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24 hours with my first Model S

Discussion in 'Model S' started by kirkbauer, Jun 27, 2015.

  1. kirkbauer

    kirkbauer Member

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    #1 kirkbauer, Jun 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
    I wanted to share some thoughts on my new P85D. For reference, my previous cars have been an 2001 Acura 3.2CL, 2004 911 Turbo S Cabriolet, 2010 Audi Q7 TDI, 2010 Lexus HS250h (hybrid). I had high expectations for the Model S, basically hoping for way better economy than my Hybrid, quality/luxury close to that of my Audi, and performance that beats everything I've ever owned, and it delivered. I can already tell it is the best car I have ever owned.

    Now, I'm the kind of person that has lots of ideas and I wanted to share them here. I know there are people on the forums that don't own a MS yet, please don't take any of this to mean I'm unhappy with the vehicle. In fact I'm hoping many of these could be improved through software updates (what's the official method to suggest those?) and likely others can be fixed/improved with suggestions from more veteran owners.

    First, the disadvantages I was aware of up front:
    • I would have loved to have a convertible option (perhaps even a hard-top?) but obviously not realistic today. Perhaps the panoramic roof will be an adequate substitute, but it is summer in Atlanta right now so I can't report on that yet.
    • Once in a while I'll miss the engine sound... there are some cars that sound great I could have bought for $100k+ (e.g. I love the sound of a Maserati). On the other hand, the car is even quieter and smoother than I expected, even with 21" wheels. Also loud engines get noticed by police too.
    • I would have liked air-conditioned seats, however I have already found that using the mobile app to pre-condition the car is a substitute or really better than a/c seats (if you remember to do it).
    • I had a heads-up display on my Lexus and it was very nice, I will miss that a little (although admittedly the Lexus one didn't get along with my polarized sunglasses so I didn't use it as much as I should have).

    Next, some disadvantages I learned after placing my order and doing my test drive (through the forums) but certainly didn't cause me to change my mind:
    • No spare tire: this is my first vehicle without a spare tire. I hear roadside assistance is great, but I'm fearing being stuck in Alabama with a flat tire or damaged wheel with my wife and two kids and a deadline to meet. Especially with the 21" wheels.
    • I'd heard about Tesla service coming to you, but found out I'm more than 10 miles from the service center. But then I realized my work is within 10 miles so I'll just get them to drop off the loaner and pick up my car from work.
    • Performance on the P85D decreases as charge level decreases. In reality I haven't even noticed any decrease going from 100% charge down to 50% charge. Perhaps I will one day.
    • I'm going to have to deal with registering the can in GA since Tesla isn't a dealership. Not looking forward to that.
    • I'm going to be charged $200/yr for an EV tax that is most likely not deductible on my federal taxes. Sadly enough I live so close to work and used to drive a hybrid that this might be more than I paid in gas. However we'll probably use the Tesla for some road trips that we would have done in our mini van so that will save some gas.

    Some nice surprises I have learned about the car:
    • Again, the quiet is stunning.
    • The all-black interior with matte wood looks incredible.
    • The performance is still stunning, at all charge levels and speeds I have incredible power.
    • My 3.5yo daughter loves the 3rd-row seats (which we didn't get to see before ordering).
    • The GUI-based walk-through of HomeLink setup was incredible, much better than using the manual.
    • I can't tell for sure, but it seems the lane-departure vibration actually feels like it is coming from the side of the car that is causing the issue.
    • We have dynamic speed limit signs on I-285 in Atlanta and it seems to read those correctly.

    Finally, some things I have observed during my first 24 hours and some suggestions to Tesla:
    • The only thing that really bothers me is that Creep Mode and Sport/Insane acceleration mode are NOT tied to driver profiles. My wife wants both of these set to the opposite of what I want them set to. The reality is we are going to have to agree on common settings because it is a hassle to manually change them back and forth each time and a possible safety concern if one of us forgets to change them.
    • I was surprised at the lack of storage in the front seat such as no door pockets, etc. This is my first vehicle without a sunglasses holder, for example. I'm using the small shelf under the main display, however even with the rubber grippy lining my glasses fly out during acceleration.
    • I kind of like the lack of center console, kind of freeing. But I really need better cupholders. I ordered the evannex insert and it didn't match my decor well enough, now I have ordered the official one.
    • I'd like to be able to map air suspension control to the steering wheel (like you can with the pano roof). It is kind of slow to increase the height via the main display. Perhaps as I get more settings stored with GPS it will be less necessary (does the car tell you when it is adjusting based on GPS?)
    • I'm surprised you can only have three HomeLink devices, it would be nice to have more (not that I need them, but some people might). I do like how the menu drops down when you get near the location of the devices but perhaps those could be on the steering wheel controls too?
    • I'm not willing to jump into the learning mode for pre-conditioning quite yet, not sure it will give me enough visibility into what it is doing and why. But I'd like to be able to schedule without using the VisibleTesla app.
    • For scheduled charging, why can't we tell the car when we want charging to finish rather than telling it when to start? I'd love the charge to finish right at about 7:45AM each morning but when it should start depends on how much it needs to charge.
    • I was unloading groceries from my car and making several trips. Each time I opened the door the A/C started up, then when I closed the door it stopped. Seems inefficient, would be nice perhaps if it just kept running for a bit after leaving the car? But I do like that I can open the door for my wife or kids and the A/C starts before I'm in the car.
    • Blind-spot detection is pretty useless at the moment, I'm assuming it will improve with more AutoPilot improvements.
    • With traffic-aware cruise control, the vehicle starts braking too late IMO. I'd like to see it ease off the gas earlier and use only regenerative braking whenever possible. It makes me nervous too, but perhaps I'll get used to it.
    • When pulling in to my garage it seems impossible to avoid getting the red "stop" warnings from the parking sensors. It seems to alert that I'm only a few inches away from the edges of the door opening from side to side but I'm moving forward so it doesn't seem that big of deal to me. I'm hoping AutoPilot can handle my garage's size.
    • I'd like a little stronger indication that the car is in park and the brake is on, perhaps an audible confirmation? The first time I wanted to get out of my car on my very steep driveway I was pretty freaked out that the car would start rolling downhill.
    • As far as I can tell, if I set the audible warning to say 10mph over the speed limit, then the little white line on the speedometer will also be drawn at 10mph over. I suppose I'd love to have the white line represent the speed limit while also having an alarm at say 20mph over.
    • Waze integration would be great
    • Pandora would be great
    • I've heard there will eventually be an SDK for third-parties to create new apps. That would be great!
    • I was happy to hear there was an API but then unhappy to hear that technically we aren't supposed to use it (e.g. VisibleTesla).
    • Slacker Radio will cost me something after the first year, right?
    • Does the LTE connection ever cost anything?
     
  2. PhinFL

    PhinFL Member

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    Congratulations on your new ride. I too just took delivery a few days ago and if I created a list of "nice to haves" we would be pretty spot on with one another. Well written and well thought out.
     
  3. dkonigs

    dkonigs Member

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    I've had my Model S for about a month now, and have a lot of the same complaints. I can sum up some of them as:
    - All the "enter the car" convenience features are designed in complete ignorance of any use case other than "I want to get in and drive." Lots of things turn on and off when you just want to get something out of the back seat, for example, and its really annoying after a while. It would be nice if they had an option to not actually "turn on all the things" until you actually do something to take the car out of "Car Off" mode.
    - I'm not comfortable with the adaptive cruise control either, for the same reasons. However, thanks to how well "one pedal driving" works, this is probably the easiest car I've ever driven for non-cruise-control highway driving (especially in heavy traffic).
    - I also don't trust the blind spot detection as well as I do with the equivalent feature in my wife's Subaru. Its just not sensitive enough, and I see the "disabled" warning on the dash a bit too often (though my wife's car doesn't even have such a warning). Thankfully, I'm used to not having such a feature (previous car didn't), so it doesn't bother me too much.
     
  4. SW2Fiddler

    SW2Fiddler Bannd Member

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    You have good ideas.
    To share them with Tesla, press and hold the Voice Command button and say "Note," followed by twenty seconds or so of your input. Some people like to say "Bug Report" and according to the manual, both work.
     
  5. smilepak

    smilepak Member

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    Interesting...there is an EV TAX? Is that so the state can make money of EV vehicle due to unable to make it from the gasoline people normally paid to?

    I have a spare tire on my Lexus GS and my last few cars. Knock on wood, haven't had the need to use them. But then again, I haven't gone above 18". I find the spare add too much weight and would rather use run flats.

    I live in California and for me the service center is over 25 miles away, in LA Traffic that's far! Lol

    I can see Tesla trying to position itself as a high end luxury car, but I find it fall short on offering to make it as such. Might be due to the cost of the battery preventing it to do so. Once, in theory, battery price decreases, I could see them offer more standard items rather than dropping the price to maintain that position of luxury vehicle.

    Load this on your Tesla Browser - Waze integration - http://tesla-waze.excelsis.com/
     
  6. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Congrats on the car. Very few cars actually come with a spare now from what I understand so having a repair kit in the trunk is a good idea.
     
  7. kirkbauer

    kirkbauer Member

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    That's exactly it. Funny enough for the last year or two they paid us $5k in tax credit to buy an EV, now they are charging the EV tax...
     
  8. Khatsalano

    Khatsalano Member

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    You are very detail oriented, KirkB. I have also thought a lot of the same things when I first got the car. Now at 12,000 miles later, I've learned to love things like the negative space created by not having a console. I also like that there isn't interior storage (I really was unhappy about this at first) because where there is no capacity to store clutter, I don't create clutter.

    I especially thought a lot about your comment that you missed the engine roar and noise of acceleration. I did for a little bit, and now I don't. I just came back from a movie tonight where there was a very high fidelity ICE car ad before the feature film. It featured lots of rich, bassy sounds as the car accelerated on a huge screen in front of me. I couldn't help but think, wow, what an antiquated noise. It's like an ICE driver missing the sound of a horse-drawn wagon. Or like an iPhone user missing the days when we had Blackberry physical key clicks. Or like the first time I used an HP48G calculator with RPN, only to miss the clicks of the ol' abacus. I think you get my drift, eh? :)

    - K
     
  9. freelancer

    freelancer Member

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    Yes. After the 1st 4 years, AT&T will send you a letter asking if you want to continue the service for $30/month. You can chose to decline it.
     
  10. manis

    manis Member

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    Interesting. When I asked the sales guy he said it hadn't been announced, but it should be like adding an iPad to my account. Is AT&T the only network that it will work with?
     
  11. parkwaechter

    parkwaechter New Member

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    You are right! That's all the same I feel with my P85D, I got in March. An other thing I'm missing is the "speed limiter" which you can activate on the steering wheel. I have had it with my last three cars and if you use it, you drive very comfortable with out the fear of driving too fast. It would be good for all, who didn't know what it is, to test it with a Renault or Citroën where it easy to handle and works perfect.
     
  12. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    Yes, just below the speedo.

    I already had to decide on which wouldn't be covered as I have 4 openers to control. I imagine this is a licensing thing or the hardware provided by Homelink as every Homelink I've ever seen (which is only a few though) has been limited to three devices.

    For this, I just usually do not close one door all the way so the ac just keeps running until I'm done.
     
  13. PhinFL

    PhinFL Member

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    The bit about missing the sound of the engine. I agree to some extent. There is a bit of rush when you hear that guttural sound of a well tuned exhaust. That being said, I am over hearing these obnoxious coffee can, $1.99 exhaust systems coming off these 4-bangers pushing 150hp. I was out driving yesterday and pulled up next to one at a red light. The guy inside started revving his little engine, spewing all this noise pollution as if he wanted to "test" how fast Tesla's really are. Needless to say, the light turned green, I pushed the accelerator 1/2 way down, he ROARED (I whoosed) off the line... all I saw was his front bumper in my rear view camera getting smaller and smaller. Amazingly enough, if there was a cop anywhere in the vicinity, he would have gotten the attention a hell of a lot sooner than me despite me leaving him in my wake.

    I compare Tesla to ICE this way... there is something pretty magical about being on a sailboat, hearing the wind in the sails, the water lapping up against the hull. While power boating is pretty incredible as well, the noise and the smell of exhaust are not high on my list.
     
  14. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    Has this actually happened to anyone?

    I know Tesla said it was included for 4 years, and Elon has been quoted as saying he'd like to make it free forever but isn't sure if he can make that work.
     
  15. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    Source? Tesla has not announced anything other than what initially was going to be one year of free connectivity was extended to four years of free connectivity. This was for 3G, nothing different has been announced for LTE.

    About the OPs question regarding Slacker, there have never been any plans to charge for Slacker.
     
  16. Scoper

    Scoper Member

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    Hm, the delivery specialist said that LTE was included gratis for the life of the car! Just took delivery a week and a half ago. My charging cable just died. They are dropping one off this afternoon - on a Sunday, no less. Pretty impressed with the service, to say the least.
     
  17. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    I am temporarily helping with deliveries, and asked what to say about this. I was told 4 years.
     
  18. stephenpace

    stephenpace VIN S00219

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    I believe your delivery specialist was mistaken--go back and ask for that in writing. :) Official stance from Tesla is '4 years free' but no word on the cost after that because Tesla is trying to get as many cars on the road before that to negotiate a favorable deal for all cars.
     
  19. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    I wish the phrase "I don't know" was taught in Tesla employee training. Instead when they don't know the answer to something, it seems many just make something up.
     
  20. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    My previous car (Pontiac G8 GT) didn't have a spare either. Before cell phones, spare tires were a must. I think most people would rather call a tow truck, than risk their lives changing a tire on the side of the highway. I have a can of fix-a-flat in my trunk which should get me home, or at least to a safer place.
     

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