First Drive

El Brown
2 min readMar 19, 2021


The Model Y is the first vehicle I’ve bought without a test drive. Pulling out of the parking stall at the delivery center was my first experience in command of a Tesla. My 17-year-old laughed at my first twitchy accelerator input. Instant torque works in a parking lot as well as it does on a freeway on-ramp.

It took about 15 minutes on the Loop 101 before the Y’s myriad cameras calibrated and I experienced Autopilot for the first time. It took another 45 minutes in stop and go rush hour traffic for me to feel comfortable and trust the feature to help me drive. The boy and I grinned as we blasted Chali 2na on the best rolling sound system either of us had ever heard.

Tesla service isn’t the only thing I’d heard horror stories about before acquiring one. The company has a sketchy reputation for fit & finish. When taking delivery of a new Tesla vehicle, you have 24 hours to notify them of anything you find unacceptable. I did a careful walk-around before leaving the delivery center in Scottsdale. I only identified a couple of issues. I consider that pretty good for Tesla, but I’d be remiss to not mention I’ve never found Day One flaws on the Hondas and Toyotas I’ve previously driven off new car lots. So what was wrong?

  • Scratch on the headliner
  • Gouge on the driver’s side front door hinge
  • Passenger side front window misalignment
  • Offensive crinkling sound from the wheels

Man, seeing that all in writing is pretty gross. It wouldn’t be acceptable on a used Kia Rio, let alone the most expensive car I’ve ever purchased. Tesla needs to get its shit together. They’re not a startup anymore and have millions of cars on the road. Fix the quality control issues, Elon.

I detailed these flaws in the Tesla app and scheduled a service appointment to get them addressed.


Up Next: The Tesla Service Center