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Having Second Thoughts

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

  1. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    #1 smorgasbord, Jul 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2012
    Funny how putting non-refundable money down makes you think harder. My wife and I are now having second thoughts about getting our Model S at this moment in time. And, it's mostly interior related.

    We went out this evening for dinner and grocery shopping, so instead of Roadster we took our BMW X5 (last of the pre-iDrives, btw). Since we need to lock down by Aug 13, we were talking about Model S, and my wife started ticking off the things she's going to miss (I added in my things to her list as well):

    1) Steering wheel: The diameter, nice thick rim, heated, and with all the convenience buttons and stalks just right.
    2) Seats: 16-way comfort seats. We especially love the way the shoulder support angle is adjustable separately from the lower back angle.
    3) Steering feel. The BMW servotronic is effortless yet gives you great feel for the road at all speeds.
    4) Driver Storage: Door pockets. Center console storage tray and under armrest storage.
    5) Park Distance Sensors.
    6) True panoramic sunroof with no bars obscuring it. Power integrated sunshade.
    7) Tow hitch.
    8) Drink holders in the back. Heated seats in the back. Door pockets in the back. Back of front seat pockets. Foldable arm rest in the middle of the back.
    9) Headroom in the back (our son is 6'3")
    10) Tilt down right hand side mirror when in reverse (does Model S have this?)
    11) Visibility out the back window.
    12) Vanity mirror light for passenger.
    13) Luxury: Burl wood, leather covered seat backs. Black headliner.
    14) Ability to run a 110 volt inverter to power a portable printer or drink cooler.
    15) 4 wheel drive. Handy during heavy rain storms. We don't travel to snow areas much, so this isn't that big a deal for us. We have done Tahoe trips in the past, so it's certainly a nice to have.

    Do all of these things matter? No, of course not. There are things about the X5 we don't like:
    1) Nav system sucks big time.
    2) Rear tailgate isn't powered
    3) Rear window gets dirty after one drive.
    4) Stereo system isn't well integrated with iPod, has cassette player in front.
    5) It's a gas car and gets pretty bad mileage.
    6) It has 106K miles and if something goes wrong, it's going to be expensive to fix.

    Now, don't get me wrong here. I'm not bashing Model S or Tesla. I'm trying to decide if now is the time to get our Model S. I'm not interested in a different new car - our alternative is to make our current car last another year or so - until a more nicely equipped Model S V2 is available.

    For instance, we both love the power and handling of Model S Performance. As a daily Roadster driver, I know what Tesla's electric drivetrain means, and I really don't want to have to wait another year to get that in both our main cars. I believe the air suspension will make for better ride quality as well as better handling than our X5 (which has the Sport Package, btw). And, to be fair, Model S does have some very cool features that I'm sure we'd love, like the touchscreen with 3G connectivity, keyless "start", and the frunk.

    So, while it's fair to say that we're sold on Model S, right now we feel it's a tough choice whether to get our Model S V1 as scheduled, or wait for a V2. Having been in a v1.5 Roadster for a couple extended trips, I'm glad I have a v2.5 just for the interior comfort. If our X5 had 20K less miles, we'd almost certainly be waiting. As it is, I think we need to decide if we want to gamble the expense of having something go wrong with the X5, which could be costly.

    If I had the money, I'd get Model S and immediately drive it down to LA to give it the Al & Eds treatment, but I suspect that'll start at $20K minimum, which is money I really don't have at this time.
     
  2. contaygious

    contaygious Active Member

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    Model x would probably check off a lot of those boxes. 2014. Delivery right?
     
  3. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    I don't want another SUV, especially a large SUV. The hatchback sedan is a good form factor for us.
     
  4. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    totally up to you and your priorities. All those things you mention DO matter--they're the things that make a vehicle pleasurable and comfortable to drive every day. You can bitch about exterior color, but it's irrelevant compared to the driver experience after 4, 5, 8 years in the car, but those creature comforts still matter every single day. To me there are interior features that the S is lacking that I have no doubt I'll be frustrated about and may well end up with $0.69 Wal-mart cup holders that hang on the window edge before it's said and done b/c we DO, necessarily, get fast food and eat in the car and my 3 kids are NOT going to juggling their chicken nuggest and cherry slush at the same time in my leather interior! But to me the opportunity for the best EV ever built and how I prioritize things make it worth the sacrifice of some of those creature comforts. Not to mention the benefits of some of the unique creature comforts the S offers (17" display, etc.)
     
  5. CapitalistOppressor

    CapitalistOppressor Active Member

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    Thats a very personal decision. You should do what you need to do.

    Couple of points.

    There is no guarantee that the Model S v2.0 will add any of those features you are pining for, let alone that Model S v2.0 will come any time soon. As I've come to realize, and have started an argument about in (Model S vs BMW 5 Series), the Model S is actually pretty severely undercutting the competition in terms of total cost of ownership.

    When combined with the kinematics, it would take a pretty poor sales effort to not convince large numbers of people that the existing interior, with the opportunity console options, is "good enough" to check the basic luxury check box. For all practical purposes the entry level 528i costs 50% more than the entry level MS40, while the full MS85 is essentially the same price to own for 5 years (over longer time periods, the Model S just gets cheaper).

    Personally, I agree that Tesla will likely improve the interior of the Model S in the reasonably near future. But in strict business terms, Tesla can likely move on with the existing design, devote their resources to new development, and address the interior of Model S in several years while performing a general refresh to the vehicle.

    Second point. Gas ain't cheap, and its likely that Model S will save you upwards of $2,500/year in energy expenses. Whatever that number is for you, that's money out the door, regardless of whether you get hit for a big repair bill.

    But, again I would bet that there will be improvement to the Model S interior in the relatively near term. My point is only that you shouldn't rely on that as a given.
     
  6. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    I don't believe the residual valves being bandied about, so I don't yet believe the TCO analysis. In 5 years a $75K Model S with 70K miles may not be worth what Teslanomics is saying it'll be worth. EVs are rapidly improving, new models will have better and cheaper batteries. The value of Model S in 5 years will be in comparison to what is available at that time, and that's anyone's guess right now.
     
  7. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    #7 dsm363, Jul 30, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
    Tough call. There's always the small chance that some of those on the list will be addressed by Tesla later on and made available as a paid upgrade but I agree that I wouldn't count on that in your purchase decision. There is always the one time deferment you can do which would give you the chance to do a more extended test drive with a production version.
     
  8. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    Smorgasbord,

    On #1, I'd just note that the stalks are identical to where they are on all Mercedes cars, and once you get used to them they are quite comfortable where they are. I got to play around with the buttons on the steering wheel and I think it will take very little time to become maximally comfortable with them. They seem to be very well designed and intuitive. I have over 100k miles on my current car and know the feeling of everything in the car being second nature, but I don't see those items as being a sacrifice with the S, just something that's different, and once gotten used to just as good or better than any current car.

    Your other points are well taken and certainly things you need to consider.
     
  9. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    Nice post, Smorgasbord.

    It's becoming very dismaying to me that deciding to move forward with this is boiling down to the creature comforts. I don't think anyone denies that the performance and handling of this car is excellent or that the technological leap forward is incredible. This will probably sway me in the direction of purchasing. But, I have to agree: no guarantee that the Model S interior or creature comforts will improve with time or that a V2 will come out (one would think so since it is probably much more expensive to keep designing new vehicles). Then the question becomes one of when it will come out.

    BTW, this is not directed to you specifically, but it is a real shame that we're starting to see a lot more of this on the forum:

     
  10. jerry33

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

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    You should always buy a car, audio system, computer, or any other tech-type item based on the features that are supported on the day of purchase. Not on what might be, or what should be, or what may be added later. That's a sure recipe for disappointment.
     
  11. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    I am going to disagree with you 100% when it comes to computers. One primary attribute of computers is upgradability and compatibility with future upgrades. Some have it, some don't. If you want it, you factor it into your purchase decision.
    Does that extend to other tech-type items? I think it does.
     
  12. jerry33

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

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    It's been my experience that while you can upgrade pieces of a computer, you always end up with an unbalanced system. That is if you upgrade to a faster CPU, the I/O is no longer fast enough, the memory is too slow, the system board bottlenecks everything, etc. It's always best to have a balanced system where everything matches. Upgrading all the pieces to make that happen generally means the only thing you are left with is the case and maybe the power supply.
     
  13. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    4&8. I would hope you could replace/modify the door skins and console between the front seats for a lot less than $20k - maybe even for around the cost of 1 years gasoline?
    7: I will be adding a hitch to my Model S for a bike rack - but I won't be towing anything. I'll post details when successful.
    10: This is just software.
    12. Likely the easiest aftermarket fix ( but I still want verification that this is an issue )
     
  14. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    Yeah, they didn't bother me as much on the test drive as I thought they would after sitting in some Betas. The turn stalk, while in the wrong place, does stick out more than the cruise control, so for me I did hit the correct stalk. What was funny was that I thought I was hitting the wrong stalk - which was exacerbated by the turn signal sound being too low. But, I was hitting the right one, so I think you're right that I'd get used to it. How do have to ask that if adopting the Mercedes wheel and stalks saved so much design, engineering, and manufacturing, why didn't they at least keep the heated wheel control? The control marking was actually visible on some of the Betas.
     
  15. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    You don't upgrade the CPU in a computer - that's like replacing the engine in a car.
    You change the hard drive, mouse, keyboard, network/wireless card, memory or a new monitor.
    That's like replacing the steering wheel, or the upholstery, adding a backup camera, shocks, stereo, or upgrading the software on your 17 inch touch screen to add features.
     
  16. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    Redo the list and sort by things that can be improved and when they will be improved ( speculative ) - and decide how long you want to wait for each item ( or whether it can be fixed aftermarket ).
     
  17. jerry33

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

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    Then we're in agreement. Your definition of upgrading is just different than the one I am familiar with.
     
  18. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    Yeah, that was my thought this morning as well, thanks. All cars have trade-offs.
     
  19. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

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    I didn't think the steering wheel itself was Mercedes, or at least it's certainly not an off the shelf Daimler product like the three stalks are, especially because it's much thicker. I think I like it, but it will definitely take a bit of getting used to. The stalks, and little things like the seat adjusters, side view mirror adjusters etc. are exactly as they are in the Mercedes -- Tesla seems to be simply buying them off the shelf from Daimler and installing them in the S, which is probably smart. The steering wheel is at least partially modified to be uniquely Tesla's.

    I have no idea why Tesla didn't make the wheel heated if that's something that most upscale luxury brands offer. Living in Florida for the past 14 years, I just glaze over anything having to do with "heating" in the car (seats, steering wheels, mirrors etc.), though I understand why it would be a big deal for people in colder climates.
     
  20. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    I've been having some second thoughts as well, though not for the same reasons. The test drive didn't blow me away. The car handled pretty much like my RX8. I don't want or need a gigantic car, I'm really probably more in the market for something in the Gen3 size range, but the Model S is nice looking and I figured it'd be a reasonable car for me.

    I'm also wary of Tesla's solvency. I don't have faith they'll ship 5k cars this year or that they'll ramp up in the way Tesla is claiming. Elon seems to be pushing the edge of running out of cash for the sake of optimizing the time to market for future cars. That's great if it works, but it's higher risk of blowing up if something causes delays. I don't want to have to lock in with unrefundable money until I see them shipping at a ramped up rate. I'd thought at P2860 I was late enough to see that, but it's not looking like it now.
     

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