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Best and worst parts of owning a Tesla

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by Los, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. Los

    Los New Member

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    I'm thinking about buying a Tesla Roadster. If you could please take a minute and list the best and worst things about it, I'd really appreciate it. I want to go into this knowing what I'm in for. Oh, and if there are certain options to get or avoid, I'd appreciate the advice.
     
  2. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    Worst things:
    It's not easy to get in and out of.
    It only seats 2 people.
    My larger friends ( 6'4" tall and heavy set ) don't fit well.


    Best things:
    I love driving again. I love driving in traffic. I love driving when the roads are clear. I love driving without touching the brake pedal.
    I love plugging it in. I love never going to the gas station.
     
  3. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I agree with everything richkae said. The Roadster is not the most practical car in the world with it's tiny trunk but it's amazing to drive. You'll find yourself wanting to drive on errands or anywhere just to get in the car. It's really fun to drive.
     
  4. Bradleybang

    Bradleybang Member

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    Pros: it's as fast as sticky tires can move a human off the line without going super car. It's full of energy every day I leave the garage. I am supporting new green tech while having fun. When you see another on road it's a rare day. Almost 10k miles and still want to drive it daily. The acceleration thru traffic is great. Driving with 'go' pedal as regen is set very well with braking.

    Cons: it's small, turning radius is limited, radio reception sucks, sticky tires are expensive.
     
  5. Los

    Los New Member

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    Thank you, that's very helpful. I really like the idea of a fun second car which does some good while satisfying my mid-life crises urges in a way that doesn't end up in divorce court. I guess it's good it doesn't have a back seat :)

    Seriously though, are those the only negatives? That's not bad. I've read on this board that noise can be a bit of an issue. Is that still the case? How about maintenance?

    Thanks again. I plan on joining the ranks soon!
     
  6. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    They've done a simple mod to the wind seal on the front of the door, which has made a big difference. There's still tire noise at high speed, but not so much that you have to yell at your passenger or anything.

    I've had some minor service glitches, but they were covered under warranty and the service has been awesome.

    Your rear tires wear out pretty fast. But that's mainly because you're having a lot of fun!
     
  7. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Wind noise has been more of an issue in my car even with the fix but it's still worth it. This is a real sports car, not a refined Lexus or Mercedes coupe. Definitely test drive it before you buy one but you'll be hooked once you do.
     
  8. zack

    zack Member

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    Pros: It gives you that tingly feeling every time you floor it. The traction control magically delivers maximum acceleration without breaking free from the road. You've got so much extra oomph on the freeway you can easily squirt through small spaces and get away from tight spots, like when you're next to a giant SUV that can't see you and is coming into your lane. If you like amusement parks, you'll own one of your own. It's exceptionally quiet at low speeds so it's great for observing nature and looking around at the sights. Conversations are more exciting. People will walk up to the car in awe. If you park it where you can see it in a restaurant, it's very entertaining to watch the crowds that form.

    Cons: Everyone's lights are in your eyes. You're sitting with your eyes below crotch level and that perspective changes everything about the road. People in big vehicles may not be able to see you. You'll need to avoid being next to them. Potholes are shocking and must be avoided at all cost. Unfortunately, they're very hard to see from such a low angle until you're right up on them. Driving in a city with a pothole problem is a real chore. You begin to plot routes that take you pretty far out of your way to avoid certain areas. Trunk space is small and pretty shallow... shopping for groceries means asking for the bags to be filled only halfway. You have to remind passengers to watch their heads. The door latches on the frames can catch on things. The heater isn't exactly hot, but can be warm. You'll need to do some modifications to the car (adding insulation in cold areas, etc) to make it perfect. The 200 mile range quickly drops to 120 or less if you do jack-rabbit starts and spend a lot of time testing the car on the freeway. Charging does take some time...
     
  9. JoelG

    JoelG Member

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    Although I do not own a Tesla, I am seriously considering buying one. I twice drove the car.

    Pros: In addition to the no-gas/oil appeal and the comments that were mentioned, I consider a major pro the ability to get a While Carpool sticker (not applicable to everyone of course). I live in California and have driven a Prius with a Yellow sticker that allows me to have solo carpool access, something I am now used to. It saves me a lot of time, and the Yellow sticker program expires at the end of June, meaning that then, all Yellow sticker cars (like mine) will be booted back into traffic. However, White sticker cars that use no gas, such as the Tesla, will be allowed until at least 2015.

    Cons: In addition to those mentioned, like difficulty getting in and out and limited interior/trunk storage space, I find it unfortunate that the speedometer is blocked by the top of the steering wheel. Since the seats and steering wheel really do not adjust (other than to move too far forward) or tilt, that leaves looking at the smaller middle screen. However, I like being able to clearly see my speed while looking forward. Actually, although I like the look of the Tesla dash, I really became used to the large digital nicely lit display on my Prius. If I am going to get a ticket, I would prefer that it be because I was intentionally speeding rather than just not knowing I was going too fast LOL. Another con to me is the lack of a good cup holder. I understand that others find a way to tilt the cup when inserting it and make it work etc. However, I like having a fixed standard cup holder as I drink coffee on the way to work each morning.
     
  10. Lancelac

    Lancelac 2010 Roadster Sport #690

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    The biggest positive is similar to what some have already said, the car just is a joy to drive, and I look forward to driving it every day. In addition, I appreciate doing my small part for the environment, moreso in setting an example than any effect of my car itself.

    I really can't argue with any of the negatives mentioned here. Luckily for me so many of the negatives don't really matter to me, because of my lifestyle (no kids, no hauling stuff, having owned plenty of sports cars before (noise, tire life, stiff suspension don't bother me a bit). The only ones I would change if I could are the ingress/egress, turning radius, and a brake improvement (although most solutions would require the brakes being warmed up to be better, which doesn't really help you for everyday driving or emergencies.
     
  11. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    On speed.

    It is hard to see your exact speed with the numbers in the 50 mph range behind the steering wheel -for and average height person.

    Combine that with stunning acceleration you are likely to be driving over the speed limit before you know it. The other factor there is noise. Without a roaring engine you have one less element of feedback telling you your speed also leading to a likely speed limit infraction.
    On the plus side though, it can not be underestimated how NOT having a cacophony of explosions telegraphing your location and speed car makes you fast and stealthy. Without attracting attention there is less ticketing since the cop on the side of the road never even looks up from her box of donuts.
     
  12. Sparrow

    Sparrow S105/ Roadster 189

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    I use the JVC headunit set on the speedometer mode as a second/third speedometer in the car. If it weren't for the speedometer mode, I would seriously consider replacing the JVC unit with something that functions better.

    I also find that my left foot doesn't have enough room to be really comfortable for longer drives.
     
  13. zack

    zack Member

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    You can fit your foot underneath that footrest on the left. There's actually a lot of room behind it.
     
  14. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Agreed. I really hate being bunched up for long periods, so I assumed I'd have to go in there and drill out rivets or something and remove the footrest. But it hasn't been a problem for me.
     
  15. Sparrow

    Sparrow S105/ Roadster 189

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    I've tried pushing my left foot passed the footrest, but I have been afraid my big foot would interfer with the operation of the brake pedal in an emergency. I know I can't get it back out from behind the brake pedal real quickly. I guess I will play with that position under controlled circumstances to see if my fear is real or imagined.
     
  16. zack

    zack Member

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    It's glued-in and apparently will not come out. I was given the option to leave it out and I stupidly chickened out and left it in. I complained about it being in an awkward spot when I took my test drive and they said if I wanted they could leave it blank... I probably could have fit something else in there that was a lot more comfy.

    I've found that my left foot does not interfere with the brake pedal if I put it behind the rest, but my legs aren't quite long enough to be comfortable in that position.
     
  17. strider

    strider Active Member

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    Hmm. I'm 5'9" (33" inseam) and I find the Roadster fits me perfectly. Foot placement is comfortable and I can read the speedometer perfectly. So, YMMV depending on your own proportions.
     
  18. zack

    zack Member

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    5' 10.5". I can see the speedometer fine but the footrest is just a teensy bit close.
     
  19. kgb

    kgb Member

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    What I find annoying about ingress and egress is not the difficulty I experience but rather I have to hear about it from my passengers. It takes away some of the sparkle of having a truly unique car.
     
  20. zack

    zack Member

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    That part invariably makes me laugh. I always help girls into the car after one of my friends hit her head getting in (no injury, but it worried me).
     

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