Drove a Tesla P85D for the Double Black Event on a little autocross course they set up. Very fast car…

9 Apr

Drove a Tesla P85D for the Double Black Event on a little autocross course they set up. Very fast car. Not sure I'm into the interior. Aside from the Mercedes-Benz sourced switchgear, the interior bits felt slightly better than a Kia Optima and I thought the backseat was a bit uncomfortable. There are no overhead (oh shit) handles and the door panels are poorly designed, with their low-on-functionality integrated door pulls. That said, it's not a bad interior, but for $100k any BMW, Audi or Mercedes exceeds in quality in the same price class.

I find Teslas to be somewhat like driving a really quick, sharp handling refrigerator. There's simply no visceral experience, other than your head hitting the headrest from the torque. Without a rumble, without true feedback from the chassis, it just doesn't feel that exciting to drive. Again, I get the straight-line performance is really impressive and it is quite exciting, but let's face it, you're not going to drive that way all the time. The lack of visceral feel makes the Tesla lack the sort of rewarding driving experience you get in a competing car from Germany. I actually believe that driving a Volkswagen Golf R would be a much more rewarding, enjoyable driving experience overall; at a 3rd of the price.

That said, I get why people like Tesla and it would be a great car for my wife to drive. Of course, I probably wouldn't order the expensive P 85 for her. It's extremely practical and roomy. This is probably why Consumer Reports likes it so much as they lean towards practical and inexpensive to drive. I look forward to the Model X Crossover, as this should be the perfect car for Tesla's formula.

After driving a Chevrolet Volt for 2-years, I enjoyed the idea of an electric. The original Volt has its own design flaws, but the drivetrain was solid. Strangely the Volt had character, but lacked in a rewarding driving experience. There was little visceral feedback and lousy handling.

I think a Tesla is a better electric–the best on the market–but the benefits of electric are outweighed by the lack of driving enjoyment and overall build quality in this price class. Add to that range-anxiety and an efficient gasoline car is still a better choice for most. Tesla is also a great choice for tinkerers, as the software driven controls allow for all sorts of settings and customizations. That's cool tech, but after the novelty wears off, you're still driving a refrigerator, albeit a really fast and roomy one. ?