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What models/years would you avoid?

Discussion in 'Roadster: Technical' started by X.l.r.8, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. X.l.r.8

    X.l.r.8 Supporting Member

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    With the vast amount of information on the models, what model is the one for a person transitioning from ICE to an EV. I am just researching the roadsters after a lifetime of Porsches and always wanting a lotus I feel this would be a great time to dip my toe in the water. I feel a 2.x is a must, expect a few battery issues. But there are some cars with 8k on them and others with 40k and I’m not sure what would be a wiser buy. I’m only just starting my research and feel my budget of $50k is justifiable.
    I got my 2010 cayenne S 3 years ago and took some time getting to know the models and what to get for to ensure the best model/price ratio. I’d like to do the same with a roadster.
     
  2. Roadster

    Roadster JdeMO Powered

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    Welcome to TMC @X.l.r.8. If you perform a simple site search, there should be plenty of good threads that focus on the +/- of each version (1.5, 2.0, 2.5 / Base vs. Sport, etc.) and include the biases and commentaries of the respective owners to help you draw your own conclusions. Here's a recent one:

    Buying a Roadster

    Your choices are somewhat limited with a $50K budget but there are certainly examples out there to be had in that price range. And, yeah, the ODO reading is rarely an indicator of the battery's or, more importantly, inverter's health. Definitely do your research and always request service center records before diving in.

    There are a few of us Porsche converts here (paging @ecarfan). My experience was with the early LWB 911 MFI era and, while I miss heel/toe and the crazy steering dynamics at high RPMs around turns, I don't miss smelling like I took a gasoline bath and the headaches... literally and figuratively... that accompanied it with every drive. You may also think you'll miss that third pedal but once you experience how intuitive regenerative braking and true 1-pedal driving is, you'll be hooked.
     
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  3. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    #3 MLAUTO, Feb 19, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
    Tesla took a couple of steps backward with the 2.0 model and created some problems by using their own design of some components - TPMS, PEM cooling and durability. Those problems far outweigh the minor improvements made to the interior. The Sport model is only faster with a fully charged battery, and that only lasts for a few miles anyway. All the improvements made to the 2.X models can be retrofitted to the 1.5 if you desire. The 1.5 model is cheaper as of right now, and is the best deal. If I was looking to buy right now I would purchase the orange 1.5 on Ebay. Its been for sale for awhile, and well within your budget. My daily driver is a 2.5 Sport, and my Autocross toy is a 2.0 Sport, so that is an honest opinion.
    2008 Tesla Roadster Base Convertible 2-Door | eBay
     
    • Like x 2
  4. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    I too am slightly partial to the 1.5 (first generation Roadster). I had the opportunity to race a Sport Model 4 times in the 1/4 mile and I won two and he won two. I had the disadvantages of a passenger and an open top. Regardless of who won, neither was even a car length ahead or behind. So personally I would not pay much of a premium for the Sport model. One likely big factor in price is the 3.0 battery. The 3.0 battery carries a $29k price tag but gives 50% more miles/charge, a little more power, and extends the battery and PEM warranty up to 3 years.

    The first-generation Roadster has some nice features as they decontented later models such as:
    · Carbon fiber center console and trunk well.
    · Military grade quick connections on PEM
    · Adjustable lumbar in seats that are also slightly thinner for about 1” more headroom
    · VDS display by door (charging settings) is easily reached without having to climb in the car
    · Full performance power is the default driving mode
    · Storage shelf that is much larger than 2.x glove box
    · Reliable TPMS
     
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  5. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    While it's true there were a couple steps backward, everyone has a different opinion on whether the 2.x improvements were worth it. For me they were not just minor improvements. Tire learning on the 2.x allows you to run any tires that fit. I like using the kW meter. I like having a quiet car and listening to music. I like the adjustable sport suspension. I like having double din dash. I like having a stronger HVAC system. I like the glove box, however small. Sure you can retrofit a couple of these things into a 1.5 but it's a lot of work and more expensive than the price difference between the three versions. So IMHO it really depends on personal preference and what's important to you. I'm not saying a 2.5 is better for everyone. I'm saying you have to determine what's important to you before you decide.
     
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  6. DeedWest

    DeedWest 2010 Roadster 2.0 - VIN 523

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    I'll have to agree with @hcsharp - I personally love the 2.5 the most. As someone who's daily driven only Roadsters for the past 3 years, the 2.5 is the quietest, most refined, and most comfortable seats in my opinion. In fact, I love the 2.5 so much that I'm even debating selling my 2.0 just to get back to one (AND I searched for years to find an Electric Blue...I need psychiatric help).

    The 2.5 is the best way to get all of the refinements in a completed package without having to source parts and retrofit the upgrades yourself. However, it's highly unlikely that you'll be able to find a 2.5 for less than $60,000 unless it has accident history on its CarFax or 50,000+ miles.

    It's important to note that it's becoming nearly impossible to acquire the parts necessary for certain upgrades to the older Roadsters. Installation of Double-DIN requires a slew of parts that are diminishing as well as manual labor to the dashboard itself to accommodate the 2DIN setup. As for the sound reduction, that isn't too difficult, but one of the most incremental upgrades was the felt wheel arch liners vs. the plastic on pre-2.5 cars. I believe that dampens a large amount of the road noise, and when coupled with quieter tires such as the Continental Extreme DWS, it can make the Roadster a fantastic daily driver.

    I have owned two 2.5's and currently own a 2.0. I too enjoy the kW meter and the interior refinements. The air conditioning is better, the tire learning function is fantastic, and the glove box is a nice touch.

    Similarly, I still enjoy driving my friend's 1.5 for its "barebones" approach. It feels more like a prototype and the gear selector lever is MUCH easier to use than pressing buttons, in my opinion (even if it is Fisher Price quality).

    I would recommend trying to test drive a 1.5 and then a 2.0/2.5 to really analyze your preferences and make a choice from there. No matter what, when you end up in a Roadster, you'll be endlessly happy with it.
     
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  7. Msjulie

    Msjulie Active Member

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    I'm not alone but for sure in the minority - it's mostly dry in Ca where I am so it probably plays a role in my car's tire performance. I am not running the limited set of 1.5 tires and have no re-gen or traction issues. I did choose good tires w/good traction characteristics. Just one anecdotal bit of info.
     
  8. X.l.r.8

    X.l.r.8 Supporting Member

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    Many thanks for your varied and honest remarks. The orange one is in great condition but to be honest I’m not convinced I want that kind of attention. I’m less worried about models than trying to decide on comfort and the big question of battery life. I see many reasons for either model but as a daily driver I don’t see much of a disadvantage of going for a 1.5. I will be keeping my race car so it’s unlikely I will ever see track time with this car.
     
  9. gregd

    gregd Active Member

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    Another +1 vote for hcsharp's write-up. I have a "2.25" model - a 2.0 that's had a number of the 2.5 cosmetic changes done to it. Unfortunately, the double-DIN in-dash unit wasn't one of them, and I do wish for a larger screen there. I also like the center-positioned VDS of the 2.x, over the left-hand of the 1.5. Same for having a real (closing) glove box, though I think I'd rather have the 1.5's stick shifter over the 2.x buttons..

    As you note, battery condition is a significant factor in the choice of car. It's also one of the primary drivers of price, along with body and interior condition, so a trade-off for your budget. Mileage isn't always indicative of condition. See if you can get a copy of the car's logs (instructions available elsewhere on the forum - look for vmsparser.exe and TeslaGLOP.exe), so you can check for a past history of error events. In hind sight, my car had a history of some errors that took some sorting out by the service folks. Very successfully, I should add, but it would have been nice to have known about them going into it. I also got lucky and ended up with a car that had the upgraded headlights and the PEM Fan upgrade, neither of which are usually discussed in ad copy.

    If the car doesn't feel right to you, wait. I looked for about a year before finding mine, then it was in my garage less than 2 weeks later.
     
    • Like x 1
  10. ion_1

    ion_1 Member

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    You'll find that the models (1.5, 2.0,2.5) are not necessarily hard stops on options. For example early 2.0s have the carbon fiber trunk well. etc.

    It's all about personal taste. Personally, I like the 2.0 for the glovebox, the adjustable lumbar support (squeeze pump), push button gear select, a distinct 12V battery (although some dislike it), and especially the center position of the VDS. For me the center vs the side position of the VDS and the kW gauge was the main reason I chose a 2.0 vs a 1.5.

    I absolutely love the 2.5 double din, but not a big fan of the front fascia. A 2.0 with a double din upgrade would be the ideal car (electric blue like @DeedWest is quite sweet). All very personal taste as others have stated, this is just another viewpoint. (tpms hasn't been too much of an issue for me besides the batteries going as expected). I wanted a brighter color so I would be more likely to be seen for safety, as such , happy I was able to find a radiant red available in Pa.

    Just read this forum. There is so much info. Before buying, be aware of the upgrades that are rarely discussed in an sale Ad and what to look for: single motor/dual fan cooling upgrade, cooling fan shroud for the 2 condenser heat exchanger fans under the hood, etc. These aren't necessary, but nice if you can find a car with them.

    I would always go for a car with at least a few tens of k on the odometer. There were numerous issues which were sorted out earlier on when the cars were under warranty. More likely these were addressed if the car had more miles.
    Look for a recently replaced PEM (good) and of course the condition of the batt.

    There are so few available, that if you find a good solid car with a known history ,regardless of the model, seriously consider purchasing it.
     
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  11. MLAUTO

    MLAUTO Member

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    One thing you do want to think about in regards to color is visibility. In a car that is as small the roadster, you need all the help you can get. After almost getting run over dozens of times from people changing lanes without seeing me, I repainted from Thunder Grey to the brightest red I could find. Its definitely much safer now. But he cops do seem to notice it more as well.

    As for all the comments about the changes in the 2.X models, yes, most are a useful improvement, although 99% of the time you are driving you won't notice them. But at a cost of around $15K+??? And no comments about if and when the PEM fails-thats another $10K. There are numerous posts about that happening in the 2.X, but I don't recall any about the 1.5.

    Any car that has had the battery replaced with a rebuilt unit under warranty(or otherwise) is a plus, as the replacement packs have the individual brick voltage sensor leads welded instead of riveted, which has been a problem area as well. Very costly out of warranty. You do get what you pay for, but the 1.5 is a better deal right now.
     
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  12. Holger

    Holger Member

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    consider the special model variations also. i drive a 2.0 "signature 250" with special features that other models do not have in a limited edition of 250 cars only. i assume - and many others too - that the value of this model will be rated higher once than the "normal" cars.
     
  13. rudholm

    rudholm Member

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    My 2.0 non-sport has the carbon fiber trunk, the pneumatic lumbar supports, and the sport motor (but presumably not the sport PEM firmware or adjustable suspension). I prefer the pre-2.5 front bumper and rear diffuser. The only thing I wish I had from the 2.5 is the double-DIN console. Although, there is a minor downside to the double-DIN consoles --you lose the ability to aim the two center AC registers. On hot days, I definitely like being able to aim both of those directly at me. A nice new double-DIN head unit with Android Auto would be nice, but it's also not a big sacrifice to have to place my Pixel XL in the clamp on top of the dashboard.

    One notable improvement in the 2.x cars is the cooling system. If you have a 1.5 car, you'll want to add the fan shrouds for the heat exchanger under the front hood. I understand that that helps a lot.
     
  14. Gremlin

    Gremlin Member

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    Thanks. I too have been looking at getting a 2.5. Really appreciate the feedback. Kurt has offerred to go with me to look one over.


    The 2.5 is the best way to get all of the refinements in a completed package without having to source parts and retrofit the upgrades yourself. However, it's highly unlikely that you'll be able to find a 2.5 for less than $60,000 unless it has accident history on its CarFax or 50,000+ miles.

    It's important to note that it's becoming nearly impossible to acquire the parts necessary for certain upgrades to the older Roadsters. Installation of Double-DIN requires a slew of parts that are diminishing as well as manual labor to the dashboard itself to accommodate the 2DIN setup. As for the sound reduction, that isn't too difficult, but one of the most incremental upgrades was the felt wheel arch liners vs. the plastic on pre-2.5 cars. I believe that dampens a large amount of the road noise, and when coupled with quieter tires such as the Continental Extreme DWS, it can make the Roadster a fantastic daily driver.

    I have owned two 2.5's and currently own a 2.0. I too enjoy the kW meter and the interior refinements. The air conditioning is better, the tire learning function is fantastic, and the glove box is a nice touch.

    Similarly, I still enjoy driving my friend's 1.5 for its "barebones" approach. It feels more like a prototype and the gear selector lever is MUCH easier to use than pressing buttons, in my opinion (even if it is Fisher Price quality).

    I would recommend trying to test drive a 1.5 and then a 2.0/2.5 to really analyze your preferences and make a choice from there. No matter what, when you end up in a Roadster, you'll be endlessly happy with it.[/QUOTE]
    o.
     
    • Like x 1
  15. X.l.r.8

    X.l.r.8 Supporting Member

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    Thought I would revist this post, while my journey has finished I'm sure there are some things slightly overlooked. First off, bringing a car across the boarder is relatively hasstle free, providing the car is eligable, RIV canada ONLY allows 2.0 and newer roadsters, or more specifically US roadsters from vin 501-1420
    TESLA MOTORS
    So thats the 1.5 models out.

    Next is the disparity between Tesla Canada, specifically Ontario and the Tesla that everyone else seems to have.
    After many calls to Tesla Canada Service center and Parts department in Mississauga, despite having the parts list (thanks for digging up the information Deedwest) they said it couldnt be done. So instantly Ontario Tesla is going to be of no practicle use what-so-ever. So unless I could have the previous owner buy the parts before transporting I could expect little to no help once I got the car here.

    No one mentoned the hard top. I fully intend on year round driving because in the city the roads are cleared regularly. I really need a hard top, the transparent one would have been ideal, but mostly the 1.5s have hardtops and the 2.0 didn't. I know they are available but I dont want the dread of posting something that 2 countrys postal workers would do their best to destroy on route.

    So coupled along with all the great advice I had, unfortunatly the cheaper, more reliable option of the 1.5 was out after finding a couple of gems out there. The idea of having a bright car has come to grow on me so much so that it became Yellow or Orange only.

    I'm very jealous of the wide variety of cars available to the US market, maybe thats whats keeping the prices surpressed right now, I'm gratefull I have twice the amount of cars the rest of the world has to choose from and I can only assume the support from Tesla will continue to diminish as time goes on.
     
  16. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    The hard top that fits on the 1.5s also fit on the 2.x. The body did not change so any hard top will work.

    Also if you register the car in Miami then a 1.5 is fine. But I think you are correct that you can’t register a 1.5 in Canada.
     
  17. Sig72

    Sig72 Member

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    @Holger What sort of differences do the Euro Sig 250 cars have? I have a US-spec Sig 100 and aside from badging, I don't think it has any differences from other 1.5 Roadsters. (aside from its history, which I hope will make it more valuable than a normal 1.5 Roadster)

    @X.l.r.8 I'm sorry that Canada won't let you important a 1.5. The 1.5's were overspecc'ed and for the most part used ridiculously high quality parts. Finding a 2.0+ in the $50k range will be difficult. Almost all of the sub $60k Roadsters I see for sale are 1.5s. Good luck!
     
  18. X.l.r.8

    X.l.r.8 Supporting Member

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    I found a car that met all my expectations, hard top and Canadian registered included. I'll be driving it home from Washington state fairly soon. I only checked back in as along the way my hopes had been squashed by politics and poor after service so i thankfully have a car from someone I trust and will be getting in the drives seat pretty soon.
     
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  19. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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