Last week I have purchased the Tesla Model S P85+. I just wanted to share my thoughts on this car. Before I do that, I want to throw a caveat. I am just a regular guy with no major knowledge of how automobiles work. So please take it for what it’s worth.
I have been driving for about 23+ years. We currently own a Honda Odyssey and Mercedes Benz M series SUV (and old 1997 Avalon, which is ready to retire) . My 2010 5 Series BMW was declared a lemon last year thanks to repeated fuel pump issues (thank you BMW). So I was in the market for a new car. I have test driven many cars mostly in the high end ranges (60k+). My criteria was to buy a 4+ seat sedan (2 or 4 doors) . I ruled out the 2013 BMWs since they now feel like driving a Toyota Avalon (no offense to Avalons or their owners as I am one of them). I also test drove various Mercedes models, Porsche Panamera and Audi A8. They are all worthy luxury cars but none of them felt like my BMW. Then in January I test drove Tesla. Model S P85. Since I liked the test drive, and I put the deposit the very next day. I took pretty much every single option that they offered.
But again I was quite a bit tentative. I wasn’t comfortable with how it negotiated the exit ramp at a very high speed and other smaller issues (more on them later). The handling was great except for the exit ramp. Meanwhile I kept on looking for other options. I looked at other cars like Audi S8 . Fortunately for me, the dealer said there is a 2 month wait for S8. So kept on researching for a better car. If I hadn't purchased Tesla, S8 would have been my choice.
Then I went back to test drive again in March. This time I had noticed that they had introduced performance plus edition. I felt like P85+ would address the handling issue so I had decided to take a chance and finally got my Tesla last week.
I took the delivery from the factory. The technician in charge of the delivery was great. He patiently walked me through the car. During the walk through he realized that one of the blinkers weren’t working. He offered me with two choices. Pick up the car next business day or take the car and return to the service center next business day. A measly indicator was not going to stop me from taking my Tesla home. So I took the Tesla without the blinker which was fixed two days later.
When I drove home I felt like this car was just made for me. My perfect car was always going to be a sports car that made very little noise. In other words, I hated cars like Dodge Viper (with apologies to Viper owners). Since it was a weekend, there was no traffic on 680 and I could simply try various things I didn’t get a chance try on my test drive. I took the exit ramp at a very high speed with absolutely no issues.
All the positives of this car are well documented. I probably can go list 20 different things I like about this car. . It drives like a sports car. Its comfortable like a high end luxury car. Its quitter like a limo. The media options are amazing. The whole 17” Tablet for your car idea is brilliant. It’s very easy to find stuff. The interface is really intuitive. Having a web browser in your car is something I still cannot comprehend :) The upgraded sound system is great, not the best in the world but is really really good.
As good as this car has been, it has few negatives. I hated the turning radius on this car. May be somebody can explain why it’s turning radius of Tesla is similar to that of a pickup truck. Another major complaint I have is lack of sensors. My garage is relatively small. Even my Honda Odyssey has parking sensors and blind spot detection features. I have heard that Tesla is planning to add sensors for future releases. I really really hope they have plans to retrofit the existing cars with sensors (even for a cost). I have few other minor complaints about the front trunk (its not easy to close it, a hydraulic system would have been nice) and there is no way to automatically close the side mirrors. I will have to do it manually every time I park my car in the garage. I think Phone interface could be enhanced to support searching of contacts etc (I have few other User Interface related feedback don’t want to make sound like they are big ). I know I am knit picking here but I hope somebody from Tesla is reading these blogs :)
This is a dream car. The positives outweigh the negatives like 100 times. I would make the same choice 100 out of 100 times if I had to do it again. My only suggestion is that if you are in the market for P85, please try P85+. I am sure if you can afford P85 you can probably afford P85+. Even though I am not an expert, I could see the difference.
One side benefit of buying a Tesla is that now you want stop at a red light when it turns yellow ;)
Now I know what does it mean by a Tesla Grin :)