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Tesla Test Drive


I originally had a ton of time to get to the test drive, however, R. discovered that I wasn't the only person having trouble with the sleep/wake button on my iPhone 5. There is warranty work. So the phone is in the shop and I have a loaner (weirdly like cars), and that process got wedged into the time I had between T. getting home and the test drive.

R. came along, and if I had it to do over again, I might ask that R. get his own test drive, because I suspect that I wouldn't not have had such a profoundly negative test drive experience if I had not sat down in the back seat. But I _did_ sit down in the back seat. While there is adequate leg room, there is not adequate head room, and it there are some other problems as well.

First, a note about me. I am a bit over 5'7" tall, and as you would expect, I have more of that in my legs than in my head, neck and torso. In general, if I set down in the back seat of a car, I don't experience any kind of headroom issue, unless it is some weird sort of not-a-real-back-seat situation, but I haven't been in one of those since I was a teenager -- I don't think I'd considered this as a possible situation in the Tesla because there is optional _third row seating_. I will concede that the years have added additional padding to my ass, and therefore additional height while seated, but this is not actually that significant. I wound up leaning towards the middle of the back seat to avoid my head touching the ceiling. Strike one.

Second, I have some neurological problems that manifest in a variety of ways and a couple of them are relevant here. I'm prone to headaches in bright light, particularly if the light is coming in at a particular angle. At least this Tesla had, in addition to a sunroof, a smoked glass? or something ceiling/roof behind the sunroof, so it kind of was not possible for me to get fully out of the sunshine in the backseat. Ouch. In conjunction with a headache associated with too-damn-much-stuff-in-one-day, very, very painful. Strike two. Presumably, this particular issue is resolvable through appropriate options selection when ordering one.

Third, my husband's theory of test drive involved doing things to the car that makes being a rider somewhat unpleasant. If I hadn't been in the car while he was doing this, I probably would have enjoyed the test drive more. Not really Tesla's fault.

Okay, so I have a headache, am feeling a little crammed in, have had unexpected sun exposure, my son decided to sit in the middle seat in the back (not helping with the claustrophobia) and yell about a variety of things during the ride, so by the time it's my turn to drive, I'm not necessarily overjoyed. It's a nice car. The seats are okay, but by no means the Mercedes level luxury that the Mercedes level ride of the Tesla might lead you to expect. Because believe me, everything everyone said about what a joy it is to ride and drive this car? Basically true. That's a great screen. You really fucking _need_ that rear-facing camera, because the visibility in this car is more or less the shittiest I have ever experienced and I used to drive a CRX. The windshield is so heavily raked it distorts your view forward optically, albeit subtly. The rear view is forced right up against the top of it (along with the toll transponder). The visor is this weird, thin thing, because the amount of windshield you can block and still see out of it at all is extremely limited. I wear a brimmed cap to deal with sun in my eyes; when I turned my head, it bumped, even in the driver's seat.

Now, you might think (I know I did), well just lower the seat! Alas, I was already unhappy with the angle of my knees. Not as bad as when I owned the CRX -- but I was a decade (more than!) younger when I sold that car.

I will say this for the Tesla: you won't mind its limited range, because you'll get sick of sitting in the damn thing long before the charge runs out. Never in my life have I been so excited about something, and been so disappointed. It is a gorgeous piece of machinery, which I apparently find so uncomfortable I cannot imagine owning it. By comparison, it was a joy to sit back down in my Fit, even with its honestly inadequately padded, benchlike seats. My knees didn't hurt and my head didn't bump.

The i3, so far, is winning, but I have yet to drive the Leaf.

ETA: Here is the i3 test drive description: http://walkitout.livejournal.com/1146170.html

ETA: Here is the Nissan Leaf test drive description: http://walkitout.livejournal.com/1148073.html

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