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Talk me into or out of Model 3 Purchase (mostly range anxiety)

Which car is best for me

  • Model 3 SR+

    Votes: 25 37.3%
  • Wait for a Model 3 LR

    Votes: 38 56.7%
  • Kia Niro EV

    Votes: 3 4.5%
  • Wait a year and pay off the Acura first! EV pricing will go when rebates expire.

    Votes: 1 1.5%

  • Total voters
    67

mreynolds767

Member
Jul 11, 2019
728
392
Boston
If you're driving 30k miles per year, this comparison gets even easier. The gas savings (especially over premium!) should be huge. Rough math at $3.50/gal premium, 30 mpg, and 250 Wh/mi at $0.15/kWh says over $2,000 per year in fuel savings.



FWIW, this is me. We got the 3 last year. Took it on a road trip (2500 miles to North Dakota, family of 4, car seats, backpacks, multiple suitcases, etc--all fit no problem).

My wife, uhh, liked it. So the plan was to replace her XC90 with the Y.

Then the X Raven refresh came, bringing that vehicle to the same range as the 3 LR RWD. And they made AP standard, and lowered the base price.

She now drives an X. So beware. The 3 can be a gateway drug. Granted, Colorado rebates sure help a lot, as did the full federal tax credit for the 3 and half for the X.



If you just use it for highway lane keeping, it's extremely solid and is a godsend in heavy traffic.
Energy costs for me is $.23 here so that cuts into the savings a bit but should easily save $100-150 per month at the pump plus a few oil changes each year not to mention the joy and time added of never stopping at a gas station

I think I would love the AP features personally suspect my wife will be a harder sell on them but will enjoy driving the car itself. Her previous car was a bmw 328xi manual and is now a 2018 X3 SUV and I know she misses the handling of the sedan
 
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dmurphy

Woof.
Dec 7, 2018
3,463
4,671
New Jersey - Morris County
We're trying to figure out what the price is without AP, and if that's even possible. I do think that is absolutely the best bet if people can afford it. That larger battery comes with faster charging too, so instead of 20 minutes at a supercharger you might only spend 15 minutes there and because of the extra range it might be 10 minutes. That really does get down to the time frame of stretch your legs and get a drink/bathroom break. Do we have any data on lead times for the Long Range RWD? I assume a store can't/won't just software limit an AWD down to just RWD, right?

No, not possible to just shut off the second motor in software.

Building an LR RWD shouldn’t be ridiculously long, but it’s hard to predict what that’ll be. I can tell you I don’t see any in inventory around the US, so it’d have to come from the factory.

Range anxiety will completely go away about 2 weeks after you buy this thing - your distance is such that it won’t even be a blip on your radar.
 

Big Earl

bnkwupt
Jul 12, 2017
5,176
9,328
Springfield, VA
Energy costs for me is $.23 here so that cuts into the savings a bit but should easily save $100-150 per month at the pump plus a few oil changes each year not to mention the joy and time added of never stopping at a gas station

I think I would love the AP features personally suspect my wife will be a harder sell on them but will enjoy driving the car itself. Her previous car was a bmw 328xi manual and is now a 2018 X3 SUV and I know she misses the handling of the sedan

She’s going to steal your Model 3 and you’ll end up getting a second Tesla. Just so it’s on your budget radar... ;)
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,228
6,730
Canyon Lake,CA
Couple things OP might not have considered. The driver has significant control over their range.

If your on board computer calculates that you are not going to have the buffer you selected when arriving at your destination, it will notify you on your display that you will need to slow down to make it with buffer. If you slow down, that warning will go away and you can watch, in real time, the amount of your buffer grow. So on a horrible day, with high oncoming winds both ways, the heat turned up to toasty and cruising at extra legal speeds following the fastest car you can, you will still have options to get safely to your destination. Other options will be to stop at a destination charger along the way to get just enough juice to get you home.

In addition, you should consider the net cost of your purchase, not just the initial price. A larger battery will bring you some of your money back when it comes time to sell.

You can drive yourself crazy, trying to consider any eventuality, but that is just how some people are wired. It will mostly come down to ordering the best deal, and figuring out the range on edge days, or spending the additional money to get the larger battery for greater range and faster charging.

Bet you could get by with the SR+ and enjoy the savings, but from time to time you will of course wish you had gotten the upgraded model.
 

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,458
3,147
Maine
Traffic around Boston is fast. I would say a SR+ in winter could be tight if you use heat and drive fast. The Kia Niro might be a better choice, if you can't get a LR, off-menu. Can you get the Niro EV outside of Cali?
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
6,013
4,627
MA, NH
I have preconditioned the car lots of times at home (240V 33 amps). I can't see how 24 amps at 240 would change that much. The only time there is an issue is if you are using 120V. Then in very cold weather there isn't enough to do any charging, it will just keep the battery warm. Note that there are two facets of preconditioning. One is to set the charge timer to end at about the same time that you are starting to drive (this warms the battery), the other is to run the heater. In very cold weather you might want to run it for 30-45 minutes on HI so that the car is heat soaked. Depending upon how far you are driving (up to 50 km) and the temperature (-3 and warmer), you may not need to run the heater at all. Also the seat heater takes much less energy so you can set the temperature lower and use the seat and steering wheel heaters.

Charging on Level 2 does so little for warming battery. Preheating the cabin will extend you a few miles, but not a whole lot. When it’s really cold out driving at 80 mph, a preheated cabin it evaporate in 5 minutes. It needs continuous heat, that’s why heat is so expensive. It doesn’t retain it very well. If the car was better insulated then that would be a different story.
 
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mreynolds767

Member
Jul 11, 2019
728
392
Boston
Traffic around Boston is fast. I would say a SR+ in winter could be tight if you use heat and drive fast. The Kia Niro might be a better choice, if you can't get a LR, off-menu. Can you get the Niro EV outside of Cali?

Niro EV is sold in a handful of states, MA is one of them
Thought they were tough to get but around me each of the 3 Kia dealers have a couple in stock

While I do like it, drives great and think they did the regen perfectly with the paddle shifters ; there is something about it being a $20k car you are paying double for because it has a battery
The Tesla model 3 does not feel like it would cost $20k if gas powered
 
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SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
8,962
9,592
SF Bay Area
I did check and there are multiple Charging Stations along the drive (like one every 10 miles or so) ; non are Telsa ; but one is a Telsa showroom where they have super chargers ; I imagine I can pay to use them like any other Tesla Super Charging station.

Would not need Sentry mode active at work or at home.

Don’t count on showrooms having superchargers available for owners. They are used for test drive cars and if a service station attached, for service or loaners. If the location is a delivery location then they will be using to charge new owner cars for delivery.
 

mreynolds767

Member
Jul 11, 2019
728
392
Boston
Don’t count on showrooms having superchargers available for owners. They are used for test drive cars and if a service station attached, for service or loaners. If the location is a delivery location then they will be using to charge new owner cars for delivery.

It could be a busy center for the exact reasons you mention so hard to find a free bay but believe it is available for other owners use as I read some posts on this website from an owner in Dedham, MA that seems to use it frequently.
I have only been there once so not sure but maybe someone else from MA will comment
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
8,962
9,592
SF Bay Area
From everything I’ve read the cars do not come with snow tires. In fact people had trouble finding them in time for delivery if they didn’t order ahead of time. The car was new back then so don’t know how availability will be this winter.
 

Zaxxon

Supporting Member
Dec 11, 2012
4,652
21,412
Colorado
From everything I’ve read the cars do not come with snow tires. In fact people had trouble finding them in time for delivery if they didn’t order ahead of time. The car was new back then so don’t know how availability will be this winter.

Last year, I ordered the aero winter wheel/tire package from Tesla in September. 2 months later they had no idea when it'd ship. I cancelled, bought a near-new set of wheels from a local owner who had gone third-party, and I got winter tires (Michelin X-Ice) from Discount Tire. Even they had to ship in a set of tires from Michigan (I'm in Colorado).

Moral is if you want a winter set, order it early. There are a lot of 3s out there.
 

jebinc

M3 LR AWD w/FSD and white premium interior
Jun 19, 2019
3,407
1,684
Seattle area
Don’t count on showrooms having superchargers available for owners. They are used for test drive cars and if a service station attached, for service or loaners. If the location is a delivery location then they will be using to charge new owner cars for delivery.

I would add, “Don’t count on showrooms even being around, long term - given Tesla’s desire to close them...”
 

mreynolds767

Member
Jul 11, 2019
728
392
Boston
I would add, “Don’t count on showrooms even being around, long term - given Tesla’s desire to close them...”
True that

I feel bad if they do as the Dedham, MA location is very busy and the sales staff there is quite knowledgeable.
It is also the area service center so probably they keep the chargers either way (hopefully)
Is a major highway exchange area so a sensible place to have a SC location.

They probably close either Dedham or Boston Back Bay sales location, the 2 are not far apart now though Boston Back Bay terribly inconvenient for anyone that does not live in the city.
The sales office in Hingham, MA closer to me closed but they never had service there
 

SoCalDriver

Member
Apr 30, 2019
72
79
San Diego
Get the LR RWD! Love mine, I drive it everywhere and never worry about range. Plug it in when I get home and leave the house the next morning with a “full tank.”

You will never regret buying more range but you will likely wish you had got more if you don’t...
 
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jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
19,623
22,228
Texas
Charging on Level 2 does so little for warming battery. Preheating the cabin will extend you a few miles, but not a whole lot. When it’s really cold out driving at 80 mph, a preheated cabin it evaporate in 5 minutes. It needs continuous heat, that’s why heat is so expensive. It doesn’t retain it very well. If the car was better insulated then that would be a different story.
If you have the optional screens, you can put foam on them (either between the screen and the glass, or attached to the screen with velcro) which will make a big difference.
 

zyzz

Member
May 31, 2019
113
78
bay area
Im in the Bay Area, the theoretically most Tesla friendly place, and I would not recommend the Sr+ for anyone with a 50+ mile commute

At the rated 240 range, it’s recommended you charge to 80% and drain to 20% for daily usage. Boom, now you’re down to 190 miles of usable range. 140 to account for the 20% state of charge you’ll want to keep it above

Of that 140 miles available to you, you’ll probably actually get about 100-120 miles based on your driving conditions, weather, load

If you’re ok with driving about 120 miles before having to charge, then go for it. The sr+ is good for those that have short commutes, imo
 

mreynolds767

Member
Jul 11, 2019
728
392
Boston
Im in the Bay Area, the theoretically most Tesla friendly place, and I would not recommend the Sr+ for anyone with a 50+ mile commute

At the rated 240 range, it’s recommended you charge to 80% and drain to 20% for daily usage. Boom, now you’re down to 190 miles of usable range. 140 to account for the 20% state of charge you’ll want to keep it above

Of that 140 miles available to you, you’ll probably actually get about 100-120 miles based on your driving conditions, weather, load

If you’re ok with driving about 120 miles before having to charge, then go for it. The sr+ is good for those that have short commutes, imo

Fairly set on getting the LR RWD model ; so could say mind is made up ; at least for now. Just have to decide what color and when I will hit the Buy It Now button ; depending on the time it will take to make it (which I don't have the answer to).
 
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acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,431
1,495
Richland, WA
Fairly set on getting the LR RWD model ; so could say mind is made up ; at least for now. Just have to decide what color and when I will hit the Buy It Now button ; depending on the time it will take to make it (which I don't have the answer to).

Any word back from your sales guy on if AP can be disabled for a cost savings? Or any other new info?
 

Dgmcginty

Member
May 20, 2019
8
3
32901
I would like to think a car rated at 240 miles range could make a drive of 125 miles in every condition now and in 5 years but reading into it more, maybe that is not a safe assumption?

I have been wanting to go All Electric for a little while and love the look of the Model 3.
Was one of those that paid a $1000 deposit awhile back but then cancelled it as the wait extended and my financial situation added more bills so I was not ready for a car change.
I now do plan on getting a new car in less than 1 year's time and did test drive one recently.
The new ordering options leave me in a bit of bind though, I think I would be content as far as options, performance, price on the SR+ model but fear the range will be a problem for me.
The next step up range wise may more car than I really need or can afford at this time in the LR AWD ; it also does not quality for the EV rebate in the state of MA ; which the lesser model 3's would so makes the price difference more pronounced.

I did not think they would remove the mid-range and long range RWD options, but they did.
I also am not very happy they removed EAP and replaced with AP but then very expensive to add the features EAP had.
One thing I wanted as far as that goes is the lane change ability paired with adaptive cruise control for highway driving so not happy with that change. Based on the current option I would pay for AP (no choice anyway) but not the extra for Self Drive capability.

Prefer the 18" wheels and was going to get a new set of rims and Winter Tires. Using the Aero rims on the winter tires for best range then and then the nicer looking rims on the all seasons rest of the year.

In MA, we pay quite high rates for electricity so my savings will be less than in other parts of the US and our provider Eversource does not offer any discounted off peak hour rates. I did call them to confirm that ; despite this I still think I can get my monthly gas expenses in half compared to my current premium gas SUV.

Range concern:
I drive a few days a week a 125 mile R/T commute. Involves dropping my daughter off at one location, then driving into the office and later back home. Not every day do I need it but frequently I do. I cannot charge at work where the car would sit outside in a parking lot. I would get Level 2 Charging and 240 Volt at home and charge nightly inside my garage.

There is a Super Charger location about 5 miles from my house but in the opposite direction so could be a fallback if I have a home power outage situation or other emergency but does not help with the above commute I mentioned.

There are not any Tesla Super Chargers on my route ; but a couple are around if I went out of the way 15 miles or so.
Needing to stop at one of these to make it to work would defeat the purpose of me switching my ICE car for an Electric one though. If something I needed to do twice a year that might be OK.

As a family we own another car, SUV ICE which my wife drives don't realty require the Model 3 to do more than the commute.

The range for my commute scares me though, no plans on changing homes or jobs so have to be confident the car can always make the 125 mile trip when new and 5 years down the line as well. The drive is 90% highway.
With only a 50 / 52 or 54 size battery (depending on who you believe) I am not sure I can be.
We do get days of cold and winter weather, the snow tires may get worse range as would my use of heat in the car.

I normally drive reasonably fast, 78 - 80 MPH which is common highway speed here for much of the drive.
I think I could be fine lowering that to 70 with the aid of the Adaptive Cruise Control but don't wish to become a drive on the highway at 55 to save money type of guy ever.

The MA rebate is ending Sept 2019 so would need to order a SR+ soon to take advantage of them plus would get the Federal $1875 credit.
My current car (Acura SUV / premium gas) is a loan which is at a breakeven value at next payment/month of what I owe and what Tesla will give me for the car. I suspect I couldget a couple of thousand extra if I successfully sold it privately but don't think I want to go down that route.

So, anyway if I buy next month it would be a SR+ and would take out a new car loan with as little down as the bank allows me to and still get a reasonable interest rate ; hopefully nothing other than the $2500 I would pay to start the process.

My monthly payments would be about the same, I would save on gas and would cost less than my now off warranty Acura does to maintain. Can use the MA rebate to pay for the home charger and wiring install and then federal credit to cover the cost of the winter tires and extra rims.

The alternative would be to lose out on the MA rebate, wait until late Q4. Hope Tesla either offers incentives then or brings back one of the longer range RWD models by that time. If not go with the Dual Motor AWD LR current option but by that time my trade in will have some positive trade in value which I can use toward a deposit on top of my $2500.
Puts me in a less comfortable financial position though in terms of monthly payment and there is mentally just a big difference between buying a $40ishK car and one over $50K ; not sure why but feels like a barrier and one my wife will not be happy about either. It does give me more range though so I don't have to worry about that concern.
I prefer most the LR RWD model with the 325 mile range for $4K less than AWD personally.

My last option is to go with a car I like less but given the Federal $7500 credit may be a better value for my situation in the Kia Niro EV ; while the stated EPA range is similar to the SR+ ; the battery is much larger and with a separate heat pump ; I think that vehicle can handle the 125 mile round trip without the same fear.
If I went that route before Sept cutoff I could get both MA $1500 and Federal $7500.00
I don't like the look of any other Electric Car under $50K so it is between the Tesla 3 and the Kia Niro EV at this time.
While I like the way that car looks and drives, I don't love it; it is no Tesla and the electronics inside are a world apart
 

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