I drove the Tesla Cybertruck. These 7 design flaws surprised me.

I drove a Tesla Cybertruck around Texas for three days and was surprised to find a handful of apparent oversights in its design, from a scary frunk mechanism to charging issues.
I drove a Tesla Cybertruck around Texas for three days and was surprised to find a handful of apparent oversights in its design, from a scary frunk mechanism to charging issues.Graham Rapier; Chelsea Jia Feng/BI
  • I tested Tesla's brand new Cybertruck.

  • The electric truck is fun to drive and turns heads everywhere it goes.

  • But some small oversights made the expensive product feel rushed.

The Cybertruck is unlike anything I've ever driven.

Even before I got behind the wheel, its metallic angles screamed uniqueness from across a parking lot. On the road, it drew gaping looks from other drivers, while pedestrians chased it down for photos.

Inside the truck, things only got more quirky. It had all the standard Tesla features, like a massive screen for controlling almost everything, a card (or phone) that acts as the key, voice control, and a yoke-shaped steering wheel.


But a few features stuck out to me and felt surprisingly rushed — especially in the company's newest and most highly anticipated product yet.

Are they all dealbreakers? Probably not. But for a price tag of more than $100,000, potential customers are allowed to be a little discerning, even if the main draw here is aesthetics and completely over-the-top specs.

These seven features annoyed me in my three-day jaunt around central Texas:

The Cybertruck's massive windshield doesn't mesh well with the Texas sun.

Tesla Cybertruck parked and charging on a sunny day
The Cybertruck's massive windshield and dark sunroof aren't going to be fun in the summer.Graham Rapier/Business Insider

The Cybertruck's windshield is massive and more horizontal than many other vehicles. In the Texas sun, this didn't mesh well with the truck's all-black interior.

Driving in direct sunlight, any part of my arm or leg that was exposed and not getting direct ventilation was uncomfortable, and I knew cranking the air conditioning would drain battery life.

Inconveniently, the controls for the AC vents are buried in a settings menu on the main screen. No simple, one-motion adjustment of an air vent here — this is the future!

Charging also got hot. It was barely spring when I tested out the Cybertruck, and within three hours of charging in the direct sunlight, temperatures inside had climbed to more than 130 degrees.

Luckily, Elon Musk has tried to counter this somewhat with remote AC and window controls, and "dog mode."

I questioned whether anyone tested the sun visors.

Tesla Cybertruck interior showing windshield and sun visor
The Cybertruck's sun visors only cover a tiny sliver of incoming light — and leave window exposed when flipped down.Graham Rapier/Business Insider

Like most cars, the upper part of the Cybertruck's windshield has extra tint to help with glare. But unlike most cars, the Cybertruck's sun visor leaves some windshield exposed when unfolded for use — and plenty of sun can still wreak havoc.

Don't forget your sunglasses! They won't just be to look cool.

Want to fast charge on a non-Tesla plug? Good luck.

Screenshot of Tesla's website showing a CCS Combo 1 adapter for sale and a note that it does not work on Cybertruck
Tesla will sell you an adapter to charge at CCS plugs, but many of its models require a service appointment to make it work. It specifically does not work on the Cybertruck, Tesla says. Tesla

I learned the hard way that charging infrastructure in this country is still a long way from perfect. All Tesla cars come with an adapter for some slow charger plugs, as was the case in my Turo rental.

But newer fast chargers not run by Tesla usually feature a plug known as CCS, which was basically the industry standard before a big switch to Tesla's plugs last year by most automakers.

To charge at one of those, you'll need a different adapter that Tesla sells for $250. However, it specifically does not work with the Cybertruck because of its protruding plastic fenders. Some other Tesla models require a service appointment to make it work.

Of the more than 40,000 public fast-charging plugs in the US, more than 60% are Tesla, according to data from the Department of Energy. Tesla's plugs are the clear winner here, but not being able to use any others could certainly be a headache.

The truck lacks door handles in the ceiling.

Cybertruck interior showing the driver cockpit, steering wheel, and central control screen.
The Cybertruck's tall size and lack of handles might make entering and exiting difficult for some people.Graham Rapier/Business Insider

What are nervous passengers supposed to grab while warning you of brake lights ahead?!

For a truck designed to excite, there's a surprising lack of "oh shit handles" for surprised passengers to grip during a terrified yelp while accelerating from 0 to 100-and-god-knows-what in a matter of seconds.

It's like a roller coaster, except there also isn't room to fully extend your hands in the air either.

To be fair, the backseat still has requisite hooks for hanging garments. No handle there, either.

You better hope the automatic suspension adjustment to "entry" height when parking is enough. These standard handles are about accessibility.

The wheel covers are easily damaged.

Tesla Cybertruck parallel parked on a curb in a residential neighborhood
The Cybertruck's wheels are oversized, to say the least.Graham Rapier/Business Insider

Wheel covers are a ubiquitous part of nearly every single electric vehicle. They improve aerodynamics by reducing drag, which helps range. In some cases, they look cool too.

But unlike in some other Tesla models, the Cybertruck's plastic wheel covers extend beyond the tire. Even the lightest scrape of a curb is noticeable.

Aesthetics aside, when you combine the truck's massive footprint and less-than-nimble maneuvering with tight spaces, it's a disaster waiting to happen.

Here's a close-up of the damage from the lightest of brushes with a curb.

Tesla Cybertruck wheel
The Cybertruck wheel covers easily show damage.Graham Rapier/Business Insider

Sure, the buyers of a $100,000 truck are probably going to have a garage. But what about the trendy restaurant downtown with only street parking? Are you going to trust the valet with this?

Traffic-aware cruise control was far from perfect.

Tesla traffic-aware cruise control on screen
In most cases, the Cybertruck's cameras correctly identified red lights, other traffic, bikes, pedestrians, and even a train.Graham Rapier/Business Insider.

This rental Cybertruck didn't have Autopilot or Full Self-Driving yet, despite having all the necessary hardware. Still, I'm not sure I would have trusted it based on one incident alone.

Let's set the scene:

I was cruising down a highway at more than 70 miles per hour when I approached a flashing yellow light that warned of an intersection ahead. The truck suddenly started beeping incessantly and braking, despite no actual change in the road ahead.

To be fair, Tesla does say in its manual that traffic-light and stop-sign control is a beta feature that "may also stop at green lights."

I appreciate the robo-concern, but the hiccup shows how many of these so-called edge cases will need to be conquered before true self-driving software can exist at any meaningful scale.

Beware, children, of the death frunk.

Tesla Cybertruck front storage area, or frunk
The Cybertruck's front trunk isn't massive, but it is a massive safety hazard.Graham Rapier/Business Insider

This frunk is not safe.

I placed a carrot on the open frunk's frame to test the sensitivity of the lid as it closed. The door sliced cleanly through the carrot.

I'm far from the first person to use a faux-finger carrot in the front-trunk's closing mechanism. It still was unsettling to see in person.

Most other cars have automatic sensors to detect a rogue body part in the way of a closing trunk or frunk, but apparently not the Cybertruck. Watch out for those fingers!

Hey, at least it has a button for opening from the inside in case you are stuck or kidnapped (as required by law).

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