Tesla vs Luxury cars

I’m lost . Why do people compare Tesla with luxury cars ? What is luxury about it ?


Those people are not car enthusiasts. They know nothing about cars. They just like to buy trendy things.


I’m genuinely curious; what’s your reasoning for thinking they’re not? I personally don’t know one way or the other

The build quality. The interior materials. The customer service. After-sales service and body shop repairs.


You name it

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I talked to few of them. They are oblivious to all things drivers appreciate in a car. they want cars with no gears, no steering feedback, no exhaust sound, high center of gravity, auto pilot on etc.

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I actually test drove a Model Y for 30 minutes today.

Teslas are good “numbers” cars: best range, best efficiency, more interior volume, quickest acceleration, biggest screen/fastest processor, etc. They do very well on a spreadsheet when compared against cars of similar MSRP.

The actual experience leaves me a bit cold. Build quality on Model Y is poor – trunklid gaps are huge, the seats show wear at 1,500 miles, and the doors slam with a junky sound.

People compare Teslas with luxury cars because they cost about the same. For example, a Model 3 is similar to 3-series, C-Class, and A4 in size and price.

Tesla products are very focused on particular metrics, and they hit those goals very well.


People buy Teslas because they like the tech, not “luxury”.


This pretty much.

The luxury image is a vestige of Tesla originally.


Sort of. The Model S/X were higher-end versions of what Tesla makes now, and the 2012-2017-ish Model S had better build quality, but the interior materials were never luxurious (priced like a Panamera, maybe comparable to an A4 or A6?). And as they’ve scaled, the after-sales services have declined.

What I have never been able to reconcile: the same customer who would spend similar money on a Lexus would create a scene on the sales floor over the most minor flaw, but will get a Tesla and wave-off a large and inconvenient problem with their car as if it’s expected and totally normal.


Tesla has the appeal of being young, hip, and technologically advanced. A Tesla Model 3 can draw more attention than a nice S450 or A8 in a High School parking lot. As someone else said, it’s trendy.

However, Tesla has some amazing performance upsides, as others have said, a numbers car. For a road trip EV, Tesla is undoubtedly king in infrastructure.

You are VERY right with Tesla’s many, many, many flaws. The build quality, the interior materials, the customer service, after-sales service and body shop repairs, don’t forget right to repair, and terrible rebuilt scene (what car company denies airbag recalls to a salvage car).


Test drove a Model 3 for the first time today.

  1. I spent 5 minutes practicing opening the door handle and still couldn’t get it right without pain in the muscles of my hand

  2. I didn’t like how everything had to be accessed through the infotainment system, very distracting

  3. The car doesn’t utilize onboard cameras for lane change

  4. Very cheap materials in some areas, kind of shocking

  5. The car looks luxurious but really is not when it comes to finishes

  6. The SR+ sound system was very underwhelming

Other than that I really enjoyed the comfort and performance. Honestly I am not sure if I would purchase one. It’s also disappointing automakers like Mercedes Benz are going with this direction in regards to infotainment.

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Tech companies have done an admirable (?) job running this scheme on customers over the past couple of decades as always on internet connectivity became more prevalent. Whether it’s phones, computers, cameras, video games/consoles, even dishwashers and cars now they rush out the “biggest and best yet!” every year rife with errors that no customer 20-30 years ago would have ever accepted. From there they play the software patch game until the customers stop complaining. Then they run the same cycle for the following year.


Teslas may have many bad qualities, but high center of gravity (relative to their ICE competitors) isn’t one of them.

Not just infotainment. The next S-Class will have pop-out door handles, as well (although traditional door handles will apparently be an option).


I own a Volvo XC90 and a model 3… both offer something different, for me it’s not the luxury that defines a Tesla, but the opportunity of being part of the next generation of transportation.

Tesla offers the dream of what in the future is going to be called “transportation ecosystem”, similar to what an iPhone offers vs an Android, but we are in the early days.

There is a reason the new Teslas have a big screen in the middle instead of a dashboard… that’s the best location for watching TV in the car while you are going to be transported. I’m not saying is going to happen soon, but if it works, Tesla’s are ready.

The luxury comes from the feeling of having the new gadget that not many have.


Insightful response to a genuine question

Seems like cost savings is the biggest reason because everything is done through software.

I think it depends on the audience. I’m 39 and taking delivery of a performance 3 model in 3 weeks. I’ve had a few different types of cars ranging from a mustang 5.0, lexus GS, Alfa Giulia, Caddy ATS V, etc. I wouldn’t consider tesla luxury but I know some in my social circle think it is and about the coolest damn thing ever. Others (mostly older) don’t really get the whole EV thing and want their wood and rich leather.

For the tech and speed, it’s a no brainer but I think it’s important knowing it’s build quality is just ok. I’ll probably keep it for 2-3 years and either be over the whole quiet EV thing or buy another, especially if the tech and hopefully build quality improves.

I test drove a bunch of cars over the last few months and nothing got me more interested/excited than the tech/updates, charging at home, and most importantly … smash that pedal and do 0-60 between 2.9-3.2 seconds every time. My friends/neighbors drive a hellcat, cayman S, Audi S5, MB C63 etc and nothing can do that consistently. Now, is that everything? … no but for me it’s worth having for a few years. It’s different and for me something to try for a little bit.

Time will tell.


You are right, software updates is a big thing and cost savings. But having the ability to give a new “drivers experience” with a simple over the air software update adds tremendous value to your purchase vs. legacy manufacturers. This contributes to the Luxury feeling and perceived value.

If you work on creating customers experiences, the first thing you will develop is a platform that allows you to deliver and modify the experience easily, even after the customer has left your dealership. From my point of view, Tesla developed the hole car as a software platform to deliver up to date experiences. This is the breakthrough of Tesla, and the engineers in legacy car companies are trying to catch up to the mechanics, not the software platform concept.


I think this is a very accurate take: there is nothing on the road like it, and somehow the masses have overlaid it on the luxury segment. While Tesla sells more comparable cars than basically any luxury sedan, they aren’t luxury cars by any measurable standard (I would argue the Model S/X may have been before 2018, but to get one now and have a problem and fight for service appointments and Uber credits to get home :-1:t2::-1:t2:). All props to what it is, what it does, for what it costs, but Alfa QC wouldn’t pass > 50% of Model 3s on the road.

But that charging network :battery::zap: