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My First Impressions of the Model S

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by Idbvideo, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. Idbvideo

    Idbvideo Member

    Jun 14, 2014
    About a month ago I booked a test drive at the Preston event. I was in two minds about booking the test drive. I can't afford to buy just yet, maybe next year, but that will be at a pinch. I asked the question about how prospective you had to be in another thread. So I went for it.

    First off I want to thank the guys at Tesla who covered the event at Preston, they were really friendly and made me feel at home. At no time did I feel any hard sell.

    The car:
    P85+ with tech package, air suspension, pano roof, in pearl white with grey 21 inch turbines. Textile interior. I also suspect it had the upgraded sound system, but wasn't sure. (speakers in the A pillar?)

    A quick walk around provided information about the luggage space etc.,

    Vehicle Access/driving position
    I took a couple of Gopro cameras to record the drive, I will link the video when I have edited it, mix new audio and sort out the two camera views. The point of mentioning this is although I don't normally sit in the back of my own cars, I do like to know what it is like back there. I did find access to the back seat a little limited, I fitted one of the cameras to the pano roof with a suction cup. Once in it felt comfortable, space was comparable to my 2007 Mondeo. I am not sure if I would like to be getting in and out of the back seats that often. Although I remember reading somewhere that there is meant to be some improvement in this regard. My main issue was actually the size of my feet catching on the B pillar. More able bodied folks would be OK with it.

    One of my reservations about the car, being a sportier sedan was getting in and out. I admit I am not the smallest person in the world, rather rotund (I like that word, its so less disparaging hehe). After moving the wheel in and the seat back I was able to find a nice driving comfortable position. Head room wasn't an issue although this car had the pano roof. I may need to get this option when I purchase.

    The drive

    First off I was nervous, its an expensive car and although it was insured by Tesla I didn't want to wreck it. Oh and I forgot to ask what the excess was if I did crash....

    As we were parked at the back of the hotel, we had to go all the way round the grounds. Now I am a believer in speed limits, so I must have looked like Captain slow from top gear ;-)

    Off we went driving like a milk float, except it wasn't exactly like one of them, it was silent really silent. Ok so I drive a diesel .....

    Tried the different steering settings, ended up in sport mode.

    I found it easy to control the speed throughout the test drive, although I suspect it would be tiring to keep my right foot in one position for a long time. In the Mondeo I rest my foot against the wheel well and can just brush the accelerator pedal and rest my foot at the same time. Its just a personal thing that I could get over.

    Regen was set to standard, not being used to regen, I found it was quite strong but it took a few minutes to get used to.

    If I had to gripe about anything, it would be the park brake. When I learned to drive I was taught to put the hand brake on and take my foot off the brake pedal when I pulled up at junctions or traffic lights. In a manual drive car, it was also sensible to put the car into neutral and not ride the clutch. In my Mondeo, as its an automatic, I put the hand brake on, release the foot brake and leave the car in drive. One of my pet hates is sitting at traffic lights or in a queue of traffic at night and the car in front is blinding you with his brake lights. With the Model S the park button does set the park brake and it presents the handles and turns on the interior lights etc., I am sure I will get used to blinding the folks behind though.

    Now to the Tesla grin - I had it most of the way round the test drive, even though for the main I was captain slow. I did get to try the acceleration out, but only to 50 (Its my license and I aint losing it even for fun) I put my foot down, even got the balloon squeal, Man is this car quick, I couldn't put my foot fully down to the floor because the acceleration caused it to lift!!! And I was hanging on for dear life.

    The car is fantastic, I want one. Is it too big for the UK roads? Nope. If you have ever driven a Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Vectra etc size car then its no different in size.

    All I need now is either a lottery win or patience to sort out the finance to get one :)
  2. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

    Jun 5, 2013
    Austin, TX
    Forget whatever you learned about a parking brake. Only put the car in park if you're parked.
  3. mellington

    mellington Member

    Jun 7, 2014
    United Kingdom
    I agree about sitting there with the brake lights on blinding the driver behind, but you can put the handbrake on and go into drive when need. It's really no different than an auto in that respect. However, sit there long enough (I think about 10 mins) and the alarm will go off.
  4. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

    Nov 30, 2013
    South Surrey, BC
    I've never considered brake lights to be "blinding". High beams, yes; brakes lights, no. Maybe you have some law in the UK that requires higher wattage for brake lights? Also, sitting stopped on the road for any reason without your brakes lights on sounds dangerous to me. Using the emergency brake while driving is also strange to me. Before my Tesla, I really only used it when parking on a hill. Now it sure is nice not to have to use it at all.

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