After a long wait to review a Tesla I am offered a Model S last minute on Mother's Day weekend! WOOO HOOOO… Happy Mother's Day to me!!
Of course, I can not say no! Let's fiund out how I get on…
I arrive at the showroom and it looks BEAUTIFUL! Plugged in, gleaming and spotless! Look at that… it is STUNNING!
I am handed the key as if it is mine and I get to keep it… I WISH!! As I walk towards the car door handles pop out of the sides and wing mirrors unfold.. SWOON!!
The key is as carefully designed as the car and later in the day, my daughter thinks the key is wonderful too!
I get a very helpful and informative run through the Model S with a Tesla salesman and we head off on our introductory drive. As I drive through the city there are lots of traffic lights and intersections and as I take my foot off the accelerator to brake I get to experience the Tesla's ‘regenerative' braking for the first time. The immediate slowing of the car when you take your foot off the accelerator, adds charge to the battery. Once I get used to it I hardly use the brakes at all! I am glad at this point I have the salesman next to me to talk me through this as well as all the controls, he answers all my questions until I am happy and familiar with driving the car.
And then I can take it home!
Don't worry, I don't forget to ask him where fart mode is before I go!
Dropping the salesman back at the showroom and I'm off! The Model S is delightful to drive. It is so quiet and smooth and everything feels intuitive. This first journey on my own I realise I am driving differently to I do in any other car. I am using the visuals on the screen in front of me while I'm driving because it shows me what vehicles are around me and I trust it!
I am also using the large reversing camera image, on the even more enormous media screen, because that is showing me what's happening behind me. Both of these screens images instantly help my visibility and become part of my decision-making process when changing lanes etc.
I cruise home using the ‘Autopilot' driving mode on the motorway (essentially excellent cruise control) until halfway home when a siren starts going off and a very sternly worded notice on the screen in front of the steering wheel tells me I am banned from using ‘Autopilot' for the rest of my journey because I didn't pay enough attention! Truly scolded and feeling like a naughty school girl I drive the rest of the way myself… it already feels old skool!!
Another thing I become aware of when I come off the motorway and head into town is the braking or lack of having to brake I should say! The regenerative brakes mean that when I take my foot off the accelerator the car instantly starts to stop, without me touching the brake pedal. I remember this feeling in the Hyundai Kona Electric but not as instantly as this. Although it is an unfamiliar feeling at first, I find by the end of the weekend I have totally forgotten about it and my driving has adapted. I begin to wonder about a day when we are only driving with one pedal!
After some around town testing, I take the Model S to the studio and start my boot space testing. It is incredible and all shapes and sizes of strollers fit with a good amount of shopping.
I am pleasantly surprised with the interior too when I discover three child seats will fit across the rear seats. See my full review here.
I do the rest of my reviewing and tests, then worried about the salty ocean air smearing the good looks of this gleaming attraction in my driveway overnight, I park it up in the studio until filming the next day!
One thing I notice quite quickly during filming is the Tesla Model S attracts quite a bit of attention! Even on the motorway a lot of people are looking and smiling and during filming I had a couple follow me in their car, pull off the road and stop next to me and look out of their window and start discussing the car as if I am not there! A lady comes out of her house to talk to me about it and filming starts to take a lot longer than planned! I don't know at this point but this is going to happen all weekend!
Keen to get my family onboard and start my testing we all hop in and I spend Saturday afternoon like a taxi driver! With my three-year-old daughter on board, we have a lot of requests from friends and neighbours for “a go in the Tesla Model S!” All too happy to spend the day driving, we pick up and drop off each one. I play driver and friends come around so everyone can see what a Tesla Model S is like and they all experience fart mode!
The Tesla Model S is like a fairground attraction where ever I take it but as most of us discover, when you put your foot down driving it you feel more g-force than a roller coaster. One passenger even said he felt it in his nether regions!! I'll take his word for it!!
During a beautiful afternoon hugging the Sunshine Coast in this quietest of speed machines, the Tesla starts to cast its sleep spell on my daughter who's falling asleep dangerously close to 3pm, which I refer to as the “danger zone”. Let her nap now and I will have a child still awake at 9pm tonight, so I call time on my chauffeur service and deliver everyone home!
Mother's Day was my day! I had a lie in!! Sorry to boast but only a parent will understand the exhilarating feeling of not being woken up until 7am and then going back to sleep for a further ninety minutes! I can count on one finger the number of times that has happened in three and a half years! Pure bliss!!
I had a cup of tea, two bunches of beautiful flowers, a homemade card, a keyring and a beautifully decorated pot plant from daycare and a worrying drawing of me, delivered to me in bed, from my beautiful daughter! 🙂
Rejuvenated from my morning nap we head out as a family for Mother's Day and drive up into the Sunshine Coast hinterland to Mapleton and Maleny. Both picturesque little towns along twisty, hilly roads with stunning views along the way! I took the opportunity to be chauffeur driven for the trip up and sat in the back with our daughter, from where we both enjoyed the view through the enormous glass roof, the clouds and the trees as we made our way through the rainforest-lined, winding country roads.
Extremely comfortable in the back, the Tesla Model S is also a lot of fun of the twisty roads with instant acceleration. We also notice the hills are no match for it and it continues as if it hasn't even felt them! You'd feel most cars change gear to cope, but not this one!
I start to consider the distance left on the battery and use the sat-nav screen to tell us exactly what range is left. The GREAT thing in the Tesla Model S and one of those things that just shows you that Tesla ‘gets it' is the range shows you if the battery will get you both there and back! Simple but so needed! You can also see there and back via the supercharger, which apparently we wouldn't make so we definitely needed to source a charging point on our outing!
First things first I want my Mother's Day lunch! Cliche I know, but it's nice to enjoy something you haven't cooked!! We head to Mapleton to Rosy Robin's cafe, a beautiful little cafe where you can sit out on the verandah and look at the amazing views with yummy food! Did I mention I didn't have to cook it 😉
As well as THE most stunning views across the Sunshine Coast!
My secret for keeping my daughter entertained when we go out for lunch is playdough! We take it everywhere with us, roll it out into long sausages and use the cafe cutlery to chop it up! We often end up giving some away to kids on neighbouring tables who stare longingly at us!!
Having fed our tummies with good food and our souls with the fresh mountain air and each others' company it was time to get back in the Tesla! We head to the next country town of Maleny, to the Botanical Gardens to charge the car. I have noticed that Tesla chargers tend to be located in beautiful or interesting locations which may be cleverly done to give you something to do while you are charging?! This is no exception, the views are stunning and it's a pleasure to spend an hour here. When we first arrive we experience being “iced” the term used for when non-electric vehicles park in the EV charging spaces and so you can't charge up and are literally left powerless!
We did another lap or two of the car park and when we returned one had moved, thankfully because by now the screen showed we wouldn't make it home!! Our daughter LOVES helping me plug the car in and finds electric cars so exciting, as do I!
We easily while away an hour, while my daughter enjoys collecting some natural treasures and making flower soup.
I enjoy a relaxing laze on a bench in the warm afternoon sun while the Tesla charges and my husband enjoyed the view from the tree house.
There is lots to do at the Maleny Botanical Gardens, they have a huge aviary full of beautiful and colourful birds, the grounds are stunning and they have a tea room. Being Mother's Day it was extremely busy and so we just quietly enjoyed the serenity and sunshine without participating in anything.
Or we did until the bird talk ended and the entire aviary emptied out and the Tesla became their next attraction! I did have a little fun with it when people got close I pressed the key fob discreetly so the handles popped out of the sides of the car or the bonnet opened!! It was fun to see peoples' reactions thinking their proximity had made it happen!!
We played around a little testing the boot and ‘froot' (front boot) size using our daughter as the luggage (this was just for fun I am in no means suggesting anyone puts their child in the boot or froot).
Our girl spends some time creating her masterpiece on the big touchscreen's ‘paint mode' and practising writing her name which is pretty cute!
It is a relaxing and peaceful hour or so while the battery tops up a little and then we head back home, Taking in the breathtaking views of the Glass House Mountains on the way down. Mother's Day is complete for another year!
My daughter and I have a Monday morning playdate with her car fanatic little friend and of course, we mummies play a little game of spot the Tesla key! The kids love it 🙂 I'm quite impressed that they already have a Tesla Model X toy and the kids didn't take long to spot it! Can you??
What about now?
After our playdate, I go to finish off my filming BUT this is cut short by a call from the Tesla salesman that they need the car back straight away because it has sold over the weekend! With a ninety minute drive ahead of me, I bundle my daughter in the back and we head back to Fortitude Valley to return the Model S to its new owner!
I did plan to charge the Tesla Model S before driving it back but with no time for that, I feel pretty nervous when the screen says I will arrive with only 7% battery! What I discover on the return journey is that if I do not use the ‘Autopilot' or play music then I get a few more vital percentages on the battery, which could make all the difference and made me feel a lot more relaxed!
Obviously, my daughter feels relaxed by this too, after the inbuilt Spotify playing a few songs of Daniel Tiger she is asleep for the whole journey… do I have to give this car back!?
My daughter sleeps A LOT in electric cars! I'm not sure whether it is the excitement and fun of the weekend that's worn her out or the silence or the motion?
We make it with 7% battery remaining and plugged the car in quick to the supercharger outside the showroom.
Saddened I got back into a normal car 🙁 After the Tesla Model S, nothing feels quite the same!