Five Reasons Not to Buy a Tesla

Model S and Model X in garage.

I will provide five reasons not to buy a Tesla written by a Tesla owner. Let me start by saying my family has owned a Model S and Model X Tesla since 2018. We love the convenience, lower maintenance, and ownership cost of electric vehicles and cannot imagine going back.  
We bought our Tesla electric vehicles when the company still offered lifetime supercharging and internet connectivity.

However, times have changed, and now the automotive industry is transitioning to electric vehicles. As a result, the automotive industry is turning out many appealing well-built electric cars. However, consumers seem biased towards Tesla and are not giving other electric vehicles much consideration.

We are still paying off our electric vehicles. But if we were in the market today, we would be giving some electric cars not made by Tesla serious consideration. So here is a breakdown of reasons not to buy a Tesla.

Tesla Build Quality

While Tesla has improved build quality, there are issues you do not see with other vehicle manufacturers. My wife and I both experienced fit and finish issues on our vehicles. For example, our Model X Tesla had a misaligned hood. For a $110K luxury vehicle, you expect the attention to detail you see with other luxury brands. Other car companies have refined the art of building vehicles over the past decade. However, Tesla is still learning and is not on par with other manufacturers from a build quality standpoint. However, I will give Tesla a leg up in their excellent software.

Questionable Technology Decisions

Tesla is known for its industry-leading technology, yet some philosophical differences can turn off some buyers. A good example to point out these differences is in the areas of self-driving. The industry uses cameras, sensors, and lidar in self-driving cars. However, Tesla has gone a different direction and uses only cameras. Lidar, sensors, and cameras each have strengths and shortcomings. Using all the technologies together provides a more robust and safer experience. However, Tesla’s camera-only approach to self-driving can cause some customers to be less confident in using self-driving capabilities. 

Increasing and Erratic Pricing

Our Teslas were the most expensive vehicles we ever had purchased. Since our purchase in 2018, we saw Tesla prices drop and battery range increase. Tesla was signaling to consumers that they were working towards an affordable mass-market of $35,000 Tesla Model 3. As electric vehicles started to pick up in popularity, the company increased pricing and paused the $35,000 Tesla. As of May 2022, the cheapest Model 3 Tesla sold for $46,990; a year ago, the exact vehicle sold for $37,190. Seeing Tesla prices increase when other electric vehicle manufacturers’ have milder price hikes shifts the value calculation in favor of some other electric vehicle brands.

2018 Tesla Model S electric vehicle | Electric Driver Image

Tesla’s pace of Delivered Innovation is Slowing Down

Give credit to Tesla for pushing the automotive industry to shift toward building electric vehicles. To drive change, Tesla put on the market environmentally friendly products that provided consumers with convenience, lower cost of ownership, and time-saving features. In many ways, Tesla’s story is similar to the Apple iPhone, changing the cell phone market. While the iPhone shifted cellphones towards smartphones, Apple’s pace of innovation slowed down, and other manufacturers like Samsung and Google were able to step in and innovate at a faster pace. Tesla still is technologically one of the leaders in the electric vehicle space. However, models by Mercedes, Lucid, and other electric vehicle makers are putting out products that can match Tesla on innovative features. In a way, though, it is early Tesla feels a bit like a company that is starting to rest on its laurels.

Tesla Has a Tendency to Oversell

The last issue is Tesla tends to oversell their products and services. Some examples of overselling behavior include Tesla’s handling of their full self-driving capability and the release of new vehicles like the Tesla Cybertruck.

When I bought my Tesla and purchased the full self-driving upgrade, the company was selling a solution where the vehicle would be able to drive on its safety. Tesla’s signaled to consumers that full self-driving would be available later in the year. However, in 2022 Tesla released a limited beta of the full self-driving capability that has fallen short and received criticism from those within the automotive industry, academia, and governments.

Similar claims can be made with new vehicle releases like CyberTruck. Tesla started collecting Cybertruck reservation deposits back in 2019 from consumers. The Cybertruck was supposed to be released in 2021 but since then has been delayed. The Cybertruck, as of 2022, has still not been released.

I love electric vehicles, and my experience owning two Teslas has been great. However, if I were in the market for an electric car today, I would be looking at Tesla and some of the other electric vehicle manufacturers. Visit Electric Driver to learn more about what electric vehicles best fit your unique needs and get a personalized recommendation

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