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Test drives @ stores

Discussion in 'Model S' started by brianman, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    I don't think we have a home for the various store test drives, so I'll make one.
     
  2. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    I think most of them are being discussed in the regional forums - but this works, too.
     
  3. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    #3 brianman, Sep 13, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2012
    2012/09/13, Thursday, 2:15pm Pacific

    Didn't really learn anything new (which is a good thing).

    Issues with the vehicle I drove:
    1. Wrong exterior color (Dolphin Grey, mine is Sig Red)
    2. No pano roof
    3. Some of the signature badging is missing (the door T triangles don't have them, but the rear metal has it)
    4. Wrong interior color (grey/red, mine is black/red)
    5. Wrong accent material (lacewood, mine is carbon fiber)
    6. It's parked in the wrong garage (Bellevue mall instead of mine)

    I expect all of these to be resolved when I take delivery.

    ;)

    Edit: I remembered something else. She joked on the way to the vehicle about having to buy it if we break it. From there it led to "So if I scratch it I have to buy it? Hm." If I didn't have an ethical problem with it, it would have been tempting to ignore some of the above issues. Also, as the observant might have noticed this vehicle is somewhat of a unicorn (partial Signature labelling, non-Sig exterior, and non-Sig performance interior) which increases its value from a rarity perspective.
     
  4. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    That's definitely a problem. :)
     
  5. Zextraterrestrial

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    So if you broke it would they give you a deal?
    It isn't a standard spec car
     
  6. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Not sure. The hardest of hard criteria is that it needs to be street legal and insurable at a sane price.

    I was mostly thinking "Well, if I'm willing to pay $5k+ for 'early delivery' (Signature) then how much more is 'even earlier' delivery worth to me?"
     
  7. ChrisHenryOC

    ChrisHenryOC Member

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    Test drove a Blue Metallic Performance edition at the Fashion Island store in Newport Beach, CA.

    My big takeaways from the drive are how solid the car feels, even during rapid acceleration, deceleration, and turning, and that all of those exclamation points that everyone uses when describing acceleration are well deserved. The route that the sales team member took as disappointingly short, but did offer some good chances to see some of the car's features.

    I did bump the cruise stalk once when going for the turn signal, but that's likely an easy retraining.

    Another big "ah-ha" moment was when I got back in my 2008 Prius to drive back to the office after the test drive. I kept saying, "go prius go!" (think "run Forrest, run!") when heading up the hills of the 73 toll road.

    Big EV Grin all afternoon.
     
  8. iridium

    iridium Member

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  9. Fedderman

    Fedderman Model S 85kWh (VIN 1732)

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    Excellent overall experience

    I had an *excellent* overall experience with my second test drive (first one was at the Tesla factory in June). Besides giving my wife an opportunity to drive the first half while I gained the "passenger" experience, we were also able to test the fit in our garage. This was important because we have an older home with a relatively small 2-car garage, and I really didn't want to lose my work bench. Since we live only ~3 miles from the Menlo Park showroom, I arranged with the store manager (Dan) in advance for this unconventional test drve. I must say this demonstrated flexibility and customer orientation, making the entire experience exceptional. Of course the drive itself was nothing short of exhilarating - amazing acceleration, braking, cornering, quiet and firm but silky smooth ride, etc. One key learning was how high the lift gate rises - I needed to manually stop it to prevent it from hitting the ceiling (rather, the inside of the opened garage door). I understand the auto-lift height is programmable so this should help, or one just uses the frunk while in the garage. This drive "sealed the deal", so all paperwork is now complete and my model S is now in production :smile:.
     
  10. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Out of curiosity, how long was your actual test drive from when you made the appointment? I'm a reservation holder in the area for the next three days and wonder if they could squeeze me in.
     
  11. ChrisHenryOC

    ChrisHenryOC Member

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    I dropped by the store on Monday and got an appt for Thursday. I think my calendar was the limiting factor, as I had stuff at work I couldn't skip out on before Thursday afternoon. They said week days are better for drives than weekends. Hope you can get a drive in.
     
  12. steve841

    steve841 Active Member

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    Anyone in Florida ... The Dania store has their test drive car now. So you can call and setup an appointment.

    HINT: if you want to spend time playing, ask for the last appointment of the day.
     
  13. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    #13 kevincwelch, Sep 16, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
    I'll give my experience from this past weekend.

    I drove the silver/grey performance model out of the Oakbrook store. This was an important trip for me as well since it was my second time around and it also served as an opportunity to have my wife join me as well. She will be an occasional driver, and she is small; therefore, it was important to see how she would handle a "large" car.

    Handling
    I don't think I can offer any new information. It handled superbly. The steering wheel is thicker than that of my Honda, and I loved it. The seat was comfortable. The adjustments for the seat were acceptable. The steering wheel levers are still not intuitive, but I had a better ability to predict their location this time around given that it was my second time. I can only suspect it will quickly become a non-issue for me once I drive it regularly. The rear-view was less of an issue for me this time around as I knew what to expect and made more use of the side mirrors.

    I could definitely feel how the low center of gravity allowed me to take turns at a higher speed. The acceleration was awesome, and the difference between the performance and the standard was noticeable in my opinion (I drove the standard edition when in D.C.). Braking was strong as well. I played with the different steering modes and regen modes as well, and I enjoyed most the sport steering and the standard regeneration mode, as it felt more familiar to me given that I drive a manual transmission car.

    Interface
    This was not easy to use while driving. Maybe this is because there were so many turns on the course and my general unfamiliarity with the interface. I suspect it is the latter and I will probably have things set to my liking so I do not have to fiddle with them.

    Loading the back-up camera presented some problems. When I dragged and dropped the back up camera on to a split screen area, the "window" that was to contain the video would be empty and the actual video from the camera appeared to be "free floating" at the top of the screen, partially obscuring the Tesla icons at the top. I suspect this is an early software bug, but it was bad, since we had trouble getting rid of it.

    I did notice substantial glare/washout of the screen when the pano roof was open. It was not enough to make the screen unreadable, but it did increase the difficulty of reading it. This glare was immediately removed after closing the pano roof. Not a horrible experience, but I can see this being a potential issue when the sun reaches the right angle. Simultaneously, I did not notice this to affect the dashboard LCD/whatever behind the steering wheel.

    Style
    The silver metallic paint was really nice; it's back on the table for me. I keep going back and forth between silver and blue. I did not, however, care for the grey leather. This created three cabin colors, and with the lacewood just looked awful IMHO.

    I really love the performance wheels. However, being a Chicago area driver, I just don't think that's going to be a viable option for me. I haven't seen the 19 inch wheels in person, but this will probably suit me better given the snow.

    Riding in the back
    With my wife driving, it was quite comfortable sitting behind her -- lots of leg room. The model I drove in D.C. did not have a sunroof, and my head hit the ceiling when sitting in the back seat. With the pano roof, this was not the case and it was MUCH more comfortable.

    I could not angle the rear AC vents up enough to reach me. The AC was set to about 67 and the front vents do not reach the back seat, and because of this, I got relatively warm in the back seat -- so much that my knee pits were sweaty. When back in the front, I did not feel the AC was that strong. I compare everything to my Honda, given that it blows frigid air with a a very high fan speed when desired. I am concerned that if I were to lower the temp even further and raise the fan speed that this is really going to tax the battery.

    There was a point when my wife whipped around a corner and my seat belt locked (as it should, I suppose), but after that, it never loosened again and I was so compressed against the back seat that I could not wiggle for the life of me. I was compressed against the back seat for about 10 minutes of the drive and frankly, it was not comfortable.

    Summary
    I had another great ride, and more importantly, my wife was sold on the vehicle since she felt it was easy to drive. She did complain that she could not see the very front of the car; however, she has that issue with several cars. Nevertheless, she was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was for her to drive and she walked away supporting my decision to get the car. I don't plan on riding in the back, but I do have some concerns for back seat riders in the summer time and the how much battery will be chewed up by running the AC low and with the blower on the higher side. I suppose this is going to have to make me look harder at battery options. The software issues I am sure are reported or are already straightened out.

    Will have to do another sans-wife drive during the week day so I can get more time.
     
  14. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Kevin, a few comments:

    Regarding the backup camera "bug", it should have just been a tap, I think. Not a drag-and-drop. Did you try that? (Either way, that bug outta be fixed).

    Regarding the seat tightening in the back seat, some of the test drive builds had an issue with the belt slot being too small and catching. Tesla has apparently reworked that design. Not sure if this was the cause of the issue, or if you drove one of the original test drive cars...but just so you know.

    I found the AC to be plenty adequate during the DC test drives when it was pretty hot out. I suspect that had you lowered the temperature and increased the fan setting, it wouldn't have affected battery power consumption as much as you think. (I think the fact that the Heat pump is on at all accounts for the majorty of the power consumption....and the temperature setting has less of an impact. And the fan speed probably does not impact it much--I've heard that in ICEs the fan speed setting has little impact on fuel economy.)
     
  15. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    #15 kevincwelch, Sep 17, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2012
    I did not try to tap the camera icon. The video started flawlessly when I initially went into reverse to get the car out of the garage. All the other icons are drag and drop to either of the split windows; I assumed the camera would be as well. Even with the floating video, when we swapped the two windows (top to bottom, bottom to top), the floating video was still there. Like you said: It should be fixed by now.

    I wondered if it was due to the belt being pinched in that slot cover, but I didn't think to look at the time. One thing I failed to do was look at the VIN. Judging by the wear and general grime on the leather in the back seats, I have to assume it was a Get Amped vehicle.

    The other issue I had in the back seat was the lack of an overhead "oh sh*t!" handle. I either had to plant my hands on the back of the driver's seat or on the middle seat during some of the turns. This is a bigger issue than the cupholders IMO. Additional cupholders would be nice, but the handles I found to be an important functional item (safety item?) that were either overlooked or unfortunately eliminated for whatever reason.

    One last comment about the back seating area: I did not find the pano roof bar to be that big of a deal. I certainly didn't notice it when driving, and when in the back seat, I didn't notice it either until looking specifically at it.

    I am generally less tolerant of warmer temperatures than most people. I prefer to have the cabin around 66-68 degrees during most of the year, so I'll have to specifically look at that the next time I take a test drive or ride in a friend's Model S; he should be taking delivery in that Nov/Dec time frame.
     
  16. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    I fear that the "oh sh*t!" handles got bumped by the side-curtain airbags. I will, however, really miss them.
     
  17. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    It isn't so much me that will miss the grab handles. But my passengers certainly will. I'll make sure of it! :biggrin:
     
  18. chmod a+wrx

    chmod a+wrx Member

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    maybe they should install handles on the backs of the driver's seat and the front passenger seat!!!!!

    space aged!!!
     
  19. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    Agreed. It will be 90% of the time that I am the only one in the car. It just seems like it should be there.

    I don't know if you were being facetious, but I distinctly feel like I have been in vehicles with this. They were probably SUVs; I'd rather have pockets on the backs of the front seats instead.
     
  20. aaron.s

    aaron.s Member

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    All -

    The White Plains, NY Store now has its permanent test drive Model S!
    It's a non performance, blue, tan interior, matte obeche, non-pano roof model.
    This just happens to be the same configuration I'll be getting :)
    (Maybe Pano Roof still though...)

    Took my post amped tour test drive -- this time in sunny, dry weather!
    Again - what a delight to drive! Accelerating (full throttle this time)
    on the on-ramp and onto i287 for a couple of miles, then a decent amount of
    back roads (sometimes bumpy to see how good the air suspension is),
    then back on to i287 back the the mall.

    Take away this time -- its truly quiet inside the cabin - with only tire-on-road
    noise and wind on the highway. Really also got a feel this time for how good
    the air suspension is -- even with the 21" tires. The Mahwah, NJ route didn't
    give me the opportunity to realize these things because of the rain.

    I'm P9094 and March/April 2013 couldn't come soon enough!!!

    Aaron
     

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