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What are the best arguments you've heard NOT to get a Tesla S/X/(3) ?

I'm not sure if this is the right branch here, but I keep wondering why people are still keep buying premium ICE cars. Do people seriously argue about not being able to drive ~400 miles in one tank on $80k~ cars? Do they really need to take their 650i on rock-chippy road trips?

I have a slight suspicion that majority of car shoppers have never seriously driven a Tesla. For me, I probably still wouldn't have gotten one if I didn't have the opportunity to borrow one two years ago. Despite all that news, I still didn't really know about the company, and there is some uncertainty about young car company making semi-reliable cars...Up until I actually drove one.

The driving feel of premium EV's are nothing like what I've experienced before. Despite the minor issues, I still think Model S/X/3 are serious game changer, as much as iPhones.

If the lack of driving experience was indeed a major cause for people not getting Teslas, Tesla can, relatively easily, advocate more experience drives across the world. But there may be other reasons for people not getting Teslas and prefer other luxury car brands.

So what are the other arguments you've heard/thought of not to get a Tesla S/X? Have you ever run into people who recently bought really expensive ICE's? Why didn't they consider a Tesla?

I list a few possible ones here:

- I don't like the design.
- I couldn't wait.
- I don't trust the company.
- I only believe in _____ . (<- Insert a premium car brand here)
- I grew up in oil family.
- Back seats too small.
- Cargo too small. (well... ok)
- Not reliable enough (i.e. vs Lexus)
- Interior not nice enough for the price.
- Can't race around the racetrack.
- I live in a condo/apartment (w/o charging)
- I can't charge at home.
- It dosn't handle like ultimate driving machines. (I do feel, the handling is not as well-experienced as premium ICEs)
- It's too uncomfortable. (even with air, which I can sort of agree at times.)
- I have strong relationship with a dealer/company.
- Not really saving money (so as 18 mpg ICE cars, but ok)
- Battery longevity uncertain
- I didn't want the same car as ____ (<- Insert the nemesis here).

And here are what I believe misconceptions:
- Not fast enough
- Not safe enough (catching fire)
- Too expensive
- Carpool (CA) sticker expired
- Too expensive to repair
- Too expensive to insure
- Breaks too often

For Model S, I believe closest contenders are: Audi A7, S variants, BMW 640/50 gran coupe, Porsche Panamera, MB CLS. Maserati Ghibri, etc...And for Model X, you get the idea... Macan, Cayenne, X6...

I keep seeing A LOT of them (newer premium ICE's) still, and I feel a bit powerless that Tesla/I weren't able to convert everybody into to EV's. Still small percentage of the market. So much more potential here.
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Aug 31, 2013
Davis, CA
Traditional auto dealers do a good job of harassing you as you near the end of your lease and dangle some moderately good deals. I think many people with expensive ICE cars just get sucked into the lease cycle and by the time they learn about Tesla they're already stuck in a new ICE lease.

I mean, literally the most common excuse I hear from my friends with Audi's, etc., is "I can't, I still got 2 more years on my lease!"


Supporting Member
Mar 2, 2013
Alexandria, VA
Not having a garage in which to install a 240V outlet.

You said "premium ICE" but you also started with S/X/3, either way this is a valid showstopper concern.

This is why I've been looking for a new house. In my townhouse community there are more than a few BMWs, Lexus's, and Audis, but AFAIK, nobody has tried to install a charging outlet in our parking lot. One guy who works at a Nissan dealer put an extension cord over the sidewalk for a Leaf he had for a while, occasionally a Volt owner is around, but I never see him/her trying to charge, and on the few occasions when I bring my Tesla (over from where it's garaged at my parents' in Baltimore), I have to make do with Bethesda SC (very-unfun-experience) or a destination charger or Woodbridge (and I'm down there once a week)
As someone who wasn't necessarily dead set on an EV, I researched and drove a lot of different "premium ICE" vehicles. Ultimately I decided that the S excited me the most, but I can definitely see why an alternate universe version of me would be in an A7 right now. I decided the pros far outweighed the cons, but stuff that crossed my mind include:
- High up front costs - primarily, installation of NEMA possibly with panel changes
- Worries about the long term viability of Tesla as a company
- No service center in close proximity if there are problems
- Wife's job may force a move soon. Right now we're in a house we own, but if we end up in a rental or apartment it could be an issue setting up a charging base.
- High insurance premiums because of how difficult repairs are said to be
- Not-so-premium interior fit and finish compared to competitors - 550i with M package blows away the Tesla in terms of materials and details. Seats were also much more comfortable. The A7 also felt nicer overall. It really comes down to whether you value the touch screen interface enough to overlook the other shortcomings

I don't think that's anything that wasn't listed before and as @canyondrive said, I really couldn't justify myself taking the same amount of money and spending it on say a Maserati Ghibli (which if you're asking me, has far too much part sharing with Chryslers). If you distance drive a lot, maybe having an all electric car might be an inconvenience, but that didn't factor into my decision at all. Also some gear heads want to hear the engine/smell the petrol. I kinda felt that way until I actually drove a Model S - at which point I realized I didn't miss it at all.

I do think that the fit/finish issues might be more of a concern if you're operating in the P range though. I might have a hard time buying a $150K car with arguably a $60K car interior. As other manufacturers start to introduce high end hybrids, their arguments are strengthened. I wouldn't do it, but I certainly can't blame someone for buying a Panamera Hybrid over a P90
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Still Trying to Figure This All Out
May 31, 2015
Northern California
Learning to drive an EV, especially long distances, can be daunting for many. You have to engage in a bit of planning if charging will be a part of your trip.

And the home charger thing is critical. People really need to think about that before buying a large capacity EV like the Tesla.

And then there is the whole regen braking thing. Not only does that take some understanding and getting used to (like driving a stick) but I wonder how many people screw up between the accelerator and brake since the car brakes really well by just letting off the acclerator. I think a lot of people brain out and actually think the brakes on so they push the pedal down expecting it to go slower yet.


Jun 14, 2016
I have heard lots of "downsides" from friends and family, and some are valid, but I don't think most people choose other brands due to the Tesla's faults...

Prior to my overnight test drive, I wasn't sold on the Model S -- mostly because I really didn't look into it that much. I have really enjoyed owning my Mercedes CLS550, and I can totally understand why people both stay with the same brand and why so many people continue to pick luxury ICE vehicles. My MB was my first "premium" car, and it has been reliable with almost zero repairs in over 55,000 miles. I usually need service about once per year, I can schedule the visit 2-3 days before, and I just drop the car off and get a loaner to take to work. My buying experience was not unpleasant, the car is really fun to drive, and I have had adaptive cruise control for the past 5 years, which has been a huge improvement in my driving experience. Mercedes also has a proven safety record and the safety tech in my car was top class when I bought the car. Because my experience has been so good, I gravitated towards Mercedes for my next car, and I was absolutely in LOVE with the S-class coupe before deciding on the Model S. In truth, a part of me still lusts after that car. Same thing happened when the new 2017 Panamera was revealed. While I like cars with stunning exteriors, I am a sucker for beautiful interiors. I think the upcoming Panamera and the current S-class coupe are beautiful cars inside and out. And while they may have internal combustion engines, they are well engineered and reek of quality. Fortunately, I believe cars like the S-class and the Panamera will continue to create competitive pressure that will make all premium cars better! :)

So to answer your question, I believe a lot of people choose luxury ICEs, not necessarily due to the downsides of a Tesla but instead due to the fact that these brands are known quantities and the buyers have either had a car from the brand before (and a positive experience), or they know someone who has had a similar good experience. Some of my friends are serial Audi/BMW/Mercedes drivers, and while some of them love the Tesla, they have just been too happy with their prior cars to jump ship.

In the end, while I really like some of the currently available luxury ICEs, I love the Model S, and that is what I chose. It has the performance, the technology, the autopilot, the upgradeability (!!), and to me, the interior and exterior are beautiful, even though there is less leather/bling/metal/seat adjustestments/hot-stone-massage/etc than some other cars, lol.

If you want some other opinions, there is an absolutely brutal thread about the Model S and the S-class over on MBworld. Advance warning - that thread makes the Trump/Clinton presidential contest seem tame by comparison... :D I stopped looking at it long ago.


Jun 14, 2016
As someone still on the fence, I prefer the interior of my current car with its infotainment integration and blind spot warning. The back seats in the S aren't too comfortable.

I do prefer the blind spot warning on my current car too. I am hoping that if Autopilot 2.0 does indeed nclude radar at each corner, Tesla will finally be able to have a decent blind spot warning system.


Knows where his towel is
Apr 23, 2015
I have a reservation for the 3. However, I live out of range of the range of any current Tesla to the nearest supercharger. Even the S 100D (non performance) is out of range. There are S owners around here, but for me if it take me a 2 day drive to get to Calgary instead of 6 or 7 hours, that'd be a deal killer. No superchargers nearer to me than they are now, no road trips.


Active Member
Supporting Member
Aug 16, 2016
Fanboy game strong.

Tesla is overpriced for what it is. (Flame suit on). Stand alone you are paying a premium to have what others do not have.

X has seats that don't fold down? Closest service center to me is 2.5 hrs away?
215 mile range for 100k 60d X?
100amp circuit to charge fast (leaf just needed 50)?
$100,000 EV.... While gas is cheap and hybrids get 50mpg and accelerates as fast as a Ford Explorer?
Unpredictable depreciation + TERRIBLE LEASE programs which high end buyers/leaders prefer for businesses.

I could go on but don't want any death threats.

All that being said I am patiently waiting my X to arrive in 30ish days.

You almost have to fanboy a little to get behind current prices and all the unknowns. The regen braking almost was a deal breaker for my driving style (and you can not turn it off past low?). All in all it's an awesome car and I don't waste much money but this is a splurge value wise in all regards.

Just my 2 cents.
And then there is the whole regen braking thing. Not only does that take some understanding and getting used to (like driving a stick) but I wonder how many people screw up between the accelerator and brake since the car brakes really well by just letting off the acclerator. I think a lot of people brain out and actually think the brakes on so they push the pedal down expecting it to go slower yet.

I think this happened to me today. It was a bit scary and was a close call. I'm only 1 week into Tesla driving, so this is definitely all new to me, and it does feel significantly different. Anyway, I was pulling into a parking spot, and just as I was 3/4 in, it was time to fully break, somehow I pressed accelerator. Thankfully my 20 years of driving experience kicked in and I immediately slammed brakes. Stopped inches from the car facing me. The driver was sitting in that car and looked confused. I'm sure he thought I was an idiot driver. Anyway I need to keep an eye on this "brain out" possibility. I didn't enjoy that.


Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2013
South Surrey, BC
The regen braking almost was a deal breaker for my driving style (and you can not turn it off past low?)

After 6 months with your vehicle, and probably much less, you'll wonder why there is even low regen. Mark my words. One foot driving is made in heaven, especially on the highway, and on windy roads, but really everywhere. I drive to my cabin most weekends and do the entire highway portion without touching the brakes once. What drives me nuts, is that anyone behind me, who doesn't know about Tesla's regen, would think I was riding the brakes given how easily the brake lights activate. Yet, I don't touch them once in hours of driving.

Then when I have to take my Tahoe Hybrid during winter, I'm quickly reminded at how lousy it is having to go from gas to brake at every sharp corner, coming down steep hills, etc. and I'm one to barely ride the brakes in ICE vehicles.
Ha, didn't consider the strong lease loops they do at the dealers. I do think Tesla leases are not very appealing. Paying high entrance plus high monthly fee makes me think of potential low resale value despite the news says = some uncertainty about the company. If the Teslas were truly strong value retainer we sholdn't be paying much monthly lease?

High setup cost is also a good argument. Wish Tesla tried harder for supporting home chargers. I had to pocket out ~4k to add a 240V/50A. Not Tesla's fault, but still major blow which has nothing to do with cars. Still using the 'mobile' charger came with the car. My cost saving argument pretty much gone at that point.

I do also think S class coupes look pretty. Wish Tesla had strong 2dr coupe to appeal to Carreras and X-types.
After all, I started to not care for cars with tailpipes though. At this day and age, having the need to burn something individually inside of transportation devices seems ridiculous. We don't use generators to power our homes. Obviously trying to compensate for the 4K damage here...

Have you gals/guys driven an i3? Now, that's a strong regen. Regen on S hasn't bothered me much. I haven't gotten any complaints from tailgaters for me 'braking' too much - I think. The brake light only seems to go off when I want it to (as far as I can see on the instrument panel) I think I have learned to modulate regen. But for someone who drives occasionally once a month or so, regen needs to be set to Low since she can't get used to it.
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I seriously considered the S7, RS7, CT6, and the Tesla. I am an "Audi" guy, and our thinking was like this:

Audi was better fit and finish, better audio, and slightly lower cost. The audio was actually a big factor for me. I was pretty set on the Audi. But then I test drove the Tesla, with my wife.

After a weekend of reflection, the tech, autoPilot (I commute a lot), upgradeability, acceleration, wife pleasability, and simplicity of an EV won the day. I had REUS put in the audio system I wanted, and I can't imagine having chosen any other path now.

Once you go electric, it's hard to go back.

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