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2021 model vs. old one, thoughts after couple hundred miles

Kenners

Member
Sep 29, 2019
216
199
London
This isn't a comprehensive review as I haven't driven that far but first impressions of the refresh model 3 vs. my previous one (which I sold to webuyanycar which offered me £4k more than Tesla!). Have gone from standard range to long range.

Tesla have improved their built quality a bit (its a lot less rattly) and have significantly improved their ability to paint things. I appreciate this might also be a case of me having a bad car last time and a better one this time - its not light years difference. I still have badly aligned rear lights but the boot does not scrape. Camera works so far, although that might not last! They can still get better on fitting the rubber seals, have a bit of a gap on the roof but the panel itself looks very centred and its not leaking, so I presume I can just see the drainage channel. All of the little bits and pieces they have added to the refresh all make the overall excellent driving/living with experience that bit better.

I especially like the new steering wheel, bit more comfortable for me and the new dials are great, the old ones always felt a few clicks (especially scrolling sideways) from breaking. Centre console is a big improvement and looks much nicer in the flesh. Auto boot is great I don't miss the tinny clunk and number plate rattle of the old one. Heatpump is a bit noisy, but seems to improve efficiency - the little bit of driving I have done looks positive on this, in the old SR+ the range really died in winter which was part of the motivation to upgrade (as was fact it hardly depreciated at all so made sense economically). I think I am getting similar wh/mi than I was in my SR+ on average. Not sure if new windows make any difference to cabin noise, I always thought the cabin was fairly quiet anyway, road buzz just more noticeable as there was no engine there.

The Tesla Freemont build quality seems to be only half the problem IMO. Most of the issues I have had with the car on collection seem to be a function of the team in the UK, like the small cut I now have in the centre console. Pretty sure it did not leave the factory like this. And stains over the trim and marks from all the protective stickers they use in transit that were not removed, that just seems poor valeting prior to collection. And the missing mudguards. These issues seem to come from rushed work getting the car ready for collection, which is what happens when you are trying to get 50 people into a new motor each day. If they just stopped trying to rush to meet quarter end I am sure it would pay dividends longer-term for the customer experience. They'd save a lot of cash too, not then needing to fix things that were damaged by rushing and clumsiness!! That said these are all minor.

Overall very pleased with the switch. LR is very rapid. Nice Christmas present (if only I could use it!)
 

Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
4,561
3,436
Scotland
Tesla have improved their built quality a bit (its a lot less rattly) and have significantly improved their ability to paint things. I appreciate this might also be a case of me having a bad car last time and a better one this time - its not light years difference. I still have badly aligned rear lights but the boot does not scrape. Camera works so far, although that might not last! They can still get better on fitting the rubber seals, have a bit of a gap on the roof but the panel itself looks very centred and its not leaking, so I presume I can just see the drainage channel. All of the little bits and pieces they have added to the refresh all make the overall excellent driving/living with experience that bit better.

Having read other accounts of the refresh model I'm doubting (unfortunately) that build quality is much different. My 2019 car is not rattly, no seals problems and didn't have paint issues ... so it seems most likely that car to car variation remains the name of the game.
 

VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,773
6,342
Surrey, UK
^ this - I suspect its more down to which production line it comes off - one is apparently more automated and (reading between the lines of a SC guys description) produces higher quality cars.
 
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mrobins64495

Member
Aug 23, 2019
358
137
bedfordshire
My 70 plate doesn’t have any builds quality issues tbf. 7000 miles in 4 months and the range has been great.

i also disagree on the new Centre console looks cheap to me more like something you’d find in a fiesta. I wrapped my current one in Matt grey and the finish looks great, I think they would of been better off just removing the black plastic.
 

CMc1

supercharge.info editor
Supporting Member
Aug 2, 2019
1,601
1,482
North, UK
Slightly off topic but I’m seeing more and more examples of people upgrading from 2019s to 2021s... (and keeping the same variant)
 

ACarneiro

Active Member
Jun 20, 2019
1,436
1,164
Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK
One of the things I like on my M3 is camping with the heating on overnight.
Presumably the refresh would have the heat pump whining away all night? Not sure that would be very pleasant.
Does anyone know if the refresh M3 have heating elements for when the battery is already too cold to heat the cabin?
 

mrobins64495

Member
Aug 23, 2019
358
137
bedfordshire
One of the things I like on my M3 is camping with the heating on overnight.
Presumably the refresh would have the heat pump whining away all night? Not sure that would be very pleasant.
Does anyone know if the refresh M3 have heating elements for when the battery is already too cold to heat the cabin?

does that not empty the battery?
 

TMThree

Active Member
Mar 28, 2019
1,118
1,781
USA
Having read other accounts of the refresh model I'm doubting (unfortunately) that build quality is much different. My 2019 car is not rattly, no seals problems and didn't have paint issues ... so it seems most likely that car to car variation remains the name of the game.

my coworkers 2018 had less tail light alignment issues than my 2019.

no rattles, but i did have a paint issues.

Build issues are random, and I don't think Tesla is really working on it, given what we've seen with ongoing problems in current builds. It's just luck of the draw.
 

GBMaryland

Member
Aug 10, 2019
18
8
Maryland
My 2018 M3 LR is pretty decent. No build issues that I'm aware of...

The only issue I've noticed is water vapor (condensation) in the pilar cameras when it's raining / very humid. Telsa tells me that it's an open system and that's to be expected.

(Telsa service in Rockville MD, US, is not very responsive and I haven't had time to argue about it...)
 

Fly-fish

Member
Dec 17, 2020
11
13
Lake Norman, North Carolina
This isn't a comprehensive review as I haven't driven that far but first impressions of the refresh model 3 vs. my previous one (which I sold to webuyanycar which offered me £4k more than Tesla!). Have gone from standard range to long range.

Tesla have improved their built quality a bit (its a lot less rattly) and have significantly improved their ability to paint things. I appreciate this might also be a case of me having a bad car last time and a better one this time - its not light years difference. I still have badly aligned rear lights but the boot does not scrape. Camera works so far, although that might not last! They can still get better on fitting the rubber seals, have a bit of a gap on the roof but the panel itself looks very centred and its not leaking, so I presume I can just see the drainage channel. All of the little bits and pieces they have added to the refresh all make the overall excellent driving/living with experience that bit better.

I especially like the new steering wheel, bit more comfortable for me and the new dials are great, the old ones always felt a few clicks (especially scrolling sideways) from breaking. Centre console is a big improvement and looks much nicer in the flesh. Auto boot is great I don't miss the tinny clunk and number plate rattle of the old one. Heatpump is a bit noisy, but seems to improve efficiency - the little bit of driving I have done looks positive on this, in the old SR+ the range really died in winter which was part of the motivation to upgrade (as was fact it hardly depreciated at all so made sense economically). I think I am getting similar wh/mi than I was in my SR+ on average. Not sure if new windows make any difference to cabin noise, I always thought the cabin was fairly quiet anyway, road buzz just more noticeable as there was no engine there.

The Tesla Freemont build quality seems to be only half the problem IMO. Most of the issues I have had with the car on collection seem to be a function of the team in the UK, like the small cut I now have in the centre console. Pretty sure it did not leave the factory like this. And stains over the trim and marks from all the protective stickers they use in transit that were not removed, that just seems poor valeting prior to collection. And the missing mudguards. These issues seem to come from rushed work getting the car ready for collection, which is what happens when you are trying to get 50 people into a new motor each day. If they just stopped trying to rush to meet quarter end I am sure it would pay dividends longer-term for the customer experience. They'd save a lot of cash too, not then needing to fix things that were damaged by rushing and clumsiness!! That said these are all minor.

Overall very pleased with the switch. LR is very rapid. Nice Christmas present (if only I could use it!)

_—————————————————-
We just went to pick up our ‘21 Tesla X Long Range on Saturday. Ended up not taking delivery the car showed so poorly. Dents in hood, fenders and rear bumper, defects in the paint, permanently scuffed leather, I could go on. Tesla blew it as did their transportation company and the local dealer. The excuse from the dealer was “we’re really busy so our detail team missed these things”. Personally I don’t care how busy they are, they completely blew it and this car is not repairable economically. They should not be called a detail team, but rather a general overview team. What a complete and utter disappointment on a car I’ve paid for in full. We are getting a new one from Fremont now, probably in the 8-12 weeks they originally quoted me. Tesla must fix their quality issues or the other car makers will blow them away within two years. Other car makers might not have the battery technology but they have systematic quality, not systematic defect production.
 

NewbieT

Active Member
Aug 16, 2019
1,255
878
North West
For me UK 2019 SR+ to UK 2021 LR

Very similar. Quality not significantly better. The old one wasn’t bad bad but the new one isn’t good good.

The heat pump is a little noisier than the old A/C but only noticeable when stationary.

The new double pane glass and electric boot are good. Cabin is definitely quieter.

If you’ve got a 2019/20 it’s not worth changing but 2021 is marginally better.
 
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james3332

Member
Oct 29, 2020
8
2
Boston
I went from a 2020 sr plus to a 2021 long range and my old car was miles better on fit and finish.
Quick upgrade to new vehicle! Range in SR+ not enough for you? How did it work out financially in terms of what you lost in depreciation, taxes and fees after selling (trading in?) and purchasing the new vehicle.
 

rebel1996

Member
Jul 8, 2019
30
26
Orlando
This isn't a comprehensive review as I haven't driven that far but first impressions of the refresh model 3 vs. my previous one (which I sold to webuyanycar which offered me £4k more than Tesla!). Have gone from standard range to long range.

Tesla have improved their built quality a bit (its a lot less rattly) and have significantly improved their ability to paint things. I appreciate this might also be a case of me having a bad car last time and a better one this time - its not light years difference. I still have badly aligned rear lights but the boot does not scrape. Camera works so far, although that might not last! They can still get better on fitting the rubber seals, have a bit of a gap on the roof but the panel itself looks very centred and its not leaking, so I presume I can just see the drainage channel. All of the little bits and pieces they have added to the refresh all make the overall excellent driving/living with experience that bit better.

I especially like the new steering wheel, bit more comfortable for me and the new dials are great, the old ones always felt a few clicks (especially scrolling sideways) from breaking. Centre console is a big improvement and looks much nicer in the flesh. Auto boot is great I don't miss the tinny clunk and number plate rattle of the old one. Heatpump is a bit noisy, but seems to improve efficiency - the little bit of driving I have done looks positive on this, in the old SR+ the range really died in winter which was part of the motivation to upgrade (as was fact it hardly depreciated at all so made sense economically). I think I am getting similar wh/mi than I was in my SR+ on average. Not sure if new windows make any difference to cabin noise, I always thought the cabin was fairly quiet anyway, road buzz just more noticeable as there was no engine there.

The Tesla Freemont build quality seems to be only half the problem IMO. Most of the issues I have had with the car on collection seem to be a function of the team in the UK, like the small cut I now have in the centre console. Pretty sure it did not leave the factory like this. And stains over the trim and marks from all the protective stickers they use in transit that were not removed, that just seems poor valeting prior to collection. And the missing mudguards. These issues seem to come from rushed work getting the car ready for collection, which is what happens when you are trying to get 50 people into a new motor each day. If they just stopped trying to rush to meet quarter end I am sure it would pay dividends longer-term for the customer experience. They'd save a lot of cash too, not then needing to fix things that were damaged by rushing and clumsiness!! That said these are all minor.

Overall very pleased with the switch. LR is very rapid. Nice Christmas present (if only I could use it!)


Did you get the 80kWh pack?
 

StealthP3D

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2018
10,317
87,808
Maple Falls, WA
Tesla have improved their built quality a bit (its a lot less rattly) and have significantly improved their ability to paint things. I appreciate this might also be a case of me having a bad car last time and a better one this time - its not light years difference.

I'm pretty sure you're correct that it's just luck of the draw. We have two Model 3's from May 2018 and September 2018. At the time we took delivery of them, the press was full of stories of panel gaps, paint drips, etc. but both of are cars were (are) perfect. No rattles in either one after more than two years of beating them up on gravel roads. My observation is that Tesla used a more solid chassis and high quality materials to build a car that stands out above the rest. particularly on the really critical things like tires, wheels, brakes, steering, shock absorbers, etc. The thing just feels solid.

I think far too much is made of build quality issues when it's a small minority of cars that have minor, cosmetic issues and a very low rate of more troubling issues.
 

Kenners

Member
Sep 29, 2019
216
199
London
Quick upgrade to new vehicle! Range in SR+ not enough for you? How did it work out financially in terms of what you lost in depreciation, taxes and fees after selling (trading in?) and purchasing the new vehicle.

For me I lost a bit over £3k from what I paid on my SR+ after 8.5k miles and 15 months. That is net. Would have been less had I not curbed all the wheels!! I got mine just before price rise so that helped. True cost lower than that given the reduction in running costs vs. ICE and general wear and tear. Hope the LR treats me so well!
 

EmOne

Member
Mar 28, 2020
219
171
Chicago
A lot of anecdotal speculation here. Looking at Consumer Reports on quality, the Model 3 does best of all Teslas, with no strong evidence of a trend, tho 2018 MAY have been its best year! The things people talk about the most (noises, alignments, paint) along with electronics are the relative weak points; as you might imagine, it has little in the way of engine and trans problems! Despite much worse quality, the other models (S,X and Y) all share with the 3 in being among the very highest rated cars in "satisfaction". This is not unheard of in the ICE realm, with the Corvette, Camaro and Mustang coming to mind. People will put up with some issues if the product is FUN!
Currently, Tesla as a brand is lower mid-pack in quality per CR, with the 3 achieving right in the middle. Going forward, I think it is true that it will have to do better to compete effectively. I think it will.
PS My anecdote is that my 2020 M3P has slight body panel alignment flaws, poor paint "sturdiness" on the rear bumper (I now have mud flaps to slow the development of the "acne"), suffered from bad "toe alignment" that evidenced by uneven/rapid tire wear. The good news is that the chassis is stiffer and more bank vault like than ANY of my BMW's (5), my 2 MB SUVs and SLK. Toss-up with Porsche GT3 997.1. The surface quality of the paint (orange peel), BTW, is also better than all but the Porsche and maybe the SLK. Not bad for a company that introduced first ground-up car 8 years ago!
 

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