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Impressions after 45 min test drive

My current DD is a 2011 Jag XF Supercharged (comes with 20" wheels) with the ECU tune package (~520-540hp), and this is my second XF.I just drove the TMS P85 with 19" wheels for about 45 minutes in mix of city, highway, good/bad road surfaces, etc.Here are my thoughts ,strictly as compared to my car.
1) It is uncanny how the TMS immediately felt so similar to the XFS on the road as far as ride quality, steering and handling in general.Driving over bad road surface, feels same as the XFS.
2) Seat, driving position, steering position is very good
3)For an ICE, the XF has same philosophy of less is more - as far as physical switches and controls.Much more low key and elegant compared to anything German
4)when quickly turning the wheel left-right-left-right in low speed, the car is not planted, feels like the tire sidewalls are too soft or suspension is loose and it sways a lot.
5) Test Car has 5000+ miles, and no rattles, creaks at all
6)Accelerating hard from any speed between 0-65mph, the P85 feels faster for sure. Stepping on it above about 70mph, I would say the XFS easily pulls away. This is of course the normal expected difference between the ICE and E-motor torque/power delivery curves
7)interior quality is a lot of hits and misses considering it's a $100K car,definitely lower quality overall then the XFS. Too much plastic (low grade hard plastic)all over the place. The tray between the front seats is the most ridiculous thing, and a major screw-up, which by itself brings the whole interior down- however should be an easy fix.
8) visibiliy out the back is worst than even the XF, but I did not feel any issues on the road. Would be nice to have parking sensors for such a large car - that's a no brainer.
9) car is of course very quite at low speeds. At about70mph and above, total cabin noise is same as the XFS
10) switches on the steering wheel feel cheap and flimsy
11) Until today, I haven't seen an MS around here. Today suddenly I saw 2 on the road....
12)I lease my cars (36-39 month leases, 15Kmi/year)The XF normal maintenance costs are definitly lower than the S up to at least 4 years. Incidentally,the cost for the TMS is close to $1000/year and not the claimed $600. (adding the rumored $30/mo for 3G connectivity).
13)Came away from the test drive impressed,but not blown away. Considering the rave reviews, and how so many people are blown away by the TMS, I have a new appreciation for the XFS, which costs 30% less.
14) Note that I am not discussing the range issue at all in this report.


Welcome to the forum and thanks for your insightful post.

One item you mention in your original post in the practice of leasing cars.. I haven't checked in on this in a while, but given the wide speculation on TMS residuals; lease options were either nonexistent or seemed "unreasonable".

In the event that the test drive was everything you had hoped for, what approach were you considering for leasing?

I think its great that the MS is being compared straight up against a Jag. And it compares pretty well from what jdesmo concludes. Not bad for a start up. jdesmo does leave out a few key points:
1. he says that the Jag is 30% less cost. He needs to consider the total cost of ownership here and include fuel and maintenance. then the 30% is significanly reduced.
2. That there are no emissions from a MS is very significant and really the difference.

for Tesla to get beyond the first adopters, it needs to appeal to the jdemos of the world too. I get it that emissions matter and we need to be more sutainable in all we do and I am willing to trade off the right cup holder location or heated steering wheel (not that I ever had one) for this supreme advantage, not everyone is. so Telsa needs to learn and be more attune to the masses. I suspect and I surely hope that all of the learnings of the MS are applied to the gen III.

I believe jdesmo is completely uninterested as to whether the Model S or the Jag is "green". This claimed Model S advantage, given the CO2 footprint associated with battery production, is controversial. I also do not believe jdesmo is interested in the economy of either vehicle beyond the acquisition price. I do believe that jdesmo is interested in the overall driving experience in comparing the Jag to the S. Please let jdesmo express an opinion. I have owned my S for 2 weeks. I have taken 6 car enthusiasts for "test drives". None of these individuals have any persuasion for or against Tesla as many posters on this forum appear to have. None of these 6 individuals care if the car is "green" nor do they care about the economics of owning or operating the car. What they care about was what jdesmo appears to care about; the driving experience. All 6 were blown away by the smoothness, the quiet operation, and the feel of constant uninterrupted acceleration. None were bothered by the austere interior and most expressed a favorable opinion of the simplicity of design and its quality. I for one favor the clean and open nature of the design though I would prefer at least some additional covered storage. I as well as one other "test driver" feel the Giant 17" touch screen is a bit "in your face", but I feel the functionality and ergonomics of this feature far out weighs any aesthetic intrusion. Are there missing features in the S? Sure there are, but this can be said of every vehicle on the market. In short every individual will have different areas they emphasize in choosing a vehicle. The Model S will need to prove itself superior in enough of these areas to be successful. For me it clearly has. There is no going back. For jdesmo, maybe not. The opinion expressed by jdesmo is after all one person's opinion.

OK, I have a number of top Jags. I love them, they're awesome. They don't even begin to compare to a fraction of an MS though. If you're thinking to compare an MS to an ICE car I think you're sadly on the wrong planet. I saw a special on the new M6 today and based on the stats it too is an antique before it's been sold...

The Model S design and concept were shown long before that. That was merely the final showing before orders were taken. Look up the first "Whitestar" designs.

@noel.smyth, @jed-99aggie,
Yes, the XFS is 30% less to purchase, but since I need to lease the car, I should discuss this further.
After the test drive, I spoke at length with the store Mgr. regarding leasing. He said it's coming this summer, which is great. We shall see what they come up with. We had a small argument about the true operating costs of the MS. After discussing the issues of charging efficiency, vampire losses, possible 3G connectivity charges etc., he finally came around and agreed to my analysis. With my XFS averaging 16MPG (agressive driving and all, mostly local), 15,000mi/year, assuming $4.50/Gal, the high utility costs around here ($0.23/KWH), service costs and 100% need for the service ranger since I'm far from the service point and lack of loaners, the MS has the potential of being cheaper to operate by $2300/year. On that basis, I told him it would make sense to pay about $190/month more to lease the MS compared to my existing XFS. He was kind of happy to hear that.

Brian H:
I find no evidence of any White Star designs prior to 2008 - when the XF was already on sale.

Yawn. I really don't care.

My only reason for even acknowledging the Jaguar part of this thread was in response to those who said things akin to "I wouldn't even turn around to look at a Jag," which I simply don't understand. The MS is a gorgeous car, and at least 80% of all Jags ever made have been gorgeous cars, and - more importantly - they are in the same vein aesthetically. Fine if you wouldn't want to own a Jag, think they're crap, or whatever, but I fail to understand how there can be a polarizing argument about styling, when they clearly display the same aesthetic sensibilities (granted, the MS also hints at Aston, Maserati, and - yes - Mazda).

American car or not, the MS is very much in the Anglo-sensual tradition (which is NOT to say that it's merely copying Jaguar). No way would a car like that ever come out of Germany.

yes, Brian H comments on this are quite odd, but he has something there. The XF looks like a close cousin of............Aston Martin. Makes sense, as same guy designed the XF after leaving AM, where he penned the DB9.

+1 riceuguy

And, as for who copied who, (MS or XF), that wasn't even my point - but I hopefully made my point in my previous post.

But, yeah, maybe Ian Callum and Franz Van Holzhausen showed each other some sketches over coffee back in 2006 or so. Whatever.

Nowadays, practically ever car design is derivative or inspired by something that came before - and there's nothing wrong with that. And the more I look at the MS, the more I think it looks almost as Italian as it does British.

Still hoping it proves to be as good as it seems, so I'll feel no guilt in convincing my mother to dump her 20-year-old Bentley for one.

I almost bought a Jag before I stumbled onto the Model S.
It would have been my second Jag. The mileage rating that the Jag received, the price of premium gas here and the thought of not making annoying trips to the service station any more turned the tide to Tesla for me. Fewer expensive moving parts influenced me too. The fact that it was made in the USA made a difference.

I think you might be inderestimating the 70mph+ response. It is immediate and strong.

I'm a diffent type of buyer though. I would never consider a lease. I buy cars that I think will hold up to the test of time and I plan to get my money's worth out of them.

By the way. I have an XF and are now 2 years on the list for the right hand drive Sig in the UK

Costs are not an issue. Just quality (and parking sensors )

Well, a comparison to a car from a guy that drives it daily for years, VS a 45 minute test drive. And so much ado on the forum. BTW I don't thinly it is bashing, just very subjective, as he already said. I think the test strive was also prejudiced, with many of the issues already known... but that is also part of the "subjective".

thinly = think, strive = drive ... iPhone autocorrect, no edit

Jdesmo. IMO it was fair evaluation. Jaguars have always been one of the most beautiful cars on the road and their interiors among the richest, in the most traditional manner.

I suspect Jdesmo may reconsider if he had to purchase not lease his Jaguar. Imagine what the maintenance, servicing, and repairs on a 60 month+ Jag, BMW, MB, Audi is.

@ vouteb | MARCH 24, 2013: Costs are not an issue. Just quality (and parking sensors )

Since you're in the UK, you'll appreciate that there's a local aftermarket parking sensor manufacturer, so parking sensors should not deter you.

I will absolutely consider leasing the MS also, if the numbers work out to be close to what I said above.
I'm following the MS on the boards closely for few months, and did go very much out of my way to test drive it.
I should try to find someone who owns one around here and is not on the 'Tesla defense team', and discuss further.

Here's some of the earliest Whitestar mention:
More refined designs, including the nose cone etc., appeared early in 2007.
At this point TM was still considering a NM factory site.

There's a lot of Franz' Mazda6 in the Model S, many think.

@Alex K:

That might invalidate the warranty!

I really expect Tesla to add it.
There have been so many comments about this in the Forum.

I would hate to bump/scratch thr front because Tedla doesn t offer it.



I kind of agree that the churn by non-owner, fan boys degrades the quality of these forums. Equally, I'm not sure that anecdotal reviews by random test drivers are that useful either. In both cases, there are folks with limited first-hand knowledge making assessments of little actual value.

As an aside, and from actual ownership experience, my Jag was the only car I've ever owned to be flatbedded two days after delivery. I chuckled through the whole Broder swirl thinking about that ICE experience.

While I am sorry to hear about your Jag experience, I've greatly enjoyed my actual ownership experience with them (so far). I wish you the same or better with the MS.
Your 'random test drivers' comment is however puzzling. Even as a 'second class citizen' on your forum, How else can I make an assessment unless I drive the car? Yes, I could have increased my 'first hand knowledge' greatly if Tesla offered a car to test drive for a weekend, rather than 45 minutes. (Infiniti for example did provide these extended test drives to me in the past).
I'm otherwise already reading all I can about the MS.

@defmonk. You hit it right on the head. With dozens of published reviews from experts with serious test methods I have no idea what's the purpose for someone to post a pretty serious conclusion from a claimed 45min casual drive. Most people have way more experience with MS than op and few have any interests in the XF. I don't believe it's of much use for people here except to fan some arguments (some calls it trolling). I've been in these kind of forums long enough to know what this is.

Man, people need to put their knives away. All it takes is conceding that some car out their may be comparable or (gasp) better than the MS in some category, and people flip out. Say anything too negative and you have to be shorting the stock! :P

I've had my S for a month and love it, but I know there are things about it that plenty of people wouldn't agree with me on. People have different tastes and priorities - get over it. This is nowhere near the first time I've seen concerns with interior quality/choices - I don't agree, but heck, we can't even all agree on the best interior trim and color.

As a car guy, I know what he means by too much roll in quick direction changes at low speeds.

I noticed this on my car recently. (My TMS is 2 days old)

Hey, this is a heavy car. Can't overcome laws physics.
A jag, however has more polar moment of inertia than the TMS.

Ride quality, an attribute perfected since the early Jaguars, is also a strong point of the TMS,
As noted by the thread starter. That is a lot to achieve for a newcomer like Tesla.

Guys, please don't be so defensive TMS is a great car, not withstanding a few niggles.

Jdesmo, one more thing. Jaguar took a lot of time to perfect their balance, ride quality, and power delivery.

TMS benefits from the basic skateboard architecture to hide the few hundred pounds weight increase as compared to an XF. Wait a few years and the batteries might get lighter.

Then the venerable Jaguar as well as a couple more marquee brands might find life a bit uncomfortable.

When I had a Lexus, they ran out of loaner cars and I had to go to the local Avis to rent the loaner myself. Apparently, this particular location was all about loaner cars for the local dealers. I was behind a woman who was getting a loaner while her Jag was in the shop. The person who filled out my paper work said something to the effect of "... yeah, she's in here all the time...".

So if you are going to buy a Jag, you should probably do some research on the quality of the local loaner cars, since that's what you will be driving half the time.


No knives. I'm not questioning the validity of jdesmo's opinion. It's valid and well thought out. So, I suppose, are the opinions of the thousands (?) of test drivers across the country. It's just that they aren't very valuable in a forum where there are owners who've collectively driven hundreds of thousands of miles (conservatively) and many professional reviews (some of which, incidentally, offer some of the same observations as jdesmo) are readily available.Thanks goodness the thousands of other test drivers have not shown jdesmo's initiative and further diluted the forum.

On the matter of the grammar-correcting, global-warming denying, make-up-factual sounding data sideliners, they're even more useless and unduly clutter up otherwise useful threads with their "I will never own a Tesla, but will lurk in the forum for years" clucking.

Jdesmo - if you live in the Los Angeles / So Cal area I'd be happy to spend some time with you in my MS. You'll be a convert by the end of the day for sure!

For what it's worth, I've traded in my XFS for a MS Performance and never looked back.
I can say only nice things about Jag, very nice service, great car overall.
But I like my Tesla way more now.
It's not a car for everybody, but neither is Jag, pick your own.
And yes, you should try 21" wheels on MS Perf, it feels way more solid.
It does sway a bit, but gives you enough warning to correct it with no drama whatsoever.

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