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Wired "review" of P85D, and I'm tired of reviews focusing on the 0 to 60 time

Discussion in 'News' started by ecarfan, Aug 29, 2015.

  1. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    #1 ecarfan, Aug 29, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
    Wired "review" of P85D, and I'm tired of reviews focusing on the 0 to 60 time

    This Wired "review" prompted me to start this thread http://www.wired.com/2015/08/tesla-model-s-p90d-review/

    I put the word review" in quotes because articles like this (and there have been many like it in the past three years) contain far too much text marveling over the instant torque and 0 to 60 time and far too little text about the fundamental reasons why the Model S is a game-changing but at the same time practical car.
    The over emphasis on the neck snapping acceleration of the highest performance and consequently staggeringly expensive versions of the Model S merely serves to reinforce the common mindset of the typical car buyer that Tesla's are toys for rich people. Even a once-useful publication like Consumer Reports is guilty of this superficial approach.
    It would be much more useful, and helpful to the EV cause, for reviews to focus on the base Model S and explain the numerous advantages of the Tesla drivetrain and battery as well as the convenience of home charging. Reviewers need to live with a Model S for awhile to fully understand all that. Of course typically reviewers are only loaned a car for a matter of hours, though CR buys their review cars and has no excuse for not understanding its key features and explaining them to its readers and viewers.
    It rarely seems to occur to reviewers to talk to long time owners and include in the article their experiences with the car.
    Of course that would require more effort and time on the part of the writer, the article title would not garner as much attention, and therefore would attract fewer clicks.
     
  2. Pete90D

    Pete90D Fan of Red Lights

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    I got sucked into replying to some of the comments on there and it was a huge waste of time. A lot of people seem to get really hung up on your typical luxury car attributes and they never look beyond them, reviewers included. Interior being one of the most common. They see no center console and odd cup holders and seem to only be able to find the 0-60 time as a benefit to offset it.

    I think there is always going to be the issue with the Model S being viewed as "toys for rich people". It is an expensive car compared to a lot of cars and it only looks more expensive to anyone living in an expensive city. I'm excited for the Model 3 to come out. I think it will help with that some more, but the Model S will probably still view viewed as a rich kid toy to a lot of people.

    I thought the Hellcat vs P85D review was decent. He at least went into more about the car than just the 0-60 time.
     
  3. hobbes

    hobbes Active Member

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    Did they confuse the warning vibration in the steering wheel or did they in fact get a new software version - or did I miss something?!

    Hm, they continue with

    so they must have tested it which implies it was definitely there.
     
  4. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    This review actually angered me a bit. It was incredibly shallow, talking about the same points as every other review while offering nothing unique of its own. A complete waste of the 30 seconds it took to read it. I don't read Wired, so maybe all their reviews are like this. I don't know.

    So many reviews (and I'm counting the recent episode of Consumer Reports' car show in this) seem like they are trying to artificially balance themselves in an effort to seem "fair". When they review a product like Model S with few real drawbacks, it's like the producer is poking them off camera, screaming "Say something negative! Nothing is that good! People will think we're bought and paid for if we don't say something bad about it! I don't care! Make something up!"

    The result is you get people complaining about the lack of cup holders (seriously, the vehicle is phenomenal in so many ways, but a lack of cup holders is the last straw?!) or dismissing the convenience of charging at home (CR, I'm looking at you!)
     
  5. Spidy

    Spidy Member

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    Americans seem to feel very strongly about that one. As someone from Germany I always found it hilarious how many people complained about the lack of those in German cars. I still pretty much never use them, always just get a bottle. But I guess all the fast food and drive through lifestyle in the US makes those pretty valuable to most people.
     
  6. mdevp

    mdevp Member

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    All of my european friends seem to always bring up Americans and fast food. Pretty much in any type of lively conversation lol
     
  7. jerry33

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

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    Nothing to do with fast food, but if folks in Germany took 1600 to 5000 km each way driving trips (often with kids) the way people do here, cup holders would be a higher priority.
     
  8. David29

    David29 Member

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    I agree with the OP that the reviews of Model S do seem to be overly focused on performance, and in particular on the highest performance versions -- P85+ in its day, P85D, and now the Ludicrous version. As someone with much less interest in high performance than some owners, I agree that I wish the reviews would focus more on what I think of as the essentials.
    But my sense is that car magazines and their websites have always been keen on the extreme examples of cars. I have read them off and on for many years and often saw articles about the most powerful model in a line, or about limited-edition versions produced by after-market customizers. I think auto enthusiasts do like to read about the extreme examples -- they are exciting, after all. And every car the magazine tests are measured for performance aspects such as 0-60 times, lateral acceleration, etc. (To be sure, the mags usually also looked at creature comforts and fuel economy as well -- I do not mean to suggest they ignore those aspects.)
    And I agree that I had mixed feelings about CR's praise of the P85D. Looking at the list of their top-rated cars, it does seem to imply that their numerical scoring system may be biased towards performance aspects of cars. Then again, having read their reviews for more years than I care to admit, I think they do cover all the important aspects of a car in their written reviews, regardless of the numerical score.
    And to be fair, Tesla itself seems to promote the performance angle, too, don't you think? Look at how they introduced the P models -- with a demo of the acceleration in "Insane" mode. That stuff gets attention and sells cars. And I suppose it helps Tesla to look like a serious, capable company. Even
    But I do agree that I'd like to see less emphasis on performance at the extremes and more on the non-performance models. That is one reason why I was glad to see that Bjorn Nyland is doing a test of the 70D this weekend. He has shown an ability to be enthusiastic about performance but also objective about range and other aspects such as the creature comforts and build quality, so I am looking forward to his review.
     
  9. MsElectric

    MsElectric Active Member

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    I saw your comment :)

    As much as I love the Model S, don't underestimate the importance of interior amnesties for a car in this price range... The other day one of our cars was in for service and we received a C-Class loaner and I could not help realize some of the interior niceties. IMHO a center console or some way to conceal the devices you plug into the exposed USB ports is essential. I can't stand to see exposed cavities so some sort of center console or at least some type of cover to hide whatever you plug into the USB ports there for me is essential. Also as has been discussed many times you should be able to use the arm rest and the cup holders at the same time.

    I do agree that they should have spent some time on the Tesla EV drivetrain, the smoothness of which is superior to any clunky internal combustion engine and gear box combination.

    Here's hoping to the Model S interior being upgraded after the Model X ships... They are going to need a better interior in a couple of years when Audi and others also have 300 mile range EVs.
     
  10. Hewey

    Hewey Member

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    I checked out this "review" and then let it run into the next "article" which went on to discuss the "Hippo Butt Leach"? Kind of hard to take any of it seriously..:smile:
     
  11. Pete90D

    Pete90D Fan of Red Lights

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    I totally understand that the bells and whistles in interiors can be important. I don't have a family so I rarely ever have anyone needing cup holders in the back, and I drive alone a lot so I can use the armrest and put a bottle in the cup holder with no problem. I've found my car is actually less cluttered with unnecessary things or at least more organized having a minimal interior.

    I think the one thing I do wish it had was adjustable headrests. A couple years ago I was sitting waiting to turn and someone slammed into my at like 35mph and the Mercedes headrests extend in accidents to prevent whiplash.

    I have an E350 sitting in my driveway and other than headrests, which I didn't use very much, there isn't anything that I miss from the interior.
     
  12. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    #12 ecarfan, Aug 30, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
    I agree that car magazines often focus on "extreme examples" of ICE cars and that is because there is nothing else new to talk about, and that want to get attention.
    But the fundamental aspects of the Model S are completely new and that is what should be emphasized, even 3 years after the car was launched, because the average person has almost no idea what those aspects are. It's okay to point out the acceleration of the performance features of the S, but not okay to spend the majority of the "review" on 0 to 60 times.
    The majority of the people I talk to about the S do not understand these crucial points:
    -- With home charging, every day I can have a full "tank" and I spend less than 30 seconds of my time to make that happen.
    -- Tesla is building a network of high speed chargers in the countries it sells in that make long distance travel easy and is continuing to expand that network, and no other EV manufacturer has such a network.
    -- The S has more people and cargo capacity than any car in its size class because of the fundamental spatial design of the vehicle.
    -- The EPA rated energy efficiency of the S is 3 to 5 times greater than any car in its class and about twice that of a Prius, and EVs get cleaner as the grid gets cleaner while ICEs will always burn oil.
    -- The S has a single fixed gear so acceleration is silky smooth, and full torque is available for the start (the point about torque is often mentioned in reviews, but usually only when discussing the 0 to 60
    -- "One pedal" EV driving is much easier and more logical than ICE cars and makes for a simpler and less stressful driving experience (thanks to @jerry33 for reminding me to add that to this list)
    -- The S is connected to the Internet and the software (I don't use the term firmware because it confuses people) is regularly updated by Tesla at no charge so the car improves over time. The car does not have to be taken to a Tesla Service Center for this to happen.
    -- Lithium ion battery technology continues to improve and in just a couple of years Tesla has offered as standard a higher capacity battery in the base model and a higher capacity optional battery, so that maximum range now approaches 300 miles at a steady 65mph.

    I could go on, as TMC members are well aware, but in my opinion those are some of the most important features of the car that the car-buying public needs to understand and that should be included in every "review", whether in a non-automotive publication like Wired or in a CR review. Yet many of those features are often omitted or glossed over in favor of endless 0 to 60 comparisons.
     
  13. Stoneymonster

    Stoneymonster Active Member

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    The bit about ping-ponging is really worrisome. Then again why would Tesla let a magazine review a prerelease version of autopilot. Something not right here.
     
  14. jerry33

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

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    And the main one is that the driving experience is just better. However, 0-60 is something that everyone understands, so it's a simple message that sticks. It's harder to explain the almost one pedal driving, even though that's really a far better example of why the Tesla is better.
     
  15. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Jerry. I completely forgot about including "one pedal" driving! That is a major benefit. I will edit my post and add it in.
    So many positives about driving and owning a Model S that I can't always remember them all.
     
  16. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    But with a Tesla you will be stopping every three hours to charge for 30 minutes or more so you are less likely to be eating and drinking in the car on long road trips.

    From a Canadian perspective the cup holders are important to hold your Tim Hortons coffee as you are driving to work in the morning!
     
  17. Ugliest1

    Ugliest1 S85: "Sparky"

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    This all becomes the new normal, and I now have to actually think about it to realize how fabulously well it all fits together. (Aside: I continue to NOT BELIEVE that Tesla could actually do this. I mean, I believe it because it's there, physically, but it's quite unbelievable what they've done.) Don't search on TMC for complaints about what happens during ICE rentals, it'll break Google. :)

    Slightly OT, but, your honor, it puts magazine reviews in their place: Reading an article, people just can't *FEEL* what a fabulous difference it is. So this is a plug for everyone to find and get involved with (or lead and invent!) your city's Drive Electric Week campaign coming up in two weeks (Sep 12-20). Volunteer to help get butts in seats!! That'll help create the emotional connection that will pull people to actually making the switch to an EV, or at least motivate them to understand concepts like total cost of ownership calculations instead of just looking at the sticker price difference. Any of you TMC members in Victoria BC who haven't volunteered yet: sign up at either National Drive Electric Week Event - Victoria or https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/driveelectricvictoria2015-tickets-16826291892. Note this is for owners of any EV, not just Model S (or Roadster).
     
  18. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Actually for Germans driving at Autobahn speeds they are going to be stopping for 45 minutes every 90 minutes. A Tesla is not the right car to drive on at Autobahn speeds for more than half an hour or so.
     
  19. jerry33

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

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    During our recent 5300 mile road trip most stops were 15 minutes or less (other than the overnight ones). Where do people get the 30 minutes from?
     
  20. Stoneymonster

    Stoneymonster Active Member

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    I don't know either. Recent trip to LA from San Jose had one 15 and one 10 minute stop. I think people think they need to fully (80%) charge at every stop.
     

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