Tesla Model X versus Model S

This past week, we were asked to compare our experience with the Model X with our experience with the Model S. Below, you can find out what we think so far. [I did not have much time to take photos, some are here now, with more to come.]

Both, the Model S and the Model X, are amazing cars. We love them both!

What we like best about the Model X are the high quality of the interior, the amazing panoramic windshield, and, of course, it’s towing capability:

Compared to the Model S, the Model X’s interior is again another ‘step up’. This company’s products are truly evolving! The seats are even more comfortable than the updated 2015 seats in the Model S. The trims, seams and materials are beautiful. The middle console is very high quality, sturdy and practical. The front door pockets are big enough to hold a small water bottle and some magazines.

We simply love the panoramic windshield! Some people complained about the sun’s glare and therefore, Tesla provided a sunshade. We tried it out, it fit perfectly and would cover the whole area that would be a solid roof in a ‘normal’ car. We tried it out and then left it at home, on purpose! We didn’t want it! No way would we cover this amazing, open view to the world! To see the mountains in Jasper and Banff go by in full height was stunning. We don’t understand why people complained. We do not feel the heat of the sun at all; we do not feel bothered by its brightness. The tint of the panoramic windshield takes care of all of that. Where the sun comes in through the non-tinted front and side windows, you can totally feel how hot it is. Not so under the tinted part of the panoramic windshield. Our head never feels hot and we also are not getting a sunburn.

X versus S - 1

THAT view, you don’t get in an S! It also shows the tint, which doesn’t look this dark when actually sitting underneath. You can also see how bright it is below the tint. PS, it’s the CN tower in Toronto, just in case you were wondering 😉

We’ve only driven the Model X in the dark a few times. People have complained about the double vision they get at night when looking into bright lights through the panoramic windshield. Based on that, I was expecting a totally distorted view of cars coming towards us. I expected to see four instead of two headlights. It’s nothing like that. Only because I knew of the complaints, was I able to actually make out a little bit of an additional sliver of light on top of the actual headlights, something I would usually never have noticed. Rolf said he did notice it, but we both feel it’s no big deal. I wouldn’t even have mentioned it if it wasn’t for the complaints that went through the Internet.

When you see the Model X by itself, it doesn’t look nor feel big. It only looks big when you place a Model S beside it. Or a Roadster 😉 Franz von Holzhausen did a great job hiding the largeness of the Model X. As many know, the Model X can tow up to 5,000lbs. Our trailer weighs about 2,000lbs. When we’re towing the trailer, we don’t feel the trailer at all. Sometimes, I check in the mirror to see whether it’s actually (still) there 😉 The only way you feel the trailer is in the reduced range. Towing that weight and based on the tear-drop shape of the trailer, our range is about 250km on a full charge when driving 60-70km/h. Here are some more numbers regarding the towing range, so all numbers are WITH the trailer:

  • 250km/ 155mi at 70km/ 45mi/h
  • 210km/130mi at 80km/ 50mi/h
  • 180km /110mi at 90km/ 55mi/h
  • In heavy rain and with 20-40km/h headwind (conditions not consistent!):
  • 60km/h – 380Wh/km
  • 70km/h – 420Wh/km
  • 80km/h – 460Wh/km
  • 90km/h – 520Wh/km

People probably also wonder how inconvenient or difficult it is to uncouple the trailer for charging. I stopped Rolf’s time once and he easily did it in 45 seconds. At no stop have we found it an inconvenience or a nuisance to have to uncouple the trailer. What speeds up the process is the block that Rolf made for the trailer’s hitch, once placed under the trailer’s jack foot, you simply decouple the two chains and the electrical cable, crank up the trailer’s hitch and drive the car away. When recoupling the trailer, it’s another 45 seconds to do the same in reverse. The rearview camera helps you to position the car’s trailer hitch perfectly without much maneuvering. That said, about 50% of the times we didn’t even have to uncouple the trailer for charging due to the location of the charger.

A word about the falcon-wing doors: They are gorgeous! Such a crowd-drawer wherever we stop. In our over 9,000km of driving, and showing the car to hundreds of people by now, we’ve never run into major issues. With so many people opening and closing the doors all the time, they sometimes don’t quite open all the way at some point, but that only requires an override by holding the button for a little longer than usual and things are back to normal. Since those doors don’t have inside sensors, they will close on you if you’re standing underneath and somebody touches the close button. That said, they will stop moving as soon as they feel resistance. So, while those doors will touch you, they will neither hit, hurt nor squish you. When the doors open or close, you will hear a short sound to indicate that the doors are about to do something. I find this sound very helpful and pleasant, nothing like the loud honks that some cars make when being locked, that horrible sound that makes me jump in surprise. A Tesla is way too elegant to be that intrusive. 😉

I also want to add a few remarks about the Model X’s trunk: At first glance it looks pretty small, but you have to open the ‘basement’ to really become aware of its actual size. It goes deep! We get a lot of stuff in there. Also, the 3rd row seats fold down flat. Once you have those down, I’d say the trunk space is pretty much the same of the Model S – plus you still have at least four more seats!

And a quick word on the seats: We have the six seater option and really like the extra space in the middle of the two 2nd row seats. Kye has no problem going in and out in front of the 2nd row seats on his way to his back bench 😉 Yes, that’s his spot! And I have no problem buckling him up. Such great space!

A few more things that are different to the Model S:

  • The key fob is a lot more sensitive for the X than for the S. Since Rolf is keeping his fob in his pants’ pockets, that sometimes results in him accidentally closing or opening doors. So, instead of ‘butt-dialing’, he’s now ‘pocket-opening’ 😉
  • We love the seat ventilation! I’ve never experienced it before and it makes a huge difference!
  • We use the bio-weapon-defence-mode every time we have a ‘stinker’ in front of us or find us in a traffic jam. Once we drove though an area of road re-surfacing, we switched on the bio-weapon-defence-mode and didn’t smell a thing. Amazing! I wish the Model S had that feature, too!

The one thing that Rolf is missing in the Model X – only while towing a trailer! – is the AutoSteer. When the X detects a weight being pulled, or when the trailer is properly plugged-in, the AutoSteer feature is automatically turned off. You can briefly overwrite it by coming to a complete stop and manually turning the Trailer Mode off, but as soon as the X accelerates, it feels the weight, turns Trailer Mode on and the AutoSteer feature is disabled. Rolf is missing that feature immensely and we’re hoping it might become available once enough data about the Trailer Mode has been collected.

Now, this was the first time I ever described a car in that detail. 😉 If I missed something that you were wondering about, please leave a comment and we’ll take care of it. Thanks for your feedback!


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2 thoughts on “Tesla Model X versus Model S

  1. Thank you Silke for the information and insights. In the foreseeable future, we too hope to purchase the model X, and one of the criteria Diane my wife insisted on was its ability to comfortably tow an Alto.
    Love, Joy and Miracles
    Victor.

    Like

    • Thanks, Victor! I thought I should add a little paragraph about the trunk and also want to add some photos. Best to check again in a few days. We’re having trouble with very slow wifi right now, but I hope to get things done tomorrow.
      Love, Joy and Miracles to you and Diane as well! (I just love that greeting!) Silke

      Like

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