By on March 9, 2015

Obligatory XKCD

You’d think that, after all these years, I’d have a tougher skin for people who say stupid things on the Internet. And I’m pretty good about that, but now that I own a Tesla, it strangely gets under my skin when people write ill-informed drivel about the car. Here at TTAC, we’re all about well-informed drivel. It’s a subtle distinction, but we’re proud of it. Anyway, here’s a bit of unfortunately typical writing, found on a random Internet chat board (not TTAC, because the B&B would never stoop to this). All grammar and spelling have been left untouched.

Tesla interior is junk far away from luxury. BMW 335i has better interior design, and 550i in whole different league. Road noise, cheap panels, flimsy speaker grille, seat comfort, ceiling height, sound quality (premium sound!!) all materials that tesla uses belong to 20$K Honda. So rest of money goes into battery price.

Let’s break this down, shall we?

tesla-IMG_20150301_114354Interior is junk far away from luxury. BMW and Tesla both use lots of leather, including on the dashboard and doors. They both have options for nice wood inlays. BMW has optional brushed aluminum inlays. Tesla has optional carbon fiber inlays. Newer Teslas have optional sport seats that are very much in the same ballpark as typical BMW seats. About the only interior feature I’ll give to BMW is its optional “active ventilated seats”, offered on some higher-end models. Here in Texas, that’s a real feature, although Tesla does let you start the climate control remotely using their phone app. I used this on a recent Girl Scouts camping trip, wherein the temperatures dropped below freezing at night. It was great to hop into a car with a pre-heated cabin.

Interior design. Perhaps the original poster was unhappy with Tesla’s overuse of skeuomorphism (i.e., fake brushed metal, beveled edges, and bubbly buttons in the computer displays)? It’s hard to say. I come at design from a utilitarian perspective. Does the car let me do what I want to do, quickly and accurately? Common things should be fast with at most a quick glance. Uncommon things should be possible without training. After several months with the Tesla, I’d say they’re achieving this objective. The steering wheel buttons really do have most common things covered, such as changing the fan speed or skipping tracks, and the massive touchscreen makes it possible to dig in and tweak settings without going mad. BMW’s iDrive, no matter how many times they revise it, is still an embarrassment.

Road noise. There are several sources of noise in a typical car at speed: wind, tires, suspension, drivetrain, and screaming children. Electric drivetrains are insanely quiet, whereas BMW creates artificial drivetrain noise through the stereo system because … reasons. Wind and tire noise are largely the same between Tesla and any fancy German luxury sedan. I’ll modestly complain about suspension noise on the Tesla, though it’s not what you’d think. Like all good luxury cars, the Tesla’s suspension does its best to shave off the sharp insults from driving over crappy roads. What’s seemingly unique about the Tesla is what happens, even on the smoothest of perfect roads, when you hit a small bump, maybe a single pebble in the road. You get a muffled thud, basically a low frequency beat like you’d expect from a typical hip-hop album. This appears to be related, in part, to the “frunk” acting as a resonant chamber and in part to the large battery pack under the floor acting as a giant drum. Loading up the frunk with random luggage or boxes seems to help a lot. Since noticing this noise in my Tesla, I’ve paid close attention to other cars in which I’ll be riding, and the “thuds” tend to be less low-frequency boomy and have more high-frequency harmonics. I suspect this is because other cars have more irregular shapes to their floor (e.g., transmission tunnels). All that said, when you turn on the stereo, even at modest volume, you’ll never notice any of this. Pro-tip: you can hush the little ones by shouting “watch this” and slamming the go pedal. Buys you a few seconds of quiet.

tesla-IMG_20150111_123705Cheap panels and flimsy speaker grilles. They’re pretty much the same as you’d get anywhere. There are far fewer squeaks and rattles in my Tesla than in any other car I’ve ever owned. It’s clear that Tesla really sweated the details on NVH. And keep in mind, my car is 1.5 years old and has been a daily driver the whole time. It’s holding together quite well.

Sound quality? (premium sound!!) As I wrote in my Tesla vs. Jaguar comparison, the optional high-end Tesla sound system is seriously good stuff. The one time I heard the base sound system, however, I was unimpressed. If you’re going to buy a Tesla, pony up for the upgrade. My only real complaint is with the default Internet audio provider, Slacker. I’d much prefer some combination of Pandora and Google Music, but the only way to get those in a Tesla is through your phone’s Bluetooth.

Seat comfort / ceiling height. I’m 5’11” and I fit just fine; my car doesn’t have the panoramic glass ceiling, which adds even more headroom. The Tesla is a very large car, with plenty of room for grown adults in the back seat. The absence of a transmission tunnel is a huge win for your middle-seat passengers if you’re packing them in. In terms of comfort, I haven’t done any serious roadtripping yet in my Tesla, but the seat feels an awful lot like the standard you expect from luxury German cars: stiff but supportive.

Materials that tesla uses belong to 20$K Honda. The Model S is an aluminum car, putting it in the same league as an Audi A8. Aluminum is showing up all over the place, these days, including the new Ford F150. Aluminum is preferred for the strength you can get for a given amount of mass. The problem with aluminum is that it’s very, very expensive if you get into a collision. As an example, Motor Trend’s long-term Audi A8 had a $11,000 mishap with a road bollard. It’s just as bad for Tesla. Supposedly, the forthcoming “Model 3” will use steel. If you drive as poorly as this fellow constructs sentences, you’ll be wishing your Tesla used more steel, like a $20k Honda.

So rest of money goes into battery price. Indeed, Tesla is working on this “gigafactory” monster in the Nevada desert, to improve the worldwide capacity for lithium-ion cells, reducing their price, and affording legions of future gonzo Hunter S. Thompson wannabes the opportunity to tie together Nevada’s brothels, battery manufacturing, and gambling industries. And indeed, the battery system is where most of the complexity of the car lies, so it makes sense for them to invest in improvements. My Tesla leaves a puddle of water in my garage from its air conditioner running, hours after I get home, because it really, really wants to cool down the battery pack. Now if it could only cool down the hot heads on the Internet.

tesla-IMG_20150309_074051

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103 Comments on “Ur-Turn: Tesla Haters Gotta Hate...”


  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    OK, Dan. So you haven’t suffered buyer’s remorse yet. You are still under the influence of the self hypnosis that goes along with a person’s trying to justify his/her purchase.
    I know. I do this. All the time. So I fully understand what you are going through.
    “Cheap panels and flimsy speaker grilles. They’re pretty much the same as you’d get anywhere”
    Is it me or did I get this feel all throughout the rebuttal run downs? I feel there is a whole lot of get out of jail free stuff.
    However….this is a 100K car.
    And I still say for 100K it is short on quality AND luxury. And I can say this cause I drive this car often. Yes, the green beauty we have is one of the earliest, but it should be what you are reviewing.
    Yes…unbelievable torque.
    Nice having lots of boot storage.
    But please…I cannot get past my inability to drive my main car forever without the fuel issue.
    And I get nicer leather in my MKS.
    To tell the truth…I look much more towards my brother’s X than this sedan.
    He is number 22 on the list, so it should come by 2016????
    At least the X will be more useful doing the everyday city/family stuff an electric car is designed for.

    • 0 avatar
      tylermattikow

      Is it a good value? No it isn’t. On the other hand there is not single 100k car that is. A Mercedes S-Class at 100k is not a good value either, nor a Porsche Panamera, BMW 7 Series or Jaguar XJ.. A Tesla is a full sized Luxury car just like the above examples, priced similarly, and the buyers are willing to pay the asking prices…

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        A “good value” among used cars takes into account price of acquisition and condition of said 100K car. Therefore it is entirely possible there is a “good value” among 100K cars depending on those factors. Would a 10yo (at the time) 131K Geo Prism for $700 with a documented motor replacement you find in the glovebox at 118K be a good value to you? (true story). How about the parents proverbial free car, this a good deal at 100K and avg condition? How about the old neighbor’s low mile good condition creampuff for cheap, despite any wearables needing attention?

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        yes…I agree.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          True $100K cars are poor values as transportation propositions. Impressing the neighbors is their main purpose.

          I’d feel smarter owning a Tesla than a loaded up Mercedes or Lexus 460 with every option.

          At least the Tesla would have the novelty of being a plug in electric and I wouldn’t feel like I should have just bought a Genesis or an Equis instead.

          • 0 avatar
            Ihatejalops

            Well the Genesis and Equus are built better; now that’s the irony.

          • 0 avatar
            Internet Commenter

            Considerations re $100,000 price:

            * Low production/sales volume
            * High fixed cost to “Federalize” a new vehicle in
            the U.S.
            * This is essentially an entirely new vehicle built from
            the ground up without a deep parts bin.

            High development costs without the benefit of volume amortization will inevitably result in compromises, absent a higher MSRP.

            Frankly, it’s damn impressive that Tesla was able to deliver a vehicle so well executed on it’s first try, and this isn’t even considering the fact that it’s with a power train using “new” technology.

            The Model S isn’t my cup of tea, but way to go Tesla!

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Buyers aren’t paying the cost of the cars, which is my only real problem with Tesla. Instead, everyone from state and federal taxpayers to buyers of conventional cars in California are paying the price for the wealthy leeches that suck up the subsidies.

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickmichaels/2013/05/27/if-tesla-would-stop-selling-cars-wed-all-save-some-money/

        • 0 avatar
          probert

          You have an entire military industrial complex set up to protect oil reserves and distribution routes. This involves money and the lives of other peoples’ children.

          You might be good with that – you might not be – but it should be factored into the equation.

          Other: Teslas are fabricated and manufactured in the US – providing jobs and resultant tax benefits. They did in the middle of a depression.

          They paid back their govt. loan ahead of time. Wonder how Ford and their 26billion are doing with that.

          Sorry to bother you with complexities. Thinking hurts.

    • 0 avatar
      Dieselkopf

      I don’t know how much we can discuss value with a Tesla. It is so early in its type of vehicle. When you buy one, you are essentially funding the R&D lab. EV’s for general consumption, whether as an economy type car or a luxury car, are not a well developed product yet. That being said, I am not in a position to own one personally. Even if I were, I would be tempted to spend my 100K differently. I just think that there should be a certain factor applied in discussions of value to compensate for the newness of the product and the funding of development of EV’s in general. Somebody has to pay for the innovation.

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        If innovation can’t pay for itself, who is to say which innovation gets paid for, by who and how much? And how does that differ from old school Soviet central economic planning?

        I like the Tesla, but would feel a whole lot better about it if we weren’t all subsidizing the rich’s indulgence in their greenness fantasies.

    • 0 avatar
      Mike999

      Why are you wasting our time with Your Issues.
      Go somewhere else and prove your pussyness about your need for gas.

      This car is the best car Consumer Reports as ever tested.
      They test BMW, Mercedes and Jaguar.

      And you Don’t got nicer leather in your MKS.

    • 0 avatar
      MrCharlieWhyoming

      gotta say this now, TESLA is not a car it’s a baby playpen for adults

  • avatar
    danio3834

    “The Tesla is a very large car, with plenty of room for grown adults in the back seat.”

    My major gripe with the interior is the back seat. The floor is so shallow that an adult with legs has to sit half way in the fetal position. I’m not an awkwardly proportioned 6’2″ and was not pleased sitting back there for long.

    The rest of the interior design I could chalk up to individual preference. I don’t care much for the Apple iStore minimalism of it, but I could see how some might. The same people who complain about a lack of tactile buttons in mainstream cars should scream their heads off about the controls in the Model S. I haven’t read enough to find out if they are.

    One other point, I feel like it should have more features for the price. Obviously the novelty factor makes up for a good deal of the missing feature content for the owners who bought them. It does offer good performance and a decent ride, which I liked.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Trolls only succeed if you acknowledge their existence. Any reply or counterpoint makes them feel validation.

  • avatar
    redliner

    “BMW’s iDrive, no matter how many times they revise it, is still an embarrassment.”

    Drivel.

    • 0 avatar
      energetik9

      Yeah, I agree. I was supportive up until this comment.

      I’ve owned BMWs with iDrive. It’s become a very good system. I think most reviews are pretty favorable of it at this point.

      • 0 avatar
        gsp

        Nope, after 10 years with BMW iDrive it is still a fail. After three cars, (two x5’s and a 3 series) I would say it is better but still bad. My 2007 Honda Minivan has a better nav system than any current iDrive nav.

        I ended up with a Panamara over a Telsa. And it DID come down to the interior. I was going to be out a lot more money for the Tesla and I felt that the interior, while good, did not feel nearly as good as the Porsche.

        BUT the Telsa is a great car. I wish I could have it AND the Porsche.

  • avatar
    michal1980

    you sure this was some other forum member?

    sounds like that ‘my truck is bigger then your truck so I’m better then you all’ poster we have around here.

  • avatar
    favro

    I hate to break it to you, but the troll is right. I wanted to like the tesla so much. Loved the drive train and all the technology that went along with it.

    The interior is bland and miles behind the German competition. Panel gaps are large. The dashboard wiggles an inch!! Does yours do that? Every one I’ve been in does! My new s3 has an interior that is 100x nicer, for half the price.

    What’s most insane is that you can’t find a negative review of the Tesla anywhere. They have an apple like ability to convince people.

    Add to that doubts around the life of the battery pack and it doesn’t make sense. Hybrids are the way of the future.

  • avatar
    Marone

    Those comments seem the norm. Most likely from some guy that has never driven one or likely spent a few seconds sitting in one. It’s the nature of the anonymous internet.

    Personally, I root for Tesla. If for nothing else to break the old dealer system. I see a ton where I live so they’re obviosuly doing something right.

    • 0 avatar
      mechaman

      Me and you, bro. If the Leaf is outselling the other EV’s, it must be outside the Midwest, Chicago metro area. I’ve seen two since they started selling .. last night, the Tesla I saw brings my total to about 25-27 in just a couple years.

      • 0 avatar
        AustinOski

        I think they are all here in Austin. We have one. Can’t find a space to charge it at Whole Foods (yes, we live the entire cliche’). Too many other LEAFS and Tesla’s, a few Volt’s and the revolting BMW i3’s.

        Some cars grow on me over time. the i3 is un-gowing on me. And, historically, i’m pretty pro-BMW.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      My feelings as well. And best of all it’s a car the Detroit leadership said would never work but obviously has worked and the car is made right here in the USA where supposedly good cars can’t be made. ;)

      If I didn’t mind dropping the cash on a 100K depreciating asset – I’d buy a Tesla before any of the other luxury brands.

      A friend kept going on about the price. Let me remind folks that you can now spend $80K on a Ford pickup truck…

  • avatar

    The car is drop dead gorgeous. Owners of other beautiful cars also tolerate niggling details.

    I admire the car. I admire what Tesla has accomplished. I am skeptical of Elon Musk’s strategically timed press releases. I am skeptical of their accounting. I am skeptical that the funding is available for Tesla to fund ongoing R&D and product development, the build out of the recharging network, AND own its own retail outlets. I am skeptical that Tesla will be able to survive as a stand alone company when the other auto OEMs decide to seriously get in the EV game. The word is “skeptical.” I am NOT saying they can’t do it. I just have my doubts. Consequently I don’t own Tesla stocks.

    Who knows, perhaps they will clean up selling batteries to other OEMs? New ground is being plowed. I commend them but I not not a gambler.

    Again, the Model S is effing beautiful. Can it sustain autobahn speeds? What is the real story in really cold weather? Isn’t it true that most Model S owners have other vehicles in the garage to use when range is an issue?

    There is a lot yet to be determined.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Sounds about right.

      I’m moderately bearish on Tesla, Inc.

      I doubt I’d ever buy a Model S, just because it scratches the wrong itches for me, even if I had that kind of spare money.

      But it’s *beautiful and fast*, and I don’t doubt a word Mr. Wallach said about the interior quality.

      (And frankly, at this point the Teslas look to be cheaper to maintain than any BMW, outside of bodywork.)

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    Good clickbait to get the haters out to push back against your personal review of the Tesla. Nevermind that not one of them has seen a Tesla for more than 15 minutes at an Auto Show (because we know they didn’t even make it into a dealership…). So while it’s fun to watch the minute-to-minute hand-wringing the next decade is going to make electric cars more common whether they like it or not. :)

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      “next decade is going to make electric cars more common whether they like it or not. :)”

      That’s right force feed electrics to the great unwashed because they don’t know what’s good for them. That’s why we have arrogant nipple-heads to show us the way

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      “Nevermind that not one of them has seen a Tesla for more than 15 minutes at an Auto Show (because we know they didn’t even make it into a dealership…). ”

      You’re wrong, but by now you’re probably used to it.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Hell, I’ve walked by a Tesla at the mall, because that’s where the dealerships are.

        (I agree that electric cars will be “more” common over the next decade.

        But “more common than virtually none of ’em” isn’t a high bar, is it?

        There’re enough hippies and performance-heads to sell a lot of Leafs and Ses, respectively.

        Ain’t gonna hold my breath on “mainstream”, though.)

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        @Lie2me – Nice attempt to paint it as elites against blue collar. Thanks for trying though. I find it kind of funny to watch how you used to use a veneer of ‘tolerance’ to try and hide you were just another crass right-winger who can’t handle competition.

        @Danio – Sure? I mean, I’ve been wrong what….zero times so far? I’m truly used to it. But again, you’re welcome to prove me wrong by saying you went to a dealership! Congrats, you caught on to my exaggeration for emphasis….

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          ” I’ve been wrong what….zero times so far?”

          You never disappoint when I’m looking to laugh out loud, I just had an operation and I’m pretty sure that popped a stitch. Thank-you

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Don’t worry, I’m sure that insurance you got will cover it, right?

            For the record, all the internet jibber-jabber from you and the collective horde is generally hilarious to me as well. So are we done trying to play this game or are you content to play the imbecile?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I believe you have the position of “imbecile” all locked up

            Not to mention jackass as well

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            You’re still struggling to build your case. Each time you comment you’re always hurling invectives, trying to win some tragic and petty ad hominem argument with your social better. The trick is I just don’t care. I throw my comment out there and I watch you twirl in angst against it because that’s what you do. It’s more tragic that I can get you in such a tizzy with so few words.

            You need to lay off the caffeine and find somebody new to stalk, kiddo. :)

        • 0 avatar
          jdogma

          I don’t think he sees it as elites against blue collar. I think he is referring to the politics behind it and the way it works.
          “force feed electrics to the great unwashed” – What he means is that via market manipulation, electric cars are being given an artifical advantage in the marketplace. I am sure you agree with that statement.

          “…don’t know what’s good for them. That’s why we have … to show us the way” – What he means by that is people in our government are making these decisions with respect to the market, because they think they are smarter than the people buying cars. Well I don’t think he is right about that. I think the government people making the decision to manipulate the market know that the people in the marketplace are smart – smart enough to know that electrics are not the best choice in many cases, so they have to manipulate the market to get it to behave the way they want. That is probably what he means by arrogant. Don’t you think it is arrogant in either case? – ie they think car buyers are stupid or they just want the market to favor what they think is best.

  • avatar
    8rings

    So basically you’ve used your access at TTAC to post what should really just be a forum thread to defend the six figures you spent on your car?

    Whether it be a Tesla, BMW, or Subaru, you don’t often hear people say I should ‘ve never spent thousands of dollars of my hard earned money on that POS. 99% of people defend their car to no end, otherwise they’d have to admit a very costly mistake. This makes your article biased drivel at best.

    • 0 avatar

      — So basically you’ve used your access at TTAC to post what should really just be a forum thread to defend the six figures you spent on your car? —
      With pleasure, yes, plus the bonus opportunity to talk about side issues that seem to crop up on a regular basis that didn’t fit in my previous articles on the car.

  • avatar

    There, there, Dan, those silly trolls are stewing in their own battery juice. YOu don’t have to worry about them. Whether you agree with Consumer Reports or not (I don’t, just on the basis of the range/fillerup time problem), they did give the Tesla a 99 out of 100 on their overall score, called it a tour de force, etc. If Consumer Reports is a fierce dog, each troll is a hair on a rat’s a$$.

    (Of course, ask me if I ever get all obsessive about trolls. Or rather, don’t.)

    >>>Seat comfort / ceiling height. I’m 5’11” and I fit just fine;

    Can’t tell anything from this, because people diverge widely in the proportion of trunk as compared to legs. my proportions are pretty trunky, and although I’m only 5’10 1/2″, I don’t fit in anything with a sun roof.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Yeah, and seating position.

      I like to sit almost upright.

      Other people prefer the Gangsta Lean.

      That radically affects both rear seat space for “sit behind yourself”, and headroom.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    “Pro-tip: you can hush the little ones by shouting “watch this” and slamming the go pedal. Buys you a few seconds of quiet.”

    “Go pedal”? um, would that be the accelerator?

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Wow ~ $100 K for an _Automobile_ .

    I can’t imagine spending that much lolly on a vehicle and yes , I usually pay too much for whatever thing I’m driving .

    I think Electric vehicles are the shiznit because I like the quietude .

    The lack of range means I doubt I’ll ever buy one new or used .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    maxxcool7421

    Tsk, you fed the troll …

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I’ve driven and spent a fair amount of time in Teslas – my formerly Leaf-owning buddy traded up to one, and I went with him to MA to test drive them a couple times leading up to that purchase (since his Leaf can’t make it to the Tesla store!). I still think the best description of a Tesla I have ever read is “A 5-series with 3-series amenities for the price of a 7-series”. The interior is NOT on par with other $70K-$120K cars in features or quality. It just isn’t, especially at the high end of that price range – it doesn’t have most of the features of a loaded 5-series at the entry price. The back seat is flat out uncomfortable. I hate touchscreens period, and don’t find Tesla’s any better than any other makers, just bigger and even more in your face. I’m no fan of iDrive, but I still think BMW is better ergonomically overall. Driving wise, I find it to feel like what it is – a big, heavy luxury sedan. Not as fun as a BMW, more like a Mercedes. Not that a 7-series is exactly “fun”, but they drive smaller than their supertanker size, which the S-class does not. You never forget the weight.

    My buddy will freely admit that he went electric because he is a techy gadget freak. For the first year or so, the Leaf worked fine for his work-from home lifestyle, and actually did save money with the crazy cheap lease he had on it. But then his kid got into private school and has to be shuttled on a 50 mile round-trip twice a day. Which with the Leaf meant he was stranded at home charging in-between school runs – not even enough range to meet me for lunch somewhere. The Tesla fixed that of course, but I still think he is batshizzle nuts. He got the 60KW with supercharger, tech, and cold weather packages. ~$80K before tax credits. It slightly more than doubles the range of the Leaf, at more than three times the cost. But he loves it, so good for him. He thinks I was crazy to buy an Abarth, so we are even I guess.

    It uses no gas, and it is really fast (in acceleration). But it could not do the work trip I did last week from one end of Maine to the other, 700 miles roundtrip. That may be unusual for some people, but be darned if I am going to spend $70K-$100K on a car and NOT use it for that sort of thing. Gas is rounding error in the cost of a high-end luxury car (and in this state, electricity is spendy). Note that there are only three Tesla chargers in the state of Maine, all are at resort hotels for guest use only in the very southern part of the state. And only 80A chargers at that. Maine is not THAT big, but it is still bigger than a Tesla S can cross.

    So ultimately, I think the Tesla is a neat tech exercise, and I am glad you like yours, but I still think it is a toy at this point. Until the battery issue is solved (or the price of gasoline goes completely insane), electric cars will remain a niche product. Which is fine, there is room in the market for niches. Though realistically, I think if the price of gas went up and stayed up, we would just go back to the performance levels of 30 years ago and have efficiency levels that would keep electric cars a niche even then.

    I do apologize for the stupidity that seems to roll off the average BMW owner online, we are not all like that. I’m appalled at the discourse that is on the BMW forums on a daily basis. Too many years hanging out in Saab and Volvo circles has spoiled me.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      “since his Leaf can’t make it to the Tesla store!”

      There’s got to be some poetic ironic justice in there somewhere

      • 0 avatar

        @krhodes
        Very interesting that you find one feels the weight on the Tesla. Your account is different from any I’ve seen, but based on past experience, I’m inclined to trust what you say. (And I certainly wouldn’t want to be driving even an agile tank.) And I am basically in accord with everything else you say here.

        And thanks, Calvin, for pointing out the irony. My best laugh of the day so far.

        I do think the Tesla is a very good looking car. In fact, I can’t think of a better looking contemporary car, although some of the Bangle-era Bimmers are equally good looking, and maybe even better looking, and some of the current BMWs come very close.

        My only complaint on the T’s appearance is the eyes put a disdainful look on the face.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Don’t get me wrong – it’s still a nice car to drive. The ride is smooth and it is relatively quiet. Though I don’t think it is nearly as quiet as an S-class, and I haven’t even been in the latest one. And no matter how fast it is, it still sounds like a golf cart when you get on it, which I do not find the slightest bit enticing. I’m no BTRS, but there is nothing wrong with a bit of sound of power from the engine room! As long as it shuts up when you are cruising…

          Looks are of course extremely subjective, which is why I did not touch on them in my previous post. To my eye, the S is a good looking car, but some of the details and proportions are slightly off. I think the big Jags, the A8, and the Quattroporte are rather more attractive. It’s also getting a bit old hat at this point, with no refresh in sight. I also think they should have gone for something more avant-garde than Maserati crossed with Jaguar with a big dash of Audi A7. Imagine what Citroen could have done with this in their prime!

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        >> “since his Leaf can’t make it to the Tesla store!”

        Just for the record, I traveled from north of Brunswick ME to Foxboro MA in a new Leaf. The Tesla store is along the route. Two quick charges at Nissan dealers and a dinner stop for an hour in Portsmouth NH (I’d have made that stop in Portsmouth even with an ICE). To be fair, it took much more time, but it can be done – at least with the newer battery.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          That dinner stop alone is nearly the entire length of time for the trip. Not exactly practical. And what if the charger had been occupied/broken? He got stranded for hours in Portland once because the Nissan dealer’s fast charger system was down. Sure, you can go across the street and hang out at the Mall, but some of us have things to do. You COULD drive a Leaf from Maine to California, but that doesn’t mean it is practical to do so.

          With his Tesla, I could not even drive from Portland to my office in Waltham, MA for a meeting. Not quite enough range for the round trip, and nowhere to charge it at our office (the 85KW version could do it, for almost the added cost of a Leaf). I can’t imagine spending $80K on a vehicle that can’t even do that. I could imagine spending $190/mo on a Leaf lease if I had that “just right” commute of not too long, not too short, and utterly predictable.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @krhodes: While there may not have been a charging station at your office, it seems that there’s a Tesla charging station at the Tesla service center in Watertown, only a few miles away. That seems to say that you didn’t even want to try.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @Vulpine

            No, I have no interest in trying.

            Sure, there are chargers “in the area” of my office. I’m supposed to drive down there, get to a charger, hope it is available/working, get a ride/taxi across town to my office (in hellish traffic, usually), attend a meeting, then get a ride/taxi back to my car? Or wait around at the charger for an hour? Yeah, right. I could also take the bus/train to Waltham too. Or my bicycle. Or walk, if I really had plenty of time to kill.

            Or, I can just drive my BMW, which can make the trip twice on one tank of gas, and even if it is not full when I start, I can fill it up in <5 minutes at the gas station that is just about IN the parking lot of my office complex. Or any one of the several dozen gas stations I pass between my house and the office. Oh, and my car cost 1/2 of what the cheap model Tesla did. You can buy a LOT of gas for $40K. And electricity is not free, at my house it is $.21KwH delivered. Cheaper than gas, but a long way from free.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            My point exactly; you don’t want to try. Considering the vehicle you were discussing, your argument should have been, “… Or wait around at the charger for a *half* hour?”

            The Tesla Model S charges at a rate of roughly 100 miles in 20 minutes. Since you said your friend’s model is a 60KW model that means in little more than the time it would take to hook it up, go inside to get a complementary coffee and drink it, then go back out to the car and unhook it, you would have had more than enough miles to make it back to Portland from Waltham. That’s hardly any more time than if you’d driven an ICE down with less than half a tank and needed to stop and fill up at a convenience store. It might be a slight inconvenience right now, but by the end of this year there will be at least two additional Supercharger locations on that route and very probably another pair by the end of next year.

            And if you make that trip on any kind of a regular basis, as you imply does happen, you WILL burn through a lot of gas–and probably innumerable ICE repairs that a BEV simply isn’t subject to. In my own case, had I a car like the Model S about 12 years ago, the money saved over three years of driving without gas could have bought me a brand new version of the car I was driving at the time despite that car giving me an average of 25mpg mixed city/highway commuting 120 miles per day.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            @Vulpine

            Even if it is only 1/2 hour to charge the car (assuming there is no wait to use the charger), the charger is still at least a 30 minute round-trip from where my office is. Through horrendous traffic most of the day. Watertown Square sucks. And I don’t drink coffee.

            And why would I be bothered, exactly? As a CAR, the Tesla doesn’t really do anything that an equivalently priced BMW (or Audi, MB, Jag, Maserati, whatever floats your boat) won’t do just as well, other than not use any gas. And I could not care less about the gas, 90% of the time when I am driving any distance (including those regular trips to Waltham), I am getting paid $.50+/mi to do it, and the cost of gas isn’t even rounding error in the cost of driving an $80K car anyway. Unlike my friend, I’m not nearly enough of a tech geek to want to own one just because it’s cool, and I care even less what other people think. I don’t even find them all that good looking. So why should I put up with ANY inconvenience at all to own this very expensive car that can’t easily do something the very cheapest gas powered car you can buy can do with the utmost ease?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            The model S does two things your BMMR doesn’t do. It runs on electricity (that costs roughly ¼ the price of gas per mile driven) and it’s insanely quick. Oops. Lets add a third thing: it’s insanely quiet. No more waking up the wife when you get home at 3AM.

            I understand that you don’t like the Tesla cars, but 99% of your arguments are simply invalid as a whole–little more than excuses for why you want to keep spending money for gasoline. Just remember, these current low gas prices won’t stay low forever; the average price has already risen 50¢ per gallon from its low of $1.99/gallon regular where I live, not all that far from you. The price of the Tesla may seem high for now, but as I’ve said elsewhere, in just three years of driving one when I commuted 120miles per day, the difference between gas price and electricity would have paid for a brand-new version of the car I was driving at the time. Were I still making that commute, the saving would pay off the difference in cost in about 5 years even at today’s gas prices.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Again, for a cheap commuter car like a Leaf, electric can make sense if you have that long enough, but not too long, predictable commute. At the cheap leases they were doing, a Leaf is spectacular value. If I still had a 40 mile a day commute, I very well might have leased one. My buddy saved a bundle in gas compared to the pickup truck he daily drove before, but he isn’t saving a dime with the Tesla. But the Tesla can actually DO comfortably what he needs it to do daily, and the Leaf could not once the kid got into a distant school. He has money to burn, so why not? He’s paying $40K a year for the kid to go to private middle school (and having to drive 100 miles a day to get him there), what’s an $80K car lease compared to that? It’s an extra year of school every three years. I could afford that payment too, but it would be my only modern car, and that is just not happening.

            You will NOT save enough on gas with a Tesla to make any difference at all compared to the other costs of buying it. For one thing, it will depreciate by the value of a new Leaf in the first few years, even if it well BEATS the S-class depreciation value that Tesla has pegged them to – 50% base after three years plus 43% on the options – yikes. An S-class depreciates like it is falling off a cliff. You might as well burn money. Even Tesla shows the gas savings on a lease at 15K a year to be only $159/mo (probably smaller in Maine where electricity is expensive). Big whoop on a nearly $1100/mo *lease payment* (once sales tax is included with options on my friend’s car – and in this state you pay sales tax on the whole enchilada, not the payment total). Plus $2K to register it the first year, declining only slightly in the subsequent two. And that is with a mandatory $5000 down payment. BMWs lease deals on an $80K 740i are better, BTW. Almost enough to pay for the gas better, actually. Definitely enough better if you have any negotiating skills and/or do European Delivery. Just ED is $5100 off on a 740i, I’d expect to negotiate at least another $4-5K off the price. No discounts on a Tesla, don’t forget. And on a Tesla lease you don’t get the Fed tax credit. Unlike Nissan, Tesla doesn’t subsidize their leases that way. Nissan was discounting the leased cars by the tax credit amount, IIRC.

            Inside, they are not any quieter than a big German to my ears. Sure, there is no engine noise, but you can’t hear the engine in a luxobarge when cruising anyway. There is similar wind and road noise. A Leaf IS usefully quieter than a Prius or other econobox. Doesn’t take much on those cars.

            The P85D is insanely fast in a straight line. But it only goes 135mph. Not impressed. And I have to wonder what that level of current draw is doing to the car if you do it very often (same as using launch control on fast gas cars – it’s hard on the machinery). And I doubt the range at top speed is very impressive either – my car will go 400+ miles to a tank at 105mph average. BTDT. The 60KW is only as fast as my lowly 328i (5.9 0-60), and still only goes 130mph – with the sport package my car would go 150+, my non-sport is also limited to 130mph due to the tires fitted. And the high speed acceleration is nothing to get excited about – an $80K German will stomp on it from 75 on up. My car would probably out accelerate it at 80mph too – that whole gearing thing has its uses. And remember, my car is $40K cheaper…

            As for repairs, time will tell. They have not been around long enough to know. My friend with the Leaf got a new battery under warranty. Some test car Teslas had major issues. They have great service, but what will it cost to fix someday? There are no aftermarket parts sources, and it is a very low production car. Though a lot of small stuff is bought in, which will help. I certainly would have no interest in doing anything but leasing an electric car from any maker any time soon, let that experiment be for the second owners.

            Cool toy, lousy value compared to the competition. I think electric cars do have a strong future, but the Tesla ain’t there yet. If they can get a 200 mile car out for $30K, then I can see it – but it looks like they will have a lot of competition too in a couple years. But a 200 mile car for *$80K*? Uh, no.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            A correction after further Tesla website readings – I quoted top speeds from a magazine review that are incorrect per Tesla. 60KW is only 120mph, 80KW is 140mph and the P85D is 155mph – which is much more like it! But I still wonder for how far… A Veyron could only do something like 20 miles at its top speed, probably not quite that bad!

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            >> That dinner stop alone is nearly the entire length of time for the trip. Not exactly practical.

            I would have made that stop anyway – EV or not. Love the restaurants in Portsmouth! Charge time was gated more by time needed to eat and catching up on email. Probably could have made it safely home with just 30 minutes L2 charge.

            >> And what if the charger had been occupied/broken?

            Portsmouth has several other L2 chargers including one at Red Hook Brewery. I have a charger that can pull at a 2.2kW rate from a 20 amp 120 volt outlet if needed. That’s 2/3rds the speed of slow L2 charging vehicles like the Volt and base Leaf.

            >> He got stranded for hours in Portland once because the Nissan dealer’s fast charger system was down.

            Portland now has a L3 charger at the Fore Street Garage and at the South Portland Recreation Center. Lots of L2 chargers as well.

            >> You COULD drive a Leaf from Maine to California, but that doesn’t mean it is practical to do so.

            Jet Blue is advertising $144 to San Diego. You could drive any ICE car to California, but that doesn’t mean it’s practical to do so.

    • 0 avatar
      Kevin Jaeger

      I agree – Tesla is a beautiful toy for rich geeks, pretty much tailor made for successful people in the high tech industry.

      There’s no real need to answer the trolls. Every expensive vehicle seems to attract the haters, whether it’s a high end German luxury car, high performance sports car or particularly large truck or off-road vehicle. Haters are gonna hate and there’s not much point responding to them in most cases.

      The Tesla is beautiful and much as I like the idea of not buying gas I just don’t see how I could live with one given the long road trips I do.

      I could probably live with a Volt, but it just isn’t beautiful the way a Tesla is.

    • 0 avatar
      M1EK

      “It uses no gas, and it is really fast (in acceleration). But it could not do the work trip I did last week from one end of Maine to the other, 700 miles roundtrip. That may be unusual for some people, but be darned if I am going to spend $70K-$100K on a car and NOT use it for that sort of thing.”

      Great. So everybody who does a 700-mile round trip more than once in a blue moon should not buy an electric car.

      That takes care of 2 or 3 people in the whole country.

      For the people who do it once in a blue moon, you rent a freaking car.

      And that takes care of 1% more people.

      The remaining 98.9% of the population would be just fine with a Tesla.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        … or, instead of all that hassle, you get a car with more range that isn’t a Tesla.

        It’s okay, man.

        Not everybody has to be fine with an electric car for their calculus of desires and needs!

        (Note that “700 mile round trip” is not the tipping point for the Tesla, though it was his example.

        265 miles is the book range. Sane people don’t push too close, so let’s call it 250 miles practical range.

        That means a 500 mile round trip if you’re stopping there overnight or for hours or have a very, very conveniently placed high-speed charger – and aren’t relying on it for around-town transit while you’re there. [And assuming it’s relatively flat and not super cold or super hot.]

        Anything more than 250 miles away is suddenly … a lot farther away.

        No, this doesn’t matter to most people, monthly – but it does matter to well more than 1% of them, especially in the desert southwest and Texas [long drives more common, high heat means much lower range in summer, cold winters likewise].

        A Tesla is an excellent commuter car or second/toy car, if you can afford it.

        It’s much more limited than “98.9% would be just fine”, though.)

      • 0 avatar

        The Tesla certainly would not work for me with that range. I take more than one road trip a month, about half of which take me to places where Tesla has no chargers. And when I go on trips, I like to have my own car, because I enjoy driving it, and I do’nt want the inconvenience of having to rent, either, sometimes on the spur of the moment.

        It would be great if they get to the point where electrics are as convenient as ICE cars. But–sorry M1EK!–even if the masses could afford it, the Tesla is not ready to be more than a niche.

        • 0 avatar
          joeaverage

          My wife and I own multiple cars. If I owned an EV for my daily driver and it was not well suited for a long trip then I’d simply switch cars with my wife and she could drive the EV while I drove her gas/diesel powered car on the trip.

          It would be the same if this was about a motorcycle or sports car like the Corvette. Those two examples are not well suited for all occasions. So take your other vehicle instead…

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    @Dan,
    I don’t mind EVs.

    But I disagree with the taxpayer funded handouts so people like you can sponge off of others.

    I do realise you buying the Tesla and receiving indirect handouts isn’t your fault.

    But, if the Tesla was far more expensive than what it was would you have bought it?

    If EVs can’t stand on their own two feet, then let the company go under.

    There is plenty of research into electronics and batteries without EVs.

    Keep batteries for laptops, smart phones and cordless drills. They do seem to make a profit.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I agree that expensive electric cars should not get a tax-payer funded subsidy. I can see a small one for basic commuter cars like the Leaf to get the industry willing to invest in the technology.

      IIRC, Dan bought his used from a friend, unless I am mixing up my online Tesla blogger-owners.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      >> But I disagree with the taxpayer funded handouts so people like you can sponge off of others.

      The thing is, the so called “people like you” pay a hell of a lot more in taxes than the average person. Some in that income bracket are also huge contributors to charities and medical research. Don’t blindly accuse people of sponging off the government because they managed to keep $7500 of their own hard earned money when the government is getting the $7500 and a hell of a lot more money back from them in other ways.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @MCS,
        I do think it’s a misconception that you have regarding the rich and how much they really do donate. It’s the same here in Australia and many other countries. The “poor” donate the largest percentage of their income to charity.

        I don’t believe in subsidising an industry. This distorts and creates inefficiencies. How efficient is it to disproportionately subsidise people who can afford an expensive vehicle?

        Wouldn’t that money be better spent in supplying natural gas to homes. The money wasted on green energy could of been spent of natural gas infrastructure and created many jobs whilst reducing CO2 cheaper than these EVs.

        I do support EVs or any vehicle. But if it isn’t viable why build them?

        Read the cut and paste and the link;

        “you would be forgiven for thinking that the story of charity in this country is a story of epic generosity on the part of the American rich.

        It is not. One of the most surprising, and perhaps confounding, facts of charity in America is that the people who can least afford to give are the ones who donate the greatest percentage of their income. In 2011, the wealthiest Americans—those with earnings in the top 20 percent—contributed on average 1.3 percent of their income to charity. By comparison, Americans at the base of the income pyramid—those in the bottom 20 percent—donated 3.2 percent of their income.”

        http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/04/why-the-rich-dont-give/309254/

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          >> I do think it’s a misconception that you have regarding the rich and how much they really do donate.

          No misconception,those stats are misleading. When it comes to donating large chunks of money for buildings at universities and med research facilities, it’s not the poor making the contribution. Other contributions are hidden for example I pay full $60k/year tuition for college tuition for my kids. Some of that money goes to support other kids that normally wouldn’t be able to afford the tuition. That doesn’t show up in statistics. I could go on.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @mcs,
            No, I do consider my views very accurate.

            You can spin fact and figures anyway you want.

            Now to make it more equitable, if the “rich” donated over 50% of their income, then I would concur with your argument. This would leave them still better off than most.

            If the “poor” who are pushing sh!t uphill to keep a roof over their heads are donating a larger chunk of their income to a charitable organisation, they are in fact taking a larger hit to their standard of living than the “rich” who donate a lesser chunk of their income to a charitable organisation.

            Nope, the “rich” can afford to pay full price for a Tesla. I bet they don’t get a subsidised golf buggy, or food or home. So why should they be able to buy a subsidised vehicle with taxpayer inducements to top it off.

            Why should the average Joe/Jane on the street be paying taxes to someone who can afford a Tesla or even a subsidised Prius.

            Remember I don’t believe in handouts and subsidised business. I don’t believe in middle class or upper class welfare. Especially upper class.

            Maybe if we started to look at how we spend money as countries we wouldn’t end up broke.

            We can’t continue spending 105% each year of what we earn as nations. Sooner or later the sh!t will hit the fan.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Maybe not for an Aussie…but among Americans, I’d wager ICE drivers are responsible for far greater “handouts” of tax dollars…but instead of going directly to the likes of us, the handouts go to the godawful petro-dictatorships we prop up around the world, and to maintaining the enormous government jobs program we call the military and its “private” contractors, who ensure the oil keeps flowing reliably and on our terms. Long-term, it’s a much better call for government to invest in getting the hell out of the petro-war business. The MPGe of electric cars is a whole lot better, and you have a lot more fueling options for power stations.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        Maintaining control of oil reserves is about military strategy as much as it’s about commerce and consumption. I can’t imagine the size of the U.S. military or its interests changing much if electric vehicles overtake ICE ones as the norm for personal transport.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @HotPotato,
        The average ICE handout/subsidy not including technical barriers is around $3 000 per ICE vehicle built in the US.

        I don’t mind this now. Because the countries that are exporting vehicles to Australia are cheaper because the taxpayers are forking out the dosh so we can have cheaper vehicles here.

        How much money is poured into these EVs and hybrids?

    • 0 avatar
      mechaman

      I wish we could try that ideology when someone starts beating the war drums.

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        My two cents worth. A dramatization of a speech given by Smedley.Butler, one of the greatest Marines of all time, entitled “War is a Racket”.

        You can google text versions if you prefer.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    ” Tsk, you fed the troll …”
    .
    ? which one ? .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    wmba

    If the author is truly happy with his Tesla purchase, what insecurity would cause him to respond to the grunts of a knuckle-dragging naysayer by penning an in-depth rebuttal?

    Do not understand.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    Fanboys and their grudge matches.

  • avatar
    jkk6

    Although I am not affluent nor am I anywhere near the middle class, I’d like to comment.
    Stop picking on this car for price. If you were to choose any car at the $100k range, there really aren’t that many choices. S Class, Panamera, R8, Maseratis. Everyone nit picking at the price sound like to me – “Oh THe Civic LX has them 14inch wheels, if I’m paying too hundred dollars for EX-L Model they better be giving me them 17inch rollies plastic or metal, better be putting on at least one of them from the factory or I ain’t buying.”

    Seriously. It’s a commodity in this country and we’re going to go through them like sneakers every five to six years even more if you have kids, be glad that the choice is there and that production is ongoing.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Sat in one at the Tesla store in San Jose. The only thing I didn’t like, aside from the price, is the rear seat cushions seemed very shallow for such a large car. I would’t want to subject a passenger to a long trip back there, although the limited range may take care of that problem…

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    IMHO the luxury sedan is a niche market in the first place. I’d rather have a luxury SUV at this price. I don’t want to be sitting there in my $100K car not being able to see around Ma and Pa Kettle in their CR-V. There are so many SUVs, trucks and Minivans on the road that if you’re down in a sedan, you feel small, which is not what you want to feel when you’re spending $100K on a sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      You NEVER feel small in an S-class. Ever. You pretty much feel like the well coddled master of the universe. And I haven’t even been in the latest one, which is supposed to be stupendous. :-)

      Besides, if you own a $100K+ luxury sedan, you probably own a nice SUV as well. Hardly anyone has a car like that as their only car. Which still means I can’t see the sense of using a $100K Tesla only to commute in, because it can’t go far enough to do roadtrips without too much advance planning. It does mean I could see having an S-class and a Leaf. But the reality is unless you are a tech geek (or get that all-important HOV lane sticker in CA and elsewhere) you are just going to commute in the S-class and f’ the world and the price of gas.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I don’t have anything against the car itself but Tesla owners are achieving some horrifying combination of cultish Corvette owners, the defensiveness of VW owners, the chest thumping of SRT owners, and the smugness of manual transmission/diesel fans.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Ironically, this suggests that there will be an adoption problem. If the buyers have to be fanatics in order to want one, then the market will be limited.

      • 0 avatar
        jetcal1

        Hello Pch101,
        I think that would depend on marketing and the break even point for profitability…but, since they are not making any money.
        (There is a market for disdain and elitism. Otherwise the Robb Report wouldn’t sell.)

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I wonder how many Teslas have sold ONLY because they give you HOV lane access in many places. THAT sure would be a strong incentive for me to buy one in California. Though reality is I would just lease a Leaf to commute in. Many a time I have been out in the Bay area sitting near dead still in the regular lanes with the HOV lane cooking past at 40+. That is a way more killer app than saving some piddly amount on gas.

  • avatar
    jetcal1

    At 71″ and 140 lbs my wife would be too tall and thin for some. She doesn’t cook but has brought other attributes into the marriage I find attractive.

    It’s all about preferences. As adults we are discriminating when we make our choices, and every choice involves trade-offs. Make the decision you’re happy with and don’t criticize others for their choices.

    After, all as married men, we all know that while we may not always be wrong, we are never right.

    Why bring that to the discussion board as well?

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      My two cents worth. A dramatization of a speech given by Smedley.Butler, one of the greatest Marines of all time, entitled “War is a Racket”.

      You can google text versions if you prefer.

      The link doesn’t seem to be working, but you can google Smedley Butler and “War is a Racket” to see my point. It is worth it, whether you are a red stater or a blue stater, if your mind is open to some hard truths.

  • avatar
    Ion

    20k Honda parts? No my good sir, those are 30k mercedes-benz parts.

  • avatar
    jdogma

    NASA Pro Racing has classes that allow just about anything with 4 wheels and fenders. When is somebody going to race a Tesla or at least do time attack? I would like to know how long you can flog one on the track before it’s charging time.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    So you take a random board comment, on that other nasty board, and then you write a point by point rebuttal based purely on your subjective sensors, and then you earn points by having us on this nice board, rebut or not your rebuttal. Did I just say BORED?

  • avatar
    mechaman

    Sounds like sour grapes to me. Dude can’t get one, he hates on someone who does … bigotry ain’t reasoned into a man, it can’t be reasoned out.

  • avatar
    baconator

    Tesla’s interior is a lot closer to a base 5-series than the loaded-all-leather 7-series you get at the $100k price point. And Mercedes has leapfrogged both with the level of attention to detail in the interior of the new S-class. But the Tesla is far, far better than “a $20k Honda.”

    Also, luxury takes different forms. It’s luxurious to have the only car with that technology. And the torque. It purports to say something good about the owner’s level of social responsibility, which may or may not be true, but which plenty of people want their car to say about them. And it’s a very good-looking car – people will, and definitely do, pay for style and beauty.

    Anyway, haters gonna hate, Teslas gonna sell.

  • avatar
    anomaly149

    Late to the party:

    Tesla’s Model S has better than expected bits in it because it’s all parts bin. Side door latches appear to be from GM’s supply base, hatchback struts are from a common architecture with a dozen automakers, gearshift lever appears to be from Mercedes’ supply base, etc. Under the trim, all the little bits are from the same cast of characters every other automaker uses.

    All the problems are from the bits they control/engineer. For example, their “frunk” had two separate latches and strikers in the early Model S. Later, they figured out the law meant they could get away with a single two position latch in every market around the world, like other OEMs, and cut that to one. Sadly, they never ended up modifying the frunk lid trim to cover the spot for that striker. (and they never fixed it so you can easily close the darn thing. Hood crossover points, they can be wicked) Their B-pillar trim intrudes unnecessarily into the driver’s entry path, resulting in drivers bumping it as they enter and exit. The electronic door handles have a freezing flush issue, and just aren’t that reliable in general. There are a hundred other minor things wrong with the S on top of this that longtime OEMs sort out on every car because they forgot how NOT to.

    Tesla will get there. They’re throwing too much money around, hiring too many good people, and spelunking too many parts bins to not figure it out. But today, we keep slamming the frunk wishing it would actually close.

  • avatar
    TeslaS

    Well, I own one too and owned sever 5-ers and M3 before.

    Tesla leather is close to Volvo and far from BMW leather. Leather on seat corners and driver side door started chipping off around a year after the purchase.

    Although seats are decent, they are far from 20 ways adjustable BMW ones. Rear seat is a bench, several people complained. I am not surprised that Tesla doesn’t understand China where rear seat comfort is important.

    Touch screen is nice but i’d rather prefer regular switches for things like seat heating since they can be located and operated without taking eyes off the road.

    Premium sounds system is good – except Tesla can’t play lossless music files so that notion of ‘premium’ is relative. 14 speaker sound system which only plays compressed MP3.

    Several things now squeak and rattle which didn’t happen in my BMWs that soon. Perhaps Tesla improved assembly since.

    Anyway – I still think it is a good car and I still enjoy it, but yes, you can get quite a bit more comfort and features for the same money elsewhere if you are OK with gasoline.

    I think Model S is still an enthusiast performance car rather than a true luxury car.

    • 0 avatar
      anomaly149

      You do realize a high quality MP3 is objectively (as in 100% mathematically) indistinguishable from a FLAC, right? The Nyquist Frequency is my JAM!

      • 0 avatar
        TeslaS

        I am not going to turn car forum into an audiophile discussion but I have to mention that I have masters in mathematics, specifically in spectral analysis and I could tell you all the limitations of Kotelnikov/Nyquist, why it is not completely applicable to musical signals and why theoretical performance cannot always be achieved in practical hardware implementations, but I will leave it as an exercise to the reader. No, I don’t own expensive cables in case you wanted to ask.

        Lossless support is convenience. If I have media library in lossless it is is big hassle to create special file copies just for Tesla.

        • 0 avatar

          For what it’s worth, I converted roughly 20,000 Apple Lossless files to high-bitrate MP3s (>200 kb/s), and they barely fit onto a 128GB flash stick ($40 on Amazon). The audio quality is certainly high enough that I have no complaints. For my car, I’ll take quantity over quality, once the quality is “good enough”.

  • avatar
    GoVeg

    It comes with the territory. When cars first started showing up in the early 1900’s, the refrain was, “Get a horse!”

    The vast majority of the people posting comments have yet to drive a Tesla Model S and they have almost no understanding of the Tesla Ecosystem. All they know is the rock throwing from the ignoramuses that populate the web and they keep repeating it.

    Notwithstanding the dozens of other game-changing attributes of a Tesla Model S, one of the many that have test driven some of our Model S’s said it best:

    “It’s like the Grand Canyon. Until you see it, or drive it in the case of a Tesla, you just won’t ‘get’ it.”

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