Tesla — The First Five Days

I thought I would give a report on my impressions about the Tesla.  First, I’m a car person.  I’ve loved them since I was a kid.  The faster the better.  I want them sleek and fierce.  I want them to look like they’re going 100 miles an hour when they’re parked.  My first car was a Dodge Charger with a 400 horsepower engine.


(Yeah, my dad was car crazy too, but wouldn’t admit it so he lived vicariously through his 16 year old daughter.)  Next up was a Fiat X1/9.  I loved that car.

Then I had a Toyota Supra.  At one point I got coerced into a Mercedes sedan because no one in our circle of friends had a four door car that could carry more then 2 people.  I got stuck with the mommy car.  That lasted only a few years and then I went to the Mercedes SLK 300.  I loved that car and drove it until the repairs were starting to cost more than the car was worth.  Then the BMW Z4.  Really fun car, but the six cylinder engine meant I was putting premium gas in the thing every 3 to 4 days.  I was also getting a cramp in my conscience.  My friend George R.R. had gotten a Tesla and I liked what I was feeling and seeing when I rode in it so I started the Tesla fund.

A conversation over dinner with a tech savvy friend made me realize that a Tesla was a lot like a computer.  They are advancing at light speed and my friend pointed out that maybe leasing rather then buying was the smarter way to go.  Less money up front and being able to replace in three years.  The next morning I went out a took a test drive.  And I was lost.  It was the smoothest car I’d ever driven, but with a sport setting if I wanted to really feel the road, and enough zip to literally get me out of trouble in seconds.  The acceleration on this car is mind boggling.  I ordered one that day.

My bronze beauty arrived on the 23rd of December.  When you pick it up they encourage you to name the car (My kind of people all my cars have had names).  The name was obvious — Loki.  It’s even the color of Loki’s helmet in the movies, and I plan to get up to mischief while driving it.

So what have I learned.  I tend to use the fish eye camera as much as I use the mirrors.  Really helpful for changing lanes since it gives you a view to the side as well as directly behind.  They give you Slacker for four years for free, and I’m able to create “radio channels” of various artists.  So far I’ve got Mozart, Adele, Kelly Clarkson.  Apparently there is no limit to the ones you can create.  The speakers are first rate.  Phone calls are much clearer and of course hands free.  I just tell the car who to call.

I love how when I walk up to the car the door handles extend.  A sort of welcoming handshake.  The car seems to be excited and happy that you are going to take it out to play.  There is no place for a key.  You just keep it with you.  When you walk away the car locks itself.  Between the front trunk, the back trunk and the fact the backseats go flat you have as much storage as most SUVs.

The control panel is a wonder.  Easy to use and you really feel like you’re in a space ship.  Seat settings, climate control, garage door, music, phone, everything is just a touch.  You can even open the sunroof by just sweeping down on the panel.  The seats in the car are incredibly comfortable.  The navigation responds to voice commands and will guide you to supercharging stations and other places to charge your car at hotels and shopping malls, etc.  Since it’s linked to Google it will find stores by name.

Elon Musk is also a man with a vision and elegance and you will not spoil that vision and his elegant interior design with your crap.  In other words there are no door pockets or a center console where you can stash stuff.  No little dust catching pockets that can get cluttered up with junk.  Because there is no drive trail there is an area between the seats for a purse or briefcase, but you will keep your crap in the glove box where it will not spoil the symmetry and clean lines of the interior.  Elon is also clearly very concerned about American’s dietary practices.  There are two cup holders, but they are small.  You won’t be ordering a Big Gulp if you’re driving a Tesla because there is no place to set that giant cup.

I still find myself checking out the prices of premium gas at stations that I drive past and then remember — “Oh wait, I don’t have to do that any longer.”  As for charging.  It’s simple.  Press a button the charger door opens.  Plug it in, go inside and let it do it’s thing.

Bottom line — I love this car.

8 Responses to Tesla — The First Five Days

  • Ed Post says:

    It got really awkward pulling in to a gas station just to wash the windshield, so I’ve taken to keeping paper towels and windex in the secret compartment in the trunk. That way I don’t need to ICE a gas pump if I’m not buying gas. (ICEing is the term we use to describe the times when people park their Internal Combustion Engines in a charging spot.)

  • Melinda Snodgrass says:

    I should stress that I’m lovingly teasing Mr. Musk about the lack of junk holders in the car and the size of the cup holders. I love the elegance of the interior and not cluttering it up with stuff seems like a good plan.

  • Melinda Snodgrass says:

    I have found one thing that’s a bit uncomfortable for me. The size of the steering wheel. I have pretty small hands and it’s a bit thick for complete comfort. But it’s a minor quibble.

  • Mac says:

    I understand the technological and ecological advance tied up in your new ride, but that Chager just gets my own engine going – nothing like a muscle car.

  • Rebecca Hewett says:

    Kevin and I vicariously looked at one last year in Denver and it is indeed, a beautiful car. Our plan was his and hers Teslas, but alas, we did not become billionaires. Hopefully you will bring it back to New Mexico at some point and give everyone a chance to oogle it. Hope you’re still having fun.

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      The lease is a very good deal. Three years, I took the 15,000 miles because my life requires that I drive to meetings, etc., but it’s not that much money down and the payment was marginally higher then I was making on my BMW. Also, if you have a business as I do you can lease the car for the business and there are some tax benefits.

      Right now it is just the Lumina Enterprises L.A. car so it won’t be back in NM anytime soon. Maybe life will bring you folks out to L.A.?

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