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Model 3 Impressions

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by zer0cool, May 8, 2018.

  1. zer0cool

    zer0cool Member

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    I have been able to configure a model 3 since January (being a prev owner) but decided to wait a little due to both 1) want to avoid early-built car and 2) lease on my existing car isn't due till Aug. So it's reasonable for me to order in early June. Fortunately a friend of mine ordered on the first day and just took delivery of his car this past weekend. I went to Tesla showroom with him to take delivery of the car and then we drove around the area a bit.

    Below are my impressions. I will aim to be brief and to the point, focusing on the key positive and negatives.

    Positives
    The biggest + is surely driving dynamics. The car drives like a Tesla; acceleration is brisk, steering is accurate. The steering wheel is smaller than that of the Model S and many other cars, but that's not an issue. Car is lighter and handles better than a Model S. The ride quality is good and sporty. I hate wobbly soft rides and the Model 3 rides really well, feels very similar to Model S on coil suspension, with just a little bit more road feel, not at all harsh. Overall impressive driving dynamics.

    Technology is good, no harder to use than the Model S system, every bit Tesla. I didn't find the odometer location to be an issue at all; pretty easy to see how fast I am going. Map is as good as Model S and better than pretty much every other car. The audio system is good. I listened to a few songs, feels on par with premium Model S audio.

    Build quality is good, looks well built, didn't see any obvious defects. Sat in the car for a while an didn't notice any interior issues; no rattles or otherwise trim noises whatsoever.

    Negatives
    The biggest issue is seating comfort, especially in the rear. I would rate rear seating comfort at 3 out of 10 at best. My wife and I sat in the rear seat through the 30 min delivery orientation where the delivery specialist went over all the technologies. We both felt uncomfortable after even that short period of time. The rear seats are really low and there's absolutely no thigh support. Your thighs are basically hanging in the air; it almost felt like you are crouching on the back instead of sitting and I am only 5'7 and my wife is shorter. My wife felt she needed to extend her legs to my side of the car cause there's nowhere to put them...

    Rear headroom is also really limited. Roof is only 3 fingers from my head if I sit up straight. The rear seats themselves are also not comfortable... not really agreeable with my back.

    The front seats are also not comfortable for me; significantly worse compared to Model S or X seats. My wife noticed it immediately as well. There's a bulge in the lumbar area which I hate. I always adjust lumbar support to none on any car that has it. However this bulge on the Model 3 is not adjustable, on both front seats. My friend didn't seem to mind, but I don't feel comfortable with the front seats. There's a Model X right there in the showroom and I sat in that car - the front seats just felt soo good... it felt like a relief to sit in the Model X after sitting in the Model 3.

    The 2nd major issue is the car's size. It looks small and is small. Felt just a bit smaller than a BMW 3 series.

    ----------

    Overall I think the Model 3 is a good car with terrific technology and driving dynamics. However we are reconsidering our order due to seating comfort issues... Her parents sometime visit us and we just can't fathom having them sit in the back seat for even half an hour when we found it to be very uncomfortable... I am now thinking of buying another BMW (e.g., a new gen 540 with ACC) as a transition until the next gen Model S comes out.
     
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  2. zer0cool

    zer0cool Member

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    Strangely "edit" button has disappeared. Used a wrong word. Should be squatting instead of crouching.
     
  3. Dogwhistle

    Dogwhistle Member

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    The Model 3 has adjustable lumbar, did you try to move it in or up/down?
     
  4. zer0cool

    zer0cool Member

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    Yes I know and also tried. But it doesn't go all the way down like on a Model S or X. I tried adjusting it for a long time, in every way, on both seats. Then sat in a Model X and adjusted for just 15 secs, all good, totally comfortable.
     
  5. CO2CLEAN

    CO2CLEAN Olivier Willemsen

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    Interestingly, the Model 3 is bigger/equally big in every single way. length, height, width, legroom front/rear, headroom front/rear, you name it. The Model 3 may look smaller because it is a more sleek design.

    I've sat in the Model 3 in November and agree that the rear seats are lower than my ideal position, but with my 6'0 I had no issues with headroom or legroom. Just wish the bottom of the seats were tilted a bit more to support my legs better. I've heard from a fellow Dutchman who is 6'3 that he also has no issues with head/leg room both in front and rear seats.

    Definitely agree that seats in S/X are better, but seats in 3 are (for me) more than fine.
     
    • Helpful x 1
  6. Garrett0606

    Garrett0606 Member

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    Could “bump” in the seat be just a problem with your car because i have sat in a model 3 before and didn’t feel any ”bump” in the seat.
     
  7. S4WRXTTCS

    S4WRXTTCS Active Member

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    I wonder how difficult it will be to get custom front seats for the 3?

    I'm likely going to wait to order till the AWD version comes out. Hopefully the performance version will have awesome front seats.

    Don't care about the rear seats as I hardly ever have anyone back there.
     
  8. David29

    David29 Supporting Member

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    Based upon my two test drives and one ride in a back seat of Model 3, I judge your report to be quite fair and accurate -- it matches my sentiments quite well. The ride/handling/agility are definitely very, very good and competitive in that size. I am less certain than you about the center screen, but agree wholeheartedly on the seats.
     
  9. novox77

    novox77 1.21 Gigawatts

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    I have found that reclining the Model 3 seat more can help my back with the "built-in" lumbar curve. Agree that the S doesn't have it when the lumbar setting is retracted all the way. For me, any lumbar support causes lower back pain.

    Aside from that, I love that the 3 seats feel more like a bucket. My sides are hugged better so my body doesn't shift as much when cornering hard. My S seats are really flat and firm (2014 model) and aren't as cushy as Model 3 seats. I think the seats got refreshed in the S, so maybe they're not so hard anymore.
     
  10. zer0cool

    zer0cool Member

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    Ya the 2014 and before Model S seats were pretty bad. Hart, flat and no side support. Also I didn't like their heights (got a 2014 car once as loaner). But the seats starting in I think Dec 2014 and onward are quite good. The Model S 2015 and after seats are more bucket/hugging than Model 3 seats; of course, also no lumbar bulge on the Model S seats; and they are just in general more comfortable.

    Overall I think Model S and X front seats are very good. Not as good as Lexus LS or GS seats, but better than BMW 5 series.
     
  11. zer0cool

    zer0cool Member

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    A technical question; why can't I edit my posts? The edit button appears only available for some minutes after a post is made, but then disappears later. I only see "report" "quote" and "reply" buttons....

    Can only see "edit" and "delete" to the left of "report" for several minutes after a post is made.

    Thanks
     
    • Like x 1
  12. ba2002

    ba2002 Member

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    Does anyone else have more input on the model 3 front seat comfort?

    I'm currently in a model S lease, and was planning on replacing it with a 3 AWD....but last night I had my first chance to sit in and drive a 3 and my initial reaction to the seats was...not great. Played with the adjustments some, eventually got the "lumbar bump" mostly sorted out, but the seats still felt too firm, especially under my thighs, and too short - like they could use a sport seat extension. The seat sort of felt too small in a way. I'm 6' and 215 lbs - the next gen seats in the model S aren't 101% perfect for me, but they feel pretty good.

    I was considerably less enthusiastic after my first hand-on than before.... has me reconsidering my whole plan on getting a model 3 at all.....
     
  13. Electroman

    Electroman Well-Known Member

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    #13 Electroman, Jun 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
    That is an artifact of how the forum software has been configured. You have some minutes (I think it is 15 or maybe 30) before which you can edit the post. And this true for many social media forums like Twitter too.

    I am guessing this is done to prevent people from doing a hit & run maneuver.
     
  14. cab

    cab Member

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    I felt that same lower back "hump" the second I sat in a model 3 at out local gallery. I immediately reached for the lumbar adjustment, but it was still there...it bugged me the whole time I was sitting in the seat. I remember thinking "is this normal?". Oddly enough, I have the first gen seats and have actually come to like them on anything but the longest trips. Yes, they are flat and a bit firm, but I appreciate their roominess too at 190 lbs!
     
  15. Aellinsar

    Aellinsar Member

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    I suppose it depends on the shape of your body and what you find to be comfortable, but I have no issues with the model 3 seats. I was driving a 2002 Acura RSX-S and the model 3 seats far more comfortable to me with a similar amount of bolster. I prefer them over the seats in my wife's RDX as well.

    I actually haven't sat int he back seat for more than a few seconds, so I can't comment. My daughter prefers them over the back of the RSX, but if you've been in the back of an RSX that's not saying much!
     
  16. Ormond

    Ormond Member

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    I have a Model X now, and am considering replacing it with the 3, but after reading this thread I definitely am not finalizing my order until I can sit in the Model 3.
     
  17. Petra

    Petra Member

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    So far, I've sat in three Model 3s, driven one, and I've found the front seats to be great--they're supportive and much softer than the gen 1.5 seats in my Model S (~5'9" 140lb. & the gen. 1.5 seats hurt after a while due to their firmness and my... lack of padding?). That said, I'm the opposite of the OP and require the seats to have ample adjustable lumbar support to be comfortable and the Model 3 fits the description well. A flat seat configuration, like what OP's looking for, would be miserable for someone like myself.
     
  18. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2018: Drain the Sewer

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    I'm short side of average and skinny. For me the seats are fine.
     
  19. zer0cool

    zer0cool Member

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    Overall the Model 3 front seat is not as good as the Model S or X front seats. The lumbar thing wouldn't go away but I found that if you increase the lowest lumbar a bit, then the existing bulge (which is at mid-high lumber area) doesn't feel as much. I went on a road trip with my friend and sat in the front seat for several hours and also drove the car extensively. It's not as comfortable as Model S seats but wasn't painful either. I would rate them a passing grade. I would say Model 3 front seats, C-. Model S front seats B. BMW 7 series multi-contour front seats A.

    Now the rear seats have improved, so that's good.

    Ended up ordering a Model 3 yesterday since one of our cars' leases end in Aug and my wife is an Elon fangirl.

    I think this will be a good car, but I am very much looking forward to the 2nd gen Model S and Porsche Taycan.
     

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