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Yet another test drive report (Palo Alto, 7/15)

Discussion in 'Model S' started by derekt75, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. derekt75

    derekt75 Member

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    A. Center Console (3 out of 10)
    1. The console has been mentioned a number of times before, but I hadn’t yet realized how silly the current situation is. There’s a big box between the front seats. This box contains some vents for the back seats and a couple of cup holders for the front seat, but there’s no internal storage. Why the heck not? Cars with transaxles have room for storage there. What’s inside this big box on the Tesla? The sliding arm rests seem unnecessary to me.
    2. Add more cup holders. The ones on the floor under the screen seem worthless. No way I want to put a bottle there, take a hard left, and find the bottle rolling under my brake pedal. Lots of other cars have pop-out cup holders. Model S should have some for the back seat in that worthless center console.
    3. The Tesla rep said that they were still adjusting things but that anything they made would be able to be added on to an existing car. I don’t want an extra console that drops on top of the rubber floor mat. I want them to redesign the current center console so that it’s useful rather than a big waste of space. Hopefully they will before my number comes up in 2013.

    B. Touchscreen (7 out of 10)
    1. Works well. Easy to use.
    2. I still think physical knobs are easier to use to control things like fans, but the screen works as well as I think a screen can.

    C. Comfort (7 out of 10)
    1. Cockpit is well done. Adjustable seat and steering wheel work well.
    2. Driver’s side mirror could stand to go a bit wider. (I think the idea that you should be able to see part of the car in the side mirror is a fallacy).
    3. Seats are good for comfort. I’ve been in a handful of seats that I liked better, but Model S is good.
    4. Rear headroom is so-so. Much less than a full sized sedan. More than a hatchback.

    D. Construction (7 out of 10)
    1. Door thunk isn’t very solid at all. My car also has frameless windows and it still feels much more solid
    2. Otherwise it seems reasonably well built, but not super solid. I have a slight (hopefully misplaced) fear that something is going to make a rattle noise after a few years.
    3. The car is very quiet inside. Very little engine/wind/tire noise at 70mph.

    E. Acceleration (7 out of 10)
    1. Am I the only one that’s underwhelmed by the peak acceleration? I was driving the black performance, yet its peak acceleration is much slower than my 4.8s 0-60 car. I know that sounds odd, but this car doesn’t have the huge dip in acceleration at the start of 1st gear or at the transition between 1st and 2nd, so therefore the peak acceleration can be much lower even if its 0-60s time is better.
    2. The tires do a great job launching the car straight.
    3. The battery makes an odd whine sound after flooring it. The rep said that they were trying to tune that out. It’s not very loud.

    F. Driving Experience (10 out of 10)
    1. It’s so nice to not need to downshift when you want power. The power is always there. Similarly, it’s nice not to get whiplash when shifting from 1st to 2nd.
    2. The handling is great.
    3. The tires grip well.
    4. The suspension is great.
    5. When I got the tires to break loose by flooring the accelerator on a right turn at a stop sign, the car was extremely well behaved. The car still allowed a lot of power to the wheels even though they were unstuck, yet the wheels were refusing to completely spin out, and control was never lost. I really can’t imagine the car doing this any better.
    6. I really like the sound (or lack thereof) of the engine.
    7. I’d prefer the regenerative braking to be more aggressive. It’s slightly stronger than engine braking on an ICE, but it’s really not the you-only-need-one-pedal braking that I expected.

    G. Get AMPed event (9 out of 10)
    1. I thought Tesla did a very nice job of the test drive event.
    2. The course was good.
    3. They had lots of Tesla staff members.
    4. It was running reasonably close to on-time.
    5. They spaced out the cars, so a fun test driver wouldn’t have to wait for a grandma test driver on the single lane roads.
    6. They only had one performance car in the afternoon (the 2nd was charging), but I was one of the few that was willing to wait for the performance, so the wait was only 10 minutes.

    H. Other
    1. The Tesla folks said that only 10 owners had taken delivery.
    2. VINs ending in 1xx are “marketing” cars.
    3. In lieu of a spare tire, my car came with a can of Fix-A-Flat and an electric pump with a cigarette lighter adaptor with a designated cubby in the trunk for them. Since Model S doesn’t have a spare tire, I would think this would be a rather fair compromise rather than telling people to buy their own stuff to rattle around the frunk.
    4. I’d like to issue an insincere apology to the guy who left for their test drive just before I exited the event in my own car. I wanted to see how my current car did compared to the Model S. The guy doing the test drive in front of me was going so slow, the comparison was largely worthless. You’re test driving a supercar, not a Prius. Step on the freaking gas.

    In the end, I’m still not sure I’ll buy this car. The decision might come down to what they do with the center console.

    Derek
    P6852
     
  2. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    There is a thread talking about that:
    The high-pitched whine during acceleration...
    May not be the battery.
     
  3. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Can you offer any more details of the conversation surrounding this phrasing? Thanks!
     
  4. Right_Said_Fred

    Right_Said_Fred Model S - Sig. 283 EU

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    The whole console thing (or lack of it) still stuns me. Many people who did Get Amped-test drives complain about this minimalistic approach, which is making the Model S the car with the least storage space for cups, maps, phones, etc. There's so much fuss about the huge amounts of storage space in the trunk and frunk, and then Tesla throws this huge selling point away with the lack of storage space in the driver and passenger compartment. Unbelievable!

    How come everyone at Tesla missed this? There must have been dozens of people driving Beta's around. A lot of them must have had the same feeling. What happened here? Were they afraid to criticize the designer?

    Tesla should fix this, not with add-ons, but permanently. And take the time they need, ignoring calls for faster deliveries. I've experienced this with my Karma. Everyone wanted it fast and quick, the reservation holders were tearing down the place because deliveries didn't come fast enough. And what we got was a car with software problems and build quality issues, at least with the first several hundred cars. Tesla should take its time to fix this issue and others (like the panel alignment).
     
  5. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    This seems pretty kneejerk to me.

    I, for one, would prefer to get my car on-schedule and have some new console options in 2013, than to wait another month than I would otherwise.
     
  6. MikeK

    MikeK R#129, TSLA shareholder

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    I had exactly the same reaction when I did my Fremont test drive, and it bothered me enough in retrospect that I spent several minutes in the static white car at Palo Alto screwing around with the mirrors. Here's what I found.

    In my current car, I adjust the mirrors so that as an object begins to leave the left edge of my rear-view mirror, it begins to become visible in my left wing mirror. With the mirrors adjusted like this, I see none of my own car's body in that left wing mirror.

    On the Model S, if I make the same adjustment, I still see some of the Model S in the wing mirror. I believe this may be because the rear of the car flares outward fairly dramatically. I did this test by being sure the rear hatch was closed, adjusting the inside mirror, making note of what was visible on the left edge of that mirror, and then adjusting the wing mirror so that its field of view slightly overlapped what I could see in the rear-view.

    So, in short, I think you're able to adjust the mirrors the same way I normally adjust mine for no blind spots, but unlike other cars, you may still see some of the car body in the mirror.

    What I wasn't able to establish is whether, with the mirror adjusted as I describe above, I get the other key portion of my usual mirror adjustment, which is: as a car in the adjacent lane begins to leave the left edge of my wing mirror, I begin to see it in my peripheral vision. That's something I can really only test on the road, so fingers crossed!
     
  7. Would be nice to have convex mirrors as an option. Cleaner looking than those aftermarket stick on deals
     
  8. derekt75

    derekt75 Member

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    The vehicle identification number on one of the showroom vehicles was FOOBARBAZ000109. I asked if that meant that I was seeing the 109th car out of the production. I was told that, no, the 100 series of VINs were all marketing cars (e.g., for test drives), and were not made in order.
     
  9. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Agreed.
     
  10. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Was it literally this? Or are you just saying you don't know/remember the bolded characters?

    And bonus points: Did you take a picture that you can share with us? :)
     
  11. Steph

    Steph Member

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    I still beleive they are pulling our legs about this interior thingny... ;)
     
  12. derekt75

    derekt75 Member

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    Sorry I didn't take a picture so I can't tell you what the first dozen characters were. I can tell you that they certainly were not FOOBARBAZ. :)
     
  13. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    It was probably this one then...
    5YJSA1AN1CFR00109 Catalina White
    Decoding Tesla Model S VINs
     
  14. aviators99

    aviators99 Model S - R140

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    Probably FOOBARBLETCH
     
  15. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Unfortunately this is not allowed by the rules.
     
  16. I wonder why...I got ones off a european model for one of my cars and I love them...no blind spot ever and they look clean. Why is the aftermarket allowed to sell them but are not a factory option?
     
  17. michaelwm

    michaelwm Member

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    I've heard that it's illegal to have convex mirrors, too. But then I was in a Fiat 500 recently, and discovered that they have built-in convex mirrors! The side mirrors are broken into two separate pieces. The main inner piece was "normal," and then there was a small outer piece (that may or may not have been adjustable) that was convex.
     
  18. Yea this is exactly what I am referring to I love these mirrors and I am wondering why they are illegal, I could find nothing via google search.
     
  19. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    Disagree completely. I LIKE the idea, as a matter of fact, I might delay my car if the reverse were the case, they were planning to remove the center console.
    If the cup holders are currently inconvenient, I would hope one of the options Tesla looks at are the 'unfolding' cup holders such as those in the iMiev.
    I often have a computer bag worth of stuff that should fit perfectly in that open spot. I am guessing when my wife has her 'big' purse that spot will be a very convenient spot for that.
     
  20. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    I too have convex mirrors on my GTI. They are European ones. I am under the impression that they are illegal in the US. I think they are wonderful. Most new cars have 2 mirrors. A larger one that conforms to US law, and a second one that is 'extra' and is convex to supply needed field of view.
     

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