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Owning a Tesla Model X Plaid Is Not the Smooth Sailing People Hope For

There are around two million Tesla vehicles on the roads across the globe these days, and still owning one can prove a mixed bag for many. This six-month owner of a Tesla Model X Plaid found weaknesses in places that he never expected, although he’s still thrilled to own the SUV.
Matthew's Tesla Model X Plaid next to his Model Y LRTesla Model XTesla Model XTesla Model XTesla Model X
We read a lot of horror stories about quality issues with Tesla vehicles. Since die-hard fans of the EV brand mostly buy these cars, we tend to consider them an understatement, not an exaggeration. Of course, there are thousands of happy owners for every complaint, so it’s more like a fluctuating quality across Tesla’s production facilities. Body panel alignment issues and other assembly errors are probably the most common, pointing to lax quality control.

Matthew is one of those lucky Tesla owners who never had an issue or complaint with his Tesla Model Y. He always wanted to buy a Model X, being seduced by the falcon doors and all the features, but he couldn’t afford one. Finally, he settled for a Model Y LR in 2021 and couldn’t be happier. The quality was solid, and the car was everything he’d dreamed it would be.

Nevertheless, the better is the enemy of the good, they say. As his finances improved throughout the past year, he was finally able to fulfill his long-time dream of owning a Model X. He was so anxious to get it sooner that he agreed to pay $31,000 extra for the Plaid version, which had a delivery estimate of weeks instead of more than a year at that time. And when it arrived, the Model X proved a great car: fast and comfortable, not to mention it had the practical falcon-wing doors.

But after the honeymoon passed, Matthew started to see behind the thin veil and was unpleasantly surprised. Since he had no issues with his Model Y, he thought Tesla eventually solved the quality control issues. Well, not quite. As he passed the six-month ownership anniversary, Matthew thought it would be helpful to share his experience on the Tesla Motors Club forum. The list of issues is not long, but it has a few unexpected entries.

Top of the list is the paint quality, which he describes as being “very thin,” only in capitals. His car’s hood is already marked in six places by rock chips, something that wasn’t an issue with the Model Y. Certainly, Matthew didn’t expect this on a $160,000 car (we suspect he got a little click-happy with the design studio when he configured his vehicle). There are other minor issues, like the front seat upholstery turning blue or the passenger wiper being bent, an issue that was quickly sorted out by the mobile service tech who bent it back in place.

The satellite radio was also dead-on-arrival, and it took two trips to the service center to get it fixed. This could’ve been easily spotted had quality control guys done their jobs. One thing he didn’t expect from a Tesla, though, was to have software problems. Coming from the flawless Model Y, Matthew found it hard to stomach the software bugs on the Model X Plaid. Although Light Show working randomly is something one can live without, power steering breaking could become a safety issue. Luckily, a reboot fixed it.

Despite having these issues, Matthew still loves his Model X. He even got used to the yoke steering wheel, which almost made him cancel his order after he found he couldn’t opt out. Nevertheless, he would still go for stalks and a normal wheel if it were an option. As for the good things he had to say about his Model X Plaid, the list is equally long. Top of the list is, of course, the insane acceleration. He thought the Model Y was fast, but he was blown away by the Plaid performance.

Having a bigger battery is always nice, and in this case, it allowed Matthew to travel further between charges compared to his other Tesla, the Model Y LR. But the best part is there’s nothing like it on the market today, nothing that can travel at such a low cost per mile while being equally fast and luxurious.

All things considered, Matthew is not willing to keep the Model X for long, but only until he can get an electric truck. He placed an order for the Cybertruck, although he’s open to other brands if they can deliver earlier. Considering his experience with the Model X Plaid, we’re not sure the Cybertruck looks very appealing to him right now.

 
 
 
 
 

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