Thanks Adam for lending me his Tesla for the last two weeks. It has been really fun to drive and both Hayden and Michelle love it. Hayden’s going to miss it!
For me the biggest positives were:
- Quietness and smoothness of the ride (Yes after having kids, quietness is important! No hooning while the kids are asleep!)
- The instant feedback when you push the accelerator and how easily it goes uphills
- The 17” center console (I pretty much have maps + rear view camera on all the time)
- The turn by turn navigation right next to the speedo
- Space, lots of it for passengers and groceries and whatever else you need
- Child seat anchors are nicely hidden so if you don’t use them you can’t even see that they’re there
- The awesome reversing camera and markings that change based on how you rotate the wheel make it really easy to reverse.
- The mobile app that allows you to turn the car on/off, lock, turn on climate control (air conditioning), see the charging status and where the car is parked
- Cruise control is pretty smart too, slows and accelerates when needed
- Michelle’s favorite – heated seats and the ability to turn on climate control before you enter the car, so it can be as warm or cool as you want
There are a lot of little nice touches too like:
- Mirrors turn downwards when you reverse
- The lights on the handles when they extend out
- Bluetooth phone connectivity just resumes playing when you get in the car
- The charge port opening when the charger gets close
The negatives were:
- It’s wider than you expect, so you have to be a bit cautious on the narrow Sydney streets or when passing between trucks :)
- I had to reboot the car/consoles once during the two weeks when the 3G connection stopped working (still had many bars of reception, but it was not getting any internet connectivity, so google maps were limited)
- The slowness of the home charger (~13km per hour) – so from flat it would take 24 hrs to fully charge. This would obviously not be a problem once more super charging infrastructure is in place.
- Auto speed detection by sign reading is a bit flakey. When driving in highways and freeways it incorrectly detects the exit lane speeds when you’re not exiting, causing the speeding warning to incorrectly chime.
- If you forget to close the charge port and are driving, it should just close it for you.
- Having the heavy regenerative braking on sort of detracts away from defensive driving where you want to rest your foot on the brake, so that if there’s any surprises, your foot can slam on the brakes quicker. So I’m a bit up in the air about this feature. I’m wondering if there could be some sort of hybrid, where you can take your foot off the accelerator, the light regenerative braking kicks in, and when you apply some pressure to the brakes, the heavy regenerative braking kicks in.
Overall it’s an excellent car. It a lot wider than you expect, it drives quietly and smoothly. And the best part is, that it's brains are upgradable over the air thanks to it's 3G connection. I can't wait to take it for a spin again once Auto Pilot is rolled out.