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Help! I am getting cold feet

Discussion in 'Model S: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by pbleic, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. pbleic

    pbleic Member

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    I could really use some help here. I was getting ready to buy a Model S, and had another test drive at my house, to see how the care did getting up my steep driveway. I know that nothing is perfect, but I have been collecting a bunch of "uh ohs" that are starting to add up:

    1. The car was pretty good in the snowy driveway, but going slow, it definitely fish-tailed, which my 4WD SUV didn't at the same speed. We can get a lot more ice, and I am worried about having to leave my car in the street if things are really bad someday.

    2. I learned that I might have to pay for the 3G internet access in the near future if I want to use the GPS and location service for Superchargers, etc. - this will likely add from $360 to $600 per year for operating the car, certainly eating into the savings on gas.

    3. No lighted vanity lights? I know this is trivial, but it made me realize that there are a bunch of pretty typical luxury features that you can't get - heated steering wheel, blind spot assist, etc.

    I know, this comes down to a personal choice, but I would welcome any input on this, and the "cold feet" syndrome.
     
  2. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

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    I agree! All your points are valid and based on them I would agree that this is NOT the car for you. This car is for those who are excited by the prospect of something new and technologically advanced. It is for those who want to be in at the beginning of a new concept--a new revolution in transportation. It is for someone who loves the thrill of punching GO and only looking back to see the frustration on the other driver's face. It is for those who are concerned about the air we breathe and the air our children will breathe. It's for those who are tired of living under the threat of oil embargoes, or worse. You are absolutely right that it does not favorably compare with a 4WD SUV when driving in inclement weather. Did you expect that it would??? But if it is fishtailing it might be because traction/stability control is off. It is a car for those who know they can tether to their phone or use their phone for GPS. It is not for you if you are gauging your preferences based on heated steering wheels and vanity mirror lights. But then who knows what the next generation of OTA software will have in store for us? And it will be an always free update! Nope! This car is definitely NOT for you. Please step aside and let someone else have this car. Someone for whom it is better designed.
    Oh, and by the way, cold feet can be warmed with an adjustment to climate controls. :wink:
     
  3. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    1. This is a RWD performance car. Not a 4WD SUV. Don't expect them to act the same way. There are many Model S drivers in Norway/Canada that are happy with how the car performs. There's also expected to be an AWD Model S which will probably come out within the next year or two which will likely be better than all other AWD drivetrains on the market.

    2. Yes, you may have to pay for the internet access...while so far for everyone it has been free, most expect to have to pay for it sometime in the future.

    3. This is an entirely different driving experience. Correct, there are no vanity lights. Correct, the steering wheel is not heated.

    But you know what? In the dead of winter, you can also look at all those people who stand out in the cold at a gas station, waiting for their car to fill up, while you drive past them. You can also look at all those people warming their car up in the driveway, trying to defrost the windows, while you just hop into a warm cabin and go.

    What's that you say? Other cars have remote start? You can start them remotely to begin warming up the car? Sure.

    But try using remote start while those other cars are in the garage.

    Everyone needs to make their own decision, but personally, if you put heated steering wheel (nice, but not important) or blind spot assist (I'd never use it...please look with your eyes first anyway) against NOT stopping at a gas station every week, I'd pick not stopping at a gas station every time. Plus there's instant torque, tons of cargo space, no vibration, touchscreen, etc....

    Of course, this is just based on the things I value. Lighted vanity mirrors may be very important to you, in which case, this car's not for you.
     
  4. cmorn

    cmorn Member

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    Chipper and Todd: Excellent responses. OP: The Model S is not a perfect car for all circumstances. But it does perform very well in icing conditions (I live in Atlanta, and proved that last week). I bought driving gloves for when I forget to pre-heat the car. I rarely use them since the car is in the garage overnight and pre-heating almost makes them unnecessary. Lastly, I have a shared AT&T plan which I believe will cost me about $15 to $20 to add the car. Since I don't reach my data limit, I'm not worried that the cost will be higher than that. If you want to stream music, you might consider XM instead of internet.
     
  5. justaddsun

    justaddsun Member

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    @pbleic, you can feel the zeal of my fellow Tesla brothers here :).


    1) I would definitely recommend getting a second set of winter/snow tires/wheels for the Model S. I doubt you will have a problem with traction on your driveway thereafter. I know that's not what you want to hear in terms of added costs, but I looked at it as a must in terms of winter safety. Also, I've had winter tires for my past sports sedans so it's a matter of what you're used to, I guess.


    2) I also bristle at the impending connectivity plans, but that will be the standard for most cars (at least an option) pretty much now and in the future ie you'll have to pay some monthly fee to get connected to the Internet, if you want that functionality. I'm happy to have gotten almost a year "free" so far from Tesla.


    3) I agree that the Model S surprisingly does not have a few features that you'd expect in most cars at any price range. For me, it was the absence of fog lights, no parking sensors, no center console, no rear-facing seat vents, and as the kids grow up, no rear center armrest/cupholders. These things usually have nothing to do with your driving experience or pleasure, which for me is the priority. Then I also realized that the front driver/passenger LED reading light is 5 inches away from the vanity mirror and lights up enough of my face to see in the mirror. Or, I park about 1-2 feet further away from the parking curb in front than I have to if I had parking sensors, so who cares? With this car, you begin to see what really matters in driving daily and the other concerns just melt away.

    It is a difficult exercise to compare apples-to-apples and count up every dollar you spend more on this car vs some other car -- you may find that you are spending $20,000 more on Model S (and counting). But don't forget you are doing something on a completely different scale than going out to a dealer and buying a Mercedes. You will continue to enjoy, and appreciate, what you've purchased, just like these posters here, and how it organically improves as the months go by. Good luck and let us know how it goes!
     
  6. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    @pbleic, I think others have addressed your specific concerns well enough. I'll simply add that test-driving the car and feeling that bit of euphoria is one thing, but, living with this car is a whole different and eye-opening experience!

    I look forward to getting into this car everyday as it's such a joy to drive without all the annoyances - vibration and noise to varying degrees, gear changes (even automatic), that burdensome need to go somewhere to get fuel, the regular oil changes and myriad other maintenance tasks and so on - that come with a gas car. Just the other day, when I had to drive a BMW 528i for a day, I realized how antiquated these other cars felt compared to the car that I'm proud to call my own!
     
  7. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    +1, doct! Excellent reply.

    For a moment, think of what you'd lose if you decide to go for the vanity mirrors and the other niceties you expected in this car ... for me, I'd be missing out on the sheer joy of driving a car daily that is more fun than any car I've ever owned. (And I have a Roadster - these cars were not sold on luxury items.) I can't wait to get my Model X and be fully electric. For me, it's about performance. And all the rest of the benefits of electric have grown on me ... no dirty exhaust, no stopping at gas stations, no checking oil, always full battery in the morning, unbelievable acceleration.

    In short, there have been no compromises for me. And only you can decide what matters to you.
     
  8. pbleic

    pbleic Member

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    I am surprised at some of the defensiveness that my post has brought out. I don't mean to challenge your decision; just looking for help with mine. In fact, I am a pretty tech saavy person who is an early adopter for many things. For those familiar with the Crossing the Chasm books (which is where "early adopter" comes from), this is a classic crossing the chasm issue. For a purchase of this amount, I am in the early majority. Early adopters are typically happy with the promise of what can be, can live with bugs and omissions, and buy on a vision. The early majority is where the bell curve shoots way up. There is a chasm that destroys many companies because they are unable to cross from early adopter to early majority. The early majority buyer is looking for demonstrated value, and is less interested in vision. They want to know, from those with experience, that what they are doing will work for them. If Tesla is going to be successful in the long run, it will need to cross the chasm between early adopter and early majority. That means, answering the kinds of questions I am asking. I appreciate the content of all the answers, but ask that you not be too harsh with me for asking these questions. If you want Tesla to be there for your next car, and the one after that, it will be essential that they cross this chasm. If not, they will certainly run out of early adopter buyers.
     
  9. ABVA

    ABVA Member

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    How about THE SAFEST CAR on the road today (NHTSA). Safety has always been a greater concern for me and no other make of cars addresses it better than TESLA.
     
  10. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    What tires were on your test drive vehicle?

    If Tesla's upcoming plans are prohibitively expensive, I would just tether to my smartphone for which I already pay for as part of my Mobile Share plan. Or add it as a $10 a month option to the plan assuming that would be possible like any other 3G device.

    There is a pretty good light right next to it which is probably intended to provide the same function.

    Yes, there are other features missing. You should let yours sales rep know your concerns about these missing features, especially the ones that your really care about. With that said, Tesla has been pretty good about letting retrofits at a price. But as with most things, there is a trade off of newer things coming versus not having it at all.

    I am sure that the Tesla grin will eventually overtake you.
     
  11. justaddsun

    justaddsun Member

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    @pbleic, very well put/read. I know some of the stuff above read as defensive (it's really "zeal" as I wrote) and I will disagree with almost anyone who says "this is not the car for you," unless you are talking about over-reaching financially -- this IS a car for all of us! As an example, my wife is not just early majority, she's LATE majority and begrudgingly so. That's been one of the most enjoyable things about owning the Model S -- seeing it, not me, transform her thinking about what technology can do for the driving/daily living experience; and then seeing that change affect other things in our life, like going to solar, how we teach our kids/grandparents, etc. I know I'm getting a little idealistic, but if Tesla could change my wife's opinion/outlook as one of the LATE majority, it can change anyone's!
     
  12. pbleic

    pbleic Member

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    THAT is how you cross the chasm.
     
  13. Newscutter

    Newscutter Member

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    pbleic-- Some of those responses were unnecessarily harsh to read (without the advantage of voice inflection to soften them), agreed.

    I've had similar thoughts to yours but they were all quelled easily enough when I looked at what was most important.
    I'm not particularly swayed by the "green" arguments. I'm not particularly compelled by the technology-- in fact, I've still never drilled down through the menus or looked at the big center screen more than in passing, and I've been in a Model S quite a bit!

    What moves me is the long-term fundamentals of the design. The incredibly scaled down routine maintenance. Run the numbers and it's like getting a Porsche Panamera "on the cheap" because there's no scary repair bill looming in the future and the performance/storage is actually much better! Worst case scenario-- 10 years from now you replace the battery. While I don't know what gas will cost in 10 years, I'm pretty confident that the battery will become cheaper over time-- and sadly, they're be a ongoing supply of "crashed cars" if you just want a refurbished one. In the meantime you get a car that does what you want and doesn't do what you don't want (boring visits to car stealerships, gas stations, auto parts stores).

    As for the AWD-- which I'm also holding out for-- get in line for a Model X. Small refundable deposit, hedge your bets. Once that line gets rolling it'll be a HUGE wait list and years before they're available used.

    I don't get the vanity mirror thing. Never use mine... there's already a mirror on the windshield that works fine if I need it.

    Connectivity plans-- I share your concern, but what are you going to do? It is what it is. Plan accordingly, plan for huge expenses and how to work around them and then hope to be surprised. No one knows the right answer yet.

    Bottom line, if you need the car and you want the car, get the car. You looked, you liked, now you leap. This is one of the few times when you can buy something with a pretty strong and reasonable expectation that you can resell it for minimal loss (if any) if you change your mind. How often does that opportunity turn up when it comes to cars??
     
  14. Ziggy

    Ziggy Member

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    In the words of a title of a book, don't sweat the small stuff. I'm pretty confident if you buy the car those limitations/shortcomings will dissipate. The challenge of the drive way may require a little more planning, but likely not to be insurmountable. I haven't met or heard an owner that has said they wish they didn't buy the car, not to say there aren't people out there. Do it Pbliec and then let us know how things worked out. You'll be so happy you made the decision. 9 months later and I still pinch myself because the car is truly remarkable!
     
  15. Plug Me In

    Plug Me In Member

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    You won't find many arguments not to buy a Tesla from these forums. I will add a recent exchange with my wife. I told her that, with the Supercharger network in place, we could drive to from Virginia to Chicago now to visit her family. She replied " yeah but we're still sitting in the car for all that time". I replied, "no we're not, we're in the Tesla".

    $2000 for plane tickets for the family until now was the easy choice versus sitting in a rattletrap ICE for hours. I'm kind of excited to try out the drive now.
     
  16. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    Only you can decide if the trade off of no heated steering wheel, lighted vanity mirrors, etc. is worth having a car with no gasoline engine and no emissions, and all the maintenance that entails. If you really don't want to pay for connectivity, you will still be able to find the superchargers on your smartphone, or do it the old fashioned way and print out a map ahead of time. For the routes you travel, once you know where it is you won't need the car to tell you anymore.
     
  17. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    @pbleic:

    I spent 2-1/2 years with my Roadster and the first winter with my S running on the factory tires. What it boiled down to was that when the snow started to fly I wouldn't take them out of the garage because of concerns over handling. This snow season I bought a set of true winter tires and have been more than happy with how the S performs in winter driving conditions. I've also come to appreciate how, when temperatures drop below 0° F., I can drive the Model S without worrying about cracked hoses, weak starter batteries and the hundred other things that can go wrong with an ICE in Arctic temperatures.

    As as for everything else folks have written: it's all true. The Model S changes your driving life for the better in a hundred little ways that add up to a profound sense of ease and security on the road. Nobody has yet mentioned one-pedal driving, but trust me: it is revelatory. It's lowered my blood pressure in stop-and-go traffic; between the eerily quiet cabin and not having to reach for the brake pedal a dozen times a minute, rush hour is not the grinding horror it used to be. It's also become a kind of game that keeps me alert and situationally aware in normal city driving: the 'how far can I go without having to use the brakes' game not only extends your range but also forces you to look farther ahead and stop riding the next car's rear bumper.

    Many people on the forums have commented on how relaxing road trips become in the S: the lack of vibration and stopping at Superchargers every 150 miles or so for 20-30 minutes are good for your stress levels and hold fatigue at bay, not to mention that everyone in the car knows how far it is to the next stop so negotiations between those with two-hour bladders and those with six-hour bladders are avoided.

    Look around these forums and see if you can find anyone who's bought a Model S only to sell it and return to driving a luxury ICE instead. I'm sure it has happened, but my sense is that it must be vanishingly rare.
     
  18. hsctiger93

    hsctiger93 Member

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    I'm not yet a purchaser, but appreciate this thread and understand the cold feet issue. For me, if I do make the purchase, it will be the single-largest automobile purchase I've made by a magnitude of 2.

    Here's my next case in point for making the purchase later this winter: I have to take my 11 year old BMW in for another oil change, which will be another $100 and another 1.5 hours out of my life. 2014 is early, but I've already plunked down $650 in repairs to the car this year before the oil change. Part of me looks forward to the reliability of the new car, and part of me looks forward to the fact that the service frequency will drop dramatically. My time working, with kids, with family, and doing the things I want to do- especially on the weekends- is really important to me and worth something monetarily. The convenience of Ranger service coming to me seems really appealing in the event the car needs service.

    Hope this helps you add a few more into the "plus" column for buying...
     
  19. chickensevil

    chickensevil Active Member

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    Some people can be a bit defensive about their cars. It is part of the passion these people have, and have been trying to fight off the naysayers that come up with any possible excuse they can as to why this is a bad car (as in, these naysayers are never going to like the car no matter what, why? who knows...). So if some of that came through in their posts let me apologize for them.

    It is something I noticed about the car, and something that I have been trying to defend and overcome and that is that even for many "options" Tesla offers, in many cases these are standard in other luxury cars... like leather seats... Aren't those standard in both BMW 5 and Mercedes S? What I am hoping and expecting to happen is that as they decrease the cost of the battery, they will be able to lower the cost of the car itself and end up sticking those features in as standard. Basically the car will continue to cost 70k/80k/90k (60, 85, P85) but they will add in more things standard to the base package.

    As far as the "missing" features, I would anticipate they will add them in the future. They are hiring positions right now (saw the job postings) for autonomous/assisted driving type research and development, so I would expect a lot of these over the next few years. The other minor things? I think they have long been on the request list to be added to the car, and I expect they will do it when they get around to it. I know that sounds sorta bad, but there is a cost associated with adding these in, and they need an ROI on puting forth that effort. Right now, there is still more demand than can be met by production. When they get the factory running at max capacity, they can work on adding in these other creature comforts.

    Am I saying that you should get the car now if it isn't what you want? Not at all. Get it when it meets your needs. But are these things you actually need? Or better yet, does the things that Tesla offers that you can't get from anyone else outweigh that missed feature? For me, that it ultimately why I am getting the car now. For the minor things they are missing, they offer plenty that noone else does, aside from the obvious BEV with amazing range, performance, etc (which is a pretty strong pull in and of itself, don't get me wrong). For a RWD vehicle it performs better or on the same level as most AWD cars. Your SUV is in a different class, because, well, it is an SUV. If that is what is REALLY holding you back, then by all means wait for the Model X and see how it goes. But if you go look up Bjorn's videos of him driving the S in the snows of Norway, he had a situation where he went up a steep driveway, and the car handled it just fine, but then he is using snow tires.

    Hope this helps. I also hope you end up buying the car (or maybe the model X here in a year)
     
  20. Zextraterrestrial

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    I get cold feet when it is cold out and the heat is set to floor. Tesla says the heat is working as designed but this is my #1 issue with the car. and I don't think there is a fix for it?

    The 'missing' luxury features are actually a pleasant addition to the car. I don't like all the junk they put in cars these days, just drive and pay attention. Heated steering wheel, I guess it could be nice 1 or 2 times a year for me.
    lighted vanity mirrors...haha, the mirrors are so bad it doesn't really matter if you can see or not...grab handles are missing though, and this is a fail (I'm working on lacewood handles now)

    love my car and will never voluntarily drive an ICE again (unless it is something like a racecar on a track maybe)
     

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