Is the Tesla Model S the “Easiest Car to Drive?”

DEC 15 2013 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 23

Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S is a stunning piece of electric machinery, but is it truly the “easiest car to drive?

Shift to D and Go...It's As Simple as That

Shift to D and Go…It’s As Simple as That

One Wall Street Journal reviewer seems to think so and here’s why:

“…the Model S gets so much of the automotive minutiae out of the way that the driver can concentrate on working the steering wheel and pedals — actually driving. You don’t even have to turn the Tesla on. Just get in, shift to “D” for drive and go.”

Those are the words of Wall Street Journal writer Jonathan Welsh who goes on to say this:

“The vehicle comes to life as soon as you approach. Doors unlock, dashboard instruments illuminate and by the time you take the wheel the car is ready to roll. There’s no need to turn a key or press a button.”

This is not to say that the Model S doesn’t have a driver involvement factor.  As Welsh adds:

“The Tesla still lets the driver feel like the captain at the helm, and its huge, intuitive touchpad panel makes it easy to operate and adjust the car’s systems — much easier than with BMW’s i-Drive and similar multilayered, annoying systems from just about every other luxury-car maker. You don’t need to spend nights in the garage with your face buried in a thick owner’s manual before feeling comfortable driving the Tesla across the country.”

Isn’t that the way all automobiles should be?  Or do you prefer spending countless long nights pouring over the owner’s manual?

Source: Wall Street Journal

Categories: Tesla

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23 Comments on "Is the Tesla Model S the “Easiest Car to Drive?”"

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Anon

CherylG could not drive this car. Too complex. Not status quo. 😉

CherylG

Actually I’ve driven the MS many times. If you find the MS so complex, I would recommend you stay away from any vehicles with a 6 speed manual transmission.

Personally I prefer vehicles that are complex and engaging, not simple vehicles. I know men have a hard time multiple-tasking so I can clearly understand why simple and dumbed down is better for some people like yourself.

Regardless, I find it humorous that you feel so intimidated by a female with opinions different than yours that you apparently feel the need to speak for me.

Anon

Clueless as ever. I was clearly speaking on your behalf, not mine– Tesla Troll. 😀

Alok

Very happy to hear how “driver friendly” it is.
And to make it more and more convenient to drive around…
(as already mentioned in other post’s comments…sorry for that):

5 new Superchargers just opened in Europe: the first of Switzerland and the first 4 in Germany.
That seems to complete at least a first level of the Amsterdam-Munich corridor announced for Winter 2013.
Total Europe: 13
Total US: 41
Total World: 54
A new Supercharger a day…keeps gasoline away!!!

Usual links:
http://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger
http://www.teslawiki.net/supercharger/

Big Solar

Love it! Best car ever made! I do like the 1960 Chevy Sedan Delivery too but still no comparison!

David Murray

I can honestly say that our Leaf was so intuitive that I did not need to read the manual to understand how to use any of its controls. Our Chevy Volt, on the other hand, required the use of the manual on many occasions to figure out basic functions.

Anon

I liked sitting in the Leaf. Thought it was fun and intuitive to drive, too. It’s just when standing outside of it, looking at the exterior… ;p

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Yeah, the center stack on the Volt is a mess, though I’m partial to the physical dials and I think I’d miss them in a Tesla. GM pared down the button count between the 2011 and 2013, but it’s still hard to use without looking at it. Plus, the touch tech is primitive and in 2011 (let alone 2013) the market is spoiled by fast multitouch capabilities the Volt doesn’t have.

Man, I hope Tesla pulls an Apple when the Model X comes out, by keeping prices the same for the Model S but bumping the battery capacity, so the 85kWh is priced at where the 60kWh is now, the 60kWh takes the place of the 40kWh (that never actually got built), and there’s a new top tier 110kWh.

KenZ

Yeah, the center console is a cluster. One of the two things we actively dislike about our volt. The other being more blind spots than Ray Charles.

Foo

And the center cluster is a console!

ModernMarvelFan

In the Volt, just about every touch sensitive function can be duplicated on the touch screen..

Mercedes-Benz

didnt have to look at any manual for the volt, the volt is easy to use, way better than the crap leaf

SeattleTeslaGuy

While I love my tesla, this is just plain silly. Yes, it’s an easy car to drive. But then, so is almost every other modern car. I also own a prius and it is easy to drive too. You do have to push start button though, horrors!

One thing about the tesla that does take some getting used to is the fact that regen is tied to the accelerator pedal (full regen when your foot is off the pedal and coasting is about half way in). This is wonderful when you get used to it but it does take some time to get a feeling for it.

Electric Car Insider

Fortunately there is a user-controlled setting for that, so if you like a lighter regen, you can have it. That would be a useful feature on all electrics, I hope it becomes standard.

SeattleTeslaGuy

Well, yeah, but setting regen to low doesn’t remove the effect, just reduces it. And, frankly it is pretty stupid from a range perspective. If you took a poll, I’d bet that the number of people that have it set low would round to zero.

Aaron

We can have a huge war of the benefits of regen versus coasting. For my driving — exclusively in the city with stop-and-go traffic — regen is the best for me. For highway driving, maybe coasting is best. Don’t say “stupid” when everyone’s drive is different.

MikeM

“pouring over the owner’s manual?”

I almost spilled/poured coffee on my laptop on reading this.
Folks – Pore over it if you must, but please don’t abuse your auto’s fine manual!

Foo

I pour over insideevs.com every day.

Mercedes-Benz

no, the easiest car to drive is the Smart Electric, smallest legal car in the US, key in, put it in D, parking brake down, GO. its the easiest because its also the smallest, a small car is easier to drive than a large car, also way more fun, but every electric car is easy to drive, who cares if its easy though

Foo

No, driving the Tesla has two fewer steps that the Smart (and most other cars) than you listed. I think that was the point.

Electric Car Insider

Californians who want to see for themselves which is the easiest car to drive, in side-by-side test drives, will be able to in February at the Electric Car Guest Drive events. I would
say that the Tesla is “easier” because, assuming the key is in your pocket, there is so little to do. It’s almost unnervingly simple. When friends get in to drive for the first time they invariably say “that’s it!?” as I had performed some little magic trick.

It can lull you into complacency though. Now, when I drive the Fiat 500e, I routinely get out and walk away leaving the key in the ignition, forgetting momentarily that it won’t turn itself off and lock itself up when you walk away.

Although the Ford Focus Electric is keyless, you do have to push the power button on the dash and lock button on the wireless key/fob.

Nice to see some innovation in car UI. Pretty soon it will say “Hello Dave”. That might be worrisome.

SeattleTeslaGuy

Yeah, I can see it now, you floor the accelerator and the car says “I’m sorry Dave, I can’t do that”.

My fiance’ regularly give me grief when I drive her car (a CRV). Sometimes I never even turn it off when I get out.

Bill G.

I’ll worry when Tes’ won’t “open the pod bay doors.”