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Test Drives of Other Cars for Model S Comparisons

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Francis Lau, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. Francis Lau

    Francis Lau P-1456

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    Before my reservation of the Model S in 2009 and my addiction to this forum, I had a typical consumer knowledge of cars - no consideration of CG, weight, acceleration timings, power bands, ergonomics, factory visits, how cars are built etc. Currently, I am learning a lot from the discussions and the visits. So couple of months ago, knowing that I have a Model S test drive coming up soon, I decided to become a more educated car buyer. Also, since I am spending close to $100K on a car, I decided that I should at least test drive other comparable cars. Here is my list, I wonder if others have done the same or own the same cars and can share their thoughts about how they compare:

    1. Porsche Panamera
    2. Audi A7
    3. BMW M5

    Also, any suggestions on cars to test drive?
     
  2. Bardlebee

    Bardlebee Member

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    Is this the first car you are buying a car above 50k+ or luxury? I ask because its my first and I would like to hear your opinion on the cars you have driven so far that you pointed out. You gave me a good idea and I am going to do the same. I need to know what to compare too. :)
     
  3. Francis Lau

    Francis Lau P-1456

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    My current car is the most expensive I owned and it is a fully loaded Audi A4 Avant. I think I paid around $42K new in late 2009. Sometimes I think it was $48K. I don't quite remember the exact amount. The more important point is that it is a great car and I am spoiled from it. Key highlights are:

    1. Fast acceleration - not as fast as Model S
    2. keyless entry and push button start.
    3. panoramic roof with powered shade
    4. power tail gate
    5. nice interior
    6. very good service department at Barrier Audi in Bellevue
    7. iPhone on screen integration for phone and music works well
    8. great handling in rain and snow
    9. paint finish is still beautiful after 3 years
    10. Quite quiet interior when driving. Model S is quieter though
    11. Powered and heated front seats
    12. Manually folding mirrors but auto-dimming and heated
    13. LED lights look cool and is very bright
     
  4. Bardlebee

    Bardlebee Member

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    Keyless entry is appealing to me. It's such a SMALL thing, but its very neat. I own a '08 Mustang for what its worth, so this will be my first luxury vehicle and hopefully the last for the next 8 to 10 years. I may buy the new Roadster when it comes out, but it depends how I feel the need for it.

    Thanks for the input! I need to take a test drive of all those models you pointed out just so I can measure it. Especially the BMW.
     
  5. spatterso911

    spatterso911 MSP#7577 **--** MX#1891

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    M5 comparison ...
     
  6. spatterso911

    spatterso911 MSP#7577 **--** MX#1891

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    Fisker Karma comparison (Karma Owner)

    and ...

    here... (MSP reservation, Karma test-driven)
     
  7. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    I'm in it for the EV aspect to be honest. Everything else being equal, if Tesla had fantastic V8, I wouldn't have considered it. So I test drove a Leaf and a Volt prior to the test drive:

    1. Leaf: Decent value, but the range is much too short and cargo area much too small for it to be a viable family car. It's a commuter car, nothing more - not even driving someone to SFO, and if I drove that every day as a commuter, I would die a slow death of boredom.

    2. Volt: Closest competitor for me, the electric range is enough for the commute and the extended range good for longer trips. But a bit small in the cargo area, too compact interior and being a strict four-seater killed it.

    So go big or go home, YOLO, shooting for the Model S because it's the first one that got it right.
     
  8. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Same as Trnsl8r. I wouldn't even consider another car over ~$45k. I'm in this price range only because the Model S is a dream *EV* so there's no point (for me) to compare it to any other car in that price range.

    I'd just go "Bah humbug" to the Panameras and the A7s of the world. If I can help it, I'll never buy an ICE again.
     
  9. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Will I somewhat concur with Trnsl8r's feeling ("if Tesla had fantastic V8, I wouldn't have considered it"), I agree with Francis that it's still smart to objectively evaluate purely from a non-fueling perspective how the S compares when spending so much on a vehicle. By "non-fueling" I mean exclude the economy and environmental aspects, and focus purely on performance, features, interior, etc. As such, MPG is irrelevant in such a comparison but the single-gear benefits of EV would be included.

    Regarding test drives generally...
    I still have to work on my game face. I'd prefer to say "I'm basically getting an S, but I'd like to drive the ___ so I have data to compare" but I suspect many salesmen would either (a) take that as a challenge and go into full court pressure mode or (b) pass up on giving you a test drive.
     
  10. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I have the keyless entry in the Prius. When I ordered it, as part of a package, I thought it would be a kind of toy that you use a couple of times and then forget about (like voice recognition). However, after a few weeks I found it was something that I would never do without if I was at all able to do so. Not having to fish for keys in pouring rain or when holding a couple of sacks full of groceries, and never having to worry about putting the keys in the back and then closing the hatch/trunk are worth every penny.
     
  11. Bardlebee

    Bardlebee Member

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    I always use the little keypad on my Mustang, but I like the idea of walking up like a badass and just getting in your car. :)
     
  12. Wattson

    Wattson Member

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    I'm with GG and Trnsl8r. I wouldn't even be interested in the Model S if it were an ICE propelled vehicle.

    Thanks to the EV driven miles of my Volt, I've had a taste of pure EV bliss. Now I want to go pure BEV, and without a doubt, Model S will be the best option.

    In my head I'm buying a $50,000 premium vehicle with my choice of a $10k, $20k, or $30k battery. Batteries aren't an option on the 5 Series, A6, A7, or E Class, Cadillac XTS, so they're all out.

    Also, I'm interested in buying American... Something that I'm uncertain of the popularity on this forum.

    Those are the reasons I'll be considering Model S. I hope to be reserving mine in October once I can get a test drive and read real world owner reviews.

    My recommended cars to test drive:
    1. Chevrolet Volt
    2. Ford Focus Electric
    3. Nissan Leaf (hopefully soon they'll introduce a temperature management system and the TN plant will come online)
    4. Fisker Karma
    5. Coda Sedan
     
  13. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    It's a popular idea with me, but only if the car is actually made in the U.S. or Canada and has decent quality. Right now that means Tesla, Toyota, Nissan, and VW (though I'm not found of VW having had the unfortunate experience of owning one). The others mostly just assemble Chinese parts in their U.S. factories. So Ford, GM, and Chrysler are not on my list. Otherwise I'd just as soon buy a made in Japan car.
     
  14. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    #14 artsci, Jul 22, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2012
    I'm with you all the way. Once you drive a an EV there's no turning back. I get a kick out of all the current ICE ads that talk about innovation, as if an iPad screen on the center stack is something to brag about. It's a joke. There's no real innovation other than getting rid of the ICE and replacing it with battery power.

     
  15. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    If the Model S was an ICE car that had the same cargo room, the quiet ride, 7 passenger seating, the 17 inch screen, the great acceleration and handling, the abililty to always leave the house with a full fuel tank and it got 89 mpg it would be very compelling.
    Actually, everybody would be calling bullshit and nobody would believe it.
     
  16. spatterso911

    spatterso911 MSP#7577 **--** MX#1891

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    Hilarious! But true!!
     
  17. Wattson

    Wattson Member

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    Without a doubt ALL cars consist of global parts.

    I'm happy to know my auto selections keep assembly line workers, engineers, managers, and many other jobs employed in America by American companies. Those impacted by our purchases include not just the assembly line workers, but all those that brought the car to market.

    Tesla is an amazing option that keeps many jobs in America. My previous choice of Chevrolet Volt also supported lots of jobs in America.
     
  18. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    Yeah... it's the whole package for me. I didn't used to think about the environment - at least not with cars (we're fantastic recyclers, efficient with our home, though big, etc.). But with the Model S, it started as getting off foreign oil, quiet operation, fast, high-tech. And now I'm waking up. I pointed out a car that pulled out in front of us (to my wife) and said look at thing belching smoke. But my Cadillac is very very quiet, when it coasts... else the engine/muffler was designed to sound throaty. I don't like that anymore. And after my test drive this weekend, I tested how fast the Northstar engine was... it was like a two second delay before the engine revved up and got going.

    Now in the interest of saving even more money, I'm looking into solar (must have 5/6 year payback though). But the idea of getting off the grid, and maybe doing a small part to help, is in the back of my mind now too.

    To bring that all back around to this thread... I'm not really interested in any other car, unless its Tesla's Bluestar project ($30k effort). Everything else seems like a compromise in one way or an another.
     
  19. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    OK, back to the list of ICE vehicles that are serious competition to the Model S. I would add:
    • Jaguar XJ Supercharged (5.0 Liter V8 Supercharged 470 hp)
    • Cadillac CTS-V Sedan ("World’s fastest production sedan: 0*–60 mph in 3.9 sec")
    • Lexus LS Hybrid (5.0-Liter Hybrid V8 438 hp)
     
  20. Nikoli

    Nikoli Member

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    I also wouldn't consider the S if it wasn't EV (or any other performance sedan for that matter). I've had $50k+ luxury SUVs in the past and they are very nice, but...mileage. I've had 4.4 sec 0-60 pocket rockets in the past, and they are super fun, but...mileage. With the S we get all of the above without the guilt of watching the PETROL gauge drop when having some fun.

    My other alternative is a used Lotus Elise/Exige, the Tesla Roadster is just a bit too expensive right now for its size.

    Sorry for continuing off topic.
     

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