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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
 
Regarding AutoPilot, after 2 1/2 years driving, these are my tips:
  1. Put both hands on the wheel even when passively overtaking (as opposed to actively changing lanes) - if the other vehicle comes too close, it will deafen you with warnings and you need to be ready to take over instantly (unless it forces a correction). I also find it is best to flip the AP off if this happens rather than forcing the wheel, which tends to result in a bit of a swerve.
  2. Put both hands on the wheel when approaching a junction or a tight bend - this is often where AP can drop out because it gets confused. If you only have 1 hand resting, you will get a surprise and may swerve because of the weight of your arm. This is when the bongs are definitely needed!
  3. Keep your foot resting on the accelerator so you can override if there is a phantom brake - it doesn't happen often, but is (still) very disconcerting when it does.
  4. When taking an exit from a motorway, always flip out of AP completely (it will just drop out of AutoSteer on indicator), because it may see an empty ramp and accelerate exactly when you should be slowing down...
Otherwise it's generally very good and makes motorway driving much more relaxing and enjoyable :)
 
My tip for AP is still be driving. I think like I am driving, have sufficient control of the wheel as if I am driving and have my feet ready to act, because I am still driving. It's an aid but it goes wrong. I've found myself using it less as, to be honest, I don't find it difficult to drive distances in general, I certainly find it more stressful using AP on busy roads than not, and just don't understand the benefit on a 5 mile drive down an A road. The only use case where I find it marginally useful is a long drive on quiet motorways where it's great backup. Having driven 10 hours at the end of last week I didn't use it once, the weather dictated I needed to pay more attention than the system could ever hope to for the time being. I am certainly a better driver than it, as is everyone at the moment.

The suspension is also interesting. It's more compliant than I thought it would be, but on undulating roads the suspension components can start to run our of steam at speed. I'm not a fast driver in the sense of taking corners fast and over taking at any opportunity, but I do like a bit of speed on an gently twisty open country road, but the car can be hard to place accurately driven like that. I've also had the car interject and try and take over the steering (AP is not on), which feels downright dangerous! The car says it thinks I'm about to crash when I'm just straddling the centre line to get visibility down the road when driving briskly. Never had that with any other car.
 
My tip for AP is still be driving. I think like I am driving, have sufficient control of the wheel as if I am driving and have my feet ready to act, because I am still driving. It's an aid but it goes wrong. I've found myself using it less as, to be honest, I don't find it difficult to drive distances in general, I certainly find it more stressful using AP on busy roads than not, and just don't understand the benefit on a 5 mile drive down an A road. The only use case where I find it marginally useful is a long drive on quiet motorways where it's great backup. Having driven 10 hours at the end of last week I didn't use it once, the weather dictated I needed to pay more attention than the system could ever hope to for the time being. I am certainly a better driver than it, as is everyone at the moment.

The suspension is also interesting. It's more compliant than I thought it would be, but on undulating roads the suspension components can start to run our of steam at speed. I'm not a fast driver in the sense of taking corners fast and over taking at any opportunity, but I do like a bit of speed on an gently twisty open country road, but the car can be hard to place accurately driven like that. I've also had the car interject and try and take over the steering (AP is not on), which feels downright dangerous! The car says it thinks I'm about to crash when I'm just straddling the centre line to get visibility down the road when driving briskly. Never had that with any other car.
For me it’s important that even for short stretches that I can take my foot off the loud pedal and place it flat on the floor..otherwise the back pain starts to take over
 

Adopado

Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2019
5,982
4,534
Scotland
I've also had the car interject and try and take over the steering (AP is not on), which feels downright dangerous! The car says it thinks I'm about to crash when I'm just straddling the centre line to get visibility down the road when driving briskly. Never had that with any other car.

I've not had that issue, yet I go across the middle line on our local country roads every time I drive. I have occasionally had the klaxons go off on a very narrow road and a while ago was getting the occasional message saying about corrective steering having been applied for my safety (yet despite that message there was no detectable steering input from the car). I can't remember what my "lane keeping" setting is ... could it be that?
 
I've not had that issue, yet I go across the middle line on our local country roads every time I drive. I have occasionally had the klaxons go off on a very narrow road and a while ago was getting the occasional message saying about corrective steering having been applied for my safety (yet despite that message there was no detectable steering input from the car). I can't remember what my "lane keeping" setting is ... could it be that?
Yes, that's the message. I can reliably make it happen near where I live at the same place, maybe its coincidence that I'm crossing the line at the time, but it kicks in with the warning and I was fairly sure the steering changed. Maybe because I was crossing the line to the right with a left hand bend/curve rapidly approaching it thought I was leaving the road whereas I was just taking up a better position, and in case anybody wonders, the corner is an open one and I can see clearly the stretch of road. I have lane departure turned off.

For me it’s important that even for short stretches that I can take my foot off the loud pedal and place it flat on the floor..otherwise the back pain starts to take over
The rule we usually apply here (I see you're in France) is if you can't stamp on the brake with good force i.e. do an emergency stop, you shouldn't be driving. Back pain takes many different forms and I can readily believe you'd still stamp on the brake if needed, relying on TACC to brake however wouldn't be supported on medical reasons. I get the use on a long journey where you use it for a short period of time to stretch your leg and help blood flow, but less so if it was a 5 min journey to the shops. Either way, I hope your back is a temporary condition and gets better or at least managed well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bouba
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.

View attachment 771844

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! 😁

View attachment 771845
 
I appreciate your comments since I am doing everything I can to learn about my car which should be delivered the first week in March.
They won’t pin down the day yet. I actually went back to look at the trunk(s) 6 weeks after I ordered the 3 LR since I was mainly concerned with operating the car on the test drive and really didn’t examine the car closely at all.
I was in one 6 or so years ago and didn’t think much about it after that.
I was passing a dealer in NJ on the way home to New York, stopped in and was offered a test drive and I signed on the dotted line before I left. I absolutely did not need another car but the Model 3
Was fun. They set it in chill mode for test drives at least they did where I was.
Anyway I’m super excited for the new toy. Handling was good but vetman is not about my occupation nor military service

Ray
 

MrT3

Active Member
Jun 26, 2021
1,411
889
UK
Ok...while all the clever people are online....my phone, when I get a text message the ding comes through all the car speakers at the volume of The Who concert...scares the hell out of me..can it be muted?
Have you tried Joe Mode? Not sure if new text message one of the alerts it quietens but I don't have that issue and I have it enabled so maybe it does.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: Bouba
I'm also one week into driving my M3P, and probably like everyone else on the forums had various ideas of what to expect, hard rides, soft rides, auto-wipers working/not working, sub menu's this sub menu's that and to be honest there is nothing better than taking delivery of the car and understanding it's personality. Previous cars have been performance based (Last one an Audi S3) so I was expecting a hard ride in the P, pleasantly surprised on all but the harshest of surfaces it was a lot better than the Audi, yes you can feel the changes in the road surface but its not jarring. I drove my car around the M25 in the middle of last Tuesdays downpour and the auto-wipers performed fine, I agree with the cameras but that was the same on my previous cars, was always going around wiping the road grime from them. I like the amount of settings you can change, personalising the car was a big selling point for me, I have a completely different set of driving requirements to my wife and being able to dial down the weight of the steering and set into chill mode along with 101 other settings was a plus. The technology both in and out of the car was another plus, check out the other manufacturers forums with regards to remote capabilities, Tesla is streets ahead (one of the reasons I cancelled my Q4 order and one of the biggest points of complaints on the Audi forum). I don't believe any car will meet everyone's needs completely but I'm having fun tailoring my car to my requirements and enjoying the driving experience to boot....FYI it goes like sh*t off a shovel, wet or dry and its great to watch the cars behind as I disappear into the distance :)
 
  • 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.
Hmm I wonder if we can use voice commands like I do for folding the mirrors. I'll have to give it a shot. I hate the mirror dip 90% of the time so I disable it. Same with auto folding mirrors when I pull up to the garage which is why I just use voice commands.
 
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.

View attachment 771844

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! 😁

View attachment 771845
 

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