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Tesla Model S 90D first week (Dec. 18-25, 2016) impressions (a long post)

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Haxster, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. Haxster

    Haxster Member

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    Forward:

    I was expecting a lot from the car and have not been disappointed. I’ve been lusting after one since I saw an early prototype in Menlo Park.

    What follows are stream of consciousness thoughts (in no particular order).

    Pleasant surprises:

    Automatic location-based garage door open and close (though not flawless).

    Power flow is even smoother and stronger at cruising speeds than I remembered

    Acceleration is better than expected. Glad I saved ~$40K by not getting the P100D.

    Still amazed at “idle” (absolutely no vibration or engine noise...”Is the car on?”) Yes, this shouldn’t be a surprise, but still…

    I really like the regenerative braking. Coming from a manual drive car, it's just like coasting in a low gear. And it corrects for those times when you maybe should have started slowing down sooner to avoid having to use more brake (and waste gas (gas? what's that?)).

    Nice floor mats (I wasn't sure that any were even included)

    Charging cable is relatively thin and very flexible (especially when compared to a 50 Amp RV extension cord)

    Annoyances:

    Being “greeted” by the car when walking into the garage and not planning to drive it

    Center console rattle when rear cup holders are retracted. (You can pound on top to hear it rattle).

    The car is wide and feels wide (harder to keep in narrow lanes, park, door ding risk). Looking forward to Model 3!

    No touch-up paint available

    Turn signal “castanet” sound (should be customizable and speed or ambient noise dependent)

    Driver’s seat belt latch difficult to push “straight” in. It’s too close to the seat cushion.

    Rear visibility is worse than I remembered

    Removing the charge connector sometimes seems like the car has a mind of its own and is taunting me to pay quick attention to the light show surrounding the connector. Green, yellow-orange, red, blue, off, green, blue, bluish white (quick!, pull it out before it changes again or the car locks). If I have the key fob on me, it should just let me release it; car on or off or locked or not.

    Impressed:

    Very quiet cabin below ~40 mph

    Motors are very quiet

    Tight body

    Extensive list of memorized driver-settings

    Shortcomings:

    The car really should have a hill holding/ANTI-creep option

    A little rougher ride than expected (and this is coming from a current Porsche and Corvette owner). This can make poking at the display a little problematic.

    Window glass seems to have specks and grime that’s really hard to clean off. I’m still working on it.

    Needs more info about navigation points-of-interest/destinations (e.g. restaurant hours, phone number, web site link). Even a basic GPS navigator is much better at this. (Looks like I may need to carry one in the glove box or use a map app on my phone).

    No “favorite contacts” in the phone directory (operator error?)

    Voice commands are somewhat erratic. For example, it often recognizes I said, but doesn't seem to know what to do. Maybe "I" need more training.

    “Vehicle status” only shows tire pressures. More info could be useful (e.g. fluid levels, battery temperature, current and voltage, system/maintenance status, dynamic horsepower output for each motor, 0-150 mph times, et al).

    Lock mode on key fob doesn’t close windows and close or vent sunroof. What’s the point of locking the doors when the windows are open?

    For a car with 90 KWh of battery, the cabin and especially the trunk lighting is WAY too dim. Nice mood lighting for the young eyeball Tesla designers, but not so good for those over forty. Fortunately, Abstract Ocean sells upgrade lights, (I have a set on order).

    After removing the access panel in the nose, the tow hook doesn’t seem to have any place to insert; just a hole with a metal(?) plate over it.

    Even in sport mode, steering feel is over boosted and numb

    Surprising amount of torque steer

    Turning circle could be tighter

    My first experience with a software update was not a good one, “Software Update Required. Contact Tesla Service” warning message on instrument cluster. Then the Auto headlight mode seemed to keep the headlights on day or night, rain or shine. Change log is incomplete. So, I paid $5K for auto headlights that don’t work? OK, patience, patience… AP features will come.

    Ideas for improvement:

    Using DSP (with position, heading, and time of day), eliminate/reduce shadows of your car in the backup camera

    When driving forward, allow option for rear camera to give true focal length (not wide angle) and/or provide split screens for large center view and two wide angle side views.

    Allow audible track-scan on USB/phone audio (i.e. press and hold the >> key on the steering wheel)

    Quick control and voice control of the sun roof (you shouldn’t have to go thru menus).

    Allow trip planning on a PC/Mac/phone app and then sync with the Tesla navigation system

    Navigation instructions reduce current audio in speakers near driver, but not enough. Relative volume and speaker selections should be configurable (oops, I discovered that navigation volume IS adjustable…but not relative to audio setting or ambient cabin noise level). You should also have the option to have nav voice instructions pause/resume audio streams. This would be especially useful for audio books.

    Allow the “greeting mode” to be disabled when the car is parked in your garage (or another defined location(s)). It would still unlock, but not do the lights and door handle maneuvers.

    Make the trunk and overhead lights MUCH brighter

    Add side-facing cameras on the corners to look for oncoming traffic when pulling out of a visually blocked driveway or alley (e.g. a big truck parked and blocking your view). Use these cameras to let you see (and warn you of) the actual distance to curbs, posts or other obstacles when parking or un-parking.

    Force the car to actually stop when it senses that it is about to hit something (e.g. curb, post, wall, person, object) when doing a slow maneuver. (Does AP1 already do this?)

    Why not just put a motor per wheel and eliminate the differentials and some of the traction/stability control hardware and complexity? Lots of potential performance and other benefits.

    12V power outlets in the trunks

    Allow separate dimming of each display and blanking of touch screen windows (sometimes you just want to minimize as many forms of distraction as possible).

    To save energy when heating the cabin, why not use a heat pump for both cooling and heating?

    An optional expandable (like a bellows) refrigerated cooler in the rear trunk (routing refrigerant from the climate control system)? Great for travel or carrying frozen groceries (no hurry to get them home!).

    And finally, the car could really benefit from an “advanced/expert mode” in the UI. This would let us techies, gearheads & human factors experts set a much higher level of configurability in what the car does and displays. I’d love to help Tesla do this!

    Lots more…

    Comments:

    An airline-sized carry-on is a good fit for the front trunk…and so is a Trader Joe’s insulated bag.

    Thank goodness, Tesla got rid of that stupid looking string of LED “Christmas” lights around the headlights. The uniformly lit surround is a big improvement. Here’s an idea: eliminate the surround entirely and , for daytime running lights, run the LED headlights at low brightness.

    And they almost got rid of the faux nose grill. It's much better looking now. But to me, it's probably the least attractive styling feature of the car.

    The Drive and Reverse directions on the steering wheel stalk seem backwards to me. “Up” seems like it should be for driving forward and “Down” should be for going backwards.

    iPhone 6/6+ dock was included and well designed, but without instructions. Are there similar adapters for other popular phones?

    Having only set the car up for one driver, I had assumed that the car would automatically instantiate the preferences of whatever key-fob-carrying registered driver approached the vehicle first. I was surprised to see this as a “new” feature of the latest update. What took them so long?

    Not having a partition between the cabin and the trunk, anything with an odor is shared with the occupants. Not so good for hauling bags of fertilizer (oh no!!).

    With cruise control set at low speeds, motor modulation sounds are a little annoying

    As engine rpm increases during moderate acceleration, it feels like the motors are over-revving and the car should shift gears (as if there were any). Something that I need to get used to.

    The black interior really shows dust and debris

    “A” and “B” pillars seem wide and block more view than I’m used to

    For those of you trying to decide between the 60/75, 90/100, or P100 series, think of the difference in performance between taking off in a jet, a fighter jet, or blasting off in a rocket. I’m okay with my fighter jet 90D.

    December 2016 90D Model S options: asphalt grey paint, sunroof, premium seats and upgrade package, enhanced autopilot (waiting for software).
     
    • Like x 4
    • Informative x 1
  2. caltechkid

    caltechkid Member

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    Sorry, don't we already have hill holding?
     
  3. Black/Black MS

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    "The car really should have a hill holding/ANTI-creep option"

    Press hard on the break and hold, and the car goes into hold mode.
     
    • Funny x 2
  4. wesley888

    wesley888 Member

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    Lot of people don't aware the Hill Hold function. @Haxster, step on the brake a bit harder, and an (H) will show up indicating Hill Hold is engaged.

    You'll get that message when the car is still doing the testing of the software update. Let it finish it's business and the message will go away.

     
    • Informative x 1
  5. Jlwine

    Jlwine Member

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    Yes, just push the break pedal down hard enough until the Circle with the "H" in the center appears
     
  6. caltechkid

    caltechkid Member

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    Right, intuitively I figured that out, should have quoted the OP since it was intended to be a clarification for him =)
     
  7. oktane

    oktane Active Member

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    Why doesn't the rear-view mirror dim?
     
  8. immolated

    immolated Member

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    You have to hold the button while removing, wait a second and it will turn white. Also, we have hill hold. And you can turn off "greeting" (auto unlock on approach). Read up on your manual!
     
  9. No2DinosaurFuel

    No2DinosaurFuel Active Member

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    You can purchase touch-up paint on the model S accessories website.

    You'll quickly get use to plugging and unplugging the car. It's pretty simple. Just blue and white flashing green. Anything else is bad. White is OK to release. Blue is connected. Flashing green is charging.

    Trunk light is crappy, but you can get custom LED lighting replacement to get more light.

    Not having a partition between the cabin and the trunk, anything with an odor is shared with the occupants. Not so good for hauling bags of fertilizer (oh no!!).
    ---- This one of perks of getting a hatch back. Wait for the Model 3 and it should be properly separated.
     
  10. hmmm

    hmmm Member

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    Quick control of the sunroof --> RH scroll wheel will let you set a default one click shortcut, pano open/close is one of the available ones.
     
  11. Haxster

    Haxster Member

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    Thanks for this useful info. If I wonder why this isn't an option setting listed right next to the "creep" setting.

    Actually, there may be two levels (anti-creep/roll and hill holding):
    1. For very slight grades, the motors would keep the car stationary. This one would be set in the options, right next "creep".
    2. You're on a real hill. You don't really want the motors keeping you from rolling, so this one would use the current press hard on the brake method and apply the brakes (as I assume the current feature does).
     
  12. Haxster

    Haxster Member

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    Not yet on the Tesla site for my color.
    Currently unavailable in the new Midnight Silver Metallic (New Metallic Grey - PMNG), Titanium Metallic (PPTI), Deep Blue Metallic (PPSB), and Obsidian Black Metallic (PMBL)

    Also, does anyone make spray touch-up paint for Teslas?
     
  13. Haxster

    Haxster Member

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    Thanks for the tips. Maybe I'm not holding the charge connector button long enough. I'll give it a try.

    I have the door presenting selection set because I like this feature when the car is not in the garage. In the garage, it's an annoyance.

    The solution that I'd prefer (since the car can't know if I'm entering the garage to drive it or grab a tool from the work bench) would be to provide an option to disable this feature when it's in the garage (and maybe other selected locations). The car is already location-aware and knows that it's in the garage. It would still unlock (but no flashing lights) and I'd be able to get in and drive it. I'd just have to tap the door handle. No big deal.
     
    • Like x 1
  14. Haxster

    Haxster Member

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    It was the "Contact Tesla Service" part of the warning that was unsettling.

    The neurotic me started thinking:eek:: Where's that phone number? Are they open now?. Will their phone lines be jammed? Will they have to come out here to un-brick the car?
     
  15. Haxster

    Haxster Member

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    The problem is that this precludes using this scroll wheel for other functions. I guess one could argue that there are other functions that should be accessed with a single touch as well.

    I think it would be cool if there were touch sensors along the edge of the pano frame that would let you position it. Kind of like a power-assisted manual sun roof. Or tap anywhere on the underside of the glass panel and the pano settings appears on the touch screen.
     
  16. shonline

    shonline Supporting Member

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    Others have noted the features that are available already - and easily missed. I would add one wish - to enable a software update from my iPhone app. Not sure why I need to go to the car to do it when the app has alerted me it is available.

    Currently away for the holidays and know the update awaits...
     
  17. Haxster

    Haxster Member

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    Well... the hold feature that many have pointed out is really well implemented. On slight slops or steep uphill ones, no need to push down hard on the brake pedal. Just let your foot stay on it for a few seconds. Nice! For steep downhills, you DO need to push down hard to get it to engage. A little learning curve/change in driver habits, but well worth the benefits!

    The downside, like so many modern features, is that you unconsciously expect this to work on other cars you drive. It doesn't. Oops!
     
    • Like x 1
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  18. cab

    cab Member

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    Nice write-up Haxster and honestly, I would mirror everything you point out for the 2013 CPO P85+ I acquired in the Summer (well, except for torque steer of course!). Oddly enough, many of your complaints are the kind of stuff that could really hurt Tesla once other automakers start getting their act together. It isn't any one thing, but a lot of little things. Admittedly, Tesla has addressed some of them but "basics" like build quality, road noise levels, and some tech stuff still seem to suffer in comparison to to other cars. Indeed, I think only two of the "basics" has really been addressed since inception: the switch to the next gen (and now even "premium") seats and the addition of parking sensors. For the most part, the Model S seems to have really become the test bed for all things "Autopilot" and even "Model III" (i.e. all glass roof option), with the prices continuing to rise.

    A friend of mine recently asked me if I was happy with my Model S and the overall I am, but like you, I do simply wish it was smaller (not a fault of the Model S, it simply is what it is).
     
  19. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    Try Dr Color Chip:

    Dr. ColorChip Automotive Paint Chip Repair Kit - Dr. ColorChip: Automotive Paint Chip Repair Systems

    Great match, good application system (...I would not apply spray paint for a small chip or scratch).
     

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