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Model 3 review - After moving from RWD to AWD

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Merle Corey, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. Merle Corey

    Merle Corey Member

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    I was a Day 1 reservation holder and my number came up this April. From the beginning I wanted AWD with white seats, but as we all know that configuration wasn’t available for the first few months. I couldn’t wait so I ordered a beautiful multi coat red with all the options and thoroughly enjoyed the car. I’ve owned BMW (both 3 series and 5 series), Infinity, Mini, Volvo, Ford and Acura - the Tesla is, by far, my favorite car.

    I needed two service repairs with the car, 1) driver’s side headlight went out. It was fixed by a mobile ranger. 2) Frunk refused to open. This happened last week on Christmas Eve and it was full of Santa’s presents. Let’s just say that wasn’t the best experience. But other than those two problems nothing else went wrong.

    Then on 12/27 or 12/28 , Elon tweeted again about the $7500 tax credit and that he guaranteed that if you ordered, the car would be delivered on time. On the same day my Tesla Solar rep emailed me and thanked me for installing solar this year, so on a whim I asked him if there is a car in my dream configuration: Red, AWD, white interior, sport wheels, EAP, FSD, at a location that I didn’t have to drive hours to get to, and be available before 12/31. At that time, I was 99% sure that it wouldn’t happen because not only did i want that exact configuration, but I also wanted a very “fair” trade in offer.

    Tesla got back to me the same day on what they had. Yes, they had a one brand new AWD in that configuration and yes, it was at the location I wanted in Tysons Corner, VA! There was only one other one in Baltimore but it had black seats.

    The wheels were turning in my head at that point, but I was ready for disappointment with the trade in offer. My LR had 9,700 miles, some rash on the rims, and was 8 months old. Trade in offer: $45,100! Seriously?! I understand I could have gotten more on my own, but I was blown away with the offer. If you include the $7500 credit then it only cost me about $5000 in depreciation! Let’s just say I took the deal.

    Finally, I get to the part of the review and comparison. Sorry this came so late and may not be as complete yet because I haven’t had to drive the new one much. But lets be honest, it’s the same car!

    1st Model 3 VIN: 18XXX
    New Model 3 VIN: 135,300

    My very first impression of the driving difference was the change in steering feel. The AWD is definitely more weighty. More substantial. Both were set to Sport steering. There’s also a slightly different steering “motor” sound when turning the wheel. Elon mentions that there are tweaks and modifications made all the time in the production process, so this may be one of those cases. At least from a user experience perspective.

    The ultra white seats are more comfortable than the black ones. I had the 2nd generation ones in my original Model 3 and they are both the same build. But the leather (or fake vegan stuff) is much softer and smoother. And they look pretty cool also. My wife is still on the fence, but my kids love it. My 10 year old son thinks it’s now a racing car! Take that for what it’s worth!

    The car is fast! Definitely faster than the LR one. I know this is subjective, but the AWD car definitely reflects the upgraded specs. This was one of the main questions I had because the LR felt fast enough already. But there were times were I wanted more oomph. The AWD absolutely feels faster and sportier, especially tied to the more substantial steering, than the LR.

    So there you have it. Went a little long but hopefully it is an informative and good read for all of you!
     
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  2. LyftupX

    LyftupX Member

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    Glad I flipped to AWD as well at the last minute.

    The extra oomph works in tight spots and moves you need to advance through and out of.
     
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  3. Matt L

    Matt L Member

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    Congrats man! I love my RWD and Im glad I didn’t see this a day or two ago. It would have provided much mental anguish for me.
     
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  4. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Member

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    I'm guessing the cars under comparison have different tires/wheels? If so, that's probably 90% of the difference you notice in steering feel. Because I switch back and forth between my AWD Performance and my wife's LR RWD. Both have the same 18" Michelin MXM4 Primacy tires on Aero wheels and both have substantially the same steering feel. VIN's are 19xxx and 85xxx.

    The biggest difference is, of course, the much stronger acceleration potential and the faint "turbine" whine of the front motor that is not present in the LR RWD. It would be hard for me to give up the unusually quick acceleration of the P3D with it's AWD, especially under low traction situations, but I can't help but think, in the most important quality, the LR RWD is the better car because it goes further without being tied to a charger. It's super efficient which, in my mind, kind of trumps the P3D in terms of overall elegance and beauty.
     
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  5. wcorey

    wcorey Member

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    That's awesome! I reserved Sept of 17, AWD LR, MCR, Premium Upgrade Blk. I deliberately didn't go with white but that's why they made chocolate as not everyone liked vanilla! I don't really have anything to compare it against as my prior several cars were Prius's. Our driveway is about a 30 deg incline for 250'. I did have a 77 TR-7 that was awesome. We moved to Reston, VA and I had to take it out on Dulles Access and open it up. But, yeah, I love the Model 3. The S I drove was simply too big for me. It was, frankly, too expensive as well. Any chance you did a genealogy?
     
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  6. Wizard2416

    Wizard2416 Member

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    True, that's the main reason why I didn't jump the gun on the P3D+ when I had the chance to trade-in my RWD for it few days ago.

    My RWD is way more efficient for long trips and daily drive (over 180 miles as daily commute without going anywhere else on my way back home). I drive mostly on the freeway and up/down canyon roads hence I won't be using that much power since I may get a ticket or usually have a car in front of me while at canyons. Tried a P3D on same road before and it consumed way too much power to go up the mountain.

    RWD rolling over is as fast as AWD since it seems main difference on acceleration is from the launch to ~20 mph so no issues here. Just sometimes I do need more speed when going 60s or 70s mph or when I see a BMW M3 trying to race me but besides that, no issues with speed.
     
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  7. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

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    The AWD is also LR so the title to this thread is a bit odd. I wonder, though, if people are calling AWD and P shorter range because:

    I can't help but think the same. Plus, add the aero wheels (which I initially hated but have grown to love), which give the LR another 4.3% in real world testing, and it's the perfect car for my wife to make it our cabin without stopping at the supercharger 1/2 way (she hates to "waste" time) and no concern for her about running out of range. So I do agree with @StealthP3D above but with some reservation since I've yet to drive an AWD 3 or P.

    That's where I prefer classic S over my 3, even with the new tech and AP in the 3. The RWD 3 feels like a go-cart compared to the S. I'm not driving in bumper to bumper traffic where AP is a must and I like to drive. My wife loves the "go cart" ride of our 3 -- so she drives it mostly whereas I prefer the more substantial feel of our S. But given your comments, I look forward to test driving an AWD. I had an AWD S loaner for a week when deciding whether to upgrade for AP and AWD and my RWD S is, for me, more fun to drive than AWD but less safe, especially on snow/ice.
     
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  8. wcorey

    wcorey Member

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    I've seen several people reference that. However, I am puzzled by one thing. Just as there are differences between Audi Quattro and, say, Suburu AWD my understanding is AWD can engage any or all of the wheels. Here is the language from Tesla on the AWD option.
    This makes it sound like the car is, at any point in time, either FWD or RWD as opposed to 60/40 or 40/60. Would someone elaborate on just what the implementation of AWD actually is?
     
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  9. boriszima

    boriszima Member

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    cool story, glad you were able to get new car and hopefully have enough tax liability for your 1st Tesla, solar roof panels and 2nd tesla, thats a pretty hefty Federal return :)
     
  10. Merle Corey

    Merle Corey Member

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    I realized that after I posted, but it looks like there’s no way to change the title. LR should be RWD.
     
  11. Wizard2416

    Wizard2416 Member

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    I believe someone explained that before (don't remember where thou). Basically Tesla's Dual Motor (AWD) engage both motors constantly hence using more energy than your regular AWD vehicles in where switch power when needed.

    Perhaps someone can elaborate this a bit better?
     
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  12. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Member

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    AFAIK, the amount of power delivered to each wheel under different conditions is known only to Tesla engineers. I've never seen a published report that attempted to quantify this. My assumption is that under normal gradual acceleration (like what you see in typical traffic) the front motor is only powered enough that the front wheels are not a net drag overall and that under stronger acceleration the front wheels are relied on increasingly to prevent excessive slip/wear of the rear tires. In slippery conditions, of course, power is directed as needed (and it can do this faster than any ICE AWD). My P3D feels more like a RWD car than a FWD car when accelerating hard around a curve.

    The primary reasons the dual motor versions are less efficient is because the front motor is a different type of motor with a lower efficiency factor (and it adds around 250 lbs.). Also, there is one more gear reduction unit and drive axle that is always engaged. The lower efficiency is not because both motors are constantly powered, that's actually a good thing.
     
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  13. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Member

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    No. The claim that the car can drive on either motor at any time is just marketing chest thumping celebrating the fact that the software is capable of recognizing the failure of one motor and switching to 2WD rather than being disabled due to not having 2WD software implemented.

    I imagine this is one of those things Elon Musk insisted upon after his engineers told him motor failure was so rare that they didn't need to develop software to deal with it, they could just disable the vehicle so it could be towed to a service center. The reliability of Model 3 motors probably means this will only benefit around 1 in 1,000,000 Model 3 owners.
     
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  14. wcorey

    wcorey Member

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    Thank you for your responses!
     
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  15. wcorey

    wcorey Member

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    Are you sure there is a gear reduction? I thought both motors were direct drive.
    But the upside it that weight moves the center of gravity to the center of the car. I think @Mad Hungarian even discussed this on a M3OC vid. As I recall it was in the context of track control in a PAWD.
     
  16. StealthP3D

    StealthP3D Member

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    Both motors have gear reductions. The relevance of this is simply that there are more moving parts (gears in gear oil) and drive shafts with sealed bearings (seals cause drag).
     
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  17. jkoya

    jkoya Member

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    Congrats !!
     
  18. aspec818

    aspec818 Member

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    glad everything worked out! the AWD Non P is a beast.
     
  19. Adrien

    Adrien Member

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    I'm so confused. I've seen quite a few articles on people doing this, but is anyone taking into account sales tax? You don't get that back and you're paying that on the new car as well. SOrry to ask, but can someone write out the math....exact math on this.

    Unless you're in a no car sales tax state, this just isn't making sense haha. I'm sure I'n missing something.
     
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  20. 3laine

    3laine Member

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    In Florida (and presumably elsewhere), you only pay tax on the difference between the new price and the trade-in, which substantially lowers the tax burden.

    For instance, If he bought a $55k car and got $45k for trade-in, he'd only pay tax on the remaining $10k.

    It's still a consideration, of course, but better to pay tax on $10k than $55k!
     
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