2018 Tesla Model S Review. The Good, The Bad, and the Real Truth

lastls1

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As Promised I am going to post my review of my 2018 Tesla Model S that I recently took delivery of about 2 weeks ago. In this last 2 weeks I have put about 600 miles on the car with a good mix of highway and local street driving. I am going to be as unbiased as possible........ Enjoy

What is it? What did I purchase Exactly?


2018 Tesla Model S 75D White Exterior, White Premium Seats, with the Premium Upgrades Package

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What does all of that mean exactly? Glad you Asked. If you want a Tesla brand new they are all customized to order. There are no large dealer lots to walk and pick out the car you want. You customize everything online to your specs and place your order. (More on the ordering process in a bit). My choices were simple and somewhat funds limited. Going through their online customization site, you can easily surpass 100k with a few clicks of a button. Unfortunately, I was not willing to spend 100k+ before taxes on a daily driver.

I opted for the Pear White Paint, the premium white seats, and the premium upgrades package. With the premium upgrades package, this gives you the upgraded stereo system, Heated steering wheel, heated wipers, heated rear seats, heated mirrors and......Bio Defense Mode. (Its basically a HEPA filter for the cabin.)


So what is it like inside?

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The short answer..... its a very nice place to be. I honestly enjoy driving to and from work now. I find myself making excuses to drive places to take the car out. I am very glad that I waited to get a Model S as long as I did. Over the years they have made some drastic changes to the car. The seats have been redesigned 2 or 3 times over, and I believe they have finally gotten it right. I sat in an earlier version 2013-2014 model and I almost laughed. The difference is that drastic. If I had an earlier model I would immediately sell it for this one.

Below are what the seats used to look like. They had very little support, and in the actual Butt region, they were nearly flat across. You did not feel like they held you in place or supported you as a 100k car should.

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The next photo is of the current generation seats. Total redesign.... and they are the way they should have been from the start. There is also a large amount of legroom in the rear. I am 6'4 and people have no problem sitting behind me.

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The screen itself is overwhelming at first. There are no conventional buttons in the car, so to perform any task, you either have to use the buttons on the steering wheel, or navigate through the screen. However I will admit, after 1 day with the car it becomes second nature. One of the greatest parts of this screen and interior is the maps system. Since Tesla utilizes Google maps, its a navigation system in a car you can actually use!!!


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Every other car I have owned or been in with built in navigation is a joke at best. It is an option you would purchase for that 1 time you actually used it, and after that it was just a bragging item you would use in conversations. (my car has navigation! Its on a 6 inch screen.... and you can't zoom out quickly with your fingers.... and it routes you to weird places.... and you cant update it easily.... but I love it! LOL)

The Trunk space is massive. Not only do you get your normal space in the back, but you also get a little removable section in the rear that opens up to more space below. They also make small organizers that can go in there as well to separate and hold things accordingly.


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Did I mention it also has a Frunk? (Front Trunk) Just like a gas car that is mid engine, it has space to put a small carry on up front. The space I will admit is not all that great.... but given than 95% of other vehicles on the road do not have it due to the engine being there.... it is fine and something you cannot complain about.


How does it drive?

This car is smooth as butter. I have owned 2 previous Volts and the driving is very similar since both are electric. Taking off from a stop light is smooth, stopping is smooth, accelerating is........ well smooth. This is very noticeable when you get out of the Tesla and get in a conventional Gas car. I got in the wifes SUV the other day, and after the first stop sign I caught myself looking at her and asking wtf is wrong with this thing. Normal gas cars feel very clunky compared to the Tesla. Having a car shift gears and hesitate when you put your foot down kind of well... sucks .

Did I mention Acceleration? Well now I did. This car is the "slowest" version that Tesla makes in the S line. However I am confident to say, I would leave nearly every normal car on the road in the dust doing a stop light to stop light race. This car kicks you in the chest, there is no comforting lag to start off like in the Chevy Bolt. This car clocks in to 60 at just under 4 seconds. While 3.9 seconds may not be the speed of light..... its all wheel drive and there is zero fuss or wheel spin at any temperature outside.

Want to do a 20 degree outside street race with no burn out or prep? I'm your Huckleberry. Weather conditions are no longer an excuse.


Now.... On to what everyone probably is waiting for. The Bad

I decided not to make a "Good" section... because well I fapped enough in my above review. Now in the words of Parker from vehicle Virgins.... No car is perfect, and here are some reasons I hate my Tesla Model S.


1. From Day 1 at pickup. The car had a very slight drift to the right. It was not a pull or anything harsh, but noticeable. This needed to be corrected by service. (It was corrected with an alignment)

2. On the passenger side front window there was a very noticeable wind noise when traveling at 45-70mph. It actually sounded like the window was down when it was totally rolled up. This actually annoyed me quite a bit and was really embarrassing when you would show the car off to people. (This was corrected by service, They replaced all of the door seals on that side and realigned the glass. No more noise)

3. I may be nitpicking here but the wipers do not have a slow enough setting. There are only 4 settings. Delayed, Slightly less delay, low, and high. Even the lowest most delayed setting has the wipers going off every 3 seconds or so. It is just to much for a light rain or mist. Kind of annoying.

4. This is probably one of the biggest among Tesla Owners. The way they introduce upgrades and model changes. I got to see this first hand on the Tesla forums with the latest MCU upgrade. Basically Tesla introduced a faster computer and processor for the giant screen. However instead of just flat out doing this for the whole 2018 year..... the introduced it in the last week of February. So basically if your car was built starting 02/27 you were screwed and got the older slower processor.... but if production started 02/28 you got the new computer..... regardless if you both ordered the car the same day.

WHAT??? I was lucky enough to get the new faster computer... but damn that is a crappy way to do things. This pissed a ton of people off and quite a few online actually refused delivery of their cars over it.

5. This is less about the car and more about their ordering process in general. While their service department had stellar service and was a great experience..... the ordering process of the car sucked. When you place an order for the car, you are assigned a Delivery Specialist at Tesla. This person updates you or is supposed to regarding the status of your car, what to expect, what to bring bla bla bla.

Well in my case I must have got a dud. Nearly every text, email, or phone call had to be initiated by me. I was never given updates on my car, when it might be built, etc. I had to call or email my individual constantly to find out what was going on. And even in the end, the only reason I took delivery of my car so quick, was because I found out on the forum the Chicago cars were coming into town around the 19th of March on the truck. This led me to call my Delivery Specialist who confirmed this and rescheduled my delivery date over a week sooner than before.

Honestly for a 100k car, I expected stellar customer service and nothing less. I am not buying a 15K Chevy Spark here. This is a car supposed to compete with the highest level BMW's etc. So your customer service better act like it.

Now to be fair this sort of delivery experience was not what everyone experienced. A good amount on the forum had people contacting them all the time.... but I was not one of them. So to be fair to everyone on TCG I must put this down as a negative.


That's all for now folks! If you have specific questions on something I probably missed post below and I will answer honestly.
 

ragingclue

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Nice write up! Do you have choices for the map provider or are you locked to Google?
 
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lastls1

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It’s google currently.... however there is a new update that is slowly being released this week to all Tesla’s. Tesla is now going to be using “Tesla maps” which is supposed to speed up the map itself as well as navigation. It will still use traffic and I believe a google map type overlay.

But other than that no I do not think you have a choice of maps. Unless you used the web browser in the car?
 

Mook

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Nice of you to actually outline the problems rather than gloss over them or talk about how the good outweighs the bad. update this thread when you hit 1200 miles or so. Be interesting to see how things play out.
 

crooks

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Can you switch your map to waze?
 

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Awesome, write up. I just purchased my first EV (2018 Volt) and am happy with it. I see a Tesla in my future though.
 

VenomousDSG

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Nice review, glad to see you address both good/bad equally and not try to pass the vehicle off as something it isnt, the end all/be all of the automotive industry.
 
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lastls1

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Can you switch your map to waze?


As far as I know, you cannot change the map provider in the car unless Tesla pushes a software update.
 
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lastls1

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I have not had any issues with the current maps system. It even shows you all the Tesla superchargers, how many stalls are occupied, and what type of food or entertainment is near them
 

torquelover

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How much does using the heated seats, wheel, and blasting the heater reduce your range?
 
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lastls1

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How much does using the heated seats, wheel, and blasting the heater reduce your range?


In all honesty because the battery is so large in the car vs the Volt I don’t notice it much. The biggest drain is the heater obviously, however the heat is so strong in this car I find myself turning it down once we get driving.

The wheel and seats all run off the 12v battery, so the draw is minimal.

On a good day I will use about 25 miles going to work 1 way. On a freezing bad day I use about 35 total. So it drains about an extra 10 miles from me.

Also take into account, the Tesla has a much more advanced battery management system vs the Volt. So the battery gets heated as well by the car, and that you don’t have control over
 

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Love that you love it. Tesla's sales reps largely suck. It's too bad to see they haven't improved. Mine never called me back on my trade in, got my numbers wrong three times and got them wrong again at delivery. The day of delivery is when their finance team called. It was a total clusterfuck.

Are the 75's clocking in at 3.9 seconds? The uncorking was supposed to lower them from 5.6 to 4.2 seconds which is the official time on the site. Are people getting 3.9 out of them? If so, that's absurd.

I will second the feeling about traditional cars though. We took the Ghibli to Phoenix this past weekend since the Tesla was rented and right out of the gate my wife was complaining, not that it was rough but that it was loud and broken. It is loud but it's not broken. I can't blame someone for thinking that though. Going from instant, silent and oppressively harsh torque to a vehicle that's louder, slower, has noticeable turbo lag and isn't nearly as fast is a bit off-putting. It makes you realize how the best way to sell people on electric cars is to stick them in electric cars. At one point I was changing from a lane of traffic that was nearly stopped to a lane of traffic that was moving at high speed and the Ghibli didn't downshift as many gears as it ideally should have and it just fucking sat there, lagging as I watched the car behind me bearing down, flashing their lights and justifiably pissed. Then she called the Ghibli a piece of shit. :rofl:
 
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lastls1

lastls1

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Love that you love it. Tesla's sales reps largely suck. It's too bad to see they haven't improved. Mine never called me back on my trade in, got my numbers wrong three times and got them wrong again at delivery. The day of delivery is when their finance team called. It was a total clusterfuck.

Are the 75's clocking in at 3.9 seconds? The uncorking was supposed to lower them from 5.6 to 4.2 seconds which is the official time on the site. Are people getting 3.9 out of them? If so, that's absurd.

I will second the feeling about traditional cars though. We took the Ghibli to Phoenix this past weekend since the Tesla was rented and right out of the gate my wife was complaining, not that it was rough but that it was loud and broken. It is loud but it's not broken. I can't blame someone for thinking that though. Going from instant, silent and oppressively harsh torque to a vehicle that's louder, slower, has noticeable turbo lag and isn't nearly as fast is a bit off-putting. It makes you realize how the best way to sell people on electric cars is to stick them in electric cars. At one point I was changing from a lane of traffic that was nearly stopped to a lane of traffic that was moving at high speed and the Ghibli didn't downshift as many gears as it ideally should have and it just fucking sat there, lagging as I watched the car behind me bearing down, flashing their lights and justifiably pissed. Then she called the Ghibli a piece of shit. :rofl:


Honestly I almost canceled my order because the sales process was so bad. They didn’t get my numbers wrong, it was just the lack of communication that was so bad. I do understand those individuals are over worked, which is why I was always nice to him. Just people who spend this kind of money deserve the service that’s advertised.
 

Flyn

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Seems to me it would be fairly easy for Tesla to automate the notification process? Amazon does a decent job of letting you know where your package is. Why can't Tesla do the same? That would free up the human concierge to handle the unusual questions/comments.
 

IDAFC21

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Damn you for making me read your "5 things i hate about" in Parkers voice.
 

cacicgtp7

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Great write up, beautiful ride. Can't believe the lower levels of the S model are still so quick off the line.
 

Outlaw

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I LOVE the white/white. Great choice.

Get these wheels and limo tint it please.

 

Outlaw

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Also I had NO idea you could order rearward facing seats like old station wagons in these bringing passenger seating to 7 :rofl:
 
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lastls1

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I LOVE the white/white. Great choice.

Get these wheels and limo tint it please.



Those wheels with tires from Tesla are 6,000 dollars. Unless I land some sort of sponsor deal not happening.

They are also 21 inch rims. Limited tire choices to summer only tires


Also all of the mirrors auto darken at night. So limo type tints would make it very hard to see on the side mirrors and rear.

I was thinking sticking with 30 or 25% at the max. I had 15% on the Cruze and it was damn near impossible to see out at night
 
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lastls1

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Also I had NO idea you could order rearward facing seats like old station wagons in these bringing passenger seating to 7 :rofl:


Yep. It’s not a popular option and only children can sit back there, but still, it is there none the less and no one else offers that
 

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How does the heat work in an electric vehicle? Is it instant heat since you don’t have to wait for an engine to warm up?
 
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lastls1

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How does the heat work in an electric vehicle? Is it instant heat since you don’t have to wait for an engine to warm up?


It’s nearly instant. I believe it’s just an electric heating element, but I would have to look that up. It takes about 1-2 minutes to get full heat after I turn it on
 

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