The Tesla Model X hit Canadian roads for the first time. Some potential buyers had a chance to take one for a spin and we tagged alongPosted by Globe Drive on Friday, March 18, 2016
Jesse Wilson and his wife Jodie put down a $5,000 deposit for a Tesla Model X nearly two years ago, long before ever seeing the car in person, let alone driving it.
After much anticipation, the couple not only got to sit in the car, but take it for a spin late Thursday afternoon.
“It’s a little bit overwhelming,” says Jesse with a smile on his face as he steps on the accelerator of the 762-horsepower SUV. “This is definitely different than my Fiesta.”
The Waterloo, Ont., couple are thinking about starting a family and have given their next car purchase a lot of thought.
“I’ve always been the guy saying, ‘Do we really need more SUVs? Save the world, avoid carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide’,” says Jesse, who was adamant about not getting a gas engine SUV or a minivan. “I wanted something that was going to be good for the environment, she wanted something that was going to be sporty like an SUV.”
Says Jodie: “I opt into the green side of things as much as possible so this is the financial ‘I’m putting my money where my mouth is’.”
And it certainly is a financial commitment. The base Model X starts at $119,000 in Canada. Currently, the couple share one small car and are saving for the Model X. Jesse jokes he took the bus to work in the morning (as he often does) and in the afternoon was driving a Model X.
We ride along with Jesse and Jodie as they drive the Model X.
Tesla began taking orders more than two years ago and delivered the first top-of-the-line models to a few U.S. customers in September. The first time the Model X came north of the border was last month for the Canadian International Auto Show in Toronto. Thursday was the first time these cars were driven on Canadian roads. The event is part of a multi-city tour where Tesla is allowing reservation holders – those who have put down a deposit – a chance to drive the Model X. Similar events are also happening in Montreal, Vancouver and some U.S. cities. Hundreds of potential new owners will get a chance to drive one of two test cars.
“As soon as we are able to produce some vehicles for our fleet … . we want to get those reservation holders behind the wheel,” says Martin Paquet, store manager for Tesla Toronto. “We owe it to them … to have a real close look at the features and take it out for a test drive and see how it feels so they can visualize themselves taking ownership in the coming months.”
The deposit isn’t transferable, but is refundable up until the time when the new owner configures the car and confirms the order, says Paquet.
Tesla hopes to ramp up production to about 1,000 vehicles per week and plans to begin delivering cars to Canadians at the beginning of the summer. The Wilsons are leaning toward the base model. They hope to configure their new car soon and receive it by the fall.
“I’m excited to see how it fits in our life and I think it’ll fit in very easily and we’ll be very happy with it,” says Jodie.
“What are the things I won’t regret about buying a Tesla? The safety features and the autopilot. If they work just once that could make everything worth it,” says Jesse. “It feels really right.”
The Model X is the third car in the Tesla line after the Roadster and the Model S. Tesla is working on an affordable $35,000 (U.S.) Model 3, which it will debut at the end of March.
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