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Plaid Impressions, Road Noise & Real Solutions

SoCal Buzz

Early Adopter
Supporting Member
Oct 9, 2018
714
697
OC, Calif.
I have found the 2021+ to be quieter with a much smoother ride than my 2018 S. The double pain glass and heavier door insulation definitely contribute. However, I did have an alignment issue on driver’s window that caused noise from improper seal. See the attached picture before I got it fixed, which shows edge of window sticking out from the seal instead of into it, which caught air and created noise. So perhaps the OPs issue was related to something like this. Those triangular glass windows are notorious on all Model S.

31F60FD9-7D11-4188-86C0-D385F929965C.jpeg
 
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cruiserlarry

Gadgetologist
Jan 24, 2017
302
369
Los Angeles, CA
I drove the Mercedes EQS 580. Very quiet, very comfortable on the road - but definitely NOT better range (rated at 340 max - my demo had 40% charge and 134 miles of range left on ECO mode, so in the standard or performance mode you'll get much less). It also has the busiest screen / button setup of any vehicle I've ever driven, and the multiple screen displays are very hard to read when driving. The navigation display is 3D which works well, and the heads up display is nice unless you are driving on a sunny day. The field of vision through the front is much narrower than the S (I'm 6'7" so I am tall in the seat). It feels like a much larger / heavier car than the S when you are driving, although the rear steering helps in tight spots. Styling looks like a boat, IMO, so nothing special to me. I would keep my Tesla, noise and all, over the EQS. And given Mercedes reliability issues in general, I'm not sure it will hold up as well as the Tesla mechanically, even if the body / interior seems to be constructed tighter.
 
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Plaidish

Member
Aug 21, 2021
57
53
NY
I drove the Mercedes EQS 580. Very quiet, very comfortable on the road - but definitely NOT better range (rated at 340 max - my demo had 40% charge and 134 miles of range left on ECO mode, so in the standard or performance mode you'll get much less). It also has the busiest screen / button setup of any vehicle I've ever driven, and the multiple screen displays are very hard to read when driving. The navigation display is 3D which works well, and the heads up display is nice unless you are driving on a sunny day. The field of vision through the front is much narrower than the S (I'm 6'7" so I am tall in the seat). It feels like a much larger / heavier car than the S when you are driving, although the rear steering helps in tight spots. Styling looks like a boat, IMO, so nothing special to me. I would keep my Tesla, noise and all, over the EQS. And given Mercedes reliability issues in general, I'm not sure it will hold up as well as the Tesla mechanically, even if the body / interior seems to be constructed tighter.
I agree. Test drove the eqs last weekend at an eqs event and wasn’t impressed. Shape wasn’t flattering and surprisingly there was a d noticeable amount of rattles. Unsure if they are still pre production? I would not switch until I get wowed, still love the Model S
 

DelPhonic1

Member
Mar 20, 2020
352
474
Burbank
If noise if your big complain, check out Mercedes EQS - apparently the quietest EV ever built. The EQS as a whole seems to be a luxury version of a Model S, sans Plaid straight line acceleration. EQS has more range and better brakes too.
Can the EQS be driven as hard/fast and braked as hard/fast repeatedly at the same speeds people are complaining about with the Plaid brakes? If so I could understand your brake issue...
 

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,825
8,671
Seattle area, WA
Can the EQS be driven as hard/fast and braked as hard/fast repeatedly at the same speeds people are complaining about with the Plaid brakes? If so I could understand your brake issue...
No brakes last forever. Even ceramic brakes will start fading after some number of intense laps, especially with a heavy car (as all EV's are). The EQS brakes should start fading later than the Plaid. I suspect the EQS AMG will have upgraded brakes too.
 

whitex

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
6,825
8,671
Seattle area, WA
I drove the Mercedes EQS 580. Very quiet, very comfortable on the road - but definitely NOT better range (rated at 340 max - my demo had 40% charge and 134 miles of range left on ECO mode, so in the standard or performance mode you'll get much less). It also has the busiest screen / button setup of any vehicle I've ever driven, and the multiple screen displays are very hard to read when driving. The navigation display is 3D which works well, and the heads up display is nice unless you are driving on a sunny day. The field of vision through the front is much narrower than the S (I'm 6'7" so I am tall in the seat). It feels like a much larger / heavier car than the S when you are driving, although the rear steering helps in tight spots. Styling looks like a boat, IMO, so nothing special to me. I would keep my Tesla, noise and all, over the EQS. And given Mercedes reliability issues in general, I'm not sure it will hold up as well as the Tesla mechanically, even if the body / interior seems to be constructed tighter.
Did you have the standard HUD or the AR version?
 

wally5788

Member
Sep 3, 2021
20
39
Ohio
I have the MS LR...first 3,000 miles the road noise was minimal whether local/highway roads. Now, when I get to 70 MPH+ on the highway I have an intermittent whistling from the wind outside my driver side window. I am almost certain that it is due to improperly sealed and/or worn sealing around the door. I have a service appointment to address this as well as my subwoofer seemingly dropping power while I am driving on the freeway. Still disappointed at the bass quality in the refresh...my 2019 raven that I traded in had a better sounding system IMHO...
 

WilliamG

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
4,953
7,081
Seattle, WA
I have the MS LR...first 3,000 miles the road noise was minimal whether local/highway roads. Now, when I get to 70 MPH+ on the highway I have an intermittent whistling from the wind outside my driver side window. I am almost certain that it is due to improperly sealed and/or worn sealing around the door. I have a service appointment to address this as well as my subwoofer seemingly dropping power while I am driving on the freeway. Still disappointed at the bass quality in the refresh...my 2019 raven that I traded in had a better sounding system IMHO...
That whistling could be the triangle window. Tape up around the rubber seals around that triangle window, and see if that addresses it.
 
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SoCal Buzz

Early Adopter
Supporting Member
Oct 9, 2018
714
697
OC, Calif.
Any feedback on the seats in the Plaid ? I have a 17 S with adjustable headrests, and the new seats are fixed. I'm 6'7", so are there any tall folks with an opinion on seating comfort differences btwn the refresh seats and the Plaid seats?
Do you mean differences between pre-refresh and the latest seats (I think Plaid and 2021+ LR are the same)? I’m 6-3 and the refresh seats are great. I don’t need to put the seat quite all the way back, so there’s a bit more room if needed. The refresh seats are firmer than my 2018 S. And the ventilation option is nice. I don’t really miss the adjustable headrest.
 
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I have spent the previous 2 weeks renting various Teslas on Turo. Model X P100D, pre-raven Model S P90D, Model S Raven Performance, and most recently a Plaid. Wanted to post my thoughts before asking for possible solutions in regards to wind noise and road noise.

The Plaid is the only car I have really connected to emotionally during my time testing out various Teslas for long periods of time, the pre-raven P90D came pretty close. But the yoke, the comfort, sound system, and quiet ride (under 50mph at least) make it the perfect daily driver for me.

LIKES:
1. Love the yoke. I thought I would hate it, and I adapted to it and loved it within 2 hours of driving the car. The elbow rests are perfectly placed so you can comfortably set your hand on the top nub of the yoke while cruising. Additionally, no reviewer seems to have mentioned the benefit of being able to cruise at low speeds around town without having to place a relaxed grip around a wheel. For people with carpal tunnel like me, being able to make a turn simply by extending an open palm facing upward and lifting the flat bottom of the yoke instead of having to actually grip a wheel is phenomenally relaxing way to drive, super comfortable. At least it is for me. This is a bonus, and if given a choice I would not want to trade it for a wheel. I also did not find 3 point turns or u-turns frustrating in anyway, it's rather fun.

2. Love the ability to swipe the screen to quickly go into drive or reverse. I prefer it over a stalk driver selector.

3. Love the seats. Far more comfortable and cushy while also being more supportive than any of the previous models I've driven. Really love them

4. Good ride quality. Not fantastic, not an S class, but still good. Compliant over rough roads, you can still feel the road but it's just enough to strike that balance between luxury and sport. I will say that I still prefer the suspension in the pre-raven P90D. It's slightly more comfortable and compliant, seems to absorb the road better. I'm not convinced that the new air suspension was done to provide more comfort, it seems to be focused on flexbility.

4. Love the cabin noise at speeds under 50mph. Feels like a luxury car until you go over 50mph

5. Love the new sound system. I'm an audiophile with quite a setup at home, I have litearlly walked away from buying a range rover because their so called "top of the line" Meridian system was trash. This is one of the best sound systems I've heard in a car at this class. It's not audiophile level, but it's so enjoyable with such a wonderful sense of space and air around the music, with very tight bass. Sold

6. Speed and launch control. Obviously

DISLIKES:

1. Windshield wiper button placement. I've activated the windshield wipers 5 times in the course of 24 hours. Taking a perfectly detailed car, and dirtying it up with fluid. Not good. I hope a software update makes this button a long press which would fix this issue. They need better QA at tesla because this seems like there was no thought put into this.

2. Auto drive selector. Twice the car defaulted to the incorrect driving mode when their were clearly obstacles behind or infront of me and began accelerating in the wrong direction. This is a very dangerous feature. Regardless of the arrows that appear on screen to inform the driver what direction the car is about to go, this car is designed to convince the driver to sit back relax and let the car make decisions. Not a good habit to get into at this stage of the vehicles development.

3. Door unlock via cellphone. The car only detects me standing in front of it half the time, therefore it will not open the door when i need it to. Someitmes I have to swipe my cell phone in front of the door to open it.


HATE/DEALBREAKER:
Road Noise and wind noise at speeds above 50mph. This is the real deal breaker for me and the only thing preventing me from placing a deposit and buying the car. Totally unacceptable on a car of this price that is marketed as a luxury car.

I'm having an odd love/hate with the Plaid because it has two distinct personalities. Under 50mph it's everything I want in a daily driver. Quiet, compliant, butter smooth on roads, and I love the steering when set to sport. Above 50mph however, I hate it. I am extremely auditory and very sensitive to road and wind noise, it causes tension and aggravation, and reminds me the vehicles I hated in the 90's and early 2000's.

The wind noise is so distracting at speeds above 70mph on the highway, that I actually conteplated buying another car just for comfortable freeway driving, and relegating the Plaid to city streets. I HATE driving this car on the highway, it reminds me of my 2010 BMW M3. All the other Tesla models I've driven at highway speeds measured 69-71db on a a meter. The pre-raven P90D was the quietes on the highway at 69-70db above 70mph. The Plaid is measuring 72-73db above 70mph. The wind noise is just too much. It's not deafening, but it distracting and drowns out the music playing on the sound system. Hyundai and Ford do better than this at under half the price, and my moms BMW X3 SUV from 2009 certainly does. It's truly an embarrassment, and I do not think a noise cancelling feature is the answer.

I'm aware there are multiple threads on various weather strip solution, but I'm not interested in any solution that does no result in at least a 3db reduction in noise. Has anyone successfully mitigated road noise over 3db on a Model S using Dynamat, window treatments or similar solutions? The noise seems to be coming from the areas surrounding the windshield and the small triangle windows between the windshield and the side windows. If I can truly mitigate it, I would buy the car. But not in it's current state. It's a literal dealbreaker. Thanks
I have mitigated road noise in my S. I had to completely turn the car inside out, in a manner of speaking, to do that. Extensive insulation with triple layers in some places. It was a lot of effort and broken clips.
 

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