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LR AWD - One Year Review

Probllama

Member
Jan 29, 2019
183
123
Colorado
We drove our LR AWD for a year and over 10k miles and just sold it. While we loved the car, with covid we went down to one car in the household and with two little kids needed a larger vehicle than the Model 3. Here is a quick summary of our year with the Model 3, first the positives:

- Amazing performance - so much so that LR AWD feels overkill. Even SR+ acceleration should be giggle-inducing for most everyone

- Superb range - never once had range anxiety. In fact I almost felt like the LR battery was overkill since we never had a situation where we went below 35% SoC. Plus the supercharging network has really good coverage

- EV/powertrain smoothness - I can't imagine how the regen and friction braking tuning can be improved. We now have a BMW X5 45e and the braking linearity is not as good as Tesla as I can certainly tell when we run out of regen and friction brakes kick in. Tesla's EV powertrain is just unmatched

- Excellent UI - from the touch screen to the phone app, Tesla shows that it is a tech company as much as it is a car company

- Great visibility - loved the low dash and great forward visibility

- Weight balance and steering feel - steering is very direct and nicely weighted. Combined with the great front to rear weight distribution and low center of gravity the car always felt like a tiger ready to pounce

- Efficient packaging - both front and rear legroom was excellent considering the exterior dimensions of the car. Frunk is a nice bonus too and came in handy more than I had expected

- Great value - it ended up being the cheapest car I have ever owned. Not only the running costs were low with no oil change or the super efficient EV powertrain using very little electricity but also we traded in the car for the net price we bought it for (after factoring in the tax credit).

And a short list of cons:

- Winter usability - while the traction was not an issue, lack of winter friendly features was my biggest complaint. Heated steering wheel is a cheap addition that provides ton of convivence. Windshield wipers are borderline dangerous, in cold weather they freeze up and little to no washer fluid can be sprayed onto the windshield. I had a few situations where I drove blind until I could pull over to clean my windshield. Not only heated wipers are needed (even the sub-$20k Corolla has them) but the washer jet location needs to be revisited. Glass roof lets in a lot of cold into the cabin, requiring more heater use, which in turns hurts the range. Frameless doors are potential damage hazard in cold weather

- Cabin noise - while I had a late 2019 built car with supposedly bunch of sound deadening improvements, the cabin was never really quiet. Wind and tire noise can use improvement and I guess the new windows show that Tesla is working on this

- Harsher ride - the suspension felt a little bouncy and unsettled over broken surfaces. I understand Tesla's suspension tune has to factor in the weight and performance of the car but adaptive dampers can really help and they are not very expensive piece of hardware. I always kept my tire pressure slightly below factory recommendation but the ride still left something to be desired...

When covid is over and we go back to a 2-car setup, the Model 3 will be at the top our list again. My wife, who is not a car person, was truly sad to see the car go. Since I felt like the LR AWD was more than what we needed in a second car in terms of performance and range, this time I will probably consider an SR+ if the MY21 refresh addresses some of my complaints above.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,499
3,180
Maine
You guys also got the very nice Colorado state tax credit, making getting an EV almost a no-brainer.
 

thewallaby

Member
Jun 26, 2017
95
57
Norway
I have the same feelings about the m3 but it will be our family car since the other we have now is a small peugeot e208. And yes, due to covid we might have to sell the small one... i do really like both though.
But the winter concerns , i agree. They are there.
 

Probllama

Member
Jan 29, 2019
183
123
Colorado
Screenshot 2020-11-05 133132.png
Steering wheel heating is not a "cheap" addition as some may think.

It is a $150 option for Lexus RX and they are still making profit while charging $150 for it. How expensive can it be for Tesla to add the hardware?
 

Gasman23

Member
Sep 20, 2020
98
86
Wales
View attachment 605634

It is a $150 option for Lexus RX and they are still making profit while charging $150 for it. How expensive can it be for Tesla to add the hardware?

yeah it’s probably not that expensive. I guess it goes against Tesla’s quest....ultimately they’re trying to remove the steering wheel altogether. To give it more prominence may be seen as admitting defeat
 
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Probllama

Member
Jan 29, 2019
183
123
Colorado
Sorry to see you go. Too bad a Model Y wasn't in your scope. Stay Calm. Stay Safe. Come back as soon as you can!

I did consider the Model Y but there were two issues:

1) It wasn't noticeably larger than the 3 except for the trunk space/usability

2) Tesla's trade-in offer for my 3 was a joke. They gave me $35k while BMW gave me $42k for my trade-in. In CO trading in the car where you are getting the new one is important because the trade-in amount is taken out of your sales tax liability

Also as a side note, my $70k BMW X5 PHEV ended up being a sub-$50k net price after all the discounts and manufacturer and tax incentives making it the same price as the Model Y. Once the trade-in difference above is factored in, BMW ended being the cheaper option despite the $20k higher list price.
 
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Biscuitman

Member
Oct 22, 2019
298
134
Ottawa
Great review...I doubt you will be as positive after you review your BMW over the same time period.I had a 535ix and that is not a car you want to own out of warranty:(
 
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Probllama

Member
Jan 29, 2019
183
123
Colorado
Great review...I doubt you will be as positive after you review your BMW over the same time period.I had a 535ix and that is not a car you want to own out of warranty:(

I have owned BMWs before. While they are not the most reliable cars, I trust BMW corporate and dealerships service to take care of things efficiently and conveniently. Plus I don't keep my cars for more than couple of years at most. For all the Tesla service horror stories out there, my car has been flawless for the year I had it so I will not hesitate to buy another one. In my opinion for Tesla quality control and service, the only way is up from this point on...
 

Probllama

Member
Jan 29, 2019
183
123
Colorado
Nonsense! I went from MR to Stealth Performance and I'm still wanting more acceleration! It probably won't happen but I would love to get another small boost in performance with an update.

Agreed but that is not because the MR is slow but because you have gotten used to the speed. I even contemplated about getting the acceleration boost at one point but once I would get used to that speed then I would be looking for a M3P. There is no end to the need for speed :)
 
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derekmw

Member
Oct 3, 2016
626
895
San Diego, CA
Agreed but that is not because the MR is slow but because you have gotten used to the speed. I even contemplated about getting the acceleration boost at one point but once I would get used to that speed then I would be looking for a M3P. There is no end to the need for speed :)

Yep, you're right, it totally is. Next I'll need the plaid Model S, then that'll feel slow, next I'll need the roadster...then what?!?!?! lol
 

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