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Quick Model 3 Review - The Best Car I've Ever Owned, With The Most Issues I've Ever Had In A Car.

Sounds like a oxymoron, right?

I'll give you a quick introduction as to who I am. I've previously owned a new 2014 Camaro SS 1LE and 2020 Veloster N. Sold the Camaro after 6 years, sold the Veloster after 1. Both great cars in their own right, both never had any real issues. The camaro had a weird hum from the driver's side mirror at around 40 mph but nothing that was annoying. The Veloster, although the interior could've had higher quality materials, was absolutely rock solid. No problems and no rattles whatsoever.

I have days worth of experience with my dad's 2021 C8 Corvette Z51, my special others BMW 135I, and some SUV's here and there.

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The Good
The Model 3 is hands down the best car I've ever experienced. I have a 2021 Dual Motor (NOT performance) with a white interior. No accel boost or FSD.. yet. Not only is it beautiful to look at, but the driveline is just heaven on wheels. I thought I would miss the sound of a rumbly V8 car, or the backfire pops of a turbo, but actually the M3 is car enough to make those two other cars look primitive. I love the instant power, I love the simplistic instruments-in-a-screen approach, I think the sound system is the best in the world. I drove my dad's Corvette recently and amazingly the Model 3 made me feel like the driveline was clunky on it, even though it's a high-end corvette. The sound is great for the first WOT or two but after that I kind of missed my car.

All the other goods I can share are basically well-known between all of us. Maintenance costs, charging from home, the mobile theater hub, etc. All amazing features. All things I can talk about all day.

Do not be mistaken that the paragraphs below are longer than the Goods, and by thinking that this means I have more negatives to say than positives. They are only longer because they are more elaborate.

The "Meh"
Not having Android Auto took me a good while to get used to. I would use that sucker all day long in the Veloster. The coolest thing about it was being able to ask questions like "when does this store close" and "is it going to rain today" all by just saying "Hey google" and the car responding accordingly. Unfortunately for me, the voice commands of the Tesla feel kind of lackluster compared to it.

I also am not thrilled with the Spotify app. Half the time I enter the car, Spotify is in the middle of crashing and wont play anything for a few minutes. Not having Pandora is both a blessing and a curse.

I've also been locked out of my car once, when the mobile app was down, even after restarting the phone, and clearing data / cookies in the app. Thank god I had my card on me or else I would've been stranded.

Maybe there is a way to do this, but I wish I could turn off the auto high beams on autopilot. It's weird almost flashing people in front of me when it's dark outside and I have no control over it.

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The Bad
Wow have I never experienced a brand new car with so many issues. I get loud rattles from the driver's side wheel well, passenger's side wheel well, front driver's side dash, and rear seats (although admittedly, the rear seat rattles aren't that bad). The hood was way out of alignment. multiple areas of trim were falling apart on the driver's side. I have some other bizarre issues such as an AC vent not working, and a loud chirping noise coming from the front of the car sometimes. This car is only 3 months old!!

The turn signal & gear stocks feel downright non responsive at times and that is somewhat annoying.

Tesla service has been okay. In the 3 months i've owned this car, i've now had to contact Tesla 3 separate times for random fixes. Getting an appointment is simple enough and the staff is friendly. My last visit they didn't fix everything, even though the invoice said they did, and I found that to be irritating.

End Summary
Do you know of a 4 door car that does a consistent 0-60 in 4.2 seconds and has the maintenance cost of a Camry? Whilst also costing around 50k? What about a car that does 0-60 in 3.8 for only 2 grand more? If you do, kindly point me in the right direction.. that's actually a challenge I'm presenting you with lol.

It's a great car and I'll still recommend it to people. I just hate it when people ask me how I like it. Because I gloat like a madman, and then I mention that i've had my fair share of build quality issues with it thus far. People give me the funniest look, but ultimately they wont understand until they experience it themselves.

At least the problems are covered under warranty. For now.

(“2019 Tesla Model 3 Performance AWD Front” and “2019 Tesla Model 3 Performance AWD Rear” by Vauxford are licensed under CC BY-ND 4.0.)
 
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I've had my M3 Performance for one month now. Best car I've ever owned, everything you said about driving it is correct. I always thought I would buy a 911 one day, but I honestly don't care about a Porsche any more. The fit and finish on mine are great, no rattles. The only thing that doesn't work is the dashcam recording, and we're going in to service that next week.
 
Who needs spotify, Android and 'Hey Google'? Why use mobile app when you have two cards? Unspecified rattles from seemingly everywhere and signal stocks downright unresponsive! What? All vehicles differ and take time to get used to.
After about the same time of ownership of our used 3LR from Japan we love our Chichi and have made a number of minor repairs and improvements simply because I'm a fussy retired aircraft engineer. Chichi is utterly smooth and quiet on all but the roughest chip surfaces.
Are we extra lucky? Enjoy the good and very good; tolerate the rest with good homour.
 
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That's a fair review. Some of your car's flaws and struggles to resolve them are beyond the norm, but not far beyond. Fortunately the actual component designs and engineering are very good so it seems that long term reliability is exceptional once you get all the assembly issues resolved.

Whether it's intentional for safety or just the byproduct of system check times, there's a required waiting period between the first brake pedal press and the gear selection. Holding the gearshift longer doesn't help - you have to wait, then move the gearshift. Or just slap it repeatedly until it responds like I do.

Turn signals are another adjustment. While I miss the exquisite mechanics of my Lexus signal stalk I can't even imagine how much money it must cost to build those things with hundreds of perfectly tuned springs and gears and levers and stuff all crammed inside. Most cars now use these crude electronic stalks with only one moving part for a reason. Cost. None of them are great but even my decade-old BMW had slightly better tactile tuning on the signal stalk than Tesla does.

I hope Tesla will improve the turn signal logic in future updates. 5 blinks would be a great start. Clicking volume that slowly increases with time driven and decreases with time stopped would be super cool. Especially since the clicks can't be heard over the radio and the blinks are not very noticeable on the screen. And some wider logic to make it easier to cancel the signal without reengaging it in the same/opposite direction would solve a lot of the ergonomic deficiencies.

As for weather - look up!
 
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I always find it funny folks try to talk other folks out of their desire for Android Auto or Apple Car Play. You're not going to magically make Tesla's system better - a group text comes in, you answer - only that sender sees that reply. New UI uses more space to show the cartoon car vs the map, why can't I resize that? Why did they make the battery less visible? Tesla's UI is OK but not amazing.

None of the above are first world issues but they are also not nothing, 100% more useful to me than the games and fart package my 3 has so telling me I'm wrong is a waste of your breath :)

Really like my Stealth performance 3, it's basically been trouble free since Aug 2018 (fingers crossed as still on original 12v battery). Car had minor trim adjustment in the first week or so and 1 replaced seat belt buckle in back seats otherwise as quick, quiet as ever. It's been a great local commute (back when we had them) and also a confident road tripper

Sorry to hear OP had some bad bits
 
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Echo Auto/Alexa may be a good $20 replacement for Android Auto for you... you can certainly ask it "Is it going to rain today", as well as "play Spotify" or Sirius XM or whatever... then you can also stop paying for Tesla Premium Connectivity too.
I second this. Echo auto allows you to do all of the things you do with voice commands that a home Amazon echo can do. I use it to play SiriusXM, Spotify, check the weather, ask inane trivia questions, etc. Cheap and it works well.
 
I always find it funny folks try to talk other folks out of their desire for Android Auto or Apple Car Play. You're not going to magically make Tesla's system better - a group text comes in, you answer - only that sender sees that reply. New UI uses more space to show the cartoon car vs the map, why can't I resize that? Why did they make the battery less visible? Tesla's UI is OK but not amazing.

None of the above are first world issues but they are also not nothing, 100% more useful to me than the games and fart package my 3 has so telling me I'm wrong is a waste of your breath :)

Really like my Stealth performance 3, it's basically been trouble free since Aug 2018 (fingers crossed as still on original 12v battery). Car had minor trim adjustment in the first week or so and 1 replaced seat belt buckle in back seats otherwise as quick, quiet as ever. It's been a great local commute (back when we had them) and also a confident road tripper

Sorry to hear OP had some bad bits
I'm not sure if this comment was aimed at me or not. If so, I wasn't trying to do that. I agree, the Tesla apologists on this website can make it unbearable sometimes. I simply wanted the OP to know that he can still use his Google voice assistant even though Tesla refuses to ever add Android Auto support. I agree with your complaints about the Tesla UI completely. Who is the moron that decided dark gray on light gray was a good way to show battery charge!? Give me back my green!

Personally, I don't actually like AA's interface. But if I go on a road trip, I always use it (in my wife's car) because Waze integration has saved me countless speeding tickets.
 
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I'm not sure if this comment was aimed at me or not. If so, I wasn't trying to do that. I agree, the Tesla apologists on this website can make it unbearable sometimes. I simply wanted the OP to know that he can still use his Google voice assistant even though Tesla refuses to ever add Android Auto support. I agree with your complaints about the Tesla UI completely. Who is the moron that decided dark gray on light gray was a good way to show battery charge!? Give me back my green!

Personally, I don't actually like AA's interface. But if I go on a road trip, I always use it (in my wife's car) because Waze integration has saved me countless speeding tickets.

And Tesla uses Google (for now) for traffic. Too bad they can't add the road 'hazard' from Google/Waze too :-(
 
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To each their own, but in my experience this car is junk. Feels like I bought and am driving someone’s college science project. The tech is cool, but as a car it gets a zero. I’ve had so many stupid issues and now my roof glass has a stress fracture. And my car is 4 months old with 1,000 miles. My local SC is also incompetent and slow AF. Sad to say, but this was the single worst purchase decision I have ever made.
 
To each their own, but in my experience this car is junk. Feels like I bought and am driving someone’s college science project. The tech is cool, but as a car it gets a zero. I’ve had so many stupid issues and now my roof glass has a stress fracture. And my car is 4 months old with 1,000 miles. My local SC is also incompetent and slow AF. Sad to say, but this was the single worst purchase decision I have ever made.
My suggestion to you is have the roof fixed, sell it and because of the insane waiting time to get one, you'll probably not lose any money (and maybe sell it for more) and get something. No point keeping such an expensive car if you don't like it.
 
Whether it's intentional for safety or just the byproduct of system check times, there's a required waiting period between the first brake pedal press and the gear selection. Holding the gearshift longer doesn't help - you have to wait, then move the gearshift. Or just slap it repeatedly until it responds like I do.

Turn signals are another adjustment. While I miss the exquisite mechanics of my Lexus signal stalk I can't even imagine how much money it must cost to build those things with hundreds of perfectly tuned springs and gears and levers and stuff all crammed inside. Most cars now use these crude electronic stalks with only one moving part for a reason. Cost. None of them are great but even my decade-old BMW had slightly better tactile tuning on the signal stalk than Tesla does.
Wow good to see I'm not going crazy bc I have thought these things as well. Put the car in R or D definitely requires a "pause" after pushing the brake down before it responds to your input.

The turn signals you really have to mash hard to get them to engage. I'm not sure why though as my 2016 Hyundai Sonata turn signals worked great every time and were nice and "clicky". Assuming it is a different build type/mechanism for the turn signals.
 
In the US anyway they do not use Google for anything except the base maps.

Traffic is from TomTom, and more specific mapping/routing/nav is from Valhalla/Mapbox/OSM.
Hmmm...are you certain? Has always seemed to me they use Google Maps traffic. You can open up Google Maps on your phone and compare to the in car navigation and the traffic info always looks identical down to the minutia.
 

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