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New Ownership Impressions and Advice

Discussion in 'Model 3: Driving Dynamics' started by Pons, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. Pons

    Pons New Member

    Jul 23, 2018
    Rancho Cucamonga
    I love the car, it's faster than expected. Solidly built. Intuitive, if you play with the menu screen while it's parked first. Definitely needs a home charging station installed (at least a 240V plug).

    Here's a detailed review after picking up the 2018 Model 3, and the first 300 miles driven. Long Range Battery, 18" Aero Wheels, Rear Wheel Drive.

    Delivery: During pick-up from Costa Mesa Sales Center, I was hoping for a little more tutorial from the staff. The gentleman helping me demonstrated linking the phone app, unlocking with the key card, trunk/frunk opening/closing, and charge light indicator. He showed good tips to take care of basics, like closing the frunk with both hands to avoid misalignment wear & never close the charge port manually. But then just said, push all the buttons and don't worry, nothing will eject you from this vehicle or launch it into space. It's good advice to explore features while not driving, but less tech savvy people may want to have a friend show them more basics. Or ask the sales rep all the questions you can think of. I found Romero friendly and patient. Playing with the mirror adjustment and steering wheel adjustment would have been additional improvements to the delivery. I was a bit excited to think of everything. I was first feeling around the steering wheel for a lever to unlock it, but finally played with enough of the menus to find it. Also, I would want a practical hands on demonstration of how to plug in the charger and unplug it. I didn't realize the charge plug locks to the car, and you should press a button on the charge plug to gently release it. He may have said this, but I really remember if I actually do it. Departing the factory seemed a little cheese-y with people clapping, but better than no fanfare at all. It made me smile, but also a little silly.

    First driving impression:
    - This car has serious acceleration. I'm glad I got the single motor to save weight and I presume will be more efficient. The touch screen options has two main driving performance options, acceleration and steering settings. I keep it on "Chill" (vs Standard) for the acceleration mode, still faster acceleration than other cars. Spec sheet says 5.1 sec from 0-60, but there is no delay like in a normal automatic transmission. Anybody know the difference between Steering mode options (Comfort, Standard, Sport) on the Model 3? I assume it makes the wheel more responsive to small movements, but couldn't exactly tell.
    - The miles left on the battery varied with the actual miles traveled. It makes sense, going down hill, it barely used any miles at all, uphill it spent more energy. I could play with drafting and conservative driving techniques to change the expected battery life at the end of the trip. I have the
    - Recharge time - Plugging into the standard home 115V outlet will take forever to recharge. I got 5 miles/hr recharge rate. It is weird to say 5 miles/hr and have it relate to power entering the car, not the speed, but it definitely makes calculating your trips easier. In 4 hrs, will I have enough power to travel to the store and back? No, then then I need to look for an outlet or a supercharging station. SUPERCHARGING TIME WAS 50x faster than the standard outlet. I spent a little more than $5 for 15 minutes of charging and got another 65 miles, when I didn't plan well on a 120 mile round trip. The navigation software even tells you how many open superchargers are available. It got busy at the charging station, only 10 slots were installed. Charging off a 240 volt plug got me
    - The Suspension - It's stiff. I've read about the Model S air suspension, and now understand. You can feel the bumps in the road with the stiff Model 3 suspension. Will this increase wear and tear on the vehicle with age, or will it protect the bottom of the vehicle? Time will tell. I've had no issues with uneven pavement.
    - Audio Speakers and Streaming - the sound quality is great. Some people complain about the touch screen buttons to find the radio, but it's intuitive and easy after you play with it while not driving. I did find the touch screen was getting hot, so I dimmed it down from the auto brightness setting and it helped. The steering wheel scroll buttons are great. As for Mobile data, I wasn't sure if it was using my cell phone for data, so I turned off my phone, and steaming music and radio was still great. Data usage is not tethered thru my phone. There was a tiny troubling moment where I was listening to the radio, and it switched stations. Weird because I as listing to Radio off the web, but it still switched stations when I drove too far from the physical radio tower. I need to play with this more. The interface to choose stations was great and it's easy to list your favorites to change thru.
    - Remote Control - I locked myself out on day one, (embarrassed). My phone battery died and I left the card in the car. Luckily, my spouse was able to unlock and start the car remotely. Had to barrow a phone to call her though. But such a relief they could just push a button to help me out. Driving a spare set of keys out is a thing of the past.
    - Regenerative Braking - When you take your foot off the accelerator pedal, it starts slowing down fast to save energy. There's an option to reduce the regenerative braking and it acts like a normal car coast down, or just leave your foot on the pedal. It does seem to run more efficiently if you allow the greater regenerative breaking. I like the screen shows you the Potentiometer indicator. It is a green bar showing energy coming in the wheels, or a grey bar showing the amount of energy out. (Just below the speedometer.)
    - Reverse - Mirrors adjust lower while backing up. The rear view camera and predictive wheel lines on the 15" display is awesome. Plus, sensors displaying objects that are 34 inches away and counting the distance down help with finding your perfect spot.

    Overall, I'm thrilled to be driving a part of the future.
    • Informative x 1

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