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Made in China Model 3: Build Quality / Hardware Differences

browellm

Member
Oct 4, 2019
403
356
Notts
which is a bit of a shame
I love Alcantara so it's a welcome bonus for me. I always felt having white door cards in a 'grab' area like that wasn't the best idea because of the potential for it to get grubby over time. So I'm a really happy camper with the new design, but ymmv of course.
 
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Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
2,915
1,953
Bath, UK
I prefer the older style door cards, but I would concede that there is probably 20% bias there - as I have them. :D

I think if I bought the car with these and the others never existed I wouldn't care. They're not better or worse imo, just different.
 
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Jez_GB

Supporting Member
Dec 28, 2019
527
420
Nottinghamshire, UK
I prefer the older style door cards, but I would concede that there is probably 20% bias there - as I have them. :D

I think if I bought the car with these and the others never existed I wouldn't care. They're not better or worse imo, just different.
I've said elsewhere that I prefer the new door cards, actually I'm leaning towards indifference, with perhaps a slight nod to the dark Alcantara over the white!
 
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spdpsba

Member
Feb 24, 2021
65
24
Cambridgeshire
I just wanted to check with the forum members who are familiar with the new LFP batteries in model 3 SR+ in UK. I understand these are mainly in M3SR+. In addition, according to Tesla, (or people say that’s what Tesla is saying) this battery can and should be regularly charged to 100 percent, so it can be used completely without hesitation. So is this what we are supposed to do charge 100% even if not needed and even in home charging?
 

Tigermad

Member
Mar 1, 2021
195
26
UK
I just wanted to check with the forum members who are familiar with the new LFP batteries in model 3 SR+ in UK. I understand these are mainly in M3SR+. In addition, according to Tesla, (or people say that’s what Tesla is saying) this battery can and should be regularly charged to 100 percent, so it can be used completely without hesitation. So is this what we are supposed to do charge 100% even if not needed and even in home charging?
You don’t have to charge it to 100 percent especially if you want regen breaking but you can if you want to.
 

Peteski

Active Member
Oct 2, 2017
3,539
2,286
UK, Milton Keynes
I just wanted to check with the forum members who are familiar with the new LFP batteries in model 3 SR+ in UK. I understand these are mainly in M3SR+. In addition, according to Tesla, (or people say that’s what Tesla is saying) this battery can and should be regularly charged to 100 percent, so it can be used completely without hesitation. So is this what we are supposed to do charge 100% even if not needed and even in home charging?
I think it's just more tolerant of regular charging to 100%. But you certainly don't have to on a daily basis. If I had one I would probably charge it to 90% for daily use and 100% whenever I needed the full range. Not that different really to any other Tesla battery. They are not that fragile.
 
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mikehj

Member
Jun 26, 2019
30
17
Edinburgh, UK
Just picked up my made in China M3LR. I went for the white interior just like my 2020 Performance. With hindsight the white interior isn’t really worth it anymore. Bit disappointed with the door cards as they look odd not being white and the inside of the white seats is now black fabric instead of white. Bit cheap of Tesla IMO as they’re clearly re-using the same parts as black seat cars.

My advice is stick with the black on these Chinese made cars. Ironic seeing as I have always avoided black interiors in cars!
 

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Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
2,915
1,953
Bath, UK
Er what, that’s not right surely? Why is there a black fabric part on the white seats at all? That can’t be how it’s supposed to look? Are both sides like that?

With respect to the door cards, you surely knew they were going to look like that before you ordered it, no?
 

Billbrown1982

TM3 LR 2021 | Red | FSD
Dec 21, 2020
293
134
Basildon
Yeah i'd be very dubious about that black stitching. That looks like a mistake surely.

A rediculous one that surely somebody should have noticed, but a mistake nonetheless.
 

mikehj

Member
Jun 26, 2019
30
17
Edinburgh, UK
Indeed, I knew about the black door cards when I ordered. However, I had hoped that the picture on the configurator was either a mistake or at least it would be a faux leather panel instead of the alcantara but it is indeed just like the black interior. Not the end of the world but in my opinion it does render the white interior a little pointless and poor value as when you're sitting in the car you don't see the seats and the white door cards really brighten the interior on all the previous Model 3's and the Model S I've had. Also that white trim strip on the door is a little annoying - if anything the wood looks better in that place. Overall, I wouldn't order the white interior again.

That black panel is on both of my front seats where it rests against the centre console. On the Fremont build cars it's white fabric so looks like Tesla have cheapened out and simply used the same panels as they fit to the black seats. Also, when comparing to the Fremont built cars the white seats on the MY2020 cars not only have white fabric panels are a little firmer and more comfortable IMO. I get a bit of an ache in my thighs on the MIC seats and they are bit more spongy if that makes sense. I noticed from the labels on the rear seats there is a different part number to the Fremont cars so suspect there is either a "revised" seat or a China specific one.
 

Peteski

Active Member
Oct 2, 2017
3,539
2,286
UK, Milton Keynes
Indeed, I knew about the black door cards when I ordered. However, I had hoped that the picture on the configurator was either a mistake or at least it would be a faux leather panel instead of the alcantara but it is indeed just like the black interior. Not the end of the world but in my opinion it does render the white interior a little pointless and poor value as when you're sitting in the car you don't see the seats and the white door cards really brighten the interior on all the previous Model 3's and the Model S I've had. Also that white trim strip on the door is a little annoying - if anything the wood looks better in that place. Overall, I wouldn't order the white interior again.

That black panel is on both of my front seats where it rests against the centre console. On the Fremont build cars it's white fabric so looks like Tesla have cheapened out and simply used the same panels as they fit to the black seats. Also, when comparing to the Fremont built cars the white seats on the MY2020 cars not only have white fabric panels are a little firmer and more comfortable IMO. I get a bit of an ache in my thighs on the MIC seats and they are bit more spongy if that makes sense. I noticed from the labels on the rear seats there is a different part number to the Fremont cars so suspect there is either a "revised" seat or a China specific one.
You are starting to make me feel better about owning a 2021 Fremont M3 now! But I bet the doors and bootlid all fit better on yours!
 

mikehj

Member
Jun 26, 2019
30
17
Edinburgh, UK
In general the fit is a lot better on this Chinese car. Can’t really fault that. However, having said that my 2020 Performance was also spot on with regard to panel fit!

Now I think about it perhaps this black seat panel is a mistake. Even for Tesla that is rather poor. Perhaps somebody else with a made in China white interior could check if theirs is like mine?
 
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Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
2,915
1,953
Bath, UK
In general the fit is a lot better on this Chinese car. Can’t really fault that. However, having said that my 2020 Performance was also spot on with regard to panel fit!

Now I think about it perhaps this black seat panel is a mistake. Even for Tesla that is rather poor. Perhaps somebody else with a made in China white interior could check if theirs is like mine?
As an aside, I’m curious as to why you replaced a 1 year old car with another M3P?
 

mikehj

Member
Jun 26, 2019
30
17
Edinburgh, UK
In general the fit is a lot better on this Chinese car. Can’t really fault that. However, having said that my 2020 Performance was also spot on with regard to panel fit!

Now I think about it perhaps this black seat panel is a mistake. Even for Tesla that is rather poor. Perhaps somebody else with a made in China white interior could check if theirs is like mine?
After looking a bit more at the Chinese made car and comparing it the Fremont version I've noticed that on the Chinese car the bottom half of the door cards are made from hard plastic whereas on the Fremont car the door cards are made from padded plastic. In particular, looking at the inside edges of the back doors when open, the door card plastic is very thin and a lot lower grade than even the cheapest Ford or VW (for example). A subtle difference but another piece of cost cutting. I suspect there will be more if I looked deeper.

Question is; does it matter? Overall the car is better and now I've seen several, all of which are identical in fit/finish, it is a vast improvement. However, I do wonder about long term durability if less obvious components are lower grade in a similar manner to the door cards and seats...
 
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Peteski

Active Member
Oct 2, 2017
3,539
2,286
UK, Milton Keynes
After looking a bit more at the Chinese made car and comparing it the Fremont version I've noticed that on the Chinese car the bottom half of the door cards are made from hard plastic whereas on the Fremont car the door cards are made from padded plastic. In particular, looking at the inside edges of the back doors when open, the door card plastic is very thin and a lot lower grade than even the cheapest Ford or VW (for example). A subtle difference but another piece of cost cutting. I suspect there will be more if I looked deeper.

Question is; does it matter? Overall the car is better and now I've seen several, all of which are identical in fit/finish, it is a vast improvement. However, I do wonder about long term durability if less obvious components are lower grade in a similar manner to the door cards and seats...
Great observation. I had noted the padded soft touch plastics on the lower door panels in my 2021 US built car. I was actually a bit surprised they weren’t already hard cheaper plastic on the M3, but now they are!

The more I look at the panel fit on my car, the worse it gets, although none of the issues are major or really have any impact on the aesthetics. But they are irritating!
 
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Llama.

Member
Jan 25, 2021
112
56
Leeds, UK
For those following this thread with questions about SR+ LFP charging speed I’d recommend giving these videos a watch:



It does show slow Supercharging speeds of 50kw, but closer to 150kw with battery preconditioning. It seems like the LFP battery is more reliant on preconditioning than other batteries to achieve decent charging speeds

He references some improvement with recent software update.

I still think that SR+ LFP batteries are in ‘Tesla Beta Test Mode’ and will get some further software improvements.
 
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mikehj

Member
Jun 26, 2019
30
17
Edinburgh, UK
Great observation. I had noted the padded soft touch plastics on the lower door panels in my 2021 US built car. I was actually a bit surprised they weren’t already hard cheaper plastic on the M3, but now they are!

The more I look at the panel fit on my car, the worse it gets, although none of the issues are major or really have any impact on the aesthetics. But they are irritating!
I know what you mean but being fair I’ve had worse from Mercedes and VW in the past with rattles and such. Try and make the most of it and be happy you arguably have higher quality parts fitted to your car and it might be one of the last ever we get in the UK like that!

So, that’s one question answered then. The ‘21 refresh Fremont cars had the padded doors. Had in the back of my head it might have only been the older cars. Would be interesting to know how many more parts are lower grade but doubt we will strip our cars down when they’re this new!
 

Goatex

Member
Nov 18, 2020
16
18
Scotland
I know what you mean but being fair I’ve had worse from Mercedes and VW in the past with rattles and such. Try and make the most of it and be happy you arguably have higher quality parts fitted to your car and it might be one of the last ever we get in the UK like that!

So, that’s one question answered then. The ‘21 refresh Fremont cars had the padded doors. Had in the back of my head it might have only been the older cars. Would be interesting to know how many more parts are lower grade but doubt we will strip our cars down when they’re this new!
I spent the weekend taking mine (2021 Fremont LR) apart to try and solve some of the rattling! Some success...
 

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