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Had my test drive yesterday, probably gonna bail out because...

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Dr Chill, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. Dr Chill

    Dr Chill Member

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    I had my test drive yesterday, and despite finding the car fairly powerful with good handling characteristics, it was a major disappointment for my wife and me. Having recently sold our Panamera after 16 months of ownership because of it feeling too big and heavy for local around town driving, and the very poor visibility it had on the side and rear, I found the Model S to suffer from too much heft, length and width.

    This car was to replace my wife's 2013 Lexus GS F Sport which she loves. I have had the GS on a road course and on an autocross track during the GS driving experience, and personally have 30 years of racing and hpde experience. The current Lexus GS has much better low speed maneuverability and is easier to drive as a grocery getter and errand runner. And since this was to be her car, she's reluctant to switch to such a big and heavy vehicle. The Tesla's excess mass gives it a driving feel not unlike the Fisker although clearly not as massive as that. The Tesla clearly overcomes its mass at speeds over 45 and tolerates road irregularities well and corners fairly flatly. The fit/finish and ergonomic issues exist but those to me aren't major, nor is the lack of adequate seat lateral support, but that's where cars like the GS F Sport truly shine. This GS also out- handles every other medium sized luxury car in its class (5 Series, E Class, and A6) which is unlike any Lexus before it.

    I am the car fanatic of the family and make all the car decisions. Despite poor parking lot characteristics, I overall liked the Model S for what it is-the best electric vehicle available to date with good acceleration and handling at what I feel to be a reasonable price point. Since I prefer a sports car as an every day driver, the Model S isn't for me. Unfortunately it doesn't fit the bill for my wife either.

    My only hope is for the 40 kW battery Model S to shed 200 plus pounds. Until the weight of that car is known, I will leave my deposit alone. Why there isn't definitive info available about that yet, is a mystery considering its release is supposedly 3-4 months away.

    While I hope I'm not a downer for many of you, I think the Tesla S may be a great car for all of us at first (with people staring and everyone complimentary ting and inquiring about it- similar to our Porsche Panamera experience). After a year of ownership and shelling out $2000 for another set of 8000 mile tires, it may not be everything you expected.
     
  2. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    #2 dsm363, Jul 29, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
    I thought it handled very well at low speeds but you need to be happy with your purchase. It looks to be the size of a 5 series which plenty of people drive and much smaller than many of the SUVs people drive for getting groceries. If you keep your order, definitely get the 19" wheels since you can get tires that last much longer than 8,000 miles. Even the performance wheels last closer to 15,000 from what I've read on tirerack.com
     
  3. Velo1

    Velo1 Member

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    Fair enough. Sounds like you are making an objective assessment. I plan to stick with my reservation, but your points are duly noted.
     
  4. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    It is a rather large car.
     
  5. Bardlebee

    Bardlebee Member

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    Sounds like a personal preference. The width and size of the vehicle will be foreign to me personally, but that doesn't bother me to much. It's always refreshing to hear people that won't be getting the car because of a specific reason or an overall issue. This car isn't perfect to every person, all a personal preference and what not.
     
  6. Andrew Wolfe

    Andrew Wolfe Roadster 472 - S 440

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    It is a big car. The width is much closer to a 7 series.

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    If there were a similar car 80% as big - I would get it instead. Maybe I will when it comes out - but for now - this is the only car in its class.
     
  7. Mkent

    Mkent Member

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    If everyone liked the same thing, we would only have one car company too. Dr. Chill has his own personal opinion and tastes which is great. I liked the test drive so much, I put an order in for the Model X for my wife while I wait for my Model S!
     
  8. jerry33

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

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    Agreed. Well, I learned to drive on my Dad's Lincoln, so a car that big isn't entirely foreign to me--but I never thought I ever be buying a similar sized car :eek:
     
  9. Andrew Wolfe

    Andrew Wolfe Roadster 472 - S 440

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    I learned on a SAAB 99 - and that would be just the right sized car for me right now.
     
  10. Tommy

    Tommy Member

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    I appreciate your candid assessment of the Model S and really glad to see posts like this where the OP can express himself/herself without worrying about getting flamed. It's a good reflection on the membership makeup of TMC.
     
  11. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    Very practical way to decide, IMO. For me and my ever growing family of 5 the larger vehicle (compared to our Prius) is highly welcome as the kiddos are getting pretty cramped sitting 3 across in that Prius. I've never really been that bothered by large vehicle handling, it's a rare time I can't get even a beast like my old Expedition maneuvered into a space I want.
     
  12. MikeK

    MikeK R#129, TSLA shareholder

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    Definitely to each his own. I've been driving small cars for years (E30 BMW, E36 M3, EV-1, RAV4-EV), so the Model S is clearly much larger. On the other hand, I've driven my mother's (E38) BMW 740 a fair amount, and I believe it is as big as or bigger than the Model S. It took a little getting used to, but I always enjoyed it and never found it to be a problem in parking lots or whatnot. My brief experience driving the Model S suggests that I will enjoy it quite a lot. I hope so! :)
     
  13. spike09

    spike09 Member

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    Dr. Clill should buy a Tesla Roadster for himself and he will know the true meaning of what it is to be a sports car enthusiast. Seems to me the wife wants an Electric Runabout not a sports car. The prescription for her is a Nissan Leaf.
     
  14. 7racer

    7racer Member

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    At least for me. The Roadster was an eye opening experience. I have 3 sports car for one person. My old RX-7 (modified). My Nissan GTR track beast and the Roadster. Like Chill, I do SCCA events and HPDE's. But those cars that are good for that can be trying on the normal street. The roadster is what it is. Its tail heavy and feels like the rear wants to swing around on you. The nose gets light, and the brakes feel like they should be on a ford fiesta. BUT MAN, the car is fun. Its great to drive around town and to and from work. Flying around a curve and jetting down an on/off ramp.

    Dr. Chill, glad you got to take a test drive. I bought the roadster without ever being in the car. What surprised me was what the car doesn't give you in an ICE car it gives you something different. The fast acceleration, low maintenance, etc. makes its such an easy city car to drive.

    Maybe as the platform matures, Chill will come back to it. Glad to see you kept your reservation open. Maybe you will do what I just did and put money down on the X. That should deliver something very different than the majority of CUV's out there.
     
  15. dennis

    dennis P85D

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    Given that she loves the GS F Sport, it sounds to me like she wants a mid-sized electric sport sedan. I don't believe there are any of those on the market yet.
     
  16. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Wow. Bigger than I thought. They did want this thing to be 5 star so wonder if that had something to do with it.
     
  17. contaygious

    contaygious Active Member

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    I'm surprised there isn't more talk about how wide it is. It's wider than a Lamborghini and a hummer and much wider than SUVs. One of the widest cars out there for sure, but width does have its performance benefits even if they can't manage to get some side storage. I'm willing to carefully park it with 4 inches on each side because I love it so much,
     
  18. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    The Hummer H2 is a little wider at 81.2 inches but the Model S is a wide car.
     
  19. 49er

    49er Member

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    If she loves the Lexus GS F Sport why are you replacing it?
     
  20. contaygious

    contaygious Active Member

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    Mirror to mirror the s is 86.2 isn't it?
     

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