You’ve gone back and forth a million times on the features of your new prospective Model S. I changed mine at least 5 times before the order confirmed. We will cover the primary ones in this article, and the discourse around each. Each option with a * besides it means it’s the optimal configuration for an entry level Model S.
We’re going to analyze the options for the Model S in this piece. Model X options are very similar and thought process is often the same.
The big daddy of all decisions is the battery size. This directly effects range, there are other (sometimes unknown) consequences of choosing a specific pack size.
Your options are:
- 60 kWh * – the entry level battery pack, often seen as the base ‘economy’ Model S pack. This is actually a 75 kWh pack but it’s software limited which means it’s up-gradable for a price after delivery. Provides 210 / 218 miles of range (RWD / AWD).
- 75 kWh – the next step up, this is the true sweet spot with regards to range. Provides the same 0-60 performance at 5.2 sec as the 60 kWh pack. Provides 249 / 259 miles of range.
- 90 kWh – until recently, the largest battery pack you could order. Stepping up to this pack means an increase in 0-60 performance to 4.2 sec, faster Supercharging, and increased range. Provides 294 miles of range. Only comes in AWD configuration.
- 100 kWh – largest pack and only comes in performance configuration. Comes with “Ludicrous Mode” by default which enables a 2.5 sec 0 – 60 time. Provides 315 miles of range. Only comes in Performance AWD configuration.
Note that size of the battery pack determines performance and supercharging times. The larger the pack, the quicker the range you’ll pick up when at one of Tesla’s proprietary Supercharger stations. However, if you have home charging, the larger packs will require more electricity to fill thus increasing cost of ownership slightly.
Rear Wheel Drive vs. All-Wheel Drive * (RWD vs. AWD)
The next major option is RWD or AWD. For warm climates without too much precipitation, RWD might be an option. However, I strongly recommend an AWD car if it fits within your budget.
The AWD system can do real time torque vectoring which equates to amazing control even when flying around corners and an increased 0-60 time by approximately .3 sec.
As icing on the cake, the AWD is more efficient which means more range!
Enhanced Autopilt (EAP) *
Price: $5,000 / $6,000 (after delivery)
Enhanced Autopilot is one of the new flagship features announced by Tesla. The hardware to activate it is included in all cars coming out of the factory. However, it’s extremely important to note that currently ALL Autopilot features are disabled until Decemeber, 2016.
EAP features will be rolled out in stages starting in 2017.
Activating this feature after purchase is possible but costs an extra $1,000 which is why I recommend purchasing before delivery.
Full Self Driving (FSD)
Price: $3,000 / $4,000 (after delivery)
FSD is not yet available and speculation is that activation will occur in late 2017. This will enable full self driving abilities of the car.
I highly recommend waiting until the features are activated to buy this feature as your car will already have the necessary hardware. It will cost an extra $1,000 to activate, but may be worth it if you lease as you may have limited time to enjoy it.
Premium Upgrades Pacakge (PUP)
PUP includes some additional creature comforts as well as functional upgrades. With this you’ll get a HEPA air filtration system, LED fog lights, dynamic headlights, alcantara throughout the dash, power liftgate and more.
The shining stars of this package are the HEPA filter and the power liftgate. For $3,000 this package is a bit expensive but definitely worth it if you need those two features. If you don’t.
For an entry level Model S, I don’t recommend this package.
Smart Air Suspension (SAS)
SAS can dynamically raise or lower the suspension of the car. Additionally it uses your GPS to remember your preferences for a set-it-once and forget it type solution. It’s highly attractive for those that have difficult or low drive-ways or drive in non-urban environments. While a great option, I don’t recommend it for an entry level Model S.
There’s currently rumors of a new suspension currently in the works with an 8-year warranty that might be released in the next 6 months.
Also note that this feature comes for free on the P100D car.
Subzero Weather Package
The Subzero Weather Package heats some more elements of the car like the steering wheel, backseat, and wipers. This is great for those that live in cold climates, but please note that the base Model S already includes heated front seats.
I do not recommend this option unless you absolutely need it. Also please consider your battery size if you live in cold climates as cold weather dramatically reduces the usable range of your battery.
Ultra High Fidelity Sound (UHFS)
The UHFS package adds a subwoofer and additional high quality speakers throughout the cabin. A great choice if you’re a music lover, but there’s many aftermarket solutions that accomplish a similar goal for less than the $2,500 price tag. You can ask your local showroom to try both systems to compare them.
If you’re leasing and love music I highly recommend it. If you’re buying I recommend an after-market system.
I do not recommend this package for an entry level Model S.
Next Gen Seats *
A huge upgrade from the standard black textile seats, Next Gen Seats are Ricaro leather and form fitted. Currently, these seats are only found in the 60 – 75 configurations with new premium seats being added to the 90D and P100D. There are rumors these new seats are also coming to all configurations within the next few months.
I highly recommend this upgrade for an entry level Model S.
Glass / Pano Roof
Price: $1,500 (Glass) / $2,000 (Pano Roof)
An expensive upgrade, but necessary for large occupants. Adding the glass or pano roof allows for more head room as well as the activation of XM Satellite Radio and roof rack (Pano only).
I do not recommend this package for an entry level Model S.
Post in the comments your configuration and what the upgrades you can’t live without to help other users!