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Missing features not really missed…

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by Ames, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Ames

    Ames Member

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    #1 Ames, Jul 13, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
    After reading more than a few posts along the lines of "I expect a $100,000 car to have...", I thought I would post a counterpoint.

    I had the best of BMW technology – a $130,000 BMW 750 Li (current shape) completely maxed out with every possible option – my addiction to technology was the reason I spent so much on the car (and why I am drooling over the Model S). Many of these options are not available on the Model S – but I wouldn’t miss them and here’s why:

    • Night Vision; completely useless – all the roads where I live are well lit so this feature was never needed. It also doesn’t work if the ambient temperature is hot; 96 f. I just can’t see how watching the screen is safer than looking out the front.

    • Radar cruise control with stop/go; this feature drove me crazy – keeping it on meant being pushed back in traffic because even on the closest setting, the car would leave so much space in front that everybody kept moving into that space. The stop-go feature was annoying because it would disable after 3 seconds. It also took me quite a while to trust it not to hit the car in front.

    • Forward Alert (Collision Detection). Not sure this feature ever worked, it beeped once but I was already on the brake inches from the guy in front.

    • Lane Departure Warning. This was permanently switched off after the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] day I got the car. It’s really annoying to have the steering wheel vibrate if I change lanes without signaling.

    • Blind Spot Detection. After nearly hitting someone in the first week and not getting a warning, I decided to rely on the good ole look over my shoulder. Left it on but never needed it.

    • Head up Display (HUD). My polarized sun glasses rendered this feature invisible. At night it was cool, but really didn’t add any value.

    • 4 Wheel Steering. Slightly tighter doing u-turns. However, BMW told me I need a “special” $300 four wheel balance every time I rotate the tires (yes you read me correct). After driving a similar model without this feature I didn’t notice the difference in normal driving.

    • Auto-High Beams. Permanently switched off. 99% of my night driving was on well lit roads. On the rare occasion when I got to try it out (ok I went out of my way to find a dark road), I felt the need to override the system so that I could get other drivers to turn down their lights.

    • Run Flat Tires. My no. 1 most hated feature of this car. The tires were expensive, noisy, harsh, and extremely fragile, blistering at every pot-hole, and the rears wore down to the chords after a few thousand miles. If you have a puncture you cannot repair – only replace. I had to get rid of all four tires within the 11 months I owned the car and replaced them with normal tires.

    • Auto-stop; this feature allows you to lift off the brake pedal in stop-go traffic. I found it annoying because the activation / deactivation was not smooth. Permanently switched off.

    • Speed limit recognition. Didn’t work, perhaps the speed limit signs where I live had the wrong font?

    • Parking Sensors. What I really needed was a front camera complement the rear. The parking sensors did not stop me from hitting the curb.

    • Rear DVD Entertainment System. I had to stop on the motorway each time my rear passengers wanted to watch something, because the iDrive-to-DVD menu was so illogical.


    • Hard Drive. I copied some songs there once but never did it again in the 11 months. Too much hassle when there are other options like USB and iPod.

    • Massage Seats. It did not provide a very good massage. Only used it once or twice. Much better to get out of the car and stretch your legs on a long drive…

    • “Cooled” Seats. I had this feature in my Lexus too. In both cases air is drawn up from the below the seat with a fan. The perforations where you are sitting are completely blocked so it makes absolutely no difference, unless you are willing to lift your butt off the seat and hover for a while…

    My ’09 BMW had a 4 liter V8 twin turbo mated to a 6 sp auto. The lag on that drivetrain was unbelievable; coming from a normally aspirated Lexus and Toyota Land Cruiser – it took me a while to get used to the sluggish response to small inputs, and it made driving around town unpleasant. I am sure no Model S owner would be willing to put up with that. Of all the cars I have had, this is the one I disliked the most; maybe because I spent too much on it. Between the fragile run-flats, loose front suspension (bok-bok-bok) , ridiculous iDrive, and sluggish drivetrain, I was happy to get rid of it after 11 months and a massive depreciation hit of 36%.

    So in conclusion...the elegant simplicity of the Model S, where outstanding engineering and technology have been applied to the things that matter, is what has me sold on the Model S. I sincerely hope Elon and his team do not unnecessarily drive up the base price of the Model S with any of the above features.

    Alex
     
  2. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Member

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    Great post, that is exactly what I have always suspected those gadgets to really be. My current car has radio that can play from a USB stick as it highest-tech feature.
     
  3. Ames

    Ames Member

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    Thanks...a truly great car is one that is beautifully engineered and great to drive even in its simplest form. Think of the W124 Mercedes E-Class or the original BMW M5, or even the Lexus LS 400.
     
  4. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Hmm, not sure you can take the opinions and experiences of one person as gospel. I don't own a BMW, but blind spot detection and HUD are things I have used and found rather useful. Adaptive cruise is another thing I've found pretty great. It sucks in traffic, yes, but come in already: its adaptive CRUISE, not lazy traffic creeper.

    Dismissing something like auto high beams because you only drive on well lit roads is pretty silly as well. Not everyone lives in well lit areas, and honestly, with the number of drivers that forget or don't care to turn their lights down when I pass, I wouldn't mind it being federally mandated.
     
  5. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    Yes. I love ACC and will miss it. I found it perfect for when traffic's going 65-80 mph. Similarly, I often use my vented seats. On my MS drives, I had a sweaty back and seat, something that's not a problem on my car.
     
  6. jerry33

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

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    All the cars that I've with this feature I ended up turning it off because it never worked well. It always left the brights on too long (anytime you can see a car's headlights or taillights means that brights should be off) or didn't turn them on at all. It's really a worthless feature. And the problem with other vehicles is that they are either really tall and the lights are up high so they always glare or else they are misadjusted and always glare. Those who forget are in the minority.
     
  7. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    A better mandated feature would be DRLs or headlights in the evening. Some people drive around at dusk with no headlights or DRLs on.

    Some of these features seem to be coming soon but not sure if they can all be easily retrofitted.
     
  8. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    Yes. I get an insurance discount for DRL, so it's good value.
     
  9. jerry33

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

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    DRLs can be retrofitted (although to my way of thinking it's silly to have DRLs when the headlights can be turned on automatically just like DRLs), however those who don't turn their lights on aren't going to be in the set of people who would have them retrofitted. And then they will drive without taillights.
     
  10. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

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    Me personally....I wish the cooled seats were added. Hot interior days, the only issue I have.
     
  11. gr8fullee

    gr8fullee Member

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    Ames, thanks for the post. I thought I would be disappointed with a couple of missing features like blind spot alert, but now that I've had the car for a while I would not want to increase weight to add features that it sounds like don't guarantee any more safety than old-fashioned driving defensively.
     
  12. Crispix

    Crispix Member

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    I bet you miss the door pockets, though. Still puzzled at how Tesla missed this one. Even a beat up old Hyundai has door pockets.
     
  13. huntjo

    huntjo Member

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    Door pockets encourage clutter
     
  14. phat78boy

    phat78boy Member

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    I agree. I enjoy the streamlined interior as well. I have a little OCD when I come to vehicles, so I don't keep anything in them anyway. I know it's subjective, but I prefer it.
     
  15. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    I've always wanted this feature in a car, but now I definitely don't. I never knew how they worked because I never had a car with it before. However, I know for a fact that if you don't basically tailgate people driving in and out of NYC daily, you'll basically be pissing everyone else off and everyone will be going around you and cutting you off and like you said keep pushing you into the back of traffic. Even the big greyhound bus drivers will cut you off if you leave more than one or two car lengths! lol Good to know!!! Now I don't miss that feature I never had!
     
  16. fiksegts

    fiksegts Active Member

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    I have a 2012 650i, and would really like the following in my Tesla...

    Heads up Display (great to see speed and other info without looking away from the road)
    Cooled Seats (does work well in my 650i)
    Blind Spot Detection (don't totally rely on it, but very useful)
    Park Distance Control (great for parking)
    Surround Cameras (awesome for parking and getting close to curbs without hitting)



     
  17. Elshout

    Elshout Member

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    Completely agree with Ames with exception of cooled seats. My MB S550's massage seats quit one day with a very loud pop, must have blown an air hose. My dealer only wanted $2,500 to make repairs. It would be nice to have memory for the passenger seat settings.
     
  18. Ames

    Ames Member

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    Thanks guys for the feedback. My mission here is to point out that some of the features you may wish for seem so cool but when you get them they can be very
    underwhelming (and expensive).

    @AnOutsider. Not dismissing the feature (auto headlights) because I mostly drive in well lit areas, but because it didn’t really work when it was dark.

    @fiksegts I'm sure that in the BMW F01/02 7-series (and the F12/13 6-series) some of these features have improved since my build. I love the surround camera view – wasn’t available on my year model and I think front/side cameras on the Model S instead of parking sensors would do a better job (no curb rash, no scraped front bumper).

    @bollar, @steve841, @Elshout. My ’07 Lexus GS 350 and ’09 BMW 750Li both had “cooled” seats that were simply fans blowing air up from the bottom of the car, and not through the back (so having a sweaty back was still a problem). I would not get this unless improved, e.g. blowing cool air to the seat bottom and back.

     
  19. AustinPowers

    AustinPowers Total Smeghead

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    I find this very interesting and am wondering now if BMW is thinking too much in terms of the German market.
    Reason? While I too find some of the mentioned options useless, some of them ARE very useful - on European and especially German roads:

    Night Vision/Auto high beams - I would love to have those features as most of my nightly driving is on completely unlit roads, between towns, through forests etc. That's where the difference in geography between Germany and Abu Dhabi becomes quite apparent ;-)
    Radar cruise control with auto start-stop - my father has it on his Merc. Love it, especially in traffic jams with all that constant stop-and-go.
    HUD - as I don't have polarized glasses that wouldn't be a problem. Great for keeping your eyes on the road and still getting relevant information.

    Faszinating about the four-wheel steering, I didn't even know the current 7-series had that.
     
  20. Crispix

    Crispix Member

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    I've got a GM car (model year 2010) with air conditioned seats and it does a lousy, lousy job. At best, after a few minutes while I haven't really cooled off my bits and pieces, I get a sensation as if I had wet my pants. Frankly, I'd rather leave the darn thing turned off.

    Mercedes seems to have gotten it right for several years -- those cars blast cold air on your back and bottom, it's quite nice to have on a hot day and does a good job of preventing the sticky sweaty shirt condition. But yeah, I'd rather have nothing and save the $ than that silly system GM put in, what a waste. If Tesla could match what MB does to their seats, I'd want it.
     

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