Test driving a Tesla S

Today I drove 150 miles down to Highland Park, IL to test drive a car I can’t possibly afford to buy. I made that fairly clear to the sales woman – I said I was thinking about the Model 3 which will be in a far more affordable price range, and I just wanted to acquaint myself with an electric. She was very nice anyway, and I test drove their ultimate loaded up performance model.

Almost the first thing she had me try was Ludicrous Mode – there’s a stretch of road with no intersecting traffic just a few hundred feet from the dealership. I’ve never felt anything close to it. Not only do you feel your body slammed back into the seat, you feel your organs slammed back inside your body. For me, an almost instant sense of nausea.

We tried the autopilot function for maybe 5 minutes. It worked perfectly as far as I could tell, but it would be a very long time before I could ever trust it enough to let my attention on the road ahead lapse. I suppose that’s a bad idea anyway.

I was surprised that it wasn’t quieter. Certainly it was silent when stopped, but it didn’t strike me as any quieter than my own Mazda3.

One thing didn’t work right. She asked me what kind of music I wanted to hear on the stereo, and I picked Classic Rock, but neither rock channel she tried would load, so she put on something else that I hardly noticed.

The auto park function was a little shaky – not in actually parking but in sensing the open space we were trying to get it to pull into. It backed in to a right angle space rather than nosed in, but we had to more or less jiggle it around some so it would find the space before engaging the park function.

The view screen was just enormous – 17 inches. Not even sure why it needs to be that big, OTOH there’s no squinting needed.

Sooo, you traded in the Mazda and will be eating KD for the next five years? :slight_smile:

After mortgaging my house, yes.

We did a build with their online tool, and my car with the selected options come to only $84,000! When I got home I had an email saying, “Your order is pending. Go [to this link] and put down $2500 as a deposit and we’ll have your car ready in just a few weeks.”

Imagine how much it would suck to have it arrive and see “*Batteries not included” on the box.

“Takes 18,000 AA batteries (not included).”

Green Bay Rd. heading into Glencoe? Used to be a speed trap when I worked around there.

No, it’s a short stretch of Old Skokie Valley Road. It looks like it’s now a frontage road for a newer highway.

Yep, I tried Ludicrous as well in two of my three test drives. I know what you mean by the sense of nausea. I did not like it. During my second test drive, I was convinced to try it again. Same result. Not for me I guess, and that’s fine. I saved $10,000 not getting it.

Now the autopilot I loved.

I didn’t think it was noisy. It is much quieter than my current car. I did notice that I could hear the gravel under the wheels, which is a first for me.

Yeah, for some reason they really want you to try out some music during the test drive. I could not possibly have cared less about this.

Auto parallel parking worked flawlessly for me. I was actually amazed by it.

i am as blind as a friggin’ bat, so yeah, I LOVED the big screen.

So, over all, how did you like it?

The parking – it was a right angle park because those were the only spaces available at the dealership. Perhaps it had some trouble because the space between cars is so much smaller than a parallel space would be.

The autopilot – it worked perfectly for me, but it just made me nervous. BTW, here’s a video I just came across that was very impressive – the autopilot at work in a storm where the lane lines disappear. I hadn’t realized it would actually follow the vehicle ahead if it couldn’t detect the lane lines. And it still worked perfectly until the truck ahead changed lanes, and it appeared to the driver that his car was following the lane change even though the lane next to him wasn’t clear. He then disengaged to autopilot. This is right near the end of the video, so you could skip ahead to see it. I’m curious what would have happened it he left the autopilot on – would it have detected the vehicle to the left and aborted the lane change? But I’m sure the owner had no interest in pushing a test that far.

It was a great car, and I really liked it. But as much as I liked it, and like recreational driving, I’m not sure that I would spend a hundred grand on it even if I had the money. I sometimes go out and drive 300-500 miles just to see what’s at the other end, and I really can’t see taking hour breaks at superchargers to “tank up” maybe 2 or 3 times on a single drive. And as a commuter car, it just doesn’t make economic sense to me.

But for pure fun, and if I won a big lottery payout, I would buy it on that basis!

Oh yeah, and the stereo would be kind of a big deal for me, as I love cranking up tunes on the road, and it was VERY disconcerting to find it wasn’t working properly, or at least the satellite radio part of it wasn’t.

Whatever you do don’t insult Tesla or Musk prior to taking delivery.

Alsop is a smart guy. He should have known his order could get canceled once the big wigs at Tesla read his open letter. That he didn’t is a bit surprising.

Should Elon have let Alsop’s criticism roll off his back? Sure. But he didn’t. Them’s the breaks.

I read that there was already bad blood there. Dude was a VC that bailed on a round of Musk’s funding back in the PayPal days. Gotta find a link.

Are you being serious?

He should have KNOWN? I had to look this up and do some reading to know what you people are talking about, but Musk was astoundingly petty to cancel the order. Maybe unprecedentedly petty.

Alsop’s bitching about the event and holding Musk personally responsible for it was also petty, but not even in the same league.

I love cat fights among gazillionaires.

Yeah, sure, why not. :slight_smile:

Seriously, it was kind of a dick move on Elon’s part, but I think he and Alsop will get it worked out.

I originally thought it was something out of the Onion. He’s going to find himself referred to as “The Elon”.

Tesla … not so much. Consumer Reports Says Tesla Model S “Not Recommended” on Reliability.