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Doors feel a little cheap (opening/closing)?

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by Amberite, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. Amberite

    Amberite New Member

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    I am in the final stages right before ordering my S90D (financing in place, etc), and yesterday I went for my test drive at my local dealership. I loved everything about the handling of the car, the technology, the touch-screen, etc. However, I was pretty turned off by some other finer details, especially the doors. I was really surprised that the doors felt so flimsy and - hate to say this - cheap. They felt like doors that you would find on a $20k car, not on a $100k car. I was especially disappointed in the clunky feel when closing the doors.

    I'm still intending to purchase the car and I'm still very excited about it, but the doors really got me down. Has anyone else noticed the cheap feel, and does it bother you after owning the car for a while?
     
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  2. HX_Guy

    HX_Guy Member

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    There are several things that make the car feel cheap, such as missing features (auto wipers being one example).
    Door as you mentioned are another. I think the interior handle that opens the door feels cheap, as does the hands that you use to pull the door shut. Mine creaks whenever I grab and pull on it.

    At the end of the day though, the overall driving experience trumps all the little annoyances.
     
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  3. jmsurpri

    jmsurpri Member

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    I think the main reason the doors feel cheap is because they are made with lightweight aluminum, so they are quite a bit lighter than steel doors. For me it was something I noticed that felt peculiar when I first got the car but got used to it. One issue I have is driving my other cars. I'm so used to the smaller force needed to close the Tesla doors that I usually need a couple attempts to close the heavier non Tesla doors.
     
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  4. SDRick

    SDRick Member

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    I had the same reservations, particularly on the doors, seats and overall interior. But it is relative. If you are used to euro luxury, then you notice these things. I had always hoped that they would come up with the soft close doors before I purchased my S (or auto closing doors like the X) which would minimize the feeling of door lightness or cheapness.

    Bottom line, this car is so revolutionary and fun to drive that its various tactile and creature comforts shortcomings are comparatively insignificant.
     
  5. Cursed

    Cursed New Member

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    @SDRick , I agree with your analysis, it would have been nice to have the soft close features, you do kind of get used to them. Overall though I have to say even with these issues I love driving car. Now how do I contact to get the the seats to warm up when I turn on AC remotely :)
     
  6. ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️

    ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️ Fritterer and waster of hours in an off hand wayer

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    It's not really a $100k car. Mine was only $70,000. Tired of the $100,000 Car
     
  7. Haxster

    Haxster Member

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    I kind of think of mine as a $40K car with another $60K of high-tech performance in it.
     
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  8. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    I think the "flimsy" feel of the doors you may feel has more to do with the body being made of aluminum. Depending on what type of steel and aluminum are used, the density of steel ranges from 2.5 to 3 times that of aluminum. If you're not used to things made of aluminum it can take some getting used to. I've been around aircraft a lot of my life, so the lightness didn't surprise me.

    I'm not sure what you mean by there being no automatic wipers, my S 90D has automatic wipers.
     
  9. Cricket88

    Cricket88 Member

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    The thing that I do notice but have accepted is the edge of the door. When you grab on to it, you realize it's not a conventional corner. Instead you're grabbing a piece of mounding on an edge of very fragile-like door edge
     
  10. ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️

    ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️ Fritterer and waster of hours in an off hand wayer

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    I haven't noticed that. That sounds horrible.
     
  11. Mr X

    Mr X Future Owner

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    The stuff people complain about LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL



    Doesn't sound cheap to me. Sounds solid. Still LOL
     
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  12. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    It is kind of funny someone is complaining the doors feel "cheap" because they use a more expensive metal.
     
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  13. davidc18

    davidc18 Active Member

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    it is what it is, take it or leave it. no other comparable options at this time.
     
  14. MS16

    MS16 Member

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    The doors definitely sound cheap when closing and it gets worse over time, and least it has in my case. And yes, it does bother me. I'm used to cars with solid, vault-like doors.

    On mine, it's not the material the door itself is made of, it's the interior door panel. When I close my drivers door, instead of a solid 'thunk' the interior door panel vibrates/rattles. If you tap on the interior door panel, you hear a hollow, cheap sound. My drivers door has gotten worse over time. My S is almost 5 months old.

    In my experience, the fit and finish and overall build quality of my S is no where near the standard of vehicles in the $50K+ range. There are a lot of very cheap elements to it and also a lot of things missing. (coat hooks, grab handles, adjustable seat belts, adjustable head rests, proper lighting in trunk, ...)
     
  15. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    You bought the car new? Mine is about 7 months old and the only problem I've had is dirt in the radiator baffles and the headlight buzz common to early refresh cars (that started in December).

    I do agree there are some interior things missing that are common. I hope they address them eventually. They have been slowly addressing these things though, the center console is now standard and the back seat now has cup holders. They hired a chief interior guy from Volvo, which might be a sign they are going to rework the interior, but it won't do much for those of us who already have their S.

    If you want brighter LEDs in the trunk area Abstract Ocean makes replacement LED units that pop into the same slots the stock lights are in.

    If anything is loose or rattling, that should be taken care of in a service center visit. Loose panels are an aberration, not something to be expected after a few months.

    My last car had about the most vault-like doors imaginable, a 1992 Buick Roadmaster. One of the last rear wheel drive, 5.7L V-8 cars built. It was a great car for an ICE, but the doors were around a foot thick at their thickest and very heavy. I noticed the lighter doors on the Model S, but I never really thought much about it until this thread. I expected them to be lighter weight because they are aluminum.
     
  16. David29

    David29 Member

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    I agree that the doors lack the "bank vault thud" that one finds in a Mercedes, e.g. Having driven MBs for many, many years before I got my Tesla, I noticed that difference right away. As others have said, part of that is the use of aluminum. But another part, i think, is the frameless windows. I wish the windows had frames, but they don't and that is all there is to it. Another part of the door feeling is that the front doors are very long, which I think magnifies whatever effect the use of aluminum has on the sound.

    There is no doubt, perhaps unfortunately, that the finish is not up to European standards. (The inside finish on the doors seems thin and hard compared to my past Mercedes, for example.) But as others said, the car is otherwise so outstanding that it was a compromise I was willing to make. After 18 months, I am still happy I made that switch! (But i still do envy the bank vault sound/feeling when I hear it.)
     
  17. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

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    The Model S doors "feel" light for two reasons:

    1. They are actually lighter because they're made of aluminum.
    2. Instead of mechanical linkages with the outer and inner door handles with a large spring on them, both the inner and outer door handles are just small contact switches. They send a signal to the computers which then electronically roll the window down 1/4" and then electronically actuate the door latching mechanism. Because the inner and outer door handles don't have this mechanical linkage that has a relatively high resistance, very little force is required to actuate them and open the door.

    Combine the two together and you have a very easy-to-open door that swings easily, hence the feeling that they're a lot lighter (and therefore "cheaper") that other typical luxury car doors.
     
  18. BozieBeMe2

    BozieBeMe2 Member

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  19. MS16

    MS16 Member

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    For me it's the sound the doors make, not the weight of the door. When I shut my door there is a tinny, cheap sound coming from the interior door panel.

    The best selling vehicle in the US is all aluminum and it's doors sound very solid when shutting, so for me I don't think it's the aluminum is that's the issue.
     
  20. MS16

    MS16 Member

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    Yes, I got my car brand new with single digit miles on the odo.

    The other "cheap" thing I would note is how the instrument panel is designed and assembled. The entire top seems to be a separate piece that just snaps on to the rest of the instrument panel. I can hear some of the clips that hold it down buzzing at times, especially when it's cold. I'm used to cars with instrument panels that are a single structure which I'd think would help reduce buzzes and rattles.
     

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