Impressions after 45 min test drive

Impressions after 45 min test drive

My current DD is a 2011 Jag XF Supercharged (comes with 20" wheels) with the ECU tune package (~520-540hp), and this is my second XF.I just drove the TMS P85 with 19" wheels for about 45 minutes in mix of city, highway, good/bad road surfaces, etc.Here are my thoughts ,strictly as compared to my car.
1) It is uncanny how the TMS immediately felt so similar to the XFS on the road as far as ride quality, steering and handling in general.Driving over bad road surface, feels same as the XFS.
2) Seat, driving position, steering position is very good
3)For an ICE, the XF has same philosophy of less is more - as far as physical switches and controls.Much more low key and elegant compared to anything German
4)when quickly turning the wheel left-right-left-right in low speed, the car is not planted, feels like the tire sidewalls are too soft or suspension is loose and it sways a lot.
5) Test Car has 5000+ miles, and no rattles, creaks at all
6)Accelerating hard from any speed between 0-65mph, the P85 feels faster for sure. Stepping on it above about 70mph, I would say the XFS easily pulls away. This is of course the normal expected difference between the ICE and E-motor torque/power delivery curves
7)interior quality is a lot of hits and misses considering it's a $100K car,definitely lower quality overall then the XFS. Too much plastic (low grade hard plastic)all over the place. The tray between the front seats is the most ridiculous thing, and a major screw-up, which by itself brings the whole interior down- however should be an easy fix.
8) visibiliy out the back is worst than even the XF, but I did not feel any issues on the road. Would be nice to have parking sensors for such a large car - that's a no brainer.
9) car is of course very quite at low speeds. At about70mph and above, total cabin noise is same as the XFS
10) switches on the steering wheel feel cheap and flimsy
11) Until today, I haven't seen an MS around here. Today suddenly I saw 2 on the road....
12)I lease my cars (36-39 month leases, 15Kmi/year)The XF normal maintenance costs are definitly lower than the S up to at least 4 years. Incidentally,the cost for the TMS is close to $1000/year and not the claimed $600. (adding the rumored $30/mo for 3G connectivity).
13)Came away from the test drive impressed,but not blown away. Considering the rave reviews, and how so many people are blown away by the TMS, I have a new appreciation for the XFS, which costs 30% less.
14) Note that I am not discussing the range issue at all in this report.

defmonk | March 26, 2013


I kind of agree that the churn by non-owner, fan boys degrades the quality of these forums. Equally, I'm not sure that anecdotal reviews by random test drivers are that useful either. In both cases, there are folks with limited first-hand knowledge making assessments of little actual value.

As an aside, and from actual ownership experience, my Jag was the only car I've ever owned to be flatbedded two days after delivery. I chuckled through the whole Broder swirl thinking about that ICE experience.

jdesmo | March 26, 2013

While I am sorry to hear about your Jag experience, I've greatly enjoyed my actual ownership experience with them (so far). I wish you the same or better with the MS.
Your 'random test drivers' comment is however puzzling. Even as a 'second class citizen' on your forum, How else can I make an assessment unless I drive the car? Yes, I could have increased my 'first hand knowledge' greatly if Tesla offered a car to test drive for a weekend, rather than 45 minutes. (Infiniti for example did provide these extended test drives to me in the past).
I'm otherwise already reading all I can about the MS.

carlk | March 26, 2013

@defmonk. You hit it right on the head. With dozens of published reviews from experts with serious test methods I have no idea what's the purpose for someone to post a pretty serious conclusion from a claimed 45min casual drive. Most people have way more experience with MS than op and few have any interests in the XF. I don't believe it's of much use for people here except to fan some arguments (some calls it trolling). I've been in these kind of forums long enough to know what this is.

mika_ | March 26, 2013

Man, people need to put their knives away. All it takes is conceding that some car out their may be comparable or (gasp) better than the MS in some category, and people flip out. Say anything too negative and you have to be shorting the stock! :P

I've had my S for a month and love it, but I know there are things about it that plenty of people wouldn't agree with me on. People have different tastes and priorities - get over it. This is nowhere near the first time I've seen concerns with interior quality/choices - I don't agree, but heck, we can't even all agree on the best interior trim and color.

RedShift | March 26, 2013

As a car guy, I know what he means by too much roll in quick direction changes at low speeds.

I noticed this on my car recently. (My TMS is 2 days old)

Hey, this is a heavy car. Can't overcome laws physics.
A jag, however has more polar moment of inertia than the TMS.

Ride quality, an attribute perfected since the early Jaguars, is also a strong point of the TMS,
As noted by the thread starter. That is a lot to achieve for a newcomer like Tesla.

Guys, please don't be so defensive TMS is a great car, not withstanding a few niggles.

RedShift | March 26, 2013

Jdesmo, one more thing. Jaguar took a lot of time to perfect their balance, ride quality, and power delivery.

TMS benefits from the basic skateboard architecture to hide the few hundred pounds weight increase as compared to an XF. Wait a few years and the batteries might get lighter.

Then the venerable Jaguar as well as a couple more marquee brands might find life a bit uncomfortable.

EcLectric | March 26, 2013

When I had a Lexus, they ran out of loaner cars and I had to go to the local Avis to rent the loaner myself. Apparently, this particular location was all about loaner cars for the local dealers. I was behind a woman who was getting a loaner while her Jag was in the shop. The person who filled out my paper work said something to the effect of "... yeah, she's in here all the time...".

So if you are going to buy a Jag, you should probably do some research on the quality of the local loaner cars, since that's what you will be driving half the time.

defmonk | March 26, 2013


No knives. I'm not questioning the validity of jdesmo's opinion. It's valid and well thought out. So, I suppose, are the opinions of the thousands (?) of test drivers across the country. It's just that they aren't very valuable in a forum where there are owners who've collectively driven hundreds of thousands of miles (conservatively) and many professional reviews (some of which, incidentally, offer some of the same observations as jdesmo) are readily available.Thanks goodness the thousands of other test drivers have not shown jdesmo's initiative and further diluted the forum.

On the matter of the grammar-correcting, global-warming denying, make-up-factual sounding data sideliners, they're even more useless and unduly clutter up otherwise useful threads with their "I will never own a Tesla, but will lurk in the forum for years" clucking.

mwojcie | March 27, 2013

Jdesmo - if you live in the Los Angeles / So Cal area I'd be happy to spend some time with you in my MS. You'll be a convert by the end of the day for sure!

sergiyz | March 27, 2013

For what it's worth, I've traded in my XFS for a MS Performance and never looked back.
I can say only nice things about Jag, very nice service, great car overall.
But I like my Tesla way more now.
It's not a car for everybody, but neither is Jag, pick your own.
And yes, you should try 21" wheels on MS Perf, it feels way more solid.
It does sway a bit, but gives you enough warning to correct it with no drama whatsoever.

petero | March 27, 2013

Jdesmo. I suspect the future lease offered on MS will not be competitive to leases offered by similar ICE manufacturers. Big ICE has long used subvented rates, rebates, etc. to make leasing an attractive way to ‘sell’ new cars every 3-4 years.

TM will not be motivated to subvent the rates like BMW and Audi. While I have not priced Jaguar leases I would guess they, like Audi and BMW, are priced to encourage moving the metal at a ‘sales’ expense to the manufacturer. TM will not want to lower their profit margin, at this time (my guess) to move metal out the door. TM may use the technology card and gasoline savings of $3K+ per year as a sales factor for comparison. Also, most prestige manufacturers offer free maintenance for 36 months which is not going to happen at TM.

What city/state do you live?

joe12pack | March 27, 2013

I think the whole CO2 footprint should be left out of these discussions. There's a lot of us that love the Model S but don't believe the whole global warming hype that the bankers are pushing so they can collect carbon taxes from everyone. The carbon credits trading scheme was hatched by Ken Lay so that gives you an idea as to it's origins. Also, it should be noted that these Tesla's are really Coal powered cars since most of the electricity in the U.S. comes from Coal. Does that make you feel better about your "footprint"?

torst1 | March 27, 2013


While we are all happy Tesla brings out great EV that don't pollute that does not actually cut it these days for many people. There are so many choices in the Tesla price range. Like it or nok many people will judge and compare car with similar price tags even if they are not really similar cars.

While OP has got his fair share of bashing her I would rather take the time to address the list myself. For another point of view. And to you all that might find OP's commentaries hard to take - read them all over again. Most of the comments are really about what a good car it is.

What is he really complaining about?

The one where the car feels loose - I put that on winter tire. Seems most of the people that have driven MS has not mentioned that the car feels loose - in fact the comments are usually the opposite. So I will not pay attention to that issue at all. I only see 3 things that are negative. And one of those are the same on all similar cars.

#7, the cheap interior is the one that attracts attention - we've seen this on the forum. And why? It will cost Tesla so little to up the quality of the cabin. And then the noise will forever vanish. So pls Tesla - do something with the perceived quality of the cabin. Add some extra leather, add another 15 minute at the drawing board. This should be easy to address.

#8 visibility via inner mirror or looking gout rear window is something that lots of car with a design similar to Tesla experience. Tesla has rear view camera - yes? Problem partly solved. Add parking sensors and we will never hear of this again.

9# not an issue. In hi speed wind noise and road noise from tires are what catches ones ears. It will be the same for Tesla as for most other car. Only one with less noise might be top end luxury cars with dual layer windows and extra padding - but those things in at a price. Both in $ and drive-ability. So I would say it is all good and what one could expect.

10# flimsy controls on steering wheel - if those control are really from Mercedes they should be on pair with what you have in the jag? If you think back - maybe your feeling for the steering wheel was clouded by an overall negative take on the quality of the cabin?

carlk | March 27, 2013

@joe12pack, You need to learn the issue better if you think Ken Lay is in anyway responsible for the carbon credit trading scheme. Most of the developed world is doing thatnow. US and China are the only two significant economies that are not implementing the Kyoto treaty. US did sign the treaty but the congress failed to ratify it. At this time only few states have implemented their own version of cap and trade.

Also most electricity in the US are NOT generated by coal firing plants. Only 42% of them are. Not to mention carbon foot print of MS is still only about half of that from ICE cars even if 100% of electricity you use to charge the battery came from coal firing plants. Efficiency of electric motor is much higher (2~3x) than that of ICE. That is just the inherent advantage of electric motor.

Get the facts straight instead of using the false talking points from Fox News and the detractors. You will feel much happier driving your MS if you do.

joe12pack | March 27, 2013

@carlk - The single largest source of electricity in the U.S. is from Coal. Can you name a bigger source of electricity? I didn't think so. And since you aren't good in math, I have attached an image:

The Red shape that takes up almost 1/2 the circle- that's coal.

Most of the developed world is being robbed by Goldman Sachs through this fraudulent global warming scam. You are aware of Climategate at the University at East Anglia?

Or is this something NPR hasn't mentioned yet? And no I don't listen to FoxNews. Both the mainline Republicans and Democrats are the same. More war, more patriot act, NDAA... what's different?

jbunn | March 27, 2013

Joe, my state is 80% renewable electrictity. Secondly, my car has an equivilent of 100 mpg. My carbon footprint is VERY small, and I dont drive a coal powered car. And as time goes on and we move to renewables, my car gets even cleaner.

joe12pack | March 27, 2013

jbunn - You must have me confused with carlk. I am not interested in your carbon footprint since my position is that all this global warming/carbon footprint stuff is a scam/backdoor tax.

The Model S IS a sweet car.

jdesmo | March 28, 2013

@Redshift - I totally agree that for an up-start, TM did an incredible job going up the learning curve in a few short years.Therefore , it should be easy for them to address the few 'non- major' issues with the MS.
@mwojcie - Thanks for the generous offer, but I'm on Long Island. I called the local TM store manager back few days ago, and asked for some owners around my area I can talk to. He promised to email it right away, I'm still waiting.
@petreo- As I mentioned before, the 'fuel' cost for an MS is greatly influenced by the geographical location - much more so than an ICE. For our area, we pay over $0.22/KWH. calculated with charging efficiency and vampire drain, I come up with equivalent of 34mpg, which is just double my XFS average. Adding aspects like maintenance costs, connectivity costs, etc. I think bottom line, the MS has the potential to save some like myself $200/month.

carlk | March 28, 2013

@joe12pack I don't think anyone could confuse you to me. Anyway enjoy driving your MS and help to preserve the earth even unintentionally.

jason_freedman | March 28, 2013

Jsdemo. At those rates (triiple the off hours rate in CT) I'd seriously look at solar if I were you. Your payback would likely be less than 3 years. For us, our payback on solar is 6 years (covering all our electricity). which is still worth it. After that you are essentially getting infinite MPGe. Also, many places on Long Island have free charging stations so you could take some advantage of that.

jdesmo | March 28, 2013

I'm not aware yet of free charging stations on the island. Can you give me few examples for my education?
I should start checking about solar. However, our area on the north shore is densly wooded, also around the house.