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Optional Upgrades: Review

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by JoelG, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. JoelG

    JoelG Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Messages:
    9
    I am considering the purchase of a Roadster (base model). Given that there is no cost savings when buying a showroom model, I prefer to order a car so that I only pay for options I consider truly worthwhile. This is my impression so far based on comments here and from my own research.

    Exterior

    Paint armor/Solar guard windshield. I suppose I would select these options. Even though Consumer Reports mentions that these protection options may not be valuable in general, I can not find information to suggest that this protection is a waste of $ for this particular car, and I do want the car to last.

    Hardtop: It seems like those who have a soft top only are happy and find there to be no rain, noise, stability etc. issues. I could always buy the hardtop later, but would buy it now only if it were being discontinued as to keep options open.

    Clear Coat Carbon filer body Accents: $8,000... too much money and it is my impression that changes can be made aftermarket if desired for less $. Personal choice.

    Interior

    Premium Leather: Would probably get this for $1,800, but do not find the executive leather to be that much nicer for $7,800. I would also not select the upgrade with carbon fiber for $11,700 as it appears that I can get aftermarked upgrades as needed for less, such as the door sills from CarbonOne (as shown in another thread).

    Infotainment: I would get this. I looked into alternatives such as aftermarket, but the feedback here is that you want a dash with a double DIN. I then read that you can order a car with a double DIN dash without the infotainment upgrade, but that aftermarket installation can void the warranty.. so sounds just better to get this.

    Performance/Wheels: Yes on the adjustable suspension (as advised on another thread), and no on the forged wheels because I can get that later if I want, and if I get it later, I get to keep the original wheels whereas if I order the car with the forged, I only get the forged (no credit for not getting the original). No for the performance tires as the stock will last longer and allow very adequate performance.

    Service:

    I can find very little information about the extended service agreement. In general, I do not get these (except Apple Care haha). I read in one thread that it is a good idea because labor cost for Tesla is really really high.... however, these cars are not supposed to require much in the way of service... hmmm. On the Battery Replacement agreement, I would like to avoid paying $12,000 more up front, and anticipate batteries will improve and decrease in cost over the next 7+ years. Tesla highly recommends this option, but of course, Tesla is not an unbiased advisor. I am inclined to not select this option.

    Perhaps those of you who ordered your cars had to consider these issues also.
     
  2. bolosky

    bolosky Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2009
    Messages:
    424
    I'm really happy I bought the paint armor. My only complaint about it is that it doesn't cover enough of the paint, and I've had some damage in uncovered places from the inevitable flying rocks. I'm sure it would be much worse without the covering.

    I bought the hard top, and I wouldn't do it again if given the chance. It looks nice, but the soft top is more than adequate. I use the hard top in the winter, but only because I feel like i should because I paid for it. I should have put the money toward the sport suspension.

    I probably would have bought the extended service plan if I knew then what I know now. For the first year, I had a number of annoying little things that required service calls (TMPS losing sync, GPS antenna failure, plus one complete failure of the PEM). I haven't had anything like that in the past 6 months or so, but still it's enough to make me think that there might be issues as the car ages. Remember, this is a new design with a fundamentally new power train built in very small numbers; there will likely be problems. I doubt I'd buy the $12K battery replacement, though.
     
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,853
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Well, my CFO wanted best bang for the buck, so this is what I chose:

    Exterior

    Paint guard - yes. Carbon fiber is softer than steel so paint guard seems like a really good idea.

    Solar - No. Unless you live in Arizona I don't see the point of solar.

    Hardtop - yes. We have top-off weather only for a few months of the year, so I'd rather have a more robust top most of the time. Better to get it with the car to ensure good fit. It's also a little quieter for wind noise.

    Carbon fibre accents - no. As you said, good quality aftermarket parts are available at lower cost if you want to dress it up.

    Wheels - no. As you say, you can get new wheels later.

    Performance Tires - no, and I'm glad I didn't. The regular ones wear out fast enough as it is!

    Interior

    Premium leather - yes.

    Executive leather - no, kinda expensive for bling. You can get some aftermarket carbon accents if you want pretty.

    Double DIN - really wish I coulda got that but the 2.5 was announced the day my car was delivered! Also you really want the back-up camera. Trust me. The car is low and hard to see, and rearward visibility is limited. I nearly had a backing-out crash the first week I had the car; neither of us saw the other and by sheer luck we missed by a couple of inches.

    Service

    Extended service - As a rule I don't buy those, but for this car it might be a good idea, for reasons bolosky mentioned.

    Battery replacement - no, BUT. I figured costs would come down over time, and even if it was more than $12k it would be cheaper than $30k and better than the original pack. Of course at the time I didn't know they would end up discontinuing production. That probably means the costs will stay relatively high, as the packs won't be in mass production.
     
  4. Lancelac

    Lancelac 2010 Roadster Sport #690

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Chicago
    My impressions after owning a Roadster for 1.5 years

    Exterior

    Paint guard - YES. I have many areas of wear on the paint armor. I will probably replace a few of the pieces soon, but I guarantee that the cost over lets say 5 years would be far greater to repaint and retouch over that period.

    Solar - Not sure how useful it is really. I'd have to see how faded the dash looks on cars that have it or do not after 3-5 years of wear.

    Hardtop - maybe. I live in a cold winter climate (Chicago) and drive my car every day. The first winter I had only the soft top, but this year I had the hard top. It is noticably warmer and quieter, but I got along just fine without it. There will be hard top solutions still available from thrid parties even after Tesla stops producing them. A few of the Lotus aftermarket hardtops are being used by Tesla owners (some modified, some not).

    Carbon fibre accents - no. All my CF upgrades have been done for far cheaper through a third party (Carbon One).

    Wheels - I have two sets of forged (old version and new version) since I swap to snow tires each year and don't want to bother removing tires from the same wheels over and over and risking scratching. Forged or standard though is pretty irrelevant except for a few pounds of weight.

    Performance Tires - Completely personal choice as you mention.

    Interior

    Premium leather - yes.

    Executive leather - maybe. I was a bit alarmed at the price as well, but really love how it looks. It's not a good value, but I would much rather have leather wrapping on a load of the interior parts than CF. That is just my personal taste.

    Double DIN - I don't have a comparable situation since I don't have the dash for it, but I had all my stereo work done aftermarket. For the same $3,000 I would have paid for the upgrade, I got better speakers, a better amp and a far better head unit. Tesla has been helpful to my installer and referred him more business without ever mentioning the warranty being voided. In fact, Tesla did the labor on installing my subwoofer after I;d torn it apart and put a better sub in the enclosure. If I had it to do over again, with the double DIN dash now in the car, I would be even more likely to do it all aftermarket.

    Service

    Extended service - I didn't get this, but it might be a good idea. We'll have to see how the car wears over time. Just about everything I have had fixed was more of a preventative issue or an original defect, and not based on wear, but it's only been a year and a half.

    Battery replacement - I didn't do it, just because of the uncertainty about the value of what Tesla will supply you in the future. I also know that I don't put that many miles on a car and that may help preserve my battery life expectancy. I rolled the dice here, but I wouldn't really discourage someone from doing the opposite.
     
  5. dwegmull

    dwegmull 2013 Model S 85

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2009
    Messages:
    238
    Location:
    Redwood City, California
    Paint guard is a cheap insurance. With such a low slung car, you are bound to be hit by rocks. This is one of two paid options I bought. The second one is the adjustable suspension. I did not buy because it is adjustable, I bought it because a better suspension. Mainly better quality shocks. Just before I ordered mine, I got a ride in a Roadster equipped with the base suspension and then I drove a Roadster sport (which has the adjustable suspension as standard equipment) on the exact same road. The adjustable suspension was much better over that uneven concrete street. You might want to check out the difference between the two. I guess you could buy the better shocks as after market items. I'm not sure if anyone has done such an upgrade aside maybe from some tuner houses like Brabus.
    One no-expense option I selected is the micro-fiber cloth seats. They are great! Even after a year of daily use they look brand new and are very comfortable. They also stay relatively cool in the summer.
    Living in California, I have no use for a hardtop (well, I do have another car for the handfull of truly rainy days we get here). I don't listen to the radio, so my car has the most basic setup available. Also, no fancy paint (racing green) or interior / exterior extras.
     
  6. strider

    strider Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,922
    Location:
    NE Oklahoma
    Here's my $0.02:

    Paint guard - YES. I will do this on every car I buy forever. It's saved a ton of damage on my last few cars.

    Solar - I have it on mine - I bought a showroom car and it was installed. I plan to keep the car for awhile so it doesn't bother me. I had the side and rear windows tinted so now there is very little UV hitting the car (Assuming the top is on).

    Hard top - depends on where you live. The soft top is plenty of me but it doesn't get cold here.

    Suspension - I don't plan to track the car - it's just a daily driver for me so I didn't it was worth it.

    Upgraded Audio - YES. I'm not a big fan of built-in Nav units but the iPod connector and handsfree phone stuff is nice - lets me sit on conference calls to and from work.

    Upgraded wheels - We got them just because we thought the standard wheels were ugly.

    Upgraded leather - We have the base interior - probably would have gone w/ one step up if we were ordering the car but I don't feel like I'm missing anything.

    Extended warranty and battery pack - NO. There are very few things to break and with the resources of this board I'm confident that once I do go out of warranty I can replace anything that might go bad (fans or whatever). For the battery I'm hoping that through the wisdom of the list we'll be able to install newer tech batteries in the future for less weight, more range, etc.

    CF accents - NO. As you stated, you can pick and choose what you want from CarbonOne at a later date. Will help keep the car looking "fresh" as you make improvements to it over time.
     
  7. zack

    zack Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Messages:
    946
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    Exterior

    Paint guard - Absolutely. I can hear non-stop rocks in the wheel wells. I only wish it covered more of the car!

    Solar - I got it just to be safe.

    Hardtop - Absolutely. Minnesota is really cold a lot of the year.

    Carbon fiber accents - Nope. Carbon One is much cheaper.

    Wheels - Got the black upgrades.

    Performance Tires - Got 'em. Can't wait for summer!

    Interior

    Executive leather - I liked the regular leather and didn't need the carbon fiber accents at that price... Carbon One has everything I'll need.

    Double DIN - I got an aftermarket Kenwood installed. I'm not sure how I feel about it... lots of quirks and hard to control, especially the volume. I've got to try the remote.

    Service

    Extended service - I always get this if I can. I've learned the hard way that high-end cars need expensive service.

    Battery replacement - No, but I still have a couple of months to decide. Battery technology is changing so fast that 7 years seems like a lifetime away.
     
  8. kgb

    kgb Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    605
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Review:

    Exterior -

    Solar - I live in Houston, TX. Haven't had the car through a summer yet. Can't appreciate a difference yet.

    Paint Guard - I don't have it. I drive under the rocks.

    Hardtop - I don't have it. It requires a screwdriver to put on and take off. I figured with that much effort, in my case, it would either be always on or always off. We don't have a winter here, so I passed.

    Carbon Fiber accents - I don't have them. But my car is black, so they would be invisible. I do like the look of the bight colored cars with the exterior CF accents.

    Wheels - I have them. They save a little on rolling weight, but I don't notice increased range or acceleration, because I have nothing to compare it to. I only got them because they come with the sport package.

    Performance tires - Came with sport. Rears wore out after 3500 miles. If it were up to me, I'd get the cheap tires, and when they wear out, upgrade them to the toyos.

    Adjustible suspension - came with sport. Worth it! it's one of the reasons I got the sport package.

    Interior -

    Executive leather - got it. This is such a bare-bones car. It needed some dressing up. My previous car was a Mercedes SL. This car needed some luxury. Overpriced, though.

    Double DIN - I'm not pleased with this. The sound from the speakers is good, but the head unit is poor. The only way to appreciate the sound over the interior noise it to play everything very loud. Don't plan on listening to talk radio.

    Service -

    I passed on both, I have a lease. I don't plan on keeping the car past 3 year. As much as I like this car, I don't think I could tolerate it for more than 3 years. I am sure there will be good alternatives (Tesla or otherwise) in 3 years. I am in line for a Model S, and I can trade in my Roadster early for a Model S. If I prefer something else (and I am not sure what that would be yet), I can simply hold on to the Roadster until the end of my lease. OR... another option is to hold on to the roadster and get the Model S... we'll see. ;)
     
  9. DrTaras

    DrTaras R254->R725->S1364-->X769

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,249
    Location:
    Woodland Hills, CA
    It's been awhile since I posted. On this subject, page 4 of this link is most germane. I'd still recommend West Hollywood who have done the most after-market installs of Teslas!
    Customized Roadsters
     
  10. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,068
    Location:
    Cupertino, CA
    Paint Guard ++ - I already have a spot where the guard took a stone and saved the paint. I wish it covered more areas.

    Solar Guard ? - The very few times I have parked outside, it has made a difference. With the 1.5's anemic AC, that's even more important. But I've really only parked outside during the day for any appreciable amount of time a handful of times.

    Hardtop ++ - I didn't put it on this winter just as an experiment. It got me a couple of extra days of top-off driving when it was unusually warm. But I think next year I'll put on the hard top.

    Wheels ++ - For certain colors, I think the black wheels just look better.
     
  11. S-2000 Roadster

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
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    636
    Let's say you're looking around at several old Roadsters; How do you tell which ones have the Solar guard windshield and which do not?
     
  12. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Aug 18, 2006
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    14,792
    Location:
    CA CA
    Black painted frame on the winshield glass around the rearview mirror means it has solar guard.
     
  13. markwj

    markwj Moderator, Asia Pacific

    Joined:
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    3,665
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    Do you have any pictures of this? I've supposedly got Solar Guard (or at least I ordered the car with it), but can't see anything around where the rearview mirror is mounted.
     
  14. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    Location:
    Cupertino, CA
    The solar guard is pretty visible when the sun is low, like driving towards the sunset - there's a distinct gold-metallic-ness to the glass. Also, if you have a slight bit of radio reception, you don't have it. If you have absolutely no radio reception at all, you have it. (Ok, ;-) for that last part... somewhat).

    The couple of times I've had to park in the sun for a bit, I've been really glad to have it.
     
  15. S-2000 Roadster

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
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    Thanks for the information, but are you sure that this is true for all models? I have a Roadster 2.5 whose invoice claims that there is a Solar guard windshield, and yet I don't see this Black painted frame around the rearview mirror mount - just plain glass. Also, Washington State is not known for its heat, and it's been fairly cold and windy of late, and yet I still had the car get warm after a short spell in the sun. I have a bad feeling that I paid for Solar guard and didn't get it at all.
     
  16. strider

    strider Active Member

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    Location:
    NE Oklahoma
    It's not around the rearview mirror - it's black painted dots around the edge of the ENTIRE windshield. Remember solar guard is only on the windshield - not the other windows. I had my other three windows tinted and the car stays pretty cool.
     
  17. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it's just thicker around the mirror.
     
  18. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    Not correct in my case. There is no black area or dots around the rearview mirror, only round the edge of the windscreen. I believe that other marques put the black around the mirror mount just to lessen glare from behind it. The roadster windscreen frame is so low, it's not necessary.
     
  19. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    #19 vfx, Jun 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
    Never heard of that. Either Tesla or their supplier changed something or you did not get what you ordered.

    edit:

    [​IMG]
    Sun shield
    [​IMG]
     
  20. S-2000 Roadster

    Joined:
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    #20 S-2000 Roadster, Jun 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2011
    They certainly changed something because I've been in the service bay with 1.5 and 2.5 roadsters next to each other and the typical tinting along the top of the windshield has been retired.

    Here is the detail behind the rearview mirror: 20110609-0850.jpg

    Here is the detail at the corner of the bottom and side: 20110609-0849.jpg
     

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