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The Doors Are Dangerous - 2016 Tesla Model X Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited June 2016 in Tesla
imageThe Doors Are Dangerous - 2016 Tesla Model X Long-Term Road Test

There's been a lot of talk about the 2016 Tesla Model X's "falcon doors". Aside from being inconvenient, cumbersome, slow to operate and just downright silly (all issues that Jay pointed out earlier along with several others), the doors on our long-term 2016 Tesla Model X are dangerous.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • legacygtlegacygt Posts: 599
    One or two stupid choices (these doors and possibly the windshield) could kill this car and harm Tesla's reputation. They don't sell too many models and they received nothing but praise until now. You have to wonder how a solid engineering team let these doors make their way to production. There just seems that there should have been so many spots along the way for them to ditch the doors and they didn't. And you hear nothing about them working on a conventional door option now that the public has skewered them.
  • bloodyrbloodyr Posts: 11
    I'm curious what will happen to Tesla's reputation if/when hundreds of thousands of Model 3s are in the hands of the average Joe. My impression is that most current Tesla owners are Elon Musk acolytes who just accept the various quirks/bugs of these cars. Will the general public be as forgiving?
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Posts: 1,021
    legacygt said:

    One or two stupid choices (these doors and possibly the windshield) could kill this car and harm Tesla's reputation. They don't sell too many models and they received nothing but praise until now. You have to wonder how a solid engineering team let these doors make their way to production. There just seems that there should have been so many spots along the way for them to ditch the doors and they didn't. And you hear nothing about them working on a conventional door option now that the public has skewered them.

    They made production because Musk wanted them, it's as simple as that. He has already said that they were a vanity based mistake.
  • legacygtlegacygt Posts: 599

    legacygt said:

    They made production because Musk wanted them, it's as simple as that. He has already said that they were a vanity based mistake.

    Yes, but he also claims that it's a software issue and that the doors will be better than normal doors once the software is fixed. This shows that he hasn't really learned anything because most of the problems with these doors have nothing to do with software but with the general concept and all the compromises and limitations that result from it.
  • prndlolprndlol Posts: 140
    Why are the front doors power-assisted, just because the rears are?
  • gslippygslippy Posts: 514
    Imagine how sweet this car would be with conventional doors.
    Unfortunately, Tesla can't bite the bullet and work on that, because it would require a total redesign of the body, electrical system, airbags, crash tests, and software, and would leave the Model X v1.0 orphaned. I think they're stuck with it.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    edited June 2016
    Going to be funny to see the aftermarket switcharoo - instead of retrofitting gull wing doors onto your car, Model X owners will be kludging Ford Explorer doors on the rears.
  • daryleasondaryleason TexasPosts: 501
    edited June 2016
    Sometimes, even something that seems like a good idea, and isn't normally intrusive, can cause huge problems. On the PT Cruiser that I had (which we all know of my love for Chrysler products), there was a grip handle on the Driver's Side on the A-Pillar. I never really understood why it was there, but there it was. Most people are going to grab the steering wheel if they needed leverage getting in or out. I was prone with catching my head on it (I'm about 5'9" - 6') just about every time I tried to get in or out in a hurry. I considered taking it off, but with it being a Chrysler, I was concerned that that might be a load-bearing item, part of the freaking fuel or exhaust system, etc. ;)
  • misterfusionmisterfusion Posts: 471
    edited June 2016
    gslippy said:

    Imagine how sweet this car would be with conventional doors.
    Unfortunately, Tesla can't bite the bullet and work on that, because it would require a total redesign of the body, electrical system, airbags, crash tests, and software, and would leave the Model X v1.0 orphaned. I think they're stuck with it.

    Exactly this. I think if there were a way to re-do the doors via a refresh, they absolutely would. But the only "fix" available is to engineer basically an entirely new model on the same platform...which they definitely do not have the money for.

    In an market where a well-received CUV can be a license to print money, Tesla's CUV is going to hammer their bottom-line. (Just my opinion, and I will be happy to be proved wrong.)
  • lmbvettelmbvette South FloridaPosts: 93
    Saw my first Model X in the same color as Edmunds' yesterday. It looks worse in person. Very oddly proportioned. In person, it almost has a turtle-like profile.
    bloodyr said:

    I'm curious what will happen to Tesla's reputation if/when hundreds of thousands of Model 3s are in the hands of the average Joe. My impression is that most current Tesla owners are Elon Musk acolytes who just accept the various quirks/bugs of these cars. Will the general public be as forgiving?

    Bingo! People paying 100k for a vehicle have other cars. It is a toy. If it breaks, it is fixed and they drive one of their other cars. No big deal. For a person paying 35k for a car, it is likely their only car. If it breaks, it is an absolute inconvenience in their daily lives.

    Selling luxury toys is easy compared to selling mass market appliances. Tesla will learn this quickly.

    I'm still waiting for an actual Tesla competitor to show up. I can see a decent competitor to the S or X destroying Tesla due to design and reliability. The Chevy Bolt will be out for at least a year before the Model 3 comes to the party. Should be interesting.
    Don't worry about what other people think. Drive what makes you happy.
  • handbrakehandbrake Posts: 99
    " If only a seven-seater EV with all the same benefits of the Model X existed, but with none of the drawbacks from these gimmicky party pieces... Hmmmm."

    This is exactly why the Model X will never be the type of success the Model S has been. I have a Model S (I've had two, actually). It's not a gimmicky car. It's a fantastic piece of technology that focuses on the core elements of what people want in a car. The Model X is a Model S that has been pimped out.

    So for the few people who are into the gee whiz gimmickry or the exceedingly few wealthy people who have very young kids and want those doors for easier access when putting kids in car seats, the Model X fills a need. For the 99% of SUV/CUV buyers that are focused on getting a vehicle that actually provides utility, reliably, the Model X fails. You really can just get a Model S, if you want an electric car, and have the functionality of the X, if you don't have little kids. You can even put roof racks on the Model S, which makes it MORE of a utility vehicle than the Model X.

  • 5vzfe5vzfe Posts: 161
    That's not good news. Are other manufacturer's doors dangerous like this? Will a power lift gate from Kia, Ford, Toyota or GM cause head injuries, or are they too slow / better equipped with sensors to avoid instances like you've described? (I'm not asking you to stick your head underneath one, unless you really want to)
    And what about minivan slider doors, how good are they at detecting blockages?
    On a side note, it seems very strange that you are able to drive with the rear doors open, but minivans will allow this as well right?
  • legacygtlegacygt Posts: 599
    handbrake said:

    "This is exactly why the Model X will never be the type of success the Model S has been. I have a Model S (I've had two, actually). It's not a gimmicky car. It's a fantastic piece of technology that focuses on the core elements of what people want in a car. The Model X is a Model S that has been pimped out.

    This is such a good point. The Model S is revolutionary but also incredibly normal. You could step out of any full size luxury sedan and find that the Model S delivers just about everything you are used to. Now step out of any 3 row CUV (luxury or mainstream) and take a seat in a Model X. The Model X has lots of cool technology but it just doesn't do many of the things your expect from your car. And it's not just the doors. It's the roof that doesn't block the sun. It's the cargo area that is ridiculously sloped to the point that I wonder how much more utility it offers than the Model S. It's the fact that there is no way to store cargo or gear on the roof. There are needs that force people buy 3 row CUVs and the Model X doesn't meet many of those needs.
  • rysterryster Posts: 570
    OK, the solution to this for owners seems simple. Once you get bitten by the rear doors, just don't put yourself in that same situation again. If you know the back door can get you while exiting the front door, don't close the back door while getting in or out of the front. If you know the back door can cause real physical harm, don't mess with while it is in operation. Seems like very simple common sense type stuff. How many kids have had a finger slammed in a conventional car door...only to never have it happen again because they learned from the experience.
  • VWSteveVWSteve Posts: 2
    I was exiting the rear seat of someone's 2018 Model X and the falcon wing door closed on my head! I had to go to the doctor. I still feel pressure in my head after a week. Should I worry about a possible brain injury? :-O
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