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Finally took a big gulp out of the Kool Aid

Hello Tesla World,

So, I decided to take a big gulp from the Kool Aid and decided to take delivery of the Model S LR, which I put a deposit down back in 2021. Picked it up on Friday.

I have PPF/Ceramic Coating/Tint work scheduled next week and will post more pics once that is done.
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Had this thing for all of 48 hours, so I thought I would share some initial impressions, as a first Tesla Owner.
There are some pleasant surprises, some annoyances, and deal breakers.

1. Build Quality

After reading and seeing all the stories and videos about build quality concern, glue and panel alignments, I was ready to go through this thing with a fine-tooth comb when I got to the dealership. But damn, I was surprised at how well this thing is put together including the panel gaps. I could have gone with a Vernier caliper and nitpick, but for my eyes the panel alignments and fit and finish are really done well.

The interior is also exceptionally clean and well put together. Even when driving, I don't hear any creak or rattle.
There is one exception, the trim piece under the center display is loose on the driver side, which I didn't catch when I was inspecting at the Service Centre. But not a big deal.
Guess setting the bar low can mean you can only be pleasantly surprised.

2. Interior Comfort

The interior is very well put together and relatively quiet. The active noise cancellation is still in calibration mode, so I'm not sure if it's fully functioning right now.
But for the most part, it's relatively quiet. On HWY speeds or speeding up, there is some road noise.

The seats are just OK for driving comfort, especially when I compare it to the S4 buckets seats. Which feels more secure, more cocooned and the thigh extender makes sitting in it that much more comfortable. Maybe over time, I will get accustomed to it, so I will see.

Maybe this is me, but I find the driver foot well, crammed. I am not a tall guy, just 5 5, but the foot well feels crammed, because the driver side narrows into the foot well, so I feel like I can't rest my leg in a more neutral position.

Mine also comes with the articulating centre screen and I have to say, I don't know how those who do not have it can live with it.
That articulating screen tilted towards the driver, makes a night and day difference in interacting with that screen.

3. The damn YORK!

OK, I know you either like it or hate it. And I hate it!
Nothing about the york makes sense and this thing makes driving the S feel like a chore. There is nothing natural or intuitive about driving with the York.
It takes away from enjoying driving the car, especially when you are in back country roads. I am going to see how I feel long term and if I can learn to drive the york and make it work.

I fail to believe how anyone in Tesla, who enjoys driving, thought this thing would be a better experience than a wheel would be.

4. Driving Dynamics

I have been driving an Audi S4 (2011) for almost 8 years, and I can say this thing is not a driver's car. While it drives very well, the steering feels very muted and numb. It lacks any kind of real feel or direction. The steering feels disconnected from what the wheels are trying to do. I took it around some twisty roads, and the car just does not react as quickly as I would like to when I drive it around. It's as if there is a delay between turning the wheel and the car responding to it. No matter what mode it is in. Not saying there is a delay, but the response is not direct. And it is made worse by that stupid York.

I really like the engine whine that comes in when you put it in insane mode and gun it.
Kinda like the supercharger whine of the S4 V6.

In the end this is not a road car, but more like a GT commuter that you can occasionally drive on nice, twisted roads.
If I must drive on a twisted road, then I am choosing my S4.

5. Enhanced Autopilot

I decided to go with the Enhanced AP instead of FSD, as it has all the gimmicks of owning a Tesla without having to pay Tesla to be their beta tester for a functionality that will never be ready.

I haven't been able to test this yet, coz the damn camera is still calibrating. The driver side camera is also not coming online. I have a dark window with a busy icon. I'm not sure if it's because the cameras are calibrating, or I have a faulty AP camera. Have a mobile service appointment to check it out.

Anyone know if cameras remain offline while they are going through calibration, the front and passenger sides are working?

CONCLUSION:

As someone who never owned a Tesla and this being the first one, I am genuinely impressed with the product I got. That being said, despite the overall package being good, I feel like the individual parts that make the car are underwhelming or missing in one aspect or the other.

Had I had a chance to test drive this vehicle, I am not sure if I would have gone through the purchase.
But since these are my impressions after having this thing for just under 48 hours, I might change my opinion after driving it for a while.

I have reservations for a BMW iX M50 (which I loved when I test drove) and a Rivian R1S (my real interest).
So, when the time comes for when they are ready, and the Tesla does not impress me, then I will be moving on.
 
I’m sure the masses will be interested in your yoke experience over time. However, the one thing in your review (much appreciated) that raised an eyebrow for me, was the state of your AP calibration. (And, I’m pretty sure it’s just AP, since Enhanced Autopilot hasn’t been available for a while.) Let us know what you learn with the mobile visit; my M3 had calibrated before I‘d completed my 30 mile drive home from the service center when I picked it up.
 
I’m sure the masses will be interested in your yoke experience over time. However, the one thing in your review (much appreciated) that raised an eyebrow for me, was the state of your AP calibration. (And, I’m pretty sure it’s just AP, since Enhanced Autopilot hasn’t been available for a while.) Let us know what you learn with the mobile visit; my M3 had calibrated before I‘d completed my 30 mile drive home from the service center when I picked it up.
Actually, EAP is available again.

Last I calibrated my cameras it also only took about maybe 20 miles. I don't recall the repeaters not functioning during this time, but I also wasn't paying too much attention.
 
3. The damn YORK!

OK, I know you either like it or hate it. And I hate it!
Nothing about the york makes sense and this thing makes driving the S feel like a chore. There is nothing natural or intuitive about driving with the York.
It takes away from enjoying driving the car, especially when you are in back country roads. I am going to see how I feel long term and if I can learn to drive the york and make it work.

I fail to believe how anyone in Tesla, who enjoys driving, thought this thing would be a better experience than a wheel would be.

Is York how you say Yoke in Canadian? 🤣

I completely agree with you, though. And I think you hit the nail on the head - Tesla's design decisions are driven (pun intended) by engineers, not driving experts of enthusiasts. They're also through the lens of the FSD vision, in which most of the time you're not driving manually.
 
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SilverGS

Active Member
Nov 3, 2016
2,007
1,199
Ontario
Is York how you say Yoke in Canadian? 🤣

I completely agree with you, though. And I think you hit the nail on the head - Tesla's design decisions are driven (pun intended) by engineers, not driving experts of enthusiasts. They're also through the lens of the FSD vision, in which most of the time you're not driving manually.
This threads title is really click bait as it starts off in a negative manner - "taking a gulp of Kool Aid".... implying that anyone that has one drinks the Tesla Kool aid....

And no Tesla in existence has a "YORK" .

I just wish customers would understand what they are getting into prior to "taking a gulp of Kool Aid" and then having buyers remorse.
 
I just wish customers would understand what they are getting into prior to "taking a gulp of Kool Aid" and then having buyers remorse.

While I agree in general with comment of one should do thorough research ahead of time. I also understand that doing this is difficult for anyone considering a MS or a MX given the general lack of any opportunity to test drive one. I'll cut people slack on this that aspect until time comes that one can actually arrange to test drive either a MS or MX through a Tesla location.
 

SilverGS

Active Member
Nov 3, 2016
2,007
1,199
Ontario
While I agree in general with comment of one should do thorough research ahead of time. I also understand that doing this is difficult for anyone considering a MS or a MX given the general lack of any opportunity to test drive one. I'll cut people slack on this that aspect until time comes that one can actually arrange to test drive either a MS or MX through a Tesla location.
The simple solution is why bother buying one if you can't test drive it? Clearly you have to be predisposed to wanting one badly enough to buy it sight unseen - that's why I don't get the buyers remorse.
 

vcor

Tech Specialist
Nov 29, 2012
606
351
California
As a new owner, you may not be aware but there are three settings for steering - Comfort, Normal, and Sport. You may try the other settings to see which you prefer.

Although there are a couple of vocal Telsa/Yoke haters, most find after a week of using it to be fine. After a month, most don't want to go back. It is different, but I feel a lot safer with it. No risk of poor hand positions that can break your wrists in an airbag deployment on a conventional steering wheel. I think it can be more difficult if you switch between cars that have the Yoke and ones that don't. Just depends on how adept you are with differences. Sort of like switching between a car with manual transmission and an automatic. Some find it easy, and others not so much.
 
In defense of the S (also having come from an S4 (mine had the V8) ) the S4 is quite a bit smaller, so I would expect it to feel a good bit more nimble than the S.
Yeah agree, it's not an apples-to-apple comparison and not a fair one. But the steering feel could have been better tuned. At the very least, I personally think, the standard steering would improve the steering feel quite a bit better than the yoke.

Is York how you say Yoke in Canadian? 🤣

I completely agree with you, though. And I think you hit the nail on the head - Tesla's design decisions are driven (pun intended) by engineers, not driving experts of enthusiasts. They're also through the lens of the FSD vision, in which most of the time you're not driving manually.
HAHAHA, yes sir I was hoping to start a trend :D

Yeah, the Yoke plays into Elon's vision of no one will be driving their cars in the future.
So why bother with a steering wheel at all.
As a new owner, you may not be aware but there are three settings for steering - Comfort, Normal, and Sport. You may try the other settings to see which you prefer.

Although there are a couple of vocal Telsa/Yoke haters, most find after a week of using it to be fine. After a month, most don't want to go back. It is different, but I feel a lot safer with it. No risk of poor hand positions that can break your wrists in an airbag deployment on a conventional steering wheel. I think it can be more difficult if you switch between cars that have the Yoke and ones that don't. Just depends on how adept you are with differences. Sort of like switching between a car with manual transmission and an automatic. Some find it easy, and others not so much.
I have tried all the modes. It's a matter of time before figuring out a set of options that will work for me and getting used to it.

Yeah, it might take some time getting used to adapting to a driving style that matches the yoke and figuring it out. I do switch between my S4 and this, so that adds to the muscle memory confusion too.
 
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Undecided_2

Member
Supporting Member
Jan 21, 2022
603
435
Helensburgh
Tesla definitely is not a driver’s car.
There are few driving car site reviewers that would disagree with you on the Tesla M3/M3P. Wink😉

I’ve come from performance cars to the MY. It can be a lot of fun but does gets out of shape quickly when being thrown hard into twisties in west coast Scotland. I would love to have a ‘drift’ mode like the Ford RS Focus.
 
I think you bought the wrong model Tesla —a model 3 performance with a few enhancements would have been a lot more fun for you - I have standard 3 on order as budget allows
Ag
Yeah, I actually enjoyed the M3P, but for day to day driving it felt more like driving a go kart than a GT Commuter, and the overall package was very boring and bland for me personally. I would prefer to sit in my S4 than the M3.

The Model S is overall a better package compared to the M3.
I have a M3 loaner right now from the shop that is doing tint/ppf/cermaic coating work on my S and tbh, except for the steering nothing about that car is exciting.
 
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