2013 Tesla Model S Consumer Review: Ouch... Be careful here.

2013 Tesla Model S - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

23 Total Reviews

Performance Sedan (0-cyl. Electric 1-speed Direct Drive)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
31 of 132 people found this review helpful
Ouch... Be careful here.
By twosmalltowns on


2013 Tesla Model S Performance 4dr Sedan (electric DD)


I've been driving an S off & on for a few weeks (company got one as part of investor PR.) There are several concerns/problems:
car is very heavy, and this will soon be a problem for suspension and tires on the bumpy, pot-holed roads.
Secondly, the interior while "different" and kinda cool, is a bit cheap in some ways; the large touchscreen control center is Dangerous: having no buttons/knobs means you are staring at the screen and not on the road.) Most importantly,
Tesla is a stock play, not a car company. All the hype is carefully orchestrated to build market cap. Be careful - and assume that they are smarter than you. Because they probably are.

Best Features

This is a first generation, first year car. It has lots of bugs that need to be worked out. It takes car companies a few years to iron out the kinks of a new model - that is normal. It will take a new car company doing a new model much more than a few years to sort it out.

Worst Features

Should lose at least 1000 lbs. Seal the flooring so that liquids do not cause short circuits. Get some dealers and Customer service set up.
Recommend (31) (101)

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Comments (9) Post a Comment
By frankviaje
on 04/06/14 12:54 PM (PDT)

This is the best vehicle I have owned in 41 years of car owning. It corners better than my 64 Corvette roadster, it is more comfortable than my Cadillac or two big Chevies were, it accelerates better in a quarter mile than either Corvette, and it brakes better than any car I have ever driven (love that regen). It has lots of impressive high tech features you can't get anywhere else, even though some are redundant. But that is neat too: you can usually choose two or more ways to control things or get info (for example, has both analog and digital readouts for speed, knob or touch screen for volume, etc). It has incredible storage for a sedan: over 80 cubic feet with seats folded). The interior is a match for any vehicle I have seen, although the seats are not as comfortable as I would have expected. Best of all, it is uber safe, both as tested (five stars in every NHTSA category) and as driven (as of today, with over 30,000 MS on the road, every MS driver and passenger has walked away from every collision. Not so lucky were the cars with whom they collided: there are photos on the web of several vehicles unlucky enough to hit the MS.

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By josh_b
on 07/24/13 07:47 AM (PDT)

The car is indeed heavy but the regenerative braking helps it feel lighter; much less hydraulic braking is required. A recent emergency stop in my 'S proved the stopping distance is extremely short as compared to my much lighter Hyundai. I agree that the interior isn't perfect but it is a style one can live with. The materials are of good quality. The car is nevertheless meant to be as light as possible and hence the seats and trim are not as ornate or padded as those found in a BMW, Lexus or a Merc. The screen works well and I'm unsure why the reviewer would feel negatively about it. All manufacturers are moving to touchscreens. Unless you are willing to endure last year's interior styles. Many manufacturers are trying to simplify controls using a single touch screen. Even the Volt pervasively uses capacitive controls in lieu of knobs/dials. It's not going to be easy to lose 1,000 lbs -- the batteries themselves weigh 1,600lbs. They're already using a "light" Lithium Ion cell... batteries are simply heavy. The frame is aluminum and boron steel where strength is req'd. There is only one practical candidate as far as lighter materials are concerned, and if you feel that $100,000.00 is too much, you'll likely not want to implement carbon fibre. The car is nevertheless undergoing constant improvement.... Tesla has already trimmed 80+ lbs by reducing materials where possible. Furthermore I'm not sure why the original poster felt there was an issue with short circuits.... I smell a bit of EV aversion?

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By smccphillip
on 07/22/13 20:31 PM (PDT)

We've experience only minor cosmetic issues that Tesla fixed quickly under warranty. Not a single powertrain issue at 3000 miles. Touchscreen is very intuitive and is far safer than the BMW idrive system in my opinion, because its much less time to get to the menu and option you need. The main controls (radio, fan speed etc.) can be controlled through the steering wheel.

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By cogitounboxed
on 07/21/13 15:50 PM (PDT)

This reviewer is statistically way outside the "Bell".

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By fluxemag
on 10/08/13 08:23 AM (PDT)

So to summarize your post, you don't own one...

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By frankviaje
on 04/06/14 12:55 PM (PDT)

Correction; it can only beat my two 'vettes in the eighth mile,not the quarter mile.

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By blueskiesrain
on 05/13/14 05:53 AM (PDT)

Although he doesn't "own" a Tesla, SmallTowns has justified concerns with this new car and company. The biggest being, will Tesla still be here in 5, 10 or 20 years? Tesla is indeed a game changer and a much needed jolt to our US Auto Industry. It offers a nice alternative to the perpetual dealership games of "let me check with my manager" when buying a new car and has thus far very customer focused service and care. Many smaller "bugs" have been addressed in software and some hardware updates during the past two years with more to come. Many of the upgrades happen silently during the night while this technological wonder downloads improvements from your WiFi while plugged in your garage. Also, the low centered weight of the battery actually adds to stability and safety. Although certainly on the high end of the sedan price spectrum, it does lack minor creature comforts as well as some of the more advanced luxury sedan options such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot recognition and lane assist safety features. No immediate word on when these will be integrated as Tesla is rapidly growing to meet anticipated demands in the US and around the world. Just as Model S benefitted from its Roadster predecessor, Model X and Gen III will offer lessons learned improvements. What you are getting for the price tag of an S is a performance rocket with swift silent acceleration that is absolutely priceless along with an American dream of what will soon be as combustion engines (including hybrids) fade into Smithsonian collections over the upcoming decades. Like many, I really hope Tesla has at least 100 years of automotive history ahead.

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By benji888578
on 10/17/13 00:41 AM (PDT)

It is obvious this person does not own the vehicle... "I've been driving an S off & on for a few weeks (company got one as part of investor PR.) There are several concerns/problems: ..." --uh-huh "Seal the flooring so that liquids do not cause short circuits." --Really? "Get some dealers and Customer service set up." --Sounds like you run a competing business to me.

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By solarguy888
on 04/24/15 20:06 PM (PDT)

I agree totally with twosmalltowns i took delivery of my Tesla85 1 month ago and it is a highly flawed design especially the large touch screen , it would be great to know the figures on how many tesla model s cars have been involved in accidents i will guarantee it is higher than the average what ever that may be needless to say I contacted Tesla with my concerns on 4 separate occassions and have heard nothing, great customer service this car cost $130000 in Australia .It will be interesting to see in the near future whether they persist with this touch screen but if enough safety authorities get hold of this design flaw it could mean a recall what would that cost. Will Tesla be here in 5 years they have enough problems trying to fight of the mainstream car companies if they pick up on this and a few other concerns its curtains for Tesla. by the way i have now sold the Tesla and if i never see one again it will be too soon , a car designed by an IT company, just an ipad on wheels how many of you can drive a car and type at the same time, nuff said.

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