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Potential owner- 24hr M3 test drive observations

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Filteq, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. Filteq

    Filteq Member

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    I just rented a RWD Model 3 overnight as an extended test drive. What a blast to drive! I had a great experience overall. The drivetrain is second to none and the handling was excellent. I am very impressed with the car and I am still considering ordering one. I had a few criticisms of the car and thought that some owners may have some opinions to add from their experience.

    Here are my nitpicks after 24 hours:

    1) Build quality. I'm use to German build quality and this is certainly not up to that standard and I wouldn't expect it to be at this point to be honest. I do feel like some of the interior materials are subpar given the price point though. The doors and the trunk(s) lack that solid feel and the road noise and loud a/c leave a bit to be desired. The center console feels pretty cheap and while the seats are decent, they are not what I had expected. Admittedly, this was an early VIN -- 2017, RWD. I hope they improve this over the next year. I think it would make the remainder of luxury car owners take notice.

    2) I didn't seem to miss having the speedo/gauges in the dash much during the day, but at night it was definitely off-putting. There were so few lights inside the car it just felt empty and stark. I think they should add some subtle accent lighting to make it feel more inviting and premium at night.

    3) The auto sensing wiper setting was pretty bad. I was constantly having to manually change the setting as the amount of rain fell increased and decreased. I know that this can be improved with software. Are they more reliable on the S and X?

    4) The same goes for the auto high beams. They seemed to turn off at random and I noted a lot of false positives with road signs, etc. I've seen videos where they seem to work well on the S and X. This must be software issue as well.

    5) The headlights were merely ok. I thought for sure they would at least be adaptive/cornering, but they appear to be fixed. Again, for $50k+ it seems like something that should be standard or at least part of a premium package, etc.

    6) The lack of infotainment options is pretty bad. It's basically bluetooth or bust. Enabling Android auto / CarPlay would solve this completely and simply.

    7). With all of the cameras around the car why is there no 360 surround view option? That seems like a strange omission to me given it's available in so many other less sophisticated cars.

    Again, overall a great car. I'm sure I'll pick one up sooner or later. I just don't know if I should wait a bit longer for the car to improve or just jump in now!
     
  2. Jedi2155

    Jedi2155 Please Insert a Model 3 into Avatar

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    I almost leased a Bolt last year while I waited for the Model 3 issues to stabilize and noted that Bolt has some really cool ambient lighting that definitely made me want to splurge for the premier model. I'm sure there are many cool things that they can improve on.

    The lack of infotainment options are also upsetting but I guess with EAP and FSD, we'll have our phones to use anyways.....
     
  3. JeffK

    JeffK Well-Known Member

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    That's funny because if you spend some time on German car forums like BMW or Mercedes you'll hear comments about their bad quality or poor reliability.
     
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  4. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Member

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    1) Build quality. I'm use to German build quality and this is certainly not up to that standard and I wouldn't expect it to be at this point to be honest. I do feel like some of the interior materials are subpar given the price point though. The doors and the trunk(s) lack that solid feel and the road noise and loud a/c leave a bit to be desired. The center console feels pretty cheap and while the seats are decent, they are not what I had expected. Admittedly, this was an early VIN -- 2017, RWD. I hope they improve this over the next year. I think it would make the remainder of luxury car owners take notice.

    Quite often, the road noise and A/C become louder, because the car is a lot quieter, without an engine roar.
    Yes, the build quality didn't stabilize until 2nd quarter.


    2) I didn't seem to miss having the speedo/gauges in the dash much during the day, but at night it was definitely off-putting. There were so few lights inside the car it just felt empty and stark. I think they should add some subtle accent lighting to make it feel more inviting and premium at night.

    I've used a GPS on the dashboard for speedometer for about 20 years. In most cars I can't see the speedometer because the wheel is in the way. Trust me, once you get used to it, it becomes second nature.

    3) The auto sensing wiper setting was pretty bad. I was constantly having to manually change the setting as the amount of rain fell increased and decreased. I know that this can be improved with software. Are they more reliable on the S and X?

    I tend to find that it is just about perfect for me, although my wife complains that it too slow to turn on. I guess personal preferences.

    4) The same goes for the auto high beams. They seemed to turn off at random and I noted a lot of false positives with road signs, etc. I've seen videos where they seem to work well on the S and X. This must be software issue as well.

    They also seem to work well for me. I don't notice hardly any falsing on signs, it seems to be using the vision system and detecting cars, as opposed to see just lights


    5) The headlights were merely ok. I thought for sure they would at least be adaptive/cornering, but they appear to be fixed. Again, for $50k+ it seems like something that should be standard or at least part of a premium package, etc.

    6) The lack of infotainment options is pretty bad. It's basically bluetooth or bust. Enabling Android auto / CarPlay would solve this completely and simply.

    There's a lot of streaming built in. Android Auto and CarPlay may come in the future, but they both require a lot of work to implement

    7). With all of the cameras around the car why is there no 360 surround view option? That seems like a strange omission to me given it's available in so many other less sophisticated cars.

    That's supposedly coming, but from what I've read, the side cameras are black and white, to optimize the autopilot functionality.

    Again, overall a great car. I'm sure I'll pick one up sooner or later. I just don't know if I should wait a bit longer for the car to improve or just jump in now!

    One of the biggest features is that the car you buy now will change over the months, unlike any other car on the market. New features will be added, existing features improved, but it won't be the same car next year as it is today. So the "wait until next year's model" that occurs with most every other car is a different concept with Tesla. In the two months since I got mine, a number of new features have been added, and even more are expected this month.
     
  5. tpham07

    tpham07 Active Member

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    Lack of infotainment? It has slacker streaming radio in the car. Streaming radio is basically not present in any other vehicle on the road (unless you use it through a phone data connection)
     
    • Like x 1
  6. MXWing

    MXWing Active Member

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    First time I sat in a Model 3 was when I took one home.

    No regrets. I can find complaints but I can’t find another car I would rather have. :)
     
    • Like x 5
  7. SMAlset

    SMAlset Active Member

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    @Filteq since you drove an earlier model you really should see if there's a test drive model in a Telsa store near you. Those will be 2018s I think and you'll probably notice improvements. I drove one a few weeks ago and found the car very quiet. They are constantly trying to improve things and even the back seat was changed to make the leg positioning more comfortable. The software will continually change and with it features and some things will get assigned to the scroll wheels I assume down the road.
     
  8. ebmcs03

    ebmcs03 Active Member

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    Ya it’s lacking the AM news station I listen to. It’s no longer on tune in
     
  9. Trevor B

    Trevor B Member

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    Huh? Did you really drive a Model 3? :rolleyes:
     
  10. wbhokie

    wbhokie Member

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    #10 wbhokie, Aug 7, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
    Build Quality right now IS Tesla's biggest issue, but it is improving as time goes on. (Fit and finish mostly) For their price, it should be much better though. To be fair, any EV will have louder road noise and A/C since there is no engine noise drowning it out though. The frunk open/close is cheap and needs improvement. It is easy to hide background noises behind constant engine/exhaust noise.

    Yeah, it isn't the best. It has been erratic on my S as well. Most of the time it is decent but likes to go hyper sometimes when it shouldn't and doesn't turn on at all sometimes when it should.

    This works great on my Model S, I haven't seen it yet on the 3.

    I actually don't like auto-cornering headlights. They are distracting to me, but everyone has their own tastes. I do think it should be an option on any high end vehicle though.

    I disagree that there is a lack of infotainment. There is actually more infotainment options than almost every other vehicle out there. Carplay would be a nice addition though. I haven't had any issues with straight bluetooth playback off of my iphone personally. Works great. I'd prefer just some better USB options like USB MP3 Playlist support.

    It's a totally different kind of camera for a totally different purpose. All around cameras are passive fish-eye cameras only used for that one specific function. (Other than the back-up camera part) Tesla's cameras are used for active self-driving features at all times during vehicle operation. (Many of these cameras are not currently in-use yet) I love the all-around camera feature on other cars since it helps with parking and avoiding curbs, don't get me wrong. Tesla's point of view was that it wasn't needed since the car would park and drive itself. They ignored the growing pains period between when the cars were released and when these features would be implemented. They probably were too ambitious in the board room timelines as well as the publicly announced timelines too, so they brushed off any suggestions for features like this. The same went for blind-spot warnings, but it seems that since that feature CAN be added without any hardware changes it is being integrated into the vehicles soon now since it has taken so long to improve EAP / FSD.
     
  11. sdrevik

    sdrevik Member

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    Knoxville, TN
    [6) The lack of infotainment options is pretty bad. It's basically bluetooth or bust. Enabling Android auto / CarPlay would solve this completely and simply. ]

    You've obviously never had a car with CarPlay. I have a 2018 VW with CarPlay and it sucks. I now have a USB 'no data' dongle so I can charge my phone without CarPlay coming on, and I just use Bluetooth for everything. It's buggy, OS updates cause problems, Apple won't fix. The 'on screen' options are limited, and do things I don't want (e.g., I can't just view messages... if I open messages, it wants to read all the unread messages to me... even messages I've already read on the phone before I plugged it in).

    If they put CarPlay on the M3, I'll have to figure out how to disable it, because CarPlay is truly worthless and a total FAIL.
     
    • Informative x 1
  12. UltralightBeam

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    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Kinda worried about this for fit and finish but not 100% sure about overall mechanical quality. My last German car (VW R32) was solid and a beast until I sold it. But I have friends with BMW M3s that have their cars ALWAYS in the shops for one thing or another...

    Someone else earlier mentioned updated rear seats.. I'm curios about this because in my friends Model 3, I felt like the seats were too low but that could have been because they were 'optimized' to lay the rear back down for a 'flat' bed for cargo. However, on my last car, seats did fold flat in the rear bench but were more comfortable that I had experienced.

    Did anyone else notice a change in the rear bench over time?

    This definitely would be nice!

    How did you feel about overall brightness?

    I think about this all the time when I'm looking at my top 3 choices... The pros outweigh the cons.
     
    • Like x 1
  13. JeffK

    JeffK Well-Known Member

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    My top three choices were Model 3 RWD, AWD, and Performance. :p
     
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  14. Freeze

    Freeze New Member

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    Works awesome on my Audi; really hoping Tesla gets on board with it.
     
  15. GoneCrazy

    GoneCrazy Member

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    Have you happened to check to see if it is on one of the FM HD channels? I've lucked out here and the two AM channels I prefer are broadcast over a couple of FM HD sub-channels so don't have to mess with the TuneIn stuff.
     
  16. UltralightBeam

    Joined:
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    For AM, I just need MLB. At least I’m thinking I’ll just have to Bluetooth my MLB app. Actually, the quality there is better than AM. But then I am at a loss for all other shows.
     

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