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My Story: 3 kids, a Model S, cancelling my Model X, and a...Volvo?

Discussion in 'Model X' started by MiddKid, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. MiddKid

    MiddKid Member

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    Over the past 3 years I've found these boards to be ridiculously valuable...in purchasing my Model S and now researching a Model X. I generally find the most value to come from those who share their real life experiences. Granted, I like a "white vs pearl" thread as much as the next guy, but those deep real life stories resonate the most. So I thought I'd share my journey here...not intended to incite any feedback, just want to share it for others to consider in their journey. Ok, ok...it's a bit of therapy for me too.

    First of all, let's start with the facts. We're a young family (in our 30s) with three daughters (10, 8, and 5). Prior to hearing the word "Tesla" for the first time, our vehicle stable in the garage consisted of a 2008 Sequoia and a 2010 Prius. Very exciting stuff right there.

    I won't recap the Model S journey but I purchased a P85 two years ago in March 2014. It quickly replaced the Sequoia as our go-to everyday family car and has even pitched in on numerous road trips (with my proudest moment being a Seattle -> Eugene, OR trip one spring break with our family of 5, my brother-in-law, and the dog...and all the spring break luggage!!!). The Sequoia is still critical as our outdoor adventure vehicle (skiing, biking, camping, etc).

    Despite paying 2x+ for the MS versus any other car I've ever owned I have few regrets. I'm a complete Tesla fanboy. The MS has passed 30K miles over the past 2 years and has been rock solid. Only regret is that I added the "P" at the last minute. Sure, those "roller coaster" launches (as my kids call them) are cool, but it wears off and in retrospect I wouldn't go "P" again. Not worth the up-charge for us.

    So we find ourselves facing a few facts:
    - Model S: My youngest two are growing out of the rear-facing seats (plus, they actually dislike sitting back there now) so we're losing 2 seats of capacity. Also, I have the Resale Value Guarantee (RVG) which comes up in March 2017. Oh, one more weird quirk that I've seen referenced here before...my 8 year old very rarely gets car sick in the Sequoia. In the Model S she gets car sick all the time. It's become almost a guarantee on most drives in excess of 15 minutes. Odd.

    - Sequoia: Coming up on 9 years of ownership, we've driven this thing hard. It's starting to show the wear. While it has been mechanically rock solid it's time for a change. We recently moved to a more rural area and my wife finds herself filling up the gas tank twice (and sometimes three times) a week. Plus, she is very interested in many of the new safety systems on new vehicles.

    Our new goals are:
    - Get additional seating back by upgrading the Model S to a Model X since the youngest are growing out of the jump seats
    - With the resale values of the pre-autopilot MSs dropping, take advantage of the Resale Value Guarantee in March of 2017
    - Replace the Sequoia with a newer, more fuel-efficient vehicle

    So back in January we started to do some research and our thought process went as follows:

    Option 1: Replace the Sequoia with a Model X. Keep the Model S. All Tesla!
    This option died a quick death. As much as I wanted to will (and hack) the Model X to take over the "utility" from the Sequoia it was quickly obvious that wasn't happening. We ski virtually every weekend in the winter. Yes, there are hitch mount ski racks but they are a pain to use and not great for your equipment. In the Summer it's not crazy for our Sequoia to have 5 bikes on the rear hitch and a cargo box on top. We're extremely active outdoors and while the MX works great for a day hike, for anything with more cargo (+5 kids and a dog) the Model X just becomes a pain in the behind. Ski trip to Whistler a few weeks ago...skis/poles/boots in the roof box, clothes/groceries in the back of the Sequoia. So easy. No dealing with skis on the back (and taking them off to Supercharge). No looking into hacking a cargo box to the roof using suction (and loosing a door). Realization...this family still needs a traditional SUV/cargo hauler. Next option:

    Option 2: We got our invite to the Meet Model X event in late February. Before this event I got really amped on a new plan...let's just swap out the MS now (trade-in value is still higher than my RVG) with a MX, live with it for a while, then trade in the Sequoia for either a basic SUV or something pre-owned for those rare times we needed it. Hope here was that the MX would give us more utility than the MS and we could minimize the ICE SUV need. Unfortunately our Meet Model X experience did the opposite of what Tesla was hoping. I've requested my $5K to be refunded. While I covered this in detail in the Meet X event thread, in short:
    - We thought for sure we'd go 7 seats to retain the utility of our current 7 seat MS. We hated the 7 seat model. Third row felt way too claustrophobic for us. Much preferred the airy-ness and legroom of the 6-seat (plus I could fit a pair of skis down the middle if I was going skiing with less than my full family). Found ourselves a bit bummed that we'd be down seating for only 6 though (no more driving the family and in-laws together like we do today in the MS).
    - While we liked the 6 seat version better, still some quirks. My wife felt like she was still slammed up against the doors despite having room in the middle (obvious that they just removed the middle seat). No arm rests.
    - The quality problems on the vehicles at the event were significant. Second row seats that didn't work. Second row seat that squeaked loudly. Falcon Wing Door that had to be closed 4 times before it registered as closed. Frunk that required two employees to close. This scared us.

    It has been a few weeks since that test drive and our conclusions are:
    - Unlike the no-compromise MS, we're making compromises on the MX
    - We love our MS so much, that we have faith that given time Tesla will address the quality issues
    - We also hope that given some time Tesla will make some design tweaks to address those compromises (folding seats, arm rests, etc).
    - Bottom line for me: I'm not trading a sedan (MS) for a much higher utility SUV (MX). It's an SUV that utility-wise gets me one additional seat (assuming 6-seat version) and some compromised utility (e.g. can put a roofbox on my MS, but not a MX).

    Our current Option 3:
    - Wait on the MX
    - Request deposit refund (already done)
    - Hope that over the next year there are design/utility tweaks
    - As I approach next March (my two youngest will be grown out of the jump seats by then), evaluate where the RVG sits versus trade-in values. Assuming the RVG is a good deal (it's looking like it will be), execute the RVG and get a MX.
    - In the interim, knowing that an ICE SUV is a big part of our family for the near future even post-MX, I have no problem spending a bit more on an SUV upgrade for my wife. Currently very interested in the Plug-In Hybrid T8 version of the Volvo XC90. Some concerns about reliability, but zero concerns about utility. Good cargo area, can put a box on top, bike rack on back, good to go. Plus the plug-in electric-only range will do wonders for my wife's "around town" driving during the week.

    Whew. See, told you...typing that was therapy! I don't have many friends who would financially consider the XC90 let alone a MX. So this conversation has not been had outside my wife and me! I feel better. I'll wave to all you lucky MX owners from my MS for the next 12 months... ;-)
     
    • Like x 4
  2. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Nice breakdown, MiddKid, and totally reasonable. We're replacing our Odyssey with the MX, and only because we want to be an electric household. If I had three kids, or if we were as active outdoors as you guys were, it probably would have been a tougher move.

    I believe the MX will become a more versatile vehicle over the next year. I'm guessing your patience will pay off.

    Thanks for sharing..
     
    • Like x 1
  3. leh22a

    leh22a Member

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    Funny. I personally saw the XC90 at the auto show lately and was extremely disappointed in the 3rd row seats. I sat in the rear seats and thought the X was significantly roomier. It may appear claustrophobic since there are less Windows for light and less head and shoulder room, but the actual seat in the X I felt was better. My opinion. Of course you highlight many aspects of the X that just don't work for you. I'm just comparing the third row which I'm picky about. In the end, I would say the X has the best third row for a mid sized SUV. It's no Ford Expedition or other full sized SUV but definitely good if not the best for its class size.
     
  4. bredi

    bredi Member

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    Nice feedback and perspective.
    Isn't the Sequoia a much, much larger SUV than the X? The X (other than roof cargo) would appear to have more storage and room than the Volvo though?
     
  5. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    Seats that don't move, door that don't close properly.. a recurring theme I have read over and over again in these forums.

    Very sad. Something that was completely predictable and indeed was predicted by many.

    For those that say, give Tesla some time, I don't think Tesla has a lot of time to fix these issues before the X loses credibility and sales. One damning report from Motor Trend, Car & driver or worse Consumer Reports will seal its fate.
     
  6. ABCCBA

    ABCCBA Member

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    2016-03-09 15.14.49.jpg
    As you can see in my signature, we cancelled our MX P90D and just bought the XC90 T8 Inscription PHEV (Sticker price was $76,000). We had the pleasure of seeing three MX in private owner's hands. I was not pleased with the fit & finish of the MX and the fact that the 2nd row seats do not fold. So, we cancelled. We found the XC90 T8 Inscription PHEV and it is wonderful All seats fold down. it even has AutoSteer at low speed driving, parallel parking, perpendicular parking. As to the seats, that are incredible. From the front to the third row, they are far superior than the MX. And, as far as third row roominess, it is not as convenient to get into as the MX with the FWD, but there is greater legroom and because the second row backs are not as high as the MX, you don't feel couped in. The biggest disadvantage of the XC90 T8 is the battery. It is only a 9KWh. So, we are getting 18 miles of all electric before it goes into hybrid. However, where we live, in the past four days, we have averaged 72 empg. Finally, the XC90 has 400HP and 439 ft lb of torque.

    Maybe in a couple years, we will consider switching over to all electric for the SUV. In the mean time, we saved almost $60,000 between the Vovlvo and the MX, so I am looking for a used MS for myself, now.
     
    • Like x 1
  7. Roamer

    Roamer Member

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    The XC90 looks like a main battle tank. If it works for you enjoy. We went Tesla from Nissan Leafs because the Leaf battery range was so low. I can't imagine dropping to 18 miles. That would be a giant step backwards for us.

    We charge with solar at home so battery range was our number one criteria.
     
  8. ankitmishra

    ankitmishra Member

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    I think I read somewhere that hybrid XC90 was less powerful than ICE XC90. Why not buy full ICE version? 18 miles is pretty less IMHO. It might reduce more with time. Looks like it has heavy drag coefficient too. X had to taper at end to have low drag coefficient. That makes less headroom for 3 Rd row. Not trying to criticize any person's decision here.
     
  9. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    MidKid: Good summary. I certainly think you need to wait for the Model X V2 if you have the time. Sounds like the refinements in the quality issues that you experienced will help there but you will still need folding seats, even as a daily driver. And unfortunately it sounds like your family has outgrown the Model S.

    Your story of your daughters nauseousness scares me a bit. I get sea sick looking at pictures of boats and often if I am not driving I can get motion sickness too. Usually its the fault of the driver but some cars rock a lot. I am surprised the Model S seems to be a culprit. She is not getting sick while driving in the rear facing seat only? How does she do riding up in the front seat?

    I also don't think a Tesla SUV will ever replace your Sequoia, but it could the MS. Your needs for a large family, tons of gear and the flexibility of roof racks etc put you in a different category than the Model X can (will ever?) do.
     
  10. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    If you have short daily drives (we drive 10 mile roundtrips from the house 3-4x a day), I can see it working out. Likewise if someone works 10-15 miles from home - charge at home, charge at work.. most of your driving will be electric.

    I support any decision that limits the amount of fuel consumed, so giving up a little power for the benefit of electric transport is a win in my book.
     
    • Like x 1
  11. Evbwcaer

    Evbwcaer Member

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    I'll probably get ridiculed here, but I would of waited for a Chrysler Town and Country PHEV. It is probably better than the Volvo in every utility category, except towing and AWD, for less $$. Also, almost double the EV range and a full functional 3rd row.
     
  12. Dalia

    Dalia Member

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    You're not alone in this. I've had 3 incidents of throwing up and they always say that they get car sick. But I have to say, they don't have the same feeling in the MX. In the 5 days since we have had the MX, the kids don't have the same feeling. My two older girls (12 and 10) actually like to sit in the third row. It's a lot roomier, but great feedback. I'm sure it will definitely help people.
     
    • Like x 1
  13. pvogel

    pvogel Member

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    I can suggest a possible source of the carsickness. I've noticed some people *cannot* be steady on the accelerator. Because of the instant torque and the regen braking, not being steady creates a fairly consistent 'rocking' sensation for the ears that don't match with what the eyes see. An eye/ear mismatch (your balance system is in your ears) is the cause of virtually all motion sickness

    Does it happen when you are in cruise control?

    Does it happen if you turn your regen mode to soft?
     
    • Informative x 1
  14. Roamer

    Roamer Member

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    It does take a little practice and experience to not over accelerate and over regen. Most people are used to under powered cars and need time to adjust to the instant power and learn not to pull off the accelerator quickly.

    it is a new experience to learn to not dump the accelerator pedal when you have a lifetime of pulling off and coasting to relearn. I now have the opposite problem, when I drive an ICE and always wonder why the car is not slowing when I ease up on the accelerator pedal. It is always a little disconcerting when an ICE car does not regen brake.

    Three years of driving Teslas and now I absolutly hate driving jerky ICE cars. It is torture to battle one down the road. Feels like Fred Flintstone is not working his feet properly.
     
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  15. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    MiddKid has 30k miles on his 2 year old MS. I'm guessing he's got the hang of it. I agree, though - when I allow friends to drive my Tesla, the first few miles are a heaving, surging mess.

    My son can't handle the far back, nor can he handle reading in the back seat for long. You definitely need the visible feedback from your surroundings.
     
  16. beths11

    beths11 THE LONG RANGER

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    As a kid who was car sick on any trip over 20minutes, my guess is the ability to see the outside surroundings from the X makes the difference. The S sits low and it is not so easy to see the outside. I think it's the same kind of effect that makes people car sick when reading in the car. If I could sit in the front seat and see out the windshield I was fine. Most of the time I was given a dose of Dramamine before we left and put in the back of the station wagon. That worked too. :smile:
     
  17. ABCCBA

    ABCCBA Member

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    Actually, the T8 Dual Motor PHEV has 400 HP and 493 ft. lbs. of torque. 0-60 in 5.3 sec. The ICE only has 293 HP. The T8 PHEV is rated for e54 mpg. With our driving style so far this week, we are at e72mpg.
     
  18. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    I have 3 kids, a Model S and a Volvo (XC70 diesel - boho). And I'm not cancelling my X reservation, but I am going to sell the S (boho).
     
  19. mikevbf

    mikevbf Member

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    Can someone explain to me what e72mpg is in real world gas and electricity?
     
  20. GSP

    GSP Member

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    I was thinking the same thing. The Pacifica has lots of passenger and cargo space, is supposed to have a much stiffer and quieter structure, and is eligible for the full $7500 tax credit (16 kWh battery). The only space taken by the electric powertrain is the battery taking the below floor storage for the stow-n-go second row seats. The seats can still be removed if you do need the entire space for cargo.

    GSP
     

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