2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,135
edited September 2014 in Tesla

image2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

Our long-term 2013 Tesla Model S is certainly fun to drive, but does that feeling last after nearly a year of ownership?

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  • jeepsrtjeepsrt Member Posts: 88
    I love these and see quite a few around Colorado Springs and Denver, I saw about 7 in Breckenridge a few week's ago. If I could afford it I would buy one.
  • hybrishybris Member Posts: 365
    If I could afford it I would actually buy it though strictly as a toy with which to go grab groceries or take the misses to a nice dinner in part of town that doesn't look well on 1 ton diesel trucks.
  • markinnaples_markinnaples_ Member Posts: 251
    Meh, the more I see of them, the more the rear looks a bit bulbous or something. It's truly a shame that the Fisker wasn't successful as well, because I really like the look of those much more.
  • mercedesfanmercedesfan Member Posts: 365
    I absolutely agree about the exterior. I've had my Model S for a little over a year now and still get excited walking up to it at the end of every work day. I just love the way the thing looks. I also haven't grown tired of its instant swell of torque that makes even regular drives seem just a little bit more special. Unfortunately, I have grown cold to the interior over time. At first I kind of liked its novel look, but mostly I just find it kind of ugly now, to be totally honest. It isn't even the build quality that bothers me, just the general styling. Even after 7 years I never felt that way about my S-Class. Oh well, as Tesla matures they will find a way to bring some of that exterior drama inside. I still adore the car.
  • evodadevodad Member Posts: 135
    @markinnaples. I initially felt the same, the tesla was eh compared to the fisker's WOW. But over time the tesla has looked better and better to me. If I could I would get one for going to/from work and short road trips to visit family, all of which for m
  • noburgersnoburgers Member Posts: 500
    One plus for Edmunds--the Tesla generates a ton of comments. I would enjoy one under the same conditions @hybris mentions.
  • stovt001_stovt001_ Member Posts: 799
    Who would have thought just a few years ago that there would be an electric car in the fleet where road trips were discussed on a regular basis and among the most significant complaints was that the door handles were gimmicky?
  • handbrakehandbrake Member Posts: 99
    We're on our third month of owning a P85 and my wife is more in love with this car than ever before (she's the primary driver...I drive a stripper 2008 Rabbit because I enjoy a basic small car with a manual transmission).

    To say that it's exceeded her expectations is an understatement. It's her daily commuter car for the 100 mile roundtrip between our home and her job (depends on the day of the week, either Silicon Valley or downtown SF).

    She doesn't use the superchargers on a regular basis, as we had a NEMA 14-50 put in our garage, but with the PG&E EVA rates we're paying about $40 a month to charge the Tesla, versus about $400 a month to put gas in the Audi A7 that she used to drive.

    We do take the Tesla on longer drives up the coast or to Sacramento and have never had an issue with range. The superchargers work well and are in the right places to give us the added range we need.

    Last week, in fact, my wife took the Tesla from SF to LA for a conference. She had airline tickets but wanted to see how well the I5 supercharger network would work. So she canceled the airline tickets and drove. It turns out that while it still took a bit longer to drive versus flying (maybe 1 hour difference), she arrived in LA totally relaxed, no backaches, no headaches from TSA lines and crowded/late planes, etc.

    The two supercharger stops each way took about 20 minutes each and she actually liked the opportunity to get out, stretch, use the bathroom and get a coffee.

    So yeah, we agree, not only is the Tesla "still impressive", it actually seems to be getting more impressive as the supercharger network expands.
  • desmoliciousdesmolicious Member Posts: 671
    Since this car needed a new driveline/powertrain at about 10k miles, it seems the mileage total needs a huge asterisk next to it.
    What was the final analysis of that failure anyway?
  • hybrishybris Member Posts: 365
    Desmolicious brings up a good point whatever happened to the first motor this thing had?
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    Nobody at Tesla will talk about it, hybris. This car pushes so many boundaries and you HAVE to take into consideration that so much of the technology is all-new...but as a long-term car test and what such a test is supposed to provide in terms of a prospective ownership experience, I have to say that if any of the ICE-powered LT cars needed its entire engine, transmission and final drive assembly replaced at 10k miles...and then the mfg. would just refuse to say what necessitated it, that would not wash with the Edmunds staff, I'm sure...much as I make fun of them sometimes. Tesla's defenders will say, "you have to understand, this is so new..." and I agree, but we can't understand if no one will come clean.
  • desmoliciousdesmolicious Member Posts: 671
    I'm still wondering why Edmunds never followed through on what went wrong with the cylinder head on their Jeep Wrangler.

    These are huge failures, on the Tesla and on the Jeep. But it seems Edmunds only follows through on the fluff and ignores the elephant in the room, maybe hoping that the readers will forget about it too?

    Sure, we can search the internet for answers, but doesn't that defeat the purpose of this site performing Long Term tests? It really isn't that interesting coming here to read about editor complaints stemming from not RTFM.
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    Could not have said it better myself.
  • hybrishybris Member Posts: 365
    I agree that this is new tech and I only ask out curiosity more than anything else. Also MASSIVE +1 for Desmolicious point that the content has dropped to a lot of RTFM moments and for me the monthly fuel bill posts always get me.
  • tlangnesstlangness Member Posts: 123
    Sorry you feel that way guys, I've done some research and here's what I've got for you... The original Drive Unit replacement on this car was done by a tech, under warranty. He didn't investigate what failed with the part, because that's not his job. He just replaced it and sent us on our way. We inquired with Tesla about what part broke, but to no response. If we ever get an update from them, you'll be the first ones to know.
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    Thanks for the inquiry, Travis - no, I would not expect the tech to know - he was told to replace it and not tear into it. The decision by Tesla corporate to dummy up was a calculated risk on their part that no one higher up the food chain at Edmunds than yourself or Dan Edmunds would make a stink about it. No such person has, so their gamble paid off. No offense, but if no one higher than an associate editor or engineering editor places this particular request, it's going nowhere. I remember a little over a year ago, when Scott Oldham got in Ralph Gilles' (CEO of SRT Division at Chrysler Co.) face because SRT refused to allow a new Viper to participate in a track throwdown with a pre-production C7 Vette. I don't recall if the ploy was successful or not, but this is the kind of thing that would have to happen in order for Tesla to come clean in this instance. A request by an Edmunds drone to a Tesla drone about a catastrophic powertrain failure in their flagship paradigm-changer? C'mon.
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