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The Number One Reason People Do Not Like Tesla

Want to know why there are still Tesla haters out there? Let me tell you what I did recently that made this very apparent to me.

If you have been following me, you know that I primarily cover the Toyota Prius and other hybrid vehicles. Something that many do not know about me is that I am also following the EV and FCHV market very carefully as well.

I believe that we are heading into a new world of transportation in a speedy way. Staying involved with what is coming allows me to give accurate information to all of my readers and speculate what is going to happen.

My latest adventure took me into the Tesla world with a Model 3 Dual-Motor Performance. I had been in Tesla cars before, but this time it was different. It put me in deep thought of why people could dislike Tesla, and then it dawned on me why.

My Tesla Experience
I had literally just met Kevin that day. All I knew about him is that he owned two Tesla Model 3, one of them being the performance model, and he has a fresh job. Other than that, we shared almost nothing in common, and the last thing I ever expected happened. He let me drive his car to dinner.

2018 Tesla Model 3 Red front shot

I have been in the Model S and other Model 3, but I had never been in his car and had surely never driven a Tesla. Most owners that I have driven with were very protective of their cars and wanted to show them off while they drove. Kevin was the opposite; he wanted me to drive and experience the new ultimate driving machine (Sorry, BMW, you can no longer make that claim).

I hopped in with Kevin in the front passenger seat, and he coached me through the basics of getting settled, then we headed off. The 3 was in hold mode, which allowed me to completely control throttle response and most of the braking from the accelerator pedal. It was strange at first but took very little time to adapt to it.

We wove through the neighborhood and headed towards one of the longer stretches of road. Once we could take on some speed, I was persuaded to floor it, and what came next sent every sense in my body into a full euphoria of complete ecstasy and excitement.

I wholeheartedly believe that in this day and age, driving a Tesla is the equivalent of jumping into hyperspace like on Star Wars. Everything became a blur as I was thrown deep into the plush vegan leather seats. My heart was racing, the first time in years, I was excited to drive, but the adventure did not stop there.

We still had quite a few miles to cover, and Kevin let me know it was okay to drive the 3 as it was intended. I will tell you I had no shame obliterating people in other cars off the line, grinning ear to ear the entire way. Was there anything that could make this car better? Yes, there were several things.

When we came to a cruising road, it was time for cruise control and auto-steer to do their job. Again, never having done this before, I was apprehensive about it, but why? It was a new and unfamiliar experience for me; that is why.

The auto-driving features worked terrifically; I could enjoy a conversation with the others in the car, all while getting to my destination safely. Later on, dove into some of the other features of the vehicle. We toyed around with the voice commands and some of the "easter egg" features of the car.

The overall experience was like a day at the racetrack and spa. I felt excited and refreshed all at the same time. It was the jubilation of the body, mind, and soul. It was the absolute best driving experience I have ever had in a vehicle, and I have driven over 100 different sports cars, pickups, and SUVs.

Why Do People Dislike This Amazing Machine?
Driving and fully experiencing a Tesla in that way got me thinking of how people could dislike these cars. It was then it dawned on me why. Those who do not like Tesla have never driven or owned one. It is that simple.

Are there other reasons for people not liking Tesla, sure. I know there are people out there who do not like having to put tires on it, or there are people who hate to charge it. Others nitpick about all sorts of things, but honestly, anything can.

Maybe you do not like Elon Musk, so what, the car is still phenomenal. Perhaps you think or that technology is aiding to the slow demise of human civilization. Whatever it is, we can agree there will always be opposition.

First off, a huge thank you to my new friend Kevin for letting me drive your Tesla. It was astounding, and I really appreciate it. Second, hate Tesla all you want, but do not be a jealous hater because you have never driven or owned one. Drive one, and then we can talk.

Have a great day, everyone. I hope you are all safe out there. I look forward to seeing you in the next story. What To Do With A Generation 2 Toyota Prius Mysterious Engine Knock.

Watch this Toyota Prius truck with a cute little bed and click to subscribe to Torque News Youtube for daily automotive news analysis.

Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an Instructor of Automotive Technology at Columbia Basin College. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporters.


Timothy Parker (not verified)    July 10, 2020 - 11:20AM

No, you've got it all wrong. People don't like Teslas because owners come off as snobs and jerks. That might not be entirely true, but just read other EV forums. Tesla people are always bashing other EVs. They can't just enjoy their choice, they have to incessantly denigrate and belittle other EV owners choices. People would be more open to a Tesla if Tesla owners weren't such jerks.

Mark (not verified)    July 11, 2020 - 5:13PM

In reply to by Timothy Parker (not verified)

I agree that Tesla fanboys are an annoying lot but they are the minority.
The online world is stuffed with boors, snobs and trolls. Some of them Tesla boosters.
But in the real world (note that total Tesla sales are now approaching a million vehicles since inception and the bulk of those owners are generally very nice, considerate and generous just like almost everyone else.

A lot of hate also comes from the current political climate where being allied with what is seen as liberal "green" issues signifies opposition to ones political views.

Again, with actual conversation, we find more in common than not.

Milord (not verified)    October 22, 2022 - 11:05PM

In reply to by Timothy Parker (not verified)

Wrong. If you THINK Tesla drivers come off as snobs, that is on you. Remember the South Park episode about the "smug" problem caused by Prius drivers? Same thing. Tesla drivers aren't snobs. They are smart, progressive and forward thinking. If that offends you, the problem is not them; IT'S YOU!

adam smith (not verified)    April 3, 2023 - 10:04AM

In reply to by Milord (not verified)

So what do you call it when every time you meet someone with a Tesla, or Prius, every single time, the first thing they want to talk about is how great their car is then ask you what you drive, then suggest you drive what they drive? And I drive for a living. Teslas cut me off more than pretty much any other car, they try to race me, because nothing says manly like trying to race a Hyundai Kona that's not even an N line Kona, I see them running red lights, running stop signs, and when they're speeding on the highway it's well-over 100mph. So what is all that?

Digital Doc (not verified)    July 10, 2020 - 4:47PM

Good point Tim, and that is quite true. Musk also comes off as this which sets the tone. Also, for the record, I do not want to charge my car, or get a charging station installed in my garage. Also, folks do not like the tablet mounted on the dashboard that has plenty of glitches, that needs reboots just to drive the car. Finally, I find the cars expensive for what they are.

adam smith (not verified)    April 3, 2023 - 10:07AM

In reply to by Digital Doc (not verified)

Yup. These people act like they're saving money, but they need a $50,000 car to not buy gas, then have to deal with charging, and all the issues you mentioned, while someone that buys a Honda Civic for half the price will save far more money over the average life before trade of the two cars. And have better range. The Civic can go like 400 miles before refilling, which takes a few minutes. They'd get to a long destination potentially hours before the Tesla.

Scott Kaye (not verified)    December 5, 2020 - 1:14PM

I own a model S 2017 Worst purchase of my life. The mapping system is awful, but no android auto, so you can't use waze. Their music is terrible, but again, no android auto, so pandora doesn't link right.

It burns through 1-2 miles just sitting idle and even though I have free supercharging for life, having to do it once a week after driving only 30 miles is insane.

When they finally added voice to text, they did it with necessary scroll choices so you have to take your eyes off the road.

Full self drive? After 5 minutes you will learn DO NOT TRUST THE CAR.

Electric cars are great. My wife got a Ionia electric. Thats the car we each want to drive.
Tesla is overpriced, underwhelming and simply the worst purchase decision I ever made. I would sell it tomorrow if it wasn't only worth 20% of what I paid, despite the fact it only has 11k miles on it.


Josh (not verified)    December 24, 2020 - 8:40PM

In reply to by Scott Kaye (not verified)

It's called a work in progress. You can't expect a new method of transportation to be perfect within a few years. Also, no one has ever claimed that Tesla has full self-driving. It is very obvious to anyone paying attention that they do not want people assuming that it does.

Jbannen (not verified)    March 14, 2021 - 7:06AM

In reply to by Scott Kaye (not verified)

If you have a 2017 Tesla S explain to me how you got free charging for life? I think you are bashing Tesla and don't own one. Otherwise, you wouldn't claim you have a 2017 Tesla S with lifetime charging because that is false. Do you know what thevreal story is for a 2017 Tesla? Because I do know the truth. If you hate it so bad why did you buy it? These are super cars and now the model S is the fastest car on the road. So, google the real answer first before you claim you own something you don't! What a joke!

adam smith (not verified)    April 3, 2023 - 10:09AM

In reply to by Scott Kaye (not verified)

For the Tesla price I'd go with the F-150 Lightning or Silverado EV. For normal price, I'd go with the Ioniq or Bolt. Both of which engage the driver and still have controls in the car that are manual and make sense, and are easy to use without having to pull over.

Mi (not verified)    December 22, 2020 - 5:21PM

Im a big fan of right to repair, and do a lot of work on all my cars. Tesla is strongly opposed to this, and does things like not selling parts to the public. Not saying no one should get them, but i certainly wont be.

adam smith (not verified)    April 3, 2023 - 10:11AM

In reply to by Mi (not verified)

That's a great point. I love working on my cars. Having to get expensive repairs if I need them at a Tesla shop would further prove that these cars do NOT cost less at any point. There are so many things I can do myself on a gas car that it'd be annoying to have to pay thousands of dollars to fix if I had a Tesla.

Tesla owner for now (not verified)    January 26, 2021 - 2:34PM

Wow, this is the type of article that makes non-Tesla owners never want to be associated with owning a Tesla. Number one reason people don't like Tesla is bc of the Tesla fanboys. If you give any type of negative feedback about Tesla, Tesla fanboys will come out swarming and attacking. I believe it stems from this arrogance just like how the author of this article is stating that people don't like Teslas b/c they've never driven one before. Get off your high horse.
After owning used Model S for about a month, there are plenty of things that I don't like about it, but if I complain, it will somehow be my fault and not Tesla's.
1. Excessive wind/road noise is awful. It messes with my ear pressure that gives me a slight headache at times.
2. I've had to reboot several times as my screen will go black. Very inconvenient
3. Range estimate is awful. I know they follow EPA guidelines, but still sucks that you get lot less range than what you'd expect. ICE EPA estimates are not this off.
4. Supercharging time is ALWAYS much longer than what is claimed or what my screen estimate states.
5. Supercharging is expensive. It's similar in price as if I have 32mpg car. So when traveling long distance, it sucks to wait to charge as well as you're not really saving much money on fuel.
6. my door handle broke. Yea, regular ICE cars break too, but with how much Tesla fanboys tout about how EVs are so much more reliable with less moving parts and its simplicity, you still get plenty of annoying things that go wrong.
7. Tesla fanboys will tell me that majority of my issues are due to having used Model S and newer models won't have these issues, or Model 3s have resolved many of my concerns. I call that BS as I've seen other Model 3 owners complain. Also, JD Power ranked Tesla dead last out of all brands in quality survey that was released June 2020. So, there are enough problems.

Vince (not verified)    October 21, 2021 - 12:18AM

In reply to by Tesla owner for now (not verified)

I agree with you. I never owned a Tesla before, I did test drive a Model Y and my friend’s Model 3. What I don’t like Tesla are I have to control a lot of things through the central big screen. Night time get really dark! I hate they without the front dash panel or cockpit. Maybe I still get used to old style control. In other hand Tesla really did a great job on EV, but I would say I order the BMW IX. The style, the details Tesla can’t bit up most luxury European Cars. Tesla really got an ugly egg style, and I don’t get use to no front grill car style.

Jim (not verified)    March 10, 2021 - 10:08PM

I've driven them and still hate them. Build quality and overall feeling of being in an aluminum can. Yeah, they're torquey.... that's literally it. Overpriced torquey aluminum cans. And then there's the whole tesla fanboi brigade.

Never mind the ecologically disastrous lithium mining, landfill destined batteries, and charging from fossil fuel based power grid just so you can try to convince yourself how "green" you are.

adam smith (not verified)    April 3, 2023 - 10:15AM

In reply to by Jim (not verified)

I think if I had the money right now I'd get the Toyota Rav4 Prime. It's a hybrid, so I'd have to deal with charging the battery, but it has a lot of power for a hybrid, and gets like 45mpg.

Idiotjävel Anushål (not verified)    April 6, 2021 - 6:13AM

"Never owned or driven one" lol.

The reason people hate Tesla is;

1. Sterile, dated, pathetic undesign on Prius level.
2. The vehicles have no soul and personality whatsoever.
3. No room for tweaking; it is what it is.
4. No sound, no shifting, no skills involvement.
5. Fanboys' (generally highly uninformed) disapprecation of other cars, now and from the past.
6. The beginning of the end of awesome cars.
7. Misleading advertising - they won't save the planet.

Steven Rollner (not verified)    May 26, 2021 - 6:46PM

I think you are very wrong about the Tesla and here’s why. First off I have owned three model Tesla‘s and I really don’t like any of them. I recently sold two. I wanted to go back to the rich luxurious speedy German and Italian made cars. Also the EV market is becoming quite big! Tesla isn’t the only game around. And it has many shortcomings of which this comment section is too short to go into all of it.

So I will be short and sweet and sorry if I offend anyone. I find Tesla owners and especially model 3 to be like hillbillies who have never owned a really expensive car. If you come from a world of toyota, honda or equvalent the model 3 is a great car. But if you are coming down to tesla from MacLaren, porsche or equvalent you see the problem. I race very expensive cars. Tesla is not. Also electric power is only good from 0 to 60. After that you are out paced and on your own.

Sal (not verified)    June 8, 2021 - 4:00PM

The 0-60 times are a marketing gimmick for Tesla to claim that they have better cars than the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini because the plaid model S has a 2 second run. Be honest with yourself about which you'd rather have if price wasn't important.

I could trade in my DB11 for a Model S Plaid and a Model X, but would I? Nope. 0-60 times are not incredibly important to me. If that is all I cared about that I would have gone for a 570S or a 458/488.

What is pretty important to me is the exterior appearance and the interior. Aston Martin makes rolling artwork. And with the interior comfort I'm enshrouded in luxury with a $8,000 B&O sound system is something I can enjoy even when I'm not driving. No seriously, I have gone into my garage and just sat in my car and listened to music and had a great time. How many Tesla owners can say that?

Jos (not verified)    June 11, 2021 - 3:12PM

In reply to by Sal (not verified)

I hate Tesla and I would never drive one or even to be a passenger in one. I can not explain why, It's just my feeling. And I never doubt my feeling.

Jos (not verified)    June 11, 2021 - 3:25PM

If I see one i always put my middelfinger to them. I am pretty sure It's a poluting car. With all this chemicals from batterys, the production, the tyres.
Bad like i said before, this car just gives me a bad feeling wich I can 't explain. By any car, but not a tesla, I tell anyone. And I realy love cars and driving and because of that I am taxi driver in Belgium with Mercedes e-class of course.

Mark Holt (not verified)    June 17, 2021 - 6:00PM

My reason for not liking the Tesla is that the ergonomics are far too different than other cars. My first try to get in the car, the handle slipped and the door closed. My second attempt took two hands. The back seat on the Model 3 is cramped, noisy, and uncomfortable. When I got to drive the car, too many things are controlled by a screen you have to look at to get things to work. I couldn't easily change radio stations A/C settings, and had to stop to figure out how to adjust the side mirrors. You really can't do things by touch. The text on the screen for the battery charge and the clock are too small for aging eyes. I don't like not having gauges that are easy to read right in front of me. I keep having to look to the side for information. There is a learning curve for just about every function in this car. Also the interior is cheap for a car in this price range. It drives ok, but the other stuff really bothers me.

kat (not verified)    June 23, 2021 - 2:53PM

I test drove a couple with the intent to purchase. I didn't like them because of one 1) the computer interface. I use Apple carplay daily for my long commute and its a Godsend and 2) the austere interior. I REALLY do not like the interior at all. If they zhuzed it up a bit, I'd reconsider.

Mike Papa (not verified)    July 3, 2021 - 6:59PM

I recently bit the bullet and bought a model 3 and, for my specific mission, I am very pleased. It does have flaws that may make it less than perfect for others including: long charging time on the highway compared to fueling a traditional car, spartan interior, teething rattles and fit/finish issues, and low quality paint. However, I use it for commuting and, compared to a BMW 3 series which I would have bought in its place, it is MUCH better. MUCH faster, great autopilot in rush hour, and the convenience of charging overnight at home.

I don't use it for long distance travel. I have a Cayenne Diesel for that.

Chris (not verified)    August 11, 2021 - 9:06AM

I am an owner of a 2007 prius which has 221,000 miles without ever having an issue. I decided to upgrade to a model y (still awaiting delivery), but have many reservations .One is that Tesla fanboys are very annoying (much worse that Prius snobs who I think was exaggerated). Especially their bashing of other ev's, hybrids, plug ins and also ice cars. They also especially love to bash Prius, which in my opinion makes no sense. There would be no Tesla if there was no Prius paving the way. They seem to have no understanding that some people cannot afford a Tesla or may need to start with a hybrid due to their life circumstances. I have worked for 40 years and am treating myself. I know and hope that most Tesla owners are not like the high profile you tubers but average people and will improve the image. I love the quiet of ev and hybrid and that when you are stopped in traffic or at lights you are not putting out exhaust while idling, I wish Tesla's made a smaller, cheaper car that came in gray or beige interior with a few buttons that looked more down to earth...but I guess that is against Elon's vision! Maybe the model 2? Anyway despite reservations I think and hope it will be a great car, with less maintenance, that is fun and does a little something to combat climate change...especially if like me you keep your cars for 10-15 years..

Jose (not verified)    August 16, 2021 - 12:25PM

Congratulations on getting a model Y. Teslas are engineered to be better vehicles than whatever is currently out there. What a company like tesla doesn't do is sell you a product that is meant to fail soon after the warranty is up. yes there are little things here and there that could be annoying. wind noise is more pronounced since there aren't many other noises to keep you aware of your speed. should be much better in the newer vehicles since they have gone to dual pane glass. drivability will make an impression since the center of gravity of the cars is way better with the weight of the vehicle being very low to the ground. just be ready with a 240v 14-50 nema outlet so you can charge overnight at home. many homes have such connectors for clothes driers already. I've been working for mercedes benz for almost 2 decades and i honestly wonder if the company i work for will survive since they're no longer making the most technologically advanced vehicles. tesla is single handedly trying to change the automotive industry but the fact that they will not make as much money from repairs of selling appliance like vehicles will end many of these automotive companies that are already in debt and having trouble making a profit. good luck to you. don't be shy about taking people on drives or letting them drive your vehicle. its the only way to help someone understand why sales of teslas keep going up.