Long-Term Owner’s Review Of Tesla Model X

2 years ago by Mark Templeton 70

Image Credit: Mark Templeton

Image Credit: Mark Templeton

*Editor’s note: Mark Templeton kindly allows InsideEVs.com to post his long-term Tesla Model X review/overview. All text and images are the work of Templeton, owner of Model X Founder’s Edition VIN #3. Our thanks go out to Mark for allowing us to share this article and photos with our readers.

I’ve now had the X since Sept 29 and have enjoyed every thrilling moment. I thought I’d share photos and videos of some of the experiences I’ve had since Elon handed the key to my daughter and me at the Model X Launch Event.

The album is posted here.

Image Credit: Mark Templeton

Image Credit: Mark Templeton

Image Credit: Mark Templeton

Image Credit: Mark Templeton

The first question I get is “how did you get VIN3?” Truth is, I’ve always been “the first kid on my block…” and Tesla is no different. I’ve been blessed to get Roadster VIN 16 and Model S VIN 20 as well, getting an early, first-hand experience with the Tesla vision for all-electric transportation. I have to say that the cars have been consistently reliable and flawless – quite an accomplishment for early serial numbers of ANY new product!

The delivery of the X was a truly wonderful experience. Backstage, we got our new owner orientation and some time to drool over this amazing vehicle. The Tesla team was awesome – making every moment a joy before the event kicked off. We met engineers, service techs, execs and events team who answered lots of “inside baseball” questions. To my wonderful surprise, my friend of 30+ years, Mark Tebbe, was there to receive VIN5! That was one of the best moments of the evening, since we hadn’t seen each other in 15 years.

Tesla gave me dealer plates so I could drive the car in California before shipping it to my home in Florida – about a week before Thanksgiving. The Tesla West Palm Beach team did a great job with the delivery. We loaded up and did a road trip to Raleigh from South Florida. The supercharger experience was great! Every Tesla owner you meet there has a fabulous set of stories to share – and great travel tips. The superchargers are well-located and I got 350 mph charging at a couple of them. I dropped in on the Tesla Raleigh team so they could touch the excitement. I also visited my alma mater – NC State College of Design – and let students check it out. Our hotel – The Umstead – is a member of the Tesla Destinations program. Universally, this car has a magnetic personality.

I have to admit that I like it better than my Model S. In the fossil fuel world, I like the Porsche Cayenne over the Panamera for the same reason – it’s a sports car, a sedan, and an SUV. The multi-purpose aspect of the X is stunning. The storage space is amazing. In fact, the deep trunk allows two of the 34″ rolling luggage pieces to stand side-by-side! Add the folding third row, it far exceeds SUVs of similar size. The underseat space is great – more comfortable for passengers and added space for storage. The seats are by far the best of any vehicle I’ve owned – design, comfort and function. And, I love how the middle row sets tilt and slide.

Image Credit: Mark Templeton

Image Credit: Mark Templeton

From a quality perspective, you’d think VIN 3 would have issues. It was likely “hand built” on the production line, and it’s been almost flawless. Sometimes, the Falcon Wings pause when opening – taking a failsafe approach to avoid striking anything. I like the false-positive approach – especially as the sonar in the doors gets more sophisticated over time. As Elon said, it’s FAST! Ludicrous mode makes acceleration from 30 mph just like at 0 mph! Smooth, continuous, multi-G acceleration – pure joy at the tip of your foot!

Image Credit: Mark Templeton

Image Credit: Mark Templeton

I’ve recently been through the factory and there are X’s being assembled in various stages throughout. I know so many are waiting with great anticipation and some impatience. I don’t blame you but feel sure you’ll find it worth the wait. I remember my roadster being postponed several times, waiting 3-4 years for it. The priority being placed around quality of the product and ownership experience is second to none. That takes time and tremendous attention to detail. Tesla is amazing at that.

The deliveries are picking up some momentum from what I understand. So, keep the faith!

Kind regards,

Mark

Image Credit: Mark Templeton

Image Credit: Mark Templeton

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70 responses to "Long-Term Owner’s Review Of Tesla Model X"

  1. Brian says:

    The last picture might be my favorite that I have seen. Shows the line of succession and also gives a very good visual of how big (and small) the cars are.

    1. Stimpy says:

      It also does a good job showing just how much better the S looks than the X.

      I would expect better for $100k. At least it’s no Mirai, I guess?

      1. Speculawyer says:

        They look the same to me, the X is just bigger . . . because it is an SUV.

        What do you want the X to look like? It looks like that because it is way to make an SUV aerodynamic. Most conventional SUVs have TERRIBLE aerodynamics.

      2. Looking at them both, I prefer the X myself. Probably because for my vehicle use patterns I prefer an SUV, and this is the best looking one I have seen. Would replace my Forester quite nicely thank you! (And relegate our Leaf to the town car.)

      3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Stimpy

        “It also does a good job showing just how much better the S looks than the X.”

        I’d say exactly the opposite. From that angle, a straight side view, the X looks every bit as nice as the S. In fact, it looks as if you took a photo of the X and stretched it front-to-back just a bit, it would be hard to tell the difference between the S and X.

        I still prefer the look of the S from the front, though.

        1. MorinMoss says:

          The X is a bit too snub-nosed for my taste and I don’t really like the fronts of either the X or S.
          But I’d still own either, if I could afford them.

      4. James says:

        Stimpy could do better if he just found Ren and continued to do what he does best, fart and burp jokes.

        When will the, “Model X is ugly” folks just clam up and know SUVs and CUVs lean towards function over form rather than vice-versa. Want a slick, sexy sportster? — DON’T FREAKIN’ BUY A CUV!!!! It’s like the hugest “duh!” that exists.

        Model X is smooth, aero-efficient and easy on the eyes for the type of vehicle it is. Tesla did a masterful job keeping with the very young ( one model ) design language and giving CUV customers functionality with sexuality.

        Posters b’ing and moaning about Model X not being sexy enough also are single men – or men who don’t show us pictures of their wives – because they selected the nicest-looking partner they could from all of their options, that wasn’t high-maintenance, can cook, can carry on a conversation yet still doesn’t weild an ugly stick!

        My advice to them – “Shut up already”. Those same guys buy the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition to drool at those high-maintenance, impractical and far-too-unobtainable ( to them ) women…and then call fine, nice-looking women who ARE viable and obtainable, “ugly”. 🙂

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          “giving CUV customers functionality with sexuality.

          Edition to drool at those high-maintenance, impractical and far-too-unobtainable ( to them ) ”

          Not to nitpick, but isn’t the Model X lack the roof carrying capability due to falcon doors and it is at least somewhat unobtainable for “average” buyers with its sticker price?

          1. Aaron says:

            Well, it can support a roof rack…and then there’s the fact that it comes standard with an accessories hitch…which would be more aerodynamic than throwing stuff on the roof.

            What impact does affordability have? There are lots of expensive CUVs…and the people purchasing them tend to care about aesthetics as much as functionality.

    2. Speculawyer says:

      That is $300K of cars right there. Holy smokes.

      1. ffbj says:

        You ain’t just whistling Dixie.

      2. Tim says:

        Yes, but to have comparable performance cars, youcould spend upward of $1million for 1. What a bargain 3 cars for with superior performance for 1/3 the price and lower fuel and fuel costs!!!!!!!!

        1. Tim says:

          opps! Lower Fuel and maintenance costs!!

      3. Kosh says:

        …and a plastic tarp covering the roof.

        Mixed up priorities?

      4. ModernMarvelFan says:

        More like $400K and up..

      5. Mike616 says:

        I salute their Patriotism.
        That’s three cars not burning Terrorist OIl.

        1. Sublime says:

          I worked at Citrix a long time ago. Trust me, Mark has his fair share of gas guzzlers. IIRC he had a Rolls Royce, a herd of Ferraris, and I think an H1, but I might be thinking of someone else on that last one.
          He’s always had drool worthy cars to any auto aficionados.

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            So, he is basically a rich “car guy” who got into the EV fever.

            Great for us and good for him.

            So, Tesla did do a good job of converting some of the “car guys”. At least they aren’t burning more gas with their rich toys…

    3. TomArt says:

      Yes, and I was surprised at how much bigger the X is!

  2. EVcarNut says:

    Long term test, Since Sept.29….L M A 0 .When the car still Looks & runs like new after 17yrs & aprox.200,000 miles like my “1999 C230 Benze” ..Then you can tell me about Long term Testing …This is Hillarious!

    1. scoops says:

      OMG 200k?!? Dat’s krazy! /s

      1. evcarnut says:

        OMG is rite ! in Harsh Canadian Winters With Salted Down Roads Over A Period Of “”17.5 YRS””.STILL RUNS & LOOKS NEW!.In the short term anyone can put hi mileage on most cars without problems …LONG TERM Most cars Would Fall APART..That is the test of TIME!

        1. ffbj says:

          Everything gets salty. There is that salty taste in the air. What I am near the ocean? No, just winter in Canada.

          1. EVcarNut says:

            I’d rather Be In warm Climate ,Big Difference from salt in the Air & Slushy Salt Embedded & frozen in all the Cracks & Crevices underneath the carriage & Fenders Etc:

        2. Steven says:

          When I lived in Massachusetts, I heard this joke…

          What’s another name for a five year old car?

          An antique.

    2. Nom de Plume says:

      Yeah, two and a half months is barely time to figure out where all the knobs are. With all respect to the author, who is understandably excited about his car, this is not a “review” in any sense of the word. I learned nothing about the Model X except that he thinks it’s neat.

      1. pjwood1 says:

        “Knobs”? Nothing is supposed to distract you from the 17 inch touch screen.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “With all respect to the author, who is understandably excited about his car, this is not a ‘review’ in any sense of the word.”

        Indeed, this is a love letter from a Tesla cheerleader. It’s great that he loves his Model X, but this is by no stretch of the term a “review”.

        I’m looking forward with some eagerness to seeing the first actual review of the Model X. I hope the next time InsideEVs puts “Model X review” in a headline, it will actually be one.

    3. Speculawyer says:

      Yeah, it should say “Owner’s review” since there really is no “long term” owner of a Model X at all.

    4. Robb Stark says:

      17 years is not a test.

      It is typically the time 2/3 owners have the car.

      6 months to a year is a long term test.

  3. Stimpacker says:

    Thanks for sharing, Mark and InsideEVs.

    What I’d like to hear from real long-term owner stories are costs for things that are usually mundane (but maybe not so for the Model X).

    Examples:
    1) Replacing that fancy helicopter style front windshield.
    2) Small dent/ding on the Falcon doors. Could that cause problems with the embedded-in-door sensors that then causes door malfunctions?

    1. James says:

      I’m commenting here – because from here on down the page, this thread got hijacked into a discussion about solar.

      Obviously, this “review” is just one more distraction to keep hungry X preorder-holders in que from angrily walking away. With about 17 Xs out there in customer hands, it’s going to be harder and harder to keep the wolves from the Fremont factory door. These cars are still hand-built and in zero way – true material for a “user review”. It’s not the CUV the masses will get.

      This stuff is worrisome. If troubles on the line at the plant are this extreme…Tesla should, and are definitely worried. Mark Templeton, CEO of Citrix Software, got number 3 because of either, A) His high business-relationship standard with Tesla, or is a very, VERY good pal of Mr. Musk.

      Beautiful vehicle. Everybody wants theirs. It’s built of “unobtainium” at any cost, right now. This also raises huge concerns re: Model III ( Pushmi, please tell me how you get those 3 horizontal lines for “3” 🙂 ). If X is not yet to even dozens of the 1,000s of preorder-holders out there, HOW LONG will we all be waiting for a mass-produced III? – Like, 5 years?!!! Will Tesla be able to stay afloat that long? Will GM’s Bolt knock Tesla’s big promise of the affordable Tesla off into fantasy land?

      Stay Tuned.

      (Ack) I said it – sorry, but it fits so well…

  4. Mark C says:

    So, what I want to know is, “How big is your solar array?”

    1. Speculawyer says:

      You really don’t need a very big array to power an EV for 12,000 miles a year. If we conservatively assume 3 miles per KWH, you just need 4000KWH of electricity. And if you get an average around 5 hours of sun per day 365 days a year, that would be a 4000KWH/(5 hours * 365) = 2.2 KW system to cover your car’s net electricity. That is around half the size of a typical residential PV system.

      And I recommend people go bigger so they can cover their house plus two cars.

      1. Anderlan says:

        This is truly amazing to think about. Most suburban houses have enough insolated area to offset their traditional electric/gas usage (not an absolute rule, since some houses are seeming built to use stupid amounts of hvac energy) as well as the transport energy (with extra travel necessitated by the fact that it’s a single family isolated dwelling).

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          “Most suburban houses have enough insolated area to offset their traditional electric/gas usage ”

          Yes, if you live in one of those cookie cutter area without trees or taller 2 story houses on the wrong side of the street…

          Shading is a big problem for houses that don’t have big roof surface.

          One story ranch style houses usually have the biggest potential, unless you got a lot of trees around.

        2. Personally I think that is a bit simplistic of a view. Unless you also have your energy storage system onsite, you are relying on the grid to have the capacity to absorb your produced energy, then give you back energy in the evening (or overnight, early AM; whatever time your car is charging). (ie living in suburbia can’t simply be justified away by saying you can purchase solar panels to cover the extra travel – all these items still take resources to construct, let alone the ills of increased sprawl; but I digress!)

      2. ModernMarvelFan says:

        “if you get an average around 5 hours of sun per day 365 days a year,”

        Unless you live in AZ, you won’t get that as average per year…

        Typically, you can get about 1500kWh to 1700kWh for every 1kW of Solar (including inverter 10% loss in conversion from DC to AC).

        Your 3miles/kWh also doesn’t include the charging loss which is about 10-12% or winter induced loss.

        1. Speculawyer says:

          Nah, Arizona gets around 6 and 1/2 hours on average. In Northern California, I get around 5 hours and that is above-average for the country.
          http://www.bigfrogmountain.com/SunHoursPerDay.html
          But if you get less, you can add more panels. Or rely on the grid more.

          And the i3 gets around 4 miles per KWH.

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            “n Northern California, I get around 5 hours and that is above-average for the country.”

            Yes, above average and BEFORE the DC to AC conversion loss and all other loss due to weather.

            How is your solar generation so far this month?

            i3’s 4 miles/kWh isn’t average for all EVs either unless you don’t use much heat.

            1. Speculawyer says:

              5 hours includes the weather. AC & DC conversion don’t change time. 😉 And you seem to overestimate the losses. The inverter is 96.6% efficient.

              I don’t know what my production is this month since my monitor died (just installed the replacement tonight). I’m sure it is low though since it is December, the month of the worst production, and El Nino is hitting. In the summer I make over 1000KWH per month with my 6KW system. And my system is not very good at all because it faces southwest instead of south and has some shading from a chimney and trees. Adding up the numbers from last year from my system, I generated 3000 KWH for each 2KW of PV. Not the full 4000 KWH but that was for a 2.2 KW system and my system is oriented in the wrong direction and gets shaded.

              What can I tell you? I haven’t paid for electricity or gasoline for over 2 years now . . . and utility owes me money after the annual ‘true-up’. And other people can do it too.

              But if you want to be a Debbie Downer, I guess that is your right.

              1. ModernMarvelFan says:

                “5 hours includes the weather. AC & DC conversion don’t change time. ? And you seem to overestimate the losses. The inverter is 96.6% efficient.”

                96.6%? Is that why Solar City tells me 4kW system (DC) is only delivering 3.6kW AC to my house.

                I would like to see some spec on that 96.6% efficiency. It is certainly not the case with the Power One inverter used by Solar City on my house.

                From most of the spec sheet, the so called 96% efficiency rating is usually “max efficiency” which implies your “best case” efficiency, not your average efficiency.

                “replacement tonight). I’m sure it is low though since it is December, the month of the worst production, and El Nino is hitting.”

                December 2014 was actually worse than this month so far since it was very cloudy and rainy in SF Bay Area despite the fact that it was a huge drought year.

                “In the summer I make over 1000KWH per month with my 6KW system. And my system is not very good at all because it faces southwest instead of south and has some shading from a chimney and trees. Adding up the numbers from last year from my system, I generated 3000 KWH for each 2KW of PV. Not the full 4000 KWH but that was for a 2.2 KW system and my system is oriented in the wrong direction and gets shaded.”

                Thus, the 1500kWh per kW yearly production number that I was quoting for 1500kWh to 1700kWh per KW in Northern California.

                “What can I tell you? I haven’t paid for electricity or gasoline for over 2 years now . . . and utility owes me money after the annual ‘true-up’. And other people can do it too.”

                That is great. But there are people who can’t install a 6kW system which requires upward of 25 panels. The things such as roof space, shading and location all play a very big role on the return. Also a 6kW system would have cost in the range of $20K or higher just couple years ago and even today they are in the range of $18K or higher installed price.

                “But if you want to be a Debbie Downer, I guess that is your right.”

                It is downer or cheerleader but factual reporting of all limitation and concerns. Don’t need sugarcoat them if they can stand on their own.

          2. ModernMarvelFan says:

            ” In Northern California, I get around 5 hours and that is above-average for the country.”

            Yes, above average.

            Do you want to know how much Solar City service agreement says for a 3 kWh system? Less than 5,000 kWh generated per year for Northern California.

            “But if you get less, you can add more panels. Or rely on the grid more.”

            Adding more panels aren’t always possible due to shading, size of the roof or local building/fire codes.

            Relying on the grid cost more. Currently, PG&E (where you live) base rate for E-1 starts at $0.167/kWh baseline. At 3 miles/kWh, it is $0.055/miles. If you are in teir 2, you are near $0.18/kWh on average rate or marginal rate of $0.24/kWh or $0.06/miles or $0.08/miles.

            Gas is $2.40/gallon or $0.08/miles for 30mpg or $0.06/miles for 40 mpg or $0.048/miles for 50mpg…

            1. Bryan says:

              Yes but no one with solar and an EV get E-1. Good gosh at the very least you would want NEM E-6 and in most cases you would go with NEM E-9A. You are real good at picking the worst of everything. You are right in specific cases solar may not produce as was generalized in these comments. The key comment was generalized. A specific house may not work as was stated but most will fall into a reasonably close range.

              1. ModernMarvelFan says:

                “Yes but no one with solar and an EV get E-1. ”

                NOT true. I know at least 3 other people who switched back to E1. It all depends on usage pattern. If you have a high usage during peak time or your solar can’t offset your peak usage in peak time, then E-1 is effectively better.

                “Good gosh at the very least you would want NEM E-6 and in most cases you would go with NEM E-9A.”

                As I stated, I have done the math to compare my usage pattern for each plan. E-9A no longer exist which was an EV plan. Now, it is called EV-A. That is great if you can shift your usage to night or off peak only and your solar generation is more than offset your peak usage. If you can’t, then E-1 isn’t always the best plan.

                “You are real good at picking the worst of everything. You are right in specific cases solar may not produce as was generalized in these comments. ”

                It is not picking the worst part but showing that it can be misleading when it is not fitting your usage case.

                “The key comment was generalized. A specific house may not work as was stated but most will fall into a reasonably close range.”

                Thus I listed out the factors as usage pattern, location, roof size or most of those factors.

                I work for a high tech company that many engineers are very capable of doing math. About 5 co-workers and I all installed solar in the last 5 years. We know at least 4 other co-workers have talked about it but couldn’t make the math working out due to their specific situation (most of it are due to shading of trees). So, saying that it is generally the case that it would work for “everyone” would simplify the case too much for the real world.

                Last time I looked, many people like trees in their yards.

        2. Bill Howland says:

          “1500 to 1700”.

          Where I Live 9.12 kw///9317 kwh est. 9345 actual kwh for 6/14 to 6/15. But then I’m ievtbl

          1. Speculawyer says:

            Well . . . you do live in Buffalo, NY, right? That is not a great place for solar PV. But even in such a suboptimal place, you should that it can work.

      3. Three Electrics says:

        Once solar becomes mainstream net metering will reach capacity, so it’s important to factor in the likelihood that additional storage will be needed at some point over the lifetime of the panels.

  5. How about, when the Model 3 comes out, will you be adding it to the back of that current 3-car fleet of Tesla’s, to keep the delivery order?

    Also, when I get My Model 3, can I drop by for a Visit? And, before then, would you like to bring the 3 Tesla’s you have as exhibits for EV Fest 2016?

  6. Eric,

    Just to clarify, this is Founders edition #3. There will also be a Signature #3.

    1. Eric Loveday says:

      Thanks Tony. Added that in.

  7. Speculawyer says:

    That shiny hard plastic on the backs of the seats is not very attractive. But that is really nitpicking of course.

    1. Jacked says:

      I think it’s groovy, but after it’s scuffed up it will look nasty.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        …unless what y’all are calling “shiny plastic” is actually chromed metal. Given that these are “premium grade” seats rather than the X’s standard seats — which we have yet to see — I rather doubt it’s just plastic with a shiny coating.

    2. Trollnonymous says:

      Agrred.

      But I guess you can get some dry erase markers and play Tic-Tac-Toe?

    3. Mikael says:

      It looks really poor and tacky. What happened to the sexy interior we have been seeing earlier in the prototypes?

      I’m not going to by the X, but if I did I would definitely get other seats if possible.

  8. Jacked says:

    “Long term” doesn’t describe a review of a two month old car. My first reaction to the headline was “Holy F*ck! Inside EVs invented a time machine!

    1. quartzav says:

      When you see a typical car review, the reviewers are usually given the car to drive for less than a week. I assume that is why the article refer this review as “long-term”

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        I’ve never seen any automobile review labeled “long term” cover so short a period as two months. As Robb Stark already said, six months to a year is the norm for that.

        And anyway, it’s not a “review”, it’s a love letter.

    2. Fabian says:

      +10

      This article title is misleading. Should say:

      “Long time Tesla Owner talks about his new Model X”

  9. Aaron says:

    For the OCD in the room, did you notice the Model S wheels versus the Model X wheels?

    1. Speculawyer says:

      A little bigger? Need that for some SUV-like clearance.

  10. ModernMarvelFan says:

    *political incorrect posting warning* (don’t read it if you are easily offended).

    The last picture reminds me of what a typical relationship be it a man or a woman.

    When you are dating, the significant other looks like the Roadster, fast, sexy and slim.

    When you are just married, the significant other still looks good like the Model S.

    Then, after few years with couple kids, then you start to look bloated and out of shape, sort like a Model X.

    LOL. I guess they are fitting for each stage of your life.

  11. Bill Howland says:

    Yeah, these ads are a bit deceiving.. 60 days, or however long he’s had the car, is short, not long term.

    Its interesting that on the Tesla website they claim that ‘internal’ testing shows this car should get every safety award. Turns out Teslas haven’t won any awards this year, mostly due to the automatic stop feature hasn’t been implemented yet.

    But its another case of counting your chickens before they are hatched.

    In any event, I’m glad that he is pleased with his purchases.

    1. scottf200 says:

      This video appears to show it automatically stopping so your comment is confusing.

  12. Spider-Dan says:

    It is quite the stretch to give a “long term review” to a car that you’ve had for less than 3 months.

    Looking forward to seeing some “long-term” reviews of the Gen2 Volt and 30kWh Leaf before Xmas!

  13. Three Electrics says:

    A review without any negatives is not a review at all.

    1. ffbj says:

      I hear you are coming up for a review soon and by your definition it will be a review.

  14. John says:

    Liked the article especially the last picture!