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Biggest Positive and Negative Surprises About Model 3 AWD Performance Version

dfwatt

Active Member
Sep 24, 2018
3,199
5,215
FL
This thread is to help new users find out what other new users have learned, in some cases, the hard way, but also to help spread the word on some positive surprises. Negatives or positive don't have to be about the car's driving and operation only, and can also be about the dealer and any other aspect of the ownership and purchasing experience. Please organized these into lists, for example, see next post.
 

dfwatt

Active Member
Sep 24, 2018
3,199
5,215
FL
Biggest Negatives about Ownership and Delivery

1) How disorganized Tesla seems to be in the face of going from a few hundred to 5,000 cars a week output. Delivery times aren't reliable, title not delivered with car, and our delivery person in seems totally underwater. Not clear this is truly surprising but it has been frustrating, esp. since I can't register the car without the title.

2) Lag in getting car app initialized - and need to have some kind of email sent in to Tesla after delivery has been signed for? What's the point of that?

3) Fuggetabout getting anything off sticker - although this isn't a surprise as I didn't expect it. Seller's market

Biggest Positive Surprises About the Car's Operation

1) How much of a 'smooth cruisemobile' it can be instead of just a great performing sports sedan. Easiest car to drive I've ever experienced. Ease of just simple things like getting into Park, Drive, Reverse (in contrast with finding neutral, wich isn't so easy!)

2) Related to #1, really good ride quality despite the 35 series tires and the rather heavy wheels. It's a really, really comfortable car to ride in, although I am coming from a car that requires a kidney belt due to it's very stiff hard aftermarket suspension, and 12 year old suspension bushings, so perhaps I suffer from too low expectations. But even with allowance for this, it seems to be really nice ride - and I can't figure how Car and Driver slammed the softer base model 3 suspension as "not great riding." Can't wait to experience the ride with much lighter alloys, which should improve its compliance over bumps even more. Somehow, this aspect of the car's behavior didn't register so clearly during the test drive, probably because I was too busy mashing the throttle :p:p and feeling the G forces such that I didn't as much notice other things I wasn't feeling, like NVH (noise, vibration and harshness). Very impressive and it spoils you.

3) How much I love regen braking. Not just from an economy and range standpoint, but from a safety standpoint, in that just lifting off gets you about .3 G's braking, such that if something unexpected is in front of you, you are slowing down to a non-trivial degree BEFORE you can ever hit the brake pedal. Really a great safety feature, and underappreciated from that standpoint (see #8)

4) How great the sound system is! Wow! And the streaming music channels, all laid out for you. Neat.

5) The amazing and paradigm shifting cell phone-centered entry and exit. Could NEVER go back to keys, key fobs, etc.

6) How quickly I've gotten used to the great touchscreen, the phone-centered remote control functionality, etc. I think this underscores how well Tesla made the whole process so intuitive, and how much thought and development time must have gone into the operating system.

7) how much SPACE the car has for such a compact body, and the phenomenal space utilization.

8) How safe I feel in the car, knowing its great passive and active safety features, including class-leading crash worthiness esp. around the side impact scenario, which is often lethal or at least injurious - did you know that in the frontal barrier collision, the windshield doesn't even break? The integration of warnings about cars crossing over into your lane, and the display in red of vehicles that represent potential dangers in left side of the touchscreen. The class leading braking (60-0 in under 100 ft)

9) that I just love the car as much as I do, can't believe that Tesla has made such an incredible vehicle that laps the sports sedan field, after just 6 short years of work on EV.

10) that I can get at least 240 whr/mi around town (140 MPGe)
 
Last edited:
Dec 3, 2012
460
36
Elizabeth, CO
I was unpleasantly surprised that it doesn't have XM-Sirius Satellite radio. I got very used to that in my 2013 Model S P85. I know I can stream it from my phone over BT, but if I don't have a decent cell signal, that doesn't work. That is one of the beauties of satellite radio.

Other than that, I absolutely love my Model 3 Performance with the PUP, EAP, and FSD.
 

ulrichw

Member
Apr 1, 2016
141
247
SF Bay Area
How much "juice" the heater takes: My first mostly-freeway commute to work (12.5 miles) I averaged 318 Wh/mile, even though I kept my speed moderate (66-ish mph). This commute is slightly hilly and the destination is 200-300 feet higher in altitude than the point of origination, but that number still seemed high.
I later realized I'd had the heat on, and made it a point to turn the climate control system completely off for subsequent commutes.
The results: Same route, same speed, roughly 240 Wh/mile.

Other manufacturers use heat pumps for heating - I wish Tesla would do that. It's great that the Tesla heater can heat so effectively, but a heat pump would potentially deliver the same amount of heat with less than a third the energy consumption. Given that they already have an AC (which is basically a heat pump hardwired for cooling), this seems like an obvious enhancement.
 

dfwatt

Active Member
Sep 24, 2018
3,199
5,215
FL
I was unpleasantly surprised that it doesn't have XM-Sirius Satellite radio. I got very used to that in my 2013 Model S P85. I know I can stream it from my phone over BT, but if I don't have a decent cell signal, that doesn't work. That is one of the beauties of satellite radio.

Other than that, I absolutely love my Model 3 Performance with the PUP, EAP, and FSD.

What do you think of the streaming stations? I didn't realize that Tesla was picking up the tab for that LTE connection for just 1 year. Should provide 2 for the cost of the AWD performance version . . . .
 

dfwatt

Active Member
Sep 24, 2018
3,199
5,215
FL
How much "juice" the heater takes: My first mostly-freeway commute to work (12.5 miles) I averaged 318 Wh/mile, even though I kept my speed moderate (66-ish mph). This commute is slightly hilly and the destination is 200-300 feet higher in altitude than the point of origination, but that number still seemed high.
I later realized I'd had the heat on, and made it a point to turn the climate control system completely off for subsequent commutes.
The results: Same route, same speed, roughly 240 Wh/mile.

Other manufacturers use heat pumps for heating - I wish Tesla would do that. It's great that the Tesla heater can heat so effectively, but a heat pump would potentially deliver the same amount of heat with less than a third the energy consumption. Given that they already have an AC (which is basically a heat pump hardwired for cooling), this seems like an obvious enhancement.

Great point. I haven't had to use the heater but I've heard that it is a range killer
 
Last edited:

nogassnorlax

Member
Jul 26, 2018
107
28
USA
Too many pros to list..

But here are few of my complains:

- Not great with blindspotting although I suspect you will get a feel for it the more you own the car. Test drove the P3D+ twice the first time didn’t really have a problem, but the second time I noticed this. Maybe it was my seating position, it’s hard to tell because any seating position is comfortable lol

- You lose track of the speed very easily

Thats about it for me.
 

Stretch2727

Engineer and Car Nut
Nov 8, 2015
551
3,902
East Coast, USA
I have a RWD long range and the M3P+ so I can give some comparisons.

Positives

-The suspension is definitely stiffer but in no way harsh. I prefer over the RWD.
-The acceleration is just crazy. I love that every acceleration ramp is 3-4x longer than I will ever need.

Negatives

-I have noticed some tire dust on the wheels and fender lips behind the tires. Not sure if this is due to newness or a sign that they will not last too long. I have the 20" wheels with the Michelin ProSports. Never noticed this on my RWD 19" with all seasons.
-I sometimes find myself apologizing to my wife after a hard acceleration pushes her head to the headrest. I get a turn of the head and a glassy stare from her each time. Maybe I need to use chill mode with her in the car.
 

dfwatt

Active Member
Sep 24, 2018
3,199
5,215
FL
When I am driving the M3P sometimes I forget how it accelerates and give my passengers whiplash.

When I am driving an ICE sometimes I forget that pushing the pedal doesn't do anything... for a while.
Biggest Negatives about Ownership and Delivery

1) How disorganized Tesla seems to be in the face of going from a few hundred to 5,000 cars a week output. Delivery times aren't reliable, title not delivered with car, and our delivery person in seems totally underwater. Not clear this is truly surprising but it has been frustrating, esp. since I can't register the car without the title.

2) Lag in getting car app initialized - and need to have some kind of email sent in to Tesla after delivery has been signed for? What's the point of that?

3) Fuggetabout getting anything off sticker - although this isn't a surprise as I didn't expect it. Seller's market

Biggest Positive Surprises About the Car's Operation

1) How much of a 'smooth cruisemobile' it can be instead of just a great performing sports sedan. Easiest car to drive I've ever experienced. Ease of just simple things like getting into Park, Drive, Reverse (in contrast with finding neutral, wich isn't so easy!)

2) Related to #1, really good ride quality despite the 35 series tires and the rather heavy wheels. It's a really, really comfortable car to ride in, although I am coming from a car that requires a kidney belt due to it's very stiff hard aftermarket suspension, and 12 year old suspension bushings, so perhaps I suffer from too low expectations. But even with allowance for this, it seems to be really nice ride - and I can't figure how Car and Driver slammed the softer base model 3 suspension as "not great riding." Can't wait to experience the ride with much lighter alloys, which should improve its compliance over bumps even more. Somehow, this aspect of the car's behavior didn't register so clearly during the test drive, probably because I was too busy mashing the throttle :p:p and feeling the G forces such that I didn't as much notice other things I wasn't feeling, like NVH (noise, vibration and harshness). Very impressive and it spoils you.

3) How much I love regen braking. Not just from an economy and range standpoint, but from a safety standpoint, in that just lifting off gets you about .3 G's braking, such that if something unexpected is in front of you, you are slowing down to a non-trivial degree BEFORE you can ever hit the brake pedal. Really a great safety feature, and underappreciated from that standpoint (see #8)

4) How great the sound system is! Wow! And the streaming music channels, all laid out for you. Neat.

5) The amazing and paradigm shifting cell phone-centered entry and exit. Could NEVER go back to keys, key fobs, etc.

6) How quickly I've gotten used to the great touchscreen, the phone-centered remote control functionality, etc. I think this underscores how well Tesla made the whole process so intuitive, and how much thought and development time must have gone into the operating system.

7) how much SPACE the car has for such a compact body, and the phenomenal space utilization.

8) How safe I feel in the car, knowing its great passive and active safety features, including class-leading crash worthiness esp. around the side impact scenario, which is often lethal or at least injurious - did you know that in the frontal barrier collision, the windshield doesn't even break? The integration of warnings about cars crossing over into your lane, and the display in red of vehicles that represent potential dangers in left side of the touchscreen. The class leading braking (60-0 in under 100 ft)

9) that I just love the car as much as I do, can't believe that Tesla has made such an incredible vehicle that laps the sports sedan field, after just 6 short years of work on EV.

10) that I can get at least 240 whr/mi around town (140 MPGe)

I forgot one of the best unexpected pluses - delivery quality control. I was half expecting the doors to be falling off the car, after I heard all the horror stories about QC in the Model 3 in the media and on the blogs. We have two Model 3 (both AWD Performance Models), both delivered in virtually perfect condition. One had a <1mm dark spot on the front hood paint job. Tesla told us about it before hand, was highly apologetic, and offered to fix before delivery or after. I couldn't even find it initially - and probably won't have it fixed as pearlescent white paint is hard to match. Otherwise, both cars appear to be in perfect condition.
 

shrspeedblade

Rideshare Monkey
Sep 29, 2015
1,129
4,211
CA, United States
Great point. I haven't had to use the heater but I've heard that it is a range killer

This is more coming from my years of 2nd gen Volt ownership, but use the heated seats in preference to the heater. If needed set the internal temp for 60 or something in conjunction. It makes a big difference in power draw and in my opinion feels better:nice to be pressed down in a warm seat on a cool morning!
 

skrtskrt

Member
Sep 30, 2018
575
132
USA/EU
Love the car in every way possible. My only gripe is:

Does anyone have issues with rear view visibility?

Also sometimes it's not enjoyable in the sense that fear follows up because you go from too quick (having fun) to "oh sh*t, I need to slow down" within 3 seconds. Anyone know how to combat this? I wish I didn't have to look at my speedometer and be carefree LOL!


Besides that, I love this car to death and don't get me wrong I enjoy the speed, just wish I can savor it cause it happens so quick :eek:
 

chinnam3

Member
Apr 26, 2018
328
231
Bellevue
How much "juice" the heater takes: My first mostly-freeway commute to work (12.5 miles) I averaged 318 Wh/mile, even though I kept my speed moderate (66-ish mph). This commute is slightly hilly and the destination is 200-300 feet higher in altitude than the point of origination, but that number still seemed high.
I later realized I'd had the heat on, and made it a point to turn the climate control system completely off for subsequent commutes.
The results: Same route, same speed, roughly 240 Wh/mile.

Other manufacturers use heat pumps for heating - I wish Tesla would do that. It's great that the Tesla heater can heat so effectively, but a heat pump would potentially deliver the same amount of heat with less than a third the energy consumption. Given that they already have an AC (which is basically a heat pump hardwired for cooling), this seems like an obvious enhancement.

I think Tesla uses waste heat generated by Drive train to heat the cabin. This is supposed to be much more efficient than regular heating.

I also remember reading somewhere Model 3 has heatpump, but I am not certain.
 

dfwatt

Active Member
Sep 24, 2018
3,199
5,215
FL
Love the car in every way possible. My only gripe is:

Does anyone have issues with rear view visibility?

Also sometimes it's not enjoyable in the sense that fear follows up because you go from too quick (having fun) to "oh sh*t, I need to slow down" within 3 seconds. Anyone know how to combat this? I wish I didn't have to look at my speedometer and be carefree LOL!


Besides that, I love this car to death and don't get me wrong I enjoy the speed, just wish I can savor it cause it happens so quick :eek:

YES! It really sucks that you look in the rearview mirror and it feels a bit like you are looking out a gunslit! About that 3 seconds, if you had the roadster, it would only be 2 sec before you are in trouble, 3 seconds would have you in deep sh__. :oops::oops::oops:
 

dfwatt

Active Member
Sep 24, 2018
3,199
5,215
FL
This thread is to help new users find out what other new users have learned, in some cases, the hard way, but also to help spread the word on some positive surprises. Negatives or positive don't have to be about the car's driving and operation only, and can also be about the dealer and any other aspect of the ownership and purchasing experience. Please organized these into lists, for example, see next post.

And my number one pet peeve . . . left out for some reason, is that the free supercharging promised to those Model 3P orders paid and deposited before Sept 16th hasn't materialized. Does anyone else with this benefit (all the early buyers of the 3P) know what the story is, and when the account will show the corrected status?
 

SION1771

Member
Sep 4, 2018
73
57
Chicagoland
And my number one pet peeve . . . left out for some reason, is that the free supercharging promised to those Model 3P orders paid and deposited before Sept 16th hasn't materialized. Does anyone else with this benefit (all the early buyers of the 3P) know what the story is, and when the account will show the corrected status?

I'm getting free supercharging (and I'm supposed to), but my account still says I'm supposed to pay for it.
 

mmccking

Member
Jun 28, 2018
125
104
Bay Area
Have any Model 3 owners gotten use to this yet? Please tell me it eventually gets better with time

It does not...coming from a BMW i3 and plug-in Prius the Model 3's sedan-like rearward visibility is definitely the biggest drawback.

That's why I hope the blindspot detection feature in the next SW update will do more than just turn a small portion of the dashpad red.
 

BrandonLive

MS LR Blue/Black/FSD 19s -> 21s RN11455, VIN!
Sep 24, 2018
341
598
Seattle
And my number one pet peeve . . . left out for some reason, is that the free supercharging promised to those Model 3P orders paid and deposited before Sept 16th hasn't materialized. Does anyone else with this benefit (all the early buyers of the 3P) know what the story is, and when the account will show the corrected status?

I bought mine after (ordered AWD on 9/16, but changed after and took delivering of P3D+ on 9/28). I was promised unlimited supercharging if I took delivery of a P by EOM. The sales guy who has been very helpful and set me up with the car says it’s a widespread problem they’re having with the P3s and it’s being worked on. He said just to not put a credit card on the account (I’d already had one from the deposit so I removed it) and that any charges will be taken care of. I am concerned and will feel much better when that page updates to say unlimited instead of pay-per-use, but am glad to hear it’s not just me. They told me I’d get it and I asked and confirmed many times, so I expect they’ll sort it out eventually.
 

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