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2020 SR+ - my 1 year review

The_Observer

Member
Feb 14, 2020
694
412
Los Angeles
I have been driving my 2020 Model 3 SR+ for about a year now, at about 16k miles. Coming from an older, 2012 Honda Civic, this car is an upgrade in every single way possible. I love it to death, and I do plan to drive it for a long time. Here’s my pros and cons:

Pros:

- Performance: it’s technically the slowest in the Model 3 lineup, but I still find it effortlessly to accelerate and pass other cars quickly. At around 280 hp and 290 lb/ft torque (might be different from sources), I believe it has good enough power for the streets.

- Handling: with its nearly 50/50 weight distribution (the Performance is exactly 50/50 I believe) and the center of gravity on the bottom of the car, makes this car handles like a dream. I would appreciate having better tires however, the OEM MXM4s aren’t exactly great for gripping the road.

- UI: Honestly, I am not too disappointed of not having apple carplay/android auto with this car, it would not make it a Tesla at all if it does. The UI is quick and responsive, and it’s being constantly updated all the time for new features, which makes the car less outdated.

- Integrated dashcam/sentry mode: I cannot imagine having another car without this capability. I would worry all the time knowing my car is not recording events that may damage my car (thankfully not yet, and hopefully never will).

- Autopilot tech: Driving in LA traffic is terrible during peak times (before covid), autopilot reduces my stress and fatigue by a good 80-90% on the road, even with basic autopilot.

- Regen/efficiency: It’s good to see that I can gain some range back with regenerative braking, more efficient, and less wear on the brakes as well, making a bit lower cost of ownership in that aspect.

Cons:

- Noise: There have been various reports from other people in the forum stating high levels of noise, unfortunately my car can get loud from driving high speeds from the wind. I have tried various methods to attempt to reduce it, but not too much luck with it.

Neutral:

- Range: Personally, I don’t find range a problem even with a SR+. My average drive to work and back home, no problem at all. But it can be certainly limiting to some, knowing that you can’t go too far without having to charge, so you do have to plan if you are going somewhere far, where you don’t really have to plan with an ICE car where there’s a gas station somewhere around the corner.

- Minimalistic design: I do really like not having a bunch of buttons for doing everything, and some of the touchscreen buttons are placed very well for easy access. But, some things like the windshield wipers can be a bit of hassle to play with, even though it does mostly well with automatic wiping.
 
Dec 10, 2020
52
30
Vancouver BC
2021 SR+ here, 1800 km in and more or less same feeling as you.

For noise, is it worse than your Civic? I am coming from a 2011 Cooper S and the SR+ is way quieter. My nit pick complaint about noise is the intermittent HVAC rumble/vibration, honestly...probably a vibration that existed in my Cooper that was hidden by ICE vibrations.

Big fan of the one pedal driving and the thought that I can almost never wear down my brake pads.

My only other con is the paint QC. Found a paint defect just 2 days ago after doing my first detail on the car. Small little bugger that I didn't catch during delivery, but definitely should have been caught in factory QC. I have my fingers crossed service will agree that its a defect and not a rock chip.
 
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The_Observer

Member
Feb 14, 2020
694
412
Los Angeles
2021 SR+ here, 1800 km in and more or less same feeling as you.

For noise, is it worse than your Civic? I am coming from a 2011 Cooper S and the SR+ is way quieter. My nit pick complaint about noise is the intermittent HVAC rumble/vibration, honestly...probably a vibration that existed in my Cooper that was hidden by ICE vibrations.

Big fan of the one pedal driving and the thought that I can almost never wear down my brake pads.

My only other con is the paint QC. Found a paint defect just 2 days ago after doing my first detail on the car. Small little bugger that I didn't catch during delivery, but definitely should have been caught in factory QC. I have my fingers crossed service will agree that its a defect and not a rock chip.

Compared to the 2012 civic, I would say about the same on highways, but the SR+ is quiet on low speeds. Compared to my mom's 2018 civic however... It's more quiet than my SR+ all around, atleast that's how I feel. Maybe Honda knows what they are doing.

I totally forgot the paint QC, yeah I have my fair share of defect as well, but I didn't really care. Although, the paint durability is rather weak compared to other cars, as other people in the forums have said the same thing.
 

RedWhite19

Member
Aug 17, 2020
466
280
Los Angeles
Nice review. The biggest con for me during these four months is the audio system. It is beyond poor.

Oh, and the body-roll could be better.
 
Last edited:
Dec 22, 2020
23
39
Florida
Nice review. The biggest con for me during these four months is the audio system. It is beyond poor.

So glad I have never owned a car with a "premium" sound system. Can't miss what you've never known. Honestly, I think the SR+ audio sounds great, but then, I've never been much of an audiophile and this is my first expensive car.
 
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doats1

Member
Sep 11, 2020
110
70
London
Nice review. The biggest con for me during these four months is the audio system. It is beyond poor.

Oh, and the body-roll could be better.

Audio is definitely subjective; I wouldn't call it poor. I'd say it's acceptable.

My biggest con is the shameful attempt at cruise control.
 
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RedWhite19

Member
Aug 17, 2020
466
280
Los Angeles
So glad I have never owned a car with a "premium" sound system. Can't miss what you've never known. Honestly, I think the SR+ audio sounds great, but then, I've never been much of an audiophile and this is my first expensive car.
I’ve had 3 other cars prior to my SR+. 06 E90 330i, 2014 E350 and a 2013 328i(Which I still own). All of these cars have a better system than the Model 3 by a wide-margin.

I’ve mentioned this before, if you’re coming from a Japanese manufacturer, then you’re going to be happy. So, yes, you’re correct, if you haven’t had it, then you’re not going to realize it.

Had I known Tesla was going to release a Model Y Sr+ that comes with premium sound, I would’ve probably waited. But Tesla doesn’t like to do things like that, a bit underhanded but it is what it is.
Audio is definitely subjective; I wouldn't call it poor. I'd say it's acceptable.

My biggest con is the shameful attempt at cruise control.


I’ve yet to really use cruise control(Or the autopilot) since my model 3 is my weekend car, and I enjoy just driving it rather than let the computer do it’s thing but what seems to be issue?
 

doats1

Member
Sep 11, 2020
110
70
London
I’ve had 3 other cars prior to my SR+. 06 E90 330i, 2014 E350 and a 2013 328i(Which I still own). All of these cars have a better system than the Model 3 by a wide-margin.

I’ve mentioned this before, if you’re coming from a Japanese manufacturer, then you’re going to be happy. So, yes, you’re correct, if you haven’t had it, then you’re not going to realize it.

Had I known Tesla was going to release a Model Y Sr+ that comes with premium sound, I would’ve probably waited. But Tesla doesn’t like to do things like that, a bit underhanded but it is what it is.



I’ve yet to really use cruise control(Or the autopilot) since my model 3 is my weekend car, and I enjoy just driving it rather than let the computer do it’s thing but what seems to be issue?

It might be less of an issue in the US, but in the UK the cruise control (like AP), suffers from a lot of phantom braking.
 
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Dec 10, 2020
52
30
Vancouver BC
So glad I have never owned a car with a "premium" sound system. Can't miss what you've never known. Honestly, I think the SR+ audio sounds great, but then, I've never been much of an audiophile and this is my first expensive car.

Ah yes, I had a complaint on the SR+ audio as well. My mini didnt have any special sound system (not harmon, not bose) and I felt the mini sounded better.

Not sure if its worse speakers or that the Mini was just smaller and audio bounced around better. I feel the SR+ audio lacks something... I will upgrade as soon as the 2021 harness is available.
 

Tarpan

Member
Jan 2, 2021
109
112
Vancouver, BC
I'm only a month into my 2021 SR+ and I think my sentiments follow pretty much the same.
I am deeply in love. My last cars have been a Rogue and Civics before that and it drives like a dream by comparison.
100% agreed about autopilot. The included autopilot works really really well and solves for pretty much all of the aspects of driving that I don't enjoy.

I haven't picked up on any noise issues (other than a general commentary about AC noise outside the car that I created another thread about) but highway winds etc I haven't noticed. It is a ton quieter than my rogue.

I had some and my wife had a large fear about range. Ultimately went ahead with it as it was a huge price difference vs the long range Y we were considering as the alternative (30k price difference) and not only has range not been a problem but we have found that we are barely putting a scratch it in it, even on the long drives that are part of our normal schedule.

It might come up when we try to do some road tripping, but even there with the new SCs planned that shouldn't be a concern.

I think my one complaint is the lack of a hitch option. Musk has said that was coming 5 years ago and I would still like it. I don't have a big needs for that hitch and the 3 can definitely handle it just fine seeing as it's rated in europe. Seeing it available over there drives me a bit batty.

Oh, and a smaller second one...the disabled footwell lights...that's just silly...it's such a small difference and the hardware is there...just enable the two stupid little light bulbs.
 
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Coddiwompler

Member
Jan 6, 2021
6
4
San Francisco
Great review!

I'm only a month into my SR+ ownership, But I'm really happy with it. (Previous Car was a 2012 VW GTI)


Sound: It's actually pretty great. Very clean. You aren't going to shake the neighbor's house, but I actually love listening to jazz in it. Very crisp.

Range: It has been more than fine. Living in the Bay Area I'm a bit spoiled with SCs. There are 4 on my 20 mins drive to work....including one at my work...so yeah, I know that is not the case for most people. I also charge at home. So plenty of range.

Foglights: I honestly didn't care about having foglights, I think I used them like 4 times in my GTI. However, I love the looks of the LED strip. Sooo...I bought some on eBay and swapped them out. :). Pretty easy and I love the look. Didn't wire in the fog though...I'm still in my no destruction phase of ownership. :p (The led strip is just plug and play with the normal SR+ amber light)

Agree on the footwell lights. Elon, just let me give you $100 bucks so I can activate it like the rear heated seats. 2 small led lights is hardly premium. Just seems silly having the hardware sitting there for no reason.

I'm a bit too new to this car to offer too much insight. But I honestly think the SR+ deserves a bit more love, it's really an amazing car for the price. There is always something faster and fancier. I think you get amazing bang for your buck with this car.

(Also for those of you considering buying, be sure to budget in accessories...it is a never-ending rabbit hole of fun stuff to get! )
 

Tarpan

Member
Jan 2, 2021
109
112
Vancouver, BC
Foglights: I honestly didn't care about having foglights, I think I used them like 4 times in my GTI. However, I love the looks of the LED strip. Sooo...I bought some on eBay and swapped them out. :). Pretty easy and I love the look. Didn't wire in the fog though...I'm still in my no destruction phase of ownership. :p (The led strip is just plug and play with the normal SR+ amber light)

Can you tell me more / point me in the right direction on doing this / what needs to go in there?
 

Coddiwompler

Member
Jan 6, 2021
6
4
San Francisco
Can you tell me more / point me in the right direction on doing this / what needs to go in there?

There are many on ebay... Here's an example Be sure to buy left and right.

Then I followed this tutorial on Youtube.

He does a pretty good job explaining. Removing isn't too tricky, but aside from the 3 screws, there are 4 tabs along the top, simple flat head screwdriver will lift those off. Then there are 2 wire harnesses that you need to unclip, I just reached around from the front and used some needlenose pliers to pinch them and they came right out.

He explains in the video and I agree, the driver side is much harder to get out because the horn is in the way. Not impossible though, just take a bit of hand gymnastics to get back there. A standard T-25 screwdriver does the job.

It was a fun afternoon project and probably cost more than it should. But I actually love it more than I thought I would. Feels more complete now. :).
 
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Tarpan

Member
Jan 2, 2021
109
112
Vancouver, BC
There are many on ebay... Here's an example Be sure to buy left and right.

Then I followed this tutorial on Youtube.

He does a pretty good job explaining. Removing isn't too tricky, but aside from the 3 screws, there are 4 tabs along the top, simple flat head screwdriver will lift those off. Then there are 2 wire harnesses that you need to unclip, I just reached around from the front and used some needlenose pliers to pinch them and they came right out.

He explains in the video and I agree, the driver side is much harder to get out because the horn is in the way. Not impossible though, just take a bit of hand gymnastics to get back there. A standard T-25 screwdriver does the job.

It was a fun afternoon project and probably cost more than it should. But I actually love it more than I thought I would. Feels more complete now. :).


Amazing, thanks. Looks like I found my next project.
 

Mr X

Future Martian
Jan 18, 2013
2,140
1,675
Simi Valley, CA
I'm only a month into my 2021 SR+ and I think my sentiments follow pretty much the same.
I am deeply in love. My last cars have been a Rogue and Civics before that and it drives like a dream by comparison.
100% agreed about autopilot. The included autopilot works really really well and solves for pretty much all of the aspects of driving that I don't enjoy.

I haven't picked up on any noise issues (other than a general commentary about AC noise outside the car that I created another thread about) but highway winds etc I haven't noticed. It is a ton quieter than my rogue.

I had some and my wife had a large fear about range. Ultimately went ahead with it as it was a huge price difference vs the long range Y we were considering as the alternative (30k price difference) and not only has range not been a problem but we have found that we are barely putting a scratch it in it, even on the long drives that are part of our normal schedule.

It might come up when we try to do some road tripping, but even there with the new SCs planned that shouldn't be a concern.

I think my one complaint is the lack of a hitch option. Musk has said that was coming 5 years ago and I would still like it. I don't have a big needs for that hitch and the 3 can definitely handle it just fine seeing as it's rated in europe. Seeing it available over there drives me a bit batty.

Oh, and a smaller second one...the disabled footwell lights...that's just silly...it's such a small difference and the hardware is there...just enable the two stupid little light bulbs.




My SR+


Rw683wz.jpg
 

Fernand

Active Member
Mar 22, 2019
1,492
1,499
Northern california
Hey, I got da blue LEDs too. There are so many sources, and even each batch is different.
Say these were very bright, ice-blue, good for trunk and front puddle lights.
These were a dimmer deeper richer blue, much better for the interior foot well.
.
 

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