Have had the car for just over two months and have finally hit 1,000 miles. Time for my new owner review.
First off, a little background. This is BY FAR the nicest, most expensive car I have ever owned. The other car in our garage is a Toyota Mini Van and the Tesla replaced a beat up 2002 Nissan Maxima with 145k miles on it. Tesla gave me a whole $1,500 for it! Everything before this had been Maximas and Accords. Was very nervous to own something this expensive. From the different group “buckets” that people have talked about on this forum, I fall into the engineer/tech “bucket.”
First thing I did when the car arrived was put a carseat/booster in it for the little one. He now even has his own organizer strapped to the back passenger seat.
Totally love the fact that most everything is customizable on the car via the touchscreen/software. I feel we should have had this level of integration years ago. Glad someone FINALLY did it and that someone is leading the car industry into the 2000’s
Options on the car (or otherwise known as “the crazy, in my head, reasons on what I did and why I did it”).
- Drivetrain - I went with the "D" for the added efficiency. I am also told it should have better wet/snow traction (not that we have a ton of snow in this part of NC). Bummer on getting half the front trunk blocked out but I felt the tradeoff was worth it.
- Auto Pilot - I was actually on the fence on this one but just from an initial cost standpoint. I figured I could save some $$ up front then have them add it later (for an additional $500 however). I was able to come up with the funds to pay for it via the factory.
- Premium Interior and Lighting - My order originally went in when the Power Lift-gate, Fog/Cornering lights, and Lighted door handles were part of the tech package (I think that is where it was). But, I had also ordered the Alcantara headline because I wanted it to be black (looks great in black - matches the rest of the interior better). They made the package change before I went into production. Did think of the change until after dropping the “new” package from $5k to $3k. In dropping the price, I could change my order and get the Nappa leather armrests / dashboard and the Interior accent lighting for $100 (plus the $500 change fee). The Nappa leather is softer and was worth the small bump to the total price.
- Smart Air Suspension - Was on the fence with this one until I drove around in my buddy's cars - one has SAS and one does not. The standard springs seemed stiffer to me and I could feel every bump in the road. Plus, my driveway has a bit of a grade to it. Hopefully someday the software will allow the stiffness of the SAS to be adjusted. I would like it to be a even a bit softer at points.
- Ultra High Fidelity Sound - Being our new road trip car, this was a must have for me. Having the car for 2 months now, I think it sounds great now that it has broken in. Also noticed the sound quality really depended on the input you give the car. Internet radio and FM sound okay but my own music sounds amazing. Years before the Tesla, I had taken our CD collection and burned them into iTunes as Apple Lossless. Once the Tesla arrived, I used a tool to convert those to FLAC (which is also lossless) then stuck them all on an SSD drive in a small aluminum enclosure (that I painted black), and hooked it up via USB. Works GREAT.
- Standard Roof - I went with the MC Red so having all that extra Red paint up top looks great. Being that I burn easily, I have never been a sunroof/convertible guy. I am 6'-1" and there is plenty of headroom with the standard roof.
- Standard 19" wheels - The 19's are a little more efficient and, if I do want other wheels in the future, there are some great aftermarket options that are cheaper then the stock 21's.
- Seats - This is one of the few decisions I asked my wife about. I went with the standard seats as she thought she would be more comfortable in them during long car trips (when she is sleeping half the time. Ha!). So far so good.
- Subzero - Didn't really need here in NC
- Rear Facing - Didn't need as we only have one kid
- Multi-Coat Red - Figured if I was going to spend this much on a car (our previous "most expensive" car was the Toyota Minivan) may as well get the color I wanted - I had never had a red car before.
- Piano Black Decor - I liked the clean look of the glossy black (esp with the Tan seats and black headliner)
- Leather seats - Really only went with leather because I love the look of the Tan. I know I am in the minority but if they were to offer a tan cloth seat, I would have probably gotten that. Main reason being that leather is so hot in the summer and so cold in the winter. Being able to pre-condition the car is slowly changing my outlook on leather though (never had that option before). I really wish it had AC seats (in addition to the heated seats).
- Dual Chargers / HPWC - while nice I don’t *think* I will use them that often. Time will tell and I can always get them later if needed.
After the fact “stuff” for the car:
- 12V charger for iStuff - Amazon.com: Aukey 4.8A / 24W Dual USB Car Charger Adapter for Apple and Android Devices (The Smallest but Most Powerful Car Charger in the World) - Black: Cell Phones Accessories
- Center console bag for first trip (may upgrade to the Tesla center console depending on how the first trip goes) - Amazon.com: Diono Travel Pal Car Storage: Baby
- Kid Backseat Organizer - Amazon.com: Cozy Greens Waterproof Super Secure Strap System Backseat Organizer with eBook: Baby
- SSD Enclosure (Macally enclosure I had around the house that is no longer made)
- SSD Drive - 128G Samsung SSD I had around the house
- USB Cable for SSD Drive - Amazon.com: USB A male right angle to Mini 5 pin left angle adapter: Computers Accessories
- Tesla Front Trunk All Weather Mat (just the front)
- CHAdeMO Adapter
- Tire Repair Kit
- Suntek Full Front End + OEM Paint Protection Film (getting installed in about a week)
- Suntek CXP 40% tint (getting installed in about a week)
- Car wash stuff
I have not washed it yet. Never really had a car worth hand washing before and I am afraid by all the horror stories I can read online. Need to wash it before I go get the PPF put on.
Only a few minor issues so far:
- The 3G/WIFI card will lock up every 2-3 weeks (or so). It starts with the car not being able to send and/or receive connect while connected to WIFI (app also cannot get to the car). Then, days later, the “3G” part of the icon goes away but the bars remain. So it looks like I have cell signal but no 3G. At this point, the car is not talking to anything on the Internet anymore. Holding down the two scroll wheels to reboot the screen fixes it for another 2-3 weeks. I called my Service Center and they informed me that engineering is aware of that issue and that they are working on a firmware update that should be coming over the air soon. Rather then being annoyed, I think that the fact that they can fix this AND send it to me without having to take it in is simply amazing.
- There seems to be a small rumble in the steering wheel when it is in “Standard” steering mode. This only happens at certain speeds and almost feels like something is rubbing deep inside the car. If I change to “Sport” steering, I do not noticed it. It is VERY minor so was going to give it some more miles, and have a Tesla friend drive it and experience it, before bringing it up to my service center.
- The chrome bracket (not sure the official name) that holds on the side mirrors likes to reflect the sun right into my eyeballs. I may ask the window tint shop to put really dark tint on the little triangle windows. Not sure yet - need to search the forum for solutions still.
Overall this is an amazing car and is really what a car should be in this day and age. I haven’t been into cars since I moved away from Los Angeles when I was 14. Great to have that love-of-cars feeling back!
Oh and it is amazing how much mis-information is out there (or maybe just lack of knowledge?). I feel like an electric car spokesmen when I get stopped by people in parking lots. I am tempted to come up with a FAQ on 3x5 cards to hand out to strangers and friends!
Thanks for reading