Design Review: Tesla Model S

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Design matters a great deal. There are a number of articles on how awesome the Model S is for EV car. Most notably the 0-60mph in just a few seconds gets all the press. 

Yes, it is quite safe. Looks cool. etc etc. However, there are many overlooked design features that make the Model S truly a work of art. 

To make a car where an overwhelming favorite for customers who "love" their Tesla means they did almost everything right. Most importantly they designed the user experience right. 

Let me count the ways. In no particular order. 

  1. They key fob looks like a mini-Tesla. Nice design touch. To open the trunk double click the trunk on the key fob. Front trunk do the same. Rather than fumbling around trying to remember which button is which, it matches the car shape. Simple. 
  2. Each key fob is connected to a user profile. I walk up to the car with my key fob and everything adjusts to my settings as I am getting in. So driver seat automatically moves into my position. Only the rearview mirror doesn't move. Lame. 
  3. Door handles hide away when not need and are presented when unlocked. This doesn't seem important but it changes the look of the car when parked. A nice aesthetic touch. 
  4. Same goes for the side rearview mirror. They fold in when parked. This is an option also. You can turn this feature off along with auto-present handle. But why would you? It looks cool. 
  5. The steering wheel rattles slightly if you change lanes without giving your turn signal. I'll admit this seemed like a bug but a technician told me this is a feature. Can't tell if he was bullshitting me or not. Regardless, it is a gentle reminder to use your turn signals. 
  6. Over the air software updates. Seriously this is the best feature. New features are pushed to the Tesla fleets. You are constantly getting new features. You don't get that "I'm stuck with this same car" feeling. 
  7. Cute things like turning your Tesla icon on the dashboard into Santa Claus. Kids loved that. In that mode, when you use the turn signals jiggle bells play out instead of usual sounds. 
  8. All glass roof. This is different feature. Really cool at night. Gets a little hot on those hot summer days. 
  9. The frunk. No engine so you get an extra space in the front. I use the frunk for things takeout food. I'm not smelling up my Tesla with pizza. It also provides added protection in an accident by giving a larger crumple zone. Safe.
  10. Virtually no maintenance. No oil change. No timing belt. No tire rotation. Thank god. Never liked going to the mechanic. They jacking people. 
  11. Regenerative braking. This is an optional feature. My personal favorite. Normally when you let you foot off the gas the car keep rolling. In this mode, the motor actually reverses and provides a more braking feel. This means when I roll up into a stop light I often don't hit the brakes until I am almost completely stopped. Which means you use your brakes less. Which means you don't have to change them very often. Genius. Takes some getting use to but well worth it and safer.

Some Issues:

  1. USB ports are basically useless. Only the 12V can really power your phone with an adaptor. Not sure what the other ones are for. 
  2. Streaming music leaves a lot to be desired. Wish they integrated Spotify or something else than TuneIn. 
  3. Voice activation is a bit sketchy. Never can get it to understand anything. Maybe I can't speak clearly. 

That's all I could think of for now. 

Cheers,

Fahad