If you're in the market for a Tesla Model S, or you already own an older Model S, is it worth it to opt for the new Model S Plaid? There are really two different questions here, and perhaps they have different answers depending on who you talk to. Honestly, the answer to these questions comes down to your personal priorities and budget.
With that said, it's still interesting to talk it out. If you're a first-time Model S buyer trying to decide between the all-new Model S Plaid and a used Model S, should you dish out the big bucks or search the used market? If you already own a Model S from the previous generation, does it makes sense to try to sell it and upgrade to the new Plaid? Perhaps selling it and buying the refreshed Model S Long Range deserves serious consideration as well?
We've reported many times about the fact that that new Model S Long Range is arguably Tesla's best value proposition at the moment. Sure, the Model 3 is the brand's cheapest option, but if you want its range-topping sedan, the $89,990 Model S Long Range offers significant value over the $129,990 Plaid. However, the same can be said to an even greater degree about an older Model S, such as the 2017 Model S 90D.
As Ben Sullins explains, companies will continue to come out with new versions of products you already have. They change things up, tout the perks of the new version, raise the price, and hope you'll decide to upgrade. However, in most cases, you don't NEED the new product, especially if you already have a perfectly fine "outgoing" version. If you don't have the previous-gen version, there's a solid possibility you can pick one up for much less than the new one by shopping the second-hand market.
Gallery: 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid Refresh
Sullins compares the Model S Plaid to the 2017 Model S 90D to give us an idea of what's changed. Keep in mind, you could do this comparison with a Model S P100D, Model S Performance, etc.
As usual, Ben has a lot to say (a whole 23 minutes worth, in fact). He's been an avid Tesla supporter and an owner of multiple Tesla vehicles over the years.
In summary, he says that $130,000 is an insane amount of money to pay for a car. Sure, you'll never experience acceleration like the Plaid's, but you can only experience it to a limited degree on public roads, at least without breaking the law. Moreover, there are several other qualities of a car that should take precedence over acceleration, unless you have unlimited funds and you prioritize performance above all other features.
The 2017 Model S 90D can be found on the used market for around $50,000 to $60,000, depending on the market, as well as many other variables. That price is actually high since the used car market is experiencing inflation right now. More specifically, EVs, and especially Teslas, are selling for a premium on the used market. A used Model S P100D or Model S Performance may set you back $90,000 to $100,000 in the current market.
Would you pay $130,000 for a Model S Plaid if you could find an older Model S for less than half that money? Let us know your thoughts on this topic by starting a conversation in our comment section below.