Test drives?Posted by joshua-rosen on October 20, 2021 at 6:59 am
What are their plans for doing test drives outside of Southern Cal? I would never buy a car that I haven’t test driven, how are they going to handle test drives? Do they have plans for stores or at least doing road shows where they take demonstrators around the country so that people can try them?
- 31 Replies
- ModeratorOctober 20, 2021 at 8:08 am
Info@aptera.us might be your best email to ask later this year. I am sure they will only use production intend cars for the public to test drive.
The old Aptera 2e was only suppose to sold in southern CA, back >2009 but they came through on a roadshow to NJ and they took us on a test run, where an Aptera representative drove.
The Tesla I test drove was a matter “ for me” to travel one hour to a Tesla site that provided a test drive
I test drove BMWs and MBs, a local racetrack setting in the past… I let my adult son go on those “these days”…
I purchased my first car after a test drive at that huge dealerships, in campus test track. I brand new 72 Barracuda, Reedman Dealership, in Langhorn, PA. Memories. 17 yr. Paid cash. I always held a job somewhere, hoping to get a car (as I was from big family and didn’t expect my parents to have that burden) . Bid deal , back then… for this simple guy!
I have been living in a rural setting for too many years, now ... So…I am not sure I would like to test drive a unique Aptera, for the first time, on a crowded roadway in CA
Aptera did mention once exploring providing a “virtual ride” I am up for that!
There is an Aptera seven day/ 1000 mi return policy, however that works?
I was impressed with my ride in the Sol (???? WOW! the same vehicle Jay Leno drove!) , which just a first version alpha vehicle… And I did not get the “old dude” version of a ride! And that was only a FWD model.
I can only think it will be better going forward?
- MemberOctober 21, 2021 at 7:20 am
So fantastic that you got a ride in Sol! I am so excited for my Aptera, but my wife quickly reminds me how many cars I have rejected just by sitting in them – no test drive necessary. I’m 6’2″ and I can’t believe how the rooflines in many vehicles block my vision, even with the seat in it’s lowest position. In many smaller rental cars I have to crane my neck in order to see stoplights.
Can you comment on your impression of the interior space and seating position for Sol? I know the Beta vehicles are supposed to be a bit larger.
Fingers crossed the Aptera will pass my sitting test, because I’m completely on board with everything else.
- MemberNovember 30, 2021 at 5:50 pm
I am also very concerned about ordering without being able to sit in the Aptera before purchasing. My husband is older and has had two hips, a shoulder and a knee replaced. Some cars are difficult for him to get in and out of. I’m wondering about where he will be able to grab with his hands, if the door will hit his head and exactly how high the seat will be from the ground. I’m no spring chicken either and my hips are starting to go, plus I’m on the tall side. I would love to see an Aptera in Miami just to “test sit.” I don’t need to drive it to know if it will work for us. At a minimum, I’d like to see a video of lots of different size and age people getting in and out of the car to judge how hard it will be for him. There is a funny video on you tube of an older man having to crawl out of the new Corvette on his hands and knees. I don’t want to pay $45k and have to do that… The thought of that’s been keeping me from placing an order just yet.
- MemberNovember 30, 2021 at 7:08 pm
Laura, depending on where you sit on the reservation list, I expect many of the ambassadors that may be ahead of you in the queue, might be willing to let you try it on for size, and possibly a test drive as well. Might be a nice thread to start.
- MemberDecember 1, 2021 at 7:22 am
Laura, Throw in a reservation if you’re interested – That will hold your position in the queue. You can always cancel it if you want. It’s $100. If you use a referral code it’s $70. Current reservations will probably be fullfilled in 2024. If you reserve once they hit the road they might be out to 2025 or 2026.
- ModeratorDecember 1, 2021 at 8:27 am
Welcome, Laura. I certainly understand your distaste for purchasing without sitting in or driving an Aptera. As you may have noticed in the responses within this thread, there is a general willingness of those who will take early delivery of their Aptera to provide others like yourself to get a ride and perhaps even drive the vehicle. Here is the link to the map of the current reservation holders:
The map does not show contact information for each person, but at least it will give you an idea about how close other Aptera owners will be.
Road shows and events will help. However, given there are only 3 Alpha vehicles and 6 Beta vehicles planned (Aptera has stated that the Beta vehicle will not be pretty since they’re intended for testing purposes), it’s not likely you will see a company owned Aptera prior to actual production vehicles being shipped to owners who reserved in December 2020 or before.
I should say that I am a reservation holder, an Aptera ambassador, and have volunteered to head up the Events Committee. This is one of the three volunteer committees, the other two being Communications and Legislation.
The loose plan at this point is to hold Online Events — either standalone or as part of a larger online event (e.g. webinars, zoom meetings, etc.) and In-person Events — either standalone or as part of a larger event (e.g. Southwest Solar Conference). Of course, the missing ingredient to an in-person event is an actual Aptera and booth space at a large event can be costly. I encourage you to whet your appetite on the existing webinar and video recordings on the Aptera website. You can also search YouTube for 3rd party videos. Some of these are decent, others merely repeat content from the Aptera website.
- MemberNovember 30, 2021 at 6:03 pm
I’ve bought a couple cars without test drives. It seemed to really bother the salesperson that I refused to drive it first. On the other hand, the first time I sat in a J30 I hit my head on the A Pillar going in and got out and walked out
- MemberDecember 1, 2021 at 12:25 am
The Aptera Ambassador’s or possibly other excited owners will offer rides, in some cases test drives. However that will not be until next summer when we get ours, with out having a test drive or even a ride our selves before purchase. But waiting until then will put you back farther on the list to get one your self. They will refund your deposit if you change you mind, so there is no risk in ordering now.
- MemberDecember 2, 2021 at 7:53 am
Thank you for letting me know I can get a refund. That makes me much more likely to place an order, once I work out the options I will need. Appreciate it!
- MemberDecember 9, 2021 at 2:48 pm
I definitely want a test drive before I purchase.
- MemberDecember 11, 2021 at 8:56 am
I too have difficulty getting in and out of vehicles. I purchased an electric crossover to get a higher seat and still hit my head on the way in about 30% of the time and always have issues getting my legs past the rocker panels.
I am an investor and pre-order holder and love the the Aptera but if I have too much trouble getting in/out this is a deal breaker for me. I need to try it out!
- MemberDecember 11, 2021 at 6:59 pm
Found two photos of people sitting in the Aptera with their legs out of the open door.
https://aptera.us/about/ shows a video titled “Why we’re different” that has a still photo of Chris Anthony sitting in the car (which is weird because that shot doesn’t appear in the actual video).
https://aptera.us/michael-poirier-joins-aptera-as-vice-president-of-finance-technology/ shows Mr. Poirier in the car as well.
Assuming these men are average height, the fact that their legs are pretty much at 90 degree angles is a good sign for me. Getting out of a car from a squatting position is just not going to happen easily with my knees.
It looks like the door will not be a headache if you go toward the rear of the car while exiting. The only question that remains is if there will be what to grab onto with my right hand, if needed. I’m guessing my left elbow may be used against the car body for a little extra umph.
Still hoping for a test sit on the East Coast.
- MemberJune 20, 2022 at 9:07 am
I wonder how many reservation holders are going to purchase an Aptera without ever seeing it in person, sitting in it or driving it. I’m in the midwest, and it seems like my car will be available before Aptera gets out this way. I’m so excited to get mine, that I’ll probably purchase it sight unseen, and I was wondering if others feel the same. I suppose I could fly out to California to check one out, but that’s a lot of time and money. One might say that for that kind of investment, it’s worthwhile, but I don’t know.
- MemberJune 20, 2022 at 9:24 am
I’m a low number reservation holder, in CA. Even though I’m sure I want it, until I sit in a Delta or a production model and actually drive it, I can’t be 100% sure if I would go through with the purchase. I can’t seeing buying something that for some unforeseen reason I might dislike driving. (Regardless of my final preference, I think it will do well, and then my investment would make up for any disappointment.)
- MemberJune 20, 2022 at 9:31 am
Everyone has a different threshold for purchase requirements. I won’t buy a used car without a test drive and checking to make sure everything onboard works.
With a new vehicle…you expect everything to work properly + if any problems it would be a warranty issue.
With a vehicle that is new to market…if you are weary, maybe best to wait for any corrections or tweaks that the manufacturer may make once owners give feedback from early testing.
ME…I’m willing to forgo test driving and take immediate delivery, but if I find myself near Carlsbad …definitely would drop in.
- MemberJune 20, 2022 at 10:12 am
It’s a flat out no, I won’t buy a car until I’ve test driven it, usually several times. Suppose the seats are uncomfortable, I can’t know that without trying it. There can be any number of things that could be show stoppers.
- MemberJune 20, 2022 at 11:58 am
I hope Aptera would be one of the exhibitors at the upcoming LA Auto Show on Nov 18-27, so I can see it in person. It’s right about the time that Aptera would release the initial units. Possibly a final production unit would be displayed. If their exhibit offers a test drive..why not! Who knows..
Given a 2023-2024 delivery window for my pre order (400mi/AWD/ORK), I think it’s just about right. Since I’m in SoCal, I just hope I don’t get included though, with the early release batch (waiting for kinks to be sorted out). No rushing first dibs here..
- MemberJune 20, 2022 at 11:07 am
Since there are plenty of people ahead of me (60 KWh), I don’t have qualms about buying it without test driving. I do think, however, a flight to the west coast from Boston would be both an investment and a vacation given the excitement. If I’m disappointed, my consolation prize is the trip and saving $40k
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by BigSky Country.
- MemberJune 20, 2022 at 3:50 pm
I will want a test drive before purchasing. I also intentionally waited a bit to place my order so that initial bugs can hopefully be worked out on the earliest production / real world vehicles. I am concerned about the unfortunate decisions to implement the view-blocking mid-side-window frames and the steering yoke, so will want to test drive to determine how bad/acceptable those design elements are. Fit/finish/quality, comfort, driving characteristics, UI/HMI, and handling will all be additional qualifiers that nobody can yet know at this early point and the dry tech spec numbers do not provide answers.
- MemberJune 20, 2022 at 4:18 pm
I live in California and am around the 5000 number so I should have plenty of opportunities to see if it is a good fit. I’m 6’4″ and have a long torso plus have a very stiff back. I can fit in a Honda CRX so I shouldn’t have too much to worry about. I want to ensure I can enter and exit without issue as I have some mobility challenges. I’m not opposed to putting in an aftermarket seat if all else is a-ok. I look forward to at least sitting in an Aptera before I finalize my order. A test drive is not necessary.
- ModeratorJune 20, 2022 at 4:51 pm
Once Apterae are produced, I’m sure a good number of the enthusiastic early owners would be open to getting a visit from another Aptera fan who is further down the waiting list. Whether they’d let someone else drive it is another matter, but I’d think a ride in the passenger seat should be doable.
- MemberJune 20, 2022 at 6:27 pm
There are 16000 reservations before me. So, there will be thousands of people offering their reviews (no, not all on YouTube). I’ll sift through the opinions and find what is important to me. That is likely the only way I’ll see one before mine is delivered. FYI, I’m from the Jeep world where no manufacturers decision is sacred. If we don’t like it, we just change it to suit our needs. The Aptera is no different.
- MemberJune 21, 2022 at 4:26 am
I have to admit that it’s smaller than I suspected after seeing it in the latest webinar. But I still want one. II will take delivery sight unseen. If some any reason it doesn’t work for me I will sell it. I’m sure when faced with the waiting list I’ll be able to sell it for a higher price like the Tesla. But I don’t foresee this happening because it’ll be the coolest thing on the road for years to come. I’ll make it work.
- MemberJune 21, 2022 at 4:39 am
I’m sure it will be at least 2024 before I get mine. In the meantime there will be others who will receive Aptera before me. I’m sure they’ll have plenty to say about the vehicle. If it turns out to be mostly negative then I’ll cancel.
I also like the idea of the company bringing a production ready vehicle to car shows around the country and offering test drives. I would also recommend giving reservation holders first chance at signing up for the test drive.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Che McKittrick.
- MemberJune 24, 2022 at 12:44 pm
You’d think that the “sight unseen” portion would also be dependent on the number of cars on the road at the time your purchase chance comes up.
Let’s face it — this car is a fairly radical change from a “normal” car, either ICE or electric. Styling, handling, appearance. But you’re aware of that already, otherwise you wouldn’t have put a down payment on it. However, we can still compare this to a normal car purchase: When you arrive at the dealer, you already have a fair idea of the car you want to purchase. You know it’s specs, appearance, interior and have a good idea about it’s handling characteristics. You don’t suddenly arrive at the dealership for a car and discover that it’s actually a 4-door pickup and you were expecting a 2-door coupe. It’s the price and the “little things” that will determine it for you (for instance, in my current ICE car, you can change between presets on the radio but it’s almost impossible for the driver to change channels without looking away from the road and leaning 1/2 way across the car to reach the button — very annoying, but certainly not a deal breaker).
If you’re one of the first owners of an Aptera, you’re probably right to wonder about buying it sight-unseen. Although I suspect that most of them are “early adopters” and are purchasing it for that reason. As more and more Apteras come onto the road, especially with social media, then there will be review after review, personal experiences, car groups, etc that will eliminate many of the unknowns. Ultimately, if you’re one of the later buyers, you’re not really buying it sight unseen — you will already know what to expect. It will come down to price, styling preference (i.e. do you want a 3-wheel vehicle or not), and you’ll be aware of the little things before you sit in it.
just my $0.02 (with inflation, $0.021)
- This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Jeffrey Reynolds Reynolds. Reason: Typo
- MemberJuly 13, 2022 at 11:27 am
I’m looking forward to test driving, or test riding if there’s a road show near Washington DC. The cabin seems small, and the ride seems bumpy, from videos. I need to see if I can live with those things.
- MemberJuly 13, 2022 at 11:35 am
Charlotte, the video rides have all been in Alpha prototypes, so there’s not really much of an example of the ride to be gotten from them. The soon to debut Gamma vehicle will have the completely updated suspension, and will reflect what we can expect from production models.
- MemberJuly 13, 2022 at 2:45 pm
Am crossing fingers that Aptera will show up locally for the LA Auto Show, this coming Nov 18-27. Hopefully with test drives as well.
- MemberAugust 25, 2022 at 5:13 pm
Like others, I am concerned about buying without seeing. I understand that road shows may not be practical, but I am willing to travel to see and touch the car. Is there a way to set something up at the factory, or plans to do so?
- MemberAugust 25, 2022 at 6:41 pm
Depending on when you reserved, things may change by the time you would be asked to place a full deposit. I would expect events with test driving opportunities to be part of the process. (I had one for Arcimoto a while back.) Additionally, many of the ambassadors (Myself included.) have expressed a willingness to help out with our vehicles as situations permit.
- MemberNovember 27, 2022 at 2:18 pm
As much as Aptera will cost I definitely will make the trip to san diego to test drive. Probably at least an hour to test the ergonomics of the yoke. Tesla yoke seemed fine for first half hour before the lack of hand positions/movement started getting to me. Worst case scenario Aptera supposedly has a 1000 mile, but who knows how much return shipping cost if they refuse to cover that.