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My First Week with Model X 75D - and joining the Tesla Family

SamUK

Member
Jun 3, 2018
18
23
Cambridge, UK
Hi

I have finally become a member of the Tesla owners club. I took delivery of my Model X 75D on 1st September.

I’ve been on the fringes of the Tesla family for almost 2 years, devouring endless blogs, posts, tweets, articles and videos - ‘stalking’ you all in the nicest possible way! Now I’ve finally got the car I felt I should at least make my own post. I’m not big on Social Media, so it may be my one and only attempt, so please forgive the length. I hope this might be useful for other new or nearly new Tesla drivers.

First and most important thing to say - wow, what a bloody brilliant car. My expectations were high, and I can honestly say Tesla have delivered on, and exceeded all of them. I feel like I’m driving a supercharged iPhone on wheels. Even with my base model 75, the performance is incredible. The interior is gorgeous, if feels like nothing else, a spaceship with ‘tardis’ like characteristics. It’s a big car, but doesn’t look it, until you get inside where it feels so clean, uncluttered, and spacious. And the tech - wow, so much to play with!

Why Tesla & Electric
What started me on the electric route was completely personal. 3 years ago I needed to change my company car, and was tempted by electric with the tax (BIK) benefits. At that point I didn’t take Tesla seriously and had all the usual concerns about range etc, so took the soft PHEV option, a Mitsubishi Outlander. I needed a big car, and it did the trick, but honestly it’s dull and uninspiring. Since then I started hearing about Tesla, and have built myself up into a frenzy of desire!
1. I’ve always been into tech - so clearly Tesla ticks the boxes there, way ahead of all other car manufacturers. Battery technology / in car tech (screen etc.) / software updates………
2. For me, they clearly lead the way in electric cars, both with their cars and their infrastructure. The fact that they’ve only ever built electric cars means they’ve started from a different blueprint - they’re not just making a standard combustion engined car, and sticking batteries in it. Their charging infrastructure leads the way - appears to be much more widely accessible than other other networks, is easy & reliable to use, and is free (at least for those with Unlimited Supercharging). Having driven a PHEV, it’s pretty clear right now that the number of (non-Tesla) different charging options, connections and lack of reliability is just really confusing - Tesla makes it simple.
3. I like Tesla’s philosophy. Great customer service (I’ve constantly read this and have now experienced it). No hard selling, and no marketing - they rely on word of mouth, referrals etc. Clear aim to make electric cars accessible to everybody - Model 3 coming, not hiding their technology etc.
4. They have electric cars with decent / manageable range.
5. I’ve bought into the whole Elon Musk thing. I realise he can be divisive, but fundamentally I think he’s a good man, incredibly intelligent, and with a great vision for a better world. My only thought is that maybe he should step back and let a more ‘regular’ guy be the ‘face’ of Tesla, if for no other reason than to placate the stock market / Tesla bears.
6. Driving an electric car costs me much less (both in terms of fuel and company car tax). That said, the car itself is very expensive!
7. Driving an electric car is better for the environment. Apologies if this didn’t come top of my list, but I’m actually not 100% clear on this. Driving the car is better (I believe), though not sure on the whole car life i.e. manufacturing, disposal etc.

Specification
Always knew I wanted the X (as opposed S) for size (and the falcon wing doors). I actually think it looks better than the S (though I know many wouldn’t agree). I spent many hours agonising over the spec, and ultimately many of my decisions were based on what I could afford.

Battery size - went for the 75 mainly based on cost, budget wouldn’t stretch to the 100. Also my commute is a 10 mile round trip and I do very few long trips (average 15k miles a year).

Colour - choices limited, but was between white or the midnight silver, went for the midnight silver in the end (I actually think white looks nicer, but white feels a bit done, no offence to anybody).

Wheels - standard 20” silver slipstream, based on cost (and hearing 20” are better for wear and tear). Interior trim - always wanted the premium white, just adds to the modern / tech / open feel of the car.

Seats - I knew I wouldn’t go for the 6 seats as I wanted to be able to fold all back seats flat and max out boot space, plus they cost a lot. So it was between 5 and 7 seats, 5 won out based on cost and the fact that I really only need more than 5 seats once or twice a year.

Premium Upgrade Package - I really wanted this, mainly for the Winter Pack and self presenting doors. I can’t see the point of HEPA (I’m hoping chemical warfare won’t hit rural north Essex anytime soon), and the standard stereo system is more than good enough for me (its really very good actually). So again cost won out and I didn’t get it.

Enhanced Autopilot - the tech monster in me also wanted this. But honestly I’ll probably never use it, 90% of my driving is A & B roads, where it probably won’t work. So didn’t get it. BTW, I look forward to trying out soon with the free trials, hoping it will confirm my thoughts. Only annoyance here is that I would like TACC

Full Self Driving - why pay for something that’s not even available now

So I’ve ended up with a Model X 75D, with standard 20” Silver Slipstream wheels - only extra’s being Midnight Silver Metallic and Premium White interior.

Ordering and Collection
My journey started online with the Tesla website, then following the forums (Tesla, Tesla Motors Club and Tesla Owners Group UK) and following just about all Tesla related tweets on Twitter.

Then the Tesla store arrived in Cambridge. I couldn’t walk past without looking (I love the idea that Tesla have their stores in shopping arcades, typical Tesla ‘disruptive’ sales model). Soon got to know all of the guys, and had a test drive. That was the point when I knew I really wanted one, I was blown away with the car. From then through to ordering Nicola (now the Tesla Cambridge Store Manager) was great, being very patient with me (I did take many months to get there). These guys don’t do the hard sell, they are clearly just Tesla fans who love the product they’re selling. Nicola was excellent in every way and has made the process easy and enjoyable.

From placing my order in late May 2018, to collecting the car at the Dartford Service Centre on 1st September 2018, took exactly 3 months (matching what the forums said). I of course tracked progress daily (!!), and re-watched all of the many Youtube videos - it was a long 3 months. The collection experience at Dartford was great - lovely high tech, clean and smart place, and the lady who dealt with us was great (sorry, can’t remember her name). By this time I was pretty up to speed with everything, though still had a long list of questions, which she answered patiently. I was there for about 90 minutes. I had been concerned as I’d seen that Tesla were trying to make this process shorter, but I was not rushed at all.

First Week Summary
I’ve already said this, but my main thoughts have been ‘wow’. The drive is just fantastic - it’s a 2.5 tonne, bloody big car, that drives like a sports car. The interior is just beautiful - I smile when I drive it all of the time, it feels so clean, uncluttered, and just like nothing I’ve ever been in. The huge windscreen opens the car up. I have never ‘loved’ the way it looks, it’s fine, but honestly I think there’s better looking cars out there. However I do love the fact that it’s actually quite understated from the outside, but when you get inside its literally out of this world.

First few days were spent getting my head round all of the different settings and functions - it can be a little overwhelming. That said, on the flip side, you can just get in and drive without doing anything. Since then I’ve clocked up nearly 500 miles - way above what I’d normally do. I just want to keep driving it.

I have had NO problems with the car at all. All of the usually quoted issues (panel fit, falcon wing doors etc.) have been perfect. I think Tesla clearly had issues with e MX early on, but I also think they’ve pretty much resolved them now. I say this specifically because when reading the forums, it can seem like there are loads of issues - in my (very early) experience there haven't been. I put this down to human nature, we like to blog, tweet, share when we have problems and are not so good at sharing the good stuff.

The only issues I’ve had with the car have been completely of my own doing. First thing was realising that my home charger (Podpoint), was underpowered. I ordered this for my Mitsubishi 3.5 years ago, and though it was a 7Kw (32A) unit - however once I saw the charge speed on the Tesla, I realised it wasn’t - Podpoint had installed the 3.6Kw 16A version (and I hadn’t noticed before!!). I reckon with the lower powered unit it would have taken 24 hours + to charge my car from 0% to 100%. To Podpoints credit, they have swapped out the unit really quickly and at no charge - honestly I was surprised (it was 3.5 years ago!!). They have been amazing with great customer service. Second issue I’ve had is the wheels - within a week we’ve scuffed two of them (once by me and once by my wife, both times in car parks)! Both had that horrible sick feeling when you know you’ve done something stupid. Since then I’ve seen other posts on forums with drivers having the same problem in early days of driving the MX. This is a warning to any other new MX drivers, it’s really hard to see where the wheels are and it’s a BIG car (sometimes easy to forget), so be careful! Final thing, I’ve managed to scratch the cover on the Centre console sliding drawer thing - it’s a gloss ‘piano’ black finish and scratches easily (my keys did it), so am planning to get this black wrapped (see below).

I am still trying to get my head around opening / closing / locking doors. I managed to get very confused with the Walk-away Door Lock and Passive Entry options (and recent software addition of Pin Code). For now I’ve just disabled all and rely on using the key fob to lock / unlock, that’s all my brain can cope with! I did set the ‘Close all with Key Fob’ option to ON, I like this - one click on top of fob and all open doors close and the car locks.

On charging and range. I have a home charger and have been plugging it in every time I get home. Charging limit set to 90%, and I’ll increase to 100% if I plan to go on a long trip. All completely fine, I haven’t used a Supercharger yet. On range, pretty much what I expected - advertised as being 237 miles for the MX 75D, but in the real world I’m getting about 200. Weather has been mild (average 20C), but I do have air-con most of the time. Driving mainly short trips (5 to 20 miles), and on A & B roads - with a mix of taking it easy, with the odd burst to remind me of the power! No range anxiety, no issues. I do wonder how it will be when it’s starts getting cold, probably expect it to drop, but for me all good.

My wife and kids love the car. My wife is still a little nervous, but always smiles once driving it. Only issue is that they want to call it Shakira and I just want to all it ‘the car’!

Final thing to say - as a UK Tesla driver I joined the this Tesla Owners Group UK Facebook group. I love the posts and support given, invaluable. I also joined the Mentorship program and was paired up with Tim - he’s been brilliant, so big shout out to him.

If I Could Change Anything
Early days obviously, but for now there’s just a couple of things that would make the car even better:
Adaptive Cruise Control - I feel that this should be included with the car as part of the standard cruise control, and not be part of the Enhanced Autopilot option (I think most premium cars have this as standard now).
Window closing - when I lock the car it doesn’t automatically close the windows as well, I think it should do (or there at least be an option for it to happen).
More useful storage options - see below for accessories I’ve ordered.

What Next
Lots more driving and smiling - and some worries about my lease mileage allowance being too low!!

But even before I took delivery of the car I started considering accessories and any changes I wanted to make:

Wheels - personally I prefer black satin wheels, but couldn’t warrant the cost of getting them from Tesla with the car (£1800 for Sonic Carbons), and I didn’t want 22”. So I’ve always planned to get the wheels powder coated once I get the car. After a lot of research I’ve booked in to get these done next week. I’ve made sure the local company I’m using are reputable and will follow correct process (clean, strip, bake, mask hub and wheel nut threads, undercoat, top coat, laquer etc.) and procedures (jacking - as in manual, dealing with the tyre pressure monitors etc.). Being a newbie I’ve also had to figure out what to do re the wheel nuts and centre cap - I want these black satin too. It turns out the MX 20” Silver Slipstream Wheels come with removable silver wheel nut covers, and I’ve just ordered black 21mm covers from Amazon. Regards the centre cap, the company doing the work have said they’ll paint them black. So hopefully this will all go OK. FYI quoted cost to get the wheels coated is £70 + VAT per wheel.

Chrome - again, personal preference, but I think there’s too much chrome on the MX and it’s a little dated (also since having the car, I don’t like the finger prints on the door handles, really show up on the chrome). On Googling I discovered a whole world of options, and in particular ‘chrome delete’ using vinyl wrap. More research, and once I had the car I was much clearer on what needed doing. I’ve found another local company who do car / van wrapping (and signs) and have visited them to go through the process, they’ve reassured me and I’m booked in to get this done in a couple of weeks. I plan to have the following parts vinyl wrapped in 3M black satin - front V-trim under bonnet, underside of wing mirrors, side indicator / camera housing, window trims, door handles, rear boot trim. I will leave the T logos front & back, the ‘Model X’ / ’75D’ wording on boot and the front fog lights (mainly because half of them is enclosed, so apparently hard to get to). FYI I’ve been quoted £495 + VAT. Also, as mentioned above, I plan to ask them to wrap the centre console sliding drawer cover.

In both cases above, neither of the companies I’ve chosen have worked with Tesla’s. which makes me a little nervous. Issue is that I needed them to be relatively close, and there’s just not too many Teslas around here. So a visits pre the work was a must, and I’m pretty confident they’re up to speed and will be OK. I guess proof will be in the pudding!

Other accessories I’ve bought / ordered:
Key fob protectors (I’ve got the cheap silicone covers from Amazon (, but they feel cheap - so have ordered the metal ones from RPM Tesla in the US)
Small storage box that fits in Centre Console cup holder (from EV Accessories UK)
Faraday protector pouches (from EV Accessories UK) - though haven’t used them and probably won’t, I’ve disabled Passive Entry and this is fine for me.
Cubby Drawer to fit in space under screen (from RPM Tesla)

In summary, I bloody love it. My wife wants one now, so lets hope the Model 3 comes to the UK soon (it’s all I could afford!).

Apologies again for this very long post. I may never do it again, so wanted to be sure I got it all down. A big thanks to all of the Tesla family out there for dragging me into the 21st (and 22nd) century.
 

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Bogobec

Member
Jan 11, 2016
308
185
Canada
I really enjoyed reading you. Thanks a lot for the detailed experience. I’m ordering mine next week and am really excited too. Same color as yours. Please post pictures after the chrome delete, I’m still debating if I should do it or not.

Thanks!
 
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SamUK

Member
Jun 3, 2018
18
23
Cambridge, UK
I really enjoyed reading you. Thanks a lot for the detailed experience. I’m ordering mine next week and am really excited too. Same color as yours. Please post pictures after the chrome delete, I’m still debating if I should do it or not.

Thanks!
Thanks guys for nice comments. Post was way too long, forgot the ‘filter’!! I will post pics once wheels and chrome delete are done.
 

Fellsteruk

Active Member
Feb 24, 2018
1,040
411
North West, UK
Snap, our MX’s are no doubt production line sisters got mine on the 6th.

Great post and couldn’t agree more they are just amazing.

I’m thinking of doing the same with my slipstream, like you could warrant almost 2k for a color change :( or 5k for 22s

Would love to see the end result after they get powder coated :)
 

sub

Active Member
May 24, 2013
1,482
2,431
Sonora California
Nice post. I have MSM 75D with cream, 5 seat and AP, nearly the same. I’m not a big fan of chrome either, I used plasti dip on the wheels (satin black) and imo it makes a huge difference in the appearance of the vehicle. I did it this way for cost reasons and also the ability to remove if the wifey didn’t like it but she loves it. Enjoy the X.
 

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