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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
 
Super observations! I agree with your comments.

I’ve owned my MY about a week.
I’m so F’ing cross with the motoring press.
Why ?

Well the all slate the ride of the MY. I was very cautious about the purchase and indeed collecting my car. I expected to actually return the car to Tesla in the first week.
(The motoring print press and some you-tubers had led me to believe the ride would be unacceptable)

They are all so wrong ! The car is way superior in ride/handling to a 2020 BMW X5 it replaced.

I am a very happy owner.
 
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 absolutely agree about the rear view camera dipping. its mostly helpful but sometimes i'm craning my neck to see when I'm at a car park
 
The reverse mirror dip, I've never set up a profile or select something other than reverse, just put the car in reverse - adjust the mirrors where you want them to be - and that's it - job done - every time you select revers as soon as the car starts to move the mirror will tilt to the position you previously set - when you engage forward the mirrors return to normal position. no faf or fuss.
 

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