The Ultimate Family Car

Laurie Orloski, May 30, 2014

My husband's a tech geek and I'm a health and science geek who cares about the environment. We lived in a quasi-rural part of Pennsylvania, about 50 miles west of Philadelphia, and have two young daughters, so we need a full-size car. Being "early adopters" of the Model S, then, was a no-brainer for us.

In the one year we've had the car, we have somehow managed to rack up 32,001 miles of pure driving bliss. Yes, that's right, 32,001 miles. It is my daily driver. Don't ask me where we go exactly – I don't really know. We just go. Almost always, at least one of our two daughters is with me, making it a true family car. I let my husband drive it now and then.

Our Model S has exceeded our expectations in every single way. Based on my year-long experience and perspective, no parent in their right mind should be shopping for a new SUV to cart their kids around. For me, the most important feature of the Model S is its safety. Despite some very serious accidents involving the car, no Model S occupant has suffered a serious permanent injury or deaths. I follow this stuff. This is no ordinary "fancy" car and no ordinary EV – this is a tank, and the only vehicle I want my children to be riding in, period.

On a related note, the overall performance of this car is off the charts, including its acceleration and handling. Since I got my Model S in May last year, the Northeast corridor was hit with that ridiculous "polar vortex" and a horrible winter overall. Our roads were slick more days than not, yet our Model S was amazing on icy and snow-covered roads. I have driven all-wheel drive cars in the past, but the rear-wheel Model S performed just as well – if not better. This is no puffery: I truly never felt so safe driving on icky roads, and that was with my precious children in the car.

At the risk of going on and on, I'll just briefly touch on other features that contribute to the Model S's status as the ultimate family car:

It's a 5+2 vehicle. The Model S seats five passengers "as is" but allows for seven passengers if the owner selects the optional rear-facing kid jump seats. Per Tesla CEO Elon Musk, these rear-facing seats are the safest seats in the entire car. I believe him. So, yes, I allow my kids to ride in the trunk without hesitation.

It has cargo space galore. The Model S has space enough to rival even the largest SUVs. The vehicle is wide, which gives it extra roominess from a comfort standpoint and is handy for hauling stuff. It also has a bonus front trunk where the engine would normally be.

It's durable. This car has been subject to a doozy of a Northeast winter – and to sticky fingers and other kiddie mishaps that I won't go into – but the inside and outside look brand new after a year of ownership.

It has shiny retractable door handles. Because of these "magic handles," even the most uncooperative kids are more than happy to open their own door and jump right in.

It offers cool on-demand music technology. I am personally obsessed with Slacker because I am a music nut, but it can also serve as a personal SOS system for weary parents. For example, when traveling with fussy kids, just say "Play [insert favorite kiddy tune]" and the screaming, fighting, and complaining will cease as quickly as it started.

It's a plug-in EV that is inspiring to even the youngest minds. My daughters know that their "T Car" is making a difference today and is leading the way toward a cleaner tomorrow. And they are very proud of it. My little ladies are junior EV advocates and sure to be life-long Tesla loyalists, just like Mom and Dad.

Tesla has done what no other automotive company has dared to do: develop a long-range, all-electric vehicle that makes no compromises on performance, luxury, and pure fun. For a family who has practically been living in their Model S, accumulating 32,000 miles in the first year alone, we couldn't be happier.

Laurie Orloski