What to Expect When Test Driving a Tesla

Have you ever seen a Tesla driving down the road and wondered what it was like to drive one? Well, you can find out! If you have a Tesla dealership within a reasonable distance, schedule a test drive to find out.

What does driving a Tesla feel like?

A Tesla electric vehicle test drive sign
A Tesla test drive sign is outside of the Tesla store | Wang Gang/VCG via Getty Images

First things first: schedule your test drive! On the Tesla website, you can schedule a contactless test drive at your local dealership. You need a valid driver’s license and insurance to get behind the wheel. Put in your personal information and hit submit.

Depending on the availability, you can drive a Model 3, a Model Y, a Model X, or even a Model S. Soon enough, you will get a text from an adviser offering a test drive.

You can narrow down the specifics once the Tesla sales adviser sends a text. Pick a day and time that works for you, and get ready to drive! The test drives are generally 30 minutes. Tesla asks that you don’t put more than 20 miles on the car.

Tesla offers a trade-in value for your current car if you want. By the end of the test drive, the adviser will have a value and will help price out the Tesla of your choice, should you want one.

Getting behind the wheel

RELATED: Is the Mercedes EQS Electric Vehicle a “Tesla Fighter”?

Once your insurance and license are validated, your adviser will walk you to a car. The door opening is a bit funky, so the individual will help get the door open and turn the car on. Once behind the wheel, you can adjust the mirrors and seat using the touchpad and buttons.

At this point, the adviser is there to help. Under normal circumstances, the staff member would drive with you. During the pandemic, you are on your own. You can bring a passenger if you would like.

The screen is large but quite intuitive. There are various menus along the left side you can use to adjust things like the horn, mirrors, braking, and other important features.

You will even shift into gear using the touch screen in the new Model X and Model S. The screen seems intimidating at first, but it is kind of like using a new phone. You get used to it and find your way around.

Driving your Tesla on the road

RELATED: Tesla Safety Report for 2021 Q1: How Safe Is Autopilot?

One of the harder things to get used to is how the Tesla brakes when you let off the gas. This is called regenerative braking. You can change this setting on the screen by moving it from “standard” to “low,” but it is an interesting feature.

Driving the Tesla electric vehicle is very similar to driving a regular gasoline car and nothing like driving a gasoline-powered car simultaneously. It isn’t hard to get used to or like driving a golf cart, but it is different.

Backing out of a spot shows cameras all around. Cameras are the back and on the two side mirrors so you can see all around you. It makes backing out of tight spots seem pretty easy.

The acceleration is smooth and fast but not jerky, like some internal combustion engine (ICE) cars. It feels like a very smooth space ship ride through 5 o’clock traffic.

The drive goes fairly quickly when driving is this much fun. With only 30 minutes, you can’t get too far. Just far enough to want to take home your new Tesla.