The other day my car went in for service and they gave me a loaner Model S 60 for the day that had some differences from my car. First, it was the silver color which wasn’t one of the colors I had considered. In the store on the samples the silver didn’t look very good to me. In person, though, the silver looks great. I have no regrets on the grey that I got but the silver is very nice. This re-enforces the suggestions that if you’re on the fence on colors the best thing to do is try to see each in person by visiting your local delivery center if you can.
The S60 has the smaller battery and the acceleration isn’t quite as quick. The units are a bit different on the dash accounting for the lower possible power and regeneration capabilities. I didn’t notice much of a performance difference on the S60, but I also didn’t push it too hard. The car was plenty fun to drive and I didn’t buy the S85 for faster 0-60 times — I bought it for range. The S60 would have been perfectly fine for performance if I had gone that route.
I didn’t notice much of a performance difference on the S60
The one thing that really stood out for me and was actually surprising was that the regenerative braking is very different on the S60. The S60 was set in “standard” mode just like my S85, but it is much less aggressive in how it slows down the car on the S60. I love the way regenerative braking slows my S85 down to the point that I rarely need to use the brakes and the S60 just didn’t have the same feel. I prefer the aggressiveness of the S85 on regenerative braking.
I prefer the aggressiveness of the S85 on regenerative braking.
The S60 had an option I chose not to get: Smart air suspension. I took some time to play with this since it was actually a feature I went back and forth on several times before I ended up skipping it. The feature currently costs $2,250 US at the time of order.
While parked, I played with raising and lowering the ride height. You can’t have your door open when you change it so its a bit difficult to observe. The changes in height are pretty small — just a few inches. It was cool to raise and lower the car from the touch screen. The low setting is definitely pretty low and lower than the standard suspension. The very high setting is also higher than the standard suspension. The high and normal seemed pretty close to me and about the same as the normal suspension. While that extra bit of height may help with the very high setting in some places, i’ve never had an issue bottoming out or clearing a reasonable curb with my standard suspension. The bottoming out argument seems like a pretty invalid reason to buy this option to me.
It was cool to raise and lower the car from the touch screen
I tried driving around with the various settings and some seemed to reset themselves while you were moving. I didn’t get a whole lot of time to play with them, but you could feel the difference at the different heights but I can’t say I preferred one setting over another with the time I had. I also didn’t get a chance to play with the jack mode.
What I did notice was the ride was different on the S60 — it was somehow smoother. Because it was a S60 and not a S85 I can’t say for certain that the difference was due to the smart air suspension or some difference in the weight of the S60, but I did like the way the car handled a bit better than my S85 with the standard suspension. After switching back to my S85 I was still very happy with its handling and didn’t miss the air suspension.
It was somehow smoother
I had active suspension in my MDX and on that car it was a barely noticeable gimmick. On the Model S air suspension seems to be much more “real” but also seems to me to be less practical than other options. Also maintenance costs on active suspension options are notoriously high which was the main reason I skipped the option when I ordered.
Maintenance costs on active suspension options are notoriously high
The S60 was equipped with the upgraded with the ultra high fidelity sound system. I’m not an audiophile and other than a visible “dolby” logo on one of the screens and an XM option for radio I couldn’t tell any difference in the sound or function. Unfortunately the XM radio (and Slacker!) in the loaner were not configured so I couldn’t try XM. I never considered getting the better sound system and have no regets there. The standard sound system on the Model S is excellent.
The standard sound system on the Model S is excellent.
The S60 also had the yacht floor installed. Depending on what decor you have the price for this can range from $650 to $850 US. I really didn’t like this at all. I found things still slid around on the yacht floor despite the rubber “rails” and the gloss black version they had installed showed all sorts of dirt/dust. Personally i’d like either a real center console or an all weather mat insert for this area. I think the yacht floor is a complete waste of money.
I think the yacht floor is a complete waste of money.
It was great of Tesla to lend me a car while they did the service and I enjoyed checking out some extra features on my own time. I was really hoping for a loaded P85+ to check out or even a Roadster but no such luck. Overall my impressions of the S60 loaner left me very happy with the choices I made for my own car and I was happy to get it back quickly.