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Model Y test-drive experience (not a current Tesla owner)

WattsappMTL

Member
Nov 2, 2020
113
63
Montreal
Fully agree with your critiques and points of praise. I'm in Montreal and have had my 2021 MY since November. Sadly, no heated steering wheel, but pre-heating makes that a non-issue anyway. The ride is harsh, probably my only serious point of dissatisfaction. The car shunts its occupants in all directions on irregular surfaces. I'm surprised at your negative reaction to one-pedal driving; having full acceleration available doesn't bother me at all but it certainly takes very little pedal movement to get moving quickly. I use Hold stopping mode all the time and really love the one-pedal experience. Handling in winter conditions was more squirrely that I expected. I've only had FWD (and recently AWD) ICE vehicles and found the back end kicks out quite easily although it always stays quite controllable. The Off-Road Assist mode definitely improves this behaviour. The other shortcoming I've noticed is the auto-wiper operation. It's fine for rainy conditions but slush and salt spray can almost obscure the windshield before they come on. There are also situations where they do numerous frantic sweeps when the glass is clear and dry. I didn't like the idea of moving all indications onto the central display for the M3 but in the end I find the implementation is acceptable. One surprising benefit from this is the night driving experience. I find it much easier on the eyes not to have lighted instruments below my line of sight when I'm looking ahead at a dark road. The last caveat I'll offer is that you should read the threads on actual vs nominal range. Winter and fast (115-120 kph) highway driving consumes a lot more energy than the marketeers will acknowledge. Cost-wise, it's not a big issue but the limitation on range has to be kept in mind. The car is advertised as having 525 km range but I wouldn't plan beyond 300 in cold weather without a charging stop.

One thing I would caution you to investigate closely is cargo capacity. The extra space in the frunk is handy but it's not very deep - I keep having to relocate things to the rear compartment because they're too tall to close the lid. Also, if you're carrying any large objects in the back, you'll find that they have to be moved a long way forward in order to close the hatch. The fastback shape is definitely out of sync with the SUV/CUV designation assigned to MY.

A common refrain among owners is the lack of interaction with Tesla on the operation of their vehicles. They show no interest in hearing driver feedback (unless you're an FSD Beta tester) and offer no communication channel to tell us what improvements are coming. Software updates arrive every few weeks, but the release notes are not very detailed.

Overall, I find the pros outweigh the cons and I'm enjoying the ride (figuratively, not literally).
 
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fireball08

Member
Feb 15, 2021
34
10
AZ
Suspension is firm, like driving an X5, but it's almost too bumpy and I cannot figure out if it was the stock tires or the way the car is tuned?

I've had about a week in my 2021 MY, and at first, I found the bumpiness as bad as many people have described it. But after the week, I have found that a lot of it depends on how aggressively you drive the car and whether you spend time looking ahead at the road to avoid the patches, pot holes, and cracks. It's kind of fun, like a game. I'm coming from run-flats in MINIs and a BMW i3, so, this is par for the course. Others have posted upgrading the suspension and have been happy with that.

On the exterior of our demo there were 3 visible issues (paint disclouration, panel misalignments). And again, let's pause here to remember this is a $80,000 CAD car on the road. For that money I could buy a BMW M2
Yeah this is the part that bothers me the most. Every time I look at my MY, I notice the misalignments and slightly different "parts" put together. Tesla has greatly improved in QC, but with the end of quarter pushes, I feel like they let a lot go through to hit their numbers. I'm hoping that their service will adjust things as the first few months go by - can't hurt to ask, and I am sure I'll feel better about the quality issues. That said, every American car I have ever owned had QC issues. German cars too. The Japanese cars, not so much.

Like your situation, we decided to get a functional BEV SUV - it's really the only option today. Everything else has significantly greater disadvantages (e.g., lack of a charging network that actually works reliably, size/range ratios, comfort, technology, etc). Maybe in a few years the other manufacturers will catch up (lots of exciting ones on the horizon), but until then, why wait?

P.s., there's a YouTuber who posted his massive road trip in a Model Y with family in tow, from Fremont to Toronto!
 
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TomServo

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
1,159
705
Belleville IL
Unless your taking a long road trip, you can always lower the tire pressure down to 38 psi (2.6 bar) to tweak the feel of the suspension. That’s what I did to make my wife more comfortable. She was experiencing some “quiezziness“.
 

ScoobyDoo82

Member
Mar 22, 2021
166
100
Los Angeles
Considering buying a Model Y and Tesla were kind enough to provide us with an overnight test drive.

Some thoughts feelings but some disclosure first:
- I am a 'young-ish middle aged' woman (been driving for over 25 years, will leave it at that)
- I don't currently own a Tesla
- I do own a PHEV and am used to one pedal driving. This PHEV is currently our only car and we have a Level 2 charger in the garage.
- We are looking to stay a one car fam
- I am not an Elon Fan Girl
- I am not a luddite
- I typically own cars for 4-5 years
- We live in Southern Ontario (hot summers, cold and snowy winters).
- Most of my daily driving is sub 100km but with summer and weekend holidays as far as 350-400km.

As our PHEV starts to creep up km on the odometer we are due to make a decision on a new car. Hubs and I have decided we are ready to take the plunge into full BEV. This automatically narrows down our choices substantially. Polestar2, Bolt, All 3 Teslas, Mach-E, Etron, Kona, I-Pace have all been considered. The Mach-E is exceptional and frankly after test-driving it anyone who writes it off because it is a Ford is really being silly. It's not only a super fun car to drive but it is far more relatable for most coming from an ICE setup (cluster in front of driver, superb interior finishings). The drawback with the Mach-E is the inferior DC Fast charging network in Ontario (probably most of Canada) and frankly some very questionable supply/allocation issues to our local dealers. One doesn't need to document the inferior experience in a Big 3 dealership but yeah, it's stone-age like, still.

So fast-forward to my Model Y experience.

I have VERY bad motion sickness. I can't read on trains or as a passenger in a car and I usually take to driving as it occupies my mind and I have always found it helps with my motion sickness. First day was horrific. The one pedal driving in a Tesla is not like a PHEV. I narrowed this down in the end to the acceleration and I found "Chill" mode helped me a tonne. Also, I should note here that the acceleration in this mode is still plenty and anyone who tells you otherwise I would question.

I also should mention that I think some of the unsettling feeling I experienced may have come from the movement on the screen. The left side portion of the screen with the image of your car in relation to other cars on the road, road signs etc I'm sure some people love; I do not. It would be great if in future iterations you could have this disappear with your speed posted in a larger font or maybe have the map take up the whole screen. I'm actually sort of surprised that people find much purpose to this dual screen within a screen. It's distracting without a doubt.

Voice controls should help reduce the screen distraction although there were next to no music voice controls -- perhaps that hasn't come out yet or I didn't say the right thing? Not sure. But it would be nice to have "change music to X." The functionality seems a bit nascent still.

I have owned Audi's, BMW's, Mercedes, VW, GMC, Ford and I can say, the steering wheel stinks. It's small and toy like and not in keeping with the cool factor of the vehicle. Honestly cannot understand how there isn't more outrage about how silly it feels in your hands when you drive. I wasn't expecting a BMW M sport wheel but my god for $80,000 please come out with a wheel that makes the driver feel they are getting some interior value other than a screen.

Suspension is firm, like driving an X5, but it's almost too bumpy and I cannot figure out if it was the stock tires or the way the car is tuned?

Now for the good stuff...

LOVE the sound system. Far and away one of the best I've ever experienced. Really just wanted to listen to music the whole time and not my husband (who was riding shotgun).

LOVED the supercharger experience. Would imagine most of my charging to be at home but I really like that you have peace of mind that you can charge quickly if you are on a road trip. So called 'range anxiety' is a non-issue.

The cargo capacity in the Model Y is really ample. I was really surprised. The rear seats fold nearly flat and that is such an important thing not to overlook as I have found that most car manufacturers do not have rear seats that fold anywhere near flat.

The driver and passenger seat are ridiculously comfortable. I herniated two discs last year and I have to be honest, these seats are dreamy. I could easily see myself driving for 3 hours with no problems and no need for a stretch break (same cannot be said about my Big 3 PHEV).

The Model Y corners brilliantly for a vehicle that size. Sometimes you forget you are in a Crossover/SUV. I took it on tight country roads, narrow two lanes, up and down hills and it handled really well in all those conditions (albeit it was dry).

I have some concerns about the exterior and interior fit and finish which makes me have some concerns for the wellbeing of those Space-X astronauts. How can a car manufacturer be satisfied delivering a car to dealer where there were no less than 4 visible issues inside (2 with the fabric around the glass roof and 2 with the rubber seal around the interior passenger doors). On the exterior of our demo there were 3 visible issues (paint disclouration, panel misalignments). And again, let's pause here to remember this is a $80,000 CAD car on the road. For that money I could buy a BMW M2. Perhaps I'm being anal but that is a lot of money for most people and it's pretty discouraging to know that the only response Tesla has is "well take notes at delivery and we will try and fix it and if not you can get a new VIN or get your deposit back."

So all told, it's a real contender for us. The cargo room would fit our one-car needs. It's fun to drive. The screen and functionality takes some getting used to but the same could be said for every new car purchase. But I can't shake that head vs heart dichotomy that is at play. Something tells me that all these finishing issues are not something to brush off and that I should be listening to my head here before purchasing.

Would welcome and love to hear others opinions. Thanks!
I’ve owned all the other cars myself too. I love Audi’s, in particular the S/RS models. You make a lot of very valid and good points.
I took delivery of my MY LR last week and can’t get enough of how wonderful this car is. It literally checks every box and the only thing that I find laughable is the lack of included home link for my garage - I can still get it added for $300. But, thy is my only honest complaint. My MY is the best car I have ever owned, and I’ve had some pretty great cars in my 22 years of driving. Just get the darn MY and you won’t regret it. Autopilot and the bad ass sound system are something that can’t be overlooked enough. I mean it sounds better than my old B&O from my S4. It sounds better than the Mark Levinson in my wife’s BMW. The safety of the MY is also a MAJOR point to consider. It’s literally the safest car you can buy right now. JUST GET IT ALREADY! (If you do be sure to message me so I can give you a referral though!)
 
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Cirus

Member
Apr 3, 2021
8
-3
phoenix
Oh gosh - sorry, not my intention. 2017 Chevy Volt. Thanks John :)
I'm amazed that you drive a 2017 Chevy Volt and find a couple of minor cosmetic issues like trimming or weather-proof sealant a deal breaker for buying Tesla- considering how well-built Teslas are and how great they handle the road. It seems to me more like a financial decision in disguise. I wish you prosperous years coming your way !
 
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Tslgrl

Member
Mar 13, 2021
17
34
Ontario
I'm amazed that you drive a 2017 Chevy Volt and find a couple of minor cosmetic issues like trimming or weather-proof sealant a deal breaker for buying Tesla- considering how well-built Teslas are and how great they handle the road. It seems to me more like a financial decision in disguise. I wish you prosperous years coming your way !
Not sure why you find my remarks about the finish of the MY so surprising.

All I am trying to say is that for $70K, I expect a vehicle that looks the part. No one walks into a BMW dealership to pick up their M2 expecting or settling for body panel misalignment or body paint that doesn't match. If you bought your wife an engagement ring that was $10,000 and on your 25th anniversary, after some luck and a lot of hard work, you could afford to buy her a ring that was $50,000 and on the day you went to pick it up you noticed the diamond was chipped, would you stand for it?

I work hard for my money, as do most people on this forum. I have found myself through hard work and some luck in a position that yes, I can afford this vehicle. I'm not even sure what sort of human would write something so incredibly rude. Please take your tone elsewhere.
 

ScoobyDoo82

Member
Mar 22, 2021
166
100
Los Angeles
Not sure why you find my remarks about the finish of the MY so surprising.

All I am trying to say is that for $70K, I expect a vehicle that looks the part. No one walks into a BMW dealership to pick up their M2 expecting or settling for body panel misalignment or body paint that doesn't match. If you bought your wife an engagement ring that was $10,000 and on your 25th anniversary, after some luck and a lot of hard work, you could afford to buy her a ring that was $50,000 and on the day you went to pick it up you noticed the diamond was chipped, would you stand for it?

I work hard for my money, as do most people on this forum. I have found myself through hard work and some luck in a position that yes, I can afford this vehicle. I'm not even sure what sort of human would write something so incredibly rude. Please take your tone elsewhere.
Don’t let the troll bother you. Sorry on behalf of this community that you had to go through this.

I’d like to chime in on the whole body/paint issue. Yes, there are some concerns about an expensive $50,000 - $70,000 car not looking the part. I can understand where you’re coming from. For three years I withheld from buying my Tesla because of this. After a lot of reasoning and research, I came to my own conclusion about what was more important and decided to buy my Tesla. I took delivery 10 days ago. To my utter surprise, Tesla delivered to me a near perfect car. I have nothing like the buffet of issues that people are talking about. My trunk/hatch has a slight misalignment- that’s it. Everything else is completely on par and worthy of a $54,000 car. My neighbor took delivery of his MY yesterday, again - a near perfect car.

Even if my car had 5-6 issues like a lot of people have had to deal with, I would still be over the moon with this car.
Sorry that some folks have trolled you for making a valid argument. You are 100% entitled to your opinion.
Order your car. If it’s the old status quo that you’re concerned about then just reject the car and go get that BMW.
 

Y_tho

Member
Mar 14, 2020
47
27
Maryland
The one pedal driving in a Tesla is not like a PHEV. I narrowed this down in the end to the acceleration and I found "Chill" mode helped me a tonne. Also, I should note here that the acceleration in this mode is still plenty and anyone who tells you otherwise I would question.
Yeah, chill mode certainly smooths things over. Also, on earlier model Y's, there was an option to reduce the regen aggressiveness. Under the "Driving" tab (same place where the Acceleration switch for Standard and Chill is), there is a Regenerative Braking toggle for Standard and Low. I reduced the regen to Low for a while, until I got used to it. I've heard that the latest Y's rolling out don't have this option anymore.

I also should mention that I think some of the unsettling feeling I experienced may have come from the movement on the screen. The left side portion of the screen with the image of your car in relation to other cars on the road, road signs etc I'm sure some people love; I do not. It would be great if in future iterations you could have this disappear with your speed posted in a larger font or maybe have the map take up the whole screen. I'm actually sort of surprised that people find much purpose to this dual screen within a screen. It's distracting without a doubt.
I wonder if it's the FSD visualization you're seeing? If so: that can be turned off, from the Autopilot tab.
 
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fireball08

Member
Feb 15, 2021
34
10
AZ
Also, on earlier model Y's, there was an option to reduce the regen aggressiveness. Under the "Driving" tab (same place where the Acceleration switch for Standard and Chill is), there is a Regenerative Braking toggle for Standard and Low. I reduced the regen to Low for a while, until I got used to it. I've heard that the latest Y's rolling out don't have this option anymore.
This is correct, my Y doesn't have the option. It's definitely a lot stronger regen compared to the i3. But I kinda prefer it now. Makes 1-pedal driving effortless once you figure out how much pedal to use before releasing for full regen braking. Also really like the "hold" when the Y comes to a stop.
 
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tlt99

Member
Nov 26, 2020
15
34
Canada
I live in southern Ontario as well. I've had mine for a few months now and lowered the tire pressure to 38. I didn't think the firmness was too bad at first but now that the honeymoon phase is over I feel like a bobblehead on the highway. The seats are so comfy that it tricks you at first and if you've had back injuries like me that tends to get under your skin as time goes on. It's too bad because I like almost everything else about the car. I might buy the MPP coil over kit which is expensive as hell (think $5k CAD installed), or just grin and bear it until a better alternative comes out.

Couple notes about the Tesla in winter: You'll get 300km max on the highway on a bad day, the handling in the snow is not ideal because the transmission favours the rear axle so it's fish-tail aplenty (though they may have fixed this in a recent 'winter' update, not sure).

If you can live with the harshness, then it's a no brainer in my opinion for the over-the-air updates and the supercharger speed/network.
 
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ScoobyDoo82

Member
Mar 22, 2021
166
100
Los Angeles
I live in southern Ontario as well. I've had mine for a few months now and lowered the tire pressure to 38. I didn't think the firmness was too bad at first but now that the honeymoon phase is over I feel like a bobblehead on the highway. The seats are so comfy that it tricks you at first and if you've had back injuries like me that tends to get under your skin as time goes on. It's too bad because I like almost everything else about the car. I might buy the MPP coil over kit which is expensive as hell (think $5k CAD installed), or just grin and bear it until a better alternative comes out.

Couple notes about the Tesla in winter: You'll get 300km max on the highway on a bad day, the handling in the snow is not ideal because the transmission favours the rear axle so it's fish-tail aplenty (though they may have fixed this in a recent 'winter' update, not sure).

If you can live with the harshness, then it's a no brainer in my opinion for the over-the-air updates and the supercharger speed/network.
Curious what wheels/tires you have. I opted not to upgrade to the Induction wheels because of this. With the 19” Gemini wheels the car is firm but not bobble head like (I know what you are referring to). This is with each corner at 41psi too.
 
Mar 27, 2016
396
300
Melbourne fl
I have owned each TESLA model and I find the Model Y to be the best of all of them. Once they replaced the mismatched red bumper (in 90 minutes), I have had no issues. Nada. None. Great fit. Solid. Quiet with dual laminate windows. Best Tesla or any car I have owned. Mind you I have also had to Model Xs and an S and a 3.
Have had very few issues on any of the models actually. Buy, drive it and add water to the windshield washers. Too much fun. You will come to love it.
 

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jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
1,791
1,762
Maryland
I've had my Long Range Model Y for almost 10 months. My Model Y has the standard Tesla 19" wheels and Continential ProContact RX tires. My total mileage with nowhere in particular to go is low, just under 3000 miles. Two things I have noticed are that the Model Y's suspension seems to have softened a little after 3000 miles. The second is that after experimenting with different tire pressure settings of 41 and 42 PSI in summer and fall, then 43 to 44 PSI this winter I have found that there is a sweet spot somewhere around 43 or 44 PSI where the ride improves and becomes less harsh with more of a cushioned ride.

I recently checked the tread depth of my Model Y's tires. After just under 3000 miles the tread depth of all 4 tires is down approximately 1/32" from the factory spec of 9/32". My tires appear to be wearing evenly. Whenever I am at a place where I can experience the full power and acceleration of my Model Y (I have not purchased the AB, don't intend to) I always do so from a rolling start of at least a few MPH to try and minimize extra wear on the tires.
 
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CYBER_Y

Member
Aug 11, 2020
104
58
USA
Be aware that with the Mach e your useable range is about 80 percent. This is because it takes about 2 hours to go from 80 to 100% so your total distance will be reduced unless you are willing to sit at a charger for long periods of time. There’s a ton of Evs out there to choose from, just none can really compare to Tesla. This will become more apparent as time goes on. Having said that if a Tesla isn’t your cup of tea it doesn’t bother me. Buy what you like because you have to drive it. Also you keep saying a 70k or 80k car and perhaps that’s Canadian but if you were driving the performance with 21 inch rims that ride will be much rougher than the 19 inch the comes as an option on the LR AWD model. I’m a fairly large person and I find the steering wheel to be just fine so I think your point there is subjective as with the seat comfort for me is lacking on long trips but would in just about any car for me personally. If you don’t like the screen you could go ID.4 or some other brand but it all depends on what you want in a vehicle. For example, ID.4 doesn’t have a camp mode. If you will never sleep in the car that will not matter. Good luck in your journey.
 
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ScoobyDoo82

Member
Mar 22, 2021
166
100
Los Angeles
I have owned each TESLA model and I find the Model Y to be the best of all of them. Once they replaced the mismatched red bumper (in 90 minutes), I have had no issues. Nada. None. Great fit. Solid. Quiet with dual laminate windows. Best Tesla or any car I have owned. Mind you I have also had to Model Xs and an S and a 3.
Have had very few issues on any of the models actually. Buy, drive it and add water to the windshield washers. Too much fun. You will come to love it.
I really like how you converted the front emblem! Probably the only Y I’ve seen this way. Did you just delete the hood emblem and use some black vinyl and new T sticker?
 
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Mar 27, 2016
396
300
Melbourne fl
Ordered the kit from VortexSigns.com
Be careful though. With the extra metallic (which I loved) the radar didn't work and that disabled auto pilot and cruise control.

So I had to remove the metallic part. Still looks better than the duck bill.
 

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Tslgrl

Member
Mar 13, 2021
17
34
Ontario
Be aware that with the Mach e your useable range is about 80 percent. This is because it takes about 2 hours to go from 80 to 100% so your total distance will be reduced unless you are willing to sit at a charger for long periods of time. There’s a ton of Evs out there to choose from, just none can really compare to Tesla. This will become more apparent as time goes on. Having said that if a Tesla isn’t your cup of tea it doesn’t bother me. Buy what you like because you have to drive it. Also you keep saying a 70k or 80k car and perhaps that’s Canadian but if you were driving the performance with 21 inch rims that ride will be much rougher than the 19 inch the comes as an option on the LR AWD model. I’m a fairly large person and I find the steering wheel to be just fine so I think your point there is subjective as with the seat comfort for me is lacking on long trips but would in just about any car for me personally. If you don’t like the screen you could go ID.4 or some other brand but it all depends on what you want in a vehicle. For example, ID.4 doesn’t have a camp mode. If you will never sleep in the car that will not matter. Good luck in your journey.
Sadly in Canada the LR Model Y is $69,900 with anything but white exterior paint.
Performance with FSD, white interior etc you are looking at $97K CAD.
 
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Tslgrl

Member
Mar 13, 2021
17
34
Ontario
I live in southern Ontario as well. I've had mine for a few months now and lowered the tire pressure to 38. I didn't think the firmness was too bad at first but now that the honeymoon phase is over I feel like a bobblehead on the highway. The seats are so comfy that it tricks you at first and if you've had back injuries like me that tends to get under your skin as time goes on. It's too bad because I like almost everything else about the car. I might buy the MPP coil over kit which is expensive as hell (think $5k CAD installed), or just grin and bear it until a better alternative comes out.

Couple notes about the Tesla in winter: You'll get 300km max on the highway on a bad day, the handling in the snow is not ideal because the transmission favours the rear axle so it's fish-tail aplenty (though they may have fixed this in a recent 'winter' update, not sure).

If you can live with the harshness, then it's a no brainer in my opinion for the over-the-air updates and the supercharger speed/network.
I think a lot of it has to do with the quality of our roads too. I notice a lot of Americans don't have a problem with the suspension in the M-Y but I also know the US invests more in road infrastructure than we do in Southern Ontario, hi Eglinton Avenue I'm looking at you!
 
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DanDi58

Member
Jun 22, 2020
754
558
Dayton NJ
A couple of comments for @Tslgrl - Regarding the ride, I don't think you said whether the car you test drove had the 19" or 20" wheels. I have the 19" on mine and find the ride to be perfect. You noted that you've owned some German brands; I drove an Audi A4 with Sport Package for 16 years and I find the MY ride to be more compliant than the Audi (which I loved). Roads here in NJ are really bad but I've had no issues. I also love the steering wheel in the MY - it is comparable to the sport wheel I had in the Audi, as well as the wheel in my recent Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring. It's nice and beefy, which I like. I suspect you'd get used to it over time. Finally, on the quality - please keep in mind that people that post about quality are generally the ones that have some issues, not so much those of us with really good cars. Mine was essentially perfect - no panel gaps, no paint issues, no dirt on the interior, no rattles (yet). I admittedly didn't measure the thickness of the paint like some, but frankly, I didn't care to do that. This is the most expensive car I've bought and I did examine it fairly closely when I picked it up.

Keep in mind that anything that might be bugging you after a few hours of a test drive (the steering wheel or distractions from the screen) will, in all likelihood, be lessened as you become use to the car.

You might want to test drive the Mustang Mach-E and VW ID.4 (and maybe scan those forums as well) to get a feel for the competition. There are also some good YouTube videos that compare these cars.

Good luck with the decision!
 

ScoobyDoo82

Member
Mar 22, 2021
166
100
Los Angeles
I think a lot of it has to do with the quality of our roads too. I notice a lot of Americans don't have a problem with the suspension in the M-Y but I also know the US invests more in road infrastructure than we do in Southern Ontario, hi Eglinton Avenue I'm looking at you!
Lol, the roads here in Los Angeles, CA are also really bad. Some newer infrastructure is great, but most of the freeways (especially the 5 and 405) are really bad.
 
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