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UK Test Drive - impressions, thoughts on options and advice needed - I want one!

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Bobbydazzler, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. Bobbydazzler

    Bobbydazzler Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    So I'll start with an admission. I am, a little bit (ok a lot) obsessed with Tesla since seeing a model S in the flesh in August last year. Until then, I had no idea of the company, nor the game-changing car they'd built - but I was impressed.

    The other weekend (on valentines day!) I treated my wife and I (such a romantic I know) to a test drive in one... well two to be fair, a P85 and a S85 (no P85D's in the UK yet!). Here's my thoughts on the experience... and I'd welcome anyone's feedback - agreement or otherwise on the points and some advice on my Q's at the end... I'm SO keen to get one. As my friend in the car business put it, "rationally, you can't justify spending that amount of money on a car you'd barely drive.... but this isn't a car you'll buy with your head!" - he's not wrong...

    Ok, so:

    - Exterior Looks. It's a great looking car from the outside. I love it all, bar the bulbous oval 'grille' on the front, which could be sharper/more aggressive. The Saleen kit is nice and I imagine some P85D folk would want something more aggressive. A wolf-in-sheeps clothing.
    - Wheels. Those 21's are very very nice. Even the wife wanted them over the 19's - but £3,700 - ouch. Range impact of 3% worth it? One to think about when considering options...
    - Pano roof - looks great, especially on the white model.
    - Interior quality overall. It's ok, but lets face it, it's not Audi standard. (I'm not a BMW/Merc interior fan) - there's still work to do on some of the finish/materials.
    - Interior room. I'm 6'2 with 2 kids and this would become THE family car - so thankfully it's spacious enough for me to put the seat all the way back and still get the kids in behind me with enough legroom. It's a low coupe roof, but that's ok. Rear-vis reduced due to new seats, but the camera/sensors are good enough to see.
    - Seats. I'm not crazy about the leather. The demo I saw having done 12k had creases/saggy leather in the bases of the seats, so didn't appear great quality - you seen this? I actually really liked the black fabric as it's actually half-leather in reality and 'grip' is better. The 'grey' seats didn't look like on the website, as the main seat 'plastic' is black, not dark grey - so don't look like the futuristic two-tone I expected.
    - Headliner. I was told to upgrade, but I saw no point. I never look at it and standard is fine. Odd that the 'centre bar' in the roof is a different colour. I wish they did a standard black/grey headliner, not just cream (to match white/black exterior and black/grey seats).
    - Audio. The standard radio is... lets face it... crap. If you never turn music up beyond conversation level you might not care, but it struggles with any clarity/power above that and was really disappointing - standard radios in other cars are much better. The P85 had the Bose system in which is much better... but a £2000 upgrade!?! It's not that good and arguably not much better that some mid-range standard systems.
    - The touchscreen. Beautiful resolution and intuitive GUI. Buttery-iphone-like-responsiveness... not in the P85 - has there been any HW upgrades in the newer models to improve responsiveness? It's not a deal-breaker, but a shame the CPU/GPU (nvidia from memory) isn't quite up to it.

    - The drive. Easy. Effortless. Smooth. Love it. There's really nothing else like it... this is the future. Re-gen feels natural although after all the 'driving with one-foot' comments I expected it to be able to come to a complete standstill using re-gen only.
    - Performance. The P85 over the S85. I'd love to know what the respective 30-70mph times are (and more importantly, between the P85D and the 85D), 'cause it doesn't feel too much different... is it? This is probably the stat that matters to me. The P85 suffered quite a lot of wheel-spin from standstill (21's) so didn't give feeling it was shifting as the 4.2s would imply. Also, my missus booted it at 30mph to find it fish-tailing down the road for 200 years - quite concerning really - I've tried to convince her this was an anomaly (and that the AWD 85D will be better!) I'm looking at the 85D as a consequence... and because we've never had a BMW as they just don't move in the snow in the UK winter! So any performance data on the 85D vs. the P85D welcomed (other than 0-60)
    - Suspension. P85 had air+21's - the S85 had 19's and coils - honestly, driving both for 30 minutes each as both driver and passenger I couldn't tell the difference. Perhaps the extra rubber on the 19's counter-act the gains from the air... but for me and my wife, no noticeable difference.
    - Noise. Beautifully quiet until 60, then I'm convinced in both that at 70/80 there's more road/wind noise than my other vehicles... do you find that? I notice people on here talking about improvements on recent models... any data on this?

    So overall, I certainly wasn't put off. Quite the opposite... but it did help me evaluate/consider the optional extras. At the moment my head is saying in order to hope to get one I need to keep the costs down to a minimum, so:

    - 85D (AWD needed - better range and comfort that we can use in Winter)
    - Tech pack (obviously!)
    - White or Black (prob white) (red is nice, but pricey)
    - 19's (to keep the cost down)
    - Radio. ARRRRGH... struggling here, but I hate the standard.
    - Pano Roof. Would I really miss it? Probably not. Maybe the kids would.
    - Seats. Black leather (leasing residuals mean leather is free)
    - Winter pack. I love my heated steering wheel in current vehicle so wouldn't want to go back (bad circulation).... unless pre-heating the car in winter for 5 minutes is THAT effective the steering wheel is warm too? (and only £600)
    - Dual chargers? Need some advice here as heard different views. I'll do 90% of charging at home I suspect, so are they needed? Seems the chademo adapter is the way to go for faster (non-supercharger) public charging?

    So that's it... a pretty basic 85D with Tech/Winter/Sound(?)/Dual Chargers(?)

    Which leaves me with financing options. Have people evaluated tesla's own (alphera backed?) option vs. independents? Have a couple of quotes from Lease Plan Go - have you found much variation in quotes? Any advice here welcomed.

    Right... think that's it for now - please feel free to abuse the above and any and all advice welcomed :D

  2. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX;S90D;XP100D;3LR

    Nov 13, 2009
    #2 stevezzzz, Feb 24, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
    Buy it!

    - You'll drive it more than you can know from this side of the purchase decision.
    - The pano roof gives a couple more inches of headroom and makes the interior feel more spacious, even if you never open it. Besides, it's the only way to put a roof rack on the car and it's good for resale value.
    - Tech all the way!
    - The 19's look fine and they'll save you more money down the road than just the upfront savings: cheaper tires, purchased less frequently, and much less chance of destroying tires or rims due to potholes.
    - The audio upgrade package brings an inferior sound system up to a modestly above-average sound system; it's particularly acceptable if you don't care to really push the volume too high.
    - Get the Alcantara headliner in black, if you can swing the extra cost. It's really much the nicest option, in my opinion.
    - Get the winter package. Love my heated steering wheel, and the rear heated seats are nice for your kids, too.

    Have fun!
  3. Scotty

    Scotty Member

    Dec 4, 2014
    Lodi, CA
    Everyone who's ordered a Tesla has asked themselves many of the same questions. Sure, some don't have to be as concerned about the budgeting aspect.

    I was not impressed with the ride of the 21's, and they don't last nearly as long as the 19's. They are also expensive, and are a high cost consumable. If I had the option to order the upgraded 19" rims (Cyclones, I think) I would have. Surprising enough, the 19" Cyclone upgrades are NOT available through the Tesla Store. If I needed to regularly drive in winter conditions, I'd buy a second set of rims and put snow tires on them, and swap out weatherwise).

    I went with the 2nd charger. up to 80 Amps is nice, and it sort of provides redundancy.. with your UK 240V mains, I wouldn't even think twice.

    As far as resale, or residual, I would recommend the plano roof. I seldom use mine, but am very pleased that I decided to get it.

    Also went with the sound system upgrade, as I spend a bit of time in my MS. I consider it money well spent.

    Leather and obeche wood, but skipped the alcantera.

    I took delivery of mine the last of September 2014, which was little over a week before the dual motor press release, and mine came with the autopilot hardware. I initially thought I would have ordered the 85D, but since I use the frunk alot, I don't regret it at all.

    In less than 5 months, I have almost 15,000 miles on mine. You WILL use it more than you think!

  4. aarontayto

    aarontayto Member

    Feb 2, 2015
    United Kingdom
    Hi Rob,

    I originally planned a basic P85 or 85D with a few upgrades, I ended up ordering a p85d with pretty much every upgrade, and in red!

    Are you doing it via a ltd company or personal for the finance?
  5. Bobbydazzler

    Bobbydazzler Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Nice! :)

    It's personal finance for me, so trying to get monthly payments <£1k with approx £5k deposit with 15k miles/year as a benchmark. I'm sure I saw a thread someone on here comparing UK leasing companies.... ?

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