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Yet Another New Owner Report!

Discussion in 'Model S' started by gtimbers, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. gtimbers

    gtimbers Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2013
    Messages:
    125
    Location:
    Van Nuys, Ca.
    #1 gtimbers, Mar 18, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
    This is MR T. It, (he, she ???) now resides with me in Van Nuys, a suburb of Los Angeles, Ca.

    MR T.jpg

    Our specifics are as follows:

    Reservation # 13,396 - 11-1-12
    Pre-MVPA - 1-15-13
    MVPA - 2-21-13
    Factory Pickup & Tour - 2-28-13

    MR T is Silver with the 85 kWh non-performance drivetrain. Sunroof, Black Leather interior with Gloss Obeche, Tech Package, Air Suspension, Sound Studio, 19" Wheels and Parcel Shelf (some day, I guess?). I have a little under 1200 miles on it so far in just over 2 weeks. The rate will simmer down to about 500 - 600 monthly after the newness subsides. I have given about 7000 tours and test drives so far. My consumption rate is about 325 Wh/m all inclusive. If it weren't for the hot-rod stuff, I think I would be closer to 310. I just can't quite get below 300 with freeway involved. For now I'm living with a dryer outlet (24A/230v) and everything is fine. I have a 50 amp service coming once Solar is complete.

    Here is my summary of MR T after a few weeks and all types of driving.

    APPEARANCE - Externally it is stunning from any and all angles. The only weak point in my opinion is straight on from the front. I don't particularly like the big black nose. The car was delivered in perfect condition. One or two body panels are not 100%, but the misalignment is so small it isn't worth worrying about. I have never had an new car delivered in any better overall condition than MR T. The Interior is much more controversial. I have been underwhelmed from the very beginning with the "too basic" look and lack of usable storage compartments. I was also not too pleased with the appearance and feel of much of the plastic used. After spending considerable time inside the car, I have really warmed up to the design. I found places to put my windshield sunshade, my hat and glasses. I got a little "purse type thingy" for the center area for small, loose things and I am now pretty happy. The interior fit and finish is very good and other than shiny plastic on the door sills and rear hatch lid, everything else is very nice. I'm afraid I have been converted!

    DRIVING EXPERIENCE - Holy Cow, there just aren't words to describe the power train. The closest experience is the Magnetic drive rides at 6-Flags or equivalent. Pulls like a sling shot and only makes a little Star-Wars like noise in doing so. Too cool for this Century. Come back in 2113.

    The other stuff is exceptional , too. Brakes are powerful and linear. Great pedal feel and beautiful overall behavior. The steering ratio is excellent. Not too fast, but sporty. One of the 3 assist levels should please most anyone. The steering feel is excellent, but not quite up to the best BMW 3 series, or Porsche. The electric assist is probably partially responsible, but overall, I think the steering is great. The car is very quiet at low speeds and gradually transitions to the road and wind noise of a well designed conventional car. Above 50 mph, it is nothing exceptional. I have owned quieter cars at speed, but MR T is certainly on the quiet side of average.

    The ride-handling balance is simply amazing. I like a firm well controlled ride and that is what I have. What I didn't expect is the very supple and smooth overall edge to road imperfections. The incredibly long wheel base really smooths out road undulations and the shock damping is perfect. I understand the car uses Bilstein shocks, which have long been my favorite. MR T is a big boy and won't fool anybody regarding rapid steering transitions. If you want to slalom, you need somebody with a little less bulk. However, on canyon roads, sweepers and almost anything you might encounter off a track, MR T pretends to be on rails. The car just sweeps and glides along all without revealing that the road isn't covered in glass. Far and away the best I have ever owned.

    CONTROLS AND STUFF - I am not a big fan of the 17" touch screen. It gets things done, but I think there are generally too many levels of touching for convenience or to be safe. I am getting used to things and I have everything set the way I like it so I haven't been screwing with the screen as much as at the beginning. I would have put a few more functions on hard controls. The flexibility of the adjustments is very good and it allows some very nice customization of features to your personal driving preferences. Of course with updates coming all of the time, things will only get better.

    The A/C is too noisy for a car of this class. It makes very strange droning sounds when first started on a very hot day. After things settle down, the noise isn't too bad. Defrosting and defogging behavior is marginal. Definitely not up to the level of $50k plus traditional cars. The seats are wonderful. Very firm, but after some tinkering with the plentiful adjustments, I have found a wonderfully comfortable setting. The Lumbar adjustments are particularly nice and can be easily changed while driving to alter things on a long trip.

    I have had no issues with Homelink. It programmed on the first try and it is able to open and close my garage without any difficulties. I have likewise had no difficulties charging, inserting or removing the charge cable. Everything just works - every time. The interior space is incredible. I didn't get the 3rd row seat option so I have the additional footwell storage area along with the Frunk. MR T will swallow up pretty much anything and everything. I have three 80 pound dogs that travel with me on occasion. I fold down the rear seats, put down some blankets and install a jail bar thingy (from Amazon) to separate off the front seats. I also got some door protectors that complete my preparations. The whole thing works very well.

    NAVIGATION - Of all my issues with the car, Navigation is the biggest one. The 3G system is simply unacceptable since 3G (in particular, ATT) stinks. When out of range, which happens even in major cities, the Nav screen becomes useless. Most of my uses for the screen is to look at alternate streets or get a feel for the lay of the land. I don't actually need to type in addresses very ofter. This system really stinks for this purpose. It is worse than any car or hand held system I have ever owned. I also really hate the North up orientation. Granted, when you are navigating to an entered address, a very small and difficult to read display shows up in the instrument cluster, but it doesn't present anything more than your next immediate move. The system does not have much programmed in it relating to Restaurants, gas stations, city buildings, etc. You will certainly want to keep and use your smart phone to do these things "while" you are driving. Can't rely on the internal system. Hopefully some of these items can be addressed in future software releases, but I have a bad feeling that much of the problem is in the design of the architecture and will not be correctable.

    SOUND STUDIO AUDIO - This is also a mixed bag. It has the potential of being one of the best Factory systems available, but it isn't there yet by a long run. The system has a very unique center channel implementation which presents a front image for the driver centered on the steering wheel. The passenger gets the same image over the glove box. Very nice. The stock "0" settings are not quite correct, but fortunately, some adjustment of the sliders can give a very good response curve. My measurements indicate that Low @ +6, Mid @-3 and High @0 is a very good start. Unfortunately, the rear speakers are very poorly integrated into the mix. The Dolby position should not be used. It stinks. I have found that if you move the fader to approximately -13, some amount of rear fill is obtained without messing up the front image. Using these settings gives what I consider to be very fine overall sound, particularly if you use real or lossless signals from a USB stick.

    CONCLUSIONS - Overall, MR T is the best and most exciting automobile I have ever owned. It is also the most expensive by a solid 50%. I typically dabble with $50k - $60k Lexus, Infiniti, BMW's, Acura, Saab and a few others totaling 20 vehicles over the years. This car has the best ride, the best handling (considering it is huge!), far and away the best power delivery, the best fuel economy (90 MPGe vs. 20 or so for the hot cars) and the most comfortable seats of any and all of my others. It is a little behind some of the best in terms of Nav, and creature comfort adjustments, but overall well worth the trade-off. I am hopeful that some of these other shortcomings can and will be addressed in future software releases. BTW, MR T was delivered in perfect working condition and has so far been flawless in every regard. Sorry for the long winded dissertation, but once I got going, it was hard to stop.
     
  2. Kipernicus

    Kipernicus Model S Res#P1440

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    1,172
    Location:
    Belmont, CA
  3. gtimbers

    gtimbers Member

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    Van Nuys, Ca.
    That's awesome. I may have to have one made up.
     
  4. gene

    gene Active Member

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    Santa Barbara, CA
    Thanks for the excellent review. Is it standard suspension you have? Mine will have standard as well.
     
  5. dkevswain

    dkevswain Member

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    United States
    How's this?
    pity.png
     
  6. gtimbers

    gtimbers Member

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    Van Nuys, Ca.
    Gene, Mine has Air Suspension. I added to my original post to correct the omission. I am very intrigues by the standard suspension, but I have to say the air is simply amazing. Obviously more money now and sooner or later, repair costs further down the road - but I decided to go for it. At this time I'm glad I did.
     
  7. rogbmw

    rogbmw Member

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    Central Florida
    My take on the A/C noise is that because there are not all the other sounds/vibrations associated with an ICE car, you tend to hear the A/C more, but my recent 2011 BMW also had A/C noise - it just competed with everything else so it did not stand out as much.
     
  8. TokyoRush

    TokyoRush Member

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    Location:
    Hartford, Connecticut, United States
    Great review. I pick mine up on Saturday and look forward to adding my review to yours. Very excited.
     
  9. montgom626

    montgom626 Active Member

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    USA
    Agree with your comments. Absence of other ICE noise makes all other noise more noticeable.
     
  10. gtimbers

    gtimbers Member

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    Off topic, but Nope. The AC noise mine makes is a hollow drone that lasts for 3 - 5 minutes. This noise is too loud to be drown out by a quiet engine at idle. If I shut the compressor off for a moment and then turn it back on, the noise generally doesn't come back. Hopefully I'll figure it out.
    Small potatoes compared to the awesome drive in every other way.
     
  11. Soflason

    Soflason Member

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    Feb 19, 2013
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    FL

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