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Is Model 3 a good first car?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by arnoldhendrick, Mar 4, 2017.

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Is Model 3 a good first car?

  1. Yes.

  2. No.

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  1. arnoldhendrick

    arnoldhendrick New Member

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    Do you think Model 3 is a good first car?
    Or do you think its lack of a traditional engine may be detrimental to a beginner (e.g. because of care, learning to shift gears, too much driver assistance)?

    Assume one can easily afford it.
     
  2. gregincal

    gregincal Active Member

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    As far as learning to shift gears it's no worse than an automatic transmission as a first car. I suppose it depends on whether you think it will be worthwhile to learn those things. I figure it's possible than my 7 year old son may not ever even need to learn how to drive (hard to say at this point).
     
  3. Thomas Edison

    Thomas Edison Member

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    I'd say without AP it's just as good as any automatic as a first car. I mean it has a steering wheel and 2 pedals like most cars in the United States.

    I'd say a hummer would be a bad first car. But a Model 3, you're good. Just drive for 6 months before you turn autopilot on. So you actually learn to drive instead of learn to help drive.
     
    • Like x 2
  4. int32_t

    int32_t Tesla Spotter

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    It's going to be a first car for me, assuming I can hold out until then without getting some used car to get me through. But then, I've already practised on the family car. :p
     
    • Funny x 1
  5. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    First you will need to check the visibility from inside the car. For beginning driver's that's a deal breaker. Also the Model 3 might be a bit more power than most parents are comfy with. Today's cars often have Teen Driver mode, which allows you to enforce a speed limit, enforce max stereo volume, record driving speed information, and track the car location. See if that is an option.

    The #1 killer of teens in the USA is automobile accidents. One major cause of accidents is excessive speed, and the second is distracted driving. Your best bet is a speed limited car and kid who WON'T use their phone. Realistically, a car that doesn't tempt one to street race, and something that does phone messaging and calls completely hands free by voice commands is more realistic.
     
    • Like x 2
  6. Wolverinegeoff

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    Good crash ratings (we assume), standard safety features like AEB, automatic tracking via GPS on Tesla App, dual motor option for better handling/less chance of sliding, and they don't have to pay for gas because they can charge at home! Probably a great teen car. Only downside is that you'd possibly have to give them space in the garage to charge, when normally they are relegated to the driveway or street :D. Also a little expensive if we are talking a first car for someone IMO...
     
  7. Topher

    Topher Energy Curmudgeon

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    This assumes that when moving on from the Model 3 they would be going to a 'traditional engine' car. Which seems remarkably unlikely. Many people now don't know how to shift gears, and they get along fine(ish). The sooner one learns how to drive the cars that will make up the majority of one's driving experience the better (IMHO).

    Thank you kindly.
     
  8. McRat

    McRat Active Member

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    Manual transmission cars are not rare in Europe like in the USA. The majority of people know how to drive stick in Europe, but very few in the USA do. Only 6% of cars sold in the USA have a stick.

    But Europe will change soon. Overprotective Stability Control, new emission controls, and tighter economy restrictions work better with automatics, which actually get better fuel economy and emissions than manuals now assuming state-of-the-art software. Companies without the software skills still show manuals as less thirsty at the pump.

    Ferrari even dropped manual transmissions now. Who would have imagined that 10 years ago?
     
  9. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Well, my 4 year old Model S is my 16 year old daughter's first car. Other than completely spoiling her for driving any ICE, it's a fine first car. The Model 3 would be even better as it is smaller (easier to handle). She did drive an ICE once and her comment was 'the gas pedal is so unresponsive! You push it and a random time later the car responds.".
     
    • Like x 2
    • Funny x 2
  10. mikevbf

    mikevbf Member

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    @McRat +1 on idea of a "Teen Driver Mode". Out here in the east of the country less people are of aware of Teslas. One of the more enthusiastic and informed segments here surprisingly is the teen segment. Many have asked me how to convince their parents to get a Tesla. I usually tell them that the most dangerous thing most of us do on a day to day basis is driving. And driving is most dangerous for the extreme driving ages ie teens and elderly. I share some videos of Musk presenting how much more safe a Tesla is to any other car on the road. And tell them to tell their parents a Tesla is a good investment in their child's safety. However, I agree with McRat that a Teen Driver Mode is essential to make this a complete truth.
     
  11. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    The problem with a Model 3 as a first car is that they'll never want to drive anything but a Tesla ever again (or possibly a real Tesla competitor, if someone actually builds one.) As problems go, that's not actually that horrible - maybe it'll help bring on change quicker. :)

    As others have said, even the base 3 is a rather quick car, with more power than a first time driver should ideally have. Valet mode contains some limits, and hopefully can be adjusted with more flexible limits for first time drivers in future firmware.

    It should be much more reliable than most first cars are as a form of transportation, too, meaning fewer middle of the night phone calls to drop everything. And of course the apps will let you know where the car is at any given time, and how it is being driven...
     
  12. gregd

    gregd Active Member

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    I think a good first (teen) car would be a lightly used shorter range EV (Leaf, Fiat E, et al). The Model 3 is still a big car, and will be harder for a new driver to manage (e.g. parallel parking!). Having all that automation on board could help, but that's not going to let (force) them to learn. Having limited range will encourage planning skills. And, while the OP stated that finances be put to the side, a used EV is going to be a lot easier to buy, and a lot less emotionally painful if it gets dented. These cars all have nice performance without going overboard, easing parental anxiety.
     
    • Like x 1
  13. Jayc

    Jayc Member

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    Model 3 will be a great first car but if I were you I'd get driving lessons and probably a good few months of driving time with a cheap EV, ICE automatic or hybrid cvt till Model 3 arrives.

    That way you get to appreciate how good the Tesla is and you have your basic pedal control sorted so there is less chance of getting accelerator and brake pedal missed up which especially in the case of a Tesla, can be catastrophic :)
     
  14. internalaudit

    internalaudit Member

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    It will be a good first car as long as mom and pop pay for maintenance and repairs down the road. I doubt repairs will be Honda or Toyota cheap.

    =====

    Can the driver override AP/EAP, etc. by manually turning the steering wheel? Just saw the video where a Tesla on AP scrapced against a temporary cement barricade.

    Tesla Autopilot crash caught on dashcam shows how not to use the system
     
    • Like x 1
  15. 3Victoria

    3Victoria Active Member

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    1. Repairs are likely to be minimal, albeit repairs from accidents.
    2. The driver was responsible for driving that car, the roadworks were very poorly marked. Not APs fault, worked as designed. And, yes, the driver just needed to steer the car.
     
    • Informative x 1
  16. slipnslider

    slipnslider Member

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    Is Model 3 a good first car?

    No. I don't care how rich you are. Don't buy your kids luxury status symbols. It turns them into insufferable pricks for life. Buy them something safe and reliable that teaches them if they want something nicer, they'll have to accomplish something and make something out of themselves.
     
    • Like x 9
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    • Informative x 1
  17. Gwgan

    Gwgan Almost a wagon

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    M3 would be a great first car if you get your first car after first getting a decent job, starting your kids college fund, and settling into some improving real estate. With the number of teens around here who have no interest in getting driver's licenses an self-driving M3 equivalent in 5-10 years is not a bad idea.
     
  18. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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    Well, automatics get better ratings, but they're not smart enough to beat a smart human driver. The lower ratings in the USA for manuals is typically because manuals are geared (literally) different, with shorter gearing to appeal to driving enthusiasts rather than frugal drivers.

    Performance cars are going to paddle shifters and dual-clutch transmissions because they shift faster and more precisely, which allows the manufacturer to build a better car around the transmission. But for regular cars and regular European drivers I expect that it'll be electrification that'll kill the manual.
     
    • Like x 1
  19. astrothad

    astrothad Member

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    Consider what their response will be going from a car with regenerative braking to an ICE (if they ever have to drive one). If your driving instincts evolve with the idea that letting off the accelerator quickly slows you down, you will be in a world of trouble driving an ICE without front collision avoidance.

    If you start them on a Model 3 (or any EV with regen braking), it might be best if they only ever drive cars that respond that way. Without years of experience, first lessons will always kick back in when facing an emergency. Distances close significantly faster without regen braking.
     
    • Informative x 1
  20. zenmaster

    zenmaster Member

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    While the advice to not spoil your kids is wise, I'd never thought of a Model 3 as anything remotely akin to a luxury status symbol. lol!
    What kind of "luxury car" is targeted at the masses and has such high volume production (which is great)? Answer: nothing comes close. It will be an extremely common sight on any US road by the end of next year. 5K units/wk? "There goes yet another Model 3".
    And it's priced the same as a Nissan Leaf hatchback. Quite frankly, I'm buying it because it should serve as a practical low-maintenance "beater".
     

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