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Second Test Drive - Questions for Current Owners

Discussion in 'Model S' started by nleggatt, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. nleggatt

    nleggatt Member

    Dec 7, 2011
    Abbotsford, BC
    So I recently took a second test drive of the ModelS at the Bellevue store. My original drive was the 10 minute Get Amped tour so this extended drive was intended to give a little more time in the car before I make my purchase decision and lock in my order.

    The car was a green performance model - wow, that car is fast.

    I still can't get over the simplicity of the car and how the car sits dead silent even when it is so ready to go. As we pulled out of the parking garage it is almost as though someone is gently pushing the car from behind and guiding it around, rather than you driving or an engine propelling you. It just so quite.

    Question 1: The inside of the car is pretty big, actually the entire car is large. Has this caused any problems for current owners who recently moved from a smaller car?

    As we took off down the road you can feel the performance motor as it throws you to the back of the seat over and over again. The power band just keeps going and it really does give you a feeling of ultimate control. At one point, I may or may not have had to make a turn out of a left turn lane back on to the through lane. I found myself wondering if I would get going fast enough to make the change from stand still. In an ICE the engine has to rev up and get going and so there is that lag time that you have to calculate when you negotiate jumping in front of someone. That fear was soon removed when I hit the accelerator and the car just darted off.

    Question 2: The rear seat belts kept tightening up on my dad and he actually had to take it off while we were driving to correct the problem

    Question 3: The rear seat retraction slot rubs when pulling the seat belt out. It actually felt like I was doing something wrong. I'm worried this will wear down the seat belt or the slit where it retracts into over a period of time. Thoughts?

    Question 4: My dad felt that the rear seat was a challenge to get into. He is not the youngest of men, but I also found it a slight bit awkward getting into the back seat. Anyone else?

    Just a comment about the center open space, my brother who also drove hopped in and tossed his wallet onto the bottom of that section and it slid around the whole time we drove. Will be interesting to see what options come for that section.

    The car is really nice and I'm looking forward to having one. Just a few minor concerns. My brother said on the way home, "In 5-10 years I wouldn't be surprised if every vehicle goes electric". Also, he previously complained about how quite the car was and the lack of "Revving" that you get from performance cars. For those readers who wonder about that, we noticed that the road noise and wind increases as you accelerate so there is still a sense of speed and acceleration. It is not just dead silence.

    Ok, that's it, more questions than comments. Great car! Oh, and yes, traction control works ; ) Sorry to Luke who was our co-pilot.
  2. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

    Mar 29, 2009
    Nixa, Missouri, United States
    I moved to the S from a Prius, no issues at all. A bit more care maneuvering in parking lots, but otherwise it's not a big dea.

    That's a statement...I haven't noticed that problem, no has my wife or kids complained of it. Might be a 'one off'

    Just asked my primary rear seat passengers..haven't noticed it in our production model.

    I haven't actually sat back there yet myself, my teen age boys (who are taller than my wife) haven't had any issues, all 3 kids seem to have no issues getting in or out.
    Mine has a bit of carpet in the bottom and I've not noticed any sliding. I put my cell phone down there when charging while driving and it sits rock solid.
  3. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

    Jan 17, 2010
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    The doc has it right. The only thing I can add, coming from trucks and SUVs, is that entry and exit is more difficult which I attribute more to the door opening radius and or door trim girth.

    In no way a deal breaker.
  4. stephenpace

    stephenpace VIN S00219

    Dec 22, 2011
    Houston, TX
    1) Width was an issue for me, especially since the mirrors don't autofold. I ended up changing my garage from 2 bays to 1 to give myself some additional clearance (although part of that was due to one of the doors needing to be replaced anyway). Also, it can be difficult to find a parking place where you aren't right up against another wide SUV or pickup, at least where I am in Texas. I tend to look for a spot on the end or far away due to that reason.
    4) I really haven't used the rear seat much. However, getting out of the front seat, I've set an 'exit' profile to move my seat back and raise the steering wheel to assist with exiting, although you have to watch moving the seat back too much. It is easy to rub the b-pillar when you get out. I give a lot of demos and the leather is already starting to wear there. Also note that there are no above the door handles in this car ("jesus straps") so keep that in mind if your passenger generally uses them to lift out of the seat.
    5) Stuff can certainly slide around in the center area, especially if you do a lot of heavy acceleration. I definitely plan to get the opportunity console that has covered storage, cup holder, and a place to put the phone as it charges (and positions it for optimum Bluetooth connectivity)--when and if such a beast comes to exist.
  5. josh

    josh Member

    Nov 17, 2008
    1) The car is huge. I moved from a prius and it's my only real complaint. lane changes are a pain, parking parallel i fell like I'm sticking out into the road. on california ave in Palo Alto, I parallel parked with my passenger tires touching the curb, and the driver side stuck out past the pavement markings! I looked it up and it's longer and wider than a Highlander for example. I wish there was a 5-series or even 3-series sized option, but alas, this is it.

    2) Yep, I have this problem a bit too, but it's pretty easy to finesse it when you get used to it.

    3) Yep, well I haven't sat in the back but strapping my kids into child seats, it rubs in a funny way that hasn't happened doing the same activity in a prius or an mdx.

    4) dunno. when I sat ages ago in the store I thought it surprisingly tight but I haven't been back there

    I do love the car, but I think you've hit on legit niggles.
  6. ChrisgG

    ChrisgG Member

    Aug 9, 2012
    well I just saw the car the first time in Zürich 2 days ago. For me the rear seating will be the biggest trade of in the car. It's tiny for a car this log and way smaller than the rear seat of my prius. I'm 1.93m tall and if the front seat is way back (as it will be if I'm driving) it was hard to get in and out and awkard to sit for me. Also I wouldn't feel very safe as my head touched the ceiling and not the seat. It probably would be better if the driver was smaller but as it is I doubt the rear seat isn't for people taller than 1.80m.

    the rest of the car looks really great and can't wait until I finally can testdrive it.
  7. CapitalistOppressor

    CapitalistOppressor Active Member

    Jun 18, 2012
    Both problems with the rear seat belt were noted during Get Amped events, and there are anecdotal reports (from a DS) that it was fixed in later production models. However, without a poll of all owners, its hard to tell if it really has been fixed.

    That said, I have almost the same exact problem in my 538i, along with it being seemingly impossible to actually buckle the belt. I don't think this is a problem that is limited to the Model S.

    As to the issue with getting into the rear seat, it has been commented on in a number of the reviews written by the car. It has also been commented on by various folks in these forums. I think its a simple fact that it can be awkward to get into the rear seat. The rear seats also lean farther back than normal because of the fastback and the space taken up by the battery. The seating is comfortable (to me) but is clearly different than a conventional car.
  8. rogbmw

    rogbmw Member

    Feb 10, 2012
    Central Florida
    I'm 6' 3" and sat in the back for the 30 minute drive my wife took. I actually thought there was quite a bit of room back there and it was comfortable, and have had a harder time getting into the back seats of some SUVs than the S.

    My only note was that the test vehicle had the Pano roof, and although my head did not touch the glass, I could definitely feel the heat from the sun on my head. I did not notice this when I was driving it for almost 40 minutes and in the front seat.
  9. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Apr 2, 2010
    Ottawa, Canada
    If you have big feet it is just a little difficult to get in/out of the back seat. The bottom of the door opening is a little narrow. I had a little trouble with it and I'm only a size 10.
  10. Zextraterrestrial

    Mar 11, 2010
    Humboldt/Los Altos
    Seatbelts in the rear seem no different than they were. I haven't personally used mine but have had a couple of people with issues. If you pull them out across your chest and keep them tight to your body I think there is no problem
  11. Arnold Panz

    Arnold Panz Model Sig 304, VIN 542

    Apr 13, 2009
    Miami, Florida
    I moved from a Lexus RX 400h, which isn't smaller, and had no problems making the switch. Like anything else, I'm sure if you go from a smaller car to a bigger car you will struggle at first with the increased size, but I don't find the Model S to be unusually long or wide as compared to the RX, which itself isn't an unusually big car.

    IIRC, many people had this issue during the Get Amped events, and it was apparently something to do with the test drive cars. I have had zero complaints from anyone front or back seat about this happening with the seat belts, and I have had lots of passengers lately.

    My center space has a type of fabric on it that is fairly tactile and generally keeps things from sliding around. A sharp turn or massive acceleration, of course, can move most anything, but during normal driving my sunglass cases and phones generally don't move. Usually, I only have an issue when I'm showing someone the car, do the 0-60+ deal of flooring it, and everything flies backwards, including the stuff in the cubby (which has an amazing rubber bottom that holds most everything).
  12. strider

    strider Active Member

    Oct 20, 2010
    NE Oklahoma
    I'll second (third?) the seat belt comments were an issue in beta/demo cars. I haven't seen this in a production car. As for the back seat, only the baby has ridden back there but we've had no problem getting him in or out.

    We've also decided this is our new drive-in car. When folding the seats down my 5'6" wife can lay completely flat from the back of the car to the top of the seats. The back is enormous!

    Size-wise my wife went from a Jeep Liberty to Model S. Parallel parking has provided the only drama but the down-tilt mirrors and backup camera help.

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