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Need feedback on Roadster for daily driver

RealGreen

Member
Aug 22, 2019
22
1
Washington DC
Hello Roadster owners and fans. I am ready to purchase either the roadster (1st choice) or a used Model S. I am looking for advice from the people that drive these awesome vehicles. My biggest concern: is the roadster going to be reliable for a daily driver? I am coming from a Leaf so range isn't an issue - I only drive about 30 to 40 miles a day, average. 2nd concern: how difficult or expensive is the car with maintenance. I'm in the DC metro area so close enough to Tesla service locations. 3rd, and most important, depending on answers to 1 and 2 - anyone looking to sell a 2010 or newer roadster in the $50k range? Thank you!
 

Carl W

2008, #311 thunder gray 1.5
Oct 18, 2016
148
132
laguna beach, ca
I bought my 2008 roadster 3.5 years ago and it's my daily driver. I've put 18,000 miles on it and I'm very pleased with the reliability so far. A roadster is going to be way more fun, and you'll look forward to every drive. You'll also have many people ask you about your car. However, it is more hassle to get fixed if/when things go wrong. If you live within a reasonable distance of a TSC that works on roadsters, then it's not a big deal usually. Typically, the costliest thing that could go wrong is the PEM failing, which can be a $10k fix. So far, both my battery and PEM are original and good.

In 18,000 miles of daily driving, I've had 2 minor problems, one with a trunk lock and the other with a cracked coolant reservoir. Not bad at all for an 11 year old car with 60k miles.
 

BZM3

Member
Aug 15, 2019
281
183
Somewhere
There is always the 3rd option to buy brand new Model 3 and save the 10K! Just throwing it out there... otherwise comparing S and Roadster is kind of apples and oranges.
 
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X.l.r.8

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 18, 2018
1,549
979
Toronto/Miami
It’s not really a cross shopping car, the roadster essentially comes in 2 flavors. The modelS comes in 10 ish. 50k for a model S is probably 2015-16 P85 or S90D territory.
On a roadster it’s either a great deal or it’s a 1.5-2.0 not going to get a 3.0, unlikely have the 2.5 body style, may get hard top, may get the wall charger, probably won’t get the can Sr/Jr for that. Won’t be carbon extras. So pretty much the equivalent to a 2016 S60. That’s the comparison in value. A model S is just as expensive to repair as a roadster, but there are many more systems in a model S and the availability of parts are generally easier. But that’s assuming it’s going to break down a lot.
The S is a refined drive, it’s more of a car you share the drive with, like a Cadillac or 7 series BMW.
The roadster is personal, its bumpy, it’s unforgiving and the regen is one setting and it to is not soft. The radio sucks, it has a lot of road noise and has limited room. AND I LOVE IT!!
It’s still a great car by sports car standards, its still a head turner, you will not find more and more of them on the road. The people that own them are a enthusiasts, not the obsessive, read the manual and spout statistics and useless figures enthusiasts, but the ones that will help and try and help and not take offense, or judge if you have a 1.5 with a CAC of 60 or be envious of someone with a final 5 with a 3.0.
The model S is a nice after dinner brandy,
The roadster is the rush of lemon as you slam the shot glass,
The model 3 is also a great alternative, it may save you 10k and a lot of people like vanilla ice-cream.
 

BZM3

Member
Aug 15, 2019
281
183
Somewhere
It’s not really a cross shopping car, the roadster essentially comes in 2 flavors. The modelS comes in 10 ish. 50k for a model S is probably 2015-16 P85 or S90D territory.
On a roadster it’s either a great deal or it’s a 1.5-2.0 not going to get a 3.0, unlikely have the 2.5 body style, may get hard top, may get the wall charger, probably won’t get the can Sr/Jr for that. Won’t be carbon extras. So pretty much the equivalent to a 2016 S60. That’s the comparison in value. A model S is just as expensive to repair as a roadster, but there are many more systems in a model S and the availability of parts are generally easier. But that’s assuming it’s going to break down a lot.
The S is a refined drive, it’s more of a car you share the drive with, like a Cadillac or 7 series BMW.
The roadster is personal, its bumpy, it’s unforgiving and the regen is one setting and it to is not soft. The radio sucks, it has a lot of road noise and has limited room. AND I LOVE IT!!
It’s still a great car by sports car standards, its still a head turner, you will not find more and more of them on the road. The people that own them are a enthusiasts, not the obsessive, read the manual and spout statistics and useless figures enthusiasts, but the ones that will help and try and help and not take offense, or judge if you have a 1.5 with a CAC of 60 or be envious of someone with a final 5 with a 3.0.
The model S is a nice after dinner brandy,
The roadster is the rush of lemon as you slam the shot glass,
The model 3 is also a great alternative, it may save you 10k and a lot of people like vanilla ice-cream.
with sprinkles thank you
 

ggr

Expert in Dunning-Kruger Effect!
Supporting Member
Mar 24, 2011
7,016
28,213
San Diego, CA
We got our 2.0 Roadster in 2009. For 3 years it was my commuter car. (It wasn't supposed to be, but turns out it was more fun than the Mercedes...) Then we got our Model S, and I split the time between them when my wife wanted the Roadster. Then I stopped actually commuting, but still... 52k miles on the ODO, most of it commuting or commuter-style drives. We had an early problem that took it off the road for a month or two, but except for that almost no maintenance.
 

dhrivnak

Active Member
Jan 8, 2011
4,509
3,906
NE Tennessee
I used my 1.5 as a daily drive for about 6 years and 50,000 miles. Then it had been a garage queen for the last 4. Over that time two issues, both promptly fixed by Tesla. So yes it can be a reliable daily drive. If you have not sit in one yet please do so the Roadster is tiny. It fits me well but I am in the minority.
 

Timothy

Driving on Sunshine
May 4, 2011
432
114
I have driven my son's Model 3 a lot--it is a great little sedan. But comparing it to a Roadster is like comparing apples to oranges--it doesn't make sense--they are made for different purposes.

My first car was an MG-TD. I have had a 2 seat convertible sports car for the last 50 years-- my most recent being the Roadster. It is fast. It handles well. I like the manual steering better than power steering. I NEVER (well, almost never) put the top up. It is a 2 seater. That is a different kind of car than a Model 3.

It is my daily driver. I get questions about it every time I stop and park--and I like that.

I think one needs to see what kind of car they want--and as wonderful a car that the Model 3 is--it doesn't fit my needs.
 

RealGreen

Member
Aug 22, 2019
22
1
Washington DC
I bought my 2008 roadster 3.5 years ago and it's my daily driver. I've put 18,000 miles on it and I'm very pleased with the reliability so far. A roadster is going to be way more fun, and you'll look forward to every drive. You'll also have many people ask you about your car. However, it is more hassle to get fixed if/when things go wrong. If you live within a reasonable distance of a TSC that works on roadsters, then it's not a big deal usually. Typically, the costliest thing that could go wrong is the PEM failing, which can be a $10k fix. So far, both my battery and PEM are original and good.

In 18,000 miles of daily driving, I've had 2 minor problems, one with a trunk lock and the other with a cracked coolant reservoir. Not bad at all for an 11 year old car with 60k miles.
I bought my 2008 roadster 3.5 years ago and it's my daily driver. I've put 18,000 miles on it and I'm very pleased with the reliability so far. A roadster is going to be way more fun, and you'll look forward to every drive. You'll also have many people ask you about your car. However, it is more hassle to get fixed if/when things go wrong. If you live within a reasonable distance of a TSC that works on roadsters, then it's not a big deal usually. Typically, the costliest thing that could go wrong is the PEM failing, which can be a $10k fix. So far, both my battery and PEM are original and good.

In 18,000 miles of daily driving, I've had 2 minor problems, one with a trunk lock and the other with a cracked coolant reservoir. Not bad at all for an 11 year old car with 60k miles.

Thank you! This is exactly what I was hoping to hear. 8.5 years driving a 2012 and 2014 Nissan Leaf and I was never in the shop.....EV's are so incredibly reliable. So happy you had the same experience with the Roadster. It was really the first on scene and still one of the best!
 

RealGreen

Member
Aug 22, 2019
22
1
Washington DC
I have driven my son's Model 3 a lot--it is a great little sedan. But comparing it to a Roadster is like comparing apples to oranges--it doesn't make sense--they are made for different purposes.

My first car was an MG-TD. I have had a 2 seat convertible sports car for the last 50 years-- my most recent being the Roadster. It is fast. It handles well. I like the manual steering better than power steering. I NEVER (well, almost never) put the top up. It is a 2 seater. That is a different kind of car than a Model 3.

It is my daily driver. I get questions about it every time I stop and park--and I like that.

I think one needs to see what kind of car they want--and as wonderful a car that the Model 3 is--it doesn't fit my needs.

Thank you for your response! So far I've only heard great things...I like fast and fun, so much rather have the Roadster than the sedan : )
 

RealGreen

Member
Aug 22, 2019
22
1
Washington DC
We got our 2.0 Roadster in 2009. For 3 years it was my commuter car. (It wasn't supposed to be, but turns out it was more fun than the Mercedes...) Then we got our Model S, and I split the time between them when my wife wanted the Roadster. Then I stopped actually commuting, but still... 52k miles on the ODO, most of it commuting or commuter-style drives. We had an early problem that took it off the road for a month or two, but except for that almost no maintenance.

Thank you, very helpful!
 

Roadster

JdeMO Powered
Dec 10, 2016
1,557
1,258
SoCal
My biggest concern: is the roadster going to be reliable for a daily driver?
Properly maintained, yes. Comfortably however... well now that's subjective.

2nd concern: how difficult or expensive is the car with maintenance. I'm in the DC metro area so close enough to Tesla service locations.
Put the VDS in debug txt mode and mind all the warning msgs. Get the car serviced annually; religiously. $600 at the SC, ~$300 at independent shops.

3rd, and most important, depending on answers to 1 and 2 - anyone looking to sell a 2010 or newer roadster in the $50k range?
Start here. Based on your TMC handle, guessing you'd be looking for Signature Green, Lightning Green, Racing Green or even the ultra rare Insane Green :D
 
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tonybelding

Active Member
Aug 17, 2006
1,484
834
Hamilton, Texas
Mine has been very reliable — except when the PEM failed, which happened with no warning (while going down the highway!) and was a major expense to replace. Body work is also costly. Just remember this is an exotic sports car, and the costs are not out of line with other exotic sports cars. Also. . . Whenever your car needs parts, you should expect Tesla to send the wrong parts on the first try. Sometimes on the second try, too.

Routine maintenance is minimal. You bring it in once a year, and they check it over. Also, it goes through tires relatively quickly.

I've had mine for nearly five years, and it's been a lot of fun. I doubt whether I shall ever see another car that's as fun to drive. It's still the only electric car that I've owned thus far, although I've had a little experience with S and X by way of loaner cars when my Roadster was in the shop. The Roadster and the S are very, very different beasts. I'm looking at getting an S for myself Real Soon Now because I want something comfortable and practical for long trips.

The most I've ever driven the Roadster in one day was 270 miles, which took most of the day and required multiple charging stops. It was a fun day trip, but I felt like I'd found its practical limits. And honestly, even if it was able to go longer distances, after a while the noise levels and ride quality would become tiring.
 
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hcsharp

Active Member
Jun 7, 2011
3,421
1,481
Vermont
My Roadster has been my daily driver for 8.5 years and 64,000 miles. It's been very reliable but it's not as reliable or cheap to fix as your Leaf. It's a LOT more fun to drive than a Model S in my opinion. The S is much bigger, heavier and not nearly as responsive. The S consumes a lot more energy. It's odd that you're comparing the Roadster to the S. They each give you a very different experience.
 
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Timothy

Driving on Sunshine
May 4, 2011
432
114
My Roadster has been my daily driver for 8.5 years and 64,000 miles. It's been very reliable but it's not as reliable or cheap to fix as your Leaf. It's a LOT more fun to drive than a Model S in my opinion. The S is much bigger, heavier and not nearly as responsive. The S consumes a lot more energy. It's odd that you're comparing the Roadster to the S. They each give you a very different experience.

Agree 100%!

My wife has this strange idea that a car is to get you and your stuff to where you want to go safely and comfortably.

Nuts! To me it needs to be a fun and exhilarating experience. The Roadster is that. When I am off work in the afternoon, I will take it out for an hour spin. A fast drive along the freeway by the beach? Winding roads in the mountains? It doesn't matter.-- both are a real kick. I LOVE the Roadster and enjoy driving it.

Each car has a different purpose. For me, the Roadster is for fun!

Downside: since I got the car in 2011 I had a turn signal go out and a cable break in my soft top. Not bad for mechanical issues.
 
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RealGreen

Member
Aug 22, 2019
22
1
Washington DC
Properly maintained, yes. Comfortably however... well now that's subjective.

Put the VDS in debug txt mode and mind all the warning msgs. Get the car serviced annually; religiously. $600 at the SC, ~$300 at independent shops.

Start here. Based on your TMC handle, guessing you'd be looking for Signature Green, Lightning Green, Racing Green or even the ultra rare Insane Green :D

Thank you! Just received confirmation on the annual servicing advice - much appreciated.
 

RealGreen

Member
Aug 22, 2019
22
1
Washington DC
Mine has been very reliable — except when the PEM failed, which happened with no warning (while going down the highway!) and was a major expense to replace. Body work is also costly. Just remember this is an exotic sports car, and the costs are not out of line with other exotic sports cars. Also. . . Whenever your car needs parts, you should expect Tesla to send the wrong parts on the first try. Sometimes on the second try, too.

Routine maintenance is minimal. You bring it in once a year, and they check it over. Also, it goes through tires relatively quickly.

I've had mine for nearly five years, and it's been a lot of fun. I doubt whether I shall ever see another car that's as fun to drive. It's still the only electric car that I've owned thus far, although I've had a little experience with S and X by way of loaner cars when my Roadster was in the shop. The Roadster and the S are very, very different beasts. I'm looking at getting an S for myself Real Soon Now because I want something comfortable and practical for long trips.

The most I've ever driven the Roadster in one day was 270 miles, which took most of the day and required multiple charging stops. It was a fun day trip, but I felt like I'd found its practical limits. And honestly, even if it was able to go longer distances, after a while the noise levels and ride quality would become tiring.

Thank you - very helpful. Can you tell me how many highway miles you can go on a charge? Is ytour car a 2008? I just heard from someone else about the tires - especically the back tires.
 

RealGreen

Member
Aug 22, 2019
22
1
Washington DC
Agree 100%!

My wife has this strange idea that a car is to get you and your stuff to where you want to go safely and comfortably.

Nuts! To me it needs to be a fun and exhilarating experience. The Roadster is that. When I am off work in the afternoon, I will take it out for an hour spin. A fast drive along the freeway by the beach? Winding roads in the mountains? It doesn't matter.-- both are a real kick. I LOVE the Roadster and enjoy driving it.

Each car has a different purpose. For me, the Roadster is for fun!

Downside: since I got the car in 2011 I had a turn signal go out and a cable break in my soft top. Not bad for mechanical issues.


Heck yes! Totally agree....that's why I want it : )
 

tonybelding

Active Member
Aug 17, 2006
1,484
834
Hamilton, Texas
Thank you - very helpful. Can you tell me how many highway miles you can go on a charge? Is ytour car a 2008? I just heard from someone else about the tires - especically the back tires.

Mine is a 2010 model, actual construction date 27 Oct 2010. At this point I can get just about 200 miles from a charge.
 

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