S vs X

S vs X

I'm in a loaner from my SC, a Model S 75, while my X90D is spending the weekend there (nothing to tell. Just a tire replacement; they didn't have one on hand so loaned me the S while they wait for it to come in). Until a few hours ago, I had never actually driven an S model - really one of the most beautiful cars on the road, IMHO.

The drive is very nice and handles exceptionally well. And, of course, it's super quick. Comfortable and seems slightly quieter than the X. I could be wrong, but the kWh usage seems noticeably better, too. The general driving features/components are seemingly identical to my car. I did notice that I'm getting a lot more pointing and staring at the S as I sit at lights or roll through a parking lot. People remain awed and amazed at the beauty and concept.

But, I am so glad I bought the X.

Primarily, I like the higher seating profile for access and driving. I'm no giant, but at 6'2"/200, I'm having a hard time folding myself into the cockpit of the S. It's quite low to the ground. Even with the seat way down and back and steering wheel forward I have to really crank my head/neck/shoulders to the left as I lower myself down with my left leg and sling my rear and right leg in first and kind of "plop" into the seat; and then bend my head in. This all must be done in a coordinated, fluid motion. Getting out, I throw both legs out first, turn my entire body counter-clockwise, duck my head under the frame and lurch my way out and stand up. I've been getting in and out of cars for 4 decades and have a pretty good knack for the process, and this is noticeable. Also, that low profile while driving is less pleasant to me.

Conversely, I've gotten so used to the space and openness of the X interior. The S feels much more compact and enveloping on the inside.

Just one man's opinion/observation.

If you're on the fence, get an X. ;-)

burdogg | 08. september 2017

Alright, I just tried to post and got blocked for the first time in a very long time. So I am going to break it down and see what happens:

I have both and would agree - I think :) Your one big point is a huge one though - anyone trying to decide between the two really should try to get in them both first! I am 6 foot and 145 pounds, 35 to 45 age range. So I have no problems getting in the S, but I have some friends that I watch get in and I just cringe for them as I watch them. It is a harder car to get into.

burdogg | 08. september 2017

X feels way more open too as pointed out. I drive the S most of the time though so my wife can cart the 4 kids around easier in the X (more space interior for them all :)

As far as drive - they both drive great! Sometimes I really love the feel of the drive of the S, but then I get in the X too and love it. You really can't go wrong, but I would agree too that the S gets more stares - it stands out more - UNTIL you open the FWD! Then everyone is watching :)

I wish I could describe the difference in feel of the drive but I can't put it into words - some can though. I would say I feel a little more "sporty" in the S if that is the right term? I think for me, it is the way you sit, feel more like I am ready to race, than in the X - as you sit up higher :)

Great thoughts Op, I think I agree with you though, love the X, even though I don't get to drive it as much.

burdogg | 08. september 2017

Man picky it was the foot sign and the dash between the ages! Thanks Mollum.

lilbean | 08. september 2017

I have loved to take my car in for service because I get an S loaner. Then I'm happy to get my car back. I like them both.

sroh | 08. september 2017

"I am 6 foot and 145 pounds"

Get that man a sandwich! :-)

burdogg | 08. september 2017

I eat Ice Cream every night - I am trying :)

lilbean | 08. september 2017

Not gonna happen. I used to eat a pint of ice cream every day. I weigh the same as I did in high school. I still fit into my prom dress. Fast metabolism. :-)

sroh | 08. september 2017

Excellent points.

I went to a showroom today and sat in both. It didn't occur to me how low the S is, and how much easier it is to get in and out of a MX. But after reading this, it's very clear to me that this is accurate. Plus the extra room, great windshield, more headroom and legroom in the back seat, more cargo space for bulky things like golf clubs, upgraded interior all the way around. All for $2K extra? This easily offsets the extra range, acceleration, handling and better looks of the S, at least for our needs.

burdogg | 08. september 2017

I hear you bean - I am in trouble one day when the metabolism slows down. Until then, I will continue to enjoy my ice cream :)

burdogg | 08. september 2017

very true sroh - I agree with the op again - if one is truly on the fence, i think they will like both, but the X is probably the direction I would go and recommend to my friends that are on the fence.

sroh | 08. september 2017

burdogg and lilbean,

I hate you both.

lilbean | 08. september 2017

Sorry, sroh. xo
Off topic alert: I was bullied as a child for being skinny. Those bullies are obese now. When fat girls gave me dirty looks in college, I ate the pint of ice cream in front of them. And that's why I ate it every day. Then they hated me more. It was a vicious cycle. Bwahahahaha!

Triggerplz | 08. september 2017

The MX is a lot easier to get in and out of than the MS, it seems everyone agrees to that, where was y'all about a month ago when Doctor "Obtuse" kept saying I was wrong about the MX being easier to get in and out of :-). They are both nice but I definitely Prefer the MX

Bagzzz | 09. september 2017

I got the X for 1 reason, towing

joemar10 | 09. september 2017

I'm 6' 170 lbs 72 yo. My wife is 5' 3" 115 lbs 61 yo. Believe it or not, we are getting the X because my wife likes the ease of ingress/egress and higher seating position. I could go with either. neither

joemar10 | 09. september 2017

I don't have a clue how that extra "neither' got in there. "Neither" is definitely not an option.

lilbean | 09. september 2017

Auto correct is so bad. It is hardly ever never right. :)

Triggerplz | 09. september 2017

I prefer the X so either was not an option for me some people have both but most people have neither :-)

lilbean | 09. september 2017


Madatgascar | 09. september 2017

I have both, and I could settle for either. Right now my son is borrowing my S and my X is in the shop with major damage (described on another thread), so now I have neither.

Either is waaaay better than neither.

Triggerplz | 09. september 2017


Triggerplz | 09. september 2017

@Madatgascar from what you wrote you have either, neither and both :-)

lilbean | 09. september 2017

Either way, it's neither here nor there.

Triggerplz | 09. september 2017


carlk | 09. september 2017

We also own both S and X. I have to agree with the op even that I'm not an SUV person. The X is wife's car. For people who do not have a preference between sedan and SUV definitely get the X.

Tropopause | 10. september 2017


Exactly how often do you wear your prom dress these days?

Ninefiveone | 10. september 2017

The S is a great car. Great looks, great driving experience, etc.

The X is a car that may never be made again, including by Tesla. I think it's 50/50 that they will straight up retire the car in a few years, or the replacement will be significantly more conventional.

The FWDs and monopost seats are awesome but I suspect it would be tough for Tesla to choose to do those again. As an owner, I enjoy them immensely. They are unique, functionally awesome for our family, and I enjoy the solutioning that went into creating and manufacturing them. You don't often get the chance to own something like that. They may very well prove to be maintenance nightmares down the road but I'm willing to wait and see.

The monopost seats are similarly special, albeit to a lesser degree.

The giant windshield is yet another unique experience.

Those sorts of details and choices add up to something special and there was a price paid by both Tesla and early owners.

Life is full of safe choices, particularly when it comes to cars. The X should be categorized as a mistake, something you don't build if you're rational and you don't buy if you're making a purely quantitative choice.

Qualitatively it is a pure delight and owning an X is to own a car that they said couldn't be built and probably won't be built again.

Ddowns2050 | 10. september 2017

I have both. The X is easier to get in and out of, has more room for more people, and sits up higher. The S gets much better range, rides much smoother and does get a lot more attention unless you are opening the falcon wing doors. Both have air suspension and I can tell you the X rides much rougher. They both are great so depending on preferences take your pick.

amorado30 | 10. september 2017

Bought my 75d MS and never again had that jealous feeling of any other car on the road......until I bought my when her MX yesterday. It is such an amazing vehicle. I'm utterly amazed to the point where I don't know if my next will be an MS or MX when my lease ends on 2 years. 1st world problems admittedly.

macd1995 | 11. september 2017

Loved the S... thought the X looked like an Egg shaped SUV that was not as pretty as My X6 at the time or now the Benz Cross Over - which is beautiful. Then.. i started seeing the X.. and secretly started wanted one... Preferring the uniqueness to the S (which i see more of). Then, Baby #3 was on the way and my wife who preferred the X from the beginning asked about it. I was happy to "evaluate" the options to switching to the X.

We had the third row jump seats in the S, and my wife did not like our kids back there. When a buddy of mind had a motorcyclist crash into his CRV rear window leaving glass everywhere, it was a wrap. Never mind that the slope of S, would have probably prevented that kind of damage... Who was I to deny my wife peace of mind (smile)?

So having owned both, my preference is the X for uniqueness, FWD - so AMAZINGLY USEFUL. Both girls have no problems jumping out of the car on the side not facing the street (which is SPLENDID), and in and out of the Car seat is a DREAM(!). The windshield and most of the other features have not been as enjoyable to me, except the upgraded sound system. I had basic and an NVX subwoofer in the S.

The only downside is that the range is not the full improvement we expected from our 70D because the X burns more energy than the S. I didn't think about that when i purchased. I still think the S is prettier to look at, but i no longer have silent envy. I love my X and in particular, the color of it - which probably gets the most attention.

inconel | 11. september 2017

macd1995 +1000
I had an almost identical experience starting with thinking the X looked like an egg (whereas the X6 is beautiful) when I first saw one but then it converted me somehow and I traded in my S.
But when I get a loaner S nowadays I still love the sports car feel and handling of the S.

lilbean | 11. september 2017

Lol, Tropopause! I just put it on for fun last year to see if I still fit in it. I'm waiting for it to come back in style! :-)

Silver2K | 13. september 2017

my wife definitely has her prom dress somewhere!

I put together a whole closet system in our walk-in closet just for her dresses. If I threw a credit card in that closet, it would get stuck in the air.

Triggerplz | 13. september 2017

Lilbean prom dress still fits ummmm no pictures of you in it, it didn't happen :-)

lilbean | 13. september 2017

Oh boy!

lilbean | 13. september 2017

You must want a good laugh!

elvnga | 13. september 2017

I started leaning towards the X for the ease of getting in and out. I also enjoy sitting more upright and having a better view though traffic by being higher.

But what I really enjoy while driving, is the windshield. I love looking at the clouds. And I was driving a convertible. But I had to keep a hat on and the crossbeam over the windshield really blocked the view. With the X, it is like being outside without the glare. If you but the sunshade down, that gives you a reminder of where a normal windshield would end.

inconel | 14. september 2017

True story: the first time I went back to driving an S after 4 months with the X I found that the sunshade was blocking my view forward so I reached out to fold it up but it was not the sunshade, it was the beginning of the roof :)

macd1995 | 14. september 2017

@inconel - hilarious.
I just can't get into the windshield. Maybe it's because I am driving, so I don't notice? Definitely not as good a feeling as driving the convertible.

PXChanel | 14. september 2017

Hey everyone, I've been gone for a while. Moving is the pits. Blame hubby's bad knees. I agree with Lilbean, love my X, love the S when I got it as a loaner, was glad to get my X back. I think we overshot the 7 seater situation, though. We have 2 kids so we don't use the 3rd row often. We planned to use it to drive my parents on trips or my kids' friends on rare occasions, but that hasn't happened recently. Murphy's law, wehen we had a smaller car we always seemed to be shirt on seats. Now w 7 seats, we feel we don't use them. Regardless, the trunk space with 3rd row seat down is amazing. I got the all weather cargo floor mat and I haul all my kids' gear plus shopping with no problems. So yes, it is very comfortable.

Bubba2000 | 17. september 2017

I have a P85 and a XP100DL. I agree generally with the comments of the OP. The advantage of the S is the lower energy use above 65 mph relative to X. At 75+ mph, the battery of the X drains way too quick. So I cruise the X at 65-70 mph. I notice a big difference in handling. My P85 handles much better at freeway speeds, turns, banks, etc. It is like a fancy sports car.

My X did give some problems. The left fwd would open partially intermitently, and the 2 motor arms had to be replaced. Took 9 months till Tesla got around to fixing it. I am waiting for the left windshield motor to be replaced. I have 7 seat post Model X. Would have preferred the folding middle and 3rd row Model for greater space. Since I live in a hot sunny climate, I would prefer the windshield tinting to be darker like the S.

The best part about both cars is their safety features. Boron Steel structure, including the heavily reinforced pillars. Armored battery pack with Titanium. Collapsible shock absorbing features, Tesla went overboard on safety features, but I am glad they did.

Digitrip | 18. september 2017

I have owned a MS for over 2 years now and I drove MX for 3 days as a loaner.

I wish I would have not opted for the MX loaner, now I am tempted to renew my lease with an MX but I'm still on the fence.

Here is my take on comparison of the MX vs MS:

Cool factor
Cargo area even roomier with folding seats, I had a 5 seater
Sits higher, easy to get in and out. I'm a small guy so low entry in MS does not bother me as much
Love the auto present drivers and passenger doors
Love the copter-view windshield

High energy usage, so with the Winter and high energy usage, I would need to upgrade to a 100D, 75D may not work for me coming from my MS 85D, I have had one or two close calls with range anxiety, but this was back when there were not as many Superchargers.
Road noise, I noticed this 5 minutes after picking it up, this bothered me a lot, turning up the music helped a bit
Less room in 7 seat configurator in the back when seats reclined
Constantly worried about FWD hitting ceiling and other cars
Confusing key fob, couldn't figure out how to auto present doors, FWD
Seems to be a smaller frunk then my-pre Bio defense MS
The loaner had crack in the windshield which got progressively worse over the 3 days of my driving, it was worrisome.
Did not like the lack of sunroof, but the large windsheild makes up for it
Not a big fan of AP2, I know it will get better over time

inconel | 18. september 2017

If the higher road and wind noise bothers you a lot I would stay with the S. It is real. It took me 6 months to get used to the noise at speed above 70mph

zanegler | 18. september 2017

The S is sexier, but I can actually have sex in thE X. I agree with all the other points, at 6'8" 250# getting out of an S loaner is a chore. I put the subliminal message in the previous sentence for @lilbean.

On the hijack note, I was one of those that never gained weight and then it happened. Somewhere after 40 things change.

burdogg | 18. september 2017

zanegler - that is what I hear about the weight and hoping for a little more after 40 but hope it doesn't just pile on then :)

Now was that sex with the EX? I hear that is not a good idea.

Sorry to hijack, back to your scheduled S vs X program :)

inconel | 18. september 2017

No eating, drinking or sexing in my X

jbdvm1988 | 18. september 2017

Is the X substantially louder than the S. I think my S is fairly noisy on several different road surfaces such that it's hard to hear voices on a podcast. I'm considering an X and the noise difference isn't a deal breaker but I'll have to pay closer attention to that quality on my upcoming test drive

Triggerplz | 18. september 2017

Feel free to eat, drink and sexing my EX

carlk | 18. september 2017

In my case noise level for my X and S are about the same. Both are without any wind noises below 70 mph. Road noises are about the same for them too.

Digitrip | 19. september 2017

@jbdvm1988 - It was noticeable, both the wind and the road noise were quite apparent since I had never driven an X before. I still plan to request a weekend test drive to rule it out before my lease is up, I enjoyed my 3 day loaner and that shows why you don't need a salesperson to sell Tesla cars, the cars sell themselves. One thing i forgot to mention in the Pros section, even the standard sound system in the MX sounded better than my upgraded MS audio.