For nearly 10 years I’ve wanted to own a Tesla. As of a few months ago, I finally do!
This spring I bought a 2016 Model S P90D. It’s all black, with a black interior. By buying slightly used (18,000 miles) I was able to save $50,000 off the original price ($93,000 instead of $143,000). In order to get the configuration I wanted in a used model I had to buy it in Florida and have it shipped out.
There are so many things I love about the car (acceleration, autopilot, etc), but I expected to love those things. I’d read so many articles about the car that I knew everything it would do. But there are some features that I either didn’t know about or now that I experience them I love them so much more.
This list is the unexpected things I love about my Tesla.
1. Temperature control
During an Idaho summer the temperature is often over 100 degrees. If you park a black car in the sun and leave for even a few minutes it can get really hot. Add an all black interior and it’s even worse.
Surprisingly, that didn’t bother me a single time this summer. All because Tesla has a feature called Cabin Overheat Protection where the interior temperature won’t get over an unsafe temperature (some posts say it’s 104 degrees). The car automatically runs the air conditioning just enough to maintain a reasonable temperature.
All that means that without thinking about it, my car was never too hot when I got back inside it!
Best of all, running this all day will barely use the battery. After leaving the car parked all day in the direct sun reviewers found that it only drops the range by about 10 miles. That’s worth it to me!
Have you ever had it where a large car in front of you is driving really slowly, but you don’t know if it’s because they are being annoying or if we are both annoyed at the car in front of them?
Tesla solves this problem. The radar will show the car in front of you and (if it’s there) the car in front of them. Even when you can’t see past the car in front of you.
Magic. Now my frustration is directed at the proper offender.
3. Autopilot in stop and go traffic.
I expected to love autopilot. It’s wonderful. But where it really shines is in stop and go traffic. Turn it on and it perfectly matches the speed of the car in front of you. Whether that’s 60 MPH or 5 MPH. Magically I’m no longer in a hurry. I just let the car go with traffic rather than feeling impatient to get through traffic.
Over Labor Day weekend we were headed to the mountains along with everyone else in Boise. Autopilot made it such a casual, calm experience to be stuck in traffic.
4. Automatic brights
When there isn’t traffic around the Tesla will automatically turn on the brights, then turn them off when there is oncoming traffic. It’s so simple—and I’m sure it’s in many high-end cars now—but I really like it. One less thing to worry about while driving.
5. Freeway signs telling you exactly which lane to be in
When two freeways split or there are a few exits nearby going different places it can be confusing to know exactly which lane to be in. This isn’t a problem in Boise, but driving in any bigger city where you’d rely on GPS to get around you risk missing a turn or having to get over last minute. But not in a Tesla. The dash shows photo of the lanes and where you need to be to make your exit. It’s brilliant and really clear.
Especially for this exit, where to go left you need to be in the right lanes, and to go right you need to be in the left lanes.
That’s it for my list!
For those of you who own a Tesla, what are your favorite features that you didn’t expect?