaffirm the fact that the P85 was the right purchase for me...somewhere in the middle of the continuum. That, in and of itself, adds value. Enjoy your S60!

CalDreamin | 2 juli 2013

Good comparison, thank you.

carlk | 2 juli 2013

Did not mean to offend people who bought one model or the other but all op said is "I am very very happy with my purchase." in the last sentence. I don't dispute that of course but it's a misleading title to say the least. There should be some objectivity when you say "compare".

Kid, Let's discuss issues or even argue difference in opinions but try to avoid personal attack OK?

HenryT2 | 2 juli 2013

I have a S60 (40+), but got to test drive the P85. Not the extensive 3 day drive that Thomas K got, but still enough to come to the same conclusion that he did. Not saying that if money were no object I wouldn't buy a gaggle of P85s in different colors, but while money is an issue, I find the performance of the S60 more than adequate.

I rarely floor it even now. The only time is when I'm getting on the highway. And even then, 70 comes up pretty fast. Most other times, I don't even use the full power of the S60 (which I guess from the latest news is about the same as the S85). If I had more opportunity to push my car to the limits

And I also appreciate the "review". I was reading a comment on some blog where the commenter talked about hating about smug, holier than thou, Tesla owners. Most of the people I've seen on the forum aren't like that. But I can how he would think that if he encountered a few of the people who immediately jump down the throats of anyone who dares to criticize anything about Tesla or the Model S.

Oaktowner | 2 juli 2013

Sorry, Carlk, but this was the most subjective "criticism" of a post I've seen for a while. You basically just reaffirmed what kind of post YOU are willing to read. I see no value of publishing it.

Lush1 | 2 juli 2013

All comparisons of feel are subjective. Numbers can be compared objectively. Impressions can only be described from experiences and I too appreciate your description.

I have a S 60. It is the first car I've ever had that I NEVER felt, "I wish it was just a little bit faster." The model S is astonishing with the instant torque and smooth acceleration. Zero to 60 times are one thing and they can be measured. I have often wondered if the performance editions are really that much different in real world driving. After 6 months of driving my S 60, I can't imagine having a faster version. Glad you spoke to that.

HenryT2 | 2 juli 2013


Your comment came off like a personal attack on the OP, so consequently people seemed to feel that it was okay to do the same to you.

I think we could all do with less personal attacks in the forum.

AlMc | 2 juli 2013

I appreciate the post as well. I have driven (test driven) the 60 and an 85. I purchased an 85P+ because I read reviews indicating the superior handling. I am happy with my purchase as well.

All in all, I do not believe you can go wrong with any model S configuration. It all comes down to subjective personal preference.

ThomasK | 2 juli 2013

One additional point of context on my original post: I was P42 - I made my reservation, sight unseen, on the first day the car was available. I made my choices before any data were available, and I believe I was one of the first S60 deliveries. So I thought it was useful to give comparative information to those who have yet to buy, now that data (like my experience) are available. JohnnyMac, as you chose, I think if I knew everything I know now, I would personally make the choice of a larger battery, but keep most everything else the same. admjr, I agree that it's hard to go wrong with any configuration. I think it's worth giving context that people are not likely to feel regret if they don't buy the top-of-the-line, although I think it's awesome if people choose to do so as well.

carlk | 2 juli 2013

@HenryT2 Huh? How could it be a personal attack on op when I said nothing about op himself but only about his comment? Do I have to say hurrah that's great or I can express what I REALLY thought about it? You people are just too thin skinned that you can not hear something different?

As for CalabasasKid he just carries something personal from his previous post that not just me but a lot others thought was inappropriate and was flagged down.

But HenryT2 I know we will meet again. ;-)

petero | 2 juli 2013

carik. You could just say nothing.

amirm | 2 juli 2013

When you tell someone that you see no value in publishing his post, it is easy to be offended. You might have noticed that the majority or respondents (including me who bought an S60 and always wondering if I should have bought the P85) appreciated the post....

gill_sans | 2 juli 2013

ThomasK, thank you for posting your experience driving the P85+ after owning the 60. Yet to place my order, I've been vacillating over whether a 60 would be fine and suit our needs vs getting the 300-mile range of the 85, and I'm still leaning toward the 85 (an S85 in particular). Your sense about wanting the greater range resonates.

It occurred to me that even after Gen III comes out in late 2016 the 85s will likely still have an edge with their 300-mile range. (I'm assuming Chevy, Nissan, and the rest won't be approaching anything close to 300-mile range, let alone 200-mile.) So the 85s should remain unique range-wise for the next four or five years at least, maybe longer.

carlk | 3 juli 2013

@petero You're right but most times it's best to hear all voices even that might not make everyone comfortable. OK my opinion is buy the P or P+ if money is not the subject. There is little downside to that and what you have gain far outweigh that. Just my personal preference of course.

@gill_sans One thing the battery swap did was to make the battery choice decision, or even the purchase decision, much easier. You could always spend 1.5 minutes and some dough to upgrade to a newer/longer range battery in the future.

RedShift | 3 juli 2013

I have a 60, and I am more of a nimble handling than power kind of guy. However, I have felt that my car is a bit floaty under rapid direction changes and under some hard acceleration inside a curve. So a comparison with P+ is always a good read. Thanks for the post.

ThomasK | 3 juli 2013

RedShift, when I first got in the P85+, I thought, what the heck, this drives like a cadillac. Then I realized it was set on "comfort" steering mode (is that even allowed in the P85+?). I know exactly what you are referring to when you say floaty (accelerating and changing direction feeling like you have to correct). Steering is tighter on the P85+ definitely, but I wonder how much of that was the tire, versus the tuning - I am not an expert in that so I can't speak to root cause.

cfOH | 3 juli 2013

@carlk said "most times it's best to hear all voices"

Wait...this is right after you told someone he shouldn't have written his post? Seriously?

ThomasK | 3 juli 2013

gill_sans, I would say all things being equal and $10k burning a hole in my wallet, I would have bought the S85 for myself. Having said that, in the six months driving the car, my S60 has been down to less than 50 miles of rated range just once. I will also say that the rated range has been pretty much accurate - 180 miles of "normal" charge really does translate to 180 miles. I've left the car at the airport unplugged for a week, I've driven all weekend without charging, etc. I live in SF, and spend a lot of time on the peninsula, I commute to work in the city, so for me, the 60 is probably the right trade-off. I plug in at home with charging overnight (set at 1am), and by morning I am good to go. For my runs to Tahoe, we drive my wife's Q7 tdi (though I am curious to try a Tahoe run one of these days).

carlk | 3 juli 2013

@cfOH No I wanted op, or anyone who had a chance to drive both models, to make a more objective comparison.

billbaggy | 3 juli 2013

@RedShift, what setting do you have the steering set to? I feel that way in my S85 when on comfort and often switch to Standard or Sport at higher speeds or windy roads as it provides a more "in control" feel than the comfort setting.

Brian H | 3 juli 2013

Get the suspension checked. Loose nuts on rear suspensions are showing up from time to time.

Ceilidh | 3 juli 2013


60s do great on the way to Tahoe. I did it in 15 deg F weather at night this past February 2 weeks after I got the car. Stopbat Folsom, if you are really worried do a top off at Auburn (or don't, that's really for the paranoid given my experience unless you want to fly up the road at the expense of an extra charginfg stop) and when I got to the top at my hotel I had 70 rated miles left. It was the lowest my 60 has ever been since I got it, FWIW. Charged form a standard wall plug for 3 days while I was at a conference. Full range charge ready to go when I left. Obviously downhill is very easy and the Folsom stop is much quicker on the way home. The car does great up the mountains. Forget the Q7.


RedShift | 4 juli 2013

If you look at the slalom numbers for the S,they tell the true story- this car is heavy, and it can't hide the pounds all the time! But, but... The car is superbly engineered to handle as well as it does. Gen3 should be a fantastic handler, easily besting the best out there.

After much cogitation, I have decided that my 60 would suit me fine for the next decade or so. My Mario Andretti impersonation days are behind me, alas, and new responsibilities are the new reality. I will most likely buy the gen3 when it comes out, though. Should be fantastic value and fun.

@Billbaggy: I set the steering to standard now. I used to set it to sport mode, but it got a bit tiring coz the sport mode does NOT increase the feedback greatly from standard, but increases the effort IMHO. Sometimes, I feel even the comfort mode, as numb as it may seem is actually quite accurate :-)

@Brian, yeah, I should take it in just to be sure, so suspension issues are ruled out. However, I feel it's the rubber bushings that make the car 'lean' a bit too much, much like an E class used to ( earlier version, not the new one). Very capable handler, the E class, but tuned for comfort. Much like my S. (though my S has much livelier turn-in)

eAdopter | 4 juli 2013

Last Friday I had the opportunity to make a similar 40 vs. P85 comparison while driving a loaner. I came away with the same conclusion. For my driving needs the 40 provides plenty of range, and more than enough performance.

Driving the loaner reaffirmed my decision was right for me. Prior to driving the P85 I wondered if the loaner would spoil me. I no longer have any doubts that the 40 is a perfect fit.

The P85 had better acceleration on dry(!) roads, but frankly, what would I do with that? I'd be bored with it after a few weeks, and especially after replacing a set of tires. I also live in WA where wet roads are an "acceleration equalizer" many months per year.