Here's my take. You can't know what is important. The things you've learned aren't relevant like you expect. It is like using your experiences with a Blackberry back in 2007 to decide what you need in an iPhone. Or, rather, deciding on how long a buggy whip is appropriate for that new horseless carriage.
So, first, let's level set.
Car color expectations? Way different than expected. In the south, black on black is normally like getting painful treatments for the sake of beauty -- it looks great, but it hurts. With the Tesla, this is easily handled. If I am parked in the sun while eating at a restaurant, when the check comes, I just open the Tesla app and turn on the climate control. An interior temp of 108 degrees will drop to 78 in a few minutes and the car (and seats) are wonderfully cooled. Black is fine. Go with your heart. And by the way, you will want to maintain the beauty of your car. I like washing it, and don't care what color takes the least effort. Again, pick what you desire!
You will speed. No tickets in 15 years? Well, when it's too easy and too fast and too quiet (meaning not obnoxious and scary to passers by) and you have Ferrari power ready at every green light, you will punch it. With the P85, it's like jumping from an airplane. I am addicted to it. People who ride in the car ask for "another hit" because of the adrenaline. So when you see people on the boards discussing getting a radar detector built in, but you're a mom/dad now and don't drive like you used to, well, ha! You'll see. And, when you can't use the engine sound to judge your speed, you'll look down and realize that you have gone faster than you thought, and its glorious, but it's time to get a reminder if you are at risk of lots of speeding cameras. Particularly in my town, where a boulevard that has a school is signed down from 35 mph to 25 mph, even when school isn't in session.
The paint armor was another improbable option. I love driving, but I haven't waxed a car since I was in high school. My wife just had big eyes watching me buy all of the trappings to wash and buff the car as I do regularly now over the last few weeks. I don't do a ton of highway travel or drive in dusty/debris filled roads, so I don't have the same dents and other problems people here have. But the car instills passion, and that's makes for a relationship, and I want to see and enjoy that beauty several times a day. Paint armor seemed nonsensical before I got this car -- this is a utilitarian object, right? -- but not any more. I haven't done paint armor yet, but factory installed or not, I *get* it.
Range anxiety: this is way different than you think. If you don't drive on longer trips frequently, it is vastly easier to not worry about running out of gas 50 times a year and consolidate that planning for the few longer trips you take. Since the car with the tech package is set to unlock when you walk up, and auto-lock when you walk away, this routine makes it easy to get out of the car and then plug the charger in. It takes about 5 seconds a day to manage this and then you never need to worry about range ever again in your daily life. It's a massive net reduction in anxiety. But, you will drive more than you used to! I promise!
Service anxiety: we don't have a service center in New Orleans, though one is coming in about 6 months. Service works this way -- a ranger passes through town, and connects with the local owners. If you have needs, he/she will take a look and work with you. It's a lot like the Apple genius bar coming to your house. Buy the service package and don't worry, they'll take care of you.
You *will* be an ambassador. People notice the car. I got black, and not bright red, so it is more subtle. They like the look of the car, realize what it is, and then go a bit crazy. They stick their cameras out of the car and take pictures whole driving, and roll down their windows to ask you "Do you really love it?" They even get more extreme, but it is good natured, so I test drive people all the time (even remote acquaintances), and share the passion. It's fun to feel a real movement towards the future. But -- buy Tesla stock and plan on going "long". Put money into the movement, and feel like you are deeply a part of it. Bet on the future, and show it to people. It is astonishing and rewarding. The attention is not about your vanity, even if some how it rewards vanity as a byproduct :)
There are two philosophies I recommend you consider your purchasing your vehicle: buy for value and the wonderfully designed experience, or buy a car that is an absolute dream car in every way and go all in. So, a wonderful entry level purchase is the S60 with maybe the tech package. The premium stereo and many other options aren't killer enough to delay buying the car. You will save a ton on gas, love it, and get a truly amazing "value" experience.
Otherwise, if you can, get the full P85+, with the maximum everything. I was able to drive a spectacular Ferrari for a couple of days and the noise and rumble of galloping stallions moved my soul. That Ferrari would have been $150k used. If I had to pick, I would choose the Tesla in a single heartbeat. In the future, I will upgrade and keep my Tesla at the cutting edge. I want a crazy great stereo, etc. and Tesla is a platform built on the computer model that upgrades all of the time. Jump in now -- there will always be upgrades you will miss. So what. Most of the pleasure is beckoning you right at this moment.
So, how important was that keyboard on your Blackberry after all?
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