Driven: Tesla Model S Performance

5.0Black

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Hi Everyone,

I recently drove a Tesla Model S Performance and I wanted to share my thoughts on it relating to its price point. I will try to keep this short and sweet. There are a lot of thoughts I have regarding the car, but I don't think anyone really wants to read 10 paragraphs from me lol.

Exterior
Exterior looks are completely subjective, but I find the Tesla to look a little pedestrian. It is not ugly, but also not a head turner by any stretch of the imagination.

Interior
Let's get this out of the way. Tesla has made some welcome improvements to the interior over the years, but there is nothing in this car that comes close to representing its price tag. Tesla needs to work on the overall quality of their interiors. There are enough reports on materials, fit, finish and design. I do give credit to Tesla though, they are moving in the right direction.

Driving
OK, there is so much that could be said here, but again I will try to keep this manageable. My Model S Performance was not fully charged so I did not get to experience anything higher than Ludicrous mode.

Around town driving:
First hoping in the Model S I was stuck by two horrible feats of engineering in my book. One the rearward visibility from your rearview mirror is horrible. It is like looking through a mailslot. It is also worth nothing that the rearview mirror makes everything looks squatty for whatever reason. Second, the darn drive select stalk. Probably a cost cutting move, but it is right there with a prius in my opinion. Outside of this, around town in this car is good. The suspension takes poor roads with ease and it is a quiet interior cabin to be in. The throttle response is immediate and I love the light throttle acceleration. It really gets you eager to explore the full monty. The good keeps going on into the ease and fluidity of driving around town. One pedal driving is well executed and around town driving isn't really frustrating in this car.

Highway:
Highway driving is also very good when going A to B. Minimal road noise and with the stereo on you really don't hear anything else. If you wanted a quiet car to go to and from with EV benefits then there is nothing negative to report. I didn't really mess too much here with the technology, but I have no doubts it would work well for interchanges and etc.

Spirited Driving:
Ok elephant in the room time. Quick acceleration does not make a car fun in my book, and sorry, the Tesla is not a fun car. It is a gadget ev with blazing 1/4 E/T's. While the suspension felt more capable than I expected, it is by no means an eager or nimble car. Definitely not a car I would want to go back road spirited driving in Mexico with. Not that it is incompetent, I just feel the car would ask me why I am punishing it so. Moving onto the different modes, if you want to go fast Ludicrous mode is the mode to be in. Sport was avg and Chill is a snail. Unfortunately these modes are necessary to maintain charge/mileage accuracy. Even when I wasn't beating on the car and drove normally in Ludicrous I was losing mileage quicker than was what left.

So Ludicrous is the place to be if you want to go fast. From a dead stop it slams you and it gets me in the stomach like my Audi will. With that being said the Tesla didn't really wet my whistle. Perhaps it is due to one of my car being a sports luxury sedan in the high 10's. Ludicrous + may have changed that, but again I didn't have the luxury of doing so. Anywho, the car moves and moves quickly. It doesn't feel as fast as it is, partially due to the fact that there is no sound. I also noticed what felt like 3 different acceleration brackets. There is the 0-60, 60-90 and 90+. After 60 it seemed like it was ever so slightly slower. Don't get me wrong it was still moving with authority, it just didn't seem quite the same. Perhaps it is the whole no sound or shifting that makes me feel that way. It keeps that till 90 when you notice the next phase when it seems to move with a little less gusto from there on out. That I don't believe is in my head. Further from 90 you get the more acceleration it seems to lose. In going at highway speeds and punching it moves but again, when you go beyond 90 it feels like it it starts accelerating with less gusto. Perhaps it was due to the batteries getting hotter and providing inconsistent acceleration, perhaps the Cheetah update only helps with so many pulls before it starts to drop.

Important to note that if you start having multi fun passes the charge drops in a manner that would make my S/C'd Mustang proud lol. Good thing there are ways to build it back up some, but maybe I don't want to use chill mode to aid in getting more back.

Conclusion

I left impressed and unimpressed after driving the Tesla. The technology is flat out impressive and even though Tesla is not my thing in terms of acceleration I can still respect what it offers in the 1/4 mile at the price point while having a very respectable 348 mile range. It is unfortunate though that nothing else on the car is really even close to fitting over its price tag. There are some glaring issues with this car in a lot of areas at this price point. End of the day, a fast gadget car does not make a fun car. I grew bored of stomping on it and once that happens you really only have the tech to keep you entertained. There is no personality to this car and if I am being truthful there are a wide array of ~$60-$70K sport luxury sedans I would rather live with. I do hope nothing came off to harsh, but at the end of the day I have to grade it against my experience and the price point.
 

CobraBob

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Nice write-up. My brother has a Tesla Model 3. I'm not a fan of the exterior design (looks odd from the front). Too generic IMO. Can't deny the performance and overall electronics technology. He loves it, though. It should be interesting to hear reviews and comments about the Mach E.
 

5.0Black

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Nice write-up. My brother has a Tesla Model 3. I'm not a fan of the exterior design (looks odd from the front). Too generic IMO. Can't deny the performance and overall electronics technology. He loves it, though. It should be interesting to hear reviews and comments about the Mach E.
Thanks! I respect the car for its 1/4 mile performance, till it falls off, and the tech. I just didn't find it to be a quality vehicle imo. I agree, it certainly will be interesting to see what Ford can do with a performance related EV. It will be a competitor to the model y in a lot of ways. Really comes down to if Ford will have some growing pains in making an EV and if it will be an EV that handles more like a Mustang than it does an Edge ST. I feel the fit and finish will be better.
 

TERMN8U

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I completely agree. I test drove a Tesla model S last year and luncheon with the highest expectations. I left utterly completely disappointed. Biggest automotive let down I’ve ever experienced.
 

ur bittn

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My brother in law has one with the high performance motors and batteries, fastest car I have ever driven. I just can’t get over the no sound and no gages thing.
 

My94GT

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I really want to drive one of these and more and more I’m tempted to buy as I have a long work commute and am building a new home with solar power so it would make sense. That said for the money I’d rather have a more fun weekend car. Currently seeing 16mpg in my ram and a 100 mile round trip commute though is pissing away a lot of gas money
 

5.0Black

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I really want to drive one of these and more and more I’m tempted to buy as I have a long work commute and am building a new home with solar power so it would make sense. That said for the money I’d rather have a more fun weekend car. Currently seeing 16mpg in my ram and a 100 mile round trip commute though is pissing away a lot of gas money

Ouch, yea, there are a lot of fun weekend cars that get well above 16 mph for a long 100 mile commute lol. Again, I respect Tesla and I see why some people buy them. I just think they are over hyped, overpriced and boring. Long list of cars I would rather own form $60-$70K in the sport luxury segment let alone $80-$100K. Today's world you can still have a fun car that is fast, refined and practical with better quality than Tesla.

I completely agree. I test drove a Tesla model S last year and luncheon with the highest expectations. I left utterly completely disappointed. Biggest automotive let down I’ve ever experienced.

Yup. Again, I respect the car for two area's really, but I really don't understand how Tesla has this highly sought after badge when there is so much wrong with it at its price point.
 

Blown 89

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You should do car reviews. It's nice to read an honest review for a change rather than the same car review script everyone else follows.

I have yet to drive one but I can't believe the price they are going for.
 

5.0Black

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You should do car reviews. It's nice to read an honest review for a change rather than the same car review script everyone else follows.

I have yet to drive one but I can't believe the price they are going for.

Thank you! Honesty is always important, something that makes me scratch my head sometimes with some of the reviews I read from time to time. I would certainly love to review cars as a fun hobby, but probably would be tough to get a dealer to allow that lol.

The car doesn't reflect its price tag outside of two area's really and at that price point I need the majority of the car to be reflecting its price tag.
 

CLN 6R

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Nice review.

I’ve only driven a Model S as a loaner vehicle and it only was a 75 IIRC, 2017 I think. Parts of it I liked, parts I didn’t. I have driven a new one, as I suspect some things are better, but with that being said, I love my Model 3.
 

Kevins89notch

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I rode to dinner in a Telsa after doing 200 miles in a friend's Audi R8+ the same day. Speaking only of the 0-60 times which we did 3 times, and this wasn't in ludicrous mode or anything special...it was damn impressive. I would get myself in trouble doing that nonstop if I owned one.
 

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