Will The Tesla Model S P85D Be The Best Overall Car You Can Buy?

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There is no such thing as a "perfect" car; every vehicle has a downside, some type of compromise. But what if you wanted a car that gave you everything, a daily driver that was so good, you never felt like you were giving something up. Is the P85D that car?


When I help clients choose their next car, I use a survey that asks all kinds of questions ranging from budget to lifestyle and vehicle history. Then I have folks rank certain qualities in terms of importance specifically: value, reliability, passenger capacity, cargo capacity, safety, fuel economy, performance, technology, style, and luxury.

Every single client thus far has been pretty thoughtful and reasonable in how they answered those questions. For example, most buyers that have a high priority on performance, rank fuel economy as a 3 or lower. But what if someone checked "5" for everything? Is there a vehicle that excels in every area? The P85D might be that car, let's break it down by category.


The P85D is not cheap at $120,000, but the question is are you getting at least 120 grand worth of equipment? From a technology standpoint alone, in terms of the propulsion system, it is probably worth it. Some cars feel "cheap" compared to their high-sticker price while others give the impression that they are much more expensive than the MSRP would suggest. I would say as an overall package the Model S is priced just right.


This one is a bit of an unknown, because no one has owned a Model S for 10 years. Various cars haven't exactly performed flawlessly in various long-term tests. Consumer Reports gave the Model S and "average" rating, but did praise the service when the car was in need of technical assistance. Some people criticize Tesla for having its owners essentially be the "beta testers" for their products, but most owners accept this as part of the ownership experience.


Passenger capacity

So if you selected 5 here, I'm assuming you need something like a minivan or a 7-passenger SUV with 3 rows of seating. The Model S will carry 4 adults comfortably and you can get jump-seats in the back that would accommodate small children. While the Tesla is not the best family hauler, the fact that a sedan can carry seven people is pretty impressive.


Cargo capacity

Again if you choose 5 a van or large truck is probably what you need. So once more the Telsa falls short. But the combination of hatchback and frunk means that it can carry just as much stuff if not more compared to other sedans in the same class.



As well all know the "D" stands for dual motor, so those concerned with foul-weather traction should rest easy. The Model S also has numerous advanced active safety features that drivers in this class have come to expect.


When it comes to passive safety, it is true that Telsa's have crashed and there were fires, but in all the incidents there was not one fatality. Of course as more Model S vehicles hit the road is it only a matter of time before someone ends up in a fatal collision. But that is just a statistical probability. The fact is the Model S has achieved the highest safety rating ever by the NHTSA, and it has freaking armor under the car.


Fuel Economy

Well...it's an EV, so I guess we should really discuss "energy costs" instead of MPGs. Because when folks want good fuel economy they usually mean they don't want to spend that much on putting energy, in most cases gas, in their car. The Model S still has running costs in terms of energy, but how much is dependent upon your usage and local electricity price. Of course the ideal situation is to have solar powering your home and essentially charging your Tesla for "free."



In case you have been away from the internet in the past 12 hours, let's recap some numbers. The P85D has 691 horsepower and will reach 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. According to our man Damon, it probably "feels" even quicker than that. This is a four door sedan that can keep pace with some of the most expensive super-cars on the market. Top speed is limited to 155 mph, so that is a downer for some, but I imagine even the most hard-core speed-freaks would be plenty happy with that much power. And with talk of an "insane" mode above "sport" something tells me the P85D has a few more performance cards it can play.



This can be interpreted two ways, first the amount of technological innovation the car has and second, the amount of technology available to the driver in the way of features. The car will even adjust the suspension based on your location. Now available "auto-pilot" you are getting a lot of tech for the money.



This is a tough one because style is one of those subjective things. Some folks think the Model S looks like a giant Dustbuster, while others quite fancy the blend of futuristic yet accessible bodywork. I wouldn't call the Model S a "beautiful" car in the way we would describe a classic Ferrari, but Tesla's aesthetic elements are cohesive and at least "pleasing." I think this is one of those cars when you look at it you have an appreciation for it's beauty below the sheet-metal.



The Model S isn't going to give you the extravagant luxury found in cars like a Rolls Royce or a Bentley but you will certainly get a "luxurious" driving experience with effortless acceleration, a comfortable interior, and a wide array of features.


Has Telsa made the "perfect" do everything car with the Model S P85D? Not quite, but Musk may have come closer than anyone else. Driving range of the electric motor is still limited and recharging is not as quick as refilling your car with gas. The Model S still has growing pains in terms of reliability, but the software updates and incremental improvements seem to be having a noticeable impact.

At this point I am at a loss on coming up with another car that accomplishes that much at that price. So I pose the question to you Jalops, is there a better overall car than the P85D?


If you have a question, a tip, or something you would like to to share about car-buying, drop me a line at AutomatchConsulting@gmail.com and be sure to include your Kinja handle.



The best D money can buy!