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30 day / 1500 mile report

Discussion in 'Model S' started by rcc, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. rcc

    rcc Model S 85KW, VIN #2236

    Aug 1, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    #1 rcc, Jan 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
    I picked up my Model S at the factory the weekend before Xmas (one heck of a nice present, I must say :biggrin:). Holiday season and all, it sat mostly idle until after Xmas as we did stay-at home holiday stuff. Then we took three trips down to Montery / Carmel and a trip up to the city. In two weeks we put 900 miles on the car. At the end of 30 days (a few days ago), the odometer read 1495 miles.

    My config is an 85KW standard (non-perf) which means the 19" tires. Plus Tech package, sound package, leather, pano roof.

    Overall thoughts:

    This is one heck of a car and one heck of a driver's car. You simply cannot buy the equivalent combination of power, throttle response, handling, ride comfort and passenger and cargo-carrying capacity in any other car that I'm aware of. To say nothing of energy efficiency.

    If you want a family sedan, this is an amazingly practical car if the range suits your driving needs. The passenger seats are roomy and comfortable with plenty of legroom. The ride is like a German luxury sedan: reasonably firm but absorbs bumps very nicely. There's a ton of cargo carrying space in the hatch. The well in the back is a great place to put groceries so they won't tip over. I've been able to live without the parcel shelf because I've been able to put stuff in the well and cover it or in the frunk but I'm glad I ordered the shelf. I can see there will be times when I have more stuff in the car and I want to cover it all. I will probably look for an aftermarket solution to get a couple of cupholders in the back when I need them but we've been ok without them so far.

    But this is first and foremost a driver's car. The throttle response is ridiculously quick. A really good Ferrarri with a really free-revving engine might, just might equal the S. But there's no upshift so no glitch in power delivery. Again, you can get this with really nice very expensive sports cars that have the F1-derived sequential shifters. With the S, you just put the throttle down: it's a very pure driving experience. The car just does what you want, no muss no fuss.

    Handling is an interesting story. The S is a heavy car. You can only do so much to hide the weight when you get into a long steady corner (pretty decent approximation of what happens in a circular skidpad). But the S corners so flat, it's very confidence inspiring which makes it a much more nimble car than any 4700 lb car has a right to be, especially if you take advantage of the ultra-quick throttle response. I'd say the S has good sports sedan handling, probably not up to sports car handling. Although I wonder what could be done with a bit more suspension tuning and wider tires? That would decrease range but big wide contact patches can do a lot to improve road-holding.

    Much has been said about the wonderful one-pedal driving experience. It is wonderful. Endless engine braking if you're used to a stick. And I expect my tires and brakes to last a lot longer than on an ICE car. You need to pay attention so you get on the brake when needed though. I still can't predict exactly how the regen braking will slow the car.

    I have to say something about the dash. The first time I drove a Prius, my reaction was, "This is supposed to be car, not the Starship Enterprise. I don't need a freaking engine room display on my dash!"

    After a month of driving the S, I feel I'm behind the wheel of the Starship Enterprise only in a good way. The all electronic display and big touchscreens are awesome. The most important information is right in the middle of dash: speed, range, power being used. The space on the left and right of the display can be configured to show a smaller version of any of the onboard "apps": music being placed, trip odometers, energy usage and more. This means that you can decide what information matters to you and put it in front of you. Awesome.

    When you use the navigation system, you not only get the route showing up on google maps on the touchscreen but the onboard nav puts a display up on the left side of the dash. A lot of the car's features can be controlled from the steering wheel, again, courtesy of the electronic dash. And the google maps in your car experience is just amazing. Like having a laptop connected to your car.

    Range anxiety: for daily driving, gone. For day trips, it's there a little. I'm getting about 200-220 miles of range cruising at highway speeds in SF Bay Area winter conditions. I'm seeing lower ranges because I'm running the heat, sometimes defrost, with temps in the 40's power is being used to keep the battery pack warm and I'm not using cruise control. I'm driving it like I'd drive my old BMW 3. I expect to see better range in the warmer months when defrost and battery pack warming isn't necessary. And I'm sure I'd see better range if I set the cruise control to 65 and let it go. But where's the fun in that :smile: ?

    Sound system: I got the upgrade and I like it although I'm admittedly a fan of high-end audio gear. It's a very clear and accurate system. The sound is front-weighted by default with real imaging, not immersive (until you really turn it up) like some others. This is a really nice thing for trips where your younger kids are napping in the back. I'm sure you could do better with aftermarket gear but you'd probably have to spend a lot more. I'm happy with it and glad I got it. There are threads on how to tune it for better stereo sound but the short version is turn Dolby off, give mid range a small bump (+1.5-2), bass a bump (2-3), treble an even higher bump (2.5-3.5) and adjust to taste. Warning: the systems not really set up to give you earth-shattering bass. If you really want that, go aftermarket.


    Audio: shuffle play would be nice. I'm sure it's coming. My current workaround is to put a bunch of tunes in a folder and play by folder. That plays in alphabetical order which is pretty random compared to playing by artist or album. Uploading music into onboard storage isn't there yet. I'm sure it's coming. Allowing artwork in the tracks to override the artwork pulled down from the cloud would be good too for those cases when the cloud gets it explicably wrong or the cloud doesn't have the artwork to begin with and starts guessing.

    The car could really use a one-touch unlock for when I'm picking someone up. Or make the lock and unlock buttons stand out somehow on the control display. Currently it's two touches and I invariably have to hunt for the "unlock" button because I don't use it much and it's not prominent. It feels like I'm racing to see if I can find the button before the passenger reaches the door. Annoying. Note: I read below that hitting "park" again will do the trick. I'll have to try that.

    I'm really looking forward to the app so I can defrost the car before getting in it.

    Surprisingly nice:

    The side mirrors act like they're heated. And they're auto-dimming like the rear view mirror. Very nice.

    I'm surprised by how good the HD rear view camera is for backing up and how useful it is for parking. The jury is still out but with some experience (or lines on the display that I know are coming, ahem), it might be possible to do without the parking sensors. Although I'd still like the sensors as a backup (har har).

    No brightness problems with the sunroof. It cuts down enough light so glare's not an issue but let's enough through that the car feels open and roomy.

    Fit and finish is very nice. Seems on par with other luxury cars that I've seen.

    Oh, a word about the "Tesla-time, etc." experience. Here in the Bay Area, people are pretty jaded about cars. We've got BMWs, Mercedes and Porches running around all over. It's not uncommon to see Ferrari's, Maserati's, Bentleys, etc. And we're ground zero for the Tesla since the factory is here. In spite of that, I do get looks in traffic, the occasional big thumbs up. My wife commented that one guy spun his around so fast , it practically went through his window. I think that some of the people don't even know the car is electric, what catches their eye is how good the car looks. Two thumbs up to Franz and the team for designing a truly beautiful car. The new Mercedes may have a lower Cg but boy, it's nearly as good-looking as the S.

    Center console: I thought I'd miss the lack of storage space. I don't. Yes, it would be nice to have a little bit of covered space and two more conveniently placed cupholders but it hasn't proven to be a big deal. I like the open feeling that the flat space gives you. And the two cup holders are surprisingly functional given how far back they're placed.

    Summary: this is an amazing car and is clearly the wave the future. I'm a very happy camper and I expect those who haven't picked up your cars yet will be too once you get it.
  2. Jeeps17

    Jeeps17 Cath Jockey in a P85

    Mar 17, 2012
    Montreal, Canada
    Thank you for taking the time to write this very nice summary.

    It makes the waiting a little easier !

    And +1 on "defrost before you get in the car" functionality, as well as backup camera guide lines.
  3. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

    Nov 10, 2011
    Tip: The park button (on the gear stalk) is the prominent one touch button you're looking for.
  4. grisnjam

    grisnjam P6316

    Dec 29, 2011
    Austin, Texas
    Thanks for this.

    Lack of shuffle kinda sucks.
  5. spentan

    spentan Active Member

    Dec 26, 2012
    still got another 12 months to wait (RHD Signature), but this writeup makes me want it yesterday haha.

  6. 100thMonkey

    100thMonkey Member

    Jul 1, 2012
    Seattle area
    Nice write up!
  7. antochat

    antochat Pearl White P85

    Oct 25, 2012
    Portland OR
    Nice write up, thanks for posting!
  8. H2Onu

    H2Onu Member

    Jan 14, 2013
    Santa Cruz
    Very good write up. I've had mine for one month today and have put 1500 mi on it and will be doing more like 2000 per month. Everything you said is spot on. There has been a little bit of software quirkiness, but compared to the OLD technology who would have thought things could be fixed through automatic downloads to your car. I'm loving it.
  9. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    CA CA
  10. DavidM

    DavidM P2624, Delivered

    Aug 18, 2011
    I guess I'm officially a member of the 30 day, 1,500 mile Model S club. Great car is an understatement. I agree with everything noted in the initial post. However, I would still like to see a map option to keep the orientation up. So the car is always traveling up. Right now, north is always up, on the big display. I'm on my second set of temp tags. The first set expired after 30 days. Still waiting for my registration which is tied to my transfered plate.

    Model S seems to be a rare sight on the east coast. Lots of looks and questions. Many folks think it is German. All are surprised it's an EV. Worth every penny. And definitely worth the 25 month wait.
  11. Mike_Schlechter

    Mike_Schlechter Model S - P457

    May 21, 2010
    Weston, CT
    Great write up! I'm a little over a month in, but just under 1k miles.

    Out here in the deeply frozen North East I have to say the car does not like cold. I accidently left my garage open last night (or someone did...) and it was 6f when I got in the car this am. It was very unhappy; no regen, no back up camera and no FM radio. Strange things to happend, and maybe not cold related. By the time I was t my train station ten minutes later the battery was still warming, but otherwise everything else seemed back to normal.

    Also, the traction control does fine on iced up roads and in a snowy parkinglot. I am still very much impressed with my car, and can say overtly this is my favorite "thing" I own. I just love this car. I can't get over how much fun it is to drive. I can sit in the car and play with it for endless hours, or until my wife comes and drags me out of the car.

    The door handle unlock is a small miss. The park solution is a good one. I did a rolling pick up of my wife outside of Grand Central, and used the unlock button. As soon as the handle popped out my wife opened the door and was happily in the car, while peels just gawked. It takes a lot to make a bunch of New Yorkers stop in their tracks, especially as they are running for an evening train. The car is that beautiful and still a rarity out here in the East.
  12. kinddog

    kinddog Banned

    Oct 8, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    i still have yet to see even ONE here in the northern VA / DC area...
  13. Zextraterrestrial

    Mar 11, 2010
    Humboldt/Los Altos
    I agree with everything except... at ~4000 miles I seem to have worn my tires pretty well :wink:
    and I don't care about shuffle - only problem is still lack of passenger overhead handles
  14. Plug Me In

    Plug Me In Member

    Nov 29, 2012
    Central Virginia
    I'll be up for a test drive on Saturday. Look for the green one out on 395! My second one that I scheduled over a month ago. I've already finalized but I want to take my kid for a ride. PM if you want to come along!
  15. Kevin Harney

    Kevin Harney Active Member

    Apr 30, 2008
    Herndon, VA
    A picture was posted on FB of one in Tyson's Corner Mall parking lot. So must be some here....
  16. mrjohnlnguyen

    mrjohnlnguyen Member

    Jan 15, 2013
    United States

    Your lucky, picked up my 60V Friday and drove to Irvine. The weather was rain on the way home so we used the defrost and it appears it was set to high because it literally burned both side mirrors and the rear view to dark brown. The ranger scheduled the update for 2:00 AM and the next morning so got some new options including the drivers door not opening and the light in the handle not working. O the joys of being a new adapter, still love the car and luckily the Tustin service center is 10 minutes from my house.
  17. montgom626

    montgom626 Active Member

    Dec 15, 2012
    Burned?? Did you take any pictures to post? And how do you plan to avoid this in the future? And do the mirrors have a fuse to protect them?
  18. scriptacus

    scriptacus Member

    Jan 20, 2013
    Los Angeles, CA
    I don't think burned is correct, I'm guessing that his mirrors are stuck on the night-time electrochromatic dimmed setting.

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