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Model 3 brief review

Discussion in 'Model 3: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by firebat, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. firebat

    firebat Member

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    #1 firebat, Aug 5, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
    Here's a brief review of my Model 3 Performance | Red | Black interior | 18" wheels | EAP delivery after owning it for 3 days.

    Delivery
    I took delivery at the NE 20th Bellevue WA store on August 3rd. Delivery was a quick and easy process. They walked me through some basic things about the car, and then I was on my own. It did feel quicker than it should've been, but I think that's due to the car being so different from any other car I've driven. I honestly felt a bit apprehensive leaving the lot, but made it home without any problems.

    Observations
    My previous car was a 2013 Honda Fit base model, so my observations primarily compare with that car. I love my Honda: it's an incredibly versatile car, carries a ton of cargo, is easy to maneuver and park, and has been very reliable. The main downside has been its performance. The Honda is very slow.

    - Performance: Coming from a Honda Fit, I think any replacement will be faster. But the Model 3 is especially fast, well beyond anything I've ever experienced. The acceleration is strong and I reach high speeds fast enough that it's scary. The best part, however, is the instantaneous torque. My Honda's gear changes are very noticeable, and there are certain situations where the gear change lag is half a second with the Honda (as in, I press the pedal and nothing happens for half a second). With the Model 3, I just tap the accelerator, and it goes. At all speeds, everywhere from a complete stop to 70 mph and probably beyond.

    - iPhone key: This is one of my favorite features. I have electronic locks for my house so the only reason I carried keys was for my Honda. The iPhone has been flawless in unlocking the Model . I turned on the beeping when locking, and every time I've walked away, it has locked within 10-20 feet. Now I just need to carry my wallet and phone.

    - Remote climate control: Awesome feature. I went shopping and saw that the Model 3 interior had jumped to 118 F. I turned on climate control while walking back, and after about a minute, it dropped to ~80 F. I haven't measured how long it takes to go from 120 F to 70 F, but on other occasions that I've used this, it has felt less than 5 minutes.

    - Interior: I love the interior. It feels quite roomy and open, and has a zen-like quality to it since I can hide all my crap in the storage compartments. It makes for a really clean and relaxing experience. The glass roof tint is dark enough that the sun is not an issue at all. My brother's first remark regarding the rear seats was that they're quite roomy. The strange thing is that this was the complete opposite of my impression of the Model 3 interior at the showroom, where I felt that it was cramped and messy. I think that was due to the poor showroom lighting and the abuse the car got from patrons, since I sense none of that now.

    - Cargo space: My Honda wins on cargo space due to its hatchback design. I mainly hesitated on buying the Model 3 because of this aspect, since I use my Honda quite a bit to transport things. The Honda also has more cupholders, although I mainly used them as storage containers so I don't think I'll miss them as much with the Model 3.

    - Controls and touch interface: I really like the level of customization and the interface. But I found myself wishing that there were physical controls for the air system, since I found myself fiddling with those the most while driving. The level of control over the vent positioning is awesome, but I still haven't found the perfect positioning for the vents. The center panel is a non-issue. I got confused in the first 10 minutes with the absent instrument cluster behind the steering wheel, but quickly got used to it.

    - Cabin noise: The Honda's cabin noise never bothered me since I never had much of a comparison point. But now that I have my Model 3, the Honda is incredibly noisy in comparison. With my Honda, you hear a constant rumble of road noise at all speeds, plus the engine noise as it struggles in pretty much all traffic. The Model 3 has none of that. There's wind noise but that's about it.

    - Purchasing process: I hated going through the Honda dealership. I came out of it feeling like I got screwed, and that turned me off from dealerships pretty much forever. The Model 3's process felt much better, although the lack of concrete information regarding delivery timelines and specifics for the Performance Upgrade package were annoying. Still, I'd rather deal with Tesla than an ICE car dealership any day.

    - EAP: I've tried TACC a few times and it has worked pretty well. Auto-steer, however, is a bit creepy for me and there have been times where I've taken over because I didn't have faith that it would track properly. I'm undecided on it; it feels like it needs a bit more feedback so the driver can understand how well EAP understands the road and environment to help build trust. I'm taking a road trip soon with my Model 3 and will be using EAP more extensively.

    - Defects: There were two minor defects noticed at the delivery center (sticky residue on a rocker panel, small chip on exterior tail light), and others I noticed after delivery (loose interior trim on rear passenger windows, side mirror has a small chip, tiny paint bumps on the front hood if you look closely under certain lighting). Overall the car looks and feels quite good. The paint defects aren't enough to bother me, since you have to be really close to spot them.

    - Charging: Delivery happened way sooner than I expected, so I still don't have a charger solution installed at my house. I've been charging with a regular wall outlet and it's incredibly slow. Apparently summer is a really busy time for Seattle electricians (and/or there've been a ton of Model 3 deliveries).

    Summary
    Before getting my Model 3, I thought it was crazy that some Tesla owners would sit in their car at night just to experience it, and thought they were exagerrating with their positive reviews. I like Tesla and want to see them succeed, but everything has pros and cons, and before delivery, I thought of the Model 3 as just a car. I didn't understand why anyone would love a car this much. It's illogical, and there are likely better things to love in the world.

    But damn, this has been an incredible car. I find excuses to sit in the car at home, and earlier I took a 30 minute detour on the way home just to get more driving in. I like my Model 3 far more than is reasonable for an inanimate object. And now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to sit in my Model 3 for a bit, for no good reason at all.
     
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  2. sroh

    sroh Member

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    Well thought out and well written review.

    I share all of your experiences. People who have yet to drive a Tesla just can't understand. I am never going back to an ICE vehicle ever again.
     
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  3. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Gratz on your 3, @firebat. Our delivery (same location) was scheduled for 8/1 but ran into some issues, so "2 - 6 weeks" and we do the dance again.
     
  4. Cattledog

    Cattledog Active Member

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    Welcome to the future, and thank you for being someone who hastens it.

    220v is an 8x increase over 110v, so yes, hard as it is to imagine, life will get better. And then you'll get an over the air software upgrade and you'll wonder what you've done to deserve all this.

    Enjoy!
     
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  5. Ormond

    Ormond Member

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    @firebat Congratulations on your Model 3. I've got a Honda Fit Sport that is quite reliable. I really like the extra cup holders and the "magic seats." The headroom is incredible.

    I sit in my Model X at times to enjoy a bit of solitude. It has a key fob. I'll probably have to buy a new phone if I get a Model 3. I don't want to use a clumsy key card.
     
  6. Runt8

    Runt8 Active Member

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    Colorado
    Great review, good luck with getting your charging situation setup. I can’t imagine only getting 3-5 mph.
    This is one of the things I’m most excited about. Purchased this so I could only carry my phone: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075JN7JZC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    It will hold my drivers license, credit card, Model 3 key as a backup, and a $20 bill. I plan on getting a small credit card holder for my debit card, insurance card, etc. and leaving it in the glovebox.
     
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  7. WayneGTX

    WayneGTX Member

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    Booth Texas
    Runt8 - Thanks, great suggestion, just ordered mine!
     
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  8. Swampgator

    Swampgator Member

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    You might want to turn cabin overheat on in your setting. It will keep it from going over 110F automatically.
     
  9. ceekz

    ceekz Member

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    Sacramento, CA
    Thanks for the feedback and detail! Good to digest while I wait. For another 1-3 months.
     
  10. firebat

    firebat Member

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    Seattle
    Yeah, I didn't expect to be so excited to lose my keys. Turns out it's liberating to not have something that feels like a pile of rocks in my pants pocket, or to hear random keys jingling as I drive. The constant theme I get with my Model 3 is that it fixes things that I didn't even realize were annoying.

    Another useful thing I noticed is the iPhone app shows you the location of the car on a map. I used it yesterday to find it in a large shopping mall parking lot. Quite useful since I never remember where I park.
     
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  11. jdmasters

    jdmasters Member

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    Raleigh
    I have a Honda Fit as well. I'm surprised that you never thought much of the road noise. It's even worse than my FJ Cruiser. It is probably the worst thing about the car.
     
  12. Runt8

    Runt8 Active Member

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    Colorado
    I’m amazed at how liberating it is to never have to carry a wallet - just walk out the door and go to the store knowing that I have everything I need. Can’t wait to lose the keychain as well.
     

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