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Finally Drove One

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by saxman, May 9, 2017.

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  1. saxman

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    I'm a little overdue posting this but have been busy the last couple weeks.

    I'm considering a Model 3 for my next vehicle and have never driven a fully electric vehicle. My wife and I were taking a quick vacation to Minneapolis without the kids. ☺️ I also had my birthday recently, so I convinced my wife my test drive I setup was my birthday gift to myself.

    We got to the Tesla store a little early so we started looking at the cars on the lot. We also checked out the model x in the store. Very cool car and the falcon doors are even more impressive in person. We then went in and one of the employees began talking to us and I explained we had a test drive appointment. We were waiting for the guy who called me but he was busy. We ended up going with the initial guy who welcomed us which was fine because he was very knowledgeable and friendly.

    So the test drive began. The first thing I noticed was how quiet and smooth the car pulled away (by the way, I was lucky enough to drive a P100d - he said the normal demos were all in use - DARN ). I immediately noticed how hard the car decelerated with the regenerative braking. I got used to it quickly but it's definitely a different feeling (similar to downshifting in a manual but smoother and feels like you all of a sudden drove into wet concrete). We get on the freeway and I got to do a full pull on the on ramp. Unfortunately, test drives are limited to p90d ludicrous. That said, the car pulled damn fast! It's definitely the fastest car I've ever driven. The crazy thing is how controlled a sub 2.5 second 0-60 can feel. I've driven a much slower 5.0 mustang and it felt really squirly on full acceleration. To me, that's part of the fun of fast cars though. It keeps you honest. ☺️

    So I also got to try autopilot. That's a little weird. When I first turned it on, it was making an adjustment which felt like it was going into the lane another car was in, so my instinct was to grab the wheel and turn back against it. Of course that kicked off autopilot and he said I put too much tension on the wheel. Yes I did, because I was a little freaked out. Autopilot was cool but freaky. I have a hard time being a passenger in a car anyway.

    I played with the screen a little hit and it's pretty awesome with 17 inches of real estate and seems to be pretty responsive (some lag here and there).

    My main goal was to experience all electric driving and I did that and then some. My most notable take away - getting back into our Ford Flex and starting it sounded so harsh and like something was wrong. Pulling away just felt exactly opposite how the Tesla felt which was pure, uninterrupted acceleration.

    As impressed as I was, deep down I still think I'd miss experiencing one more fun, manual transmission car with a loud, rumbling V8. The crazy acceleration of the S was pretty awesome, but there are aspects that are completely missing that would make driving a twisty road or just cruising the town boring in my opinion.

    An all electric Tesla would make an incredible daily driver. I just don't think it would be the perfect toy for going for a fun cruise around town or finding a curvy backroad to carve. Maybe approaching middle age is what's making me want to make one more irrational choice for a car. Maybe it's the lack of superchargers in my area. Whatever it is, something is telling me to hold off on electric for now.
     
  2. Michael Russo

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    @saxman , interesting report. Good you got to try it at least...

    Must admit your conclusion did surprise me a bit. Though I can understand the adrenaline rush generated by driving a roaring V8 muscle car (and will plead guilty to historically have dreamt to one day own a red car with the Cavallino Rampante - thank you, Enzo! ;)), my first test drive of a Model S a couple of years back (had two other runs at it since then the last one last Feb with a 'mere' 70D...) was a life altering experience in the most positive sense of the word!

    Bye bye, ICE... :cool:
    Greetings,
    Mike
    (As an aside, will never forget my wonderful 12 months in Rapid City in the Bicentennial year, another GREAT life altering experience! :))
     
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  3. Russell K Smith

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    I saw a video on you tube about destroying transportation in the future. It showed a jeep liberty has 2000 moving parts and tesla only has 18 moving parts. It would cost around $15,000 to operate the jeep liberty over 5 years but a Tesla cost over 5 years may cost $1,500. The safety features are so powerful that takes the worry from me about driving in my late years. You can charge at home and find destination chargers all over. Best of luck in your decisions.
     
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  4. saxman

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    Rapid City area has a lot of beautiful country and some pretty fun roads (the one that runs from Custer State Park to Mt. Rushmore) is windy, exhilarating fun. Even our porky Ford Flex Ecoboost was fun to roll back and forth through the curves. :) I wished Sioux Falls was on that side of that state. I'd definitely live there.
     
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  5. thredge

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    This past weekend, I also finally got the opportunity to test drive a Model S, and thought I'd share my impressions for discussions. Was going to start a new thread, but then I found saxman's post, so perfect. I also visited the Minneapolis store, which was understated, but the associate that helped us was very helpful and made us feel comfortable.

    I would say that overall, I don't think there was any fatal flaw that would completely dissuade me from going with a Tesla, which was my main interest in this test, but I will say I was a little disappointed in the size of the Model S. I keep seeing all of this information online talking about how big of a car it is and how much room it has, but I was disappointing in the interior space for passengers, after all that I had heard.

    I was able to bring my Pontiac G8 GT for comparison, which is considered a full sized car. Originally the Tesla associate said that the Model S would be a little bigger than the G8, but when we lined them up together, the silhouettes were almost identical. The main thing that is bigger on the Model S was the body width, but the way the cabin above is set back from the body, the interior widths seemed very similar. The space in the front was fine though, and I could easily live with it. The belt line and dash are a little higher in the S, which made the cabin feel a little more closed in than my car, but nothing to severe. The real disappointment was when my wife sat in the back seat and noticed there wasn't even enough head room for her, and she isn't overly tall at around 5'-7". When I tried it at 6'-2" there was no way I would be able to go on a very long trip, and my seating position wouldn't be good for getting in an accident. In the G8, I am actually able to sit in the back seat upright with my head right near the ceiling. Re-examining the silhouettes, I can see that as one of the big differences where the S roof line dives below the G8 in the back seat. So that made me sad, on to other impressions.

    Steering - I had heard comments about the steering being kind of vague and poor as well as the car being big and hard to navigate in tighter spaces, and was a little concerned. Testing the turning radius and wheel lock though, I was happy with it. Probably better than my G8, which has the front wheels all the way near the corners though. For a big car, they have done a good job on that. As for the feel, I didn't see any of the kind of floaty feeling I had heard about, it felt pretty sporty to me, so I was happy with it.

    Autopilot - loved it, I'll agree, the AP 2.0 need some work still, as it wasn't very smooth in a couple of situations. One was in a banked corner, and as it turned into the corner, it applied a bit too much turn in as the banking started and dove to the left line pretty severely. It caught it an brought it back, but it was a little surprising move. It also moved around a little more at a few on ramps where the right side line disappeared and the on ramp line was farther away. It kind of floated in the direction of the ramp like it was trying to recenter itself in a now wider lane. I'm sure this will do nothing but get better going forward though. It was funny, I've heard most people talk about how autopilot is weird for the first half an hour or so, but then you start trusting it more. I felt in the few minutes I was using it, I was ready to let it drive for me. Wish it could tell you were paying attention without keeping your hands on the wheel though, as that was the most awkward part. I don't have to keep my foot on the pedal when I use cruise control. It might have had something to do with the 3+ hour drive it took me to get there that morning too, but I'm ready, sign me up for Autopilot.

    Noise & Power - OK, let's go with power first, no brainier, great power, great control. Even flat out, the car feels so planted and lets you know you are still in control, with no drama. For noise, I wondered if I wouldn't like not having the sound of the engine, but I got over it real quick. The first impression of the sound we got was when we stepped out side to go get ready for the drive, and someone else pulled up in another S, dead quiet, could have snuck up and run us down if I hadn't noticed the car out of the corner of my eye. Love that it isn't a hey, look at me, loud type car. As for the noise, I'm over it, I think I will miss shifting gears and the raw grunt of a nice powerful motor, but I think I can sum up my impression. My G8 is no slouch in the power department. R&T was able to pull a 5.0s 0-60 time in their testing. Here is the thing though, after the Model S test drive, I needed to get up to speed on an on ramp, so I put a little more gas into it than I really needed to. Sure the grunt of the V8 sounded good, but I found myself thinking the whole time, "Man, it just sounds like it is trying to hard, and it isn't even keeping up with S." Things going through my head were, man, the wear and tear this is causing on the engine, and if I put my foot down harder, this thing is going to get real squirrely really quick. So in short, I was able to confirm, I'll be OK without the noise of the V8.

    Don't have to Start it - love the ability to have the key in your pocket, walk up, open the door, get in, put it in drive and go. Then when you are done, push the park button, get out, and walk away, the car locking itself once you are away from it. No extra steps required. Perfect.

    Screens - didn't get much time with the touch screen, but seemed responsive. I was a little disappointed to find that if I want to access anything on my iphone, like my music, I have to control it from the iPhone and can only do simple things like skips and stuff through the car. I suppose that could always change down the road too, but at least there is a connection. I liked the information for AP and battery use on the main screen, hope they do a good job transferring all that info to the Model 3 screen.

    Other Amenities - cup holders were OK. Also the new model has it's own floor console, which is nice to have now. The missing grab handles and hooks for laundry though are a bit silly. I get that it clutters the interior and Elon doesn't like the, but it's just silly not to provide something. I mean common, these are design challenges to be solved, not ignored. Now all this aftermarket stuff that people have to get to provide those solutions look like exactly what they are, a kluged fix for something that should have had a solution.

    Interior Quality - I will say the interior was nice, and I liked the simplicity, but I will say, I thought it might be a little nicer. It blows my G8 out of the water, but a co-worker with a Ford Torus SHO even has a really nice interior these days. Not that I minded it at all, just with the price tag it's a little underwhelming.

    Frunk - man, what happened? I guess they unified all the frunks now, and you get a little small one on any of the models. Mainly because of the space for the biohazard filter. That seems a little silly that they remove all that space even if you don't have a front motor or the biohazard filter.

    So, overall, like I said to start, my impression was that there was really nothing that would be a final deal breaker. So the main issues are that it is a nice car, but with the S, when you are spending that much money, it is just really disappointing to have to put up with things missing that are standard in much less expensive cars. Like the cup holders, coat hooks, and door pockets. Yes they clutter the design, but they are too useful to ignore. So the only other bigger issue to me is the head room in the back seat. Again, if you pay that much for a car, you don't love to compromise to much.
     
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  6. MelindaV

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    nice summary -
    I have never used a coat hook in any of the time I've driven (or ridden) in cars or owned a car with grab handles (beyond the door handles) so could really care less if they are there or not. My car with door pockets has it act like a trash can collecting straw wrappers and receipts - handy, but not really missed in my car without them either.
     
  7. Michael Russo

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    That's obviously going to be a matter of personal preference...

    I do use coat hangers regularly for my jacket as I drive to work... of course, that may not be necessary when I have Midnight S≡R≡NITY... :)

    There are always things in my door pockets and I make sure they get cleaned of trash on a frequent basis... ;)

    I typically stay clear of grab handles 'cause I find I can control my car better when I keep my two hands on the steering wheel...! :D
     
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  8. thredge

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    Lol, the grab handles are useful for passengers when driving...spiritedly. But yes, the hooks I use for dry cleaning and coats mainly. The other concern I have with the aftermarket ones is where they end up in relation to the side curtain air bags. You aren't supposed to use the hooks when someone is sitting in the back seat because hangers and anything else hard can become projectiles.

    For the side pockets, I'm pretty festidious like Michael is. They are really useful, but I can't stand trash and clutter in them.

    Was a great car all in all, just when you are thinking of spending that kind of money, you get some disappointment with missing out on a few creature comforts.
     
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  9. teslaliving

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    On the S, if you have the pano sunroof, you can cheaply add coat hooks:
    http://teslaliving.net/2014/07/14/tesla-model-s-coat-hooks-review/

    I'm hoping Tesla puts them as standard in the 3 but I suspect they wont as they didn't in the X and they had time to realize their "mistake". I'd love to see grab handles added (older people have a hard time with the S and probably will with the 3). Coat hooks would be nice too and I'm sure Tesla could figure a way to do both and not have them be ugly.
     
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  10. Jim Macfarlane

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    With regards to the original post, I have heard many people explain that they need the sound of a big engine to enjoy driving. With that in mind, would it be that difficult to modify a Model S to generate the sound of a V8 which is sync'd to the accelerator pedal. It would be good to see if this would work and try it on an unsuspecting driver :)
     
  11. ModFather

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    Playing cards in the spokes of the turbine wheels would work equally well.
     
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  12. Badback

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    Maybe we could have the sound piped directly into their brain so that we would not have to listen to their noise pollution.

    The family that lives across the road from us has two young sons (8 & 10) to which they have given two crappie dirt bikes. While we are trying to enjoy a quiet afternoon on the patio, they delight in revving the living soot (insert proper expletive here) out of these puny engines, they have removed the mufflers.

    When I told them that they were disturbing our quietude, they said that they were just having fun and didn't care if we were disturbed.

    When I asked then why they like making so much noise, they said that 'it makes them feel alive', which got me thinking...

    When I hear people talking about electric car intentionally making noise, I get to thinking the same thing.
     
  13. saxman

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    I totally missed that this thread had reawakened. After more information has come out about the model 3 and seeing how quickly the options will increase the price, I am leaning more toward a CPO Model S. I'd probably go with a P85 or P85+ to get my performance enthusiast fix.

    I am still mulling over a gas guzzling V8 too. At the top of that list... A Mustang GT350. Many say it's the best Mustang ever and a true driver's car that really engages the driver. When I hear of oil consumption issues with the Voodoo engine, I think "why would I put myself through this when electric offers near maintenance-free reliability with instant, insane torque and regenerative, brake-saving capability."

    The GT350 is the irrational, irresponsible, emotional choice. It's so tempting though. A mix of raw American muscle, European handling, and an exotic-like flat plane crank engine with a sound like nothing else. What's not to like about that?

    I'm not in a huge rush to buy anything thankfully. Otherwise, I might make an irrational decision. Since my original post, Sioux Falls has installed a bank of superchargers. Maybe that's my bluntly obvious sign.
     
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  14. garsh

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    Go test drive a P100D. After that, a gas-guzzling muscle car will never, ever satisfy your craving for power. It just doesn't compare.
     
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