[Oeva-list] Model Y test drive

Alan Batie alan at batie.org
Sat Jun 20 20:15:30 PDT 2020


Just got back from Portland and test driving a Tesla Model Y.  The short 
of it was yes!  I can easily get in/out of it, even in the back seat. 
The back seats fold to make a flat cargo area and the rear hatch is a 
proper hatch.  As the Tesla guy put so well, "this is what the Model 3 
should have been".

It had the "full self-driving autopilot" too; ironically it was bad 
enough that if I get a Y, I will probably go ahead and get the self 
driving feature - if it's not going to be perfect, I want it to be bad 
enough to keep me paying attention.  It definitely has a ways to go, 
with such things as stopping for "traffic control" even when it could 
tell the light was green and not red, and when you're not navigating, 
but still on full autopilot, you can use the turn signal to tell it to 
change lanes, but not to take an exit.

I do like the way the Leaf drives better, but there are a number of 
things you can tweak in the Tesla, and regardless, I'm sure I'd get used 
to it quickly - it wasn't bad.  And the center console is much better 
than I expected as well - I'd still rather have some of the info right 
in front of me, but I'm definitely spoiled by the size of the map and 
the clean display of the info you need.  It was also cool to have it 
showing icons of the vehicles around me, even distinguishing motorcycles 
from cars, and a couple of different kinds of car icons.  It also 
distinguished pedestrians in the parking lot at the Tesla store, though 
not as quickly as I would have liked.

Pluses:
+ ease of getting in/out
+ cargo area
+ big display
+ basic "autopilot" is a decent active cruise control
+ user interface is pretty easy to navigate
+ adjusting steering wheel and mirrors with little scroll wheels is 
really nice
+ navigation system didn't tell me to stay on I-5 when going past some 
of the interchanges that the Leaf does - I want to know where the next 
turn is, not where I don't need to do anything (a pet peeve with most 
nav systems)

Minuses:
- dark rearview mirror
- tiny view out the back
- lots of things to learn in the user interface (e.g. didn't notice 
where the hvac controls were, though I wasn't looking for them either - 
but still, didn't run across them)
- it wasn't obvious how to configure waypoints in the nav system, only a 
single destination
- price ;-)

I still need to check out the RAV4 Prime when it comes out, but I've 
gone from 90% RAV4 to 50%... (when I replace the Leaf when the lease 
runs out next spring...if I can wait that long ;-) )

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