Impresses Everyone - 2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Tesla Model S: Impresses Everyone

June 24, 2013

2013 Tesla Model S

I was hanging out at my local cheese store one morning and we were talking about the Tesla that I parked in the back. I was trying to describe why I liked it so much. I tried equating its acceleration with a strong gust of wind propelling you, or a flood of torque that is eerily silent. Nothing seemed to convey what I was trying to explain. Finally I just said, "You know what? Let's pile in and go for a spin."

The auto-present door handles and their feather-light operation may have won some over before we even got in. Once inside, they were struck by the simplicity of the cockpit and the big touchscreen. These are, of course, things that impressed me as well.

We drove down the alley and the silence overtook them. I gave the pedal a quick stab and they were left speechless. I gave them a few bursts of acceleration every so often and they reacted with glee. Most of the time, though, we just leisurely strolled around, and my passengers definitely gained an appreciation for the Tesla's luxury capabilities.

One of them is a spokesperson for another car brand and can't officially comment, but he was visibly taken by this car. And that's the thing about the Tesla. Even the most jaded of drivers "get" this car. It doesn't take any championing on my part to win them over. I've yet to meet someone who is unimpressed by it.

Is it perfect? No, of course not. Nothing is. But it sure is close.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor @ 5,283 miles


  • mfennell mfennell Posts:

    Sneaking in before fordson1: "but 90% of AMerica can't take a road trip in one!" "if it's so great, why does it have so many fewer miles than the CX-5?" "expensive" "what about apartment dwellers?" Did I miss any? :)

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    What impresses me about the Tesla is that its different. Sure there's some other electric cars out there, but here you've got a really fast, large luxury sedan over a huge flat battery and four electric motors. Nobody is (successfully) making an electric car like this one for the moment. I appreciate them breaking the mold. Also, the build quality impresses me. I'm not actually saying that the build quality is good (although mechanical quality does seem good, even if interior may be slightly lacking), but its a spectacular first attempt at making a car from the ground up. Other things like the aforementioned door handles are just fluff, so that shouldn't impress. Even things like the suspension set-up, which is definitely important, isn't per-say impressive because I'd venture to say the ride is just as good, or maybe even better, in an A8 or S-Class. So there you go, the novelty and effort impress me.

  • greenpony greenpony Posts:

    And, in a rare alignment of automotive critiques, Consumer Reports gave this car their highest rating ever: a test score of 99. I would stretch the budget to buy this car.

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    the offer of a ride would get me to leave the cheese store too. although I can't say I ever hung out around any kind of store, there's something very humorous about reading that Mark hangs out at a cheese store.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Why, no, mfennell, I think you hit them all. (fordson1 hits "post," goes on with life; mfennell gets another can of Red Bull from fridge, resumes watching all Tesla S posts for more fordson1 comments).

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    Also, yeah - the "hanging around the cheese store" line got me, too. Mark, did you know that lots of artisanal cheese-makers age their products in caves? Caves usually have bats in them - there's a mental image for you. My work here is done.

  • @quadricycle- It's only got one electric motor, between the rear wheels.

  • mtakahashi_ mtakahashi_ Posts:

    fordson1: That's mean...just mean...but I'm glad you're paying attention! BTW, the Cheese Store is run by total car nuts just like us. The owner has a VERY eclectic collection (including a Ferrari 330GT with a small-block chevy in it).

  • Mr. Takahashi, I had this idea yesterday and was planning on exploiting it greedily, but given your apparent interest in the subject, I will let you have it! Open a cheese shop that specializes in different varieties of Swiss cheese only. Call it, "Hole Foods". (And, boom goes the dynamite.)

  • wheelmccoy_ wheelmccoy_ Posts:

    >> The owner has a VERY eclectic collection (including a Ferrari 330GT with a small-block chevy in it). I read "including a Ferrari 330GT with a small block of cheese in it." That does it, time to log off!

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    @stoneymonster: Yes, you're right. I knew that so I'm not sure what lead me to type that... Perhaps I'm getting senile a little early.

  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    To be honest, I love good cheese enough that even without the cars, I don't mind spending time in a place like that.

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