Top 5 Things We Love About Our Tesla
Updated: Mar 2, 2021
The high expectations set from our first Tesla test drive translated into a truly satisfying ownership experience in the years ahead.
We have always liked trying car options from a variety of manufacturers and have owned several Japanese, American and German vehicles. When we started looking into a car upgrade a few years back, Tesla didn’t even make it onto our initial list of considerations. Over the weekends, we spent time going to dealerships and had our eye on selecting a well appointed German model and didn’t have have any luck finding a winner. It wasn’t until we came across a Tesla showroom at the mall and decided to kill time by test driving a Model S that our next car choice became perfectly clear.
After doing some research and finalizing our options, we purchased the Model S a couple of weeks later. Thankfully the high expectations that were set from that unplanned test drive translated into a truly satisfying ownership experience in the years ahead.
Our experience with our first Tesla was so satisfying, that we actually added the Model 3 to our garage when it was released. There are so many reasons why we love our Teslas, but we have managed to narrow it down to our top 5.
Apparently, we are not the only ones who love driving Tesla cars. Consumer Reports recently released the 2021 results of The Most Satisfying Cars on the Market and all four current Tesla models (S, 3, X, Y) made the top 10 list, with Model 3 coming in at #1.
1. The Drive
In our opinion, to say that a Tesla is quick is an understatement. To those who have never experienced the acceleration of an electric vehicle like a Tesla, the instant acceleration can be mind blowing.
The daily commute has become a relatively enjoyable driving experience. While the acceleration will be obvious when the traffic lights turn green, the advantages also translates to easier navigation of traffic once you are on your way.
Although electric cars can often be heavier than their gas-powered peers, the Tesla models we’ve driven feel extremely nimble on the road. We consider the steering to be steady and precise, giving us the ability to quickly change direction and feel balanced and stable when taking corners with some speed.
Since the driving experience can be very subjective, feel free to book your own test drive to come to your own conclusions. Based on our years of driving these cars, however, the combination of instant acceleration, very capable handling and assisted driving features makes these Tesla models, the most satisfying vehicles that we’ve driven.
One of the most important features that we look for in a vehicle is safety and we feel Tesla has done a great job in this category. Tesla cars are designed with the heaviest components located as close to the ground as possible which, as we mentioned, adds to the overall agility and handling of the car and also reduces rollover risk.
Tesla’s commitment to safety has earned their models top recognition as being some of the safest vehicles on the road today. Model Y recently joined the Model 3, X and S in receiving perfect crash test scores from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Model S and Model X still hold the record for the second and third lowest probabilities of injury, making Tesla vehicles the best ever rated by NHTSA. In addition, the Model 3 was awarded the 2020 Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick Plus Award based on its crash ratings and accident avoidance technology. To put this into perspective, only 23 vehicles qualified for the top award.
3. Low Maintenance
Tesla cars only have a fraction of the number of moving parts that a traditional gas car does. Since it’s an EV, we don’t have to worry about oil changes, fuel filters, timing belts, spark plug replacements or emission checks. Even our need for brake pad replacements are less frequent than a gas car due to the use of regenerative braking.
So far maintenance costs have been significantly lower with our Teslas versus our previous gas cars. We’ve done a brake fluid test on the Model S, which costs about $100, and we get the tires rebalanced whenever we switch between the winter and summer sets.
Tesla does recommend some further maintenance every couple of years depending on the model, which includes replacing cabin air filters, getting the air conditioning serviced and brake caliper cleaning and lubrication for cars in cold weather regions.
4. Innovative Software
Innovative software is one of the reasons why Tesla currently has an advantage over traditional car manufacturers. It’s constantly improving the operating system with over-the-air updates, upgrading the car's functions, safety features and entertainment options.
Two things we particularly enjoy are the Infotainment system and the Tesla app. The Infotainment system provides access to features like video streaming and Tesla Arcade, which comes in handy when we’re waiting at a supercharger. We can watch Netflix and Youtube or play video games such as Beach Buggy Racing 2, which can use the car’s actual steering wheel and pedals to control the racing on screen.
With the Tesla app we can unlock the car, pre-condition it in the winter, check on the battery status and use Smart Summon to navigate out of tricky parking spaces without having to be in the car.
5. Always Getting Better with Over-the-Air (OTA) Updates
It wasn’t until we owned a Tesla that we truly understood and appreciated all the hype around OTA software updates. Tesla can send updates 'Over-the-Air' and owners will be informed of these new updates through the Tesla app or a notification on the touchscreen when they start their cars. Updates happen several times per year and can range from small improvements that address owner irritants to major updates that can completely change the performance of the car.
One of our favorite OTA updates over the years was the addition of Sentry Mode, which owners can access the built-in autopilot cameras to monitor and record activity happening around the car when it’s parked. While this feature is now included with all new Teslas, it wasn’t available when we first bought our vehicle.
When it was introduced, the surprise addition of Sentry Mode was provided to Tesla vehicles at no additional cost. This actually saved us money out of our pockets, since we typically install third party dashcams to our vehicles.
Whether it’s an update to improve safety or simply make owning a Tesla more fun, it’s pretty incredible to know that our vehicle will continue to evolve and can get better with time.