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What's YOUR reason for getting/not getting the tech package?

What's YOUR reason for getting/not getting the tech package?

Here is the feature list for the tech package:

Xenon headlamps
Electrochromatic side mirrors
LED foglights
Convenience lighting
Power rear liftgate
High definition back-up camera
Homelink
Turn-by-turn navigation with seven years of free map updates
Automatic keyless entry

Xenon headlamps and Homelink are must-haves for me, the rest is just gravy adding to the "wow" factor.

What's driving your decision to include/exclude this package?

ViewAskew | 7 June, 2012

Personally the headlamps are to attractive to NOT put on the car. From a visual standing you have to get them to complete the look. Feature wise, I live and die by GPS so the turn-by-turn is a must. Getting 7 years of maps is a huge bonus. Power rear is a nice touch, we have that on our SUV and it adds a certain ease to loading/unloading. Homelink... nothing more to even say.

Everything else is just spoiling us in my opinion.

David70 | 7 June, 2012

My main reason is for getting the headlights. The other features make it seem less drastically overpriced.

DanD | 7 June, 2012

Why won't Google Maps work as a navigation system?

Don't have a frame of reference of the Xenon lights.

Are the Xenon lights worth $4K? For that money you could buy a second car.

jkirkebo | 7 June, 2012

They are worth $4k to me. The first mod i did to my Leaf was to replace the pathetic halogen highbeams with a 55W 4300k xenon kit. Night and day difference, literally.

The rest of the tech package is nice to have stuff but not essential. I'd say worth about $1k to me, I'd rather have the upgraded audio system if I had to choose.

stevenmaifert | 7 June, 2012

I'm skipping the tech package.

If the turn-by-turn navigation was offered as a stand alone option at a reasonable price (under $500) I would consider it, but with so many smartphones having it these days, and a top-of-the-line Garmin with lifetime maps and traffic alerts going for $400, I would not buy the tech package just for the nav.

Check out the auto-dimming rear view mirrors with built in Homelink on Amazon.com. Less money than you might think. Check out the Xenon headlamp conversion kits there too.

The picture quality difference between an HD and SD backup camera on such a small screen can't be that dramatic. Is the visibility out the liftgate window so restricted that we need a backup camera?

Nothing else in the tech package is a "must have" for me.

prash.saka | 7 June, 2012

@stevenmaifert, you and I have the exact same reason to not get the tech package. By the wa, the visibility of the rear liftgate is really low and is a BIG concern for me.

GPS upgrades is not worth much. I mean, how many of us spend $200 every year to upgrade our GPS's? I have a GPS from 2006, which I upgraded exactly zero times. I prefer to not have the xenon headlamps as they may be good for the driver, but a nightmare for vehicles going in the opposite direction.

I'd love to have the power rear liftgate but it is definitely not worth the additional $4k.

~ Prash.

ParkCityKen | 7 June, 2012

The backup camera alone is worth the price. The cost ... in dollars and tears ... of seeing a dent in our new Model S is enormous!

Liz G | 7 June, 2012

(Throwing my hands up in the air on this one!)

I really want the door handles and the lights, but don't know if I want them for $4K. I could careless about the nav or the home link. Wish they had split these into 2 packages.

TikiMan | 7 June, 2012

IMHO, it's about like buying an iPhone, and not getting a data plan. The whole point of this car is to enjoy all the amazing tech advances. But then again, to each his own.

For me, the HD backup camera will be a huge benefit, as I find so many people can't hear or see a ICE car backing up, much less a almost silent EV. It's up the the driver now days to make sure it's safe to move.

stevenmaifert | 7 June, 2012

I think of it as like buying an iPhone, but not installing all the available apps. We tailor it to suit our needs and our pocketbooks. The goodies in the tech package are all nifty upgrades, but I'm on a budget and have to consider the value added to my driving experience verses cost. At $3,750, it's just not there for me.

I'm not arguing with the need for a backup camera if the visibility out the liftgate window is truly that restricted. The S comes with an SD camera. I just question if the HD picture resolution as displayed on a small 17" screen is so much better than SD as to justify the extra expense.

Brian H | 7 June, 2012

steven;
Yes, you'd think the SD would be more than adequate for close-in safety use. The HD is almost a sight-seeing option, admiring where you've just been!?!

Thumper | 7 June, 2012

I'm getting it for the lights, seats and homelink. Still hoping it has blind-spot warning. Does anyone have confirmation of that one way or the other?

Sudre_ | 7 June, 2012

I think a standard backup camera will suit me just fine. I will still turn my head and physically look at where I am going.

I can afford the tethering package for my phone so I will be able to use Google maps just like I do on my wireless only tablet so I do not need map updates. Now that Google maps caches whatever sections you have memory for I don't see the need for mapping software anymore.

Some day a headlight will burn out and I can buy fancy light bulbs then. If I really want a cool color light bulb sooner I'll go by one a lot cheaper. They do sell replacements bulbs for less than 4k.

I have used the interior lights in my current car..... I think maybe a dozen times in 12 years. I will admit I am not much of a driver tho. Less than 5000 miles a years. This is one feature I think I might like but not for this cost.

I am already used to pushing a button to get into my car so I can live without the auto entry.

Power lift gate.... really..... rather than just unlock I guess it also opens. Another feature I do not have currently so I won't know what I am missing.

Home link. I don't mind the garage door opener for my detached garage clipped to the visor.

Never had fog lights before but as I get older I guess it could get harder to see at night and I might need them but I am good for now.

If I have any extra funds I will probably put them towards a bigger battery.

jerry3 | 7 June, 2012

Before I had auto entry, I though it was kind of a toy that I'd use maybe once or twice. After using it a month I found that it was something I would never do without if I could at all afford it. After a few years of use cars without it just seem so quaint. (Think Mr. Scott when he tries to talk into the computer mouse and then has to settle for using the keyboard)

CurrieG | 7 June, 2012

I am getting the Tech Package because I want:

Xenon headlamps
Electrochromatic side mirrors
LED foglights
Convenience lighting
Power rear liftgate (nice to have)
High definition back-up camera
Homelink
Turn-by-turn navigation with seven years of free map updates
Automatic keyless entry

A car this level should have all these things... Now that I have them on my TL I don't want to be without these items. They are a
ALL worth while!

ddruz | 7 June, 2012

I for one am very glad Tesla made the Tech Package an option and did not include it in the base price of the car. Since the base car will have navigation via Google Maps and a standard def backup camera everything in the tech package is indeed a luxury plus for those who can afford it. For those of us who are working within monetary constraints we have the option.

jbunn | 7 June, 2012

Would have liked to see the tech package bruken into smaller units, but oh well. Would have liked keyless, but thats it. Can after market headlights anytime. Good the package isnt resuired on 2012s....

mitrabbit | 7 June, 2012

I really need the best lighting. Where do we find and buy and install aftermarket replacements that fit?

Timo | 7 June, 2012

Xenon lights would be enough reason to me. LED foglights are nice addition too. backup camera is something I don't need and you get a less quality camera anyway, don't need homelink or liftgate. Turn by turn navigation is something I would like to have because I don't know the quality of the alternative basic navigation. Electrochromatic side mirrors are a nice addition.

But main reason would be the xenon headlights.

Teoatawki | 8 June, 2012

I guess I've been spoiled, and my navigation skills have suffered over the last decade because of built in nav systems. I also thought a power lift gate was a pretty useless item until I could walk up with a full armload of groceries and could have the gate open with a press of the button on the fob in my hand.

As for the other features:

Xenon headlamps - check
Electrochromatic side mirrors - never had them, so wouldn't miss them. I will appreciate them when they do their job, though.
LED foglights - check
Convenience lighting - very nice, but hardly necessary for me
High definition back-up camera - I've come to depend on it, especially in crowded parking lots.
Homelink - this is a home safety and security feature. I don't want a remote stolen from my car to grant access to my home.
Automatic keyless entry - this is just too cool! Rather than pressing a button in my pocket, my car simply extends its door handles like it is happy to see me. Remember Clarke's law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Volker.Berlin | 8 June, 2012

... my car simply extends its door handles like it is happy to see me. (The end of all things as we know it)

Exactly my connotation. Love the idea. (Not sure it is worth $4k, though.) And your nickname is still my favorite among all the nicknames in this forum... ;-)

Volker.Berlin | 8 June, 2012

I definitely want: Xenon headlamps, Electrochromatic side mirrors, Convenience lighting, Automatic keyless entry

I'm glad to get "for free" (since it's a package, otherwise I would still consider these depending on their additional cost): LED foglights, Power rear liftgate, Turn-by-turn navigation with seven years of free map updates, Homelink

I don't care at all about: High definition back-up camera (since a low-res version comes standard)

Teoatawki | 8 June, 2012

Thanks, Volker! I totally agree that having my car be "happy to see me" is not worth anywhere close to $4k. But it is a feature that will make me smile every time. On second thought, never underestimate the value of a smile! Maybe it's a bargain after all.

jkirkebo | 8 June, 2012

Upgrading to xenon lights later is not easy since on low beams, automatic height adjustnent is required. Upgrading the Leaf high beams were not a problem, since the low beams were already LEDs. So you can't just swap bulbs in the low beam assembly, you'd have to swap the whole headlight and also install quite a few extra parts.

Well, you could in theory swap just the bulbs, but it would be illegal and you'd blind oncoming drivers all the time. Not just because of no height adjustment, but also the light pattern would be all wrong since xenons need a different reflector to work well in low beams.

DanD | 8 June, 2012

So Xenon lights are those annoyingly bright lights that temporarily blind you when they're coming your way? Seems like $4k is a lot to pay to become a road hazard. In the northeast most driving is city driving anyway and we have streetlights.

I've never had back-up cameras so the SD version would be a shock the system anyway.

I've never had a navigation system but just got a phone that has one. $4K seems like a lot to pay for the 2 or 3 times a year I drive without knowing where I'm going.

Don't know what Homelink is but if its a garage door opener, it seems a bit crazy to have that as an expensive option. Our Honda Pilot came standard with that 6 years ago.

The automatic lift sounds nice and so do fancy keys, but for $4K I can tip valet guys into the forseeable future to open doors for me.

MandL | 8 June, 2012

Because I'm a geek and it's called the tech package.

+1 on "Happy to see me". I'm not spending 3x as much as I've ever spent on a car and not getting one of the biggest show-off features.

EFusco | 8 June, 2012

I'm 8 1/2 + years into the ownership of my 2004 Prius. From day one until this day the one feature I most appreciate, find useful and enjoy is the smart key system. There is little that can compete with the multiple time per day convenience of being able to just walk up to the car, open the door, sit down and start up and go. I realize it seems minor and have heard a hundred times how easy it is to push a button on a fob and insert the key, but I'm telling you it is such a convenience. Some have compared it to the difference b/w a universal remote and a knob-type channel tuner on a TV--and I would have to agree.

Homelink is also a huge bonus, hate digging for remote controls or having the ugly thing stuck to the sun visor.

I hear the Xenon headlamps are awesome--I guess, not a huge issue for me, but I"m sure I'll like them.

I don't know that a HD backup camera is any more important than a SD backup camera, but whatever, if it keeps me from backing into someone or something, then that's going to be worth the cost right there.

The nav-I'm sure it will get some use, but with a shortish range car I probably won't need to use it too often, but it's always convenient to have a high quality turn by turn nav available.

Sousaphil | 8 June, 2012

I had Xenon bulbs when I had an Acura TL. I loved them when driving through central PA (where I lived at the time) at night. The lines on the road and the street signs really pop at night. Plus, I found it much easier to see woodland creatures lurking in the night.

Now that I'm in AZ, I definitely want them. I'm in a neighborhood/city that does whatever it can to combat light pollution. It's great for viewing the night sky, but the roads are either poorly lit or unlit.

gianni.terragni | 8 June, 2012

I definitely want: Xenon headlamps, Electrochromatic side mirrors, Convenience lighting, Automatic keyless entry

I'm glad to get "for free" (since it's a package, otherwise I would still consider these depending on their additional cost): LED foglights, Power rear liftgate, Turn-by-turn navigation with seven years of free map updates, Homelink

I don't care at all about: High definition back-up camera (since a low-res version comes standard)

Thanks Volker.Berlin I found written what I wonted to write

stevenmaifert | 8 June, 2012

Door handle question. It's my understanding that the car senses your presence when you have the keyless fob in your pocket. If you have the tech package, the handle extends automatically and if you don't, you have to touch the handle to get it to extend. Do I have that right?

Timo | 8 June, 2012

DanD | June 8, 2012

So Xenon lights are those annoyingly bright lights that temporarily blind you when they're coming your way? Seems like $4k is a lot to pay to become a road hazard.

Those that blind you have been directed in wrong way and usually in some older car as aftermarket job. High beams have to be bright in order to be any good. Because Tesla is offering them I believe they work just fine in Model S and don't blind the oncoming traffic (of course ordinary H4 would blind you as well if driver doesn't switch to low beams when coming at your direction).

prash.saka | 8 June, 2012

@Timo, is that really true? I read something like that on a blog, that only poorly-installed after-market lights are the culprits and the ones that are factory-installed are pretty good. If it is, that is good to know.

~ Prash.

Timo | 8 June, 2012

Well, I can't be sure of course, this is all just hearsay, but for my own experience relatively new cars with properly directed xenon lights do not blind you. Quite opposite in fact, to me it looks like xenon lights have better and more focused shape of the beam so if they are properly directed it causes less glare from the scattered reflections from the headlamp.

jcadman22 | 8 June, 2012

@EFusco I have an '04 Prius too, when I brought it home on the very first night I wanted to read the owners manual. When I went outside and approached the car the dome light came on and it put the biggest smile on my face. It was exactly like the VW ad where the husband calls his wife out of the house so he can show her that you can put the windows down with the key (http://goo.gl/nWCTm) Keyless entry is one of the big reasons I plan on getting the tech package. "Model S, Spread the joy" :-)

Volker.Berlin | 8 June, 2012

It's my understanding that the car senses your presence when you have the keyless fob in your pocket. If you have the tech package, the handle extends automatically and if you don't, you have to touch the handle to get it to extend. Do I have that right? (stevenmaifert)

At least, that's my understanding as well.

sftesla | 8 June, 2012

I'm with all the Prius owners on the wonders of the Smart Key. I find myself annoyed when I actually have to take my keys out in order to open the lock on the front door of my house. It's especially confusing if you have one car with a smart key and one car without. I frequently walk up to my Mitsubishi i and touch the door handle several times waiting for the car to unlock. The automatic keyless entry is the only thing I want in the Tech package, and I'm trying to convince myself that I want all the other features so I can justify the 4K.

pete8314 | 8 June, 2012

Agree with MandL, because it's called the Tech Package! Sure, I'm a sucker for marketing, but, nearly all of it is useful stuff, and compared to what I've paid for the same features on other brands, it's competitive, if not a little cheaper.

Those getting dazzled by 'xenon' lights, yes, I'm sure most of those are poorly-aligned retro-fits, or, worse still, ultra-bright blue bulbs that look a bit like xenon. Factory-fit xenon lights have (by law, I think) electronic alignment motors to prevent the dazzling, that's why they do the little dance each time they're turned on. The beam of might is also much more focused, which is why (in the UK at least) it's also law to have headlight washers, as just a medium sized bug ca reduce the light output dramatically.

For me, the xenons (for looks, and usefulness) are the most important feature from this pack, closely followed by the keyless entry, as I'm sorely reminded whenever I use my wife's care, that doesn't have that option. I hope it also means keyless start.

BYT | 8 June, 2012

I am getting the Tech Package because, well, it's standard on the Signature and I like:

1) Xenon headlamps
2) Electrochromatic side mirrors
3) LED foglights
4) Convenience lighting (I do want to see this car at night)
5) Power rear liftgate (comes in handy for loading the +2's that I will have)
6) Turn-by-turn navigation with seven years of free map updates (enough said)
7) Automatic keyless entry (this was important to me as well so I don't have to touch the handle to eject them and open the car)

These two I can pass on so not a factor for me:

1) High definition back-up camera (not sure how this would be all that much better then low res for backing up unless it has some identifiers or beeping when you get to close to stuff maybe)
2) Homelink (because it never worked on my last car anyway)

Sousaphil | 8 June, 2012

@BYT,
When I tried to sync the Homelink in my Prius by using the garage remote control, I failed.

I had to get on a ladder and press a button on the garage opener itself to "learn" the Prius control. It worked.

@pete8314,

What do you mean by keyless start?
I read that buckling the seat belt would turn the car fully on if you had the fob on you. I'm also hoping to see a mobile app with remote functionality.

BYT | 8 June, 2012

Thanks Sousaphil, good to know! I think I put about 45 seconds into figuring it out and gave up too soon! :)

Liz G | 8 June, 2012

@sftesla - right there with you.

I really want the door handles but having a hard time convincing my other half they are worth $4K.

Keep asking my Tesla Rep if Marketing would split the tech package into two separate packages; lights and door handles vs Nav and homelink

jerry3 | 8 June, 2012

- So Xenon lights are those annoyingly bright lights that temporarily blind you when they're coming your way?

That is the same thing that people said about halogen lights when they first came in to replace sealed beams. The problem will go away once the majority of the cars have LED or HID lights, just like the problem went away when most cars had halogen.

Regardless of type, poorly adjusted lights will blind the other drivers--and there are a lot of poorly adjust lights out there.

digitaltim | 8 June, 2012

The key to Xenon lights is to make sure the are self-leveling - do we know if the ones in the Model S are?

jkirkebo | 9 June, 2012

If they aren't self-leveling they won't be able to sell the car with xenons in Europe.

jerry3 | 9 June, 2012

- The key to Xenon lights is to make sure the are self-leveling - do we know if the ones in the Model S are?

The air suspension is self-leveling so that should take care of it. (Using the suspension to adjust the light level is how the Prius does it, albeit in a different way--the suspension only provides the clue that leveling needs to happen.)

No doubt the standard suspension will have a mechanism similar to the Prius'.

Dr Chill | 9 June, 2012

I don't really care what's in the package. If it's called tech, I want it. That being said, The only part of the package I wouldn't have ordered separately are the electrochromic mirrors.

Timothy420 | 9 June, 2012

I would rather upgrade the rims and roof then 4k on a tech package. This is disappointing upselling. I don't see the value. :(

jerry3 | 9 June, 2012

It's no worse than what other companies do. On the 2004 Prius I paid $5k for the Nav system, keyless entry, handsfree phone, and some additional safety features, including HID. I don't see there being much of a difference either in price or what you get for the money. I'm not sorry I purchased them either.

Designtime | 10 June, 2012

I am not getting it. It is not because of cost, but subjective lack of value.

Navigation on my phone works perectly the few times a year I need it. What is really disappointing to me is the lack of Technology in the tech package. They are convenience features for sure, but telling my technolgy centric friends that I got the tech package on this car would seem analagous to telling them how advanced by CD player was.

petero | 10 June, 2012

Why am I getting it? It is not the value or how much I “need or want” any of the features. I am getting it for peace of mind. I don’t want to look back in a year and say “I wish I had this or that.” Once you feel you are missing something it is an unhappy slide down the road of dissatisfaction. Also, as profane as this sounds, it is only money. I can always earn more. Surprise, I am only getting the 60Kwh battery.

On the bright side, I may have to re-evaluate my designed “S.” Elon’s teaser may make supercharging a must have!

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