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Tesla Test Drive Questions

I thought it would be interesting to get a list of questions that people are looking to get answered at the Test Drive Events. What kind of performance/course are people looking for? What delivery questions do people have? Are there still unanswered questions on the vehicle that people are looking to get answer?

So have at it, lets see what people have to ask!

Can't wait to drive this weekend


Jason S, Bravo! Big mahalo for your excellent report.

Thx Jason !

Appreciate your in depth report, Jason. You're awesome!

Jason is the man, thanks! Looking forward to my test drive tomorrow afternoon!

Jason S, thank you so much! What a great report on many details.

I did bring a tape measure, but chickened out.

Thank you for trying anyway. One of the first owners will sure take the measure, in his/her own garage, while nobody is watching. ;-)

Very good news about that pocket in front of the seats.

Jason s, that was the best report I have read on our car, I think you really got everyone super excited. Thanks

Great review Jason!

Thanks for taking the time to answer so many questions we have been waiting forever to find out about!

@JasonS: Since I was the author of many of the question you answered, you've done me (and everyone else) a real service. Many thx!

Thanks Jason. Great information. I'm looking forward to my own drive in about two weeks.

Great report Jason. I am probably too late asking this question for this event, but would someone please test the manual aspects of the air suspension? I believe you can raise the car to two different levels at low speeds and probably while stopped. There probably isn't time for this, but the ultimate test would be to also measure the clearance at the different heights with people in the car.

There probably isn't time for this, but the ultimate test would be to also measure the clearance at the different heights with people in the car. (mvbf)

Assuming that the air suspension works as it should, it doesn't matter whether or not there are people in the car. That's the whole point: It automatically keeps the car leveled, regardless of load (i.e., immediately and automatically compensating for the load as needed).

Had my test drive yesterday. Wow. I agree with Jason's assessments on all fronts. As far as my own smiles and frowns...


1 - Speed, power, stability, smoothness of ride. I have never driven a better-handling, faster, or smoother car in these respects. The regen is incredibly useful, easy to adjust to, and will extend your brake life significantly. Anyone who is on the fence will jump in with both feet after test driving the Model S. It is truly spectacular to drive and completely blows you away! I took my dad along, and now he is making a reservation because the car is simply that amazing.

2 - Pearl white and sycamore brown. Totally floored by the pearl white model that they do the test drive orientation on. With the black interior, it is stunning and sophisticated, but not glaring in any manner. I was also pleasantly impressed with the sycamore brown - looked great in shade and sunlight. Black, Blue were also great. Green was so-so.

3 - space in rear seats, comfort of arm rest = I was a little worried about both of these items and the production model put those worries to rest.

4 - Tesla. They are doing this the right way. The slow deliberate information release is very calculated, but it is working. Just look at every single review that is now out by journalists (Motor Trend, Yahoo, USA Today, Engadget, etc etc), they are all completely glowing about this car. Tesla also is responding to our concerns about the console and cupholders, etc. This will do wonders for new reservations/sales from here on out. I attribute this not only to a truly revolutionary car, but also to the way Tesla has handled their PR. Brilliant.

1 - Music player froze the entire touchscreen display during my test drive (!). Yes, I have to report this because it is something Tesla can easily fix and it needs to be fixed. While on my test drive, the Tesla rep was finding a song we all would enjoy, and the song froze and entered an endless repeat. He was unable to stop this or escape out of it. He asked me to hit both steering wheel rocker buttons for 8 seconds, and the entire touchscreen did a forced shutdown (just like a PC would). I then pressed the rocker buttons again and it rebooted. Tesla rep was a little embarrassed, but more importantly, while the touchscreen was shut down, the AC turned off. Once it rebooted, the AC turned right back on immediately. I was a little surprised by this, although it makes sense since that panel controls the climate. But nevertheless, Tesla needs to address software glitches so that they are very few and very far between.

2 - Some Colors: Dolphin gray - didn't like the blue/green tone. I was expecting a much darker metallic gray and it was my leading choice until I saw it in person. The Sunset red is nice, but a little too bright as well. Also the performance wheels take a lot of the 'wow' factor from the look of the silver and dolphin-gray, IMO.

3 - Didn't get to see the opportunity consoles in person because only a couple cars had them in them, and we didn't get any time to see those other cars in detail. But the pictures I've seen are functional and will probably do the trick. We'll find out Monday I guess. Also, the rear cupholders are not a fold-down armrest feature, but a removable insert that would have to be stored somewhere else if not wanted.

Volker.Berlin, yup I know the claims of the air suspension because it is something I have focussed on. However, claims and reality do not always match. But with the test reviews coming in so positive, I am inclined to have more faith in Tesla's claims.

rd2, Nice very thorough well organized feedback. I am definitely one of those on the fence. Maybe I shouldn't test drive because then I will not be able to resist ...

Rd2, great report . Glad that reported the software problem to tesla, so they can fix before the sig's start coming off the line

Thanks for the positive feedback and thanks to rd2 for elaborating on his experiences with the car. Good to know how to reset the console!

My concern for the upcoming test drives is how they'll let people do some of those sweeping corners while avoiding tickets for reckless driving. The Fremont event let us zoom out on the factory road free of speed controls then let us zoom back.

The freeway on-ramp should give some sense of the handling. It will be entertaining to see more videos of people with the Tesla grin and the "whooaaa" from the passengers.

Driving it is amazing.

Nice feedback, guys.

Dang, you didn't like the dolphin gray? That's my choice too. I generally go for plain/safe (i.e. boring) colors for a lot of things I buy, like black, silver, and gray.

I wanted a darker color because I think I would like the way it will contrast with the chrome pieces. If there was a metallic version of the black, that would definitely be my choice. The brown paint actually looks quite nice in some of the pictures I've seen, but I have a hard time choosing something outside of my comfort zone of black-gray safe-ness.

I really wanted to like the dolphin-grey, but it just didn't 'pop' if you know what I mean. It may have a lot to do with the performance wheels, which are that charcoal color. I think, with the standard aluminum wheels, the dolphin-grey may look a lot better. But overall, I wish it were a darker shade. If you had your heart set on that color, I would recommend seeing it with the aluminum wheels before passing final judgement. Ditto for the silver (also had the performance wheels on it).

But you can't go wrong with black or brown I think.

Can someone describe the mechanism used to shade the panoramic roof?

I think I drove one with a pano roof, but didn't notice any shading device. The day was bright enough that I would've closed the shade on a normal sunroof, but I wasn't bothered by it with the S.

I so wish that I could have a choice of all colours for a SIG......

Is the Sunset Red a metallic paint? It looks sort of flat in the photos from the test drive event.

There's a horizontal line crossing from the uppermost tip of the headlight to the wheel well. Is that the edge of the paint armor?

The general trend from all the kind people who have shared feedback from their test drives are lots of great reports about handling, some information about fit, finish, comfort, space, and very little information about optional equipment. The questions I still have that are as far as I know unanswered all have to do with optional equipment.

1) air suspension: handling and height of suspension system when raised;
2) comfort of the jump seats while car is in motion (I heard test cars were not equipped with jump seats, hope they change this for future events);
3) pano roof: anyone open and close these while moving;
4) audio system: is the higher quality audio option worth it (this one could have been tested with the static cars I assume)?


2) The test cars (some, at least, like Elon's #2) were equipped, but their use wasn't allowed during the moving tests. I guess TM didn't want the complications.

4) I don't think the static cars were Production. There aren't any more production cars yet! Patience, grasshopper.

@Schlermie: nope, that's the line between the bumper cover and the fender.

That's a rather undignified red! Ticket-bait, I betcha.

In the Porsche universe we call that "Catch-me Red."

I'm interested to know if the rear headrests are adjustable.

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