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Navigation without the Tech Package

I'm about to buy an MS but struggling to make a decision on the Tech Package. My primary interest is the navigation--the other features are nice to have. With the v5 updates to the firmware, it seems that it may be good enough navigation without Tech even though it doesn't have turn-by-turn directions. Does it seem likely that the google map capability on the touch screen will evolve such that the better Garmin features will be less important?

I never needed the Tech package. I use the WAZE iPhone app. It's an active social Map app. You get Navigation plus road alerts from fellow users. Police traps, traffic, obstacles, weather etc.


I do not have the tech package, and I do see traffic conditions overlaid on the center console google maps.

@eking - Xerogas is correct. You were misinformed by the Tesla rep about that and the HD backup camera, which is now standard on all ModS. It is sad to say, but you are more likely to get accurate info about ModS from owners on the forums than you are from the in-store reps.

Thank you Xerogas and Stevenmaifert--I'm really disappointed that I was misinformed so badly bc I was leaning against getting it for the reasons that a) I do not need "turn by turn" navigation info. I live in Houston and know the city and all the shortcuts really well. The only utility to a map for me is to see where traffic is congested; b) the backup camera being HD seemed like a plus. Now to know that this was standard once again I am not seeing the value. I did want parking sensors bc I have got very used to them over the past five years on my range rover but honestly, probably would not have spent $3500 on it had I known that. I already confirmed the order so I am not sure what I can do change it at this point other than to complain that I was misinformed and not too psyched about doing that either frankly b/c I want it to be a positive buying experience. Oh well. It seems like the people who have it like it but I am not exactly sure why. I can push my own key to open the door. lol :)


I think you'll enjoy having some of the things that come with tech even if you don't really 'need' them. Power rear lift gate, xenon headlights and daytime running lights are my favorites. I don't think you'll be disappointed, but if you are I'll gladly give you a full refund of my 'opinion fee' :-)

Thanks @mrspaghetti. I am sure I will love all the bells and whistles. And I sort of decided last night that I am not going to complain about being misinformed as I am sure it was unintentional. At this point I am just counting down the days until it arrives. :)

+1 @diegoPasadena

We skipped the tech package. Like @diegoPasadena said, your phone syncs with the S automatically when you get in the car, then you can just tell your phone to navigate and you'll hear the turn-by-turn directions over your Model S speakers via Bluetooth. We do see green-yellow-red traffic overlays on the car's map, as well as on my phone.

One annoyance is that the Model S doesn't mix the phone's audio with other audio, so we can't listen to music off our USB stick or off Internet (via Model S touchscreen selection) when using my phone's turn-by-turn navigation -- we get either music, or turn-by-turn nav, not both. However a workaround is to install the TuneIn app or similar on your phone and then you can listen to music and get turn-by-turn nav, all playing and mixing nicely through your car's speakers (music fades down when voice comes on to tell you where to turn, then fades back up when voice is done), but I haven't done this much because this swiftly turns into texting-while-driving which is illegal in the state of California and, more importantly, dangerous.

The other tech package amenities didn't warrant its price, for us.

Nine months without Tech... no regrets!


As you clearly see, you'll get both ends of the spectrum as to the worth of Tesla's tech package. Additionally, both sides make very valid points based on their needs and priorities. However, as someone who has owned 2 Model Ss, (one with and one without the tech package) I can tell you with no uncertainty that if you ever plan on selling your car, DEFINITELY get the tech package. After listing my car for sale, the number one question by a large margin was "does your car have the tech package?". It appeared to be the only option most potential buyers couldn't live without. Fortunately, I priced my car reasonably and it sold quickly, but IMO the resale market will demand the tech package. Cheers....

I've had my Model S 60 (leather, air suspension, multicoat red) without tech for 5 days now. The GPS works great. I got the 60 because I have no need or plans to take it on long trips; it is a local commuter, and like the OP, I know my local roads so don't need turn by turn. Agree with others that the technology in smart phones advances faster than car GPS's, so I can tell you that the navigation WITHOUT the tech package is perfectly adequate. You still get the traffic info from Google and an excellent display. If you need turn by turn for part of your trip, use your smart phone.

Also, in the resale market, FWIW, most options do not hold value well over time.

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