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Newbie pre purchase Model S question.

Ash9

Member
Dec 2, 2018
28
-2
Hampshire
Hi,

So I’m thinking about purchasing a used Model S P85D, but have 2 main concerns (range fear or charging isn’t one of them)
  1. Build Quality: Having previously owned Porsche’s, BMWs and Mercedes, I’m currently driving a Mercedes E350. My first concern is the build quality. If I was spending £60 / £70k on a Merc or BM I now what kind of build quality I would be getting, should I expect any less with a Tesla? Or should I expect slightly less refinement for the advance technology?
  2. Size: I’ve read a lot of people saying about how big the car is, how difficult it is to park, going through width restrictions and multi story car parks and so on. Having driven one it didn’t feel much bigger than my E350. I live in Hampshire have a drive so no concerns there. Some parking spaces at car parks tend to be tight but mainly ok. But I drive to London every week and stay for a few days where I park my car on the street with residential parking, sometimes it’s a challenge with the E350, but no real drama and I tend to try and avoid width restrictions where possible, but will occasionally drive through some tight fast food drive throughs. Is the S really that much bigger than the E350?
    Thanks in advance and sorry if these questions have been asked before.
 

roadster2020

Banned
Dec 2, 2018
52
17
space
1) expect less refinement than the german marques but the tech is a billion times more advanced, it's a pay off.
2) avoid 6'6 width restrictions until you are more used to the car. parking is fine it autoparks! get some alloygators on the 21 inch alloys
 

glide

Active Member
Jun 6, 2018
3,700
3,871
USA
Build quality is absolute garbage compared to mid and high-end Germans. I’m sure this comment will infuriate the fanboys but it is absolutely true and based on real-life experience. It’s not a subjective thing.

The car is big but I have never had problems parking anywhere on the street in major US cities. With some garages, Summon may be necessary.

P85D is a great car overall. I’m looking forward to when they catch up to BMW/Merc on the interior.
 
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thegruf

Active Member
Mar 24, 2015
2,290
1,979
indeterminate
Build quality is absolute garbage compared to mid and high-end Germans

total bs

I have had more problems with my previous German cars (RS/AMG etc) than either of my Teslas.
The P85D is now also three years old+ and build has improved significantly.

The slightly different question might be "would you be happy with a clean, uncluttered interior, than a glitzy button infested mess that is typical of the German marques these days.

The most common answer to that is once you have driven the Tesla you will look past such things and just enjoy the unique things that Tesla do.

(and yes it is a bit wider than you might have been used to even with the Merc E series, but again not enough to matter in all but the most extreme situations)
 
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glide

Active Member
Jun 6, 2018
3,700
3,871
USA
total bs

I have had more problems with my previous German cars (RS/AMG etc) than either of my Teslas.
The P85D is now also three years old+ and build has improved significantly.

The slightly different question might be "would you be happy with a clean, uncluttered interior, than a glitzy button infested mess that is typical of the German marques these days.

The most common answer to that is once you have driven the Tesla you will look past such things and just enjoy the unique things that Tesla do.

(and yes it is a bit wider than you might have been used to even with the Merc E series, but again not enough to matter in all but the most extreme situations)

Apologetic fanboy response. The build quality of the P85D’s is questionable at best.

I’m sure they got some good ones off the line and good on you if you got one. If you find the interior quality on par with Merc then you never really owned one. Mechanically-speaking maybe the Tesla is better. Maybe.

If OP is expecting the interior and exterior of a Tesla to be anything close to a Mercedes AMG he is in for a big disappointment.
 
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Peteski

Active Member
Oct 2, 2017
3,539
2,297
UK, Milton Keynes
I think you have to separate build quality from material finish too. Tesla build quality is generally poor for this class i.e. panel fits, paint finish, tolerances, rattles and squeaks, interior trim fitting (especially in Model S), but newer cars seem much improved and the Tesla service centres are generally good at dealing with any issues raised, however trivial - IME much better than most traditional dealerships. Material finish is more a matter of personal taste. I much prefer the Tesla minimalist interiors to Merc shiny, glossy bling, which to me looks pretty cheap anyway. But this is something you have to judge for yourself as it is largely subjective. As long as you don't expect perfect build quality and you do actually like the minimalist interior style, then the rest is awesome!
 
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Peteski

Active Member
Oct 2, 2017
3,539
2,297
UK, Milton Keynes
I forgot to add how infuriating the software bugs can be! Spotify in particular is a complete PITA for freezing up on you. It's all brilliant when it's working, but can be seriously irritating when it isn't. Just something else to think about when contemplating a Tesla. But overall I wouldn't put anyone off buying one, they are amazing cars. You just have to accept that the tech is still a work in progress. But I prefer that to the traditional automotive model of tech lagging years behind other consumer tech.
 
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12Pack

..
Aug 25, 2017
407
261
Manchester, UK / SFO, US
I came from the highest end RR, and I have other Brit high end cars whose interior finish makes the Germans look cheap. But I don’tmiss the “quality”. With a Tesla you enjoy a totally novel driving experience that exposes that “high end quality” to being merely a dressing up of the same old technology.
 
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.jg.

Member
Feb 27, 2018
448
375
Weston Super Mare, England
About the size... The Model S is 5cm longer and 10 cm wider than an E350. It is fine on normal roads but I do find some rural English roads a bit tight. Parking in multi storey car parks can be challenging - some have fairly tight access ramps, with high concrete kerbs that are not kind to alloy wheels. However, I don't find parking spaces much of a problem. You can always use "Summon" on the mobile app to manoeuvre your car in or out of a tight space.
 

Peteski

Active Member
Oct 2, 2017
3,539
2,297
UK, Milton Keynes
You can always use "Summon" on the mobile app to manoeuvre your car in or out of a tight space.

While true, the guy you park next to will probably ding the side of your car in an effort to squeeze in. I'm just not a big fan of tight parking spaces in general, but in a Tesla they are even worse than most other cars due to the extra width. Even the length can be a problem in our X and sometimes it will overhang short spaces quite prominently. It's rarely a problem to park, but it just makes it more vulnerable to parking prangs.
 

Ash9

Member
Dec 2, 2018
28
-2
Hampshire
Thanks for all the replies and advice guys - all taken on board.
iPod integration would have been nice, but as long as the DAB radio works i think I'll be able to put up with any little imperfections.;)

Just need to find the right car now.
 

Beady3647

Member
Nov 3, 2017
238
164
Solihull
I drive a '65' reg P85D and although not used to 'high end' German cars I drove BMW 5 and latterly 3 series for close to 30 years. Would I revert? Never in a million years. Yes the interior looks sparse but most of the knobs and switches in other cars are catered for on the touchscreen. IMHO it is essential to get a set of Alloygators fitted and even then they are likely to get damaged and will need to be renewed periodically, but they will protect your rims.

I haven't had any problems with finish either interior or exterior other than those of my own making. Parking can be a trial and other parkers are not always centered on their space which is a bit of a PITA. Multi storey car parks can also be an issue as some seem more geared to negotiation by a Mini rather than anything larger than a 3 series.

Consider having a ceramic coating as this will both protect the paint and keep it looking reasonably clean if you don't have time to wash it regularly. If you are likely to get the interior matting dirty, invest in decent replacement mats - I used Weather Tech and they are easily removed, washed and replaced. Don't use a car wash.

I would expect that you will be thrilled with your purchase not just initially but ongoing. As a result you will probably be more aware of size restrictions and take a little more time and care.

My own experience with the Service Centre has always been positive which is more than I can say about some of the BMW dealerships I've dealt with. Just had my first MOT and 'failed' on very minor incorrect letter spacing on the number plates. Bought a new set, took them to Tesla, they fitted them for free and it passed the second test. Total cost inc plates £44.98 (£15 MOT = £29.98 plates).

Last of all, read you can on this Forum as the information is always frank, honest and accurate.

Good luck and enjoy, what for me has been, the best driving experience in 55 years of driving.
 

WannabeOwner

Well-Known Member
Nov 2, 2015
5,758
2,896
Suffolk, UK
Or should I expect slightly less refinement for the advance technology?

Its different. So I think that depends on you, and is subjective. I remain surprised that so many people have been comfortable to give up on knobs-and-dials (good call there Elon :) ); I was an easy convert, but there are many other converts who appeared far harder to become convinced, so I'm not ruling you out!!

Back when i learnt to drive my Father required me to be able to perform any function without taking my eyes off the road. Not possible with today's plethora of knobs .. Usability of the touchscreen was my #1 concern at Tesla test-drive - I'm a software engineer and hate 101% :) of products, so I'm hard to please. But I was really really impressed, and in use I am comfortable that 100% of what I use regularly is really easy to "adjust". At the tire fitters and want to know the nut torque and tire pressure? The manual is on the screen, got to be better than thumbing through the book ... or just look it up on the screen, using the internet.

But that said, its had a complete look&feel change from my original purchase to something I now dislike; an old fashioned knobs-and-dials dashboard wouldn't do that, overnight, of course ... but ... my dashboard has gained a significant number of new "knobs" - how is iPace going to achieve that? Where will Jag put Chill, Climate-on (once car vacated), Summon, AutoPark, how will they increase the graphic-equaliser from 3-sliders to 5, add a pin-to-drive control to combat theft by fob-impersonation - all things "added" to my car during ownership. I suppose you can put tinsel around the i-Pace knobs, not the same as having them all change to sleigh, reindeer and fairy lights ... all on the "Ho! Ho! Ho!" voice command ...

... OK ... some of that may not be essential! but I do think the Tesla cockpit is an evolving experience, and that they have done it very well. I dislike the fact that they changed the look-and-feel on me (and didn't provide a "classic" option) but I have admiration for the way they have evolved the features, so that is something to give weight to when making your decision - either Pro or Con of course.

But as @Peteski said (and in my professional opinion) Tesla's Infotainment QA is atrocious. The fact that they can issue a Fix OTA is not an excuse for chucking poorly tested stuff out there. But Tesla have a workaround! by offering you the ability to control the WHEN of updates so you will have the option to be Early / Late Adopter.

rattles and squeaks

Might be partly the EV (quiet) thing? I had cracked screen replaced by the normal Windscreens-R-Us mob. Did a fine job, but couple of days later squeaks and rattles. Didn't reckon W-R-US would be au fait enough to fix it, so took it to Tesla and they solved it. So some of the problems are "new tech" related, and maybe will blight other new EV brands too. I'm reading some horror stories over on the Jag iPace forums ... all the "Tesla Killer" talk, when they were between Order and Delivery, has changed to "I got 10 miles from Dealer and car broke down" - only the failures get airtime, of course, but there aren't many i-Pace on the road, so even a handful of stories is not good; roadside breakdown of Tesla is rare thing.

Bottom line. EV is a joy to drive, every time, even 2.5 years in. I now absolutely hate driving our old ICE stuff with a vengeance. However, as a corollary: we refurbed our house a few years ago; I've never been one to worry about a scuff here and there ... until we smartened the whole thing up! ... and now I notice them every time, so they get sorted immediately. If you are a person who will see THAT panel gap every time you get in the car, then it may not be the car for you.
 
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Ash9

Member
Dec 2, 2018
28
-2
Hampshire
Thanks for all the reply guys.

After watching tons on YouTube videos from Tesla owners (both positive and negative) I know I will be very happy with a Tesla. My only decision now is do I spend £50k / £60k on a used MS or get a brand new M3 for the same money?

I must say I do like the the fact the MS has the 2nd display behind the steering wheel and the main display is vertical. Other than that?
 

Peteski

Active Member
Oct 2, 2017
3,539
2,297
UK, Milton Keynes
Thanks for all the reply guys.

After watching tons on YouTube videos from Tesla owners (both positive and negative) I know I will be very happy with a Tesla. My only decision now is do I spend £50k / £60k on a used MS or get a brand new M3 for the same money?

I must say I do like the the fact the MS has the 2nd display behind the steering wheel and the main display is vertical. Other than that?

Tough call that! The MS is the better family car with its enormous tailgate, loads of legroom all round and plush air suspension. The Model 3 is more nimble and compact and has some newer and slightly different tech. You could also be driving an MS today, but a Model 3 could easily be another year or more away, depending on what spec you choose. I don't think anybody can really help you much further than that. It's like deciding between a BMW 5 series vs 3 series. It all depends on your usage and priorities.
 

WaitingForY

Banned
Nov 21, 2018
106
33
.
used MS or get a brand new M3
You can have a look at the M3 now in london, manchester and Edinburgh. Worth checking it out as they will have a model s in the showroom too so you can do a direct comparison. For me I would go for the newer 3, but as peteski said it depends on your requirements.
 

.jg.

Member
Feb 27, 2018
448
375
Weston Super Mare, England
My only decision now is do I spend £50k / £60k on a used MS or get a brand new M3 for the same money?
I chose the first option, earlier this year and I am happy with that decision. For the wrong side of £50K, I bought a two year old S, with numerous options, from a private seller but with two years remaining of the Tesla 4 year warranty. Have you had some test drives yet?
 

Ash9

Member
Dec 2, 2018
28
-2
Hampshire
You can have a look at the M3 now in london, manchester and Edinburgh. Worth checking it out as they will have a model s in the showroom too so you can do a direct comparison. For me I would go for the newer 3, but as peteski said it depends on your requirements.
I’m hoping to pop out and see the M3 this weekend.
 

Ash9

Member
Dec 2, 2018
28
-2
Hampshire
I chose the first option, earlier this year and I am happy with that decision. For the wrong side of £50K, I bought a two year old S, with numerous options, from a private seller but with two years remaining of the Tesla 4 year warranty. Have you had some test drives yet?
I’ve driven an X and a couple of S’s and like the way both drive. I decided a while ago on my next car to downsize the E350, I was going to get an C class Merc, then I got into the Tesla thing. The MS is as large if not larger than the E350 (but I do like everything about it) but the M3 may just edge it on size alone. I need to drive a M3 to be sure. I’m in the US early next year so will make sure I get my hands on and drive a M3. Thanks guys.
 

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