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Do you think there will be a "luxury" Model X in the future?

Discussion in 'Model X' started by swon, Apr 13, 2017.

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  1. swon

    swon Member

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    With the Model 3 coming out (and looking extremely nice, from the recent pictures & videos), I'm curious if Tesla is going to step up their game in the luxury department to really set the higher-end models apart for the more budget-friendly models. I am considering a Model X this year & recently took a friend's X with Ludicrous Mode out for an extensive test-drive. While there were a number of things that thrilled me about it, I was also pretty disappointed in a lot of aspects, especially given the nearly $160k pricetag on his model.

    Please note that this isn't designed to be a poo-poo thread, but an honest evaluation of things I'd like to see in the X. I'm sure many of these things have been discussed before, but as I was just in a late-model X & with the 3 coming out this year, I think it's a good time to revisit the discussion, as I feel like the X is missing some great features in the areas of luxury, technology, and convenience. I'll skip the small stuff that you already know about if you've driven a luxury car in the past, but some specific things I'd like to see include:

    1. Air-conditioned seats: Heated seats throughout the cabin with the sub-zero package, yes, but what about for hot days? Also, no ventilated seat option. Rumor is too many people were spilling drinks on them & frying the electronics.

    2. Luxury seats: I come from a Volvo background. You can literally take a nap in the heavenly interior of a fully-loaded S80 (I'm sure the newer S90 is equally good). The seats in the X were good, but not...fantastic. For a car that is designed to be more SUV than supercar, you would think that there were be more comfort put in for the seats & touchpoints. Wasn't particularly impressed with the steering wheel either...would have preferred something a bit larger & more grippy, like a Mustang GT350 has. This was, after, all a sub-3-second car (and also my first time using Ludicrous mode, amazing!).

    3. Shifter: Speaking of the steering wheel, I thought the way the car shifted gears (via the weird stalk/digital system) was really dumb. Felt like I was in a minivan. I know it's one of those things you get used to over time, but it felt old in style & a bit overly-complicated. I really like the shifter in the newer Prius lineup...you have shift knob directly under the screen, with a clear layout for Reverse/Neutral/Drive, and a light-up "Park" button. Very very intuitive & easy to access. I don't think this will ever change (at least not anytime soon in the X), just felt the need to complain about it...hah.

    4. Lack of cameras: I was really surprised that there was only one (albeit high-definition) camera available. I am a really big fan of Infiniti's 360-degree "Around View" monitoring system. When we stopped for lunch, I parallel-parked between a couple cars. When we left, I was worried about hitting the car in front of me because I wasn't used to the depth-perception required for the car's outer limits yet. The Range Rover Evoque (which has terrible visibility) has a similar system (not sure about the newer models, but the older ones had 5 cameras total) with a pair of front curb cameras that not only allowed you to see out the front, but also helped you see around snowdrifts when you were pulling out into traffic, without having to stick your nose out too far. I know that the Autopilot tech is getting better & will probably help in these areas, but I'd really rather have some convenience & safety options here. The CTS6 also has a really neat new rearview mirror screen for the rear camera. It's just a bit strange that all we get is one big jumbo HD rear camera & nothing else.

    5. Lack of DVR: Chevy has the Performance Data Recorder available on the new Corvettes, which includes a dashcam of sorts. This would be a great feature on such an expensive car. Which has an HD camera. With a giant touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard.

    6. Driving comfort: I've read some reports that the Tesla isn't the most comfortable for rides. I actually found the opposite to be true, it was pretty dang smooth. The X moreso, due to the extra size & weight. It wasn't luxury-smooth, but it was very good. Felt better than my coworker's A7. Although...it could stand to be a bit softer. I've read here that the bags vs. springs feels the same, although there is some play with the steering wheel settings; I'm curious if Tesla would ever offer an adaptable ride suspension system. In the film world, we have a lot of neat technologies - for a really interesting system, look up "The Mill Blackbird" on Vimeo, which is a cutting-edge EV chassis used for filming car commercials & movies with cars. The chassis can be adjusted to mimic the ride handling of any car past or present; it would be cool if Tesla offering something bleeding-edge like this, where you could switch it out from caddy mode to viper mode. On most days, I would prefer having a more comfortable ride, but it would be cool to be able to switch it up for more spirited driving. They're halfway there with Ludicrous mode & being able to lower the car on the bagged suspension (which was funny to watch in person as it see-sawed back & forth).

    Small gripes
    :


    1. Supercharging: This should be free on ALL X & S models, due to the premium price tag, to help differentiate the feature set from the Model 3.

    2. Falcon-wing doors:
    Yes, I think these are cool. So cool that I came close to buying a Delorean several times, but decided not to (primarily due to safety concerns). However, they are attention-grabbing (one of the nice things about the Tesla S & X is that they have otherwise understated designs) & seem a bit finicky. Not super wobbly, but enough that I would question their longevity & long-term maintenance requirements. Don't hate me, but I would love sliding doors on an X, especially for children access.

    3. Giant screen:
    No, I'm not a luddite. I just like manual buttons that I don't have to look at while I'm driving & can simply operate by feel (like using a Tivo remote in the dark!). I feel like an 8" or even a 10" screen is sufficient. The giant screen just feels gimmicky to me, especially since there's no HUD, there's no front cameras, there's no built-in DVR, etc. The fact that it is there makes me feel like there a lot of missed opportunities to use it in really unique & even fairly standard ways. Also, what's up with no backseat entertainment options? I guess they just expect people to play on iPads or their phones now. A 17" screen behind each seat would sure be nice for watching movies on road trips!

    4. No HUD: Plenty of production cars come with heads-up displays now. I'm not a fan of looking down at a giant, bright screen to see a map...would much rather look at a simple HUD on the glass in front of the steering wheel. And having used aftermarket options like Navdy, I would prefer a HUD that's built-in & doesn't require you to re-focus your eyes while driving.

    5. Keyfob size: Not a fan. Cool, yes, but huge. I wish there was a credit card-style version, like the 2go Keyless iKey model.

    6. Spare tire: Oh my gosh. This really peeves me. I've had two flats in the last two years; it is SO much easier just changing out the tire on the spot. Looks like the options are tire goo or wait on a Ranger or tow. On the flip side, due to the weight of the car & size of even the smallest tire, it doesn't seem like the best option to add a DIY aftermarket kit. Hmm.

    Separate review & discussion
    :

    1. Ludicrous mode:
    I am on the fence about Ludicrous mode. Separate from the significant cost, I am curious about the gimmicky nature of it...does the fun wear off after awhile? (serious question) Especially given that while it is awesome to experience (especially with just a blip of torque steer!), you're not getting the same effect as driving a fire-breathing muscle car complete with physical vibrations, engine acoustics pulsing your body, etc. While I am a Tesla fanboy, I am also not blind to the draw of or opposed to the idea of ICE vehicles & enjoy the experience of a fun, powerful engine-based vehicle just as much as driving electric. Part of the reason I ask is that I did not spend enough time with the car to really see the "daily driving" differences between 0 to 60 in 4.8 seconds vs. 2.9 seconds with Ludicrous mode (guess which one I spend the most time in). I have spent money on features that were really cool initially but got old quick before & would kind of hate to be a year or two down the road and shrug off the speed boost (the X would be my daily driver).

    2. Safety: One of the big draws of the X is the safety, which is also a big reason I like Volvos. I've been hit several times & it has been a scary experience each time. I like that this car is really, really safe (Autopilot features aside).

    3. Autopilot: Moreso than simply having a high-performing EV, I think Autopilot is the biggest draw for me. I peak at around 200 miles a day with my daily commute (3-4 hours of driving), although it's typically closer to 2 hours of driving most days, depending on which campus I'm headed to. That rules out even the newer 107-mile Leaf, although GM's Bolt is a nice option with 238 tested miles...but as I'm stuck in traffic sometimes (A/C on, radio on, etc.), having that extra 50 miles of range on the X is nice (especially if it's winter & I need the heat on). AWD is obviously a huge benefit in the snowy winters. But coupled with the range is the Autopilot...most of my commute is highway. TACC has been a wonderful upgrade from standard cruise control, to the point where it almost feels like a self-driving car, so my first time with Autopilot felt very natural because all it was really adding was automatic lane-keep assist (so to speak). Plus it'd be nice to eat food fairly hands-free (long commutes = eating on the road a lot!).

    No car is perfect & I am being nitpicky, but not without cause...it's an expensive car & I would like to see more luxury features in it, especially in the interior. Sign me up for a "plush" Model X! There will always be a zillion little features I want as well, like...$160k with falcon doors, but no motorized frunk? Really? I do like that the cars are constantly going through design revisions, however - like having matte seat backings now, instead of glossy. I am in no rush to buy, although ordering today means it wouldn't get here until June, but I'm wondering if it would be smarter to wait until after the July unveiling of the 3 to see if any spiffy new features become available on the X (more cameras, more sensors, more luxury features, etc.).
     
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  2. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    @swon -- There will always be more options, the longer you wait. Always.

    The trick is to know what you're waiting for, order it when it is what you want, and then manage to be happy with getting what you wanted when new options come out. Which always happens.
     
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  3. swon

    swon Member

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    Absolutely, and that is definitely the best argument. Highway Autopilot meets my wishlist for self-driving & a near-300 mile range eliminates the range anxiety with my maximum commute, so I think I would be pretty dang happy with today's offering. But as I'm in no rush, I am curious if the introduction of the 3 will have any techie impacts on the X.

    On the flip side, this could turn into the Apple situation...there are 400k 3's to be made, which is what happened to Apple. They had to ship a zillion iPhones & focused primarily on iOS & Macbooks and left the professionals in the dust. Just recently, the decided to focus on their "pros" again & step up with an improved Mac Pro offering next year...but they fell by the wayside for several years. I suspect that may happen to the X & S models...the focus will be on the 3 for the next couple of years, getting them refined & perfected & shipped out the door to the tune of hundreds of thousands, and then worrying about fit & finish and feature upgrades on the higher-end models after that. Funnily enough, I mention Apple partially because I had a friend who recently left Tesla for Apple; he loved working at Tesla, but said the stress levels at Apple are lightyears lower (not to mention, the pay is better! always a perk).

    Anyway, because the X is "in production" (fully set-up assembly line & whatnot), I don't really foresee any huge, immediate interior changes coming along, especially note with a new Gigafactory, a billion pre-orders for the 3, the solar stuff rolling out this month, etc. But since I'm not in a rush to get a replacement car, I have time to see what's out there before deciding. I suspect whatever Model X config I get, I'll be keeping it for a long, long time...not much to wear out! It will be nice to get away from imports too, which can be pricey to maintain & can sometimes require constant maintenance, ugh.
     
  4. Derek Kessler

    Derek Kessler Member

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    Might get more luxury later on down the line, but there's been no indication that anything like that it's coming any time soon. As for your points...

    Ventilated seats: Don't mourn their current absence — the old ones were mostly worthless.

    Shifter: This one is fine. There's absolutely no need for a knob or dial — it becomes muscle memory in no time. Besides, you touch in once or twice when you start your drive and once or twice again when you stop.

    Suspension: An adjustable magnetic ride suspension would be great, yeah. Unless you need it to clear snow, rough terrain, or steep drives, don't even bother with the air suspension.

    Supercharging: And yet, even without the Model 3 we're already dealing with Supercharger abuse. One of the perks with an EV is that you get to refuel at home for far less than you'd pay for gas. What luxury ICE car offers you that flexibility and any amount of free fuel?

    Falcon Wing Doors: Yeah, they're cool and silly, but so far they're proving mostly reliable (though it's still early days). I'm amused that you think the shifter is too much like a minivan but want sliding doors!

    Key: Show me an OEM key that's notably smaller than a Tesla key. The iKey misses much of the functionality of a Tesla key and is still rather bulky: 2.7" x 2" x 0.25". Tesla is narrower and thicker, but the iKey is no svelte thing.

    Spare Tire: Welcome to more and more modern cars. If it worries you, perhaps a portable tire pump should find its way into your frunk.

    Cameras, Giant screen, HUD, Autopilot: Remember, the whole idea with a new Tesla is that it will eventually be able to drive itself. You won't need a HUD or 360 camera view or controls you can use by touch alone because you won't have to keep your eyes on the road.

    Ludicrous: It's a lot of fun and will always put a smile on your face. But so will a non-P Tesla. Not to mention that P costs more and cuts into your range. My opinion: not worth the money for something you'll rarely use. I have a Model So 70D and it still hauls off the line.

    Autopilot: It's great and only getting better. Single best feature of a Tesla.

    Motorized Frunk: not allowed by federal regulation.

    Don't count on the arrival of the 3 quickly ushering in new features for the S and X. The 3 isn't just a smaller Tesla, it's also a down-market Tesla. It won't be a nice or fast or cool, so Tesla won't have to immediately improve the existing cars to compensate for potential cannibalization. Besides, Tesla is going to be focused as a company on delivering the 3 and meeting customer expectations. S and X are probably safe for now.

    Here's the rule of thumb when considering a Tesla: if it checks enough boxes for you that, buy it today. There will always be new features on the horizon, so if you keep holding out for the next upgrade you'll never buy the car off your dreams.
     
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  5. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    Don't expect a major revamp of the interior for at least two more years. Even then it may just evolve into something different rather than a full on refresh all at once.
     
  6. mal_tsla

    mal_tsla Member

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    It's unfair to judge the X as a $160k suv. Judge it as an $80k SUV and then decide if the various levels of more range and performance justify the price increases.

    A p100D isn't different than a 60d beyond range and performance.
     
  7. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

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    Yes, it's like saying that the BMW 3 series is a $90k car because the most expensive version costs that much.
     
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  8. mal_tsla

    mal_tsla Member

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    Correct, BMW M3 is a really expensive faster but not much "nicer" version of a $50k sedan. It's niceness should be compared to other $50k sedans but it's performance can be compared to $80k cars.

    You're spending money in two dimensions with these cars.

    I think the X is a better price:nice ratio in non-P versions, but that doesn't mean those versions shouldn't exist. Just like the m3.
     
  9. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave Supporting Member

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    A couple of corrections:
    1) ALL Model X's have air suspension, no choice there. Magnerheological (sp?) shocks would be a nice addition tho costly.
    2) Since front & rear tires are a different size, what size would the spare tire be if there was one?

    Many of your other suggestions I agree with. Since Tesla recently hired Volvo's interior designer (he may not have wanted to move to China), I expect significantly more luxury in the S and X interiors. That can be accomplished with minor hardware changes that don't require much if any revision to the assembly line.
     
  10. swon

    swon Member

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    Excellent points!

    Yes, the shifter did bother me! But as you said, muscle memory. And I do like the idea of sliding doors, especially with kids who tend to knock regular doors into cars parked next to you. I think the falcon doors are cool, but would prefer to have a different option, especially because I am not always parked in good neighborhoods. One of the appealing things about the X is that it doesn't really stand out all that much due to the minimalistic design - it's really a bit of a sleeper, if you don't get a flashy color (obviously a bright red S stands out more than a gray X does...I've mistaken the S several times for a late-model Ford Fusion from behind or from the side). But I think Tesla is pretty committed to the design. I am curious if the Model Y will end up having a Mazda 5-style sliding door on a compact frame - that was a great design:



    Is the Model X frunk weird to close like the one on the S is? I did not check that out. But the X's doors reminded me a bit of the frunk on the S...just a little bit...off, when shutting.
     
  11. swon

    swon Member

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    I would lean towards the evolution instead of revolution route, and I suspect you're right - most of the focus will be on the 3, for the foreseeable future.
     
  12. swon

    swon Member

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    With my range requirements being as close to 300 miles as I can get, that pretty much leaves me with either the 100D or the P100D for options, so nearly $100k base at that level. But still, I get your point.
     
  13. swon

    swon Member

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    Downside is I test-drove the top-end model, so now I'm spoiled!
     
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  14. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

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    You make some good points but you lost me on this one. I sat in a Porsche Cayenne recently with a small screen and a ton of buttons and knobs and it felt last century to me. I so much prefer the large screen with those rarely used buttons neatly tucked away but at the same time all the important buttons I need I can quickly and easily access from the steering wheel's buttons and wheels.

    True, for a lot of what he asks. But fortunately we will never see a smaller screen and more buttons option, in my view at least.
     
  15. swon

    swon Member

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    Correct, I should have clarified that I was referring to the driving dynamics of the S. I didn't see much difference between an S with coils and an X with bags, although the X did have a better ride (due to weight/size). Side note, I ruled out the S due to the size, felt too snug for me (I'm tall). The X was a revelation...while I think the S looks great and the X looks like a puffed marshmallow version of the S, as soon as I merely sat inside I was sold. Also, I had no idea it had the panoramic windshield, WOW! That was the second selling point for me. The roominess & the awesome visibility are very strong features for me in the X.

    Good point on the spare tire size, especially if you plan on keeping a full-sized spare.

    I was happy to hear about the hire of the interior designer last December, which bodes well for the future. I love Volvo's interiors & like to keep my cars for a long time, so if there's a chance the interior will improve, I wouldn't mind waiting. On the flip side, the currently model doesn't have a bad interior by any means. I don't think there's really anything major that I am missing in the current design.
     
  16. swon

    swon Member

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    I am a very haptics-oriented person; I like a combination of steering wheel controls & center-dashboard dials. Most cars are laid out horribly, however. And particularly in cars like the Tesla, it does make more sense to have a larger, multi-functional touchscreen that can easily be reprogrammed without any physical hardware changes. I'm sure it becomes like the shift lever over time...you get used to it.
     
  17. brkaus

    brkaus Active Member

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    #17 brkaus, Apr 13, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
    This! I've been looking for a description for a while!

    I love the space in the back of the X and the windshield. But went with the S for the looks and fear of the falcon wing doors. I'm not tall so I fit in the S fine.

    And - free unlimited supercharging is gone forever. It just isn't a viable working model long term. Even if you argue at the high cost it should be included, it just makes so much more sense to charge at home. And with "free" you have all the folks at the SpC trying to save a few dollars a day. They couldn't build enough infrastructure to serve all the cheapskates out there. I know... I've varied my routine to do my jogging near a $4/month for unlimited use utility owned charger :)
     
  18. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    Point of clarification: Free Supercharging still exists for all Teslas. It's just limited to the first 400kWh (roughly 1000 miles) per year.

    The costs after that are reasonable (same as home electric rates), which is less than gasoline, and more importantly no more smelly, dirty gas stations, no more stupid pumps that ask for your zip code, then ask which grade, then if you want a receipt, all in the most horribly slow interface, with gross, filthy buttons. Sorry, I digress...

    The assertion from Tesla is that 400 kWh allocation actually covers all the Supercharging most existing Tesla owners typically use in a year, since most charging happens at home or at destinations. Not sure what that data looks like (n count, standard deviation, filtering out of people who never Supercharge, etc), but it's actually true for us and we do Supercharge from time to time on vacation road trips. They're really just trying to cut down on the serial abusers.
     
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  19. swon

    swon Member

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    Hah!

    On a tangent, what is the proper etiquette when charging an EV? Do you have to wait until the person comes out of the local store or whatever for them to unplug the charger from their car? I'd imagine that touching someone else's charging flap & removing the public cord is grounds for some sort of lawsuit.
     
  20. brkaus

    brkaus Active Member

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    You are correct. I just added "unlimited" in my reply above to match my intentions. Too late to be browsing TMC :). Thanks!
     

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