We are no stranger to buyer’s remorse, but 2.5 years and 33,000 totally-free miles later, the Tesla Model S continues to make us as happy (and probably even happier) than the day we bought it. We are early(ish) adopters of Tesla, buying our pearl white Model S 85D–named Wattson–back in August 2015 using a friend’s referral code. There are so many features we love, but the following stand out…
Buy any Tesla (Model S, Model X or Model 3) using our Tesla referral code to get 1,000 miles of free supercharging !
Wattson improves over time
Just sitting in our garage at night, Wattson gets new features that improve how the car performs. For example, one night we couldn’t activate autopilot on Wattson, and the next morning we woke up with a car that had adaptive cruise control and could keep itself within the lane markings on a road. Wattson connects to wifi when it’s in our home, and Tesla–about every few months–sends over-the-air software updates to improve the car. Some of these updates are mundane, such as bug fixes, but many of them are impressive updates that enhance our ownership of the car. To name a few: enhanced autopilot, Summon (basically allows you to move the car while not being in it), redesigned user interfaces, improved maps, and GPS-enabled Homelink (to have your car magically open your garage, gates, etc). As an owner, if there’s something you don’t like about the car, you can always make a suggestion to Tesla, and who knows, the next software update may fix just that!
The car isn’t the only thing that gets better with time. Tesla has a great referral program where you can give friends and family discounts on their purchase. Currently, Tesla is offering 1,000 miles of free supercharging for people who get a Tesla referral code. For every referral code that your friends use, you can win awesome prizes such as putting your picture in space or a child-sized version of a Tesla! The referral code program changes often, so keep an eye out. You can find the latest referral code and program by clicking the treasure chest icon in the Tesla mobile app.
An electric car that looks beautiful
Listen, let’s all be honest here: The Nissan Leaf is ugly. So are mainstream hybrid cars, such as the Toyota Prius and the Ford Fusion. We probably offended a few people (sorry!), but we’re not sure why carmakers decided that environmentally friendly means that a car needs to look so…weird. Tesla proved that an electric car can look as beautiful as any other car on the road. The sleek-yet-aerodynamic contours of the exterior coupled with the refined-meets-minimalist interior make this a car that will turn heads for years to come.
Driving thousands of miles for $0
We’ve taken several long-distance road trips from California to Nevada, Seattle, and Texas. After thousands of miles driven, our cost? $0. The first time we drove Wattson home to Texas, it boggled our families’ minds that we could drive so far and not pay a cent. One caveat: New Tesla Model S and X owners receive a capped amount of free supercharging per year (400 kWh or about 1,000 miles) and then must pay a small fee for each kWh or amount of time charging, which varies depending on the area. Model 3 owners do not receive any free charging and must pay a small fee.
This change was inevitable. With so many more Teslas on the road, Tesla needs to manage supercharger use to help minimize long lines. According to Tesla, the cost to charge a car to go 1,000 miles is about half the cost of filling up a car with gasoline to go that distance. So, even though you have to pay for supercharging, it’s still quite a bit cheaper than filling up a car with gasoline.
Speaking of free supercharging: We love this car so much and wouldn’t promote it in this way if we didn’t. Tesla gave us a referral code that gives you 1,000 miles of free supercharging when you use the code to purchase a new Tesla Model S, Model X or Model 3. If you’re in the market for a Tesla, feel free to use it!
Little to no range anxiety
For the first few months, we totally had range anxiety. The 85D has a range of 270 miles, and we would sweat if it fell below 100 miles. Today, it’s not uncommon for us to pull into the garage or a supercharging station with 20 miles left. A couple of improvements have made range anxiety almost obsolete. First, the number of superchargers has increased from 100 in 2014 to over 1,100 worldwide as of this post. As long as you’re in a large metro area, you can pretty easily find a supercharger (or another electric charging station) to charge at.
Second, Tesla has improved its maps to automatically route you through superchargers if they are needed to reach your destination. For example, a month ago we drove to Texas. After inputting our destination address, Wattson mapped out the superchargers we would need to stop at, how long we needed to charge, and what our charge would be when we arrived at the next supercharger. Tesla includes a buffer, so we arrived with 10-20% of charge at each station. We can add that Wattson was almost spot on with its estimates–we would typically arrive within 1-2% of the car’s estimate as long as we drove the speed limit.
Lots of random, cool features
There are too many cool features about Wattson to list, but here are a few (maybe lesser known) features we love:
- Using Homelink through the Tesla app. A few months ago, we walked out our front door, hit the lock button on the electronic keypad, and took our dog for a walk. When we got back to the front door, the keypad’s battery was dead. Without a physical key to open the door, we opened up our Tesla app and hit the Homelink button, which opened our garage. Voila, no locksmith!
- Massive amounts of cargo space. Prior to Wattson, we owned a Jeep Commander. The Jeep Commander had crazy amounts of room, and we were nervous that the Model S wouldn’t offer nearly as much. To our surprise, there is a ton of room in Wattson. Between the frunk (front part of the car with storage space because there’s no engine) and trunk, which includes a hidden cargo area at the bottom, we think Wattson has as much–if not more–usable cargo space than the Commander. That may or may not be backed up by numbers, but that’s definitely how it feels!
- GPS-enabled Homelink. This feature seems incredibly minor, but we love it. We live in a gated community, and as we approach the gate, Wattson automatically activates the Homelink button to open the gate. Same goes with our garage. It’s so nice to never worry about fumbling around with finding the right Homelink button.
As you can tell, Wattson is one of our favorite additions to the family. If you’re a Tesla owner, email us or add a comment below if we missed an important feature, or, if you have a question about owning a Tesla, feel free to ask any questions!