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Decided *to* buy roadster after testdrive

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by stenkb, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. stenkb

    stenkb Roadster 938 Model S 5957

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    #1 stenkb, Jan 23, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
    So I have wanted a roadster for about 6 months now - I was in the process of purchasing the car and decided to go visit the dealership and take a testdrive. Note: I have been obsessed with the roadster for 6 straight months and was 100 percent planning on getting one until this test drive.

    Once actually driving the roadster and seeing it in person I am undecided - reasons as follows:

    1 - this car is very small compared to other vehicles on the road.

    2 - It is also small in that if you have a passenger - you are pretty much holding hands.

    3 - I live in a climate that does have winter - and although you can put winter tires on this car - dare drive it on icy raods?

    4 - I find the seats are a bit uncomfortable - not much adjustment allowed and very little padding in the seat.

    I did love the acceleration the car possesses and the car does handle ok - not great - but ok. The looks of this car are outstanding. But that said I found the negatives outweighted the positives and am passing on this purchase after the test drive.

    I wish I had loved the car once I drove it - but the opposite occurred.

    My question: how are all the people that have already bought a roadster dealing with these issues I have run into? thx.
     
  2. user497

    user497 Member

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    That's disappointing...

    I haven't test driven one yet but I am slowly convincing my wife that we should buy one. Just out of curiosity, how big are you? Have you ever driven comparable Lotus cars? I'm only 5'9" so I am thinking (or hoping) the size won't be a big problem for me.
     
  3. shark2k

    shark2k Member

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    Just pointing this out, but you do realize the Roadster is a high end sports car. Kind of like Porsche's and Lamborghini's. They are not necessarily going to be comfortable and not necessarily meant for everyday driving. Some people will be comfortable in them and will be able to use them for every day driving, others (like you) will not.

    Just something that you should have maybe thought about/realized before getting your hopes up.

    -Shark2k
     
  4. stenkb

    stenkb Roadster 938 Model S 5957

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    I am 5'7" and the car fits me nicely. And yes I have a porsche 911 turbo...... which is very comfortable and is a high end sports car..... I just assumed from all that I have learned of the roadster is that is used as a daily driver quite often - but from my experience I can't see it.

    If you are 5'9" you will fit fine - although you can't bring a drink along with you - no where to put it .... lol

    If they could only make a porsche 911 with a telsa motor - I'd be the first in line.......
     
  5. DaveD

    DaveD EVs Kick Gas!

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    #5 DaveD, Jan 23, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2010
    I'm 6'0", 200 lbs. and I like my Roadster even more than when I first got it.

    13,000+ miles on it. It's my daily driver - 30+ miles of commuting each day, and I only drive my gas car if I need to haul something, which is only about once every 3 months.

    The seats aren't any worse (or better) than the seats in my 350Z. I've done 200 mile trips (with one stop) in the Roadster, and I'd rate the seats as acceptable. Certainly not the torture chamber that has been your experience.

    There's a cupholder in it. It pivots out from the center console, into the passenger area, right in front of the passenger seat. It holds a Starbucks grande-sized cup just fine. It holds a large Starbucks iced tea cup OK, too.

    We don't get lots of snow in the Seattle area, but we get plenty of rain, and the handling is fine from my experience. I don't race around in traffic - that's what drag strips and closed-course race tracks are for.

    As for dying when you slide under a vehicle in an accident - wake up! You'll end up decapitated in your 911, too, because the vehicle you'll hit is most likely a damn SUV, whose bumper is right at about the height of your head.

    But, I respect your dislike of the Roadster. It's not for you, apparently. It's not the right car for lots of people, so you're not alone. That said, there's plenty of us who like our Roadsters. I'm sorry that it didn't work out for you.

    I'm a single guy, and if I'm lucky it'll be a woman sitting in the passenger seat, so I certainly hope that we'd end up holding hands!
     
  6. stenkb

    stenkb Roadster 938 Model S 5957

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    #6 stenkb, Jan 23, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
    I stand corrected - there is a cup holder........ :)

    oh ya - it is a rocket!! just a very very small rocket....
     
  7. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Yeah it's small. Bigger trunk than a Lotus (and does not cook the contents) but the Lotus has a space behind the seats where you could throw some junk. (it really is just an amorphous void back there). Not sure why you did not ask about a cup holder, many are hidden in cars these days. There is also a metal box under the passenger seat where you can slide in paperwork if you deside not to carry your owner's manual. Yeah it's small. When people ask me what my least favorite thing about the car is, that's my answer. But it's a sports car and I've see the trunks on many so it's in good company and I'll lighten my load till something else comes along that is as fun and guilt free.

    I'm riding solo most of the time. When my wife and I go out it's "cozy". When I'm giving rides to other big guys we are rubbing man shoulders in a not-gay-way. :rolleyes:

    I don't plan on plowing under anyone else but accidents happen. On a winding road a big SUV could drive off a cliff that a Tesla could nimbly avoid.

    Totally disagree here. These seats are more comfortable than any car I have owned or rented for long drives. I broke my tailbone snowboarding (fallboarding?) last year. It's the only seat I don't have to squirm to adjust to a non painful posture.

    I'd go better than ok on handing. Not top notch but decent. I only thought the looks were ok but they have grow on me. especially when I feel that stunning acceleration every time I leave a stop light!

    I special ordered and RX8 when they went into production and when the dealer called that it was ready I did not like the way it drove and passed. I was talking with another Roadster owner who did buy one. What ever works for you.


    Rockets rule!
     
  8. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    I traded up from a 911. I find the Roadster's seats more comfortable. The 911 has become a chunky porker from the 996 onwards (in most variants, not the GT3 of course) and the interior was somewhat overdone. It was also the largest car I've owned. The driving bits were great - as far as an ICE car goes. But I like my spartan '08 Roadster interior a heckuva lot more. Got room for my company badge, sunglasses, and an iPod dock - nothing more needed here! I think the Roadster handles better than the 911 I had (which was an all-wheel-drive droptop - so not the lightest 911 variant).

    I find the Roadster fits my 5'9" like a glove. I use it as my daily driver, and enjoy it more than ever.

    What I really love about the Roadster is that the latency on the driving bits is so low. The 911 was good, but the Roadster is significantly better - steering input and throttle input have an immediacy that is just wonderfully involving. And I really, really enjoy being that low to the ground. And, surprisingly, I don't miss the shifter!

    I got to sit in a Roadster in Sept. '06, before I put my deposit down in Nov. '06. Waited 2 1/2 years for the car, and I think it was well worth the wait. It's just about exactly the car I always wanted.
     
  9. mpt

    mpt Electrics are back

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    Re: Decided not to buy roadster after testdrive

    I implore you to try it again, and again, and again.

    I had similar thoughts when I tried the car but my passion for electric drive over-ruled that. When the car arrived I still wondered how getting in and out would feel on a cold winters day in NJ but, some months in it's all fallen into place; get in, get out, drive. The interior is snug and warm and I really feel part of the car.

    A recent drive in the R8 reminded me of how disconnected you can feel.

    Try it at least one more time :)
     
  10. visionik

    visionik Member

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    How have I worked with the car?

    1 - As you subsequently discovered, their is a hidden cup holder. I discovered a secret feature of the Tesla at least once a day... until I discovered the secret location of the owners manual.

    2 - The passenger seat is for my wife. No problem there. Outside of that I'd agree -- If I need to drive a friend / employee / customer around I probably wouldn't use the Tesla. Except most of my friends / employees / customers keep asking when they can get a ride in the Tesla.

    3 - I agree, If I lived in a snow climate I probably wouldn't drive the car around. I'm not the kind of person that worries much about living safe, however, I am the kind of person that would worry about damaging the beautiful car.

    4- Seats - on this subject I must disagree. I probably define the upper limit of a Tesla owner: 6'1 and darn near 300 pounds.*

    I find the car to be very comfortable--more comfortable than my wife's Lexus RX 350, where my knees are always up in the glove box.**

    Also the seat heater is just great. Wow. Hot hot hot.

    * Note: In contrast, I had a 6'4" ex-NFL player in the car two weeks ago. That was damn funny.

    ** Note: I believe the Tesla Roaster is one of the most sexy, high-performance, yet comfortable cars in the world. Except when I try to get out--then it instantly transforms into a sexy, high-performance clown-car.

    To summarize my feelings:

    Practically speaking, you should not buy a Tesla Roadster as your daily-driver car. Impractically speaking, you'll end up driving it every day anyway.
     
  11. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Great quote!

    At 6 months and 10K miles, it happened to me too!
     
  12. NEWDL

    NEWDL R#350 R#1323 Sig23 8136

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    Issues?

    I disagree with comfort of the seats and size of the car. I believe the seats are perfect (and I have less comfortable seats than are in the 2010 Roadster. Size can be tight for two larger people...but any other combination is just fine...and is still doable with two large individuals.

    Cup holder? I hope that is not the main reason... It is a single speed gear box.... hold your drink...

    safety is very important to Tesla Motors....if you take a look at past accidents...there are some AMAZING crashes where owners WALKED AWAY.

    I could post some photos for you if you are interested...

    Where did you go to drive the Roadster? What store?
     
  13. Tdave

    Tdave Member

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    I'm 6'2" and 180 lbs. It's the most comfortable car I've driven. I think it's because of the one piece seat with no tilt, therefore the support and form fitting part of the seat near where the seat and back meet in a normal car is so much better in the Roadster.

    Handling is excellent once you adjust the suspension. See the thread on adjusting the adjustable suspension on these forums.

    I too am concerned about submarining under a car in a collision. Hopefully, the excellent handling and nimbleness means I'll avoid the accident I would otherwise have been in.

    I like that it's small. Makes it nimble and more fun to drive.

    Not bothered by being shoulder to shoulder with a passenger, but I can see why some might be.
     
  14. DaveD

    DaveD EVs Kick Gas!

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    #14 DaveD, Jan 24, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
    This is one of the better known examples.

    The Tesla driver walked away from this one.
     
  15. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    #15 Palpatine, Jan 24, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2010
    I am 6'3" and 250 pounds. I fit fine in my Roadster.
    Zak at Tesla Motors is 6'5" and drives one every day.

    The main issue for a new person is getting in and out. The first few times it is strange. Then you learn the formula for entering and exiting the Roadster, after that it is easy.

    For me personally, the daily thrill of driving a Tesla Roadster overwhelms the small issues.

    The cupholder is actually in the perfect location inside the Tesla Roadstrer.

    A lot of people moaned about the GPS and the electronics group package, but I have grown quite fond of it. It works great once you know all of the features and how to navigate through the menus.

    This is my first high performance sports car, so I don't have the experience of comparing it to a 911 or some of the other cars mentioned. I refuse to ever purchase another car unless it has a plug for recharging. So until Porsche, Mercedes, Audi or Ferrari have an EV, there is no way for me to consider their products.

    My future garage will be Tesla Roadster, Tesla Model S and some form of PHEV like the GM Volt or Plugin Prius that can go EV 30-40 miles before needing gasoline.
     
  16. bolosky

    bolosky Member

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    I'm 5'11", 160 and I have no problem getting into and out of the Roadster. I've had it for about 5 months/6K miles, and I drive it to work pretty much every day.

    On my test drives and for the first week or so getting in and out was really awkward, but once I figured it out it's become very natural.

    The main passenger I have is my 9-year-old son, and he's small enough that it's not especially tight. With others, they're usually so excited to be in the car that they don't mind being closer to me than they'd like. If you did it a lot maybe it would be an issue.

    One problem that I do have is that the roof is so low that I have trouble seeing traffic lights, because they're blocked by the top of the windshield. I have to duck my head when I'm first in line. Also, the steering wheel blocks out the top part of the instrument panel. I really wish they had tilt steering so that I could fix that. However, I can live with it.

    The seats seem pretty comfortable to me, and I think that the JVC audio is just fine (but I'm not all that picky). I didn't buy the nav package, because the space for the screen is so small that there's no way it's going to be all that useful. I got spoiled by the big nav screen in my old RX-8.

    I've never used my cup holder, because I'm afraid of spilling something on my interior. Maybe when it's an old car I'll be able to bring myself to do it, but not for many years.

    The trunk is big enough to fit my laptop, gym bag and softball equipment (including a bat), as well as the soft top back when the weather was good enough to take it off. I find that I don't let junk build up there like I did with other cars, which is actually kind of a plus.
     
  17. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    Removing the car visors helps with that. They slide right off.

    I agree with that issue 100%. Tilt steering needs to be added. I can live with it though.
     
  18. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I've test driven a Roadster but don't own one yet. I had the same two issues with it. Adding steering wheel up/down tilt would eliminate my main problem with the car. I'm 6'3" as well and had the same problem with the windshield but didn't get to take off the visor since it was just just a test drive.
    I didn't have any problems with the seat, thought it was just fine. Held me in place when I gunned it to test out the acceleration. Such an awesome car.
     
  19. tennis_trs

    tennis_trs 2010 2.0 Roadster Sport

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    I've had my Roadster Sport for nearly 5 months (4000 miles).

    I've driven my Porsche Boxster S less than a dozen times since getting the Tesla (the Tesla is just way, way more fun to drive). I have just those 2 vehicles. I'm selling the Boxster soon. So the Tesla is my daily driver and soon to be my only car.

    I've owned only roadsters for nearly 20 years.

    I'm 6' and just over 300 lbs. Getting in/out took a little practice at first, but is not a significant bother anymore. I really like the interior space and I find the seat plenty comfortable.

    I've rarely used the cup holders in any of my cars and would have been more worried to do so in my Boxster, since I'd worry that there would be spillage on the dash since the holders pull out of the dash. Obviously the Tesla one wouldn't work well with a passenger in the car.

    The Tesla luggage compartment volume is only about half that of the Boxster's (which has great volume for a roadster), but I think the Tesla has about the same volume as my old Miata had, with a better shape to the Tesla trunk.

    Regarding the issues seeing traffic lights due to the short windshield: I agree it takes some head ducking, but I really enjoy the short windshield when the top is off, because the car seems even more open than my previous drop-tops, i.e., you barely have to glance up at all to see the sky. This was a pleasant surprise since I had been worried that I would like having a targa roof much less than a drop-top and I like this targa even more.

    Snow and wrecks: this is an expensive enough car that I plan to avoid snow driving (not driving or taxi and rental cars are fine alternatives for me, especially since, with any reasonably small vehicle, you need to make other plans when you need to move larger things, so I see snow as a similar type of event). I realize there are some more/other risks with smaller and lower cars.

    I can definitely understand that the Tesla would not be right for a lot of people, but it's great for what I like.
     
  20. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Same here, but having the gauges upside down would work too. Can you get on that James.

    A person buying a hundred thousand dollar car could set aside some money for a titanium cup holder.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    By the way, long ago owners of the Roadster's less appointed cousin, the Lotus Elise came up with a solution.
    [​IMG]
     

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