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Questions from a Prospective Winter Buyer for the Model 3

Rickards

New Member
Sep 17, 2021
3
1
Montreal
Hello!

I've been in the market for a new car these past couple months and have been doing my research on what I'd like next and narrowed it down between the new Audi S3 and the Tesla Model 3. Coming from a 2015 Audi S3, I walked away extremely impressed with the Tesla Model 3 LR after test driving it twice; once by myself and a second time with my skeptical brother, whose opinion of the car completely changed once he sat in the passenger seat. Needless to say, it's on top of my car list right now, but I do have a few questions I'm hoping to get answers to!

Phantom braking - Does this only occur when either TACC, Autopilot, or FDS is turned on? The Internet is riddled with posts, articles, and videos of this scary behavior with both radar and Tesla Vision. A common remedy I see people suggest is to keep your foot by the accelerator, hence my question. I rarely use the adaptive cruise control on my Audi S3; only on long trips. Basically, I'm wondering if this behavior will occur in regular stop-n-go driving, which is 90% of my driving. It's not an option for me to turn off the Automatic Emergency Braking feature, and would likely be a deal breaker for me if this does occur in everyday driving situations.

Noise/comfort variance in builds - I noticed that there's various opinions on the noise and comfort levels of the 2021s compared to previous model years. Is this truly the case or a question of how everyone interprets noise and comfort? I test drove two different 2021 Model 3s and, in both occasions, I found the car to be very quiet, even on the highway going at 120 km/h. My brother also found it quieter than my Audi, although it was noticeable that the sound system was lacking ANC, but not a big deal.

Winter - Anything in particular I should know about the car in winter? The forums seem to tell a positive tale of the car in the winter, and I saw the 2021s have a heat pump that helps reduce the range impact in colder weather.

Suspension longevity - I live in Montreal where the roads can be god awful to drive on, but I found the Model 3's suspension to be good compared to my Audi S3 with adaptive dampers. Nonetheless, I've read that these cars can be a mixed bag with the suspension and wondering if it's something I should be concerned with.

White interior - Both cars I drove had the white interior, which I found to be amazing. Anything long term I should know before committing myself to a white interior?

Service Center Experience - Now, I'll admit that it's a very large concern how long it can take the car to get some attention by the service center, when my experience with Audi is typically within the week, but I'd like to know if it's that much of a concern? If I can still drive the car for the duration until the appointment, I'm fine with it, and I haven't found any common major issues that would prevent me from driving the car on this forum, suspension control arms aside.

I'd likely wait for the 2022s to be released before ordering, even knowing that Tesla takes an iterative update approach to their cars. I'd imagine there's no major change that would happen between 2021 and 2022, since 2021 was the refresh year, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by my thread!
 
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EVRider-FL

Member
Aug 18, 2015
790
447
South Florida
Regarding the phantom braking, that only happens to people using TACC or Autopilot, not manual driving. Although you read a lot about phantom braking, I do 4,000 mile road trips every year (Model S) using Autopilot and it rarely happens to me. The people who do experience it are vocal about it, so it's not as prevalent as you might think.

Regarding the white interior, my wife's Model 3 has that and it still looks new after 2 years and 10 months.
 

cougar1968

Member
Aug 14, 2021
14
11
San Diego, CA
Phantom braking - I’ve had this happen a few times in auto pilot on the freeway.

Noise/comfort variance in builds - As far as noise, the M3 seems quiet to me with bo creeks or rattles. The stock primacy tires are not pout at all IMO. It’s obviously not Mercedes or similar quiet.

Winter - I live in San Diego so can’t speak on this but I’m sure range take a hit in cold weather.

Suspension longevity - No idea.

White interior - I have the black interior.

Service Center Experience - I’ve only been to the service center once but it was a very easy experience. However, IMO it seemed like they just expect you to leave your vehicle there all day… and they give you Uber credits. My appoint didn’t mean they started on my vehicle at that time.
 

Willy’sEV

Member
Mar 29, 2021
207
118
NY Metro
Hello!

I've been in the market for a new car these past couple months and have been doing my research on what I'd like next and narrowed it down between the new Audi S3 and the Tesla Model 3. Coming from a 2015 Audi S3, I walked away extremely impressed with the Tesla Model 3 LR after test driving it twice; once by myself and a second time with my skeptical brother, whose opinion of the car completely changed once he sat in the passenger seat. Needless to say, it's on top of my car list right now, but I do have a few questions I'm hoping to get answers to!

Phantom braking - Does this only occur when either TACC, Autopilot, or FDS is turned on? The Internet is riddled with posts, articles, and videos of this scary behavior with both radar and Tesla Vision. A common remedy I see people suggest is to keep your foot by the accelerator, hence my question. I rarely use the adaptive cruise control on my Audi S3; only on long trips. Basically, I'm wondering if this behavior will occur in regular stop-n-go driving, which is 90% of my driving. It's not an option for me to turn off the Automatic Emergency Braking feature, and would likely be a deal breaker for me if this does occur in everyday driving situations.

Noise/comfort variance in builds - I noticed that there's various opinions on the noise and comfort levels of the 2021s compared to previous model years. Is this truly the case or a question of how everyone interprets noise and comfort? I test drove two different 2021 Model 3s and, in both occasions, I found the car to be very quiet, even on the highway going at 120 km/h. My brother also found it quieter than my Audi, although it was noticeable that the sound system was lacking ANC, but not a big deal.

Winter - Anything in particular I should know about the car in winter? The forums seem to tell a positive tale of the car in the winter, and I saw the 2021s have a heat pump that helps reduce the range impact in colder weather.

Suspension longevity - I live in Montreal where the roads can be god awful to drive on, but I found the Model 3's suspension to be good compared to my Audi S3 with adaptive dampers. Nonetheless, I've read that these cars can be a mixed bag with the suspension and wondering if it's something I should be concerned with.

White interior - Both cars I drove had the white interior, which I found to be amazing. Anything long term I should know before committing myself to a white interior?

Service Center Experience - Now, I'll admit that it's a very large concern how long it can take the car to get some attention by the service center, when my experience with Audi is typically within the week, but I'd like to know if it's that much of a concern? If I can still drive the car for the duration until the appointment, I'm fine with it, and I haven't found any common major issues that would prevent me from driving the car on this forum, suspension control arms aside.

I'd likely wait for the 2022s to be released before ordering, even knowing that Tesla takes an iterative update approach to their cars. I'd imagine there's no major change that would happen between 2021 and 2022, since 2021 was the refresh year, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by my thread!
Glad to hear the M3 is on top of your list. We are talking night and day between the Audi S3 and the Tesla M3. One is an ICE car the other electric.

Phantom Braking - today was the first time it happened to me. It was kind of weird. I decided to use it on a 35 mile an hr road. Wanted to see that after it came to a full stop at a car in front of me at a red light, it would start up again by itself, it did. However while doing this experiment on a 2 lane road, there was a parked landscape truck on the right , so when my car came to that truck, it did hit the brakes slightly, not jamming them to a stop. And then we went on.

Noise - I have a 2021, noise level is minimal when windows closed.

White Interior - I have black, and I also lease the car. There is no way I am giving Tesla $1,000 for a white interior when I lease my car and it will be returned in 3 years.

Service center - the first time I was there because of some problems with the car, drove it in with no appt, they looked at it, needed to keep it and I had it back the next day all fixed, they gave me a loaner that just came in. Second time I was there I need a push up rivet that my car was missing. They had no idea what I was talking about, the tech writer took a picture of the part on the display car, disappeared for about 10 min and they did not have the right size to give me at the shop. Thought that was weird given it is a common piece. Third time, I bought the cabin air filters from them. Easy.

2022 - you said it, don’t wait, upgrades are over the air, can’t see a big physical upgrade over the 2021. Might as well enjoy the car now.
 

Casmium

Member
Sep 14, 2018
343
347
Mississauga
the car to get some attention by the service center, when my experience with Audi is typically within the week, but I'd like to know if it's that much of a concern? If I can still drive the car for the duration until the appointment, I'm fine with it, and I haven't found any common major issues that would prevent me from driving the car on this forum, suspension control arms aside.
If you can charge at home you'll love the car
Phantom braking - Only on tacc, or autopilot, its rare, but it seems certain areas cause it to happen

Noise/comfort variance in builds - i have a 2018, defiantly get more wind noise about 100kmh then some of the 2020, 2021's I've been in

Winter - Winter tires, if you're planning a long trip, warm the car up when it's still plugged in this will give you much more range then leaving cold

Suspension longevity - I wouldn't be too concerned but keep in mind the model 3 is a much heavier car so you will probably be replacing tires more often then the Audi.

Service Center Experience - Combined with the fact that there is also mobile service and far less reasons to book a service appointment you should be fine.
 

pnwadventures

@bpr1de on Instagram
Mar 3, 2021
177
170
Pacific Northwest
I could speak to winter diving all day (also former Quattro driver), but there are already many good threads here. Review the search results first, then feel free to follow up with questions after. tl;dr not quite as good as Quattro but better than most everything else.

 

Shelburne

Member
Mar 9, 2021
214
182
Shelburne Falls, MA
Hello!

I've been in the market for a new car these past couple months and have been doing my research on what I'd like next and narrowed it down between the new Audi S3 and the Tesla Model 3. Coming from a 2015 Audi S3, I walked away extremely impressed with the Tesla Model 3 LR after test driving it twice; once by myself and a second time with my skeptical brother, whose opinion of the car completely changed once he sat in the passenger seat. Needless to say, it's on top of my car list right now, but I do have a few questions I'm hoping to get answers to!

Phantom braking - Does this only occur when either TACC, Autopilot, or FDS is turned on? The Internet is riddled with posts, articles, and videos of this scary behavior with both radar and Tesla Vision. A common remedy I see people suggest is to keep your foot by the accelerator, hence my question. I rarely use the adaptive cruise control on my Audi S3; only on long trips. Basically, I'm wondering if this behavior will occur in regular stop-n-go driving, which is 90% of my driving. It's not an option for me to turn off the Automatic Emergency Braking feature, and would likely be a deal breaker for me if this does occur in everyday driving situations.

Noise/comfort variance in builds - I noticed that there's various opinions on the noise and comfort levels of the 2021s compared to previous model years. Is this truly the case or a question of how everyone interprets noise and comfort? I test drove two different 2021 Model 3s and, in both occasions, I found the car to be very quiet, even on the highway going at 120 km/h. My brother also found it quieter than my Audi, although it was noticeable that the sound system was lacking ANC, but not a big deal.

Winter - Anything in particular I should know about the car in winter? The forums seem to tell a positive tale of the car in the winter, and I saw the 2021s have a heat pump that helps reduce the range impact in colder weather.

Suspension longevity - I live in Montreal where the roads can be god awful to drive on, but I found the Model 3's suspension to be good compared to my Audi S3 with adaptive dampers. Nonetheless, I've read that these cars can be a mixed bag with the suspension and wondering if it's something I should be concerned with.

White interior - Both cars I drove had the white interior, which I found to be amazing. Anything long term I should know before committing myself to a white interior?

Service Center Experience - Now, I'll admit that it's a very large concern how long it can take the car to get some attention by the service center, when my experience with Audi is typically within the week, but I'd like to know if it's that much of a concern? If I can still drive the car for the duration until the appointment, I'm fine with it, and I haven't found any common major issues that would prevent me from driving the car on this forum, suspension control arms aside.

I'd likely wait for the 2022s to be released before ordering, even knowing that Tesla takes an iterative update approach to their cars. I'd imagine there's no major change that would happen between 2021 and 2022, since 2021 was the refresh year, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by my thread!
PHANTOM BRAKING: In my experience it never happens on interstates, but happens frequently on curvy rural roads. Yes, keep your foot near the accelerator on rural and secondary roads when in TACC and Autopilot.

NOISE/COMFORT: My previous car was a 2017 Volvo S60, top of the line with all the bells and whistles. It was noisier than my M3 and it's seats were not as comfortable. My M3 is far superior to that Volvo in all respects except that the Volvo's TACC caused a lot fewer phantom braking incidents.

WINTER: Even with the new heat pump (which my M3 doesn't have) you will see a significant reduction in range on cold days. The same applies for really hot days. I find that my M3LR meets or even exceeds it's range rating only if the heat and AC are off. But on snowy roads the car's handling is amazing. It handles snowy rural roads better than two Jeep Grand Cherokees I used to own. I took it out during a 12 inch snow storm last December and found it virtually impossible to lose control, but I would suggest reducing the amount of regenerative braking under those conditions.

SUSPENSION: I have just over 8000 miles on my car. The suspension, in fact the entire car, still feels rock solid. No creaks or rattles and the handling is as good or better than any car I've ever owned. Having said that, some people complain about feeling road bumps too much, but that's the price you pay for great handling

SERVICE CENTER: I the year I've owned my car I had only two incidents requiring service. One was when the camera on the front left fender stopped working. I live 97 miles from the nearest service center, so given the choice, I opted to have their mobile service come to me. I had to wait about 2 weeks, but that was OK. The service guy was right on time, replaced a faulty cable in just a few minutes and the camera has worked ever since. Then, two weeks ago, I noticed the interior trim on the driver's side B pillar was coming loose and I could even see some wiring thru the gap. I texted Tesla. This time they didn't give me the option of a mobile tech service and I had to make an appointment. The Waite was only about 6 days. Yes, I had to drive that 97 miles but the service was done in35 minutes. I asked why I wasn't given the option of a mobile tech and the service guy looked my my account and said that the info I gave them was "a bit vague". He said if I had included photos they "probably" would have been able to send a mobile tech. But the service center people were very friendly and I have no complaints about it. In fact, it was a gorgeous day so I really enjoyed the drive.

I have absolutely no regrets (yet) about buying this car.
 

Rickards

New Member
Sep 17, 2021
3
1
Montreal
Want to thank everyone who took the time to answer my questions! Placed my order for a blue with white interior LR AWD Model 3 yesterday.

The last long step was ensuring I can get a charger installed in my condo garage and got the OK this week.

It'll be a long wait until December, but worth it. Thanks again all!
 

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
2,088
1,449
Syracuse, NY
Hello!

I've been in the market for a new car these past couple months and have been doing my research on what I'd like next and narrowed it down between the new Audi S3 and the Tesla Model 3. Coming from a 2015 Audi S3, I walked away extremely impressed with the Tesla Model 3 LR after test driving it twice; once by myself and a second time with my skeptical brother, whose opinion of the car completely changed once he sat in the passenger seat. Needless to say, it's on top of my car list right now, but I do have a few questions I'm hoping to get answers to!

Phantom braking - Does this only occur when either TACC, Autopilot, or FDS is turned on? The Internet is riddled with posts, articles, and videos of this scary behavior with both radar and Tesla Vision. A common remedy I see people suggest is to keep your foot by the accelerator, hence my question. I rarely use the adaptive cruise control on my Audi S3; only on long trips. Basically, I'm wondering if this behavior will occur in regular stop-n-go driving, which is 90% of my driving. It's not an option for me to turn off the Automatic Emergency Braking feature, and would likely be a deal breaker for me if this does occur in everyday driving situations.

Noise/comfort variance in builds - I noticed that there's various opinions on the noise and comfort levels of the 2021s compared to previous model years. Is this truly the case or a question of how everyone interprets noise and comfort? I test drove two different 2021 Model 3s and, in both occasions, I found the car to be very quiet, even on the highway going at 120 km/h. My brother also found it quieter than my Audi, although it was noticeable that the sound system was lacking ANC, but not a big deal.

Winter - Anything in particular I should know about the car in winter? The forums seem to tell a positive tale of the car in the winter, and I saw the 2021s have a heat pump that helps reduce the range impact in colder weather.

Suspension longevity - I live in Montreal where the roads can be god awful to drive on, but I found the Model 3's suspension to be good compared to my Audi S3 with adaptive dampers. Nonetheless, I've read that these cars can be a mixed bag with the suspension and wondering if it's something I should be concerned with.

White interior - Both cars I drove had the white interior, which I found to be amazing. Anything long term I should know before committing myself to a white interior?

Service Center Experience - Now, I'll admit that it's a very large concern how long it can take the car to get some attention by the service center, when my experience with Audi is typically within the week, but I'd like to know if it's that much of a concern? If I can still drive the car for the duration until the appointment, I'm fine with it, and I haven't found any common major issues that would prevent me from driving the car on this forum, suspension control arms aside.

I'd likely wait for the 2022s to be released before ordering, even knowing that Tesla takes an iterative update approach to their cars. I'd imagine there's no major change that would happen between 2021 and 2022, since 2021 was the refresh year, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by my thread!
Phantom Braking - Don't over blow this. I don't see where on the whole internet is it filled with posts, articles and videos of this "scary" behavior. Maybe from a year or 2 ago... However, it does occur occasionally but it's not scary and it's not stomping on the brakes.

Noise - 2021s have the dual pane glass so they are quieter.

Winter - No issues besides shorter range.

Suspension longevity - Same as any other car with normal suspensions.

White interior - Might get dirty quicker. Depends on user.

Service Center - Expect 2 weeks appointments at a minimum. Emergencies you can tow or drive to the service center without appointment.
 
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GtiMart

Active Member
Nov 13, 2019
1,390
1,222
Quebec City, Canada
The car is actually great in winter. You won't feel bad starting the heat before you get in the car (no pollution) :) Winter tires are mandatory where you live (just like me) so you will have them. As with any car, buy good ones. The winter tires and the cold will reduce range significantly. Play with ABetterRoutePlanner (advanced settings) to see how much you will be affected. As suggested by others, preheating in the morning while the car is still plugged is good.
 

chinney

Member
Nov 7, 2020
170
139
Ottawa ON
Winter driving with our Model 3 LR was awesome last year, with a good set of winter tires. Winter range, even without a heat pump (our mid-2020 version did not get one), was not as bad as I expected. There can be a significant cold weather range hit in some circumstances, but this can be reduced using various strategies that are well-documented in these forums. I have had 2 experiences with Tesla Service (neither due to flaws in the car itself, but damage from external causes), and both were very quick (1-2 days) and excellent (though not cheap, as the external damage was not covered by warranty).
 

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