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Model 3 - demo car first impressions

I am a current MS owner with a Model 3 design invitation and went to Stanford Tesla to check it out to help decide if I wanted to buy the LR or not. I have to honestly say that I wasn't impressed with what I saw and will wait until the cheaper version (or better competitor cars) for sure. Here are my reasons:

- The car felt small inside. At my driver seat setting (I am 6'1'' tall), there was almost no rear leg room available.
- The door panels felt lose and rattled pretty bad when closing. This is one of the issues with my MS as well, but for some reason I thought that Model 3 might be better.
- The seats were pretty wrinkled and worn out inside. It could be because of the thousands of people getting in and out of that car, or just low quality seats, I don't know.
- The door handles are non-intuitive to open from outside.
- The screen interaction requires looking away from the road and can be a major distraction while driving.
- It is still pretty expensive - for what its worth IMO.
- The premium package doesn't include power trunk. The trunk felt heavy and it might be hard to open and close for some people especially if carrying something in their hands.
- It just did not feel special in any way at all to me. Could be because I expected more? I don't know... but in terms of looks, interior space, driving position, MCU interaction and just overall feel & quality, my Model S felt much better that the Model 3 that I saw today.

This is just my opinion after spending about 5 minutes with the car and may not a correct interpretation of the car. In any case, I just wanted to share what I felt...
 
I am a current MS owner with a Model 3 design invitation
...
- It just did not feel special in any way at all to me. Could be because I expected more? I don't know... but in terms of looks, interior space, driving position, MCU interaction and just overall feel & quality, my Model S felt much better that the Model 3 that I saw today.
One would hope so. Look at the starting price of a Model S vs. the supposed "$35K" (yeah, yeah, still can't get one of those for who knows how long?) Model 3 price. When one has a starting price of $39,500 more than the other...

I've never even bought a car that cost $39,500 or anything that was $35K before tax and license.
 
One would hope so. Look at the starting price of a Model S vs. the supposed "$35K" (yeah, yeah, still can't get one of those for who knows how long?) price. When one has a starting price of $39,500 more than the other...

I've never even bought a car that cost $39,500 or anything that was $35K before tax and license.
True... but because I have been reading so many comments here on TMC where people are claiming Model 3 to be superior than Model S, I had to mention that.
 
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One would hope so. Look at the starting price of a Model S vs. the supposed "$35K" (yeah, yeah, still can't get one of those for who knows how long?) Model 3 price. When one has a starting price of $39,500 more than the other...

I've never even bought a car that cost $39,500 or anything that was $35K before tax and license.

Since the only version of the Model 3 currently available is the LR version, it is best compared to the S100D, which has similar range. That car starts at $100K.
 
I am a current MS owner with a Model 3 design invitation and went to Stanford Tesla to check it out to help decide if I wanted to buy the LR or not. I have to honestly say that I wasn't impressed with what I saw and will wait until the cheaper version (or better competitor cars) for sure. Here are my reasons:

- The car felt small inside. At my driver seat setting (I am 6'1'' tall), there was almost no rear leg room available.
- The door panels felt lose and rattled pretty bad when closing. This is one of the issues with my MS as well, but for some reason I thought that Model 3 might be better.
- The seats were pretty wrinkled and worn out inside. It could be because of the thousands of people getting in and out of that car, or just low quality seats, I don't know.
- The door handles are non-intuitive to open from outside.
- The screen interaction requires looking away from the road and can be a major distraction while driving.
- It is still pretty expensive - for what its worth IMO.
- The premium package doesn't include power trunk. The trunk felt heavy and it might be hard to open and close for some people especially if carrying something in their hands.
- It just did not feel special in any way at all to me. Could be because I expected more? I don't know... but in terms of looks, interior space, driving position, MCU interaction and just overall feel & quality, my Model S felt much better that the Model 3 that I saw today.

This is just my opinion after spending about 5 minutes with the car and may not a correct interpretation of the car. In any case, I just wanted to share what I felt...

I've driven a 2012 Model S60 and a 2017 Model X75D. I've also ridden in a 2018 Model 3. I didn't have the same impression you did. The Model 3 was more appealing to my tastes than the S/X. Interior space didn't seem to be measurably different from an S (and the specs bear that out). No door panel rattles. Upholstery was great. I had no issue with the outer door handles. I've never had a car with a power trunk, and that's never bothered me. I much preferred the vanity mirrors, cup holders, interior storage, etc of the 3 over the S. And when you consider that a 3 costs almost exactly half the price of a similar-range S, it's a no-brainer choice in my case.
 
I've driven a 2012 Model S60 and a 2017 Model X75D. I've also ridden in a 2018 Model 3. I didn't have the same impression you did. The Model 3 was more appealing to my tastes than the S/X. Interior space didn't seem to be measurably different from an S (and the specs bear that out). No door panel rattles. Upholstery was great. I had no issue with the outer door handles. I've never had a car with a power trunk, and that's never bothered me. I much preferred the vanity mirrors, cup holders, interior storage, etc of the 3 over the S. And when you consider that a 3 costs almost exactly half the price of a similar-range S, it's a no-brainer choice in my case.
My Tesla stocks are happy to hear that! :)
 
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I am a current MS owner with a Model 3 design invitation and went to Stanford Tesla to check it out to help decide if I wanted to buy the LR or not. I have to honestly say that I wasn't impressed with what I saw and will wait until the cheaper version (or better competitor cars) for sure. Here are my reasons:

- The car felt small inside. At my driver seat setting (I am 6'1'' tall), there was almost no rear leg room available.
- The door panels felt lose and rattled pretty bad when closing. This is one of the issues with my MS as well, but for some reason I thought that Model 3 might be better.
- The seats were pretty wrinkled and worn out inside. It could be because of the thousands of people getting in and out of that car, or just low quality seats, I don't know.
- The door handles are non-intuitive to open from outside.
- The screen interaction requires looking away from the road and can be a major distraction while driving.
- It is still pretty expensive - for what its worth IMO.
- The premium package doesn't include power trunk. The trunk felt heavy and it might be hard to open and close for some people especially if carrying something in their hands.
- It just did not feel special in any way at all to me. Could be because I expected more? I don't know... but in terms of looks, interior space, driving position, MCU interaction and just overall feel & quality, my Model S felt much better that the Model 3 that I saw today.

This is just my opinion after spending about 5 minutes with the car and may not a correct interpretation of the car. In any case, I just wanted to share what I felt...
Sry but to me you are trying to reason the purchase of your overpiced S. The reason I think this is that everytime I see people writing only the cons of the “honest test” it means thay want to look only for bad things and overlook the good. Same goes oposite. Thats how human psychology works. Enjoy your S.
 
True... but because I have been reading so many comments here on TMC where people are claiming Model 3 to be superior than Model S, I had to mention that.

Everybody knows it's a more sparse interior and obviously smaller inside. What the owners are so enthusiastic about is the driving experience. In any case based on your list it would be a huge mistake for you to even wait for the base car. Everything you don't loke about this car including the fact that it's unsafe applies to the less expensive car. If you don't think you can drive it safely you dhouldn't buy it at any price.
 
Appreciate your impressions. Like all things, it's quite often a personal preference as to the desirability or beauty of a certain style or design choice. Having done a similar 5 minute "sit in" with a Model 3 the only one of your concerns I would agree with is the rear seat sitting position and lack of foot room. These were a bit of a disappointment to me. All other aspects of the car I found to be fantastic, especially the driver's seating position and general ergonomics of the layout. I found it to be very comfortable.

Dan
 

Trevor B

Active Member
Apr 2, 2016
1,173
777
USA
Sry but to me you are trying to reason the purchase of your overpiced S. The reason I think this is that everytime I see people writing only the cons of the “honest test” it means thay want to look only for bad things and overlook the good. Same goes oposite. Thats how human psychology works. Enjoy your S.

True. That post had lots of "wisdom" after sitting in the car for 5 (FIVE!!!!) minutes.:rolleyes:
 
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I am 6'1" and to be honest, my first impression jumping in the back seat was similar to yours. It felt really cramped. Then I moved to the front seat and realized you can slide those seats back a country mile! I had to press the button to move it forward for what felt like 30 seconds to get it as close as I would feel comfortable driving, and I'm a fairly big guy. After that, jumped back in the back seat and instantly felt relieved. Very comfortable in my opinion. Miles better than my Mazda 3, and a little better than an A4 I just rented for two weeks.
 
True. That post had lots of "wisdom" after sitting in the car for 5 (FIVE!!!!) minutes.:rolleyes:
I thought about sitting in the car for the entire day but was certain that some of these concerns wouldn't go away before they kicked me out of the showroom. I also thought about first buying the car, but that would be a very costly way to sit in the car for longer to evaluate it. :)

My opinions obviously wont match a lot of other people's opinions, and they dont need to either.
 
I am with OP on this. M3 is a bit meh on the form factor. I find even the driver space is constrained than the S.

But then again you get 300+ miles of range for half the price of S. You can't beat that in value.
Interesting. At 6'2" I found the driver's seating position to be ideal. I was VERY comfortable in it. The ability to lower the steering wheel to comfortably reach my hands resting on the arm rest was fantastic. No need to keep it high so I can see the binnacle gauges...there isn't one! I found the driver's environment to be far superior to anything I have ever been in including the Model S. To each his/her own or course.

Dan
 

Snerruc

Unqualified Doofus
Apr 16, 2016
1,109
2,126
Palm Bay
Appreciate your impressions. Like all things, it's quite often a personal preference as to the desirability or beauty of a certain style or design choice. Having done a similar 5 minute "sit in" with a Model 3 the only one of your concerns I would agree with is the rear seat sitting position and lack of foot room. These were a bit of a disappointment to me. All other aspects of the car I found to be fantastic, especially the driver's seating position and general ergonomics of the layout. I found it to be very comfortable.

Dan
Interesting. At 6'2" I found the driver's seating position to be ideal. I was VERY comfortable in it. The ability to lower the steering wheel to comfortably reach my hands resting on the arm rest was fantastic. No need to keep it high so I can see the binnacle gauges...there isn't one! I found the driver's environment to be far superior to anything I have ever been in including the Model S. To each his/her own or course.

Dan
Does any of this remind you of the reaction when the iPhone first came out? When is the last time you saw a BlackBerry?
 
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Runt8

Active Member
May 19, 2017
1,986
2,448
Colorado
Interesting. At 6'2" I found the driver's seating position to be ideal. I was VERY comfortable in it. The ability to lower the steering wheel to comfortably reach my hands resting on the arm rest was fantastic. No need to keep it high so I can see the binnacle gauges...there isn't one! I found the driver's environment to be far superior to anything I have ever been in including the Model S. To each his/her own or course.

Dan
This is one of the things I'm most excited about. In my previous cars I've often found myself adjusting the steering wheel to a less than ideal position just to be able to see through it.
 
Picked up a red one yesterday. Here is the good and the needs work:

THE GOOD:

Great forward visibility. The main screen is not distracting and you quickly adapt. It takes a few hundred miles to stop innately looking behind the steering wheel for your speed.

So far 254 wh/mi 75% highway speeds. 70mph-75mph

No build or paint quality issues. It's a very well manufactured car. VIN is 7xxx

Sound system is as good as an upgraded MS, but not as good as an upgraded MX

Almost as quiet as it's older siblings and the ride is just as good.

Coming from a P100D, this is car slow, but still very quick. The instant torque is excellent. You can feel the M3 is lighter than MS.

Ventilation system is highly useful and efficient.

AP calibrated with the first 50 miles and works perfectly

Comfortable seats.

Main screen is fast and responsive. An upgrade to what the MS & MX currently use.

NEEDS WORK:

Using your phone to unlock and turn on the car has worked 80% of the time. The car has a walk-away lock setting and I've already noticed the car didn't lock even thought the setting was on. There are minor tweaks they need to address if you use your phone. I would keep a key card with you so you are not stranded or locked out.

The rear seats are not as comfortable as a MS. They feel similar to the original MS rear seats.

Rear camera is, well, not very good. The delivery person said it's up to industry standards and I immediately knew it would be a joke. Think 2005 flip phone resolution. Tesla should have paid an extra $50 per car and upgraded the camera.

Rear visibility is okay, but as a car approaches from behind, it's cut off due to the high rear deck lid. It's not really a safety issue or problem, just different. Still getting used to it

I prefer my drivers side mirror to be out as far as possible. The M3 doesn't quite get there. It doesn't go out as far as I like it. The MS & MX do for my preference.

SIDE NOTES:

47 mi/hr on a 48AMP circuit (residential power) and 25 mi/hr on a 32AMP circuit (commercial power).

282 @ 90% SOC

Homelink worked after the second program attempt

Rear AC is off by default

The daily charge level selector screen is difficult set to 90%. The slider and image are smaller than usual. I have been driving Teslas for years and I though I set it to 90% but it only charged to 88%. I ended up using the mobile app to correctly set to 90%

WiFi connection is not yet available

No Calendar Sync as of yet

Glove box is smaller than I expected. It won't fit the Die Cast M3 toy they give you at delivery.

15 minutes before your delivery appointment, Tesla automatically adds your car to the Tesla app. If you don't have the app, download it before you arrive. You'll need it to pair your phone to the car

Hope I answered some of your questions. The Model 3 is a fantastic car. You won't regret your purchase.
 
Additional bits of information after 600 miles. The display is very good. Better than S and X. If you have no address in the navigation the map is 2D, however if you are navigating to an address, the map switches to 3D and looks amazing. The exits are also labeled for convenience.

Next, when using AP and you exceed 90mph by pressing the pedal, it won’t turn off like it does in the S and X. It gives you a visual queue in blue. AP still doesn’t over over 90mph.

The understeer very pronounced. More so than the S. Tesla definitely doesn’t want owners getting sideways in corners. My preference would be less oversteer. More neutral .
 
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