Test Drive Estimate?

Test Drive Estimate?

Now that the cars have a NHTSA rating, Tesla can offer test drives, correct? Any thoughts about when that will happen? There are many of us who would like to drive the car before committing to purchasing it.

I am Sig #550, so I should be getting "the call" in a few weeks. Unfortunately for me, it looks like I will either have to take a chance on buying a $100,000 car without driving it first, or deferring my purchase and dropping off the Sig list probably.

Before I bought my Audi A8, I test drove the BMW 7 series and the S-class Mercedes. All are premium luxury cars that cost close to $100,000, but I don't think I would have been happy living with the ride/feel of the Bimmer or the Mercedes for a long time. It's a personal preference thing. Nothing was wrong with the other cars - they just weren't that comfortable to me.

$100 grand is a lot to spend on anything that you don't absolutely love! Especially something that depreciates! I would like to hear when you think test drives will begin so the more "cautious" among us will feel we aren't taking a gamble that we will love to drive the car as much as we love to look at it.


jd3tm | 24 maggio 2012

Tesla Sales Dude at Santana Row showroom was very open when I asked about test drives Monday night..."We expect to have Test Drive vehicles beginning in early June". So, we could get a chance to drive in 2 weeks if you are in SJ area. They have a charging station behind the showroom where Test vehicles will be stationed.

First test drives go to Sigs who want one, followed by P's and later on will be opened to public who are considering purchase.

The other point made was that the 22 June delivery of the first Model S's would also include an "event" for Sigs and Test Drives would be available then as well.

It's interesting that the White, Perf Model S, (Vin #57) was sent to east coast this past weekend for the grand opening in either NY or MASS and replaced by an OLD Black Beta...when I kidded them about the switch the store manager said "at least we won't have this one for very long!"

I realize it's all rumor and hearsay until it happens; but, the Tesla sales folks at SR have gone from tight lipped "marketing isn't telling us anything you don't already know" to "we have been to the plant regularly for training and final preparation for roll-out".

She suggested I drop by every week to get the latest!


sig 692

dpann | 25 maggio 2012

About 6 weeks ago I had the opportunity to drive in the Signature Performance Model S beta car. I went to the Palo Alto facility and I was in the passenger seat and the interior was not complete but all I can tell you is WOW. The car is a rocket, the 0 to 60 in 4.4 sec pushes you back into your seat. We drove the hills of Palo Alto and the car handles great, feels like a heavy car and corners reall well. I'm not a sports car expert, but I've had BMWs and Audi and this car handled much better in my opinion. The experience had me wanting the signature series (I was on the waitlist). Within 2 weeks of the test drive, I cleared the waitlist and I'm number 1063.

Once more people get to test drive the cars, the word will get out and the orders will start flowing in quickly.

foto | 25 maggio 2012

I got a call this evening from a Tesla rep that I'ld get the opportunity to test drive the Model S "sometimes" in the summer. I'm P4975 but I think I got the call because I indicated an interest in a test ride on the website. Its exciting!

prash.saka | 26 maggio 2012

@dpann, I guess you are talking about a test 'ride' and not a test 'drive'. Or did you get to actually drive?

@bfadewole, sometime this Summer is good enough for me. My reservation is P 6,806. And I can't be too far behind you. As long as I can get a test drive (or two or three or ...) this year, I will be happy.

~ Prash.

jerry3 | 26 maggio 2012

I'm not convinced that a test drive really proves anything. A rental for a week might if you have doubts that you can live with it, otherwise it's really just a matter of having faith that Tesla "got it right".

TikiMan | 26 maggio 2012

For myself, it's really about the seats and the overall confortability, that will be my final deciding factor. As much as I HATE the fact that I will likely have to wait for a proper aftermarket center console, with secure storage and proper cup-holders, I need to know this is a vehicle that I can sit in for hours without back and butt pain.

On Thursday this week Cal-Trans decided to fix a pot-hole on the Interstate 5 freeway in Los Angeles,during rush-hour traffic, thus shutting down all but one lane on the most traveled freeway in America. For me, it turned into a solid three hour bumper-to-bumper nightmare!

As much as I really want and need this car, I can not deny, it has to be as confortable as all other top luxury sedans for me to pay $100k cash for it.

Also, I hope that the Internet can remain active while driving. I know for some this can be a driving hazard, however, in this day in time, I estimate I am losing at least $20k to $30k a year in lost business because of traffic.

Crow | 26 maggio 2012

Tiki, according to 2 reps I talked to, the Internet will not work while the car is moving unless there is a passenger. So, you're probably safe to use the internet on the 5 since you wont be moving.

Jason S | 26 maggio 2012

@Kroneal -- that is exactly the way all cars should work; disable the distractions only when no passenger. Let the passenger play if there is one.

A friend of mine spent a day disabling those protections in his car because things like the DVD player simply wouldn't work unless the car was IN PARK.

Nice to see Tesla taking the common sense approach.

Re: sitting in the car @TikiMan. A test drive barely gives a taste of that, I agree that renting or borrowing for a few days is the best case. Lacking that, however, I found the seats nicely comfortable and adjustable.

I'm also looking forward to a test drive and hopefully the event on June 22 will provide that opportunity.

TikiMan | 26 maggio 2012


Hmmmm... I wonder how the car knows there is a passenger? Maybe a sandbag on the passenger seat could act as a passenger, if it's a weight sensor thing?

TikiMan | 26 maggio 2012


Yes, that is true, however, so far just sitting in it hasn't been enought for me to know if I will feel confortable driving it for hours on end.

Teoatawki | 27 maggio 2012

TikiMan - Maybe a sandbag on the passenger seat could act as a passenger, if it's a weight sensor thing?

Or you could unretire the carpool dummy you've been using to drive in the express lanes while waiting for your S to arrive.

Crow | 27 maggio 2012

I was told it would have a sensor but somehow it could tell the difference between a person and something heavy. They couldn't explain how.

Slindell | 27 maggio 2012

My Prius sure can't tell the difference. Every time I place a couple bags of cat litter in teh passenger seat, the car wants me to put aseat belt around it.

Sudre_ | 27 maggio 2012

Well if it's looking for a warm body just take the dog with you :-)

Timo | 27 maggio 2012

It would need to be a proper dog, and not pocket dog. For cats you need at least Garfield-sized cat to sensor registering it. I think.

GeorgeA | 27 maggio 2012

bhs1 writes: I would like to hear when you think test drives will begin so the more "cautious" among us will feel we aren't taking a gamble that we will love to drive the car as much as we love to look at it.

July or early August 2012 is my guess. Telsa must manufacture enough newly minted S Models to ship to their various stores for test drives / showroom. I was reassured about my S Model purchase without seeing / test drive after I test drove the Roadster (amazing car) and have had great conversations with the FL sales team as well as Calif team via emails, calls and reading forums.

Very small gamble in my opinion. Worse case, sell it to one of many waiting eager buyers to get your money back. The few used Roadsters I have seen for sale, are selling well above their retail price. S Model will be even more so. Supply-Demand.

lobstermanat42 | 28 maggio 2012

Was told mid July in Chicago a few weeks ago when I went down for a Tesla fix. Number 5970, so we have a wait yet.

bhs1 | 5 giugno 2012

I guess now we know - June 23rd - July 29th depending upon where you live (or where you can get to). See for dates and locations.

It just so happens that I will be in Scottsdale in July so hopefully I can get a test drive before I head back to Philadelphia! We'll also see how the air conditioning works in 110 degree heat.


Brian H | 5 giugno 2012

I notice gaps (travel and touch-up?):
June 25-28; July 2-5, 9-12, 16-19, 23-25, July 30-Aug. 2.

Says they'll be stocking the stores and planning a second tour. I guess by Sept there should be demo models spread around pretty well.