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One thing you see all the time on the Tesla Forums is prospective buyers making a Model S configuration and then asking for feedback from other members of the forums on the configuration. It’s pretty subjective as to what paint color is best etc. so I find the question funny. Also the choices may well be limited by a tight budget which the other forum members may not know. Rather than subjective information it would be helpful to new owners to know how people are ordering the Tesla Model S by the numbers.

One thing I thought would be interesting was to collect data from the forums and then use that data to see what people are picking. Fortunately some nice folks have summarized a bit of it into a google doc that can be used to extract some numbers. The data set is really small with a total of 115 entries which represents less than 1% of all orders but it is at least something to work with. The data below is definitely limited to the law of small numbers plus it only represents data from those that post to the forums. Obviously Tesla would have much better data on all this but they aren’t sharing.

So lets see what the numbers tell us.


It’s no surprise that the data shows 93% of orders are being delivered to people in the US given Tesla’s home country and later launch into other markets.

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Within the US as you may expect, California leads the pack at 37% with North Carolina in second place followed by Massachusetts, Maryland, and Georgia in 3rd place.

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While it adds a significant cost to the car, it should also not be a surprise to most that 93% of people are ordering the largest battery offered (85 kWh). Only people with the larger battery can order the higher performance model (“P”) which is also a costly upgrade. Only 32% of people with the 85 kWh battery choose the performance model. There’s a secondary choice on the performance model which they call Performance Plus or “P+”. Of those choosing the performance model only 33% chose performance plus. If you see a Tesla P85+ only 10% of Teslas are configured that way.


Given all the people anxiously waiting for delivery in the forums I was interested to see that only 90% of the people chose the earliest delivery date. Perhaps for some its related to vacations, travel or the end of a lease term. Regardless, some people are more patient than others!


When it comes to colors, everybody has their own preference. Black leads the pack at 23% with blue and grey a tie for second at 18%. Personally I think the Grey color is the best 🙂

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The interior color choice is related to the exterior choice and what people think the best combinations are. 76% of buyers are choosing some form of leather. The choice of color in the leather is pretty evenly split between all 3 color offerings. In decor, “Piano Black” stands out at 51% with the others all at about the same percentages.

At 2%, almost nobody buys Tesla’s paint armor as there are much better after-market offerings out there and the reviews of the one Tesla offers are weak at best.

I found it interesting that the red brake calipers are only chosen by 39% of the P85 customers as they’re a free option when choosing the P85 and a pretty cool look. The spoiler is more popular with 52% of P85 customers choosing it.


The Tesla Panoramic sunroof is popular with 69% of buyers choosing it. If you don’t select the sunroof your option is a body colored roof or a black roof. The body colored roof is the usual choice at 28% of the remaining buyers. So if you don’t like a sunroof you’re likely to get the body colored roof.


85% of buyers buy the technology package which includes turn by turn routing, powered liftgate and many other great features. Some of the other options are restricted unless you have the technology package. 80% of the people that pick the technology package opt for parking sensors, but only 37% of them choose fog lights.

The Subzero weather package is not too popular at 26% but may grow over time as Tesla gains strength in the North East and Europe. I’m sure their raging success in Norway has to be helping with that option. I was surprised that 41% of buyers are choosing the premium sound option as it is a very pricy option that also requires a subscription for XM use.

At 45%, almost half the people choosing the technology package are also choosing smart air suspension.

I thought was crazy when I added the premium interior lighting package at an add on price of $1,000, but 81% of buyers are doing the same thing. That makes me feel a lot better about my decision!

People really like the parcel shelf with 81% of buyers choosing it. Perhaps the non-buyers like me are coming from a SUV or hatchback where they’re used to that area being exposed/open. My only concern when I didn’t choose it are the rumors of extra noise without it.


Only 37% of buyers are choosing dual chargers which they may regret in the future. Hopefully better education in this area will avoid future buyers remorse or unnecessary post-delivery expenses to add it.

Supercharging is mostly limited to the 85kWh battery buyers as it’s included. Few 60 kWh battery buyers add the Supercharging option.

The “normal” car

If you took the most popular options you’d end up buying an 85 kWh (non-performance) Tesla that is black with a panoramic sunroof with the Piano Black decor, the tech package, parking sensors and the parcel shelf. This configuration goes for $83,070 after Federal and state incentives.


The options you pick for your Tesla Model S are your choice and over and over again the forums will tell you that you can’t buy a bad Tesla. But hopefully if you’re struggling with choices knowing what other people are doing by the numbers above and in-depth discussions of some of the features will help ease that decision process and get you into your Model S faster.

This post first appeared on Teslarati.