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Real World Model 3 UK Experience

elecTED

Member
Jun 21, 2019
326
322
Bristol, UK
To the lucky 250 or so, it’s been around a month since you took delivery of a M3.

Would you be able to share your real-world owning/driving experience of the M3 please?

What has delighted you?
What has disappointed you?
How are you managing with the range?
What home charging option do you have?
What are your favourite features?
What features annoy you the most?
What do you most miss about an ICE car?
What 2-3 small features would you suggest for inclusion in a future revision?
If you have FSD, do you use it and what’s your take?
Have you had to make changes to your normal driving habits?
Any major or minor issues with the car yet?
Anything those on the waiting list shouldn’t worry too much about?

Thanks a lot for your valued feedback!
 

BubblegumPete

Member
May 13, 2019
174
135
UK
I ElecTED.

So to answer your questions.

What has delighted you? Got to be the acceleration and handling (I have an M3P) . Compared to a two year old Model S it feels like a real jump up.

What has disappointed you?
I'd heard really good things about the glass roof making the car feel so spacious so I was looking forward to this panoramic view but from a drivers perspective it's too far back and darkened to really appreciate. Also the range on motorways. If you have air con and sentry mode active you're lucky to get 220 miles. Also Wifi signal for home use is really weak. You have to be very close to the wifi router, well from my experience.

How are you managing with the range?
It's nearly caught me out a couple of times but it didn't help that I was still waiting for my charge port at the time. Now I have a charge port it should be a lot better. However I've only been able to test this in my courtesy Model S as the M3 is in service at the moment...that's a whole other story.

What home charging option do you have?
I'm using a Pod Point. Really friendly company. Kept me informed all the way and wasn't a long wait. Guy had to run 30 metres of cable for my drive and did it really fast and to a high standard. No complaints at all, highly recommended

What are your favourite features?
There's the obvious stuff but for me it's the creature comforts. Things like actually having cup holders. I'm really missing them in the model S I'm driving at the moment. Also the arm rest areas are much better than the Model S and I love the spacious feel.
I love the rear camera....when it works. Being able to cool or heat the car before you enter. Actually I really like the looks. I wasn't completely sold on the looks from photos but in the flesh it looks so much better. Also love the white seats, I'm glad I got them as although people say you'll see stain more I think this is a benefit as you can spot things faster and I carry baby wipes in the car now so I just wipe stuff if and when it appears. Size of the car is also great for Britains road.

What features annoy you the most?
Spotify. For some reason it's always cutting out. Not sure if this is a software glitch or just my local area though.

What do you most miss about an ICE car?
Absolutely nothing. Will never go back. The only advantage to an ice car is the sound, if that's what you like. But for me I don't miss that at all. I had to drive a diesel the other day and it was like getting into a tractor.

What 2-3 small features would you suggest for inclusion in a future revision?
Would be good to have a little light around the charge port before you plug in so you can see it better. Better wifi strength. More voice commands. At the moment you can use it for music, navigation and phone but it would be good to be able to control every aspect of the car, so things like wipers, glove box, lights.

If you have FSD, do you use it and what’s your take?
I opted out of FSD but the one thing I do find annoying is having to disengage lane keep to change lane for an overtake and then engage again. So having FSD would allow me to go past cars without worrying about that. Although I do seem to have navigate on Autopilot which I thought was reserved for FSD. I've tried it and it's very flakey so if that's any indication of what FSD is like at the moment I'm glad I didn't pay the extra for it.

Have you had to make changes to your normal driving habits?
Yes but for the better. I can now pull out at roundabouts and give ways much easier. Gaps in traffic that I'd never of risked before I find super easy as I know the car reacts instantly. No worry of clutch control, lag, or missed gears.
I find it much easier on motorways with autopilot although I've had a number of sudden braking moments where the car just freaks out, which can be very disconcerting. I find this mainly on the M4 where they have the 50 mile speed road works. I don't think the car copes with the side barriers they have up and cars being so close to one another.

Any major or minor issues with the car yet?
Yes. My car started showing lots of random warning signs, for example 'parking brake degraded. It did it only once or twice a week for the first week but by the second week it was doing it daily plus the screen was going black and other symbols would just randomly flash up. I got int contact with services and they looked into it. Said it was a known issue that would be fixed in the next firmware update. I tried to download the latest firmware a couple of weeks ago but it failed. I thought at first it was because I wasn't getting wifi from home so bought a booster that then gave me a strong signal. But it still failed. So booked it into a service, thinking they'd just download it and I'd be on my way. A week and a half later I still haven't got my car back. They thought it was the SD card so had to order a part, but it turns out that wasn't the case. So as of this moment I have no idea what is wrong with the car and why it won't download the latest software.

Anything those on the waiting list shouldn’t worry too much about?
Panel gaps and issues with quality. That was something I was concerned about, after all the US reports of bad alignments and quality issues. My car was perfect, no problems at all apart from a very faint mark on the body work where it looks like it had brushed lightly against a branch or something. Was really hard to see but they booked it in to get it sorted.

Hope the above is of some use.
 
Last edited:

AlternateFlux

Former Vendor
Jun 29, 2019
225
42
UK
Also the range on motorways. If you have air con and sentry mode active you're lucky to get 220 miles.

Fantastic and really informative, thanks for taking the time to write this.

I've got to say though, the above has filled me with fear. I only have an SR+ on order and I was hoping that I might be able to eek our 200 miles on one of those, but if your P+ isn't doing 220 then it looks like this might not be the case. Hmmm...
 

BubblegumPete

Member
May 13, 2019
174
135
UK
Fantastic and really informative, thanks for taking the time to write this.

I've got to say though, the above has filled me with fear. I only have an SR+ on order and I was hoping that I might be able to eek our 200 miles on one of those, but if your P+ isn't doing 220 then it looks like this might not be the case. Hmmm...
I need to do a proper test, it might be 240 but it definitely isn't near to 310. ALthough the model S I'm driving at the moment seems to get pretty much a charge mile to a real mile. So maybe I was just booting about too much in the Model 3. I'll try to do a real test once I get my car back.
 
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Reactions: 1 person

EV Guy

Member
Feb 26, 2016
75
42
Leicestershire, United Kingdom
What has delighted you?
Handling and off course the acceleration.
App works ever time - take note Renault!

What has disappointed you?
Finish quality of the paint - correction swirls.
Free Supercharging miles not yet applied.
Phantom drain using sentry mode (1mph).

How are you managing with the range?
From 90 miles in a Renault Zoe to Model 3’s 310 - range anxiety zero

What home charging option do you have?
Polar/Chargemaster already owned from Zoe ownership.

What are your favourite features?
I’ll get back to you lol

What features annoy you the most?
Autopilot (FSD) too cautious changing lanes on Motorway.

What do you most miss about an ICE car?
Derrrr... nothing

What 2-3 small features would you suggest for inclusion in a future revision?
Matt plastics rather than gloss.
Icon on the door release as standard.

If you have FSD, do you use it and what’s your take?
Knowing what I know now it isn’t worth the money (paid £4,900) but have faith it will be in future especially if Europe allow Tesla to do its thing!

Have you had to make changes to your normal driving habits?
Nope

Any major or minor issues with the car yet?
Glove box light never worked, been in to SC and couldn’t do it. Will be done on next visit but is a big job apparently. Erm for a lightbulb!

Anything those on the waiting list shouldn’t worry too much about?
Don’t worry it will happen and will be worth it!
 

BubblegumPete

Member
May 13, 2019
174
135
UK
Check the tesla range table:

Tesla Range Table - Teslike.com

Getting 220 out of a P+ is 20" wheels at an average 80mph, which is pretty much a worst case. EPA range is pretty accurate as a guide for normal use.

Most people are going to be spending the majority of their time in cities/slower roads where your SR+ is just not going to have a problem.
Yes but do they include having aircon on full blast at lowest setting as well as having sentry mode active?
 

VanillaAir_UK

Well-Known Member
Jun 17, 2019
8,719
6,286
Surrey, UK
If you have FSD, do you use it and what’s your take?
I opted out of FSD but the one thing I do find annoying is having to disengage lane keep to change lane for an overtake and then engage again. So having FSD would allow me to go past cars without worrying about that. Although I do seem to have navigate on Autopilot which I thought was reserved for FSD. I've tried it and it's very flakey so if that's any indication of what FSD is like at the moment I'm glad I didn't pay the extra for it.

Erm, yes it is. What makes you think that you have NOA?

Also, completely off topic, what video editing software do you use to fuzz out your number plates?
 

BubblegumPete

Member
May 13, 2019
174
135
UK
Being mostly americans I'd expect they use aircon a lot. And don't see how sentry mode affects range unless you're counting drain whilst parked.
Well I don't know but surely if it's draining the battery as much as it does when parked then it's going to be draining the battery while driving. I'm including the dash cam mode in this by the way .
 

BubblegumPete

Member
May 13, 2019
174
135
UK
Erm, yes it is. What makes you think that you have NOA?

Also, completely off topic, what video editing software do you use to fuzz out your number plates?
Because I had an option that allows me to navigate off of motorways. I still have to activate the turn signal but the car will then look for a gap and go into that lane. Has the mad max mode and all that.
Now I did wonder if they accidentally never took FSD off as I had it in my order until about three days before delivery when they finally removed it, despite me asking for it to be removed about three weeks before. So I'm now thinking, maybe it never got removed? Or maybe it got partially removed and that's why I've had so many software glitches?
 

martinz

Member
Jun 26, 2019
14
25
reallynoneofyourbusiness
Hi All - have had my P3 (grey, white seats, FSD computer) for about 2 weeks now. For reference, my previous car was a Mercedes A45 AMG, so also a very quick car. The few things I miss (e.g. the seats) were because the A45 was fantastic, not because the Tesla is not very good. Similarly, I find the Tesla much more comfortable than my old car, despite the occasional complaints about hard suspension.

What has delighted you?

The acceleration is pretty amazing, even coming from a car that did 0-60 in 4.2 seconds. The A45 had great acceleration, but the lack of noise and drama in the Tesla is amazing. For overtaking on country roads it's hard to beat. The throttle response is wonderful - as a biker this is something I really like; incomparably better than any ICE car. I like the regen braking very much too; makes it easy to drive smoothly and I like the idea I'm not wasting energy on wearing out brakes.

What has disappointed you?

The voice recognition is terrible, particularly for voice dial. I simply cannot dial my wife by name, no matter how many times I try, or how I pronounce her name. Any names that are a small number of syllables or which sound like a dictionary word seem to have this issue. I have actually had to change to her full name in my contacts to get it to dial, and even then I still have to touch the screen to choose the right number. Just not good enough. Lots of other voice controls (e.g. changing radio stations etc), often need a tap on the screen as well. For such an otherwise technologically advanced car this was a real disappointment.

Android auto is so far ahead on this that if I were Tesla I would just give up and offer android auto (or put some major effort into making voice recognition competitive). That would also address other things I wish I had - the ability to control audiobooks by voice and (optionally) use Waze for navigation (the Tesla navigation is very good most of the time, but Waze is better routing around traffic in London and I often run Waze on my phone as well). As it is the voice recognition on the £15k hire car with android auto that I drove to pick up the £64k Tesla was *far* better.

I had hoped that summon or autopark might be able to get my car into (or at least out of) my narrow off street parking spot, but they can't. autopark doesn't detect it, and summon just stops, presumably because it thinks it's too narrow. Not exactly a diappointment, but it would have been amazing.

How are you managing with the range?

No issue so far. This is my first EV, and I do have to plan in advance much more than with an ICE car, but not a big deal.

What home charging option do you have?

I am getting a 7kw point installed. I expected to be able to charge slowly from a home socket in the interim, but it always trips the house RCD if I try, so I have had to use public charge points for now.

What are your favourite features?


Love keyless entry with my phone. I use google pay a lot, so often I can leave home with just a phone. Don't need car keys or wallet. Walk away from the car and it locks.

The size and location of the screen is great. Took about 1 minute to get used to not having a speedometer where i expected.

Love being able to access the car remotely from my phone. Can check it's locked, see the charge level, see the location, beep the horn to find it, etc.

Autopilot is good, especially in stop start traffic, so longer drives are more relaxing.

What features annoy you the most?

See above on voice recognition.

What do you most miss about an ICE car?

Nothing much. The P3 is not perfect but it's good enough to make me realize ICE cars are dead - at least when batteries get cheaper and lighter. It's a bit less agile than the A45 was, mostly due to the extra weight. It's not bad because the centre of gravity is so low, but you are aware of it.

What 2-3 small features would you suggest for inclusion in a future revision?
1. Android auto
2. Android auto
3. Make summon/autopark able to get in and out of my drive!

If you have FSD, do you use it and what’s your take?

It works well in simple driving situations, e.g. on motorways and A roads without too much traffic. But even in those situations it isn't as responsive to road conditions as a good driver would be. For example it doesn't seem to alter position within a lane to avoid road imperfections, and won't change position within a lane when passing or being passed. It will overtake a truck sitting bang in the middle of a wide lane, while I would move to the outside of my lane to get more time to react and be more visible to the truck driver. When I've enabled it in more complex situations it has struggled occasionally - for example when crossing a junction where the lane markings disappear and are slightly offset on the other side, or when another car is coming the other way, or changing lanes when there is a car slightly behind. On one occasion when there was a very low kerb ahead it was heading so close to it that I took over - not sure if it would have hit it or not, but I didn't want to find out. In the city it's not really worth enabling; you will hit a situation it can't handle or where it feels dangerous every minute.

I've driven a lot on US and UK roads, and generally US road systems are much simpler, so I suspect the proportion of the time that EAP works well is a lot higher in the US. Having said that, I did let it drive for long sections of my motorway trip last week and it was fine and made the trip more relaxing. But it feels a long way from full self driving on UK roads at least.

Have you had to make changes to your normal driving habits?

Not really.

Any major or minor issues with the car yet?

No.

Anything those on the waiting list shouldn’t worry too much about?

I'd heard all the stories about paint and panel gaps and build quality. It's just not an issue. To me it seems entirely in line with any modern car from a major manufacturer.

Once I have my home charging point I will almost never have to worry about recharging.

Superchargers are great for longer trips.
 

Bernard_S

Member
Jun 21, 2019
314
149
Kettering UK
Fantastic and really informative, thanks for taking the time to write this.

I've got to say though, the above has filled me with fear. I only have an SR+ on order and I was hoping that I might be able to eek our 200 miles on one of those, but if your P+ isn't doing 220 then it looks like this might not be the case. Hmmm...

Yes, that range is a little worrying. BubblegumPete what speed were you doing on the motorway ? Thanks for writing such a comprehensive report BTW.
 

BubblegumPete

Member
May 13, 2019
174
135
UK
Yes, that range is a little worrying. BubblegumPete what speed were you doing on the motorway ?
I keep between 75 and 80. I recorded a journey and just looked at the exact figures and distance. So I traveled 221 miles before I got to a super charger with 30 miles range left. So yes it's more like 240 mile range as I'm pretty sure that remaining 30 miles wouldn't actually be 30 miles and more like 20...maybe 25.
 

BubblegumPete

Member
May 13, 2019
174
135
UK
I keep between 75 and 80. I recorded a journey and just looked at the exact figures and distance. So I traveled 221 miles before I got to a super charger with 30 miles range left. So yes it's more like 240 mile range as I'm pretty sure that remaining 30 miles wouldn't actually be 30 miles and more like 20...maybe 25.

Actually scrap that I had 290 mile charge when I begun the journey so that works out that I'd probably get about 255 maybe 260 if I literally drove from full to empty. So basically ignore my 220 range that was based starting with a 290 mile range and finishing with a 30 mile range.
 

gavine

Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast
Apr 1, 2014
2,612
2,183
Philadelphia, PA
Aircon doesn't use much. At full blast, maybe 3 miles per hour. At a normal temperature in auto mode, probably closer to 1 mile per hour of drain. So, on a 4 hour drive, you'll only use an extra 4 to 12 miles of range, which can be recovered in seconds at a supercharger.
 

BubblegumPete

Member
May 13, 2019
174
135
UK
Aircon doesn't use much. At full blast, maybe 3 miles per hour. At a normal temperature in auto mode, probably closer to 1 mile per hour of drain. So, on a 4 hour drive, you'll only use an extra 4 to 12 miles of range, which can be recovered in seconds at a supercharger.
What about the dashcam, any ideas how much that would use?
 

gavine

Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast
Apr 1, 2014
2,612
2,183
Philadelphia, PA
What about the dashcam, any ideas how much that would use?

I don't know, but it can't be much. I meanm a 1000 watt draw would use about 4 miles per hour. I can't imagine the dash cam being more than 100 watts so that would be less than a half mile for every hour of driving. My intuition tells me that the dashcam is probably less than 100 watts though so basically negligible.
 

BubblegumPete

Member
May 13, 2019
174
135
UK
I don't know, but it can't be much. I meanm a 1000 watt draw would use about 4 miles per hour. I can't imagine the dash cam being more than 100 watts so that would be less than a half mile for every hour of driving. My intuition tells me that the dashcam is probably less than 100 watts though so basically negligible.
That's good to know. Yes so to sum up I think I'm getting about 255 - 260 miles range from the battery if travelling on the motorway for the majority of the journey.
 

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