Mastodon Tesla against my will – Sascha Wübbena

Tesla against my will

There can be many reasons for buying a new car. Either it is old, and the repairs are gradually exceeding the value of the vehicle, or an accident puts a spanner in the works. Or the leasing contract expires, and you fancy something new. There are also people (I’ve actually heard this) for whom money is no object. They buy a new car because they’ve just been shopping anyway. In my case, it really was an accident with a lorry on the motorway at the beginning of the year. Fortunately, nothing happened to my wife, although the photos she sent me shortly afterwards almost made my heart stop. But all is well, it was “only” a (huge) fender bender and a big scare.

It was just a time when I had come to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t “get” a new car. Our Opel Adam had finally been paid off after years, it was running quite well and apart from petrol, insurance, tax and the occasional MOT and inspection, it hardly cost anything. And that was a status quo that my dear wife really appreciated. And yes, I admit that she was right.

So: not a new car – even if the longer journeys to the family or on holiday in the Adam were somewhat uncomfortable: noisy and cramped. Just the fact that you had to fold down the rear seat if you had a bit more luggage (i.e. a suitcase) annoyed me. I didn’t want a big car. And why should I? There are two of us. But a little more comfort and space would have been nice.

Hello darling, …

But then the call came: “Hello darling, I’ve had an accident. A lorry driver didn’t see me and pushed the car across the motorway. I think you can start looking around for a new car.”

The next few days were very exciting. And as much fun as it is to look around for a new car, it’s also nerve-wracking. You weigh things up. You write lists of pros and cons. You compare prices, financing and leasing offers. You visit car dealerships with sometimes very unpleasant experiences with advisors. You clarify delivery times. The latter was extremely important because we couldn’t keep the replacement car forever and we are dependent on a car outside the city. So, there was also a certain amount of time pressure.

But I quickly found a favorite: We had looked at the Smart #1 together. From the outside, it’s not 100% our cup of tea. I personally don’t like the side and roofline at least. But it has a wonderful interior. The price is okay, it can be delivered quickly (6 weeks), and it has a really great build quality. And from what I’ve heard, the assistance systems are also very sophisticated. Finance instalment: around €330 per month.

That’s a lot of money, but electric cars suitable for long journeys are currently all around 42,000 to 46,000 euros. And that’s without any great extravagance. I wanted it to be fully electric, I wanted good assistance systems and my wife wanted a panoramic roof.

Oh dear, Elon!

But I also knew exactly what I didn’t want: a Tesla. There are so many reasons not to buy one.

  • The build quality. Even if it has improved in the meantime, it’s definitely not of the standard you’re used to from all other manufacturers in this price range. Full stop. And any Tesla fanboy can prove me wrong, it would be a lie.
  • Elon.
  • Elon.
  • Elon.
  • Elon.

I could write “Elon” 20 more times, because he really was the main reason for not wanting a Tesla. Even though I know that Tesla’s charging network is fantastic. Even though I know that the cars are super-efficient, charge quickly and have good technology built in. Even though I find the Tesla models really stylish. Nevertheless, Elon Musk’s sometimes disgusting attitude and the many grievances that keep cropping up in his environment make me not want to throw a single cent down his throat. He has also ruined my beloved Twitter.

But to differentiate a little: Of course, anyone who tells me that other car manufacturers are not free from accusation is right. The emissions scandal, exploitation and other things could be mentioned here. In this particular case, however, there is a great deal of antipathy towards a man who always and constantly plays himself to the fore and publicly shows whose brainchild he is. I’m convinced that if Tesla goes under one day, it won’t be because of its products (I’m deliberately excluding the Cybertruck here), but because of Musk.

But enough ranting.

And yet now?

On the very weekend when my wife and I would have decided on the Smart, the man in question apparently crawled out of bed in the morning and decided to make the Model Y 5,000 euros cheaper and add 0 per cent financing. It was all over the news, and all the German electric car youtubers reported on it too. No matter how hard I tried to ignore it, it wouldn’t have worked. That’s just the way it is when you’re in a certain bubble on social media.

So, with a deep sigh, I went to the Tesla website, hacked in my configuration and finance details and had to swallow hard. The monthly charge for the financing was easily 80 euros less than for the Smart. And in some cases, 100 euros cheaper than the VW iD.3. I discussed it with my wife, we arranged a test drive at the Tesla Centre in Regensburg and ordered the car the same day. And 3 weeks later it was on our doorstep.

And so I am now a Tesla owner. I’m delighted with the new car. There are lots of great things to say about the Model Y (which I will do when I get the chance). But there are also things that drive me completely mad (which I will certainly write about). And I’m left with the unpleasant aftertaste that I’m now driving a car that I didn’t actually want.

And that’s the end of this first-world problem for today. This is all “moaning” at an extremely high level – I know that too. But that’s the way it went, and those were my thoughts on it.

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