Model S

cold feet after test drive in the snow- please reassure me

edited November -1 in Model S
Hey everyone

I just test drove a model s with 19 inch all weather tires, performance model during a light snow storm with some snow on the ground.

First the good. As everyone has said the car is incredibly stylish, their is plenty of storage and looks solidly constructed. It handled great in the snowy icy conditions. For a first drive of a car i felt quite coincident it its controls.

Now my issues. A 6' 2" and a tall torso i don't sit comfortably with the sun roof. I wasn't planning on getting the sun roof so no big deal. I've had this problem with most cars. Without the sunroof, i fit fine. However i felt the view out the rear window was horrid. I've seen very little discussion about this. Also as the snow came down it accumulated on the rear window. I had turned on the rear defrost and the tesla rep claimed she might have flipped it off. I drive a z4 with amazing site lines so this really bothers me. Have others had concerns? Is it like the prius where u get used to it? I can se driving with the rear camera on even if that is possible.

I am also concerned about energy usage. I couldn't tell anything as the battery was warming up. It showed an average use of 575 and i was driving very conservatively with the dash under 20kw. That number seemed odd is 20 = 200 that would seem ore in synch since i was drive around 30 mph.

My galaxy nexus also wouldn't pair. we tried two cars, both found each other, gave the code and then crapped out.

Finally, if u look at electricity lost charging, short trips driving in the cold, the need to heat the battery and cabin how much energy r we really saving over an efficient ice. I realize the tesla is much more than. An ecobox but i do want some energy savings. When u look at cost, i pay 16 cents per kwh and gas in nj is relatively cheap, so all the extra wasted energy kills the bottom line. Of course no paying ales tax on an 80k vehicle is huge.

All thoughts welcome. i appreciate the feedback. Please excuse any typos, this was typed on a tablet.


  • edited November -1
    Btw i am res #15891 and received my finalize notice last Tuesday night in case anyone is tracking that
  • edited November -1
    camp - I drive with the rear camera on most of the time. I live in San Antonio so can't comment on snow, though it does beg a question about the omission of a rear wiper. Aerodynamics perhaps?

    I have been driving this thing pretty hard and am in the 375Wh/mile right now. I have no range anxiety as I simply plug in every night and top off. I guess if I needed to drive >200 continuous miles frequently I might pause - it can do that easy without compromise in good weather, but in snow/rain, hot/cold, winds it might be a challenge w/o supercharging access. BTW, all those environmental issues have some affect on ICEs - a 30 mph headwind is a 30 mph headwind.

    You might try this app to fuss with different scenarios for usage and see if it helps you.

    It is a FANTASTIC car. Stay the course.
  • edited November -1
    Thanks. Will follow your link and read up.
  • edited November -1
    Lifetime to date of 800 mies I have averaged 318 Kw/m, and as low as 260 for individual trips. It has been very cold in ny some days and about freezing others. I have 19" nokian R tires which are LRR snows.
  • edited November -1
    campsalvage: iPhone works just fine :-). I am 6"2 as well with a Model S 85 with Pano. No issues.
  • dqbdqb
    edited November -1
    I haven't had trouble with the rear window, but the defrost should stay on in the snow. Backup cam could be a good option there though.

    On the view through the back, I'm 6'1" and think the visibility would be improved if the seat could go just a tad lower. I plan to continue to play with my seat settings, but where I find the most comfort and forward visibly also gives me a slightly cut-off (top) rear-view.

    But the car is excellent and I've no concerns about fine tuning here. I haven't had it long enough yet to be "done" with settings.

    For the snow, I've driven in the recent light dc snows with little trouble. It's rear wheel drive, so there is the same you'd feel in a BMW or other RWD. If you live somewhere with typically frequent snows in the winter you probably should look into winter tires during the season. But for infrequent/light snow, the all weather should be fine.

    No probs connecting iPhone to the car. Was all set up with phone and garage within minutes through the easy setup.
  • edited November -1
    I thought that the sunroof provided more headroom, not less. Not to hijack the thread entirely...

    As someone mentioned, the read view camera on whenever you want is a good feature with limited visibility via the small rear window.

  • edited November -1
    I find driving with the rear-view camera on really helps, and I have gotten used to the tight view out the back window. Plus, I always look over my shoulder whenever changing lanes and the sight lines out the back seat windows is excellent.

    RE: Driving with rear-view camera on, it is fantastic during daylight hours, but perhaps I have some night blindness, as I find driving with it at night is difficult with the headlights on the cars behind me. In other words, the headlight glare through the camera presents a difficult-to-discern image on the touchscreen, but maybe I will adapt, too. However, of late, I simply do not use the rear camera at night and just rely on using my eyes to look around.

    FWIW, this is the most fun car I've ever driven. I think you will love it.

    Proud Tesla Owner
  • edited November -1
    From the Owner's Guide: "Rear window heater warms up the rear window and exterior mirrors for 15 minutes, then shuts off."

    The restricted field of view out the rear window takes some getting used to. I find myself referring to the side mirrors more that ever.
  • edited November -1
    Hi all.

    I have not posted before, but I have had my MS Sig Per since the beginning of November. I think that I was one of the first 400 cars delivered and certainly one of the first in the NYC metro area. I have two other cars, and when I got the S, my plan was to drive it through the winter to figure out which car to sell. One is a convertible sports car and the other is an all-wheel drive Lexus IS-250. My plan was to get four good snows on mounted 19" rims, which I did, replacing the 21's for the winter. If the car was good in the winter, I would keep my convertible and if not, I would keep the AWD IS=250. Net net, I am selling the Lexus because there has been enough snow driving with the Tesla that I am convinced that it is a good winter car AS LONG AS YOU GET 4 SNOW TIRES.

    This past week, for 3 days the temperatures stayed from 15 down to 10 and everything worked fine. The battery looses power while it sits, but not as bad as the algorithm initially predicts when I get in the cold car. The algorithm that estimates mileage assumes the remaining battery life based on the warmth or coolness of the battery at that time, so as the battery warms up, the mileage actually goes up.

    Handling in the snow is excellent and much better than I would have thought any 2 wheel drive car could have.

    I have not noticed a problem with the rear window.

    As a very early adopter, I expected certain things to be missing that would get added through software upgrades. This has been the case and many of the items I have hoped for have happened. But the one item I am dying for is the iphone ap that will allow me to turn on the car to warm it up. When I am at the office and have to get into a 20 degree car, that sucks and the performance is compromised until it warms up. But I have been assured that this is coming soon.

  • edited November -1

    Thanks for the post! You have reassured my wife about handling in the snow.
  • edited November -1
    The pano roof offers about 2" more headroom than the solid roof. I'm 6'4" and the solid roof is a problem for me, especially in the backseat. With the pano roof, my head doesn't even come close to hitting. I have a hard time seeing someone shorter than I am having a problem with it unless you're 6'2" with a 28" inseam. Perhaps the seat was not adjusted properly? Or are you saying that getting into and out of the car is difficult? I can see that, as the solid sides of the pano roof are pretty low.

    The car takes about 10 -15 minutes in cold weather to heat up the battery so that regen braking is fully functional. Initially, heating the battery does use a lot of energy but it drops to normal levels after that. In a CO winter I average about 350 watts/mile and I like speed.

    The sloped rear window restricts visibility but I have gotten used to it. I don't drive with the rear camera on but I have adjusted my rearview and side mirrors so that I can see what is behind and next to me with no blind spots. It's fine.

    My iphone paired easily.
  • edited November -1
    I thought the pano roof made no difference in front seat headroom, only rear seat. Incorrect?
  • edited November -1
    Hello, I drive a Signature Performance and live in Toronto Canada so my experience will likely be applicable to your situation .I have had my car a month now and I am very pleased. I will make the assumption that you were planning to spend a similar amount of money on an ice car. Having said that your daily driving mileage should determine which battery you need but the battery will loose a percentage of range in extreme cold .It was recently 0 Fahrenheit here and the loss approached 25% but I have a lead foot and the seat heater is on constantly .For myself this is no issue because with a range of 300 miles ,my daily driving is aprox 100 miles . The more mileage you put on the car the cheaper the car is.My previous car was a gas guzzler and after 2000 miles and a cost of .10/kwh I am saving aprox $600-$700 in 1 month not including the savings in maintenance .Gasoline however is $5.20/us gallon here so your comparison might not be the same. I use the rear camera as a rear view mirror and because of the wide angle it is very usefull. Over all very pleased with the car.
  • edited November -1
    My Model S handles the snow far better than my BMW RWD. I think much of that can be attributed to the weight distribution. My BMW wouldn't make it out of our neighborhood in the snow and ice. So far the Model S with 21 inch tires has performed better than my BMW with All-Season tires. I think it helps a bit to have regen on low when you are dealing with hills.

    I am not planning on using the car in the snow routinely because I have to deal with some really steep winding hills. It performs well enough for me to make my way home until I get 19 inch tires on it.

    I use the rear view camera all the time. The only problem I have with it is that the image is terribly distorted when driving in wet spray. I've been thinking about trying some Rain-X type product on the lens. I think I'll ask Tesla Service about that before I try it though.
  • edited November -1
    Since it seems the rear camera is useful and almost necessary due to the limited rear view, I'd like a future version of the Model S to have a small air jet located next to, and pointed at, the camera, and the inlet in a protected area underneath the car. As the car is driven, a spray of air would continually wash over the lens, keeping water, snow and dirt off.

    The supply tube would also be connected to the pneumatic system, so you could hit it with an occasional high-speed burst of air to remove stubborn snow or dirt.

    Just hopin'!
  • edited November -1
    Thanks for all the comments. It sounds like the range anxiety isn't a big issue. As to the headroom. I have a big head ;). I find that it creeps out of the well of the sunroof. Under the sunroof there is more room, but I had an Audio S4 and had the same issue. I cocked my head slightly, not realizing it for over a year, and that led to neck strain/pain. Many people might not even realize they are doing this as it's close to not having my head in the well. I had a previous neck injury that makes me sensity, so a healthy neck might not be an issue.

    I am going to test drive again and see about the visibility. I will also try driving with the rear camera on. Can you have both the camera and nav on at the same time? It is one large screen ;).

    In the meantime I test drove a fussion hybrid, a Z4, and a volt today. The fussion couldn't crack 35 mpg in real world driving. The Z4 is great, what I currently drive as well, but not environmental, and the volt was ok, just ok, but the best environmental bang without range anxiety for the $.

  • edited November -1
    I just came back from sitting in a solid roof car after sitting in pano's. I'm 6'3" (more with big hair) and with the driver's seat all the way down there is at least a couple of inches to spare. Not so much in the back, though. I can fit in the middle backseat with my hair touching the roof but the two back sides I have to tilt my head forward a tad. I'm going with the solid roof because I'll never be sitting in the back and all family members that will are shorter and would fit no problem. I almost feel like there's more headroom in the front without the pano but less in back.
  • edited November -1
    I drove in the snow last night, even parked on a sloped driveway and the traction was excellent, no slippage or spinning (my prior 2wd car would have spun for sure.) very steady when driving in it as well. You still have to drive cautiously and if you I think you will have no problems.
    Its been very cold here for the last week (10 to 20 F) and the car does consume energy to warm the battery. I park it outside so when I charge at night I slow it down to just about finish by the time I need it and the battery is already warmed up. (thanks to Brian H for this suggestion!)
    I find the range to be very good when its above 30F, below that there is some energy for heating that is consumed. when I took on a 240 mile round trip (40F) I got about the rated range when driving about 62MPH and less when going about 70.
    If you are doing several short trips in a day where it very cold (sub20F) and the battery needs to be reheated over and over, this will surely cost you in range, probably 10 Miles of rated range for each warm up.
    the view out the back window is less than most cars but this is to get max efficiency through less drag and the camera works well for rear view. I have adjusted well to the window and do not use the back camera to drive.
    The car is awesome really, I have no regrets.
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