Tesla Test Drive Questions

Tesla Test Drive Questions

I thought it would be interesting to get a list of questions that people are looking to get answered at the Test Drive Events. What kind of performance/course are people looking for? What delivery questions do people have? Are there still unanswered questions on the vehicle that people are looking to get answer?

So have at it, lets see what people have to ask!

Can't wait to drive this weekend


vouteb | June 24, 2012

I so wish that I could have a choice of all colours for a SIG......

Schlermie | June 25, 2012

Is the Sunset Red a metallic paint? It looks sort of flat in the photos from the test drive event.

Schlermie | June 25, 2012
Schlermie | June 25, 2012

There's a horizontal line crossing from the uppermost tip of the headlight to the wheel well. Is that the edge of the paint armor?

mvbf | June 25, 2012

The general trend from all the kind people who have shared feedback from their test drives are lots of great reports about handling, some information about fit, finish, comfort, space, and very little information about optional equipment. The questions I still have that are as far as I know unanswered all have to do with optional equipment.

1) air suspension: handling and height of suspension system when raised;
2) comfort of the jump seats while car is in motion (I heard test cars were not equipped with jump seats, hope they change this for future events);
3) pano roof: anyone open and close these while moving;
4) audio system: is the higher quality audio option worth it (this one could have been tested with the static cars I assume)?

Brian H | June 25, 2012


2) The test cars (some, at least, like Elon's #2) were equipped, but their use wasn't allowed during the moving tests. I guess TM didn't want the complications.

4) I don't think the static cars were Production. There aren't any more production cars yet! Patience, grasshopper.

phb | June 25, 2012

@Schlermie: nope, that's the line between the bumper cover and the fender.

Brian H | June 25, 2012

That's a rather undignified red! Ticket-bait, I betcha.

William9 | June 26, 2012

In the Porsche universe we call that "Catch-me Red."

Longhorn92 | June 26, 2012

I'm interested to know if the rear headrests are adjustable.

Zextraterrestrial | June 28, 2012

I agree with Jason on all accounts!! -and I think we drove similarly ;>
and probably can't add more besides the fact that I had 5 people in my car while doing it all! and It felt like I was driving solo handling and weight wise - AMAZING .
A stop from 110mph w/ ~950 lb of passengers - a total of around 5500lbs of moving weight - EFFORTLESS

The Dolphin color is very nice with the performance wheels IMO. I like it better in person. the blue is nice and deep though but I think the wheels go better with the grey.
The pano roof was being opened while I was passing a car on the freeway at a 75-85 burst (prevailing traffic speed was ~80mph) and it was pretty loud but that was the only time I opened it.

Frowns -- I'm still smiling from Last Saturday!!!

EdG | June 28, 2012

@Zex: you had 5 people.. Did you have a Pano roof? How comfortable (head room) were the rear passengers?

JohnQ | June 28, 2012


When I visited Santana Row in March the headrest in the passenger rear seat was adjustable. Don't know if anything has changed since then.

Longhorn92 | June 29, 2012

Thanks JohnQ. It seems things may have changed for the production version. In a private post (, one person stated the following a few days ago:

The rear seat headrests are not adjustable. Sadly, they're permanently stitched into the seat.

BYT | June 30, 2012

FYI, I know it's the beta car that I looked at and I took a photo but if you compensate for the angle of the lining from the pano roof down to the rear windshield, I would say it adds no less then 4 inches of space. My buddy who I brought sat in the non-pano roofed brown car. He wishes it was an inch taller so in the pano, I would venture to say you can seat someone who is 6'5" comfortably.

ddruz | June 30, 2012


"Are the head rests up high enough to support the back of the head rather than the neck even for tall drivers?"

Here is my impression from the test drive I was lucky enough to attend in LA today. My body is only 5'10" but my torso is quite tall and I sit as tall as people 6' - 6'2" as a reference. When I floored the white performance production car the G force snapped my head smack back into the headrest! The headrest hit me perfectly in the back of the head, exactly right. IMO the front seat head rests would give tall people ample protection.

The rear seats are questionable because the headrests are low and non-adjustable. IMO a tall enough person's head would not be stopped by those headrests. However, I believe the roof slopes quickly enough that their head would be stopped by the roof before being hyperextened over the top of the rear headrests. A bump on the back of the head, but probably no whiplash.

Perhaps others could comment further on the rear seat headrests with respect to tall people. But I think you are definitely good to go with the front seats.

bsimoes | June 30, 2012

Jason S, your pictures and comments are so helpful; you've made a convert of me. Originally, I was going to go with the green, but now I am seriously leaning toward the Sycamore Brown. I'm wondering which pictures are the more accurate in color. In the 10th and 11th row of your pictures, the brown is much lighter--almost golden, and in row 19 of the pictures, the car appears much darker brown. I'm hoping that the lighter color is closer to the real thing, but either way, the car is gorgeous. Thank you for taking the time to help out so many of us!

Brian H | June 30, 2012

If Tesla plays the "odds", it will accommodate torsos (seat to crown) about 28" tall. There are exceptions, both in terms of proportion and very tall or short men, but that's the usual. For women, subtract 4". (In SI units, 70cm males, 60 cm. females.)

Jason S | June 30, 2012

@bsimoes -- I was just using a cheap consumer grade tiny camera, so there are plenty of shots over and under exposed. I didn't use the 18% gray reference, so you pretty much need to use other colors in the pictures to determine degree of color shift from my camera.

Norbert on the teslamotorsclub forums is putting together gorgeous pictures of the cars in the field. His thread is here:

The pictures are going up slowly because he's taking the time to make sure each one is a work of art by itself. The first two are really pretty.

My5bAby | June 30, 2012

rd2 & olanmills

Re: Dolphin Grey. I can be a bit Obsessive/Compulsive when I'm on the fence about something. Especially with it comes to colors. I arrived at the Freemont event at 2:00 and stayed until 7:00, primarily to try and figure out what was going onwiththe Grey. Let me also add I had already been hoping to get Dolphin Grey with a Tan interior. For at least 2 months before attending the event every time I saw a "metallic Grey car with Tan interior (usually a BMW, Mercedes or Audi) I followed it for a while or if it was parked I took pictures". I really want to get this right, for me. Further more after the event I've done the same, looked at cars similar to Tesla's Dolphin Grey, and stopped at an Audi Dealership. I was approached by a salesman who was kind enough to spend some time with me even after I basically brushed him off and told him i was really only looking at colors because i was getting a Teslsa Model S. He knew about the car by the way and asked me to bring it by. He also gave me an explanation about Grey.

OK, here is the Answer / Info.
1. At the event as the grey pulled around to enter the Tent I was very excited and really liked the color with the sun shining on it.
2. As soon as it entered the shad of the tent ALL and I do mean ALL of the Metalic Shimmer totally disappeared.
3. The color became a Primer covered with a glossy finish, in the shade.
4. I could not believe my eyes all of the excitement left me. The car would load with a driver and as it left the tent and entered the sun it returned to an unbeatable Gourgeous Metalic Grey Shimmer.
5. The salesman at Audi informed me that historically Audi's where only covered with Primer and maybe a clear finish, to "cut down on weight etc". The point being, it was a performance car and color did not add to performance and in fact detracted from it because of the weight. He then went on to say, "your eyes are not fooling you, especially with the new clear coats, some of these greys look like one car in a certain light and a totally different car in another.
6. Some Greys are Flat & primer like all of the time, some are Metalic all of the time, and some change between the 2.
7. Tesla has managed to somehow get the extremes in their Grey.
8. If you are a fan of the Primer Flat Grey you probably are blown away (positively by the Dolphin Grey color)
9. If, like me, you were a fan of the Metalic Grey, Tesla's Dolphin Grey was a disappointment.

As a friend of mine said, " some people must like the Flat Primer like Grey because there are a lot of people out there driving them. In fact the salesman at Audi said some Audi purists will not drive anything other than Grey because they consider other colors as deviating from the original "intent etc".

For me the Green really grabbed me it was Gorgeous in every light and will go very well with Silver wheels, Tan interior and Lacewood. I test drove a Green with Tan interior.

Finally regarding the wheels, personally I felt like the silver Performance & Standard wheels went better wi all of the cars because of the rest of the silver trim on the car.

Pictures to follow.


Re: filling the wiper fluid, it was under the hood but not in the frunk. It was in a place similar to your current car. I will post 2 pictures.

My5bAby | June 30, 2012

Oh I forgot


My5bAby | June 30, 2012

Sorry for the type o

Entered the shade of the tent


My5bAby | June 30, 2012

I hope you find these helpful. My compliments to Tesla for their Dolphin Grey, it is just not the Metallic Grey I was hoping for.


My5bAby | June 30, 2012

By the way here is the Green !

Yes in the shade it is dark and almost appears black, which for me is the best of both worlds. A deep Earthly Metallic Green during the day and a formal Black with shimmers of Green when under lights during the night :-)

I can't wait !

Thanks Tesla !


Denis Vincent | June 30, 2012

M5ybAby What were you considering with regards to the interior Choices if you go with Metallic Green?

My5bAby | June 30, 2012

Tan, Lacewood Pano and Silver 19 inch wheels. IMHO this combo really car the car an organic feel, which is fitting because it is silent like a living creature. The Lacewood & Obeche have Brown in them that compliment the the Tan but IMHO the Lacewood is Futuristic while the Obeche is more old school.
Also the Lacewood appears easy to maintain, unlike the Piano Black and glossy Obeche. Lastly the Tan is a fantastic Rich color that looks fantastic. It is bright enough to look like a million bucks but Dark enough to look great when aged or soiled.


My5bAby | June 30, 2012

Sorry for the type O

" this combo really gives the car a futuristic Organic feel ! "

I'm so, excited, I can't type :-)


olanmills | June 30, 2012

My5bAby, the analysis and pictures are much appreciated. I may be leaning towards the brown now, with a tan interior. I really don't know. I'll get an opportunity to see some next Saturday though. That's when my test drive is.

My5bAby | June 30, 2012
Teoatawki | July 1, 2012

It looks like the green/brown/blue are amazing colors! I think Tesla has really chosen well with those colors. Traditionally, I have nearly always purchased blue cars, and even so, I'd be seriously tempted by the green. I could live with the brown because it is a very rich metallic color, it's just not a color that shouts MY CAR!

Since I'm getting a Sig, though, I'm getting the first red car I've ever purchased.

My5bAby | July 1, 2012

The Blue was also fantastic like the Brown & Green. I'm just not a Blue car guy.


jerry3 | July 1, 2012

The darker colours look super but I know I would never be able to keep them looking nice. I wish there were more lighter colours to choose from.

Chris DC | July 1, 2012

@My5bAby Thank you for the pics. Very helpful. I have been considering grey and silver so far. I find it very difficult to decide on a color without actually seeing the car in reality. Wish Tesla had color corrected high-quality prints at their stores. Do they?

Anyway, it appears to me the grey on the picture you took under the tent still had a glossy shine to it. Much more so than the Lamborghini. Is that true? Also, is there a light blue component to it in sunshine?

But then the silver looks very pretty too IMHO

Choices, choices

David70 | July 1, 2012

Personally, my description of the metallic colors is that they're indescribable. Under different lighting they seem to exhibit all sorts of different colors. I'm looking forward to seeing them in person.

My5bAby | July 1, 2012

Chris DC

I included the pictures of the Lamborghini because it better represented how the Grey Tesla appeared to my eyes. As I said in a earlier post my iPhone must have altered the Grey pictures, making them look more glossy. None of my pictures of the Grey look flat but this does not represent what was visible to the eye. The most accurate picture of the Grey is the side picture of the Lamborghini. To the extent that the grey was glossy under the tent, think of wet grey paint.


My5bAby | July 1, 2012

The Silver was very nice !


rd2 | July 1, 2012

My5bAby and olanmills -

I am also partial to the Sycamore brown now. It has the best shade and sun combo of the group. It absolutely glows. I think there is a little rose color in there too, no?

Now about the interior. Although my wife tells me black and brown don't go together, I showed her the sample on the design studio, and she agreed it looked pretty great (sycamore brown metallic with black leather and obeche, 19" aluminum wheels). But I think the tan interior looks slick as well.


rd2 | July 1, 2012

fyi - if you like the Brown, mdennick has posted a ton of pix of it and other colors from the LA event. great looking brown. I'm almost sold on it.

My5bAby | July 1, 2012


I strongly suggest you consider the tan interior.
1. it will lighten and coordinate well with the Brown exterior.
2. Regarding the interior, the interior is minimalist. no doubt you have read many posts that say the interior does not live up to what would be expected in a mid level Luxury Sedan. While I don't agree with that assessment I do feel that having a colored interior, especially the Tan adds depth and accentuates the features/lines the interior of the car. Additionally the Obeche and Lacewood have light brown colors in them that make a smooth transition between the tan and black surfaces of the interior.


My5bAby | July 1, 2012

Chris DC

Look at Pic #60 from mdennick's gallery


Thanks so much you pictures are fantastic !


bsimoes | July 1, 2012

I'd be curious to know if anyone has ridden with only one window open? I never had a problem with earlier cars, but (at least) in the Prius, there is something odd about the air flow that causes actual physical pain in my ears when I try to just have one window open. I have tried various combinations of "openess" and need to have at least one on the opposite side open to let the air out(?) It would not be a dealbreaker, but I'm wondering if anyone has experienced this scenario. I need to be going about 40 mph to have this happen. Thanks for any insight.

jerry3 | July 1, 2012

The Prius is so aerodynamic that opening one window seriously disturbs the air flow. Open two on the side opposite you--but only 1/2" to 1"--and there should be no problem.

bsimoes | July 1, 2012

Jerry3, that is what I do, ('I have tried various combinations of "openess" and need to have at least one on the opposite side open to let the air out') but I'm wondering if the same thing happens in the Tesla. I'm hoping that I can have just the passenger window open--don't want my hair blowing everywhere and getting snarled; it's a frightful look!

cmlaff | July 1, 2012

I asked about the one window down experience and you'll get a thumping sound like a helicopter flying overhead as all that air that comes into the car has to escape somewhere and it goes out the way it came in albeit with great difficulty. If you get the pano roof you can open that if you want fresh air. If you are trying to cool it off a little without using the environmental controls you're stuck with at least two windows fully or partially open.

bsimoes | July 1, 2012

cmlaff--that's exactly what I was talking about! It's a good thing I'm getting the Pano roof; it's been so long since I've had a sunroof that I forget that that would be the way to get fresh air and let any heat build-up out.

GpsGuy | October 22, 2012

Anyone got photos, comments, on Model S Silver exterior with Tan interior?
I really like the silver outside. I really like the tan inside.
How do they look together?

darmawr | May 20, 2015

Since got my Model S 85D. Like those folks at Consumer Reports, my second "key" doesn't work. I wasn't shown the auto parking feature so not sure if that is operational or not. My first "key" won't open the rear trunk. Ugh! Would go back to the Service Center, but it is miles away and traffic to/fro is awful.