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Model 3 Initial Impressions

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by jrichey, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. jrichey

    jrichey Member

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    Orlando
    TMC Forum Readers - I took delivery of my Model 3 on 2/14 and thought I would pen a quick post on my initial impressions, hoping that some of my points might be new to others. Now a little background before I get into it...

    I have been part of the forum for 2 years now, when I was serious about getting a Tesla and wanted to learn all I could. I then became a bit obsessed with the site and checked it multiple times a day about the MX (which I ordered and took delivery of 75D in July 2016). It's how I learned what I could about the car that I ordered sight unseen and undriven! Now rinse and repeat with the M3 so I thought why not share with others in hopes it answers some of your questions.
    • Delivery Experience (Orlando SC) - Much more personal this time around, which was a nice change from 2016.
    • Fit and Finish - I'm no engineer or architect but I did check the car throughly as I did my MX in 2016. Honestly was perfect to me. Know others have made comments about panel gaps but everything looked just fine.
    • Driving
      • Ride - So yes it doesn't have air suspension but the ride feels great to me. It is "rougher" but it really just feels more sporty to me, nothing to complain about here.
      • Feels tighter and more nimble than the MX and I thought that was a sports car drive, but this feels more so. Probably helps the smaller size and sitting lower to the ground. But drives great.
      • Night Driving - Boy that get's some getting used to for sure, but I found a setting where you can turn the lights "on" for the steering wheel arrows. That helped a lot so recommend that.
      • HUD - Yep, will want to get one I think once somebody figures it out. I know I will get used to glancing to the right for speed, just think something else there in front of you will help. It's not a must have but I would like it after driving for a few days.
      • Rear View Mirror - I've read lots of comments about the visibility here and I think it is fine. Yes the mirror is small but I got used to that with the MX. And yes if a car is right on your bumper you won't see their headlights but honestly that's better than getting half blinded by them. Again, don't think this is a concern at all.
      • AP2.5 - Coming from AP 1.0 it generally seems just as good, sometimes better. There are spots on the drive from Orlando to Tampa (I4) where the concrete is so washed white and the lines are also white that my MX would have trouble with it. Not AP2.5, it worked like a champ.
      • Windshield wipers - Having to fumble thru the screen to change the windshield wipers seemed like a terrible idea before driving, not safe. But what I didn't realize was that a quick one wipe can be easily executed from the turn signal stock so this is a non-issue to me.
      • Changing cruising speed - I was worried not having the dedicated stock for AP/Cruise. Changing the speed is pretty easy on the screen, it's right under the speedometer.
      • Engaging/Disengaging AP - Similar concern from above but not an issue. To engage, you pull down twice on the gear shifter. To disengage, either take over the gas/break/wheel or push up once on the gear shifter.
      • Missing the energy details - I agree with others that they don't have enough options yet to see the energy usage. I particularly like in the MX seeing what I have driven since the car started, and since the last charge. There is a trip view in M3 like on the big screen in the MX, but it's not the same. I did find though that the one energy graph that folks are probably used to (the circular one with the spikes) kinda exists in the M3. Right below the speedometer is a thin line. It changes left to right based on energy usage!
      • Tires are all the same! - Coming from the MX where the front and back are different, this really hurts the miles you get out of them since you can't rotate them. Happy to see they are the same size here and hopefully can get more miles before having to replace them.
    • Interior
      • I'm not a tall guy (5'11") but I have long legs and like the seat way back. Doing this means the person behind you, if they have decent size feet (8-9+) will be a bit cramped. Knee space is fine, just foot space a bit of a challenge.
      • Glass Roof and Heat - Living in Florida, was worried about the all glass roof and heat. Initial impressions (traveled 2 hours in the car in 85+ degree heat) are no issues, seems to be just fine. Unlike the MX and it's huge front windshield which we had heat issues with, this seems ok.
      • HVAC is Strong - In our MX this is kinda weak especially for the 2nd and 3rd row. Not so here, plenty of air strength.
      • Cigarette Lighter - They need to fix this. It's located under the armrest, which is normal. Two issues - One they didn't leave a slot under the armrest where the cord can come thru while the armrest is down and two, when you plug anything of size into the lighter, you can't keep the tray that comes with it there. No space. While I don't see using this much, if you have a radar detector (for example) and want to plug in here it will be ugly.
      • Interior PUP footwell lights are weak IMO - I didn't have this with the MX so I don't have anything to compare to, but the footwell lights seem way too weak. Will probably update those at some point.
      • Rear HVAC is Smart - Like the MX, it only turns on when it detects somebody sitting in the back seat. Nice!
      • Built in Phone Charger ROCKS! - I have read lots of post about trying to put a wireless charging pad here but honestly it's not needed. They finally made this charger usable! In the MX, I would have to take my case off to make it charge, not so here. Now I have a very minimal case but it still works which is a nice improvement.
      • Frunk Light Weak - This one is really weak but not sure it can be replaced as it also doubles as a push button to open the frunk from the inside.
    • Batteries
      • Charge rate much faster - With my MX on a 50A circuit (charging at 40A) at home, I would get about 27 miles an hour. With M3, I now get around 33!
      • Efficiency YEAH! - As I kinda expected but was still impressed, great efficiency compared to MX. I would normally on the highway run around 350-360 usage in the MX and with my 1 road trip so far was about 260. I am not a driver that looks to eek out every mile, rather I just drive how I did with an ICE car. Generally 8 miles over the limit with AC at 72/73. So in the MX I could expect to get about 87% of the range the MX said I had while my experience with the M3 is 97% under same conditions!
    • Missing or Haven't figured out yet
      • Can't find the calendar. I really only used this to pull up addresses for upcoming appointments but I can't seem to find it on the M3. Hope they bring it back with a software update.
      • Manual - Can't find this either. Was looking for it as I tried to figure things out on the car and couldn't find it. Again assume they will add in a future update.
    Hope the above helps and maybe in some areas you hadn't heard from before. Let me know any questions or clarifications I can provide. It is a great car and worth the wait if you can wait...
     
    • Informative x 23
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  2. iluvmacs

    iluvmacs Member

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    #2 iluvmacs, Feb 19, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
    • Correction to your note about the line under the speedo: this is showing power, not energy.
    • Battery charge rate is the same (assuming 40A hookup for both). You only get more miles per hour because the car is more efficient while driving :).
    • No calendar yet.
    • Mine has the manual, but it was only added in the most recent update last week. Perhaps you don't have it yet.
    Great review on the car. We just got ours last week and we are over the moon with how amazing it is.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. ForeverFree

    ForeverFree Supporting Member

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    With a wall connector (HPWC), our M3 draws 48A and charges at 44 mph. That's three-fourths as fast as our MS charges at 80A. The increased efficiency really helps!
     
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  4. jrichey

    jrichey Member

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    Thanks for the reply. Your right that the charge rate is the same, my point was more like you said I am getting more miles per hour than the MX from the same circuit which is great. In fact, sometimes I get 38 miles an hour. Good to hear about the manual coming soon.
     
  5. Sandiegodoug

    Sandiegodoug Member

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    I’ve had ours almost a month and with 50a circuit I get 38 all the time in our 3 and 28 with the x. I plugged mine into a 15a 110 to
    see rate, 4mph.
     
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  6. Mulligan Jake

    Mulligan Jake Member

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    Savannah, Ga.
    To find the Owners Manual tap on the M3 icon on the bottom left of the touchscreen, then tap on Service. It’s near the bottom of the screen,
     
    • Informative x 1
  7. sreams

    sreams Member

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    The HPWC manual shows the max charge rate for a Model S (100amp breaker, 80amp output) as 52mph, while the max for a Model 3 is 60/48 at 44mph. That's even better than 3/4. It's about 85% as fast (in terms of miles).
     
  8. jrichey

    jrichey Member

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    Thanks. I don't have that yet, but as @iluvmacs said he got it in a recent update so maybe I will too...
     
  9. Shoal007

    Shoal007 Member

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    I'm still running a .2017 version, myself. When does it update?
     
  10. tropical1

    tropical1 Member

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    Odessa, FL
    Looking forward to my Model 3 delivery this week in Tampa. Really glad to hear about the drive on I4 with the new autopilot. Our AP1 Model X loses the lines as you said where they are washed out. Assuming the new X or S with Autopilot 2.5 would be same as 3.

    Thanks for your post!
     
    • Like x 1
  11. ForeverFree

    ForeverFree Supporting Member

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    The old dual-charger Ses can charge at 80A, which yields 58 or 59 mph.
     
  12. Terthen

    Terthen Member

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    I'm thinking about Model 3, but was actually trying to hold off for non-PUP because I was hedging against the glass roof. Did you tint the MX windshield or use the sun shade? I added a piece of cloth to the included sun shade, so it is good to hear it may be better on M3 than MX but any more details would be helpful... with some concerns about getting the full tax credit I might just bite on the PUP version.
     
  13. jrichey

    jrichey Member

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    @Terthen - We did end up tinting the MX upper windshield with 3M heat resistant stuff and that did the trick. The sun shade did work but I didn't care to have that up there all the time. I honestly was worried I was going to have to do the same thing with the M3 but so far I think I am ok...Hope that helps..
     
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  14. ForeverFree

    ForeverFree Supporting Member

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    Glass roof is a non-issue ... as it has been on our S85D (with pano roof which is almost all glass).

    And, we get lots of sun here and some fairly hot days.

    If anything, we wish the M3 glass roof wasn't quite so dark!
     
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    • Like x 1
  15. kbatts

    kbatts New Member

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    Feb 22, 2018
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    Thank you very much for positing this detailed first impressions! I am also a Model 3 reservation holder living in Orlando and thrilled to hear about a delivery here in O-town. Hopefully the Winter Park store will receive a floor model soon that I can come check out! Sadly they just pushed back my reservation to early 2019 so this will test my patience. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to catch a sighting of you and your new ride around town ... Enjoy and would love to hear about more impressions when you have time to post!

     
    • Like x 1
  16. jrichey

    jrichey Member

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    Glad you liked the post. I would suggest dropping by the Orlando SC as they are getting more and more M3”s to deliver. When I picked up mine they had 4 of them sitting in the parking lot but coned off. While you can’t sit in it at least you could walk around and see it. Of course call first to make sure they have some there. Good luck!
     

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