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Should I Get a Tesla?

LoganNolag

Member
Mar 3, 2021
13
8
USA
I got rid of my previous car last year and due to Covid I haven't bothered to replace it yet. My last car was a 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan which turned out to be a lemon and was bought back.

All in all I've had very bad luck with cars for the last 5 years or so. In 2016 I "leased" a BMW X1 using BMW's Owners Choice program.

I loved the X1 but 6 months into the "lease" the engine blew up and had to be completely replaced. The X1 was my second BMW but after It took almost 2 months to fix I was completely turned off of BMW.

Once the "lease" was over I really wanted to get a Model 3 but I was nervous due to all the horror stories and after the experience with the X1 I was afraid of having to deal with more car problems. As they say once burned twice shy.

After agonizing over what car to get I decided to buy a Toyota in order to minimize the risk of having any sort of problems since the problems with the BMW were so stressful.

I ended up getting a 2019 Corolla Hatchback. I really liked the car but wanted leather seats. The Corolla Hatchback is only available with cloth. The dealership agreed to throw in a set of aftermarket leather seats as part of the deal so I went with it.

Long story short the dealership messed up the installation horribly and ended up replacing the Corolla Hatchback with a 2020 Corolla sedan which is available with pleather seats from the factory. As my luck would have it the replacement car had a TON of problems and turned out to be a lemon. Like the X1 it too ended up spending almost 2 months in the shop with numerous problems ranging from loose bumpers to failures to start. After around a year of that car going in and out of the dealership I contacted a lemon law attorney and was able to get the car bought back. This was in the middle of last year. Since then I have been trying to decide what car to buy next.

I really like the idea of getting a Tesla but due to all the car problems I've dealt with over the last 5 years I'm even more terrified than I was before I decided to get the Corolla.

Regardless I'm seriously considering a Tesla. My thoughts are if I had so many problems with a Toyota which is supposed to be the least problematic brand I might as well just go with the Tesla since it seems like there really are no guarantees no matter what brand you buy. Basically I'm just wondering if it's worth the risk of another lemon. I'm inclined to think yes.

If so then there comes the question of which Tesla to get. I really prefer smaller cars but I also prefer hatchbacks. My first inclination is to get a Model Y but I'm not a huge fan of the higher price combined with the shorter range and worse performance. Also I don't like the bigger wheels and overall larger size. Basically the only thing going for it for me is the fact that it's a hatchback/suv and the greater ground clearance. I really don't like sedans much but the Model 3 seems to have a lot going for it. Smaller size, better performance, lower price etc. My ideal car would probably be a hatchback version of the Model 3.

Do you think the increased practicality of the Model Y is worth the higher price and lower performance vs the Model 3?
 

WTFam

Member
Feb 22, 2021
30
9
St. Louis
Short answer: Yes

Long Answer: Have reasonable expectations. Tesla's contain bleeding edge software and technology. With that comes software and hardware glitches and premature failures. I have had my 2019 Model 3 in the shop a couple times. Fortunately I live in an area with a fantastic service center so I received a loaner and it was repaired in a couple days.
 
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Carbonfiber

Member
Aug 2, 2020
158
37
Los Angeles
Picked up my first Tesla (Model Y) 6 months ago and it’s been life changing. It feels nasty driving a ICE car now (wife has a Rav4). I would go on Turo and rent each car for the day to get the full experience.
 
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LoganNolag

Member
Mar 3, 2021
13
8
USA
Short answer: Yes

Long Answer: Have reasonable expectations. Tesla's contain bleeding edge software and technology. With that comes software and hardware glitches and premature failures. I have had my 2019 Model 3 in the shop a couple times. Fortunately I live in an area with a fantastic service center so I received a loaner and it was repaired in a couple days.

Yeah that makes sense. I live in Atlanta and I believe there are 3 service centers here so I'm not too worried about that. It seems like a lot of people with complaints live many miles from a service center. Part of the reason the Toyota was so disappointing was because the only reason I got it was so that I wouldn't have problems yet I did anyway. It was a boring car AND it was unreliable. At least with Tesla even if it has problems it's an awesome car. I'm sort of thinking of it like an exotic luxury car. Exotics always have lots of problems but their awesomeness tends to make up for it.
 

GreenT

verT
Mar 14, 2014
991
340
France
Yeah that makes sense. I live in Atlanta and I believe there are 3 service centers here so I'm not too worried about that. It seems like a lot of people with complaints live many miles from a service center. Part of the reason the Toyota was so disappointing was because the only reason I got it was so that I wouldn't have problems yet I did anyway. It was a boring car AND it was unreliable. At least with Tesla even if it has problems it's an awesome car. I'm sort of thinking of it like an exotic luxury car. Exotics always have lots of problems but their awesomeness tends to make up for it.
Your reply sounds like the early days ... when I got mine Superchargers had yet to be delivered.
Soon we were able to drive cross country.
What happens when you want to drive cross country ... are you going to rely on Atlanta SC then?
I am waiting to get back into the Tesla game ONCE they have SIGNIFICANTLY expanded their Service network.
Here in France, for example, there are (only) 3 of them.
 
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LoganNolag

Member
Mar 3, 2021
13
8
USA
Your reply sounds like the early days ... when I got mine Superchargers had yet to be delivered.
Soon we were able to drive cross country.
What happens when you want to drive cross country ... are you going to rely on Atlanta SC then?
I am waiting to get back into the Tesla game ONCE they have SIGNIFICANTLY expanded their Service network.
Here in France, for example, there are (only) 3 of them.

Yeah that's true. I like the idea of being able to go on a road trip but realistically I probably wont. The last time I went on a road trip was in 2016. I generally only drive around 30 - 40 miles a day max and I almost never leave the Atlanta area. I think there are more problems with Tesla road trips than just the lack of service centers. The fact that they don't have any sort of spare tire or even run flat tires would make me very nervous taking one on a road trip no matter what. This is actually another advantage the Model 3 has over the Y. It seems like Bridgestone makes run flat tires that fit the 18" Model 3 wheels. I think if I was going to go on a road trip I would probably put those tires on the car.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,492
7,317
Visalia, CA
...Toyota which is supposed to be the least problematic brand...

I had a Ford Escort which was quite reliable until I had to fix its clutch.

I then wanted to switch to EV but the Roadster started at $100,000 so I waited for Model S which would be started from $50,000 for 40kWh battery version and up.

While waited, I bought Toyota Prius to reduce the gasoline consumption and it was very reliable with no problems at all.

I sold it and got Tesla Model S 85 Rear Wheel Drive which was quite reliable until nearing its 100,000 miles that had 3 repairs which were covered by ESA (extended warranty). If I didn't buy ESA, I could continue to drive without those 3 repairs.

Since then, I now have 2017 Model X and 2018 Mode 3 which are very reliable so far (still quite young, not like the S that gained its mileage so quickly toward 100,000 miles).

In summary, yes, for me, Toyota is quite reliable and very happy except Toyota didn't have a pure EV at that time. My 3 Tesla cars have been quite reliable too and I've been very happy with them!

...Do you think the increased practicality of the Model Y is worth the higher price and lower performance vs the Model 3?

I don't have Model Y but I would say yes since you want the cheapest Tesla hatchback (if you have more money, both Model S and X are hatchbacks too!).
 

Puma2020

Member
Jun 16, 2020
363
353
New Hampshire, USA
The last time I went on a road trip was in 2016. I generally only drive around 30 - 40 miles a day max and I almost never leave the Atlanta area.
Your usage case is a perfect one for an EV.
Do you have a way to charge the car at home?

One big advantage of EVs is that you can have a "full" tank every morning. However, be aware that "full" is not 100%. With LiON batteries, I have heard it is beat to keep them in the 20% to 80% range. So figure that "full" is likely 80% on most days. You can go to 85%, 90%, 95% or even 100% if you have a long trip planned for the next day. I, personally, vary the charge from 60% to 90% every so often as it may help the BMS (Battery Management System) have a better accuracy. Much like the gas tank gauge on an ICE car, it is never wise to fully trust the estimate and try to refill it before it hits zero.

Another thing to consider with EVs is make sure it has a BTMS (Battery Thermal Management System). Teslas does. The old Nissan Leafs did not and those batteries suffered significant battery degradation issues. I heard that the Hydauni Kona EV in the USA does not have one but the Canadian version does. I wouldn't touch a EV without it.

Given your luck with cars, is a Tesla right for you? Maybe. Maybe not. I have had similar luck with any "used", errr, I mean Pre-Owned cars I bought. Always costs me more in repairs for the first year or two, than just buying a new car. I have enjoyed my Y.

I also heard that gas prices were going up. Because I no longer need to purchase gas, I had not noticed that increase.
Make sure you test drive them and get comfortable with the EV.
Watch some videos on driving an EV. Engineering Explained YouTube channel didn't like the VW ID.4 but liked the Ford Mach E and his own Tesla.
I really like 1 pedal driving.
 

AlamoX

Member
Sep 13, 2018
19
158
NW Ohio
First off, you have had some incredibly sh*tty luck when it comes to cars.

My wife and I just test drove the Model Y, Model 3 and the Mach E in the same day last week. (Thread link: Test drove the Model Y, Model 3 and the Mach E back to back to back, yesterday). We decided to go with the Model Y due to the size, mainly. The 3 feels more sporty, but the cargo capacity is what ultimately pushed us to the Y.

This will be our first EV. I have done EXTENSIVE research, as well as test driving Teslas on 3 different occasions. I am pretty comfortable buying the Tesla. Sure, you hear of problems, but we are on a forum. Those problems seem magnified when posted on the internet. You know first hand that any car can have a problem and I don’t believe the Tesla brand has more problems inherently.

Good luck with your search.
 
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M3Nicola

Member
Mar 23, 2019
90
115
USA
My Tesla has been the most reliable car I have owned. Keep in mind that electric cars have substantially fewer components than ICE cars, so less to break.

Also, if you do have an issue then a Mobile Tech can most likely come to your house and fix it there. Total game changer.
 

Stavinski

Member
Jan 31, 2021
47
68
USA
If you are a needy customer, suggest not. How does an aftermarket leather kit get messed up to the point the car has to be returned and not leather replaced? If there’s any chance it’s your expectations being higher than what an auto manufacturer can deliver, a Tesla may prove your worst nightmare because they are not at the top of the quality, nor service pile. That said the car is awesome, but it’s not perfect. You’ll just have to get over it sometimes.
 

2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
1,359
1,187
USA
a new tesla model 3 or Y, with a place to plug in at home (even 110 would work for you since you are in the south, and mainly travel local) seems ideal for you. Plus you live near multiple Service Centers. Advantage.
 
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LNL_HUTZ

Member
Aug 3, 2020
295
229
San Francisco
All in all I've had very bad luck with cars for the last 5 years or so. In 2016 I "leased" a BMW X1 using BMW's Owners Choice program.

I loved the X1 but 6 months into the "lease" the engine blew up and had to be completely replaced. The X1 was my second BMW but after It took almost 2 months to fix I was completely turned off of BMW.

Once the "lease" was over I really wanted to get a Model 3 but I was nervous due to all the horror stories and after the experience with the X1 I was afraid of having to deal with more car problems. As they say once burned twice shy.

After agonizing over what car to get I decided to buy a Toyota in order to minimize the risk of having any sort of problems since the problems with the BMW were so stressful.

I ended up getting a 2019 Corolla Hatchback. I really liked the car but wanted leather seats. The Corolla Hatchback is only available with cloth. The dealership agreed to throw in a set of aftermarket leather seats as part of the deal so I went with it.

Long story short the dealership messed up the installation horribly and ended up replacing the Corolla Hatchback with a 2020 Corolla sedan which is available with pleather seats from the factory. As my luck would have it the replacement car had a TON of problems and turned out to be a lemon. Like the X1 it too ended up spending almost 2 months in the shop with numerous problems ranging from loose bumpers to failures to start. After around a year of that car going in and out of the dealership I contacted a lemon law attorney and was able to get the car bought back. This was in the middle of last year. Since then I have been trying to decide what car to buy next.
With that track record, I would consider taking a break from owning a car altogether and going with a car share. Or maybe a subscription like Volvo does.
 

LoganNolag

Member
Mar 3, 2021
13
8
USA
If you are a needy customer, suggest not. How does an aftermarket leather kit get messed up to the point the car has to be returned and not leather replaced? If there’s any chance it’s your expectations being higher than what an auto manufacturer can deliver, a Tesla may prove your worst nightmare because they are not at the top of the quality, nor service pile. That said the car is awesome, but it’s not perfect. You’ll just have to get over it sometimes.

Yeah that's a fun story. Basically what happened was that the dealership used a third party upholstery shop to install the leather kits. I bought an XSE which comes with a power drivers seat. The dealership just assumed that the upholstery shop would be able to install a kit without checking with them before the sale. At the time the brand of leather kit the upholstery shop used didn't have a kit for the XSE Corolla Hatchback only the lower SE trim which has a manual drivers seat. The upholstery shop tried to get the SE kit to fit the XSE drivers seat but they couldn't get it to fit right so they kept having to remove and reinstall the seat. At some point they ended up breaking the power adjustment on the drivers seat. The dealership was very apologetic and offered to replace the car. I was very surprised since I fully expected them to just want to fix the seat but I decided to take their offer. In retrospect I wish they had just tried to fix the seat since other than the damage caused by the upholstery shop that car was perfect in every way.

With that track record, I would consider taking a break from owning a car altogether and going with a car share. Or maybe a subscription like Volvo does.

Yeah that's one of the reasons why I haven't bought a new car yet. It's been almost a year now since they bought back the Corolla.
 
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Brian-MS90D

Member
May 31, 2017
169
110
Cincinnati, OH
[QUOTE="My first inclination is to get a Model Y but I'm not a huge fan of the higher price combined with the shorter range and worse performance. Also I don't like the bigger wheels and overall larger size."[/QUOTE]

The Y range is better than my '17 S. Based on your driving description, you don't need to worry about range with any Tesla.

I just received my Y yesterday. Performance is better than my '17 S. Based on your description of your experience with ICE vehicle history, any Tesla you buy will feel like a rocket ship.

While Tesla's are not perfect, any BEV is far superior to ICE. Hard to go back to ICE after BEV.
 
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ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,321
7,401
Maine
You could do, but you might want support from the forum during your wait.

There are also a number of BEVs available that would give you the hatchback utility and compact size. Not quite as quick to 60 as your X1,

We didn't get a Tesla because we prefer compact to mid-size, and don't expect much need for fast charging.
We test drove the Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Kona EV and Kia Niro EV and chose from one of those.
Each had their strengths and weaknesses.

Go test drive some BEVs!
 

jsight

Member
Apr 5, 2018
456
258
Charleston
You are asking in a Y forum, so most here will probably say the Y. But you are also coming over from a Corolla. I actually think you'd find the 3 a pretty big upgrade in space from that. From the sound of it, even the SR+ would meet your range needs and save you quite a bit of money.
 

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