Midel S 60 vs 85

This has probably been answered many times, but I couldn't find the discussion. Apologies if this is an over post.

About to order my Model S. Here is the situation:

- I drive a 2008 BMW 535i, and it drives like a dream. But its getting long in the tooth and its time to move on.
- Test drove Jaguar XJ and its a great car
- Test drive Model S P85 performance and its an awesome car. Would buy it in a heartbeat
- Reality: Budget. Hard to swallow the price tag of the P85 performance. I can afford it, but can't justify to myself
- Will buy the 60 if I decide to get the Model S
- No way to test drive the 60. And that bothers me. I'll be buying a car without a test drive

Anyone have experience with both? Dont want to buy the 60 and then get underwhelmed. My current car is a very good car in terms of driveability. Smooth power on tap. P85 has more than that, dont know about the 60.

Again, apologies if this is an over post. Would love to hear from someone who has driven both.

Drive a regular 85 and you'll have a pretty good idea.

I had a Jag and have a BMW in addition to the MS P85. I've never driven a 60, so I can't compare it to the P85. But I can tell you that the P85 totally outclasses the Jag and the BMW in technology, performance, reliability, and maintenance. If performance matters, stretch for the P85. Pass on the frills like the sunroof, high-end audio (I have the standard and think it's great), high-end charger in your garage (not needed; a 240V dryer outlet installed for a couple hundred bucks is more than adequate). Warning - if you buy a Tesla, there's a very high probability you'll NEVER want to buy a gas car again. The on-line buying experience is a breeze. Owning/maintaining it is painless. And driving it is incredible.

I would love to, but in San Diego they only seem to have the performance model.

Anybody in San Diego willing to let me have a drive in a 60 for 5 mins :-) I will gladly give you the keys to my 535 (but why would you want that....).

Ok I'm warming up to the 85. I'll probably get dreams of the 85 and order it first thing in the morning... I agree, the P85 outclassed my BMW in all ways. The minute I drove it, I knew ICE is history.

Just gotta sleep on the extra 10K...

You'll really regret not getting the 85kW battery. If you enjoy the performance of the Model S, you'll deplete the battery faster than you expect. :-)

Thanks Jewsh. Thats what I thought. But honestly, depleting the battery is not my concern. Work commute is only a few miles (but a few miles that I love to drive), and I have chargers at work (free :-)

My one and only concern is performance.

Doesn't seem like many people have done a 60 vs 85 performance comparison. Maybe I'll shoot Tesla an email to let me drive them both. Hopefully they are receptive to that.

Only real difference between the 60 and the 85 is range and dollars. So the 60 or 85 decision is based on how much range you can be happy with.

Your other decision is how fast you want to get there and at what cost. The P gets you to sixty mph a second faster but doesn't go any further than a 85.

I am more than happy with the performance of my S85. But then in my case my wife took over the S85. To help soften the loss I ordered a P85+. Delivers next week. I feel like a Tesla addict that was looking for even more. The S85 is amazing, the P is

Since they are all great your only decision is;
how far do you need to go between charges
How fast do you want to get up to speed to get there.

You will love driving any model of S so don't lose any sleep over any of the choices you might make. It is impossible to choose wrong.

"My one and only concern is performance" - I think you have no choice.
I have a P85, but could not care less about performance, but it is nice to have.

I've driven both, and was perfectly happy to come back to my 60. I work near UTC and could give you a test drive

Thanks Roamer. Distance is not a concern. Performance is.
Lcohen made a good point. I think I'll order the 85 with tech and nothing else.

Thanks all you guys. The forum reslonse is really true reflection of the "Tesla experience".

Thanks Xerogas. Thats an awesome offer. Can you please write to me at

I know I didn't answer your question.

The 0 to 60 time difference between a 60 and 85 is .5 seconds. Not much difference.

The diff between a P and an 85 is more than a second.

I haven't driven a 60 but I would bet its hard to tell the difference from an 85.

You can really feel the difference when you slap the P on an 85. But Then the regular 85 feels great accelerating.

You would be happy with a 60, from there do what your right foot wants and your wallet is OK with.

I regularly outrun BMWs, MBs, & Jags in my S60. I had an S85 loaner for a week and only notice a slightly better acceleration.

P85/+ is another story though. 1.5 seconds advantage over an S60 may be worth 20k for some but I am quite happy that none of the ICE could can up to my S60 yet.

Wow, more confused than ever.. But its all happy confusion. I'll take up Xerogas's offer for a test drive. I know the outcome in my mind.

Thanks guys. You are the best.

watch this youtube video.

in a nutshell, 0-60 in an reg 85kwh is 5.1 s and 5.5 s in a 60kwh. test drive an 85 it will be pretty similar.

Because of your short commute, and chargers available at work, you are in a uniquely favorable position to get a 60 if you want to save the money.

I've driven the 60, 85, and P85. Very little difference between the 60 and 85 on acceleration. Theoretically the bigger battery is 1/2 a second faster, but that doesn't seem discernible in real world tests.

Because it is lighter (by about 250 pounds), the 60 seemed to me a little more agile on the slalom than the standard 85.

The P85+ is the gold standard for handling, being quite a bit more planted than the standard cars.

The P series at 4 seconds is very fast, but unless you are an extreme enthusiast, you will tend to use the extra acceleration only rarely because it does rattle your stomach. If you like roller coasters though, you'll love that.

The 60 will not disappoint you. The one last thing to consider is if the added range will make any meaningful difference on the road trips you may take.

You can't go wrong with any of them, it just comes down to range vs. bucks for your lifestyle.

Thanks guys. Xerogas emailed me about test driving the 60 (he is awesome). I'llmake up my mind ttomorrow. I dont have any range anxiety etc. Its all about performance.

Only Tesla owners would do this btw.

On road trips, the 60 can be a bit iffy sometimes. The 85 is really what the SCs are spaced for. And you will want to do road trips.

I ordered a 60 after considering a few things.

First, I typically drive only 20 miles a day and don't need the extra miles.

Second, the 60 is lighter and essentially the same performance as the 85.

Third, the money I would save on the 60 lets me afford the options I would not have been able to get on the 85.

I own a 60 and have had more than a week with the P85 and P85+ (Loaners while my car was being serviced). My father has an 85. There is essentially no difference in performance between the 60 and 85, just range.

The 60 is the best car on the road right now with the exception of the P85+ which is simply frighteningly fast.

Everyone I gave a ride to in the 60 was shocked by the acceleration and handling.

Everyone I gave a ride to in the P85+ was scared for their safety.

The 60 battery warranty is different than the 85, (unlimited miles). That was a factor to me. I have the 85 but used a loaner P85. I could definitely feel the difference but I also used up the battery faster! I'm very very happy with the 85 and expect the 60 would have similar feel. But keep in mind, you will enjoy driving your Tesla more and the range may come in handy. It has for me. BTW I too was a BMW 535xi owner and although the car was wonderful, I never felt a connection to it. Tesla, completely different story. You'll see.

I was also in the same dilemma, go for a 60 or an 85. Like you i could technically afford the higher one, even the P85 if i stretched, but that was beyond my comfortzone to pay on a depreciating asset.

So i was left with going for a bare 85 vs. a 60 with one or two options.

My commute is similar to yours, not very long.

But what pushed me to go for the 85 was the occasional weekend trips i go on. Usually they are all under 2 hours drive one way. So i just wanted to be sure that my car can handle the trips there and back without having to worry about finding a place to recharge while away.

So i got the 85.....and then added the tech anyways :-o

I've driven a 60 and P85. Yes, there's significant performance difference, but the 60 is no slouch. Commute range is not an issue for you (now, if I was fortunate enough to be less than 10 miles from work, I wouldn't bother driving at all - I'd cycle or walk). And unless weekend road trips would create range anxiety, then save your coin and get the 60. Or spend the extra on the tech package or other upgrades.

The difference between a 60 and 85 in performance is not really that great. If you define performance as 0-60 acceleration, or top speed. (I've got an 85.)

An additional consideration, aside from range, is that use of the Superchargers is an option that costs a couple of thousand if you buy a 60, while it is built into the price of the 85. So if you intend to buy a 60, and intend to use Superchargers (which is a nice capability to have if you ever intend to take it on a road trip), you'll have to pay an extra couple of thousand. That means that in that case, the 85 won't cost you 10k more, it'll only cost you about 8K more.

I drove both the 85 & p85 and felt no big difference to warrant the $10k more. My 85 out performs 95% of the cars on the road.

I had a similar dilemma when I purchased my 60. 60 with some options or an 85 with no options. I went for the 60 and have been driving it since Feb. I do not regret my decision. Ive taken the 60 on a road trip from the bay area to San Diego, even going down HWY 1 through Big Sur, and never even came close to zero range. There is definitely some loss in convenience for road trips, but its not a big deal.

If you had originally planned on getting the 60 with options, do that. San Diego must be fantastic for the panoramic roof, though you said you were just going to get the tech package with the 85.

The reason is that it is easier to rectify the battery choice than choice of options. "While technically possible to upgrade to a larger battery, we recommend configuring your Model S with the battery that meets both your present and future needs."

1) My 60 simply explodes past everything else in my area whenever I need the acceleration.

2) 97% of my driving is within its range. If I do go outside that, I make arrangements to charge somewhere.

3) If I had the money (but not Real Money) to get a P85 or P85+, I'd use the difference on adding options to a 60...or buy a new backup ICE, or take a couple of nice trips.

4) I never took a test drive before buying. All I had to do was read the Forum for six months.

I agree with others that the performance difference isn't large (and probably not noticeable without them side-by-side or a stopwatch), but the real question is if you plan on taking long trips. If so, get the 85kWh battery. Don't forget, some years from now you will have noticeable battery degradation and making the 150-200mi to the next Supercharger might require driving quite slowly in a 60kWh model.

The 85kWh is only $8k more if you plan on getting Supercharger access, so to me the options are either 60kWh without Supercharger if you don't plan on using it for long trips or 85kWh if you do.

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