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My first two weeks with Model S

Discussion in 'Model S' started by TMS doc, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. TMS doc

    TMS doc Member

    Oct 22, 2012
    Pasadena CA
    Ok, so here is my story. There will be thousands of these soon, but for those of you still waiting, let me whet your appetite.

    Bottom line, OMFG, what an amazing car!! What makes this car great is that it is the first electric car that is outstanding in its own right, without being a compromise or a novelty. I can't imagine having anything else now.

    (My critiques are so small, so minute, so piddley, that I feel guilty listing them, but maybe someone from Tesla will see them and make this car even better.)

    View attachment 11254
    ID: Signature red, white interior, obeche wood gloss, pano roof, 21 " silver wheels, VIN # 197, delivered 10/21/12.

    Delivery: Spent over three leisurely hours taking delivery with Peter. Took it for a short test drive and ran into...another Sig red Model S! The only other one in town--we stopped in the middle of the road and introduced ourselves.

    Exterior: It is very impressive in person. But you probaply know that. I did too, but am still impressed all over again. My first full day on the road, a woman rolled down her window to tell me, "that's the sexiest thing on the road!" Other people are saying, "glad to see them on the road". There is lots of excitement about this car. After taking delivery, my wife and I went to lunch and snagged the parking spot right out front of the sidewalk cafe we were at. This allowed us to eavesdrop on the comments of those passing by and staring in the windows. How fun!

    View attachment 11255

    Interior: I always felt the interior was a bit weak on the prototypes I saw, without the full finish of a luxury car, but this is much better than I remember. The seats seem more substantial. The dash is more together, with the touch screen better integrated into the overall front. The stitching on the leather is very nice. The headliner is gorgeous. I really like the displays of the instrument cluster with the various graphics for things like regen, cruise control, and media, including album art. The sun visors are narrow, but they are not too small and work very well for me. I really like the obeche wood gloss. It looks browner in gloss and the most like wood instead of a synthetic material. Friends rave about the interior.

    The 17" touch screen is glorious. I love the Google maps. (I do wish the Show Traffic feature could be turned off and on directly from the map itself instead of having to go back into Settings. The traffic clutters the map so I usually leave it off, but when I need it I want it now.) I love how to make it full screen with one touch, and how to bring down and open the different apps on the screen. Tap the icon and it opens in the top half; swipe down and it opens in the bottom half. It is a very intuitive interface. The navigation works well and gives a very nice direction of travel graphic in the display next to the spedometer. I love how it displays the status of the doors and lights and how it controls the sunroof.

    My complaints: Yes, the cupholders are not far enough forward. (This is serously my biggest complaint about the car). I miss a small storage in the door or somewhere, or a bigger glove box, although I do like the large space on the floor. The graphic on the display for Park is shown as P-R-N-D, as is typical for other cars, but you push the arm up for reverse, down for drive. I have on a few occasions looked a the graphic and pushed down (right) for reverse, going into drive instead. The turn signal is a little below 9:00 on the steering wheel which felt low, and I was initially hitting cruise control to change lanes, but I have adjusted and no longer notice it. My only exterior complaint is there is a small asymmetry in how the back rear door meets the body frame, but it's small.

    Driving: This is fabulous. All the torque, all the time. You don't understand how a gas engine has variations in torque across the power band until you drive an electric car and you have all your power all the time, silent, without any strain. It just goes whoosh, quietly. It's an awesome experience. I have the non-performance and managed to scare a friend who is the on the wait list with how fast I was driving. (I ordered the non-performance, but sometimes I feel I must have gotten performance it is so fast. That thought is reinforced by this graphic which shows my car as a P85. I assume it was a mistake as this is the only other indicator than my back being pressed so hard into the seat.) It is a big car, and a heavy car, until you hit the accelerator, and then it is just swift.

    View attachment 11256

    The handling is also extraordinary. I have never driven such a stable car with such a low center of gravity. It is another brillant design feature that you don't appreciate until you drive it. Using the regenerative braking is different initially. If you lift off the accelerator fully, you slow down quite a bit. To coast as you would in another car, you have to keep your foot on the pedal a little. It is another thing that takes some gettting used to, but now it's familiar, and it works very well. You can forgoe a lot of your usual braking with the regen.

    Parking: It always takes a while to get used to a new car and figure out where the four corners are when you are parking, but I find it an easy car to park. The back up camera is very clear, but even more important is how slow the car can go. Usually a car this heavy and this powerful lurches when you try to park it, but it is tuned so that you can easliy move it an inch at time.

    Charging: I had to use a 110v regular wall socket for a few days, charging at 3 miles each hour. Talk about range anxiety. Now I am off of a 240v 15-30 at 16 miles per hour and could easily live without the highspeed charger as it easily replenishes overnight.

    Range: I have been racing around quite happily. The car has a "rated range" in the morning of 240 miles as it by default only charges to 90% full to lenghthen battery life. (Just hit one button to make it fully charge before the long road trip.) My "projected range" is typically given at about 2/3 my "rated range" as it is calculated based on my last 30 miles of driving, which recently is lots of fast test drives with friends. I like that it gives both figures.

    I did do a 160 mile round trip one day though and got much better range. On the moring at full charge, the car showed rated range was 273 miles. After about 50 miles in LA traffic, averaging 40 mph, going 5-75 mph, my rated range was like 220 miles but my projected range now exceeded the rated at 250 miles. Going that speed might get me over 300 miles. The drive back averaged about 75 mph and after going over 160 miles I had used about 185 miles of my initial 273. I'm very happy. No range anxiety.

    Features: It's great just to get in the car and go. Even better is the walk away lock option which locks the car like 10 seconds after you get out and walk away. I am so spoiled for this now. I did lock my key in the car though when I had it in my bag in the back, so be careful until they fix this. My door handles work well, but the door need a little effort once in a while to close. My second biggest complaint about this car is valet parking. I don't trust they will know how to start the car let alone open the doors.

    The radio sounds very good. Internet radio on board is great. I love to play music straight off my iPhone, and it picks up where we left off after a stop. The volume settings on the radio need adjusting. It goes to 11 a la Spinal Tap, but I listen to radio at 3 to 4 but really wish they had a 3 1/2. Going off my iPhone for music and calls, I have to turn the volume up to 6, than back down if I return to FM.

    And it's electric: It's clean, it's green, and it's quiet. I now get bothered when I hear other cars idling, making that chug-chug noise and wasting energy. Those cars seem ancient to me. The Model S will be historic for how it was the first break-through electric car, bringing electric mainstream, beautiful and practical, without compromise for being all-electric, the first one that blew the doors off other cars in its class, even before you get all green about it. You should get one.
  2. Lyon

    Lyon 2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D

    Dec 26, 2011
    Eugene, Oregon
    Fantastic review, thanks for sharing it with us! I can't seem to see the pictures unfortunately.

    The next 3-4 months are going to drag by... slowly.
  3. sublimaze1

    sublimaze1 8Dec2012 / Leeroy Jenkins

    Sep 6, 2012
    Basin City, TX
    I agree with Lyon, this is a very well written, and easy to follow review of the car. Thank you , TMS. And, I am happy for you. Keep on enjoying. I am right behind you.
  4. jcstp

    jcstp Active Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    great revieuw! I also have trouble vieuwing the pics!
  5. Mkent

    Mkent Member

    Jul 15, 2012
    Greenville, SC
    Awesome review! While everyone on the reservation list would love to have their car today, we all have to be proud of Tesla delivering high quality automobiles to their adoring fans who have waited so long! All the reviews do seem to share the one comment in common, "it was worth the wait"!! I do not know another car which could make that claim considering most getting their cars now waited over 3 years too!
  6. rogbmw

    rogbmw Member

    Feb 10, 2012
    Central Florida my wait just seemed to get longer.....Anticipation!
  7. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

    Jun 13, 2012
    Beaverton, OR
    Yeah it's reads like this that make me think I'll sitting in mine for hours on end, at the end of a drive, at the end of a day, to see what else I can discover about the car... Just short of sleeping in it. ;)

    Yes, plz see if you can embed or add your photos to this thread, we'd love to see them.
  8. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

    Dec 2, 2009
    Belmont, CA
    Great review and congrats on getting your car! Hoping you get those pics working.

    Seems like a bit of delay for such a low vin #. Can you tell us your reservation sequence number?

    That's interesting. Either a software error or you are the luckiest Model S owner benefitting from a major production mixup!

    This is good to hear.

  9. Bardlebee

    Bardlebee Member

    Apr 4, 2012
    San Antonio, TX
    Excited to hear that your non-performance is wowing you in speed. I am looking at the non-performance myself so this makes me quite happy. Next year can't come soon enough.
  10. Sparky

    Sparky Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    And that is the thing about EVs. Once you live with one for a just little while, every ICE, no matter how nice, seems like a broken down relic.

    Damn, two Sig red Model S' nearby and I haven't seen either! Now I know to keep an eye out.
    'nuf said. Thanks for posting your first impressions. Enjoy.
  11. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2006
    CA CA
    Great review TMS doc! Thoughtful description of the car and your transformation to electric.

    If you would like to get together with other owners, PM me and I'll add you to the Tesla LA club list.
  12. Nickjhowe

    Nickjhowe Member

    Apr 8, 2012
    Congrats TMS doc! Thanks for the write up.

    Is this an alignment issue? If so you should get the Ranger to come and adjust it. I've seen at least one other report of a door needing slight adjustment.
  13. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

    Apr 13, 2009
    Miami, Florida
    Congrats!! Great write up.

    I have the same issue on the rear driver side door, a slight misalignment. Not a big deal for me, but if a Ranger could fix it that would be great.
  14. SoCalGuy

    SoCalGuy Member

    Apr 22, 2012
    Congrats! Also, pics aren't working for me either...
  15. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

    Apr 20, 2012
    Rocklin, CA
    I've got that map feature with the latest firmware in my car. I think the firmware was released on Oct 30, 2012. It also has the partial adjustments in the volume, so 3 1/2 is possible, and I like the volume there as well.

    I agree with his comments as well. Wonderful car.
  16. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

    Nov 10, 2011
    Thanks for sharing this little nugget of awesome, Jason.
  17. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    Sarasota, FL
    I can categorically state that it is NOT possible to set the volume to 3 1/2!........Actually the increments are in 1/3's. :tongue:
  18. dtich

    dtich #P708

    May 31, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Shouldn't the phone audio have a separate volume setting from the radio/etc? That should be a fw update IMO.
  19. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

    Nov 10, 2011
    still <3
  20. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

    Mar 24, 2011
    When there were only whole settings, I agreed that it was too coarse, but I thought it would be a pity to lose "goes to 11!". Then when the update came out that introduced the fractional settings, I thought "D'oh". It hadn't occured to me to do it that way.

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