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1,250 Mile Report

2.5 weeks after delivery, I am at 1,250 miles. To put that in context, I have been out of town 4 days since taking delivery. So, I've put 2 times my normal mileage on my car in the time I have owned it.

The bottom line so far:
it's my favorite car, ever

Prior cars from beginning of driving:
'79 Suburban
'79 Monte Carlo
'94 Infiniti G20t (first car I bought and paid for)
'98 Mercedes SLK
'01 BMW X5
'05 Infinity G35
'09 Toyota Camry Hybrid (amazing how children and start-ups change things)

In May, I sold my company and my gift to myself was dumping the Camry. I looked at BMW 5, 6, 7 series and Audi RS5. My wife was against the cost of the Tesla on principle (thinking $100K). I never liked my Camry, but I could not reconcile myself to returning to 20-30 MPG (I regularly got 35 MPG with the Camry Hybrid). I just could not bring myself to by one of those gas-guzzling German cars (my wife's gift to herself ended up being a BMW X3, but she was coming from a Honda Odyssey, so she got BETTER gas mileage with her BMW).

If you look at my purchase history, I've bought a lot of first generation cars. The SLK and X5 were first generation. And my wife got an Infiniti FX35 around 2003-2004. So I know to expect imperfections. Also, I am an entrepreneur and I know what it's like to grow a company and the pains that can come with it.

In short, I jumped in eyes wide open. And I think that's important for anyone buying a Tesla in 2013. You should expect the best car ever made, but it will have warts you aren't used to seeing in cars and delivery and service.

On the other hand, it's also important to note this: I've never owned a car that didn't have a recall during my ownership tenure, and I've never owned a car that did not, at one point, make me want to go Aaron Hernandez on someone. That includes my prior favorite the Mercedes SLK.

What I got:

VIN 116xx, 60 KWh, Blue, Pano, Tech, (everything but the suspension and HPWC)

Other details:

I got the supercharger and dual chargers, but I did not get the HPWC. Both were future-proofing decisions, but I have no use for them today.

The good:

* Acceleration (OMG)
* General driving experience
* Navigation
* Driver console
* 17” console
* Panoramic roof
* First usable driver profiles in any car I have had

Bad:
* Lack of certain common high-end options (HUD, lane departure warnings, collision warnings)
* Rear-wheel drive
* Back seat head rests
* Heat dissipation (window tinting is a MUST in this car)

Ugly:
* Windshield wiper max speed
* Support for iTunes on the iPhone
* Center console area
* Homelink programming

Delivery communication was generally poor, though I did enjoy working with Andy out of the Oakbrook, IL sales center. Todd at the Eden Prairie service center has been very helpful. As some of you may have noted, I have had absolutely no luck in getting owner access to these forums despite talking with Andy, the 877 number, the owner email, and other emails people have suggested. In fact, the guy at the 877 number suggested I should just use the TMC forums.

One thing I never realized is that there's a natural clock that evolves in your head when you start driving a car that says "it's time to get gas". Around 500 miles into my ownership experience, I started feeling that nagging in the back of my mind. It faded around 750-1,000 miles.

You just can't appreciate how fun it is to never go to a gas station. In fact, it feels wrong even going near one.

Learnings:

* I bought the service plan for 4 years, no ranger service (nearest service center is 8 miles away). I've never owned a car more than 5 years.
* The family has altered our driving practices to favor using the electric car. That's why I have incurred so many miles.
* Dual chargers may prove to be a waste. There's no need for a HPWC in your house. A NEMA 14-50 is sufficient.
* I still think the superchargers will prove to be a good investment.
* The pano is amazing. Best decision I made. No noise so far.

Great overview. I'll add it took me 2 months to stop reaching for the keys/button to turn the car off.

@Sudre_

I still keep reaching for the "start" button.

Can you share some more details on the windshield wiper max speed?

@AmpedRealtor

I have had the lovely experience of owning my Model S in a near Seattle-like weather period in the Twin Cities. In other words, in this short time I have experienced all kinds of rain from basic drizzle to rain that no windshield wiper system on any car could handle.

I was actually driving by nav system during one point because the rain was so bad all the cars on the freeway were pulled to the side and I did not feel it was safe to pull over on a freeway when no one could see (I could see far enough ahead to avoid cars, but not enough to actually know where I was).

There are exactly two manual windshield wiper speeds, and 2 levels of automatic windshield wiper sensitivity.

I find it best to set the windshield wipers to automatic, maximum sensitivity. No other setting makes sense, and max + manual just equals max+auto in heavy rain.

The problem is that the max+manual or the max+auto results in a wiper speed that is insufficient for moderately heavy to heavy rains. The result is a lack of visibility that just doesn't exist in any other car except maybe a Mercedes E class car. It's not safe.

It took me two weeks to stop reaching for the keys when parking. Today my MS died and was taken away on a flatbed. :(

So I drove our Honda CRV. Upon parking the CRV, I forgot to turn it off, remove the keys, set the brake, or lock it. I came back to the car still running, but it was nice and cool inside because I left the AC running. Good grief! Glad I did this in an area where no one would take it.

ampedrealtor. Windshield wiper speeds. I will put it in context. I live in So CA which has similar enough weather to your's. After 5 months and over 6K miles, I have yet to use my wipers.

Three applications (not sure why it took three) of RainX and my issue with wiper performance was addressed..... I stopped using them.

@GReese
Why do you think rear wheel drive is bad?

I think it would be more appropriate to the roadster than the Model S.

I'm in the RWD is awesome camp only to be bettered by AWD (for acceleration, I live in Florida).

If the Model S was front wheel drive I would not even consider it. Period.

LOve your review.

I've owned these cars, just to share.

1984 Corolla (my first car--used)
1997 Honda Accord (new--gift from parents)
2006 G35 (bought used)
2012 Camry hybrid (new)

Most expensive was the Camry hybrid at $27,000. Until my MS.

Agree with most of your assessment on pros and cons. I tried to shift gears (windshield wiper) on my wife's Odyssey without turning the key. Car didn't move. Almost broke the wiper thing.

My thoughts:

* I bought the service plan for 4 years, no ranger service (nearest service center is 8 miles away). I've never owned a car more than 5 years.

- I inadvertently let the purchase widow lapse. I'll likely regret it, given that Tesla is almost certain to raise service pricing over time.

* The family has altered our driving practices to favor using the electric car. That's why I have incurred so many miles.

- Absolutely, the bummer is that we used to spend weekends on our city bikes. Now, I look for any excuse to drive. With two months gone, I'm nearing 3,000 miles.

* Dual chargers may prove to be a waste. There's no need for a HPWC in your house. A NEMA 14-50 is sufficient.

- Yesterday, I might have agreed 100%. Today, about 75%. Headed up the coast to Neptune's Net for lunch, caught terrible traffic on the PCH coming home, burned up a lot of range creeping along, arrived home with too little range for comfort and running late for dinner, plugged in to my HWPC while getting dressed for dinner, jumped back in the car an hour later restored to ample range.

* I still think the superchargers will prove to be a good investment.

- I still wonder whether the superchargers are a bit of a red herring, to hold down the noise about range rather than have to educate folks about their actual (rather than aspirational) range needs. I've used Hawthorne a few times, just to confirm that supercharging worked on my car and out of curiosity. In truth, other than my above encounter with the PCH, range has not been an issue in nearly 3,000 miles of driving. Despite my best intentions, I still haven't had the time to make the planned epic drive to SF from LA.

* The pano is amazing. Best decision I made. No noise so far.

- Couldn't agree more. Like most Yankees, when I moved to LA years ago, one of my first acts was buying a convertible sports car. I hated it. The successor cars all had moonroofs, or whatever they call them these days. Hated all of them. When I ordered the Pano, it was dead last on my list of desired options. Now it's my favorite, by far. The extra headroom is nice, but I really love how it enhances the open feel of the cabin. With the Pano wide open, it's a unique driving experience; most of the feel of a convertible, without all the annoyances.

Good review…I would agree!


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