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My extended Tesla Model S test drive

Discussion in 'Model S' started by K16GT, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. K16GT

    K16GT New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2016
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    Location:
    Rhode Island
    I had the opportunity on Wednesday to do a full day test drive in a P90D/L. Overall I'm really impressed with the Model S. I've been lurking on the forums for some time to learn all I can. I currently drive a Porsche Carrera 4S with PDK that I love. We are looking at the model S to replace an Audi S4.
    Here are my Pro's & Con's.

    PRO’s
    Quiet cabin, spacious interior with seating for 5 comfortably.
    Instant Torque - 713 lb-ft in the P90D means ridiculous power delivery that’s eerily quiet. Ludicrous mode is just that. Scary fast.
    Design - very tasteful exterior design that I sense will hold up very well over the years. I think it looks elegant, and after four years on the market it still looks better than the just introduced BMW 7 series. It also looks smaller than a car with such a roomy cabin, and has great storage capacity with no engine in the front or rear.
    Autopilot - Best active cruise control I’ve ever used. Simply addictive. Autopilot feels like the future. George Jetson would feel right at home.
    Smart Air Suspension - dynamic comportment is excellent and the ride is well composed. Bumps in the road? Bring it on. I drove it on my favorite twisty roads that I know like the back of my hand and it was solid and fast.
    17” Touchscreen - after driving the Model S for a day all other cars are obsolete without it.
    Ultra High-Fidelity Sound - really quite good. A must have option. And because the cabin is so quiet, polite conversation can continue even at license revoking speeds. Streaming Tidal uncompressed via Bluetooth with Dolby off and bass at 5, and it sounded great.
    Sub Zero - Heated Steering Wheel, and the ability to warm it up from your smartphone. Nice.
    Supercharger Network - 170 miles in 30 minutes, 80% in 40 minutes, 100% in 75 minutes. Priceless.
    Details - automatically extending zero profile door handles are a small detail, but a really nice touch. Love the auto unlocking and locking as you approach and walk away from the car.
    Highest safety rating from Consumer Reports & NHTSA
    Made in America

    CON’s
    Rear Sight lines - small, sloping rear window combined with three headrests make for a tough rear view.
    Seats - no thigh support, unthinkable that there is no seat memory buttons, and no memory for the key fob.
    Interior Quality Overall - not up to S-Class, Audi, BMW level. Really needs more choice in leather colors and trim. Needs better seats with ventilation, and additional adjustments. See any of the german brands.
    NAV - slow, love the touch-screen and huge display but performance is trounced by Waze.
     
    • Informative x 1
    • Like x 1
  2. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

    Joined:
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    Rocklin, CA
    For the CONs --
    Rear Sight lines - I use the rear camera constantly. Once you get used to glancing at the camera view, you'll find it superior to any other view on any other vehicle.
    Seats - Seat memory is in the driver profile. Could be disabled for loaners or maybe it is a tech pkg feature. The driver profile stores a whole bunch of personalization options like mirrors, creep, amount of regen, etc
    NAV - it is google and dependent on data speed. I agree it can be slow, but I haven't bothered using my phone instead.

    Regarding the sound system -- it is nice, but I wish for nicer sometimes. Haven't pulled the trigger for one of the upgrade options yet tho.
     
  3. WestCoastP85D

    WestCoastP85D Member

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    Great post.

    When you think about all the adversity that this company had to go through to deliver such a machine, your appreciation soars.
     
    • Like x 2
  4. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    Poor rear visibility is one of the things I noticed on my test drive as well. After owning it for a while, I no longer noticed it, though. It's good enough to see traffic behind you, and that's all you really need it for. The camera provides a far better view for reversing, so visibility through the windows doesn't matter for that.

    I agree that nav can be a little slow, but it's good enough, at least for me. The main complaints I have are a lack of options (I want to be able to tell it to avoid tolls, or give me alternate routes) and an occasional lack of intelligence (sometimes it just has stupid routing for no apparent reason). But it's still sufficient for 99% of my navigation needs.
     
    • Like x 1
  5. byan1232

    byan1232 Member

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    New York, NY
    @Jason S I completely agree with you regarding the rearview camera!

    @K16GT The rear view camera took me a while to get used to but once you do its amazing. You never have to use the rear view mirror ever again.
     
  6. tstafford

    tstafford Member

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    Nashville, TN
    FWIW - I too found the rear visibility to be bad during the test drive (and I was testing just as NG seats were becoming ubiquitous). Doesn't bug me in the least now. But I can see why you'd react that way during a test drive.
     
  7. Spidy

    Spidy Member

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    Germany
    Well, might work in California, but with rain and snow the camera does not seem that reliable.

    Turn by turn navigation is not google, but Navigon. Map view and imput (?) is google.
     
  8. skip8jj

    skip8jj Member

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    I believe the "Driver Profile" feature is now standard. May hold up to 10 profiles.

    As for the rear view camera, I believe there is also a second sensor that picks up close objects and warn when close. Audible and visual.
     
  9. ArtInCT

    ArtInCT Always Learning

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    #9 ArtInCT, Apr 10, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016
    As a P90DL owner for a bit over a month here are some of my impressions on the car:

    1) the build quality, lack of squeaks, rattles or virtually any other noises is remarkable.
    2) backing up is best done with the rear view camera and the guide lines.
    3) the setting up of the side view mirrors is critical in both forward and in reverse.
    4) Hill Hold is just amazing
    5) UH sound system is likewise very enjoyable once you spend some time setting it up
    6) I have found that rated miles are optimistic by 20% on short jaunts in cold weather. However on longer trips rated miles are about 93% of actual. I suspect that battery conditioning has a more dramatic effect on shorter trips in cold weather.
    7) The torque on the P90DL is intoxicating, a bit frightening and frankly I would NOT want to give this up.
    8) The car's interior warms up very nicely and retains heat well on long trips. The use of climate pre-heating while on shore power is a good thing. The seat heaters and heated steering wheel are must haves in cold climates.
    9) Amazed by lack of any wind noise
    10) If you are 6 foot tall or taller you will need to pay attention to your seat settings for ease of entry and exit. In addition, you really NEED to take a long trip in the S in order to set up the seat adequately. One aspect to pay attention to is your elbow resting areas in relation to the steering wheel. Sometimes I wish the door arm rest was adjustable in the up and down direction. Still fiddling with this.
    11) Here in New England I find the NAV system more than adequate, quick and accurate.
    12) Superchargers are quick and welcome for long cruises. Destination chargers here in New England are critical for EV usability, especially in the very rural areas of the region. Inns are starting to install Chargpoints and HPWC's.
    13) You have to be careful when exiting the S and try not to scuff the door sill plate.
     
    • Like x 1
  10. XXSLAMXX

    XXSLAMXX Member

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    Sorry. Not mine.. Efforts and results not hand in hand here.
    Admiration does not minimize the build issues and the number of quality of service issues.
    Give us Toyota/Lexus reliability.
    Fix the inconsistent service center experience.
    Then I'll be with you all the way.
    Regards
     
  11. skip8jj

    skip8jj Member

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    In cold weather, how is battery conditioning carried out? I suppose simular issues apply to hot weather? We leave the MS plugged in and it is usually in a garage where the temperature seldom drops below 40F or exceeds 80F. Thanks
     
  12. FranKim

    FranKim Member

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    Great post OP!
    I too come from a list of PDK P cars and German high end sedans (mostly AMGs) and I agree about the interior deficits but I'm loving my Model S nonetheless and I'm not looking back.
    We all know there will never be any perfect car (just try putting your C4s and S4 through such an exercise); Your Pros far outweigh your Cons -- go for it!
     
  13. ArtInCT

    ArtInCT Always Learning

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    Skip:
    As I understand it, when the traction battery's temperature condition is too cold or warm then the battery management system(s) of heating or cooling kick in to get the traction battery into an acceptable and more optimal temperature condition. The battery heater or cooler uses power from the traction battery to do its work. So if you car is maintained in an environment where really the battery does not become cold soaked or really hot then you may not experience this effect.

    On the performance gauge, you can tell if regen is limited due to a cold battery or a fully charged condition. There will be a yellow dotted line on the perimeter of the power gauge in the central display. You may also see an exclamation in a yellow triangle as well. This is informing you that regen is limited and if this is due to a cold traction battery it is a good sign that your battery management system is working.

    Lastly, I understand that there is a RANGE MODE that you can turn on which tell the battery management system (an HVAC) to not be as aggressive.

    So, if you are like me (and it sounds you are NOT) then a short trip of 8 miles with a cold battery will cause the BMS to kick in and make your rated miles appear very Optimistic as they will not reflect the power used by the BMS. However on much longer trips this effect is minimized as the miles you travel increase.
     
  14. David_Cary

    David_Cary Member

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    Outside of Arizona or very fast driving and supercharging, battery cooling doesn't kick in very much. Starts at 110 so even ambient of 100 isn't going to do it unless you push the car.

    NE temps? Only showing off acceleration or supercharging will kick in the BMS. Range far better in summer.
     
  15. skip8jj

    skip8jj Member

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    Portland, OR
    Art and David,
    Thanks for the explanations above. Marvelous cars these Teslas. SJ
     

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