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2016 Tesla Model S Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Simply the best car I have ever driven. by Umkirkp4



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I have had the Tesla Model S P90D for a little over a month now, and it continues to amaze me. I have driven a number of performance automobiles, and generally have chosen BMWs when it has come time to purchase for the last decade. Although I think highly of these prior vehicles, the Tesla is on a whole different level.

Reviewed: 2015.5 Tesla Model S

4dr Hatch 532-horsepower Electric 1-speed automatic AWD

2015.5 Tesla Model S Love Letter

The styling is classy and eye-catching. I would say that the interior is not at the same level as a Mercedes S-class or a 6- or 7-series BMW, but nicer than an E-class or 5-series. The car is extremely spacious, with both a front and back trunk given that it has only small electronic motors.

What really separates this car from the competetion, however, is the performance. The handling honestly seems like it was copied directly from BMW. It Sport mode, the steering is very much like an M5. I have the optional air suspension on my car, which makes it much more forgiving of road imperfections than the M suspension on a BMW and not quite as tight. If you are going to commute in this car, the trade off is far in the Tesla's favour. It still handles tighter than any Mercedes or Audi sedan. The battery is along the floor of the car, which gives it a very low centre of gravity and this plants it even better than other cars at a comparable price point. The P90D takes corners better than any other car of its size, and it feels more like a small sports car than a sedan in these moments. Braking is top notch.

The acceleration is a revelation. It is nothing like an internal combustion engine car, with instantaneous torque and on the P90D, this massive torque is available at any speed one can legally drive at in North America. I can be driving at 110 km/hr and if I press the accelerator down, the power is as instantaneous as if I was driving at 10 km/hr. The car is rated at 0-60 mph in 2.8 seconds and subjectively I suspect it lives up to this, although I have not timed it myself. Essentially, in real world city driving if you press the pedal down hard you will hit the speed limit in about a second.

There is a reason why Tesla is eating the lunch of other luxury sedan automakers. I honestly cannot see myself going back to a gasoline-powerd car after the P90D.


I can honestly say that no car has given me this much driving pleasure. Well done, Tesla. If you are even remotely contemplating a Model S, go and test drive one now. You will not regret it.

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Response from Member6550

7:06 pm September 29, 2015

What about the feel- the connection with the car. I prefer to hear the engine, feel the revs. Isn't the tesla a very fast golf cart?


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Response from Member2772

8:25 pm September 29, 2015

It's a fair question. My car before this was a twin-turbo V8 with a great sound. I missed it for a short period when I moved to the P90D, but that didn't last long. If anything, I appreciate that the car does not sound obnoxious if I feel like taking off from a light, and that it is not too loud in the mornings when driving on smaller streets.

As for the connection with the car, I wondered about that also but if anything I feel more connected with this car. There are several reasons for this - the handling is great, as I mentioned above, and it has pretty solid road feedback. Interestingly, though, the acceleration pedal gives you a very well defined response to any given level of pressure. There is no "lag" of any sort. Even with a large ICE without turbos, you never really have immediate response to the throttle. The car basically does exactly what you want it to do exactly when you want to do it, so it feels that much more precise. I cannot imagine what this feel would be like in a smaller form factor (e.g. Roadster 2.0) but I would love to find out.

The car really feels nothing lie a golf cart, any more than any other gasoline-powered sports sedan would feel like a gas-powered lawnmower. The comparison is not valid. It also is VERY different in feel from a Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf.

All I can say is that if you are at all skeptical, take one for a test drive. I was too, until I walked into a service center a few months ago and took a P85D out. At this point, I cannot imagine ever wanting to go back to a gasoline car.


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Response from Member6573

10:54 am October 22, 2015

The car really feels nothing lie a golf cart, any more than any other gasoline-powered sports sedan would feel like a gas-powered lawnmower. The comparison is not valid. It also is VERY different in feel from a Chevy Volt or Nissan Leaf.

I realize you believe this, but I have to ask, since you claim to only drive high-end vehicles....

How do you *know* it's very different from a volt or a leaf? Is this a guess?

Did you own one?



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Response from Member2772

11:26 am October 25, 2015

Hi John,

I actually never claimed to drive only high-end vehicles, only that I have made a point of trying several of them. I love test driving all sorts of cars and I have in fact driven both a Leaf and a Volt.

The Leaf is a neat car, but the handling just feels off. It is fairly slow and has some acceleration lag, although the small front does make it feel like you are going faster than you are. It may be a great car for someone using it for short commutes on a budget, but I would not call it fun to drive. In fairness, I have not driven one in the past 1.5 years or so, and perhaps they have improved. This doesnt mean it is not a good car - it just means it is not a good car if you care about performance.

The Volt, in my mind, is a failure as it lacks any measure of performance but has all of the disadvantages of a gasoline-powered car. You could think of it as a hybrid Cruze at more than twice the price.

If you want to try any of these cars, I suggest looking up your local EV club. Members generally are very willing to show off and talk about their cars, and we frequently try each other's vehicles. I have already had about 15 people take mine for a short spin. Tesla also is happy to let anyone take a car for a test drive, but I do understand that many areas do not have a local Tesla centre.


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Response from Member2262

10:08 pm November 6, 2015

It's a nice car but to describe the interior as being nicer than an E class or 5 series BMW is not true in my opinion. The interior is the weak point and has me looking elsewhere for a new ride.


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Response from Member2772

9:48 am November 7, 2015

Well, assessment of interiors is pretty subjective but we will have to agree to disagree. There is a huge step up in interior quality between the 5 and 6/7 BMW series, and while I believe the 6/7 are better I cannot see how one would prefer the 5. For Mercedes, they use nice materials but the layout is so old-fashioned and cumbersome that I cannot agree about the E-series either. Still, to each their own. Thanks for the response.


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