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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We had a one hour test drive in a Model S P85+ yesterday. Our daily driver is a LEAF Tekna. The last 4 or 5 daily drivers before the LEAF were from BMW Group.

A few things to add to what everyone else has already said.

The LEAF feels bigger then a Model S. So I parked them up next to each other and took this photo.





Of course the MS is much larger. But it you don't feel it behind the wheel or in the front seat. Debbie didn't like sitting in the back of the MS. Dunno if she has ever sat in the back of our LEAF.


Very nice to drive. Like any stupid powerful RWD car, you can get the rear end to loose traction if you apply too much power. Tesla's traction control felt reactive rather than proactive. The LEAF is more on the proactive side robbing the car of power for a couple of seconds. Tesla waits until the car is just over the edge and then cuts in. It reminds me of driving a big engine BMW in sport mode.


Overall they've done a very good job of hiding the car's mass. Impressive. The test car seemed to be well put together. It had just over 10,000 miles on it. The tires looked like the car had been cornered hard more then a few times. I didn't notice any uneven panel gaps or other minor flaws I've seen a few people mention.


I can see the size being an issue for parking. "Threading the needle" on a narrow road with a MS didn't cause either of us much trouble.


 

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Interesting review.

So when you say the S feels "smaller" is that in the sense that the cockpit is tighter (less internal space) or just the sensation? I have always thought the Leaf is bigger than it looks. First time I parked at work, in our tiny car park, I thought I'd made a hash of the parking as the nose was sticking out. But no, it was right back against the lines - I hadn't realised the extra 10-15 inches or so of length compared with cars at the smaller end of the class.

There seems to be huge mounts of trunk and frunk in the S, so have they robbed the passenger compartment?

BTW, I had to read this bit twice "The last 4 or 5 before the LEAF were from BMW Group." For a moment I thought BMW had bought Nissan :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Edited one sentence (thanks Black Leaf)

What I mean is with the LEAF, you feel the weight. The turning circle is bigger than I'd expect. Can be hard to park. It drives like a bigger car than it is.

Tesla is the other way around. -- It drives smaller than it is. You don't notice the mass in normal or slightly spirited driving. On a narrow congested narrow lane, the Model S was easier to drive than I expected. Good visibility and responsive controls.



Plenty of room up front for us, but the roof is low compared to leaf. (see photos) A tall person may find themselves uncomfortably close to the headliner. The Model S rear seat was too close to the floor for Debbie. I was ok back there.

Lots of room for luggage and groceries on the MS. Not much storage for the front passengers though. Even the glovebox is smallish considering the sheer size of the car. There is room between the front seats but I can see things going flying out of the tray if you drive like an idiot. And the car does encourage that.


Other thing I noticed is the car does not have iPod integration. Bluetooth worked fine, but there isn't the level of iPod control we get with the LEAF. I did try the internet radio briefly. We listened to a Los Angeles radio station.



The brakes are soooo much better then the LEAF.
 

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colour can make a big difference, had a loaner mk2 leaf with a black interior and it felt very cramped compared to the mk1 lighter interior. For that exact reason I went light grey for the model S, makes it very light and airy in the car
 

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colour can make a big difference, had a loaner mk2 leaf with a black interior and it felt very cramped compared to the mk1 lighter interior. For that exact reason I went light grey for the model S, makes it very light and airy in the car
I really like dark "cocoon like" interiors. I remember when MINI started offering the black roof liner option (or dark grey, however they span it) and it was lovely.

Plus with kids there's a degree of "sensible" in avoiding lighter interior trims. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
remember when MINI started offering the black roof liner option (or dark grey, however they span it) and it was lovely.
Anthracite. We had it on the Z4.
 

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Black interiors remind me of German cars. (Pretty much every German car in our company car park has black interior, including headliner)

A big part of buying the Tesla was to be a little bit "different", so I went the whole hog.

The lighter the interior, the roomier it feels. (Probably why we don't all paint our living rooms black ;) ) It's especially true of ceilings, so I don't get why cars should be different....
 

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There is room between the front seats but I can see things going flying out of the tray if you drive like an idiot. And the car does encourage that.
Things (mainly RFID cards) are always flying out of the little tray under the screen under acceleration.. I must always being driving like an idiot :oops:

Other thing I noticed is the car does not have iPod integration. Bluetooth worked fine, but there isn't the level of iPod control we get with the LEAF. I did try the internet radio briefly. We listened to a Los Angeles radio station.
I have an Android phone, but I'm lucky enough to have perfect 3G all the way on my commute, RDIO and the channel system is one of my favourite features of the car, and I won't go back to iTunes ;)

The brakes are soooo much better then the LEAF.
Not tried a LEAF, but they are better than pretty much any other car I've driven. My Elise brakes are better when warmed up, but nowhere near as good from cold.
 

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I keep RFIDs in the little pocket on the front edge of the driver seat
I've only use it for folded A4 paper (hotel reservations that sort of thing) that can be pulled out without putting your hand in the pocket.. I had a similar space in my old pickup I used to put diesel receipts in, after a year it became noticeably baggy and looked tatty, due to constantly having to reach into it to fish them out, stretching the leather.

I guess maybe one of those A5 plastic sheets with lots of RFID sized pockets would be a good compromise..
 
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