First impressions / new owners' driving experience

Don't see any thread for discussions from new owners about their Model S. I figure that perhaps those waiting for their car, may enjoy hearing what those of us lucky enough to have our car think about it. No bitching and complaining allowed. I know that we all have ideas for improvement, but there are many threads all ready for that.
Here's your chance to be a armature auto reviewer!
And for the benefit of those who are trying to read delivery date tea leaves, may I suggest the you state your reservation number, vin number and state?

There is one here:

I had an opportunity to drive the Model S this weekend. It was a P85, and it was very fast, and very nice. That being said, I do have 2 real world concerns, but am hoping it was just the vehicle I drove. Being in the Automotive Business, I understand the car is new, but any comments from owners would be appreciated.

The first concern is that I could hear the Pano Roof making a buffeting sound the entire time, and it was closed. The second item is that while my wife drove, and I was in the back seat, the noise from the rear tires was quite loud. The Tesla agent who was very nice, and very knowledgeable agreed with me, and mentioned that he keeps the sound system on so that it was not as prevalent. This drive was in the city, and I can only imagine how this would be at 75mph. Are there any owners out there that can shed some light on this since your in them daily?


I'm pretty sure your experience was specific to that car. There were no noises like that in the car I drove at 75 mph with the audio off. You didn't happen to get the VIN number, did you?

Test drive cars are not really 100% off the line at least not yet. Expect some oddities and variances like the one you described.

I've test driven two different P85s; once at the Get Amped tour and the second time last Friday. Neither Model S had the sound issues you mentioned. Sounds like it was car specific.

Last Friday in addition to driving I also sat in the rear while my wife did a test drive. I definitely didn't notice any unusual noise. The sound of the motor was a little louder in the back seat but even that was quiet.

Very curious to see if women drivers have any different reactions than men do. What's your wife's "take"?

Something really interesting happened yesterday, my third day driving my model S.
At first it is all about what a cool electric car it is. Then, all of a sudden,I forget that it was electric. My thoughts were simply on what a cool car it is. Seems so natural and normal. This is the future and it is here now. Way to go Telsa.
Btw, still having trouble with the motion sickness. Not sure if it's the cold I have or the sound of the wheels or sunroof or the air suspension. Hopefully I get used to it.

We drove the Blue Model S from the Newport Beach store. My wifes take was the same in the Sunroof rumbling, and the tire noise while in the backseat. Sounds like this is not something that the actual owners are saying is going on. Perhaps this is a very early vehicle. I know changes are almost daily on the cars, and excited to hear more from the daily driving owners. Also thinking that the parcel shelf, once available, may cover up some of the rear tire noise as well. Perhaps a drive in a different S is in line. Thanks for the feedback from everyone.

When I gets drove the s in ny (actually north jersey) I for to both drive it and sit in the back when my brother drove his test drive. The stones hitting the inside of the wheel well in the back seat is surely audible. It was the only time in my life that I've heard this. Now it could be that it's because there is so much less other noise in this car but it sure would be nice if it was insulated there. When driving I did not hear it so I am not very concerned about it but I would have thought that it would quieter in the back. Amazing car, can't wait to get mine P6484

Sunroof noise. I would appreciate some feedback from “S” owners who have had their cars for a few weeks + or -. Do you hear noise (wind, buffeting , etc) when the roof is closed, also how about rattling?

I ordered the sunroof because I think it looked cool and distinctive, and was a “defining” option. However, my highest priorities are a quiet and smooth ride. Significant noise would be a distraction. So, “is the juice worth the squeeze?”

Please forgive my rudeness. I prefer not to hear from test ride experiences.

I drove the Blue Model S at the Newport Beach Store, and I did notice a significant buffeting sound. The Rep there agreed, and said he usually keeps the sound system on. I posted this earlier, but felt I upset the tropps by putting it out there. Not the intend, but Tesla has a very low drag coefficiency, and this should be an easy fix. The noise is much worse in the backseat. I also came to learn that there were a significant number of sunroofs, and winsheilds that were not correct, and that would most likely be replaced down the road. I love most everything about the car, and realize that this is a game changing vehicle. That being said, changes to the car will be ongoing. I praise companies that push the limits, and hope to be a part of solution in taking many manufacturers back to the drawing board.

I've got 2K miles and about five weeks on my S and have never had any noise from the roof while closed.

@ petero - After 3 months and 3000 miles, we have no noise from our pano roof when the roof is closed. If there is noise coming from a closed pano roof there is a problem with the roof that needs to be fixed by Tesla.

This is great to hear. Thanks for sharing MandL, Rod and Barbara.
Sounds like the fix is handled.

About 1000 miles in and no sound from my pano roof. Granted, I haven't opened/closed it much due to the weather up here in Seattle.

No "roof" noise or car wind noise but I can hear trucks easier through the glass than I expect the solid roof would transmit. I prefer the head room as the car was designed to have the pano roof. I have anxiety about long term use but won't know the answer for several years.

Over 1K miles and I do not notice any roof noise when closed. Have you noticed a sharp whistle just upon opening if you are moving at speed? But that's all.

Yes to the sharp whistle when openning at speed. It startled me. By the way I think the aging of the roof is related mostly to the number of opening/closing cycles and any trash accumulation in the seal area rather than milage per se.
I agree with others who posit that the car is so quiet that they notice the wind more. Driving on Chicago Interstates I thought that the car let in a lot of noise from the trucks around me, but the noises went away when I was passing other trucks on less busy roads.
The rear wheel well issue of rock noise I hope to never experience.

Anyone try and save their 'favorites' when on the web? I can't get it to show me my 'favs' after I save them, and the 'fav' screen is blank?

Otherwise, how long should it take to unplug the charging cable after you push the charging-cable release switch? Mine turns to a solid blue color, and I hear a clicking sound, but it won't release the lock. After about thirty seconds, it finally goes to white color, and unlocks, so I can unplug it. (Does this sound correct?) Also, still heard the clicking sound until I shut the charger-port door?

No wind noise from my pano roof but I do notice that the car interior is cold and stays cold even if I have the heat turned up high - I think it's the glass roof (thermal mass that's cold) staying cold and pulling the cold into the car whereas a metal roof would have a roof liner and maybe some insulation.

Regarding the charging cable, mine unlocks within 1 to 2 seconds consistently.

My favorites for music seem to stick. I haven't tried the web favorites yet.

Now, speaking about first impressions (I've driven mine for about 1100 miles so far over 2.5 weeks)....

I like how we can choose what shows up on the speedometer display left and right areas. Also, the Nav shows up in that area so I don't need to keep looking down at the large screen (and I don't need to have NAV maps open on the large screen).

Here's a few others that I like:
- The Ambient interior lighting - it's a nice touch.
- LED map lights are pinpoint so rear passengers can have them on without disturbing my driving (other cars may have this already, but it's new to me).
- When turning a corner, a side light turns on to light the area that I'm turning into (again, other high end cars probably have this already)
- I can load a USB flash drive with music and play it from the console screen - even the album art shows up!
- Music from my iPhone sounds great over Bluetooth (in stereo).
- The charging cable has its own bag and place to store it in the trunk
- That cavern beneath the trunk area that can conceal items - it's quite large and good for heavy items so the cornering ability of the car is not compromised

I think there's many more, but this is what comes to mind quickly.

The heating thing sounds wrong. Get a service check.

I take it all the seals are tight on the panoroof and steady rain hasn't presented any leaks or concerns?

Ack.....the prior comment was directed @joepruitt or others.

I've had my car for 11 days and around 600 miles. Last night I experienced my first instance of pixilation on the dash. Reset the dash using the two upper buttons on the steering wheel and the issue was gone when the dash came back on. The car did not seem to allow the dash to reset until the car was in park. I've read that both the touch screen and the dash can be reset on the fly. Perhaps in my case the delay coincided with me reaching my destination?

I continue to have problems getting my iPhone to sync with the car. It works for a while then stops paring. Resetting the touch screen seems to solve this problem but Tesla, assuming you are reading this, I think based on other owner experiences reported, you should investigate why this is happening.

I have a rattle that has developed. Have not pinpointed the cause yet. When I do, I will report the location.

Things I love other that the obvious (car's looks performance and oh yeh, the no gas thing!!!):
the ergonomics are fantastic. Easy to operate, logical and responsive. Charging is easy. I use a NEMA 14-50 at home and get 27 miles an hour of range and a J1772 charging station at work that charges a a rate of 18 miles per hour.

The chargepoint app on my iPhone works great and even tells me when my car Is full. As previously posted, my only caution is that when traveling, investigate charging locations in advance because I've found the information regarding charging locations on the various apps (chargepoint, recharge, plug share) are not always accurate.

One last comment regarding range -both rated and projected. Most of my driving is local and my projected range is much lower when I start each day after fully charging (not using max range mode when charging so battery does not fully charge) then I thought it would be. Car shows projected range each morning of 185 and rated range of 235. Is this what other people are experiencing?

I get very close to the rated range on the highway at highway speeds (for me around 73mph on average). That's much better than I expected. I expected the opposite - namely, higher range with local driving and worse range with highway driving.

no wind noise here in the UK


I've noticed the projected range is much lower as well for my daily driving (2 miles of city driving then 17 miles of highway driving). The city driving chews up projected range fast due to start and stops (the stops don't regen enough to compensate for the energy used to start moving). So, if I reset my projected range after a standard charge, the project and rated range will be approx 240 miles. Projected miles drops to about 210 very quickly - approx. by the time I'm at highway speeds on the freeway. I recover some of that project range while driving on the freeway but seldom does it completely compensate for the city driving over the 17 miles of highway driving.

I did, however, find that my driving method has a huge effect on projected range. On a long trip, I was able to keep projected range fairly close to rated range.

I estimate that rated range seems to average about 300W/mile. My driving style varies, but since I got the car about 3 weeks ago, my average is about 335W/mile (this includes A/C, Heater, audio, lights, etc.). So, for range, I would "derate" by about 11% on average. Tnstead of 240 miles range on a standard charge, I'm expecting 215 miles range based on my driving habits. I could probably eek out more range if I change my habits, but I would do that only if I had to.

@Brian, yea, I'll need to have that checked. I'm also a bit sensitive the cold too. The seat heaters work very well though.

Yes, you should be able to eke out more cabin heat before you have to say, "Eek, my nose froze!"


Hey, I just learned something. I had no idea the difference. Thanks!