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Model 3 surprises

ivolodin

Member
Oct 3, 2016
86
105
Boston, mA
I'm sure there're plenty of threads like this already, but I wanted to focus on things that came as a surprise to me.
I picked up Model 3 for my wife earlier today. It was scheduled to be delivered on Monday, but when I came to pick it up, they told me that while doing final inspection they found an error code that indicated some problem with drive unit. They give me Model S P85D (so I can't really complain about missed delivery much) as a loaner while they were figuring out if the whole unit needs to be replaced, or they can fix it without replacement. Finally, after not hearing anything from them for 3 days, I called them earlier today, and was told that it turned out that all they had to do was flush new firmware to fix the issue, and I can pick up the car in the next 2 hours (really strange, never had the issue of being "in the dark" with my Model S. They always call and text me as soon as they start working on the car).
Couple of things that came as a surprise to me in Model 3, that I either didn't know about, or didn't think to check before ordering the car, so they might be useful to others:
  • Model 3 doesn't have WiFi enabled currently. Manual says that it should be coming in the OTA update at some point. Not great, since I have no cell coverage in the area I live in.
  • There are fog lights in the car. My Model S doesn't have premium package, so I don't have them and didn't expect them in Model 3 either.
  • There are no USB slots in the arm-rest for plugging in USB drive for music. Not sure if the back sit USB slots would work for that, since my wife already ordered dual wireless charge pad for the front 2 USBs.
  • Trunk is smaller then in Model S, and not just because of the smaller opening. In Model S, if you remove floor cover, the area under it is connected to side cavities. Not the case in Model 3. Also side cavity (only one is available, since the other one houses sub-woofer) is a lot smaller.
  • Trunk lights are terrible. They weren't great in Model S (until I replaced them and added 2 more), but in Model 3 I can't see anything at all in the trunk in the dark garage. And I don't think there's a way to add more lights there.
  • Frunk is larger then in my Model S, but that's probably due to all wheel drive in S.
  • No auto hi-beams in Model 3, but I guess that's also coming in OTA update.
  • Overall, on-screen interface seems to be poorly organized comparing to Model S. Maybe I just need to get used to it, but took me a while to find where I can turn on walk away lock mode.
  • No way to tie in cards/phones to driver profile currently. Again, hopefully coming in OTA update.
  • Pedals are tiny. Hopefully somebody going to release aluminum replacements soon.
  • Steering wheel is smaller and less comfortable then Model S.
  • Non-sticking turn signals are annoying. I know that's not something that Model 3 invented, and they are available in other cars as well, but for some reason they are bugging me in Model 3. I think that might be because they are pretty hard. Maybe they will ware off over time a bit.
  • Was pleasantly surprised that Massachusetts rebate for Model 3 is $2500. I was planning on $1000 just like what I've gotten for my Model S.
  • Driving is great! Much more nimble then Model S, and even though it's full second slower then my uncorked 75D, it doesn't feel that way.
  • Sounds quality is a lot better then in Model S (although my Model S doesn't have premium sound). It's better then any other car that I owned. Clear bass and mids, maybe a bit low on treble, but I haven't played with it much yet.
 
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aronth5

Long Time Follower
Supporting Member
May 8, 2010
2,825
1,856
Boston Suburb
Regarding the "trunk lights are terrible", I've purchased LED upgrade lighting from RPM. Supposedly many times brighter then Tesla's original.
Just waiting for delivery to install them and see how they work.
 
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ivolodin

Member
Oct 3, 2016
86
105
Boston, mA
Couple more things to add the the original thread that I noticed after another drive:
  • Back-up camera is much worse then in my S. In the dark garage image turns green (like it did in older P85D loaner), and while visibility is pretty good, image resolution seems to be a lot lower then in S.
  • It looks like if you use key card to open doors, the car doesn't automatically lock itself when you walk away. I guess that's sort of expected, but I actually don't know how to lock the car without going into the phone app (maybe same way as unlocking it?)
  • No way to leave the heat on from inside the car. I guess it's coming in OTA update.
  • Not related to the car itself, but I found mini Model 3 in the arm-rest of my car. I thought those were for first day reservation holders. I reserved my car about 4 month ago.
 

AMIYY4YOU

Member
Jan 4, 2018
194
200
Boston, MA
Exciting - I'm in Boston tooo but was a non-owner so hopefully I'll receive mine within the next month after the FY ends.

Regarding your note on the wireless charging/USB chargers, the front USB chargers are NOT capable of fast wireless charging which I made a thread describing that it was very deceiving on RPMTesla's part. They modified their listing afterwards to indicate that they will sell you a 12V cigarette lighter that has dual 2A USB ports for fast wireless charging. If you try using the front USBs, they will charge wirelessly but it will be slow and inefficient as hell.
 

TaoJones

Beyond Driven
Nov 10, 2014
3,064
3,028
The Americas
Couple more things to add the the original thread that I noticed after another drive:
  • Not related to the car itself, but I found mini Model 3 in the arm-rest of my car. I thought those were for first day reservation holders. I reserved my car about 4 month ago.

Was the miniature Model 3 identical to your specific configuration or was it generic? I recall specifically that Elon promised something special to the 115,000 line-waiters that cold, and for many, rainy and miserable March day.

After 2 years of waiting to find out that the "something special" was a customized Model 3 miniature that matched one's order, it takes some of the cachet or specialness away if everybody ends up getting one. Rather analogous to Signature red paint being available for everyone 3 months after they started shipping Sig cars. Which of course they didn't do.

Exciting - I'm in Boston tooo but was a non-owner so hopefully I'll receive mine within the next month after the FY ends.

Regarding your note on the wireless charging/USB chargers, the front USB chargers are NOT capable of fast wireless charging which I made a thread describing that it was very deceiving on RPMTesla's part. They modified their listing afterwards to indicate that they will sell you a 12V cigarette lighter that has dual 2A USB ports for fast wireless charging. If you try using the front USBs, they will charge wirelessly but it will be slow and inefficient as hell.

Yeah, not a fan of RPMTesla - had a very odd experience with the owner that bordered on the bizarre. Meanwhile, I've had nothing but excellent service repeatedly from Abstract Ocean (who recently and very smoothly and quickly handled a defective charger issue) as well as from Norm, King of the Cubby Drawers. I've also got the AO puddle lights and they're fantastic. Took less than 5 minutes per side to install - crisp, sharp and bright.

Fortunately from the OP, a good number of the concerns noted will either be addressed via OTA update, or may well be (can be) in the future. Hadn't noticed the pedals but did notice the wheel difference. Can't remember if it's supposed to be different with the base package.
 

dwharrison

Member
Mar 1, 2018
181
168
Ajax ON
  • It looks like if you use key card to open doors, the car doesn't automatically lock itself when you walk away. I guess that's sort of expected, but I actually don't know how to lock the car without going into the phone app (maybe same way as unlocking it?)
Not an owner yet, but from what I've read you'd tap the card on the same place on the b-pillar you used to unlock the car, and it would then lock. You'd know it's locked by the lights flashing and the mirrors folding in (for PUP cars, and assuming you have that enabled).

Also, there's a lock icon on the top of the screen, so you could tap that before exiting the car.
 

ivolodin

Member
Oct 3, 2016
86
105
Boston, mA
Was the miniature Model 3 identical to your specific configuration or was it generic? I recall specifically that Elon promised something special to the 115,000 line-waiters that cold, and for many, rainy and miserable March day.
Miniature Model 3 seems to be identical to my configuration. Same color and wheels (since those are the only two exterior options that you can change). Maybe it was included by mistake? Delivery specialist didn't mention it at all, and I accidentally found it while checking out all the storage compartments.

Fortunately from the OP, a good number of the concerns noted will either be addressed via OTA update, or may well be (can be) in the future. Hadn't noticed the pedals but did notice the wheel difference. Can't remember if it's supposed to be different with the base package.
I wouldn't call most of those things "concerns". I just didn't know about them up-front. I think I can live with all of those things. Considering how fun it is to drive this car, I don't mind a few "rough" edges. And as you said, a lot of them will be fixed via OTA updates anyways.
 

MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
16,482
38,530
Oregon
There are no USB slots in the arm-rest for plugging in USB drive for music. Not sure if the back sit USB slots would work for that, since my wife already ordered dual wireless charge pad for the front 2 USBs.

Only the two front USB ports can be used for music. They only provide 1A of charging power anyhow, so you don't really want to use them for charging. (The rear ports can provide 2.25A of charging power.)

So you either need to run the dual wireless charge pad from the rear USB outlets, or get a 12v USB charger to run them. (If you want them to actually work reasonably.)
 

ℬête Noire

Active Member
Jan 30, 2018
3,105
2,699
TX
Frunk is larger then in my Model S, but that's probably due to all wheel drive in S.
Sort of. It's due to different choices in how the front area of the M3 is organized, particularly in orientation of the front transaxle. The cavity among plumbing & wiring, and the frame mounts for it are already in place on the RWD cars so we know where it goes. The M3 D will still have the same frunk, as the transaxle structure extends more backwards than the upwards that the S does.
 
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Cnasty

Active Member
Jun 20, 2016
1,020
689
Dallas
Agreed, I love it too. Feels solid and I feel connected to the car. The 3 drives waaaayyy better than my old 70D. Its not even close.

Connected is a great word for it. I was shocked with how small it was when I got in the car for the first time. Then I drove it and i felt like i could put that car anywhere i needed to at anytime between the steering response, acceleration, and maneuverability.
 
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ivolodin

Member
Oct 3, 2016
86
105
Boston, mA
I think my issue with the steering wheel is not really due to its size (although it does feel too small after Model S), but more about the shape. Model S steering wheel has those grips at 2 and 10, which makes it easier to hold on on sharp turns, Model 3 doesn't, steering wheel is more or less flat.
Again, I'm sure I will adjust to it with time, but it just felt less comfortable to me then Model S steering wheel.

P.S. Model S steering wheel took a long time for me to adjust to, since it was so much thicker then my previous Infinity Q50.
 

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