There is plenty to love about the Tesla Model S Plaid. Rapid acceleration, incredible technology and plenty of space and practicality. Plus, whilst a base price of $129,990 is undoubtedly expensive, many would argue the Plaid still offers tremendous value for money given its supercar-beating performance. However, as Vehicle Virgins head Parker Nirenstein discovered, the car is not entirely perfect.
Before he delved into his issues with the Model S Plaid, Parker stated it was by far the best Tesla ever made and possibly the best daily driver money can buy. Fast, practical and tech-laden, it’s a brilliant all-round package. However, nothing is perfect and there is a number of annoying problems the Plaid has.
Firstly, Parker discussed the yoke steering wheel. Although easy to use and comfortable for highway driving, for parking and manoeuvring in tight spaces it can be a bit of a nightmare. Often you can even miss the steering wheel entirely when naturally going to place your hand on top of the wheel only discover nothing is there. Equally, in small turning radiuses you can’t shuffle the wheel easily. Simply put, Parker described it as awkward – and he isn’t the first reviewer to do so.
Furthermore, the location of the horn is quite frustrating. It is not located in the middle of the steering wheel, but instead as a small button on the top right of the yoke. Often you can hit it accidentally when turning sharply.
Another issue Parker had was the Plaid’s range. Despite Tesla’s claims of 348 – 390 miles (depending on what wheels you pick) he was averaging 150 – 170 miles. Although he admitted to driving the car in Plaid mode all the time, he still felt his real-world range was somewhat disappointing. After all, when you have a car as quick as a Model S Plaid you want to enjoy it and not be worried about having to conserve range.
Equally, he found the various driving controls awkward to operate. When the wheel is facing in its default position, you cannot actually see the menu option you need to select to view each drive mode. He thinks a separate controller to instantly put the car in Plaid mode would be ideal. Also, turning on launch control is a hassle as it requires turning on drag strip mode (which takes 2 – 10 minutes) and then enabling cheetah stance.
Finally, Parker’s hates the fact that the Model S Plaid looks so similar to every other Model S. He feels the facelift did not change the Model S enough, and he also noted the Plaid is not sufficiently distinguishable from the soon-to-launch Long Range Model S.
Before concluding his video, Parker outlined a number of features he feels Tesla should add to the Plaid: a heads-up display, ambient lightning, a passenger display and Plaid animations all throughout the car when accelerating. However, he still felt the Plaid was one of the best cars on sale today. Super-fast, comfortable, good looking and even with its own video games – there’s still plenty to love about Tesla’s Bugatti-beating super-sedan.