Why can’t Tesla offer features of my $25K car?

Why can’t Tesla offer features of my $25K car?

I know some are disappointed with every free update Tesla provides and want all the features of your $25K car such as:

Hundreds of tiny buttons with cryptic icons
A low-resolution 5” navigation screen where a magnifier might be handy to actually see roads
A lawyer screen that you have to accept every time you start the car or you get squat
A user-interface that requires a 500 page manual and hours of training to use
To make any change requires more button pushes than writing a small novel
Engine noise that drowns out passengers
Lots of cup holders and bins everywhere to store trash giving the car that lived in look
Constantly burning oil and gas to support the middle-east dictators and terrorists
A suspension that allows me to feel every crack in the road
And of course the fun dealer experience requiring frequent expensive visits

Then again, maybe not.

J.T. | 14. September 2014

@TT Well done.

Red Sage ca us | 14. September 2014

My buddy, 6iX, is a Tesla Hater. If he dared to come here to contribute, he would probably find a positive for each of those bullet points. It would likely boil down to something like, "I don't like that giant screen. It doesn't show any proper style." Of course, he'd say something else entirely if it had been released by General Motors instead. Yes, he's a Gemini, and is often truly two-faced.

Mathew98 | 14. September 2014

I like my 3" backup camera on my minivan just fine. That impressive 0 to 60 in 30 seconds or less never got me any speeding tickets.

That 17" behemoth on the MS is too big and distracting. I can't go 0 to 150 mph fast enough. All those babe's ogling at my car is stirring up troubles with the misses.

What else can I blame Tesla for?

nbrianjohnston | 14. September 2014


johncrab | 14. September 2014

Nicely done. In a sick and twisted sort of way I "miss" the four nag screens of my Prius telling me it's not good to be distracted while driving while distracting me while I'm driving!

tezzla.SoCal | 14. September 2014

I know, right?

David Trushin | 14. September 2014

Seriously folks, the ms outclasses all of these other cars, but...

Nissan is advertising the leaf as an electric car designed from the ground up.

Kia advertises the Soul as all electric with a 200 km range. (Evidently, 200 is the magic number).

Chevy is the first to offer built-in xlte wifi (although I have xlte now in my car).

I'm getting more and more concerned about another slip in the model x schedule and the impact on the model 3.

The market is not standing still.

Red Sage ca us | 14. September 2014

The automotive market is not standing still -- they are on a treadmill. Moving fast, and going nowhere.

Brian H | 14. September 2014

The faster other mfrs can genuinely compete with or beat TM's EV offerings, the better Elon will like it. Shareholders may disagree, but they are just bricks in the road's foundation.

By the way TT, I can think of no need to push small buttons while writing a short novel. Typewriter keys? Can you explificate?

/;p | 14. September 2014

@TT Bravo...

NKYTA | 14. September 2014

+1 Tap

romainiacWV | 14. September 2014

Love it. So true

jcaspar1 | 14. September 2014

Because Toyota doesn't make Model S!! | 15. September 2014

While fun putting this list together, I had forgotten how much I hated the 'lawyer' screen in a previous car's nav system that required you to read a paragraph about how unsafe it is to read the screen while driving and required you to press "Ok" to accept the legal document every time you drive! I'm not sure Tesla was the first to dispense with this annoyance, but I suspect they were!

carlk | 15. September 2014

Don't forget the blind spot warning because I know I need seconds for the engine to rev up to merge into the next lane.

Haggy | 15. September 2014

Obviously nobody would buy a Tesla if the positives didn't outweigh the negatives by a long shot. All those things are points of frustration I'll be glad to live without. The irony of the lawyer screen is that it made things more dangerous. With some cars, there's a random set of functions that will or won't work when the car is moving, so you might end up more distracted because your inability to scroll down while driving means constantly glancing at something instead of being able to set what you need to set.

So "yay" to being gone with all that nonsense. But that doesn't mean I should excuse away the fact that a $25,000 car might show me my tire pressures or come to a complete stop to avoid an accident or let me say a phone number and have the car call it. Nobody is saying that everybody has to use every feature, but failing to offer them in such an expensive car is a legitimate reason to complain.

One thing I haven't had with other cars was frequent and expensive dealer visits though. With a Tesla you should expect up front that you may need to take the car in more often for warranty work, but the "service contract" work gives very little and costs far more than I've paid dealers for anything like it.

If I wanted a $25,000 car, I would buy one. I want a car that doesn't have the limitations of a $25,000 car and I want one that doesn't lack the positive features of one either.

Joanna18 | 15. September 2014

Haggy +1 on all fronts

AmpedRealtor | 15. September 2014

I'm with Haggy.

I don't want my Model S to be any of the things on that list, but I do want some of the basic software functionality that I had on my other cars that are four and seven years old. Not having those things doesn't make me not love my Model S, and it doesn't sway me from never buying another ICE car again. But the missing features are going to become glaring omissions as Tesla sells to more mainstream consumers and fewer early adopters. The ability to forgive Tesla almost unconditionally will come to an end, I'm afraid.

I don't want Tesla to be criticized for these things, hence my desire for them to add things that are not only available on other cars, but have been available for quite some time.

jeffsstuff | 15. September 2014

What not know one reason I don't miss my Lexus (and in fact, hated it since 2 hours after taking delivery)? Check out: www.lexusisnotmymother,com
It is especially fun to read the comments section.

Haggy | 15. September 2014

I wouldn't know since I never had a Lexus. The last time I test drove one, they were a new company and the LS400 was pretty much what they had. The phrase I used to describe it at the time was "too polite." I ended up going for another car with even less market presence, and got an Infiniti. It had much more power, but no cup holders at all. The likelihood of seeing another one on the road back then was perhaps less than a twentieth of the likelihood of seeing an MS on the road now, at least where I live. It had many tech features that other vehicles lacked, but was sparse on amenities.

Back then Infiniti was top when it came to customer satisfaction and bending over backwards for owners. Times have changed. I wouldn't touch one of their cars these days and it's not because of the way they drive or handle. I expect Tesla to give me the service that Infiniti used to give almost 25 years ago, but with a car that will blow the Infiniti away.

Brian H | 16. September 2014

You mis-typed that URL period as a comma.

Redirects to

Rocky_H | 16. September 2014

I'm not even into fancy features, but there are a few basic utility things that are weirdly missing. The seat belt digs into my wife's neck, even with her seat up fairly high. Why does it not have a vertical adjustment slider on the belt like most other cars? Cup holders any other place than under my elbow? Adjustable intermittent wipers?

Like Haggy said, though, it's a tradeoff to take the small annoyances with the major things that are fabulous and much better. As it is, this market consists of...this car. In the future, there will be more good range electric models to choose from, and then choice will drive better interior design.

Red Sage ca us | 16. September 2014

There are more things under the sun that are patented than you can shake a stick at... A lot of what is in the Tesla Model S is designed on purpose to be unique. They could have taken a lot more components from the parts bins of other manufacturers. That would have made things easier than re-inventing the wheel, but would have been at the cost of uniqueness. Also, Tesla might have found themselves at the mercy of suppliers if the same components were needed more by larger manufacturers, who might squeeze them out of the supply chain with that leverage. Further, Tesla can avoid law suits from patent holders who might want to challenge them on what should be simple, open design concepts.

Rocky_H | 16. September 2014

@Red Sage
"Man! Those other companies have patented just about every location for putting the cup holders."

"How about right under people's arms in the armrest? That's a stupid place, so I'll bet no one has patented that."

"Yes! And it is also unique."

I'm not sure I'm seeing it.

Red Sage ca us | 16. September 2014

But... They're INVISIBLE cup holders! That's the BEAUTY of it! Literally. The alternative would be a car vents, bins, buttons, and cupholders... EVERYWHERE. Imagine what you've been MISSING!!!