2016 Tesla Model SEnlarge Photo
I’ve owned my 2013 Tesla Model S for more than three years, and put 66,000 miles on it now.
It still runs great, and it makes me happy every time I drive it. I plan to keep it for at least a few more years.
But I can’t help occasionally peeking at the Tesla Motors online Model S configurator to check out the prices and features on the newest versions.
Tesla just recently revamped its lineup, bringing back an entry-level 60-kwh model and bumping the 70-kwh car up to 75 kwh.
At first glance, these two new models are remarkably similar in range and performance to my car, in both of its incarnations—first with its original 60-kwh battery, later upgraded to an 85-kwh pack.
So I was curious to see how my golden oldie stacked up against the newcomers in terms of price, features, and overall bang per buck.
2013 Tesla Model S owned by David Noland, Catskill Mountains, NY, Oct 2015Enlarge Photo
The original price of my car, as delivered with the 60-kwh battery in February 2013, was $72,320.
That price included optional green metallic paint, leather seats, and air suspension. I skipped the fancy wheels, sunroof, and tech package.
Its EPA-rated range was 209 miles, the 0-to-60-mph acceleration was listed as 5.5 seconds, and its top speed was 125 mph.
After about nine months, I upgraded the 60-kwh battery to an 85-kwh pack.
READ THIS: Life With Tesla Model S: Battery Upgrade From 60 kWh To 85 kWh (Dec 2013)
In effect, that retroactively raised the list price to $82,320. (I paid a lot more than the $10,000 list-price difference for the upgrade, but that’s another story.)
With the upgrade, my car’s range jumped to 265 miles, its 0-to-60-mph acceleration fell to 5.2 seconds, and its top speed rose to 150 mph, eventually.
So how do the two newest Model S versions stack up to my car(s), dollar-for-dollar?
Very well indeed, it turns out.
2013 Tesla Model S at Supercharger station on NY-to-FL road trip [photo: David Noland]Enlarge Photo
Old 60 vs new 60
Due to differences in the standard equipment and options packages, it’s impossible to do a precise apples-to-apples comparison of the two cars.
But configuring the current Model S 60 as closely as possible to mine—metallic paint, standard leather-and-cloth seats, and air suspension—I arrived at a price of $70,700, including $1,200 for delivery.
So, three years later, the new car is $1,620 cheaper than my original car. If we account for inflation, the price of the new 60 declines to $68,350 in 2013 dollars—about $4,800 less than my original.
Despite the lower price tag, the new 60 has a number of features mine lacked. Among them:
2016 Tesla Model SEnlarge Photo
I would be delighted to have any or all of those features in my car.
The new 60 also has two major software upgrades available: a 75-kWh battery ($8,500), and Autopilot ($2,500).
Thet battery-upgrade option is about half what I paid for mine back in 2013. (Tesla, by the way, no longer does the 60-to-85 upgrade at all.)
The Autopilot upgrade was (and still is) impossible to get for my car, because it wasn't built with the necessary ultrasonic and radar sensors.
Overall, the new 60 blows away the old one in terms of value.
It has the same range and performance, with many more useful features, for about 5,000 fewer inflation-adjusted dollars.