We have crossed the one month mark with my new Tesla model X, and now is a perfect time to do a one-month review, and give my initial thoughts and impressions on this vehicle.
The story leading up to the Model X
The Tesla model X has been a dream car of mine since 2016, when the first model X was produced. At the time I watch Björn Nyland on YouTube (still do today) when he got his model X that he won in a Tesla referral contest. Björn would do delivery tasks called Nimber. Similar to u-ship or other shipping websites, consumers would list up jobs for items to be shipped across the country, and shippers would bid against each other to take the job. Because Björn did not have to pay for electricity (as the 2016 Model X came with Free Unlimited Supercharging) and he had received the car for free (all except the gift tax) he had very little to no overhead. Björn would hook his trailer to his car, and plan out a trip to go across all of Norway delivering random items for people. He would live stream the entire time doing those deliveries and drives. Sometimes lasting from 12 to 24 hours. Not only would you get to see the great views in Norway, but you would also get to watch him do his work to make money while enjoying himself.
Although in 2016 the Tesla model X was a dream car of mine, it was one of those dreams that I never considered a realistic achievable goal. I love to in a way, live vicariously through Björn traveling Norway in my dream car.
Even when my business took off in 2020, I still did not consider a Tesla model X as a realistic goal or something I would ever be able to afford. In 2020 although the money did start rolling in more than it had ever done in history, I was still barely having any savings while paying off my Chrysler 300 and buying my Ram 1500. To be able to come up with $100,000 for a car seemed unachievable, and something that I probably wouldn’t do even if I had it. Growing up I never had a lot of money, in fact the most cash I’ve ever held was around $600. It was tough for me to spend $60,000 on a truck, but I knew that they were great benefits to the truck and that it would potentially last a long time. While you can get a brand new truck for $60,000 it did not make any sense to me to purchase a car that would cost two of those trucks.
In 2021 my friends begin to push the idea that my dream of a tesla could be somewhat met with a model Y. The Tesla model Y started at around $55,000 at the time, so cheaper than my truck. The model Y definitely was not a model X, but it was still a Tesla and it was a great opportunity to get into the electric world and learn about it. Without a lot of convincing I placed an order for a model Y long range.
Having watched Björn for five years, and watching him transition from his 2016 model S to eventually a 2020 model 3 performance, I decided the model Y would be the perfect opportunity for me to get in to the Tesla ecosystem. Plus, if I had a $50,000 Tesla already paid for, I could easily trade it later on and move into something bigger maybe a model X.
I went through a period of being uncertain about anything, every decision I made I regretted it almost immediately. I wasn’t sure what I wanted or what I didn’t want at that point. So I got rid of my model Y after only a few months. After going back and driving a gas vehicle and having to buy gas again I realized just what I was missing without having my model why. So I ordered a model Y performance.
The process of owning the model Y performance had its ups and downs. I received my car just after they had removed radar from the 3 and Y, so things like adaptive cruise control and autopilot were much much worse than my previous model Y that had radar. This alone was the reason I chose not to get full self driving on the performance. Having lived without a Tesla for a few months, reminded me exactly what parts of a tesla were the good parts, and I learn to enjoy those more than a few things that didn’t work because of the lack of radar.
The Ordering Process
In March 2021 it finally hit me that the possibility of me affording a Tesla model X was a realistic goal. The refresh had been announced for about two months, so I was a late adopter to the ordering process. But in March I placed an order for a Tesla model X. At the time I could not have afforded it, but it was only a $100 order deposit, and I figured the worst case is I would lose $100.
When I originally ordered, the expected delivery date was in June 2021. While I understand how Tesla and their deadlines don’t typically work out, I was not expecting the car to come until around October 2021.
Throughout the months, my order would get pushed from June, to July, To October, To December, to then July 2022. Briefly in February it moved back to March, Then back to July, then to June. I was extremely excited at this point because I expected that June was it! Then one morning I woke up to March 2023. At that point I was done waiting, there wasn’t another option even remotely comparable to the Tesla model X that I could’ve bought, but I probably would’ve considered it at that point if there were.
When my order date went to March 2023 and stayed there for about two weeks, I began to lose hope that it was going to come any time this year.
Just so happen there was a topic on the Tesla motor club forum about others being able to change their order however they wish without incurring any sudden price increase or change in time. It has been notoriously known that plaid orders would be delivered much faster than regular long range orders. It was at that point that I decided to send in an email requesting my order to be moved to a plaid. This was in June of 2022. Within 24 hours of changing my order to a plaid my estimated delivery date jumped to July 2022. Three days after changing my order to a plaid I received a Vin number on a date range within two weeks. It was less than two weeks that the car was on the lot ready to be picked up.
So was it all worth it? The car is everything I hoped it would be, everything I ever imagined it to be. The falcon wing doors work as flawlessly as expected, although I have heard stories of others not working that great. The car was delivered in pristine condition, no scratches, no problems, no panel gaps, nothing.
My first 500 miles only uncovered one issue, that was the satellite radio antenna was broke and satellite radio would not work at all. This did take two trips to the service center but was replaced for free under warranty.
When I first bought my first Tesla, there was a lot of talk around PPF and getting your car wrapped to protect the paint. Having owned two Teslas already I had high expectations of having no issues with the paint. I had driven for a combined total of nearly 40,000 miles between my two Model Y’s without a single paint issue. I have been as far south as Florida, and as far North as Maine in my Model Y’s. What I did not expect is the paint on my much more expensive model X to be way thinner than my Y’s. In only 3,000 Miles on the X, I have two fairly noticeable large paint chips from what I assume are rocks. The first one we noticed at a car show, as I was cleaning the car up. The second happened at a completely different time about 2 weeks later. I have not seen anything hit the car, or heard any impacts that would lead me to believe there would be any noticeable damage.. There have been no impacts to the windshield at all, which was my main area of concern being it was so large.
As for now I have ordered a Tesla touch up paint repair kit, and hopefully one day I can give that a try.. Although I would prefer to do it once I have my garage built, so that the car can sit in the garage away from the elements for a few days, so that the paint can properly cure.
The model X is still my favorite car to drive, and it is always my go to no matter where I’m going. Being a dream car of mine it’s hard to find things that I don’t like about it. However one thing I would consider is the cost, upgrading to plaid pushed this car’s MSRP north of $160,000.00. Obviously I’ve never owned a vehicle to cost this much, or actually even half as much… With that in mind it’s hard for me to just go in this car. I have always been a going type of person, I like to go places even if I have no reason to go there. But I find myself wanting to use the X for essential things only, not just to go riding for no reason. At a price tag like that I feel like each mile hast account because it is a very expensive mile.
With that in mind, that is why I’m considering purchasing an electric truck for daily use reserving my model X for special occasions, and vacations. It is still my most favorite vehicle, and I will likely still drive it half the time. Ultimately I only expect to keep it for about four years, when the manufactures warranty expires. At that time I’m going to want to try to get as much as possible back out of it when I sell it.
Things that I was worried about before I got the car where things like the lack of stalks for signals and changing drive direction, and the yoke steering wheel.. All of those have not been as hard to get used to as I expected them to be. I do enjoy the yoke steering wheel, although I would still prefer around steering wheel, and having the signals as a Touch Sensitive button on the steering wheel is not as hard as I thought it would be to learn how to use, but I would still prefer a stalk because there are times mid turn where you are unable to hit the button on the wheel. Lastly the Drive Direction selector is pretty accurate on automatic, it knows the correct direction to go 90% of the time, and for the other 10% changing direction on the screen has been easy.
The car does have physical touch sensitive buttons that you can press to change the direction, which I typically use to put the car in neutral for going to the car wash. Although I do wish these buttons lit up at all times and were easier to use.
One feature that I had completely overlooked until I owned the car was the Automatic doors. The front driver door will open automatically when you approach the car, and close when you put your foot on the brake pedal. There was one point where the car was unlocking an opening the door when I was nowhere near it, so I turned this feature off temporarily (I believe there was a software bug causing this, which was eventually fixed). However it didn’t take very long for me to turn it back on because I missed the doors opening for me as I approached.
We will be taking the model X on its first vacation road trip in just under 2 weeks, so I can’t wait to see how it does. Just in my daily driving I have noticed a great increase in range compared to my model Y performance. The Model Y having only a 82.5kWh battery pack, and the Model X has a 100kWh battery, the difference is very noticeable. It’s also very neat for me to be able to plug my car in, charge 20% and automatically know that I received 20kWh. It takes a lot of the math work out of figuring it up.
Just before purchasing my model X the Tesla official CCS adapter had just become popular, and were being imported from South Korea. I was lucky enough to get one myself from South Korea. I had paid for the upgrade to make my model Y performance able to use the CCS adapter, so I was on top of it when I picked up my model X to make sure that it also was compatible at the time of purchase. Luckily no additional hardware was required to make my model X compatible, as it came ready day one. Although I haven’t completely charge the car with CCS yet, I have tested it multiple times without issues. I mentioned this, because I’m likely going to be fast charging more with CCS if available, rather than Superchargers. While the price of superchargers have gone up to an average of $0.40/kWh locally, CCS Remains at an average of $0.31/kWh (with a $4/month membership). Although I don’t maintain the membership yet, I likely will once I have a non-Tesla vehicle that I daily Drive.
3,000 Miles in just one month is definitely not anything id consider to be low mileage, and in fact will equal out to be upwards of 36,000 Miles per year. This would mean my warranty is out in the first year, and the resale value of the vehicle would plummet. At least with a second daily driver, I may be able to manage putting around 18,000 Miles per year, each. Even if the bumper to bumper warranty were out, my main concern warranty wise would be the battery and drive unit. Those warranties are good until 8 years or 150,000 miles.
I did park the car for seven days at the airport, something I likely wouldn’t have done a year ago. It’s taken me this long to get used to a Tesla and how the battery can drain while parked to fully understand what to expect while parked for a week. Given my understanding that with sentry mode enabled I would only lose about 7% per day, I opted to leave sentry on while I was gone for the seven days. I arrived at the airport with about 82% battery left. I would randomly check in on the car while on vacation, just to see where my battery currently stood. When I arrived back 7 days and 7 hours later my battery was sitting at 38% (Drained less than expected). Plenty of juice to get me back home. Had I chose to disable sentry mode, I likely would have only lost 7-8% total, and would have been fine. (The car will lose about 1% per day if it’s allowed to sleep)
Overall I am very pleased with the car, even though I am disappointed in the paint quality. It’s everything I imagined it would be, and the few things that I was afraid I would not be able to get used to were not that hard at all. Unless Tesla makes another major change to the model X within the next four years, I do plan to keep it until the warranty is out and then I will likely order another model X to replace it with unless something else comes to market the catches my eye.
I will definitely post some follow up reviews, as well as anything that comes up that may be of importance while on vacation with the car.