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Tesla Model X Review – I almost killed my Tesla twice and I charge at glory holes

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Model X Towed

Model X Towed

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An in-depth Tesla Model X Review

My Ocean Blue Model X

I ordered my Model X in March 2016, after I had been dreaming of its Falcon Wing doors and high-tech features. Long commutes in the heavily congested Belgian traffic made me long for its self-driving and autopilot capabilities. The car was configured to my liking and I opted for an Ocean Blue exterior, premium interior, 22 inch rims and the notorious autopilot. Joining the zero emission club and trading in my Maserati seemed near… but then the wait began. I opted for the P90 model as its range seemed to match my daily commute. Not being a car freak, ludicrous mode and all additional power upgrades did not interest me. After more than 70000 kilometers or 40000 miles I feel it is time to share my personal Tesla Model X Review.

Tesla Model X Review… But first wait for it…

That wait turned out to be 11 months. Delivery dates seemed to be pushed month after month. I expected a waiting time of a few months but not that long. In September after 6 months of waiting, a sales rep called me stating that he could push delivery if I upgraded to a 7-seat configuration instead of the 5-seat option I ordered. It would cost me a few thousands more but since I did not see the need for the 7-seat option, I kindly declined. I did not like the upsell attempt.

At the end of January 2017 I finally received the confirmation that the X would be delivered. Because of the delays I also missed some local subsidies because the program had ended. Nevertheless I was excited to go and get the car. A representative showed me how the beast worked and off I went.

A beautiful Butterfly

Model 3 With Elon Musk License Plate
Model 3 With Elon Musk License Plate

When I drove home the first time, people were watching. Kids were standing around the car in awe when the doors opened. My 5 year old son soon got the nickname ‘Tesla Boy” at school. Random people took pictures of the magnificent rims. The exclusive feeling the car brought would last about a year, that was the time it took for the X to become visible in Northern European streets. When traveling to France or Germany Teslas are still quite exclusive, but once you cross the Belgian border and go North the Teslas have become a normal part of traffic. There is even a model 3 driving around with an ELONMUSK license plate.

Tesla Model X Review: conquering Range-anxiety

The first few weeks were stressful. My home still had to be fitted with new electrical circuits and a sunroof so I relied on the slow standard plug-charging. I had to rely on superchargers and there were only 2 in my country at the time. Superchargingspeeds fluctuated a lot in the first year, I was never sure how long I would have to take a break. Trips to one of my business contacts in Amsterdam took hours longer than they previously used to. But I soon started to plan and make efficient use of the infrastructure. Two years later I have 6 superchargers within 100 kilometers (62 miles) from my house and I can use the network to hop virtually anywhere within Europe. Good job Elon!

I now have better charging facilities at home and at my workplace. The anxiety has now completely gone. It is however difficult to convince coworkers to use my Tesla when we travel for meetings to other European countries because it adds hours to our trip. We almost always end up using one of the companies BMWs. Since long distance travel by car only occurs a few times a year the time lost charging on longer commutes is not really a pain point for me.

Summer vs. Winter & erotic charging

Winters seem to drastically cut the car’s range. I seem to have between 10 and 20% less range depending the temperature. Me and my family recently went on a 1000 km (620 miles) trip this summer and we enjoyed the regular breaks. Superchargers do vary greatly in nearby amenities, sometimes we had all we could dream of (playground for the kids, nice restaurants, amazing surroundings). On the other hand some superchargers did not even have toilets.

Erotic Pleasure Center at the Oberhonnefeld Supercharger

One of the craziest places, Oberhonnefeld, Germany did not only have a Burger King but also some kind of erotic theme park with a glory hole. A good way to pass time! A Tesla Model X Review can not be complete without mentioning memorable supercharging moments.

Autopilot induced Depression

It was not all fun however, in 2017 I went though some kind of depression, thinking about the meaning of life while I autopiloted in my daily traffic jams. Good thing there was a nifty update where you could activate fart mode where the car would release random farts on demand of when taking a turn. Fun we had.

Incidents & clipped wings

I never really had to cope with real damage to my previous cars, all the cars I owned before the Tesla only needed their regular maintenance. The X brought some bad luck though. Most repairs were done by the same external bodyshop Tesla and my insurer seems to work with. As part of this Tesla Model X review I feel it important to stress that repairs might take some time. I am not sure if Tesla or the body shop is to blame.

  • Broken windshield: About a month after the delivery of the X the windshield cracked horizontally when the car was parked. The Insurance company and Tesla covered this but the repair (done by an external bodyshop) took weeks.
  • Accident #1 sliding down a snowy driveway: Winter. I confidently drive in and out of our inclined driveway even when covered with snow. My -then pregnant wife- gestures me to stop. I stop the car, get out to hear what she is saying, and the car slides from the inclining driveway and smashes in the garage. The front bumper is damaged. Repair took about 6 weeks, because the external bodyshop had to wait for parts.
  • Accident #2 Clipped the falcon wing doors: Brought my son back from swimming lessons. We came back from the swimming pool and entered the house while the Tesla’s doors were kept open. I had to do something in the garage. The garage is at the end of an inclined driveway and undergound. So I could not see that the doors were still open when I jumped back in the car. I came out of the garage, climbed in the drivers seat and drove in the garage. All kinds of alarms were going off but I wasn’t noticing theam because I usually do this small distance without my safety belt and since the garage is narrow the parking sensors always go bezerk. The car suddenly comes to a screeching halt: the falcon wing door wasn’t closed and I almost completely clipped it. This would not be an easy repair. It took the bodyshop 5 months to repair… in that period Elon launched the Roadster in space. I was jealous: why was that roadster more important than my Falcon Wings!
  • Bricked after update: In April this year the car seemed to have lost all its functionality after an update. Called Tesla service and we tried turning it on and off again. It didn’t work, it had to be towed. I had to do a presentation that day for all my coworkers… Service was great and the issues was resolved the same day.

The Cost of driving a Model X

Though very different models and types of car I can compare the annual running costs of both cars at same mileage and insurance level. I kept both for a year and can compare the running costs.

Annual taxation, maintenance costs and fuel costs clearly make a difference. The investment in a Model X is much higher, ideally we would compare with the Maserati Levante. Being an early Tesla buyer supercharging is free for the time being. I only pay when charging at home.

For those in the US, add 10% to the EUR figure and you have the USD value. Taxes and insurance costs may of course vary. A Tesla is cheaper to run. Tesla Also provided me with a Resale value guarantee where after 5 year the car would still keep 33% of its value. After 2 year I sold the Ghibli at half its value. Both cars seem to keep their value equally. The X has more horse power than the Ghibli but I sometimes miss the roaring sound of the engine.

Maserati GhibliTesla Model X
Price79900 EUR130000 EUR
Annual Tax790 EUR0 EUR
Annual Fuel Costs3500 EUR1800 EUR
Annual Maintenance Costs3000 EUR0 EUR
Insurance Costs2700 EUR2400 EUR

Inferior Interior & Trunkspace

Even with the premium interior I ordered the quality of interior finishing is far form the Maserati or the German cars my coworkers drive. The interior is very spartan compared to most high end cars in Europe. It looks clean and sleek but it misses attention to detail. The carpet at the drivers side always come loose, giving it a messy look. The X is also too wide for most European streets. I even scratched the rims in a Mc Donalds drive-in.

The wide car body and trunkspace is a blessing for transporting my family. We never had to worry about space when preparing for trips with our 6 year-old and baby. The font trunk (frunk) can even be used to hold iMac’s so you can give your Model X an apple look. I even used the trunk to move entire shelves of servers with 500TB storage.

I miss wireless phone charging, an option I have when driving with my coworkers BMWs and some BMWs have cool gesture commands. However, nothing compares to the Tesla’s entertainment systems. Games. Fireplace mode. Fart-mode. Autopilot. The browser is a bit slow though, unusable to surf the web. The navigation system seems to miss the ability to add via points or route according to special preferences. 4G coverage in Europe is great.

A true work of art

Considering all above, issues have been incidental and I only miss ‘details’. The X enriched my life with great stories. It also changed me, the way I travel and how I spend my time while driving. I have a true work of art in my hands and I became part of an automotive revolution. Minimal maintenance required and I get maximal technical capabilities. Would buy again. But maybe not the first generation of a new Tesla model.

If you would like to become an art collector like me and buy your Tesla, fell free to use my Tesla referral link and get some free supercharging.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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