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potential new owner with questions

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by rdstr, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. rdstr

    rdstr Member

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    Feb 17, 2015
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    Location:
    Richland,WA
    I need some advice from current owners please. I am considering buying a 2.0 roadster and would really appreciate some feedback advice. I have read some of the posts but still have some questions and I have yet to find a car to test drive.
    How much road noise is there in the roadster compared to other gas powered sports cars like a 60's MGB or a Miata?
    Is the ride stiff? Does the heater and AC make it useable in climates like the Pacific NW? Sorry if the questions seem silly but I am trying to get some point of reference. thanks for any help and advice!:smile:
     
  2. pgwoosley

    pgwoosley Member

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    Your idea of comparing the roadster to an MGB is a good starting point. My points of reference are a 1967 MGB and 1971 TR6 roadsters bought new vs. a 1.5 Tesla. I would say that there is more road noise in a Tesla, especially at highway speed. I use my Tesla mostly on urban freeways and streets, and the pure driving joy blocks out the extra noise. The best I can remember, the Tesla is stiffer, and harsher than the MGB, but not nearly as harsh as a 1990 Corvette. If you are in a 1960s sports car frame of mind, the AC is OK. I do not expe experience enough cold weather to really comment on that subject. The Roadster has electric seat heaters, which are useful. Of course, the Tesla performance is in a completely different league than an MGB, or even a 60s or 70s Ferrari (except for top speed). I I recall correctly the 0 to 60 in a Daytona was about 6.55.
     
  3. thefortunes

    thefortunes Member

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    Can't compare to a 60's MGB (I have driven one but it has been too long) but I sold my Miata in 2013 and bought a 2.5 Roadster.

    Specific answers:
    1) Much more road noise than a Miata - cannot easily have a conversation on the phone at highway speed without a headset, even with a top on.
    2) Ride is much stiffer than a Miata, but not uncomfortably so. As fun as the Miata was to "throw around," the Roadster feels heavier but more planted.
    3) I drive the Roadster year round in Wisconsin, so I would guess the heater and AC will be fine for WA. The seat heater may be all you need (other than to defog), as it is pretty good.

    Really you are comparing apples and horses. They aren't even in the same league (and this is from someone who loved my Miata for 15 years).
     
  4. adiggs

    adiggs Active Member

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    Heya @rdstr. I'm in the Portland area (aka PNW), and our 2.5 Roadster Sport is the first car out of the garage every day, even through the winter. Plenty of heating and cooling for how we use the car.. namely, daily driver, and less than 50 miles covered per day (and frequently less than 20 miles covered per day). I'd be completely comfortable doing 100 mile days without thinking about it, regardless of the weather conditions, and I know from an extended road trip that I can get the Ideal Miles when I want to under even mildly adverse conditions.

    We don't get much snow here in Portland (none at all this Winter), and we don't take it out when there's snow or ice on the road. That let's us drive year-round on the AD07 (front) / AD08 R's (rear) tires just fine - they seem to be quite sticky and do well on wet roads.

    No road noise comparison to other sports cars (the Roadster is the only sports car we've ever owned), but the road noise is quite noticeable around 50mph+. I start turning up the radio around 50 :)

    The ride is the stiffest I've ever driven. We're using the "comfort" setting on the adjustable suspension, and I still dodge manhole covers on the road.

    Two full years of ownership and 16k miles later, and I'm still making excuses and going out of my way to drive the Roadster. Amazing car.
     
  5. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    I have a 1.5 and the HVAC has handled anything from 10 to 95. While noisy at 65 I can still have good conversations without shouting but I do have stage 1 and 2 sound reduction. Stage 1 should be standard on the 2.0.

    While the suspension is stiff it is still very fun to drive and I have taken it on many trips.
     
  6. tga

    tga Active Member

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    Is there anything resembling a "newbie buyer's guide" out there? What to look for? How to find a car, inspect it, etc.?
     
  7. rdstr

    rdstr Member

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    thanks for the help!

    thank you all so far that have responded. I really appreciate the feedback and advice!
     
  8. Strib

    Strib Member

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    Alamo, CA
    Well, I'm a new Roadster owner as well as a Miata owner. Miata is a little quieter, but both are loud. Quietness isn't why you buy a coupe. Roadster is stiffer, infinitely superior in torque, etc. Heater has been well more than adequate for Bay Area winter, and I haven't yet challenged the A/C. I love my Tesla, and my Miata is starting to whimper in the garage.
     
  9. asgard

    asgard Member

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    The noise level is high - the highest among any car I have driven except a 1969 Chevy El Camino I once owned ;-) Coherent phone conversations are near impossible except on city streets at low speeds. The suspension is incredibly stiff - I cringe over the smallest bumps.
    The driving pleasure is unbeatable. Nothing comes close. Most supercars worth 2-3 times more than the Roadster are not
    as much fun to drive.
     
  10. xytor

    xytor Roadster #221

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2015
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    Location:
    Seattle
    I am a new owner of a 1.5 Roadster in Seattle.
    I'm really glad I got it!

    It does have some issues:
    The road noise is loud, especially on some of the bad roads in Seattle.
    Speaking of bad roads, as others have also said, I try to avoid potholes and bumps because it feels jarring.
    The interior squeaks and rattles quite a bit.
    There is no power steering, so it takes some strength to turn the wheel at low speeds.
    The original brakes are not so good, especially while wet. I try not to drive aggressively in the rain anymore because I almost ran a red light once since the brakes were not good enough to stop. Luckily it changed to green right as I ran it. I'll get some nice new brakes eventually.
    It's difficult to get in/out. As a daily driver, I've gotten quite used to it. But it can get a bit old training passengers how to get in/out. Especially older/heavier people.
    It has poor rear visibility. I'm going to install a backup camera soon.
    I have to keep it outside a lot, and overnight it collects dew/rain that sometimes makes the interior a bit stale smelling. I also hear that the battery isn't super well protected against water, so I need to be careful while washing it not to get water in certain places. Also, I try not to drive it into puddles that are too deep. So far it hasn't been an issue, though.

    However, I wish somebody had told me these things when I first got it:
    The rattles and squeaks are harmless, and part of the experience.
    Hitting a pothole once in a while won't damage anything. I think of it this way: Wheels of cars with a comfortable suspension that hit the potholes experience the same force on the wheels and do just fine. I've hit plenty and my Roadster is still doing well.
    Who needs push-ups when you can get all your strength training from turning the wheel? :wink:
    Driving the roadster feels faster than the MS P85D because it's lower to the ground and has a stiffer suspension. When I take a passenger and mash the accelerator in Performance mode, they invariably stop talking and/or scream. It's really fun!
    Passing is a non-issue. I'm generally a safe driver and keep 4-6 seconds between me and the car in front of me. But if I want to pass or change positions on the road, I just basically have to think about it and it happens. Very zippy!

    Overall, the advantages far outweight the disadvantages. I think it's the best car in the world, even better than the Model S!
     
  11. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    I like that summary, Xytor.

    I've been driving my 2.5 for a week and made many similar observations. Mine has all the added sound insulation, but the road noise can still be tiresome at highway speed, depending on the smoothness of the road surface. There are squeaks, but I don't really notice unless I'm listening for them. I don't find the manual steering to be a problem at all, and the responsiveness is excellent. It took most of the week to get well practiced at entry and exit with the hard top in place, but I think I have it worked out now.

    Happily, my car came with a back-up camera. Plus, the rear visibility isn't as bad as my old Esprit was! Also it has more ground clearance than the Esprit, but less than the Miata. It's much easier than the Esprit to live with and drive around town.

    Yes, I also noticed the Roadster feels fast because of the low stance. I'm actually less tempted to speed in it, because I rarely ever feel like I'm poking along at the posted speed. Also, it's so quiet and smooth when going slow, listening to the birds chirp and people talking, it can be relaxing. The Esprit was only happy when it was going fast. The Roadster is happy to go fast and it's happy to go slow.

    That "Jetsons" sound when it accelerates or decelerates (with regen) has grown on me. I've really gotten hooked on this car in a short span of time.
     
  12. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    @xytor, you wrote: "The interior squeaks and rattles quite a bit."

    That reminded me that recently my wife was in the Roadster with me (she isn't in it often, we usually take the Model S when we go somewhere together) and as we drove off she said:

    "What is making all that noise?" (referring to the various creaks and squeaks the car makes going over uneven surfaces)

    I replied: "Everything."

    She burst out laughing.
     
  13. Roadrunner13

    Roadrunner13 Member

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    Love the reference.
    That sounds is what makes you feel like you're driving today what the future will be!
    It will be a long time before growing out of it!
     
  14. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    My experience has been a little different than some of the other posts. I think it depends on which version of Roadster, and what options it has. I've had Sound I and Sound II installed and with the hard top it's considerably quieter than the 1.5s I've driven with no sound proofing options. My car is much quieter than a 60's MGB. I only drove a Miata once and can't remember how noisy it was.

    I also have the adjustable suspension and when it's set near the softest setting it's a very pleasant ride. Personally I like a stiff suspension so I usually only set it soft for longer trips. I also dialed out most of the understeer so the lack of power steering makes the car more responsive without requiring strong arms. I highly recommend the optional adjustable suspension even if you have it retrofitted.

    Tesla improved the HVAC system in the 2.0 that you're looking at (I think - or did they do that for the 2.5?) so it will have more than adequate heat and AC for even the most extreme climates. The 1.5 HVAC is still pretty good and should also be more than adequate for Pac NW. They also added a backup camera on the 2.5 but it's not a necessity IMO.

    WRT pot holes, any car with low profile tires is at risk of problems. I had to replace one of my rims after hitting a pot hole that didn't feel that bad. I never got a flat.

    Good luck!
     
  15. rdstr

    rdstr Member

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    I want to thank all of you for the great advice!!! I pulled the trigger and bought the Roadster 2.0 :smile: RCSharp, I would love to hear from you in a PMessage about the sound kit. This is a great forum, all of you are so very helpful, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
     
  16. ibcs

    ibcs Member

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    Congratulations on your roadster purchase. You will absolutely love it. The forum will provide you with a wealth of knowledge and everyone truly tries to help each.
     
  17. wart

    wart Member

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    Location:
    San Antonio, TX
    I'm just going to piggyback onto this since I'm also starting to consider looking for a Roadster.
    I've searched on here and on Google and can't find much info about interior space and comfort. I get that it's a bit awkward to get in and out. But once you're in, how much space is there? I'm right about 6 feet tall and 180 pounds.
     
  18. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    You really need to sit in one because everybody has a different opinion of what's too small. I'm about the same height and weight as you and I can say your dimensions won't be a problem. I fit quite well in the 2.5 seats. One of the Roadster salesmen at the NY store was at least 6'3" and he sat in my car with room to spare but most of his height was in his legs.
     
  19. Habious

    Habious Member

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    I only find it awkward to get in and out of when the roof is on. When it's topless, it's really not bad at all. It's more about learning what technique works for you. I also feel like a bad-ass when I hop in and do a controlled fall down into the seat. You WEAR this car.

    I'm about 6'1" and was over 280 lbs. when I first got the car (I've since lost weight), and I fit in it just fine. Is it as roomy as a Camry? No.

    I semi-joke with people that it "seats one, comfortably".

    Leg room is surprisingly good (once you remove the dead-pedal from the driver's side), head room is good for me (even with the roof on). I find the biggest space restriction is in shoulder room. If you're the only one in the car, it's a non-issue. You put TWO 6'+ guys in the car and you will be...cozy (and rub shoulders).

    ...oh, and remove the sun visors as soon as you get the car (they just pull off).
     
  20. shrink

    shrink Member

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    Well, Phoenix is pretty extreme in the summer and the A/C does not do the job that well here. When temps are consistently with highs in the 100's and 110's F, which happens for weeks straight during the summer unfortunately, the A/C will sometimes cycle and kick out not so cold air - as if the fan only is running. It lasts about 5 minutes and then the A/C kicks back on. I asked about it when I first got the car and the SC told me it was cycling to try to cool the battery in this extreme heat.

    By contrast, I don't think I've even run the heat, just the seat heaters.

    I also think our Model S in the Phoenix summer with the pano roof inadequately cools. It's just our crazy desert heat.
     

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