2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,130
edited September 2014 in Tesla


  • stoneymonsterstoneymonster Member Posts: 28
    Yup, there's lots wrong with the implementation of these. Definitely a form over function situation.
  • zcalvertzcalvert Member Posts: 76
    I disagree... i think it's the result of too MUCH thought.
    Like the idiotic new capacitive touch controls of BMW's shifter... it's an answer to a question that nobody was asking.
  • zcalvertzcalvert Member Posts: 76
    "or" BMW's shifter - my bad
  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649
    Considering the relative simplicity of the rest of the car's design (extremely simple powertrain and chassis layout, storage compartment, interior, center console consists entirely of a BAS -big [non-permissible content removed] screen-), I'm surprised that they include gimmicks like this... about as lame as Jag's pulsing shift dial. Door handle engineer should go back to the KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid!). But I suppose this is meant to impress your more easily impressionable friends
  • teslamspteslamsp Member Posts: 4
    As a Model S owner myself, I agree that the door handles are less than ideal and somewhat gimmicky. They do get rocket hot when the car is parked in the sun. I am also concerned about their long term reliability.

    I have gotten used to the pull technique. Since they don't require a mechanical "pull", you have to treat them like touch sensor. I now just put my hand in the handle and lightly touch the inside. I don't try to "pull" the handle like I do in other cars. Once you get used to that, the solonoid delay isn't noticable.

    Finally, one hidden benefit of the handles is that it makes washing the car easier. Since they rest flush within the door, washing and waxing has fewer edges to navigate. Minor bonus...
  • duck87duck87 Member Posts: 649
    @teslamsp: That actually reminds me of another advantage these might have- if you get used to simply touching the handle rather than grabbing it, it probably significantly reduces the changes of the paint around the grabhandle from being scratched by your
  • stoneymonsterstoneymonster Member Posts: 28
    @duck87 Plastic! But nothing feels more premium than 2nd degree burns on your hands from the luxurious solid block of aluminum!

    When we bought the car, my wife said, "Those things are going to be the biggest problem". So far, this is mostly tru
  • gslippygslippy Member Posts: 514
    I wonder how they perform under the shell of ice that freezing rain provides occasionally.

    I'd prefer a simple handle.
  • blurry_eyedblurry_eyed Member Posts: 4
    The handles have been slightly redsigned to give a bit of tactile feedback. On cars that are shipping now, there is about 1/8 to 1/4 inch of travel that happens when you pull on the door handle. It gives you just enough delay and feedback that the door handle feels 'normal'.
  • toddrlockwoodtoddrlockwood Member Posts: 4
    I think the handles are brilliant, both from a design and function point of view. I've been living with them since early March. I love the way they greet me when I approach the car. Their LED lights look very cool at night. This is the kind of feature that usually doesn't make it from a prototype to the production vehicle. I'm so impressed that Tesla made them a priority.
  • djwdjwdjwdjw Member Posts: 21
    During the recent ice storm here, the Model S was completely covered in about 1/4" of very hard frozen ice. Interestingly all 4 door handles blasted out dramatically when I approached the first time. It was an interesting sight to behold.
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