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Review: Just over a week since delivery...RWD Model 3

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by btews, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. btews

    btews Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2018
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Urbana, MD
    Thought I would give my impressions on the Model 3 after taking delivery last Monday (7/23), after putting roughly 750 miles on the car...and how it compares to my Volvo S60, which is similar in size and feature set, even though the S60 has an ICE and front wheel drive. Overall, I'm VERY happy with the Model 3 so far...and will try to give you an objective assessment.

    The car is deep blue metallic, Long Range, RWD, PUP, Autopilot, FSD, 18 Aero rims (covers removed). VIN 27XXX, built in June 2018.

    Replacing a 2016 Volvo S60 T6 as my daily driver (the Volvo has adaptive cruise, lane keeping etc. to compare to Tesla's). I am a long-time Volvo owner (now up to 5 of them since 1996)..and still own 2 of them (the S60 and a 2015 XC60). I will use this as a frame of reference in my review.

    Delivery: Picked up at Rockville, MD service / delivery center. No trade in. Pretty painless as far as buying a car goes; they did need to move my delivery time 1 hour later on Monday because of the contract processing issues they had over the weekend delayed printing paperwork, but no big deal. You just sign the paperwork...nobody is trying to hard sell you on undercoatings, VIN etchings, pin stripes, extended warranties or anything of the sort that car dealers love to do. They ran me though a walkaround, and basic stuff like how to plug it in. Connected my phone key (paired with key card). Taught me how to put it in reverse / drive, etc. Car was pre-programmed with my home address in the Nav system. Took some photos. Drove it away after 15-20 minutes.

    Fit & Finish: Everything looked good...no issues that need fixing on the interior or exterior. Panel gaps all look good. At least as good as any of my Volvos. I meticulously hand washed the car over the weekend, so would have noticed anything wrong. Paint quality looks better than Volvo's to me (somehow smoother / glossier, or something).

    Driving: Ride quality is pretty good...I was worried it would be a little harsh. It sits down a little lower than the S60. The car feels very planted (low center of gravity), and definitely handles better than the FWD Volvo. The M3 feels smaller, even though it is 2 inches longer. Acceleration is mind blowing and silent. The Volvo puts out 302HP and 300 lb/ft of torque, so is no slouch, but the Tesla feels much faster to 60 (Volvo does roughly 5.5 seconds to 60). People who I've taken for test drives in the M3 are generally shocked...and want me to do another acceleration run. You notice wind noise more, but that's probably due to the lack of engine noise. Car feels very solid...no noticeable body flex, squeaks or rattles.

    Autopilot: This is where I was a little nervous going in, as I specifically bought the S60 for its excellent adaptive cruise (MobileEye based, like AP1) for my 40+ mile each-way trip to work in heavy traffic. There had been various reports of AP2 slamming on the brakes for no reason and doing other strange things. I have not been disappointed by Autopilot, and I have not had any of these issues. It feels pretty much like the system in the Volvo other than it is quicker to detect cars moving into your lane ahead of you (which is good). Auto-steer works very well vs. the Volvo's system that only steers if it thinks you are crossing a line. I still haven't figured out auto lane change (think it's only worked once), and being able to take a freeway exit by turning on signal has never worked for me...both of those features need work. Autopark is kind of cool (but slow). Summon is a neat parlor trick to show people, but limited usefulness so far...I try not to intentionally squeeze between other cars (to avoid door dings).

    Interior: You get used to the center screen and the lack of buttons and traditional dash VERY quickly...you won't miss the clutter. Whoever says it's dangerous hasn't spent any meaningful time driving the car. I personally like the understated interior, which is similar to Volvo's. Volvo seats are probably a little more comfortable (maybe wider). Plenty of storage for a car this size. The phone charging area needs work...it's a great concept where they put it, but should have Qi wireless built in...the 3rd party Qi solutions out there seem to have some issues, so I'm waiting for a better wireless solution. Just a warning -- an iPhoneX in the Apple leather case will NOT seat properly on the provided lightning connector and won't charge...I've ordered a different case that supposedly works.

    Nav system: Looks phenomenal with the giant screen and google maps...but I've found the routing to be HORRIBLE. The first time I drove it to work, it tried to navigate me to the side of I95, which runs behind our parking lot...with no way to actually get into the parking lot. Good thing I knew where i was going. It has made some other bizarre recommendations, as well. This is annoying and could be dangerous. Sticking with Waze for now. Also, while it routes you based on current traffic, it does not let you choose an alternate route like Waze or Google maps.

    Range: As advertised; averaging 233 Wh/Mile so far; range indicator in the car is pretty accurate.

    Stereo: I'm not an audiophile, but it sounds good to me. Coming from a Harmon / Kardon premium system that sounded similar to me. Getting used to Slacker Radio was a challenge (used to SiriusXM and Spotify), but I've sort of grown to like it in a week.

    Phone key: Works great with iPhoneX -- and the Tesla app doesn't need to be open; keycard works fine, too.

    Charging: Have been charging via a NEMA 14-50 240 volt outlet in my garage using the UMC included in the car. Charges at a consistent 30 miles per hour. I don't miss pumping gas.

    Firmware updates: Did my first update on Friday night...it took about 45 minutes. Now on 2018.26.3. Painless.

    Other stuff that probably belongs in a car at this price that many other brands (including non-luxury) include: BLIND SPOT MONITORS (supposedly coming via OTA, but this is a HUGE omission), rear cross-traffic alert, heated steering wheel, headlight washers (for snowy areas), steerable headlights, Qi phone charging, native Apple Watch app, cooled seats. Volvo also has an electrically heated windshield, which I rarely use, but might be useful for those in colder climates.

    Hopefully this helps for those on the fence, or waiting for their car and worrying about some of the bad press. It's not perfect, but thanks to OTA firmware updates, some of the omissions / annoyances will likely get fixed. My advice is to ignore the doom and gloom trolls out there...you are going to love this car.
     
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  2. kengchang

    kengchang Member

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    This is not a feature yet
     
  3. N8Howell33

    N8Howell33 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2018
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    168
    Location:
    Salem, OR
    For auto lane change:
    It only works on Freeways (at least for me) and you will know it is available if the far outside lines are gray (your autopilot lane will be in blue). If you don't see the gray lanes (indicating the other lanes, i.e. if you are in the middle lane, it will be blue and you will see the other 2 lines in gray on the outsides). If you see the gray lane with AP and autosteer on, simply hit your turn signal to the lane you want to go in and it will do the rest. Hope this helps you
     
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  4. alpinebum1

    alpinebum1 Member

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    Thanks for the write up. Glad to hear your VIN didn’t have any defects! I’m picking a slightly higher VIN next week in Rockville.
     
  5. John Beans

    John Beans Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2016
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    Location:
    California
    Nice writeup.

    Volvo makes great interiors.

    The highway exit thing works if you are in a lane that is dedicated to exiting, not just driving by an exit that splits off. Your turn signal tells the car, "I know this lane I am in is a dedicated exit lane, get ready to slow down." As the car exits, you'll see the ring around the speed max start to swoop around, and the max speed will begin dropping down in increments.

    It used to just barrel off the highway like the Dukes of Hazzard. Now it gracefully slows down so that you can tap the brakes when you get to the end of the ramp and take over.
     
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  6. StellarRat

    StellarRat Member

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    I didn't know Volvo's were that fast, 5.5 is quick.
     
  7. Dbat

    Dbat New Member

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    I wish my Model 3 had overhead parking display and built in dashcam
     
  8. mtwebb

    mtwebb New Member

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    bay area
    Thanks for the perspective as a volvo owner. I’m coming from 16 years in volvo and and it’s down to another volvo or the model 3.
     
  9. boiler81

    boiler81 Member

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    Manson, WA
    Power opening/closing trunk
     
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  10. btews

    btews Member

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    Jan 27, 2018
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    Location:
    Urbana, MD

    Thanks for the advice on lane changes...got it to work last night and a couple of times this morning. Maybe I was just being impatient because it didn't seem to be doing anything before...it takes a few heartbeats to decide it's safe to move over, I think.
     
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  11. btews

    btews Member

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    Agree on both. Elon promised dashcam mode in OTA, so keep your fingers crossed.
     
  12. btews

    btews Member

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    Missed that one!
     
  13. btews

    btews Member

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    I still like our Volvos, but after driving the Model 3, then going back to the Volvo it feels strange...you really notice the engine noise, which I must have tuned out in the past, and the acceleration isn't nearly as silky smooth. The other thing you notice is all of the very minor things they have automated in the Tesla like the always on auto wipers and auto high beams (which you need to turn on again each time you drive the Volvo if you need them)...auto setting the cruise speed relative to the current speed limit...walking away and automatically locking...not having to deal with a parking brake. All very small things that add up, and somehow the seamless integration of everything being run by one system makes it feel futuristic.

    OTOH the Tesla is missing some features (listed earlier)...some of which like Blind Spot Monitoring are kind of a big deal.

    The one thing that drives me crazy in the Volvo with the Drive-E engine is the start / stop engine is "on" by default, and there's no way to change that...so you either have to hit a button or put it in sport mode each time you drive to disable the start / stop "feature". It doesn't save much gas when it's on, and is a little rough when starting and too quick to shut down (i.e. the engine will stop as you are inching out into an intersection to make a left turn...not good when you need to accelerate quickly). I quickly got in the habit of turning it off before every drive on the S60. Fortunately my wife's XC60 has the twin-scroll turbo inline-6, which doesn't have that issue (but guzzles gas).

    The best analogy I can come up with is going from a Blackberry to an iPhone...the Blackberry was cool in it's day with good market share and was an okay phone and really good at email, but the iPhone came along and in a relatively short time became the Swiss Army Knife of electronics. Nobody believed that Apple (which had almost gone bankrupt 8-9 years before) could disrupt and take meaningful share in the smartphone (and flip phone) market as it existed...it's 10-11 years later, and do you know anybody with a Blackberry or a Nokia phone (I think RIM stopped making phones 2 years ago)? Tesla is building a better mousetrap right now, and other car manufacturers are going to try to copy what they did (like Android vs. iOS)...but they are still stuck in a world of a bunch of hardware / firmware subsystems they buy from other vendors that don't talk to each other...so it's going to be a while (if ever) before they achieve the level of integration and smoothness you see in a Tesla...it's similar to the way Apple completely controls its ecosystem by developing the hardware and software internally and designing it to work seamlessly together vs. Android trying to run on many different hardware platforms. Android works, but can be sort of clunky. Buying the Model 3 is like buying an early iPhone (maybe like an iPhone 3g)...it will get better with time, and the firmware updates are free...you will be a somewhat early adopter and have to be able to deal with some level of uncertainty around what features they may or may not add via OTA updates. Buying the Volvo (or pretty much any other car), you know what you're getting up front, but it's not changing or getting any better unless you buy the next / newer model.

    Sorry for the long-winded post..I've clearly thought about this too much. :)
     
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  14. wbhokie

    wbhokie Member

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    For me, most of the NAV stuff has been fine (In Northern Virginia) - but I'm with you 100% on the the re-routing / alternative route issues. No choices. It has actually improved quite a bit to the point where I actually trust the route where it wants to take me most of the time. I have lived in the area for a long time so I know most of the back ways to avoid traffic. Google maps gives me choices though, so why doesn't Tesla. Please add this!

    The Blind Spot alerts!!!! I've been yelling at them through feedback about this since I got my model S. I can deal with the lack of cross traffic alert, headlight washers, steerable headlights, Qi phone chargers, and cooled seats.... but I really will miss my heated steering wheel when I move to my model 3. That helps so much more than heated seats in the winter in my opinion!

    I'd like an all-around view like I used to have in my Infiniti. I can understand Tesla's point of view as to why they don't have it, but it's such an easy feature to add to a car (and it doesn't cost a lot hardware wise) - they just don't want to add it. with all of the cameras they have already, adding more in the places they need to have them (fish-eyes under the mirrors and one near the front bumper) just doesn't go with the whole "car drives itself" mentality... but it is really nice to have because it really helps avoid curb and bumper damage.
     
  15. btews

    btews Member

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    Urbana, MD

    I think I will really miss the heated steering wheel, too. My workaround for when it gets cold is going to be to use TeslaFi to schedule kicking off pre-heating the car 10-15 minutes before I leave in the morning (I'm fairly consistent) and the same at night...because I will never remember to do it manually from the app. Tesla should build in scheduling functionality (with conditional variables like temperature, location, charging state, etc) so you don't need a 3rd party service to do this.
     
  16. wbhokie

    wbhokie Member

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    You can have alexa do this too. Just wake up and tell alexa to turn on your cars heating system. Only works for 1 tesla per household though
     
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  17. GreggB

    GreggB New Member

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    I have also been using the iPhone analogy when explaining the car to other people. The model 3 has been a game changer in terms of how I interact with the car and what I expect of it. I have had mine 1.5 months and have been very happy with it. I do wish, however, that I had more control over software updates. I’m still stuck on 21.9.
     
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