Review that is possitive but didn't sit right with me personally...

Review that is possitive but didn't sit right with me personally...

Hi Tesla Motor's Fan's!

I watched this review from c-Net and it frankly, although positive, didn't sit right with me. Frankly, it pissed me off a little. What do you guys think?

Comment on no 4G is valid so I can't complain about that. She also commented on visibility and the cruise control being "annoyingly" above the turn signals.

My Issues:
Molly Wood got the 0-60 time wrong on the Performance (she said in 5.4 for Performance), (Time Code 4:30)
Her comments on handling not being up to par with German cars like the Audi A6, and that "the BMW still has better rode feel" (Time Code 4:44)

Aside from the obvious error about the 0-60 time, I have never driven a BWM (well, not since 1994) or any car from Audi. For those of you that have, do you agree with her assessment?

BYT | 03. oktober 2012

I should also make a note the c|net is also a technology review site and NOT a car reviewer typically!!

pilotSteve | 03. oktober 2012

perhaps its the old ad agency maxim "any publicity is good publicity"? I too found it pretty lame. She is NOT a top tier journalist IMO.

BYT | 03. oktober 2012

If you take the time to review something, and although I question her, I do use c|net often for tech reviews and it just bothers me that this get's put out there. They really just want to review the technology in the car, so why comment at all on the car itself? ARG, just bugs me, you know?

How about the comments on the handling? I want to say they are completely off base, am I right? Considering that I haven't heard of a German car with the low center of gravity that the Model S has, drag coefficients and super short time/feet to stop?

sergiyz | 03. oktober 2012

It's true about handling, maybe not for every BMW but comparable models - 5-series. The weight of the car plays a role in it.
Tesla's acceleration is superb but handling is not as tight, although it does give you enough feedback.
They know there's a way to improve it, Elon's car apparently has an upgraded suspension and wider tires on the back, they are thinking of making a performance plus version.
Cruise control on top is annoying, that was common feedback at AMP events, but it's something from Daimler, just takes getting used to.

BYT | 03. oktober 2012

Thanks sergiyz for the reply. I guess I want the Model S to be the best in every category, hands down, no compromise as Elon would also love the Model S to be. Is that really so wrong? :D

As someone again who wants the Model S to be the best it can be, I wonder when we would get an option and for how much more for the upgraded suspension and wider tires on the back? I already am getting a fully loaded Model S Signature Performance with the 21's. Only think I didn't get was the plastic armor!!

sergiyz | 03. oktober 2012

I don't think it's available yet, other than on Elon's car.
Don't get me wrong, it still has great handling, I was able to test it extensively since it was the first AMP event and they had almost no restrictions.
I hope they will offer it as an upgrade later.

BYT | 03. oktober 2012

@sergiyz, like you, I will stay posted for that! :)

Captain_Zap | 03. oktober 2012

I can say that the feel, handling and performance is similar to what you would experience with an 8-series BMW. Although, the Tesla is superior in handling in many aspects.

That's why I loved it!

rd2 | 03. oktober 2012

I thought the 4G comment was silly. If you have 4G capable phone that tethers to your Tesla, isn't that a 4G connection? Granted, it's not Tesla's own 4G connection, but I would think that's an easy way to overcome that 'limitation'.

Also, the comment about visibility was a new one. Has anyone else commented that visibility was poor? I can't recall this, and when I test drove, I didn't notice this either. I wonder if she was referring to the rear window?

sergiyz | 03. oktober 2012

she was referring to the rear window, but I didn't notice that, felt normal to me.

stevenmaifert | 03. oktober 2012

"She also commented on visibility and the cruise control being "annoyingly" above the turn signals." I have to agree with her on these. The slope of the hatchback does restrict the field of view out the window (not in an unsafe way IMO) and the location of the cruise control stalk is where the turn signal is in a lot of other cars.

mrspaghetti | 03. oktober 2012

The perception on the handling is highly subjective and individual. If they modified the car to please her, some others would complain they liked it better before.

Not having driven any other high-performance cars really, I'm more than happy (ecstatic, actually) with the handling, acceleration and everything else about the car. The cruise control location will take getting used to, but so will the ginormous touch screen, the acceleration, the vast storage space, etc, etc. I look forward to getting used to all of that :)

Teoatawki | 03. oktober 2012

When she was complaining about the visibility, I think she was also concerned about size of the B pillars

RedShift | 03. oktober 2012

Well, I drove the Tesla Model S at the Santana Row last weekend. (performance model) I currently own 325i and an Acura TSX, both class leaders in their own right in the handling department. I tend to favor nimble handling, great steering feedback and lightness over raw power. I have also driven many BMWs and Porsches. I know a lot of about automobiles, from the ride/ handling compromises, to thickness of anti-roll bars and how it affects roll in a car, for example.

My feedback about the Model S is this:

Steering: very neutral, solid, good feedback, nice and thick wheel.

Handling: bit ponderous at slow speeds, as expected, glued to the road in twisties, a bit harsh over uneven pavement. My benchmark here is the BMW M5, and I think it compares very favorably with it.

Acceleration: beyond awesome, blows everything away.

NVH: negligible, but not as quiet as I was anticipating, owing in small part to the 21" wheels and sports tires.

Interior: decent. Could be more well appointed, with more lux, and better, more comfortable seats, but not a deal breaker for me.

I put down my deposit.

nvjx | 03. oktober 2012

Molly wood is a bit dingy but charming personality. She often gets the facts wrong so this is nothing new.

kalikgod | 03. oktober 2012

@reach (sorry, a little OT)

Thanks for your opinions on the handling. Do you AutoX? If so, do you think the Model S could compete with the BMW's?

Also, what was the deciding factor for the deposit?

On Topic:

Only thing that really bothered me with the review was the 0-60 time, 5.6 vs. 4.4 performance is at least a $30k difference in any vehicle line. Everything else is pretty much non-professional driver opinion (except MB control stalks, why doesn't this stand out as much on MBs own reviews?).

They should have just let her play with the 17" display and ended it there. I was a little surprised that she was so impressed as a regular tech journalist.

Kal-el | 03. oktober 2012

They have a more accurate review by brian in the car tech section, Molly Wood just wanted an excuse to drive the car.

RedShift | 03. oktober 2012

I don't auto-x, but I have been advised by some of my friends to take (!) my little Bimmer to the track. Now these guys are automotive engineers, who I happened to have befriended at auto exhibitions ( some GM, some BMW). I would not abuse my Bimmer to that extent. Heh heh.

Anyways, Tesla Model S is tailor made to compete. It's charge should hold up to others, is all. I am sure Elon and company are hard at work on a competitive racing build of the Model S.

I'd like to say some thing about CNET . They best review technology. Cars, they should honestly not review. Couple of years back, they had ranked the Lexus LS 4xx as the best car they had ever reviewed, or something to that effect. While a good car, it's handling and feel is that of a sofa on wheels. It's laughable how CNET and Consumer Reports feel they can review cars. ( one can do tech reviews well, the other, Kitchenaid mixers, and their reliability) in that aspect, Car and Driver, Automobile do much better job.

My decision came down to this: this is really a pure bred 4 door sports sedan. I mean, who gives me a rear engine, rear drive, sedan, with rear-biased static weight distribution? No one else! Sure it could stand to lose, say 1000 lbs, but the weight is so low to the ground, you only feel it when making slow turns or slalom.

gMS | 03. oktober 2012

Who is Molly Wood???

michiganmodels | 03. oktober 2012

The 4G comment is completely valid. I have yet to get an answer whether the Model S is 4G/LTE capable (and not enabled) or if it is just 3G and will need a hardware upgrade in the future.

Vern110 | 03. oktober 2012

I can say from personal history and driving experience; having owned a M5 BMW (500hp, V10), driven Merc AMG S65, Audi R6 and R4, unless you are driving pass 150 mph, handling is far tighter and more responsive on the performance Model S. What surprised me the most with the model s, was not the technology, but the acceleration and torque out put.

RedShift | 03. oktober 2012


Versus the E60 platform M5: both are grippy, fast, and a bit ponderous, but for the feel :Model S does not suffer the higher CG, or the yaw created by the longitudinal mass of the front engine in the M5, or for that matter, I-6 in my Bimmer. That translates to a composed, flat cornering behavior, sans the ride compromises that usually accompany such rewards in a conventional sports sedan/car.

I would not mind having in the Tesla, the 'active' sports seats from the M5, though. ;-)

Brian H | 03. oktober 2012

She also complimented the rear and side view camera views. Unfortunately, the latter do not exist.

About the 4G, etc., GB's hints about ongoing negotiations leave room for some surprises.

TikiMan | 03. oktober 2012

Yup, the reporter comes off as a poster-child for the notion that women are dumb as hell, when it comes to knowledge about cars. I was suprised when she didn't complain about the sun-visor not having proper vanity mirror...LOL!

Brian H | 03. oktober 2012

Nah, she did all right; she just missed a few curves. ;)

Michael23 | 03. oktober 2012

It's just funny because how many other cars have 3G web browsers let alone 4g? What a silly comment.

BYT | 04. oktober 2012

Thanks all, I wanted to hear opinions from those who have driven newer model German cars for the handling experience comments vs. the Model S Performance and you provided it. Much appreciated! :D

Michael23 | 04. oktober 2012

Also, I would take the S to the BMWs I've driven any day! 6 series, 8 series, 3 series, and newer 645ci

BestBrokerinDallas | 04. oktober 2012

I had a BMW 760 Li (V12 engine) and my Model S drives much better! Just received my Signature today and it is OUTSTANDING! Thank you Tesla! S351...

jat | 05. oktober 2012

I don't have much experience with the cars being compared, but from brief test drives I would say the Model S has better acceleration and less body roll, but you do feel the extra weight in the corners. But, I think this is a subjective measurement and people are going to care about different things - personally I would greatly prefer the Model S, but I am sure there are drivers who like the cornering of a lighter car better.

BYT | 05. oktober 2012

Well, with future battery technology, can the Model S get lighter over time? I mean, 10 to 15 years down the road when we may need to replace the 85kw battery, may it possibly have half or a third of the weight of the current cells with twice or more of the capacity? How much are the batteries alone volume in weight? Anybody have an idea? Can you imagine what the Model S can do with a ton shaved off? Wonder how it would handle then? Can it still grip as well with the weight being so much less?

murraypetera | 05. oktober 2012

I took a test drive this week and I have to agree with some of her comments.
I still love the car and am very happy to have one on order.

1. Rear view out the mirror is horrible. Good enough to see a car behind you but not good enough for backing up.
2. The rear window glass distortion is bad.
3. Blind spot is kind of big as well.

I backed into parking spot when done. This was in a garage with a white pated floor and wall. I found it very hard to judge how far back the wall was. I revered to using the camera but even with this it was hard since there was no depth perception.

The sun visor is the smallest one I have ever seen. Being I was driving at night I do not know how affective it is.

a. Need radar in back like BMW's
b. Need radar and auto break in front
c. blind spot detector

Final observation - when in parking deck going slowly we could hear some sort of buzz going on in the front. Was for sure not supposed to be there. Almost sounded like static on radio but this was off.

Michael23 | 05. oktober 2012

With a rear cam you never look behind you while backing up anyway. They just need to add guide lines. Sensor for the front would be nice.

Brian H | 05. oktober 2012

Paint a few markers on the white floor and wall. Any design will do.

jat | 05. oktober 2012

@BYT - since the battery weighs 1300 pounds, it would be really hard to shave a ton off via lighter batteries :).

BYT | 05. oktober 2012, If the batteries are 1,300 lbs, and the Electric Motor isn't significant weight and the whole car's body is aluminum, where is all the weight? What makes up the additional ~3,000 lbs? 1,300 lbs for batteries sounds light to me? Would love a reference if you can find one and thanks for the reply!

Brian H | 05. oktober 2012

450 kg + cooling etc. IIRC. The crash-proofing structure is mostly steel, I believe. And the "light" aluminum is not weightless.

Timo | 06. oktober 2012

@BYT, actual batteries weight even less than that 1300 lbs.

There are approx 8000 batteries in the battery pack. (8000 * 3.1Ah * 3.6V = 89kWh) Panasonic 3.1Ah batteries weight 46g each. That adds up 368kg which is only about 811 lbs. A big and heavy ICE drivetrain with automatic transmission probably weights easily the same or even more.

Wiring probably adds up some 100 lbs easily and structure and cooling fluids the remaining 400 lbs.

I was surprised as well about the actual car weight. I was expecting under 4000 lbs vehicle, not 4600+ lbs one. Apparently that aluminum body does not save weight that much after all. Car itself is quite heavy, even considering it's size. Five star safety rating probably causes big portion of that weight.

OTOH, similar-sized premium ICE cars weight about same.

BYT | 06. oktober 2012

I guess then I would prefer the extra weight if it means a much safer car.

William9 | 06. oktober 2012

I currently drive a MB S550, so everything was very familiar to me when I test-drove the "S". In fact, it is annoying to me when I drive any other car that the cruise control isn't in the top left spot.

Alex K | 06. oktober 2012

@William9 | OCTOBER 6, 2012: I currently drive a MB S550, so everything was very familiar to me when I test-drove the "S". In fact, it is annoying to me when I drive any other car that the cruise control isn't in the top left spot.

I think Mercedes designed the cruise control and multifunction switch based on customer feedback. It's hard to image customers actually asking for it in this configuration.

Todd R. Lockwood | 06. oktober 2012

Her complaints all seemed pretty trivial, given all the extraordinary features of what is clearly a revolutionary car. Perhaps she or her editor felt compelled to include some complaints, however small, so the review would be taken seriously. To me, these nitpicks are akin to complaining about the color of Michael Phelps' bathing suit.