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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?

Can someone confirm, keyless entry just means the door handles pop out without touching the key. But without tech package, I just have to click the remote (which I do now) to pop the handles out and open the door?

less and less am I liking the tech package.

I'm getting the tech package and most of the options because my wife says this will be my only "dream car" I can purchase in my life time--well maybe another one when I retire. So, I'm just getting it, just because.

Checking the specs page, all MS have keyless entry. That simply means you unlock the doors with the wireless remote. No physical key is required. The door handles popping out as you approach the car with the remote (FOB) on your person is a feature of the Tech package.

Are the cute little lights on the door handles standard or only included with the tech package?

That is convenience lighting, tech package only per Tesla. Steven can you confirm?

@Neech - I have a non-Tech package MS. Those door handle lights are just as cute on mine :) - In the non-Tech package, the door handles pop out when you double click the button on the top of the FOB or touch the handle with the FOB on your person. I have the sleep mode enabled and my personal experience has been that the handles don't always pop out right away when touched if the car has sat overnight, but a double click of the button on the top of the FOB opens them every time.

@stevenmaifert - Thanks for sharing :) I was hoping the handle lights were included. The person I talked to at my local Tesla store was not very clear about exactly what was included in the tech package besides navigation. She was more concerned about what color I wanted.

The proximity feature.

@Robert22 - After a month with the car, I still have no idea what the convenience lighting might be that comes with the Tech package. The door handle lights come on when they extend, and when you open the door, the front map lights, and rear reading lights (which by the way are the same recessed LED lights) come on as well as the ambient lights under the arm rests. Courtesy lights come on when you open the front trunk and rear liftgate. Maybe someone with a Tech package MS could let us know what additional lighting they have.

If that's the case, then what constitutes "convenience lighting" in the tech package? Ownership experience says it's the "puddle lights" on the handles (cute little LED's). It's not the ambients or dome lighting and all other exterior lights are standard.


Sorry, simultaneous post.

Not sure about this but I think the tech package has side lights that come on when you turn the wheel to help you see where you are turning into. At least that's what I heard. I don't know. I don't have a car =(


That's correct. Steven, you got?

I was not into the tech package until not too long before finalizing. The auto extend door handles are the big reason although the lights sealed the deal. I own 2 Priuses (Prii?) and have become quite used to never taking the fob out of my pocket. Locking the door is done with a touch of the handle. The non-tech MS would have been a downgrade from this standpoint. Maybe kind of silly to spend that much money on something like that , but I thought the Model S ( and I) deserved it. Plus I get to feel so cool when people say "Wow" when the door handles pop out for me.

As far as cost, I don't think $3750 is completely unreasonable. My last purchase, the Prius Plug-in is the Advanced option, which is the only upgrade available from the base model. I paid 7K for that to include navigation, leather-like interior, xenon lights and fog lights, seat heaters, dynamic cruise control ( a big minus for the MS as that is a nice gadget) , minor sound upgrades and sat radio functionality.

Fari allo xeno

> Hmmm never cared for the warrior princess, does it summon her like the Batman spotlight?

Retrovisori esterni elettrocromatici

> The mirrors are electrified? Do you get a shock when you reach out and adjust them?

LED foglights

> Led Zeppelins new album?

Luci di cortesia

> Shouldn't lighting always be convenient? Just switch it on...

Portellone posteriore assistito

> Is it really heavy and you have to be powerful to lift it up or something?

Telecamera di retromarcia ad alta definizione

> When you break your camcorder? Does it take VHS or Beta?


> Chainlink fence? Already have one at home.

Turn-by-turn navigation with seven years of free map updates

> I get all the free maps I want at AAA...

Accesso senza chiave

> Just say 'open Sesame' and it opens up for you... Nah I can operate the handles...

'Grats! All dumb answers.


Can the non-tech car display any maps at all on the instrument panel (as distinct from the touch screen)? If so, are they 3D like the Navigon maps that come with the tech package or "flat" like the maps on the touch screen? Thanks.

@Robert22 - I think what tork is referring to is what I call cornering lights... Solid white front side lights that come on with the activation of the turn signal to illuminate your path of travel as you make a turn. I do not have that.

@DouglasR - The non-tech car does not display any map information on the instrument panel, only the touch screen. The map app will display a destination. If you can find your way to the general area of your destination, the Google map can be enlarged and is sufficiently detailed that you could self navigate to the destination once the red location pointer appears on the screen. It can be a little tricky because of the always north orientation of the map, but it's doable.


Do you have little lights under the interior armrests on the doors and in the footwells below the dash?

That's what I think constitues "convenience lighting" on my S with tech.

BTW - these are cute but not terribly useful (I guess if you dropped something small at night...)

The cornering lights are very cool though.

Power liftgate, turn by turn on dash, and homelink were the features I wanted (agree they are pricey).

@markapeterman - Yes, I do have the footwell lights and the lights below the armrests.

My test for the cornering lights was done in a darkened garage this morning. I put my foot on the brake and the car in drive. The headlights came on and the dash and touchscreen lighting switched to night mode. I then turned on the turn signal. No corning light came on. If I have them, maybe the car actually has to be in motion before they activate. I will take a spin around the block this evening after dark and see what happens.

stevenmaifert@a... | JANUARY 22, 2013: No corning light came on. If I have them, maybe the car actually has to be in motion before they activate. I will take a spin around the block this evening after dark and see what happens.

Yes, you have to be in motion for the cornering lights to come on.

Also, are you sure it's triggered by the turn signal? I thought others had said it is triggered by turning the steering wheel.

@stevenmaifert - at night, does the camera have a infrared or night-mode feature? I just rented a Nissan Pathfinder that has an excellent camera that looks great at night, and I've also seen a similar camera on the Acura TL. It would be a shame if TESLA didn't have something more superior than what the market is offering currently. Thanks.

The steering wheel triggers the cornering lights - it's pretty obvious when driving at night.

The camera works fairly well in low light, better than my suburban, but it not night vision optics.

Just back from an after dark spin around the block. I can now confirm the non-tech package MS does not have cornering lights. Nothing when I turned the wheel or used the turn signal. I will say though that the field of illumination from the Halogen headlights is quite wide. I would not have had any trouble seeing a pedestrian in a crosswalk or an obstruction in the roadway. Just speculation, but maybe cornering lights are included in the Tech package as a safety feature because the Xenon headlamps have a narrower beam? Any thoughts or observations? - The SD backup camera does not have a night mode or infrared feature. AFAIK, the HD camera that comes with the Tech packages doesn't either. It does do well in low light situations, but pitch black is pitch black.

Can't help myself but to thank you again Steven for the detailed and well described information you have given everyone on the non-tech MS. If not for your posts and the corroboration by a few other non-tech owners we would still be guessing. IMO you have helped tremendously in reducing uncertainty about configuring with or without tech. - Thanks. I'm happy to do whatever I can to help folks make an informed decision.

@stevenmaifert - what say you we create a wiki over at TMC that highlights the tech vs non-tech differences? I'm happy to supply all the tech side behavior. Unfortunately I don't have the studio sound package, so someone else would need to provide that info.

@Brian H... Oooo mean... Thought it would at least make a good laugh.

Well obviously the tech package is not for me, a certain percentage of people simply do not want those features. But I am glad it is there for those that like all the bells and whistles.

I like Pano roof and 60 KW with SC... though

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