Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has gotten a lot of negative press since the three recent Model S fires, but Jonathan Welsh of The Wall Street Journal says he is test-driving the vehicle and has good things to say about it.
Tesla’s Model S is easy to drive
Welsh has apparently been test-driving the Model S for a few days, but he thinks his impression of the vehicle will last, especially since he sees it as a very easy vehicle to drive. He says it isn’t that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s vehicle drivers itself, but rather, that “so much of the automotive minutiae” is taken care of so that the driver can focus more on working the pedals and the steering wheel. He notes that drivers don’t even have to turn the vehicle on. Just shift into drive and go.
As the driver approaches the Model S, it “comes to life,” unlocking the doors, lighting up the dashboard and getting everything ready so the car is ready to drive. It doesn’t even require the press of a button. Welsh notes that for those who like to hear the rumble and noise of a V8 engine, the Model S might not be the ideal car, but he says Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) does provide the feeling of driving a mechanical device rather than something like “an iPad on wheels,” as some have apparently referred to the car.
Is a “‘seamless’ driving experience good”?
Welsh does question whether the experience will be enjoyed by most drivers because of how automatic everything is. He says Tesla’s electric car provides the closes thing to the “seamless” experience so many automakers seek to achieve with their vehicles. Perhaps this is why so many competing automakers have praised the Model S.
However, he says he enjoys “physical engagement” with vehicles, including turning the key, playing with the knobs or even changing gears on a manual transmission. He does give Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) credit for making the driver “feel like the captain at the helm,” and he says it is easy to make adjustments to the vehicle’s systems using the touchscreen. He says the ease of driving the Model S is better than with the i-Drive from BMW “and similar multilayered, annoying systems from just about every other luxury-car maker.” He says there’s no need to thoroughly read the owner’s manual before feeling comfortable enough with it to drive across country.
The only thing the automaker needs now is the completion of the expansion of its Supercharger network, which it is currently working on.