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Conclusions of a Would Be Model S Buyer

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by jacobp, Sep 1, 2013.

  1. jacobp

    jacobp Member

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    I've spent the last week obsessing over buying a Model S now that Tesla opened a showroom at our local mall. I've read so much about the car here and in Edmunds excellent year-long test drive (a must read). Yesterday, we took the car for a test drive.

    All i can say, is that is the most impressive car i have ever driven or seen. Incredible drive, mind-blowing acceleration -- it felt like a lightning bolt shot out of my foot as i floored the car on the beltway. Really it is an engineering marvel.

    BUT....

    While the engineering and technology of the car are best in class, it seems as if the designers and manufacturing of the vehicle have not caught up. Individually, these are really small issues, but collectively they suggest and perhaps prove the point that Tesla is still learning how to design and manufacture cars. Some of this list i gleaned from my reading of posts in Edmunds year-long review and others i observed in the test drive.

    But to be clear, i would be buy this car yesterday even with the issues i point out below, except i do have one "deal breaker" that is keeping me from ordering the car: NO ADAPTIVE CRUISE CONTROL. I have this feature in my Infiniti Coupe and i use it on every single trip i make. If you have never had a car with ACC you won't understand, but believe me (and you'll see other posts saying the same thing), once you've experienced it you'll never buy a car without it. So until Elon makes this available, i'll be sitting by, watching and waiting with great envy. In the meantime, i hope they address some or all of these issues as well.

    1. Carpet color is always black?? Shouldn't the carpets match the interior color.
    2. No center console. I know a retrofit is coming
    3. No hand holds in front or back seats. Who overlooked this feature.
    4. No auto adjustment for easy ingress/egress. My 1992 Lexus automatically moved the seat back and steering wheel up whenever i entered or exited the car. Tesla should as well.
    5. No lights in the visors. C'mon.
    6. Very limited voice control over car functions. My Tesla test drive companion claimed that voice control only worked with the phone. I know that is not true, but the depth of voice control pales in comparison to most high end cars on the market.
    7. Distorted front windshield view at very bottom of glass. I got this from Edmunds and confirmed it during test drive.
    8. Lock/unlock doors mechanism only on touchscreen, not on door. Arguably, just a design choice, but an odd one.
    9. No rear cupholders. I know a retrofit is coming, but who overlooked this.
    10. Occasionally, poor fit and finish. I read about this on Edmunds and confirmed this at the showroom. On some, not all by any means, of the cars, the panels didn't line up exactly. just by looking closely with the naked eye you can see discrepancies in the fit and finish.

    But again, even with these "issues" I'd buy the car today if it had ACC.
     
  2. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Welcome to the forum! Glad you enjoyed the test drive.
    Personal request from one forum member to another:
    Please make this absolutely clear to Tesla.

    The simplest way to make your voice heard is to carefully craft an e-mail to [email protected] telling them that this is the reason why you're not buying today.

    A more aggressive (and potentially more effective next step) is to (1) make a reservation online, (2) wait for the follow-up e-mail about the deposit information, and (3) at that time cancel the reservation with a reason of "After realizing it doesn't have Adaptive Cruise Control, I've decided I just can't buy the vehicle. Please let me know when/if this feature becomes available."

    For the second flavor, Tesla should definitely be motivated to step back, think about this, and contact you for more input.


    I'd love to see them retrofit this feature for everyone, but even if not, this feature only gets prioritized higher on the list if they hear from potential customers the degree to which the absence of this feature is costing them customers.


    Thanks.
     
  3. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    I went through the same lurking, thinking, reading about 'limitations', etc. For me it came down to the test drive--SOLD. One can always find things wrong with any car (brand new 911 4S I bought had issues), but one just weights what's important to them.

    After the test drive, the torque and power in the car cannot be duplicated in another other car I have driven. Technology, large display, all of the other way cool features are all reason to buy. I've found over the past many years and buying too many hi end cars, you can always wait for next years model, but you lose the fun of driving it now if you do. There will always be bigger and better features.

    Sounds like the S is not for you, and that's okay. For me the P85+ was nothing short of amazing (overall). Had to have one and bought the same day. I've never been so excited to get a car (3 Porsche's, 2 Audi's, MB, etc that I've owned). Is it a perfect car--nope, and I've never seen a perfect car. But Car of the Year in two mags, highest safety rating ever, highest Consumer Reports rating ever, etc--you will not find in anything else you are looking at either. Also, rest assured the oooo's, ahhhhh's and attention you get in Tesla will be 1000x that of an Infiniti Coupe.

    Wish you the best on your hunt and I'm excited to get mine soon!
     
  4. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    For some this is in the CON column. But not for most of us. :)
     
  5. texex91

    texex91 Banned

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    Okay I'll add to it:

    More likely to be parked up front by valet. Infiniti is going straight to the garage. :biggrin:
     
  6. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I've never owned a car with ACC and kind of think paying attention while you are driving should trump the need for such a feature but can see why some people would want it. This car has so many things going for it that making ACC a deal breaker doesn't seem to fit but everyone has their own list of needs in a car. That said, it should be something Tesla can easily retrofit at least in cars being produced now but there are no guarantees. If ACC is critical then letting Tesla know as was mentioned and waiting are the only options from the factory at least.
     
  7. RDoc

    RDoc S85D

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    In view of Tesla's policies on upgrading 60 -> 85 kWh batteries and retrofitting parking sensors, I wouldn't count on ACC being a retrofit at anything approaching an affordable price.

    Personally, in view of the above, the ACC would be a deal breaker for me buying the car at the present time because I'm pretty sure it will be offered within a year or so. The EU is going to require a similar system on new cars for safety reasons in that time frame as I understand it.
     
  8. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    What TM should provide, and what DOT/NHSA should require, is that all new cars offer the *connections* for ACC units to be installed. That way the car manufacturer would not be liable for ACC device-failure, nor would they need to warrant or maintain such device.

    Until such a time: buy an MS for yourself and bask in the warmth of knowing that you will likely survive unscathed any untoward event that high speed swarming can offer.
    --
     
  9. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #9 ChadS, Sep 1, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
    Welcome to the forums, and thanks for posting your reasoning so clearly.

    I'm not going to try to talk you in to buying one - no need to, as Tesla isn't making enough for everybody and you sound happy with what you have. I do hope Tesla adds ACC soon. But I think it is interesting that what you say about ACC is exactly the same thing many people say about buying a car with an electric drivetrain. I suspect somebody that currently owns an EV but has never owned a car with ACC is going to go gaga over the Model S and not even consider an Infiniti Coupe. What's a "must have" clearly depends on what you have owned before.

    However, few people have owned an EV before. So I think we will see many people sitting by until their favorite feature from another car is added. Which is a shame, because if they bought one of these, it would be their new favorite car and it has features they would demand from any future car. This does put pressure on Tesla to keep adding features.

    It reminds me of the "Word Processor feature wars" from the 80's. Many people loved a particular feature in the program they owned, and wouldn't consider switching because they couldn't imagine life without it. But people using other programs had similar pet features that they could never imagine giving up. That's why there was such a race to add so many features - that almost never got used - even at the expense of usability; people just wouldn't switch from their current system because we all fear losing what we already have more than we value new things we might get. (By about a 2-1 margin, when social scientists try to put a value on it).

    (The market did move past the feature wars, for many reasons that didn't have anything to do with the features).
     
  10. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    I know that Tesla is developing ACC. It will take some time I suppose. But actually a car of the class of the Model S would need ACC as soon as possible (also Blind Spot detection and cameras in place of side mirrors in my opinion).
     
  11. Plug Me In

    Plug Me In Member

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    I'm a fan of ACC as well as it is on our Plug In Prius. It would be particularly useful on the Model S to give your foot a rest from the one foot driving on road trips. That being said, ACC has limited utility in that it can't be used routinely in heavy traffic areas (Think Bay Area, SoCal, DC Beltway) as the gap it leaves would constantly be exploited by more aggressive drivers. I don't live in that kind of driving environment and even so, only used the ACC maybe 4 times in the 6 months I drove the Prius before handing it over to my wife on the birth of our Model S. I can understand why it wouldn't be a priority for development in a newly designed platform. OP hold on for a few more months if it's a deal breaker for you, and you'll probably see that as a feature in the not-so-distant future. It took about 8 months or so for parking sensors to show up.
     
  12. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    We all have things we see as deal breakers. For me, with the Volt, it was the lack of seating for 5. It really boils down to what you need/want/expect out of a car. For me, the lack of a few rather standard features was very minor given the overwhelming positives (and seating for 5+). I've never used ACC, but I've used enough smart entry type cars now (Prius and Tesla) that those are approaching "mandatory" status for any new car purchase. So I can see where the OP is coming from here.

    That said, I think that once you own this car you come to realize that the positive aspects are so much better than any other comparable ICE vehicle that you can easily adjust to the various minor inconveniences. I still struggle with the utter inattention to back seat cup holders and other accommodations (grab handles included).

    The voice control limitations mentioned will probably improve over time since they are easily added with the software updates. I would expect improved functionality for several years to come...get that in your Infinity!
     
  13. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Going to have to disagree with you here. If you aren't able to give your foot a rest from one foot driving on road trips (and you want to) then your driving style is dissonant with your goals. Stated differently, when I've wanted to give my foot a rest on highways/interstates between population (i.e. traffic) hubs it takes one simple adjustment to accomplish that: drop the cruise control by 5-10mph. (What about the right line? Most of the time I'm already in the right line when not passing.)
     
  14. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I seldom use the regular cruise control (less than two miles out of 9,000), so ACC isn't even on the radar. I don't doubt that Tesla will have this in a few months. It's pretty hard starting a new car company and if you read through some of the threads, you'll see that features keep being added (although retrofits are hard to come by).
     
  15. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    I think that I read that ACC will integrate also pedestrians and obstacles detection.
     
  16. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    I just scratch my head and try to imagine any other car I would want to drive. Sure, I could get a 750li with all the tech stuff but man I really do not want to live with that thing day in and day out; I especially have no interest having driven Model S.

    I guess it comes down to personal preference which is really no surprise. I'm a mechanical/electrical nerd so there really is only one way for me to go.
     
  17. araxara

    araxara S-P85#3,218 X-90D#3,299

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    I've had ACC in all my cars for the last 8 years or so (Porsche, Lexus, Toyota!) and I really miss it in the Model S. The last 3 weeks I've driven from AZ to CA 3 times to help my son get situated in a new apartment. I drove our Lexus 450h and my son's Mazda 5 (couldn't drive the Tesla due to no superchargers along the way). The Lexus has ACC and the Mazda does not. The ACC came in extremely handy on the LA freeways. Driving the Mazda was extremely fatiguing, primarily having to deal with the varying speeds of the drivers. ACC also helps in situations when traffic abruptly comes to a complete stop. Yes, I know you are suppose to be watching the traffic all the time, but when you are in an area you don't drive frequently, there are many potential distractions and having the ACC act as a watchful eye really helps. I'm sure when I get a chance to drive my Tesla in LA, I'll survive without ACC, but having ACC really does add another layer of safety. Also, active braking systems have been required since 2013 for heavy vehicles in Europe and coming soon for passenger cars, so Tesla will have to address this soon.
     
  18. DavidM

    DavidM P2624, Delivered

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    Honestly, I still miss the auto seat adjustment on entry/exit that I had in my Lexus. But that's a nit compared to all of the things that Model S brings to the table. Like not having to visit a gas station for the last 8 months (except for a few times in a stupid rental car). I could have accepted the overpriced fuel option and avoided the gas station but I hate being taken.
     
  19. TommyBoy

    TommyBoy Member

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    I've found that the more gadgets on a car, the less I use them. I don't think I've even used Cruise Control on either of my two cars in the last ten years. We take trips from Southern California to Northern California a few times a year and there just is too much variability to use it. I've had a car for two weeks with ACC. That really sucked. I would turn it on to try it out and cars just kept cutting in front of me because of the gap it left. Then it would slow way down, establish a "safe" distance between the new cut-in car, and the next car would cut in! Simply not at all practical in Los Angeles traffic. Maybe I was not using it correctly, and I did have it on the lowest possible safe-distance setting, but who knows?

    Blind-spot detection is another I never cared for. I just couldn't get myself to trust it completely which caused me to have to look over my shoulder anyway. Cars that came up fast were the worst.

    I did become dependent upon a nice backup camera and parking sensors. Glad to see those are now implemented.

    It's definitely a personal preference type of thing.
     
  20. caddieo

    caddieo Member

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    It's a personal, mental, and emotional thing, and you have to allow for individual variations - but if we become too dependent on gadgets, can self-driving cars be far behind?
     

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