Fit, Finish, Quality Questions

Fit, Finish, Quality Questions

I am a hopeful future MS owner who is very excited about all Tesla is doing and am eager to participate in this auto-revolution.

Once I dive in, I am committed to ownership for likely the length of the 8yr battery warranty. I don't have the resources to just flip the car for something different if it's proving too unstable. As an early adopter I am not frightened by some of the growing pains I read here and love the software update model. My tolerance for some niggling imperfections is high. My affinity for German cars has come with a acceptance of a glitch or two. I feel it is the price I am willing to pay for a superb driving experience.

What I am wondering about from those who have had their cars for a few months now is how you all feel about the fit, finish, and quality level. I've done a volkerize search and found some references, but not a lot that is very current. Is it holding up to daily commutes, family trips, and regular errands.

Does it still feel on par with the similarly priced offerings from more established manufacturers?

Thanks in advance!

David M. | April 24, 2013

I have had my Model S for 4 months. Fit and finish is very good. The driving experience is outstanding! I have had two minor problems with squeaking sounds. The car is so quiet, you hear every little thing. On both occasions, the local service center took care of the problem by making an adjustment. I am very pleased indeed.

jat | April 24, 2013

First, I don't think price is the proper way to compare cars -- do you compare and SUV and a Boxster just because they happen to cost about the same? Instead, compare it to other cars with similar features, and you find it is alone in its class. So, you just have to decide that what it offers is what you want and the price is acceptable for what you get.

The Model S has been twice as much as the previously most expensive car I have owned, and I have been very happy. I had one minor issue with the rear suspension that was taken care of, and the usual share of software glitches (but far fewer than I expected). I have had no issue with doors unlocking, charge port sticking, or any of the other things people complain about. The performance and range both match up exactly with what I expected, and I was able to drive 240mi with no problem (and no Superchargers near me).

The only thing I think it is actually a design flaw is the HVAC -- it seems like the sensor is some place that gets hotter over time, as I need to increase the target temperature to keep it comfortable. This has improved with recent software updates, but it still isn't where I can just set it on 72 and never worry about it again. This is a small price to pay for the many other things the car does exceptionally well. | April 24, 2013

About 4 months & 5000 miles. I have formerly owned BMW, Lexus, Volvo, and Nissan. I have always bought new cars. The quality of the Tesla is far beyond any previous car purchase. Power and handling are unsurpassed. Never going back. Best car purchase I have ever made.

RedShift | April 24, 2013

Interior quality is very good, but storage is lacking.

OTOH the black plastic moldings are cheap and very easily show dirt. ( especially the door sills moldings)

I am planning to apply brushed aluminum vinyl wrap cut in an aesthetically pleasing shape on the sill moldings.

Factory carpets are thin and crap. Replaced them with Lloyd's ultimat series in grey. Black carpeting also shows dirt very very easily.

Rest of the interior is upscale, spartan but quite elegant. Better than many interiors in its class, IMHO.

SD Supercharger | April 24, 2013

Had the car 3 months. Fit and finish is comparable with German cars. Not a single issue with the car. I am a former Porsche and BMW owner. Like KevinR noted--power and handling are outstanding--never plan to go back to an ICE!

gasnomo | April 24, 2013

Bottom line - freakin amazing car, drive one and you will never go back to an ICE car again.

tjyudman | April 24, 2013

Thanks to all! I had a test-drive and could not wipe that Tesla induced stupid grin off my face for days. No doubt that this car is exactly what I want!

ginsbergr | April 24, 2013

Best car ever...anyone who says otherwise has never been in one, or driven it or is just plain negative all the time with no friends. A person that would not like this car has no clue in life and is probably a blowhard fool.

skymaster | April 24, 2013


Exactly, Best SUPER car ever!!! Even when you have a BAD day at work,(Like today) Just jump in your Tesla Model S and life is good Again.....This car is a game-changer

noel.smyth | April 24, 2013

I just gave my boss a ride in it today and he was so impressed that he is going to visit the Tesla Store. He owns a Masarati and he came away extremely impressed.

I have over 5600 miles on my S and its the fit and finish is superb. It is tight, no rattles, superior smoothness and acceleration and super quite. Just an amazing car.

rodhoffman | April 24, 2013

Ditto - all positve performance and fit/finish comments. The auto armor needs afew bubbles removed but this is MINOR.

Remember you are embracing a cutting edge change. Not everything will be perfect but what is the alternative?

I chose ths over a $120k S Class performance Benz an have had two. No choice - this is the BEST car I have owned.

Rod in Evergreen, CO

JDster | April 24, 2013

Tjyudman, what you are paying for the Model S is its technology. Plain and simple. There's no car like it. I've had the car for a month and it is as awesome to drive as many of the Model S owners have posted on this forum. On the quality side, I'd say it is less superior compared to a MB, BMW or Audi. The interior is nice but nothing to brag about for a $100K car except for the 17" touchscreen. I wish it came with parking sensors as I feel all cars in this class should have them. The visors and glove compartment door is on the flimsy side. Much has been said about the floormat, or lack of. I'm also a little disappointed in the workmanship of the front hood. It does not align with the fenders. But overall, these are minor things and I'm sure Tesla will improve as they move along.

RedShift | April 24, 2013

To add to others glowing accolades: yes, this is the only car that I will want to drive. You can ask for a trade with a brand new Bentley, and I would refuse. It's that good.

Also, the car has the capacity to make you feel like you just got your drivers license and are driving for the thrill.

olanmills | April 24, 2013

6,000 miles, no rattles. One or more of the speakers vibrates in a particular way on particular tones. It was always like that.

mpottinger | April 25, 2013

I've had my car about a month. Given what I've read here and elsewhere, and what I saw in some of the early demo cars, I was really concerned about fit and finish. My car, as delivered, has been fantastic. Body panel gaps are even throughout. No roof noise issues. Interior panel fit is top notch. I used to be in the car business and have driven every luxury car you can imagine. I have no complaints about the fit and finish on the vehicle.

I do find one minor design flaw with the interior of the car: the stitched leather point on the B pillar at the front door openings and at the aft of the door opening in the back doors. This has been discussed elsewhere on this forum. I hate telling my passengers to watch that area as they enter or exit. I'm sure there will be excess wear on those parts over time. I hope there is a future fix for this and that it can be retrofitted to delivered vehicles.

As far as fit and finish go, that's it.

jat | April 26, 2013

@mpottinger - my car was built in the end-of-year rush, and I have had practically no issues. Remember that mostly people post here to complain, they don't post to say everything is just how I expected it would be.

rchiang | April 27, 2013

I'm a P85 owner and I just picked up my car last week. My first impression from the beginning when I first test drove at show room though interior was cheap from the price you pay for it on the same level of other cars. Interior I would give it a "C" as a grade. But also disapointed of the little gap next to the 17in monitor not consistent with the other side. Also the trunk gap was uneven a bit problem that I complained about to the service people. I had fingure print on my roof. I want to see what they can do about it. Aside of then not having the whole package correctly delivered to me; rear carbon spoiler, Parcel Shelf on the trunk missing. I don't know when they will call me so both of them can be installed on my car.
Although I know this company is new to car market and everything seems to be on back order, I'm being patient.

Brian H | April 27, 2013

Can you fingure out whose fingure fingured your roof?

rwang | April 27, 2013

P85 owner. I still give Audi and Lexus top marks for fit and finish. I'd say that the fit and finish are average. however, the driving experience is bar none. You wont' be getting the best fit and finish but you'll have a grin on your face ever time you drive the car.

I've had the car since December and have 8000 miles. Lots of little issues have been resolved, but I've been to the service center 8 times for child facing rear seat install, broken lift gate, dead battery, sunroof seal adjustment, frunk adjustment, and dead leds in the trunk.

Looks like smoother sailing from here on.

borodinj | April 27, 2013

Just picked up 85 yesterday. Car is awesome, and overall, I am pleased with the fit and finish. That said, I have had a couple problems -- one with the tire pressure monitoring system producing a fault (Tesla is waiting on a new TPMS antenna to be delivered, which they believe will solve the problem), and the other with lack of 3G signal -- I am getting very little signal, which is preventing the use of internet radio, map rendering, etc (just notified Tesla today...waiting on feedback).

I am hoping that Tesla will resolve these issues, and based on the feedback from others, I don't doubt that they will.

I am a bit concerned that these things are happening so soon, but again, overall, the car more than delivers with outstanding performance.

PS...I'm also not crazy that without warning, they omitted the fog lights that were specified when I ordered the car, but that's a story for another thread).