Finally Drove an S

Finally Drove an S

Visiting San Fran, so bit at the chance to rent a Model S 85 (non Performance) via We rolled north out of the city into Muir woods to sniff 1,000 year old Red Woods. First impressions:

- Crazy torque at all speeds, was surprising punching it at 50 mph was that responsive.
- Speaking of responsive, the touchscreen is not. Is it normal for it to take multiple seconds for the screen to respond to commands?
- Weird sight lines, the strafes of steel curving on the hood towards the front center threw me off and no clue where the wheels are when parking.
- Seats are okay but did Kia source them?
- The single pedal accel/regen driving is excellent! Really loved it and only used the skids a few times.
- Realtime energy usage helps optimize driving efficiency.
- Wide load, felt like I was eating up the entire lane of these skinny San streets
- Electric experience is far superior to ICE driving, no contest. The lack of noise and vibration, coupled with hydraulic smooth power delivery kept me smiling.

I'll test drive the X in 2015, right now the cost/product of the S doesn't work yet for me. Gen 3 will do well if the driving experience is 80% of the S.

SUN 2 DRV | August 1, 2014

"hydraulic smooth power delivery" What's that?

jordanrichard | August 1, 2014

Yep, torque is amazing.

At times it can take a few seconds for the screen to respond, but which touchscreen in another car would you compare it to?

Sight lines, yep. This is a different animal and FYI the car is made of aluminum.

Seats, no clue but I have no problem with mine. I find them to be comfortable.

Single pedal driving is great and makes more sense. In a gas car the accelerator makes the car go faster when you press it, so intuitively one would think the car would slow down when you let off it, but it doesn't.

Yes this is a wide car, 7 ft 2 inches from mirror to mirror. It is also 16 ft long and 4630 lbs.

I have had mine for 4 months and have just under 8,000 miles on it. I have saved enough on gas to equal at least one car payment. Whereas with a gas car, one or 2 months worth of gas would equal an additional car payment.

Webcrawler | August 1, 2014

Yea, they give rides away like crack.... You just want more...

KidDoc | August 1, 2014

What were you doing on the touchscreen? The browser is terrible and needs help but everything else should be snappy.

I love the seats as well have driven long rides with no discomfort with the default textile-- I really think it is the leather that is not great as I wasn't overwhelmed with a leather loaner I had.

I love the hood site lines!

negarholger | August 1, 2014

Yes, driving the hills of San Fran are the most fun.

Actually the streets are much wider then you think... any hatchback has visibility challenges and you need to get used to it.

Gen3 will be at 120%, MS V1.5 at 150%, MX ? We'll see soon...

AndyO | August 1, 2014

Echoing others:

Touch screen is about 1 second responsive when the system is busy except for the web browser which is slower. Yeah, Occasionally I tap the Controls icon and hit it again because I didn't think it took and then it shows up and disappears again. I just practice patience. The response is usually under one second.

The lines on the hood do prevent the driver from seeing the LF and RF corners of the car. You'll get used to the 30-ish degree adjustment. GO find a parking lot to practice with on a quiet day.

I find the seats far more comfortable on long drives than my last car, BMW 540.

Cost/product experience depends on your personal driving habits. YMMV.

WRT being long and wide, I parallel parked my MS today for the first time after testing Supercharging in St Augustine, FL. One pass in reverse with the camera and one pull forward to center up about 8" inside the left hand parking stripe. However, it seems I do need to do some practice for backing into a Supercharger right angle parking space.

PBEndo | August 1, 2014

The seats don't look impressive, but I find them to be very comfortable on the long trips I have taken.
The touchscreen can be laggy in the browser or in the nav, but it is snappy everywhere else for me.
The torque is addictive.

Iowa92x | August 1, 2014

The touchscreen was dogging on everything, for example switching from energy screen to map would take 5 seconds. The software version was 5.9. Perhaps a reboot would perk it up? Also it had no could enter an address and it would mark it on map but no real time directions. Why?

Iowa92x | August 1, 2014

We also liked the rear camera live broadcasting while we drove. Not sure why, but felt like the Batmobile and I searched for the oil slick release lever.

When we came to a stop, my daughter asked "is the car still on?" My passenger said, "so no gas at all, it isn't a hybrid?" Will take some time for people to adjust to no gasoline explosions.

I'd watched enough videos that I was aware of the settings menu and got to work setting ride height and regen to normal.

crmohler | August 1, 2014

Definitely sounds like it needed a reboot. The only time I get delays is with the web browser. Everything else is essentially instant. Glad you got a chance to experience the future!

P85D | August 1, 2014

The seats suck and the touchscreen is slow and it should be more angled towards the driver so you don't have to reach as far taking your eyes off the road.

Mathew98 | August 1, 2014

How short are your arms and how far back do you have the seat? If you can reach the steering wheel then you can reach the center screen!

JAD | August 1, 2014

Sounds like a zero option car. Without tech package there is no nav and several other basic features are missing.

jjs | August 1, 2014

My experience is the same as others. Very responsive except for the browser, which I have heard will be fixed in V6.0 and V6.0 will be out "soon."

Maybe we should have a pool to guess the month/day/year 6.0 comes out. Winner gets a Tesla dog leash! :)

Iowa92x | August 1, 2014

The location of the screen was fine, and the car was optioned well with pano roof, 85 pack, adjustable ride height (is that standard or optional?). No idea why person wouldn't get navigation on a techno car.

After driving a Tesla for several hours, I suspect the regen braking/deceleration is as much a culprit on the fast tire wear as the high torque output of the motor. I drive a manual transmission and am used to engine braking...the regen in comparison is even more severe. Since the deceleration is on the back tires, they take a pounding from tasking both accel/decel duties. The Model X shall help on this front, since the front motor and tires can be programmed to handle the brunt of regen, back tires and motor handle the go. Evens the load and wear.

negarholger | August 1, 2014

What I like about the Nav package is you see both a detailed view on dashboard and an overview on the central screen.

Bighorn | August 1, 2014

On very rare occasions, I've seen latency issues with the touchscreen on all functions. That's not normal.

jcaspar1 | August 2, 2014

Regen braking severity is relative. If you are used to driving a V6 or small displacement V8 it may seem so. It is far less than my Viper was in second gear which could break chirp the tires letting off the accelerator suddenly.

Screen response is slow with the browser but should be pretty quick with other screens, quicker than Lexus or Ford systems I have used and the Mercedes I have driven don't have a screen to compare to.

johncrab | August 2, 2014

The screen definitely needed a reboot. Just like my iPad which will get funk and then I realize it has not been restarted for six months.

jordanrichard | August 2, 2014

Model-S, let me help you, don't buy the car.....

If they angled it more towards the driver, the passenger wouldn't be able to use it.

tes-s | August 2, 2014

How did you enjoy Muir Woods? I hope you at least slowed down when you got there. :)

Iowa92x | August 2, 2014

Muir was a live sanctuary, really a great place. In Yosemite now, fire haze is thick today.

jbunn | August 2, 2014

Touch screen can bog down in SF, but it's a function of cellular connectivity. You see it on maps and internet radio, not on other functions. Maps need connectivity.

Enza918 | August 2, 2014

"Gen 3 will do well if the driving experience is 80% of the S" - Doubtful. 70% more likely.

Brian H | August 5, 2014

70% / 50% $ = double the bang for the buck. And Elon had to tell his engineers to dial it back so the M3 didn't surpass the MS too badly!! ;)) All those years he told them "Save it for Gen E" are now a conundrum.

Brian H | August 5, 2014

OTOH, MS2 may be the hole card and where all that extra R&D is going ...

Brian H | August 5, 2014

Since patents are now an open book (of coupons), trade secrets are all that's left!

In other news from "pretty soon", MB and BMW have opened all their patents, saying they're pretty much obsolete in view of the Tesla Singularity.