Is The Tesla Model S Really A Favorable Family Car?

Tesla Model S

MAY 16 2018 BY EVANNEX 11

HOW DOES THE TESLA MODEL S STACK UP AS A FAMILY CAR?

Sure, the Tesla Model S can hold its own on the race track. But can it haul… umm, the kids? Nedahl Stelio at Australia’s Cars Guide, “was interested to see how the Model S would stack up for a family… can the quiet achiever live up to its smooth reputation, and justify its not insubstantial price-tag?” Stelio spent a full week in a Model S 75D with her family of four to find out.

Read Also: Tesla Model X Captures Australia’s 2017 Good Design Award

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: The Tesla Model S at sundown (Instagram: pdespati)

The first thing that struck Stelio was that “the Tesla is quiet. There are no growls, there are no grunts. Just a soft, low whistling that sounds like it’s straight out of Star Trek. It’s how you know this is the future, rather than the past of the car industry. It literally whizzes up hills, sticks flat around corners and is basically like you’re driving a spaceship, or at least, the next best thing.”

Hoe does it look? She explains, “Elongated, curved lines give it a premium look and feel… which lends that extra level of luxury.” As for the vegan leather interior, the “inside is lush. The Model S I tested came with a sharp black and white interior which is a classic colour combination that works brilliantly. I’m not sure how practical the white is for families however by some miracle my two girls kept it clean for the entire week which is definitely not normal! But gosh it looks good.”

Above: Writer Nedahl Stelio likes the look of Tesla’s vegan leather white seats (Instagram: nedahlstelio)

Was it spacious enough for her family? In addition to its frunk, the Model S boot “at 744 litres [is] bigger than most SUVs. Anything I could fit into an SUV standing up, I could fit lying down in the Model S, and there is an extra deep spot of extra storage with a lid you can remove, just in case you do need vertical space… [and] the Model S still has a huge amount of interior [cabin] airspace.”

How safe is it for the family? Stelio notes, “There are three top tether points and three ISOFIX points for kids’ car seats. The heavy battery along the bottom of the car helps keep the centre of gravity low, which reduces the chance of a rollover… and of course there is no petrol in the car to catch alight. Newer safety features are included like Auto Emergency Braking (AEB), plus lane departure and collision warnings. It gets a full five stars on the ANCAP rating.”

Above: A look at the Model S at night (Instagram: pdespati)

To wrap things up, Stelio concludes, “Clearly, I dig this car. The speed, the silence, the style, the space, the smart way it operates and updates, plus the no-petrol-electric-car factor win big points from me. It’s the kind of car you get when you want to up the luxury and technology stakes to a whole extra level, or just want a five seater that’s not an SUV but has better boot space than one… I gave it a family rating of 9 out of 10, and my kids also gave it their stamp of approval.”

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Source: Cars Guide

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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11 Comments on "Is The Tesla Model S Really A Favorable Family Car?"

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Johan M

As we have 3 kids in child seats we had to get a Model S. But I still prefer driving my i3 and always do when going alone, with the wife or just one or two kids. The Model S is just too heavy and lacks that premium feeling compared to the BMW.

David S.

The LEAF is also large enough to fit three child seats. I always choose the LEAF over the minivan when I have 4 passengers.

WARREN

I second that. I was driving/testing the P100D this weekend with my Dragy GPS unit. Got 2.83 sec 0-60mph without the 1ft roll out my Vbox usually includes. The Tesla is fun for the instant acceleration, but I prefer the lightweight agility, directness, and ease of maneuvering the i3 around town over the Tesla.

pjwood1

You’re comparing an i3 to a Model S?

In my i3 test drive, I couldn’t get over how the company pushed up the bench seat (and those seating materials?). I couldn’t figure out if being higher above a low-roll center, or the sidewall flex of poor tires was making it feel so unstable? I thought, the company clearly gimped this car, compared to what it wants to sell. The Watts-link rear axle of the Cadillac ELR, I tested the same day, felt much better. Lower. Cadillac didn’t want to sell that car, either. So, they did it with price, not stunts like the windows, gas tank, or range.

There is no comparison, unless you have to have the low weight. But this review was for a family car. Maybe egress for the benefit of the children matters. Think of the children. Does the BMW let them out, or let them roll down the window for air. Again, no comparison, but nice try.

ModernMarvelFan

I love the Model S. It is still the best product ever designed and made by Tesla, despite all other offering by Tesla so far.

Bruce Sanders

Great photos! Can someone explain to me the IIHS comments on the Model S headlamps? If you are a Model S owner, how do you find them – do they throw out enough light or are they “weak” as noted. They found the Model 3 headlamp performance “acceptable”.

Pluto

I can. IIHS wants to reduce pedestrian deaths, which have gone up sharply since smartphones became popular. Pedestrian deaths are the worst in the dark, in urban areas where there isn’t a crosswalk. By being obsessive about headlights, IIHS hopes that in cars where you can see farther in the dark it’ll make a difference.

http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/on-foot-at-risk-study-highlights-rising-pedestrian-deaths-points-toward-solutions

It has little to do with Tesla, the headlights are fine.

CDAVIS

Article title: “Is The Tesla Model S Really A Favorable Family Car?”
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I’ve owned several family sedans over the years from a Ford Taurus to a Mercedes S-Class… by a long shot my current Tesla Model S tops them all and the only family sedan I’d buy again. It’s cabin size and storage capacity is like having an SUV in a sedan form factor… almost magic like. Also, the Model S has been the least maintenance required of any car I’ve ever owned… and each morning I start out with a full charge so no more regular trips to the gas station. It’s also a blast to drive! … and every few weeks the car gets better through an OTA update.

JP

HVAC in the back is inadequate, and back-seat passengers have to ask the front-seat occupants to adjust seat heaters.

pjwood1

Apart from low depreciation, “family car” is a number one reason to get one of the 75D, or 100D. They hold value so well, relative to the ‘PD’ cars, which can be over-priced. Almost zero 100D Model S’s have shown up in CPO, or otherwise used, and it’s been a good year+. They have to be available, for values to fall.

Families just keep these cars, I imagine because they have plenty of flexible passenger and cargo room, can do family trips with (or without) super-charging, and they drive much more sublime than anything else, Competition by much cheaper, maybe extended range, cars wouldn’t be that hard, but you’ll find its true that electric drive typically comes with strings attached.

With all the news this week, in the U.S. about CAFE standards, it should be clear what the auto-makers want (or will tolerate), when it comes to stopping innovation. Is Tesla a part of the AAM lobby? There’s that, too.

John

Moving from a Leaf to the Model S with a family of 4 was an absolute no-brainer. Room and comfort for days, range-o-rama, performance for the driving experience, awesome AWD performance in inclement weather, it’s just a super-great car.