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Tesla Bliss, Part 1: The Decision

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Apricot, Sep 21, 2016.


How supportive were your partner/confidants in your buying a Tesla?

  1. Very supportive

    41 vote(s)
  2. Mildly supportive/curious

    8 vote(s)
  3. Neutral/tolerant

    4 vote(s)
  4. Mildly unsupportive

    3 vote(s)
  5. Very unsupportive(!)

    2 vote(s)
  1. Apricot

    Apricot The waiting... the waiting...

    Aug 21, 2016
    SF Bay Area
    This is going to be a short account of (1) my decision to get a Tesla; and (2) the wait, pick up and impressions from the first weeks with her. I know that when I was deciding on whether to take the big purchase, I read as many owner accounts as I could, and when I was enduring the long wait for the actual car, I read through all of the reports on TMC of production and pick up as part of therapy. So this is my tiny way of giving back.

    Why Tesla?

    I already have a Nissan Leaf, so I am pretty committed to electric cars from here on out. The world's domestic addiction to gasoline, and the fact that there is so much of it right under a religious war zone, creates a lot of modern ills, and the only way out of it is to support the growth of an electric car infrastructure.

    EV's are also quieter and, so far, have needed a lot less maintenance then my gas cars.

    So I knew our next car was going to be an electric one. I was looking for one that would seat five comfortably and be able to make road trips.

    I was willing to consider one with a backup gas engine, but the Volt had too low an electric range and definitely could not seat five, and the BMW i3 has some odd issue with the gas backup Mode being very underpowered.

    Also, every electric vehicle I could find besides the Tesla models were the same width as my Leaf, and it is cramped in the back for three.

    I was attracted to Tesla because:

    - I hate car dealers and the dealership model, especially after the purchase. The non-Tesla makers all have dealers that don't know about or want to see EVs.
    - Auto pilot. Bay area commute traffic is soul sucking.
    - Both the model S and X are more than half a foot wider then the leaf.

    Considering The Model X

    So we first look at the Model X. I really wanted to like it. It is beautiful, and has six practical seats (I think that seven seat model is just too impractical to get around inside). I think the giant front windshield is stunning. And the falcon wing doors do make it a lot easier to get into the rear rows. It was a fun test drive.

    But in the end I could not talk myself into it, because:

    - Those doors just are too ostentatious, seem to be unreliable in their first run, and are somewhat impractical in the rain and in any low roof situation. If there were boring old sliding doors, I might be driving an X right now.
    - That front windshield, while being much more heat resistant than I expected, just seeing too glare-ish with the low sun I drive against,
    - You can't easily use the third row without half folding up the second row and even moving the first row around. Not a good fit with the chaotic boarding process of my family.
    - Comparable builds seem to run $10,000 more for the X compared to the model S
    - I wanted the option to use a roof rack, as a rear rack would block the rearview mirror.
    - There still seem to be a lot of first run issues and complaints about fit, function and finish.

    So, at that point, I had talked myself out of a Tesla entirely.

    Considering the Model S

    But my wife pointed out that we should check out the Model S, as there might be enough room in the back to handle our situation of moving five people around. So, we brought my oldest daughter on a test drive of the Model S, and they took turns sitting in the middle seat. That extra 8 inches makes a huge difference, and there's considerably more foot and leg room in the middle due to the lack of a hump. There is actually slightly more foot room in the middle seat, Because of the space under the console.

    Emboldened, I started to look at our budget to see if we can actually afford this car which would cost more than all of our cars ever owned combined. Given the nearly free money of the current Alliant credit union rates, and forgoing the purchase of a solar home system, plus a small raise at work, we would actually be able to afford it.


    I was uncomfortable with how expensive it was, and that it might be taken as excessively luxurious by friends and colleagues. But there isn't any other electric car out there that fits our requirements, and there's only so much of your life energy you can spend trying to appease other people.

    I was also a little worried that I would buy the last car before Autopilot 2 launched. It's impossible to time these things of course. There were wild rumors that September 5 would be the cut off date. So it seemed like the alternative was to either just buy it right away and except it was, or to wait another year until the Autopilot 2 scenario became clearer. I ended up splitting the difference, and I did buy a car that was likely to be produced after September 5, And I bought a new car as opposed to an inventory car which had the exact same specs that I desired but which had been manufactured long before and so had a worse chance of being upgradable to AP2.

    Our Build

    - Model S 60. The base model has plenty of driving power for me, and with triple the battery of my Leaf, the range already feels vast.
    - Solid Black Paint. This is a personal choice of course. I like the classic look of the black, though I also like the blue and red. Daughter lobbied hard for the midnight silver, but in the end I went with the cheapest of the close options.
    - All Glass Panoramic Roof. I like the way it looks, I like for the light, I like how it makes the roof taller, and it keeps open the option of using a roof rack.
    - 19" Slipstream Wheels. I don't need anything special with wheels beyond all season people with a 21" seem to go through wheels quite a lot faster.
    - Black Next Generation Seats. I didn't actually try out the old generation, But I test drove the new generation and it felt good so why mess with it?
    - Dark Ash Wood décor. I wasn't crazy about any of the other wood patterns.
    - Black Headliner. Seemed like it would go better with the rest of the black interior.
    - Supercharger Enabled. No choice, but certainly a draw as far as practical road trips go.
    - Autopilot. This is one of the main reasons I got this car! I had read on TMC the small but vocal minority of people who had terrible experiences with autopilot. Yet on my test Drive, I got the hang of it right away and it worked way better than I expected.
    - Premium Interior Package. Our family has a lot of allergies, and the HEPA filter was a big draw.

    So, I put in the order, and began the looong wait. Part 2 to follow soon...
    • Like x 2
    • Love x 1
  2. dss33

    dss33 Member

    Apr 14, 2016
    Congrats! We're about two months and three or four supercharger-enabled roadtrips into ours and still absolutely smitten. It's actually mentally painful now to get into our ICE - we've really been spoiled by the S. Excited for you! We also ordered ours at the beginning of the third month of the quarter and received it in a matter of weeks. Funny what the end of the quarter does to production :)
  3. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

    Oct 9, 2013
    No partner at the moment. When I raised the idea with close friends/confidants, I got answers like "I always assumed you'd be getting one at some point" and "it sounds like the kind of thing you should get." I was really nervous about the cost, but I think it was the right choice.
  4. Jdcorbitt3

    Jdcorbitt3 Member

    Feb 10, 2016
    Ocala, FL
    My wife is the one that got one, a fine specimen S60 that we promptly did a road trip with. I am so jealous. As soon as someone buys my ICE, I will get one for myself.

    I say trade the wait in for an inventory car. For the same money you can have a few extras. You can drive it home this week.

  5. nishT

    nishT Member

    Sep 18, 2016
    Frisco, TX 75035
  6. nishT

    nishT Member

    Sep 18, 2016
    Frisco, TX 75035

    Nice post Apricot :). Congratulations on your new Model S. Love your quote "was uncomfortable with how expensive it was, and that it might be taken as excessively luxurious by friends and colleagues. But there isn't any other electric car out there that fits our requirements, and there's only so much of your life energy you can spend trying to appease other people."

    we were in similar situation, on the ledge for almost 2 years, whether to make the plunge of purchasing such an expensive car and if we can afford it or not. I was very fascinated by Model S and then X and started reading this forum daily as if its a newspaper :) for past 2 yrs. We even put down our deposit on model X 1.5 yrs back but dropped out after reading so many issues with it. After me and my wife going through monthly budget multiple times, thinking about worst case scenarios like if anyone loses a job, deciding between CPO or New facelift, we finally pulled the plug this week after never seen discounts on Tesla. We are now sooo eagerly waiting for our New 2016 S75 delivery, may be sometime next week.
    ++We loved New Facelift Red Model S in the showroom and decided to only go with Red.
    ++Testdrove both S75 and 75D, but both had same power and ride, so decided to go with S75 which was $4k less than 75D
    ++ We only wanted a Tan interior, which we thought would be perfect for Red exterior
    ++My Wife really wanted Premier upgrade package, even though we were little disappointed with interior lighting (we have seen much better ones on much cheaper ICE cars), we like the upgraded fabric/leather feel on the doors and steering, when compared the car without premier upgrade
    ++ We found a great 2015 CPO classic model with AP and other features we wanted, but the difference in price with new 2016 model we were looking was about $6000 (after Fed rebate). If we were putting in so much money for this car, we thought why not put an additional $6k to get newer model and Facelift (Red looked more gorgeous in newer facelift model).

    Now we cannot wait to take delivery and plan many Roadtrips without needing a single drop of Gas ;)
    • Like x 1

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

    May 3, 2015
    Snohomish, WA
    The decision making was anything BUT bliss.

    Most agonizing purchasing decision of my life INCLUDING my house.
  8. Apricot

    Apricot The waiting... the waiting...

    Aug 21, 2016
    SF Bay Area
    And I've posted Part 2 now!

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