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New M3 LR owner - what has surprised me so far

Thought I'd post some impressions of my first week and a bit of Tesla M3 LR ownership, particularly some of the things I've been surprised by. This will include both good surprises and not so good surprises. Therefore, I want to give the bottom line up front - I bloomin' love this car!! 😍 I know some people find it very hard to hear any criticism about their cars, so I hope you can all keep in mind that overall I'm a fan, and that therefore any "well if you don't like this tiny little element, you should just sell it and get a different car" replies will be rather an over-reaction ;)

Positive surprises
  • The handling. Ok, I had already had a test drive, and I'd read reviews that said the driving dynamics of the M3 are good. But I guess it takes time to get a connection with a car, plus I was probably a bit too distracted by the acceleration on my test drive to notice how good it is in the corners. Now, I should say, I've never owned a genuine performance car - all my car ownership has been fairly run of the mill hatchbacks - so maybe it just doesn't take much to impress me here. But I am really enjoying how flat it handles through the corners, and how direct the steering is. Really puts a smile on my face on a twisty road!
  • The suspension. Speaking of handling, I've heard it said that a firm and bumpy ride is the price you pay for the flat cornering on the Model 3. This hasn't been my impression at all. Perhaps other people judge based on the bigger wheels, but with the 18" Aero wheels to my tastes the suspension is dialled in just right. Yes, it's firm, but not uncomfortably so in my opinion.
  • Automatic wipers. I'd read on here that these were terrible, but so far they've been great! Better at judging the wiping speed needed than rain sensing wipers that use a dedicated rain sensor in other cars I've owned. Maybe I've just been lucky so far, but I haven't had to manually intervene once yet. Ok, sometimes they do get confused for a few seconds, so I can see that they might be a problem if you're someone who gets annoyed by that. But in my experience so far, it usually only takes them a few seconds to figure it out if they're going too fast/too slow.
  • Autosteer. I've never had a car that does the automatic lane centring thing before, and it's surprising how nice it is. I had wondered how much of a benefit it really was considering you have to keep your hand on the wheel anyway, but it does make driving more relaxing to just rest your hand on the wheel rather than actually steer it. I do find it pulls me further left in the lane than I would be if I were driving myself though, so that still will take some getting used to. If passing a car that is far to the right in their lane it does feel a bit uncomfortably close! But I guess I'll get used to that.

IMG_0047.jpeg


Less positive surprises

Again, remember that I do love the car overall please! These are mainly just nit-picks, and obviously some big ticket items in the positive surprises list (i.e. the handling is a pretty big one for a car!) are more significant. I also haven't listed all the things I love about the car that I haven't been surprised by (such as the acceleration or the design). So I hope these nit-picks are read in the context of me being a fanboi overall :)
  • Traffic aware cruise control. I guess I'll get used to it, but I find it very hesitant to accelerate compared to the same feature in my last couple of VWs. The Tesla seems to take an age to work out that the lane is clear, or that the car in front is accelerating, and even when it does it then accelerates glacially slowly. The VW system is far quicker to notice when it should be accelerating, and then applies the acceleration much more like I would do myself if I was driving. I find that I have to manually intervene by pressing the accelerator a lot in the Tesla. Hopefully this is something that will improve over time as Tesla's system learns more in future software updates.
  • Mirror dipping on reverse. Tesla need to give you an option that appears on the screen when you go into reverse so you can quickly toggle this feature on and off. It is useful for parallel parking, but makes parking in car parks harder. So if you leave it permanently on or permanently off you disadvantage yourself in one of these situations. I would love to be able to quickly turn it on when I'm about to parallel park, but it's buried away within many taps of the menu system.
  • Rear camera. Is near useless in the kinds of weather conditions we've been having lately. It's a blurry mess after a drive on a wet motorway. This is another one where VW have a better system because they hide the camera away under the VW badge, and it pops out when you go into reverse but is closed off and protected from the elements the rest of the time.
  • Bonging. Why oh why does it have to bong every time you engage/disengage Autopilot? This is so annoying!! I guess there must be some legislation somewhere that forces them to do it, otherwise adding a toggle option to turn off the bonging would be a no brainer. I've tried 'Joe mode' and it doesn't seem to make a difference. I find myself actively choosing not to turn on Autopilot at times if I'm listening to a part of a song that I really like and don't want to ruin it for myself by interrupting it with bonging.
  • Sat nav lady's basic numeracy. Can she count above one? "Take the first exit at the roundabout"... mmhmm...? 🤔
Think that'll do for now. As I say, loving the car overall! Have another long trip planned for this afternoon and I'm enjoying the journey more than the destinations at the moment! 😁

IMG_0046.jpeg
 

Mrklaw

Active Member
Mar 5, 2020
1,612
1,072
Berkshire
can’t remember what car it was - pehaps ioniq 5? but their lane keeping had a setting that allowed it to move to the right in the current lane if it detected the car to the left was too far over. I like that and would be nice to have more flexiblity. I’d also like a way to adjust the positioning in lane to my preference - being able to nudge it a couple of inches either way would be good.

TACC I’m guessing they just have a buffer zone or something that is why it waits for the car in front to move far enough for it to start accelerating. I’ve noticed its fairly forgiving of cars pulling across in front of you if it detects they’re going faster than you, even if they’re inside the zone where it would normally slow down.

Bonging honestly has me considering the EAP for changing lanes under autopilot. I don’t care about nav on autopilot, I just want to be able to change lanes when I indicate without ‘bong - AP off’, change lanes, ‘bing bong - AP on’ constantly.
 

browellm

Active Member
Oct 4, 2019
1,075
1,076
Notts
Mirror dipping on reverse. Tesla need to give you an option that appears on the screen when you go into reverse so you can quickly toggle this feature on and off. It is useful for parallel parking, but makes parking in car parks harder. So if you leave it permanently on or permanently off you disadvantage yourself in one of these situations. I would love to be able to quickly turn it on when I'm about to parallel park, but it's buried away within many taps of the menu system.

One little hack you can do for this is to create yourself a dedicated driver profile with mirrors dipped and toggle it when you need it.
 

Dilly

Active Member
Feb 24, 2020
2,922
2,377
Norfolk
Autopilot can be a mixed bag. Beware of phantom braking next to curtainsider lorries or traffic merging on the left. Foot slightly on the throttle overrides the problem. Otherwise it‘s a relaxing ride.
my wipers have been ok. Some peoples havent!
bonging - put it in Joe mode.
rear camera is no worse than any other car I’ve owned. I just wipe it with my finger when possible.
the back end attracts muck like a magnet!
otherwise it’s a joy.
software updates alway bring surprises. Some good, some bad…
 
One little hack you can do for this is to create yourself a dedicated driver profile with mirrors dipped and toggle it when you need it.
You can also set the mirrors in your profile using the controls on the steering wheel to your taste. I found they dipped too far when standard, adjusted them in my profile whilst in reverse and voila, they stay where I have set them for every reverse.
 
Thought I'd post some impressions of my first week and a bit of Tesla M3 LR ownership, particularly some of the things I've been surprised by. This will include both good surprises and not so good surprises. Therefore, I want to give the bottom line up front - I bloomin' love this car!! 😍 I know some people find it very hard to hear any criticism about their cars, so I hope you can all keep in mind that overall I'm a fan, and that therefore any "well if you don't like this tiny little element, you should just sell it and get a different car" replies will be rather an over-reaction ;)

Positive surprises
  • The handling. Ok, I had already had a test drive, and I'd read reviews that said the driving dynamics of the M3 are good. But I guess it takes time to get a connection with a car, plus I was probably a bit too distracted by the acceleration on my test drive to notice how good it is in the corners. Now, I should say, I've never owned a genuine performance car - all my car ownership has been fairly run of the mill hatchbacks - so maybe it just doesn't take much to impress me here. But I am really enjoying how flat it handles through the corners, and how direct the steering is. Really puts a smile on my face on a twisty road!
  • The suspension. Speaking of handling, I've heard it said that a firm and bumpy ride is the price you pay for the flat cornering on the Model 3. This hasn't been my impression at all. Perhaps other people judge based on the bigger wheels, but with the 18" Aero wheels to my tastes the suspension is dialled in just right. Yes, it's firm, but not uncomfortably so in my opinion.
  • Automatic wipers. I'd read on here that these were terrible, but so far they've been great! Better at judging the wiping speed needed than rain sensing wipers that use a dedicated rain sensor in other cars I've owned. Maybe I've just been lucky so far, but I haven't had to manually intervene once yet. Ok, sometimes they do get confused for a few seconds, so I can see that they might be a problem if you're someone who gets annoyed by that. But in my experience so far, it usually only takes them a few seconds to figure it out if they're going too fast/too slow.
  • Autosteer. I've never had a car that does the automatic lane centring thing before, and it's surprising how nice it is. I had wondered how much of a benefit it really was considering you have to keep your hand on the wheel anyway, but it does make driving more relaxing to just rest your hand on the wheel rather than actually steer it. I do find it pulls me further left in the lane than I would be if I were driving myself though, so that still will take some getting used to. If passing a car that is far to the right in their lane it does feel a bit uncomfortably close! But I guess I'll get used to that.
Less positive surprises

Again, remember that I do love the car overall please! These are mainly just nit-picks, and obviously some big ticket items in the positive surprises list (i.e. the handling is a pretty big one for a car!) are more significant. I also haven't listed all the things I love about the car that I haven't been surprised by (such as the acceleration or the design). So I hope these nit-picks are read in the context of me being a fanboi overall :)
  • Traffic aware cruise control. I guess I'll get used to it, but I find it very hesitant to accelerate compared to the same feature in my last couple of VWs. The Tesla seems to take an age to work out that the lane is clear, or that the car in front is accelerating, and even when it does it then accelerates glacially slowly. The VW system is far quicker to notice when it should be accelerating, and then applies the acceleration much more like I would do myself if I was driving. I find that I have to manually intervene by pressing the accelerator a lot in the Tesla. Hopefully this is something that will improve over time as Tesla's system learns more in future software updates.
  • Mirror dipping on reverse. Tesla need to give you an option that appears on the screen when you go into reverse so you can quickly toggle this feature on and off. It is useful for parallel parking, but makes parking in car parks harder. So if you leave it permanently on or permanently off you disadvantage yourself in one of these situations. I would love to be able to quickly turn it on when I'm about to parallel park, but it's buried away within many taps of the menu system.
  • Rear camera. Is near useless in the kinds of weather conditions we've been having lately. It's a blurry mess after a drive on a wet motorway. This is another one where VW have a better system because they hide the camera away under the VW badge, and it pops out when you go into reverse but is closed off and protected from the elements the rest of the time.
  • Bonging. Why oh why does it have to bong every time you engage/disengage Autopilot? This is so annoying!! I guess there must be some legislation somewhere that forces them to do it, otherwise adding a toggle option to turn off the bonging would be a no brainer. I've tried 'Joe mode' and it doesn't seem to make a difference. I find myself actively choosing not to turn on Autopilot at times if I'm listening to a part of a song that I really like and don't want to ruin it for myself by interrupting it with bonging.
  • Sat nav lady's basic numeracy. Can she count above one? "Take the first exit at the roundabout"... mmhmm...? 🤔
Think that'll do for now. As I say, loving the car overall! Have another long trip planned for this afternoon and I'm enjoying the journey more than the destinations at the moment! 😁
I’m in the same boat. One week of ownership.

Differences for me are that wipers have been terrible in Auto but the rear camera has been working well during the storms. I do have a purplely haze when viewing live feeds through dash cam. Weird but nothing that doesn’t seem unusual from doing research.

I do love it though 😍
 
  • Like
Reactions: AutomaticMan
You can also set the mirrors in your profile using the controls on the steering wheel to your taste. I found they dipped too far when standard, adjusted them in my profile whilst in reverse and voila, they stay where I have set them for every reverse.
Have they fixed this now in the latest version? Because the last few I’ve tried basically won’t save the positions when I’m in reverse - they always appear to just go to whatever dip position they feel like.
 
When I first got my M3LR it didn’t have the latest software downloaded....in fact it took quite a time...but now I get it before nearly everyone 👍. So some of your niggles could improve soon (and some of your favorites could be lost🤣)..one of the things I love is the relationship between owner and Tesla..sometimes delightful sometimes annoying.. it’s like having a new member of the family
 
  • Like
Reactions: AutomaticMan
Thought I'd post some impressions of my first week and a bit of Tesla M3 LR ownership, particularly some of the things I've been surprised by. This will include both good surprises and not so good surprises. Therefore, I want to give the bottom line up front - I bloomin' love this car!! 😍 I know some people find it very hard to hear any criticism about their cars, so I hope you can all keep in mind that overall I'm a fan, and that therefore any "well if you don't like this tiny little element, you should just sell it and get a different car" replies will be rather an over-reaction ;)

Positive surprises
  • The handling. Ok, I had already had a test drive, and I'd read reviews that said the driving dynamics of the M3 are good. But I guess it takes time to get a connection with a car, plus I was probably a bit too distracted by the acceleration on my test drive to notice how good it is in the corners. Now, I should say, I've never owned a genuine performance car - all my car ownership has been fairly run of the mill hatchbacks - so maybe it just doesn't take much to impress me here. But I am really enjoying how flat it handles through the corners, and how direct the steering is. Really puts a smile on my face on a twisty road.
  • Automatic wipers. I'd read on here that these were terrible, but so far they've been great! Better at judging the wiping speed needed than rain sensing wipers that use a dedicated rain sensor in other cars I've owned. Maybe I've just been lucky so far, but I haven't had to manually intervene once yet. Ok, sometimes they do get confused for a few seconds, so I can see that they might be a problem if you're someone who gets annoyed by that. But in my experience so far, it usually only takes them a few seconds to figure it out if they're going too fast/too slow.
Less positive surprises


  • Traffic aware cruise control. I guess I'll get used to it, but I find it very hesitant to accelerate compared to the same feature in my last couple of VWs. The Tesla seems to take an age to work out that the lane is clear, or that the car in front is accelerating, and even when it does it then accelerates glacially slowly. The VW system is far quicker to notice when it should be accelerating, and then applies the acceleration much more like I would do myself if I was driving. I find that I have to manually intervene by pressing the accelerator a lot in the Tesla. Hopefully this is something that will improve over time as Tesla's system learns more in future software updates.
Just be aware the drive is RWD bias & electric motors have a shitload of torque from the get go. In greasy conditions if putting the hammer down (even in Chill) on the standard low rolling resistance tyres they can let go on bends🤔.
You’re lucky with the autowipers, mine have been a bit sporadic to say the least🤣.
TACC vs VW adaptive cruise (not a fan of either). However I’d go the other way and say the VW was to choppy in its reactions for my taste. I like a “Cadburys Caramel ride ……smooooooooth🤣. The less braking / acceleration the better for me hence not liking adaptive cruise. It only looks at the car immediately in front not several cars in front like I was taught to drive.
 
can’t remember what car it was - pehaps ioniq 5? but their lane keeping had a setting that allowed it to move to the right in the current lane if it detected the car to the left was too far over. I like that and would be nice to have more flexiblity. I’d also like a way to adjust the positioning in lane to my preference - being able to nudge it a couple of inches either way would be good.

TACC I’m guessing they just have a buffer zone or something that is why it waits for the car in front to move far enough for it to start accelerating. I’ve noticed its fairly forgiving of cars pulling across in front of you if it detects they’re going faster than you, even if they’re inside the zone where it would normally slow down.

Bonging honestly has me considering the EAP for changing lanes under autopilot. I don’t care about nav on autopilot, I just want to be able to change lanes when I indicate without ‘bong - AP off’, change lanes, ‘bing bong - AP on’ constantly.
That Ioniq 5 idea sounds good to me! Perhaps Tesla can steal it for a future software update.

I had the same thought as you regarding bonging and EAP, so I did try that. Sadly, it doesn't make it any better. Perhaps on a very quiet road it might, but in normal daytime UK motorway traffic the process of lane changing takes so long that at least half the time you'll give up/cancel half way through and just do it yourself. Hence, bonging. Plus with a side order of annoyance every time you try and fail to make it work. I ended up getting my money back within the 48 hour period.

I suspect it might be better if you didn't have to confirm the lane changes though, so if the law every changes to allow Tesla to implement that in the UK I might give it another go.

One little hack you can do for this is to create yourself a dedicated driver profile with mirrors dipped and toggle it when you need it.
Oooh... top tip! Thanks! I have set that up now.

Autopilot can be a mixed bag. Beware of phantom braking next to curtainsider lorries or traffic merging on the left. Foot slightly on the throttle overrides the problem. Otherwise it‘s a relaxing ride.
my wipers have been ok. Some peoples havent!
bonging - put it in Joe mode.
rear camera is no worse than any other car I’ve owned. I just wipe it with my finger when possible.
the back end attracts muck like a magnet!
otherwise it’s a joy.
software updates alway bring surprises. Some good, some bad…
Yeah, one of the other things I certainly have learnt already is that the poor thing definitely has a phobia of lorries 😆 Looking at the FSD visualisation, It seems to have a hard time figuring out which lane they're in the closer you get to them, which I guess is why it does the phantom braking. I tend not to change lanes into a lorry's blind spot anyway so I've only noticed it a couple of times, but it definitely is a thing!

Joe mode didn't stop the Autopilot bonging for me when I tried it... 🤔

When I first got my M3LR it didn’t have the latest software downloaded....in fact it took quite a time...but now I get it before nearly everyone 👍. So some of your niggles could improve soon (and some of your favorites could be lost🤣)..one of the things I love is the relationship between owner and Tesla..sometimes delightful sometimes annoying.. it’s like having a new member of the family
It definitely has character! 😄 I like that though. I worried a bit that, with so many of them on the road now, it might feel a bit soulless, but it definitely seems to have a personality I think. Lorry phobia mentioned above being a case in point here!

Just be aware the drive is RWD bias & electric motors have a shitload of torque from the get go. In greasy conditions if putting the hammer down (even in Chill) on the standard low rolling resistance tyres they can let go on bends🤔.
You’re lucky with the autowipers, mine have been a bit sporadic to say the least🤣.
TACC vs VW adaptive cruise (not a fan of either). However I’d go the other way and say the VW was to choppy in its reactions for my taste. I like a “Cadburys Caramel ride ……smooooooooth🤣. The less braking / acceleration the better for me hence not liking adaptive cruise. It only looks at the car immediately in front not several cars in front like I was taught to drive.
Oh yeah, I'm easing the acceleration in gradually! 😂 I did buy Acceleration Boost (and love it!), but have only floored it on dry straight roads so far!

I take your point about gentler acceleration. Probably more efficient too. But in the case of the Tesla, I'm not sure it's just that it's gentler, it's more like it's hesitant. I had a few moments on my drive today where I noticed it would accelerate a bit, then back off for a couple of seconds as if it was unsure, then accelerate a bit more, then back off a bit again, etc. Whether the traffic aware cruise control acceleration is quick or gentle, it should at least be linear and in my experience it isn't. As I say though, probably something that will get better in time, and not the end of the world in the meantime.
 

Mrklaw

Active Member
Mar 5, 2020
1,612
1,072
Berkshire
That Ioniq 5 idea sounds good to me! Perhaps Tesla can steal it for a future software update.

I had the same thought as you regarding bonging and EAP, so I did try that. Sadly, it doesn't make it any better. Perhaps on a very quiet road it might, but in normal daytime UK motorway traffic the process of lane changing takes so long that at least half the time you'll give up/cancel half way through and just do it yourself. Hence, bonging. Plus with a side order of annoyance every time you try and fail to make it work. I ended up getting my money back within the 48 hour period.

I suspect it might be better if you didn't have to confirm the lane changes though, so if the law every changes to allow Tesla to implement that in the UK I might give it another go.

did you try just in AP (two blue lines) and a full indication - car should change lanes for you and hopefully no bonging. Or nav on autopilot (single thick line) and car constantly nagging to change to the right too often and not pulling back to the left?

might wait until I have some time off or a long trip and try it out
 
Oh yeah, I'm easing the acceleration in gradually! 😂 I did buy Acceleration Boost (and love it!), but have only floored it on dry straight roads so far!

I take your point about gentler acceleration. Probably more efficient too. But in the case of the Tesla, I'm not sure it's just that it's gentler, it's more like it's hesitant. I had a few moments on my drive today where I noticed it would accelerate a bit, then back off for a couple of seconds as if it was unsure, then accelerate a bit more, then back off a bit again, etc. Whether the traffic aware cruise control acceleration is quick or gentle, it should at least be linear and in my experience it isn't. As I say though, probably something that will get better in time, and not the end of the world in the meantime.
Yeah I found out when giving the accelerator a little tickle away from a set of lights just before a gentle bend with an Audi A4 (I know the owner likes a bean from the lights:) ). Even in chill after the light rain it struggled to keep with the A4 (FWD), once on the straight it was fine though.

That's a better description of the TACC acceleration "hesitant rather than gentle". It would certainly give a gap grabber chance to fling himself in front which would cause TACC to slap the brakes on again! As I said adaptive cruise in its current form is just not for me, maybe in the future if it can be enabled to look further forward than the car immediately in front, but currently they're all garbage in my opinion. Horses for courses though if ppl have always been "point n squirt n brake" drivers then adaptive is probably not much different.
 

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