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The 1st week with my new Model 3

insaneoctane

Active Member
Apr 6, 2016
3,484
6,161
Southern California
WARNING: THIS IS A VERY LONG POST. I'VE BROKEN IT INTO SECTIONS TO HELP THE READER FIND INFO THAT IS RELEVANT TO THEM. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!

So I’ve had my Model 3 for almost a week (over 500 miles) and wanted to share my initial impressions! For starters, this car is the future. We’ve all seen that expression, but after driving a Tesla this week I agree. I’ll break my experience into a few sections, that way if a particular area of commentary doesn’t interest you, you can skip it. In general, this is a very positive message, so TSLA shorters may want to just move along, unless they want to stick around for a few criticisms…

DELIVERY

My delivery experience was eerily simple and fantastic. After reading about all the horrible experiences people have been having, I was geared up and ready! I had my check-lists and my equipment (USB thumbdrive, flashlights, etc) and I brought the family. Yup, 3 kids (youngest was 11, so it wasn’t Tesla daycare) and the wife; everyone was excited! Even though my delivery was in Santa Monica (technically Marina Del Ray) and I was there on a Saturday, it was strangely empty. My appointment was at 5pm, but I think I was told they are open until 7pm? Either way, I think I was literally the only customer there. With that eerie emptiness came an unstaffed coffee bar. Yes, folks, no barista for me! Silly, but I was bummed out for my wife and kids who would have loved that treatment. After looking at some Tesla swag, within just a few minutes my DS interrupted us and asked if I was ready to see my car. You know this drill, you walk into the “showroom” and see your car for the first time with super dramatic lighting. It was gorgeous. Simply amazing. I don’t need to sell anyone this car here, but super shiny and lit up like a Hollywood movie star my long-awaited Tesla and I were united! I immediately opened the driver’s door and got in. Wow. I’ll skip the play-by-play here and hit the quick summary. The car looked fantastic. I looked over every inch looking for all these terrible gaps and scratches that I read everyone has and found nothing. I almost felt incompetent that I couldn’t find something. So I remedied that and found some black marks in the headliner. Only noticeable because it’s NOT Alcantera ;) The DS had the team clean that up on the spot and it’s gone now….it never even got to exist in a photo. My DS went over just about every inch of how to operate the car. Got my phone sync’d up all my questions answered. Continuing to look for something wrong with this car, I noticed some smudges on the rear break light that were on the inside of the glass and had the team clean that up too. Lastly, I asked the DS if they would mind pulling the aero covers off and install the center caps and lug covers that I brought. Done. Now it’s looking seriously fine. Such a beautiful car. I’m so happy I picked MSM! When I decided I was certainly taking this beautiful siren home tonight and I was out of patience to keep looking for things to be wrong, we went and did the paperwork and they were going to drive the car out and into the parking lot for me. I think the paperwork was 10 minutes (if that) and we were done. The family spent more time playing with the model X and picking out a Tesla baseball cap for me than I did with the paperwork. Telsa was super patient with me, and with the delivery center being a ghost town, I’m sure they were ready to go home. My delivery experience was perfect (sans my barista) and hope I never have to buy anything but Tesla’s from now on ;)


DRIVE HOME

This will be short, but my drive from the delivery center to home is about 45 miles, so it’s not super short. All the kids rode with me (surprise). I had some weird phone/key issues getting into the car in the Tesla parking lot. I wasn’t sure if that was the beginning of problems to come or not. I quickly set the Tesla app to “not optimize” in the Android settings, so that the app could run in the background. More on that later. Totally surprised by the single-pedal technique. I’m sure I was super jerky for most of the ride because if you haven’t re-learned to single pedal drive, you are used to lifting your foot to coast. So every time I meant to coast, I was slowing instead. I under estimated that learning experience! It’s everything people say: quiet, fast, smooth. All the inputs were great. I had autopilot available after about 70% of my drive home and that was the hit of the party home! My initial reaction was giddiness. I had a big smile as I WATCHED THE CAR DRIVE ME! It really was amazing for me since I’ve never been in a Tesla or experienced autopilot before that moment that I witnessed it keep my car in the lane and drive. Seriously amazing experience. 1 week later, I’m no longer drooling all over the place with autopilot (I still love it), more in the EAP section. Super positive experience on the drive home. Wind noise, while present, wasn’t an issue or distraction. Funny story here, my wife texted the kids and told them that she was stopping at Costco for gas on the way home. Our car of kids decided we’d follow because what’s funnier than a Tesla at the gas station! We pulled up behind her, I pumped the gas for her car and the kids took some opportunistic photos of the Tesla at the gas station for their social media blitzes!

PHONE/KEY

Other than one issue in the parking lot, it has performed stellar this week. Maybe it’ll break in the future, but having it work for a week straight really gives me a feeling for the vision of this decision. I know some people are struggling with it and I sympathize with them, but since it just works for me it’s really amazing. I just walk up to the car and touch the handle. It just works. It’s magic. I hope Tesla can give the experience I’m having to everyone soon because it’s plain awesome.

PERFORMANCE/ POWER

While the Tesla Model 3 is crazy fast, I, surprisingly, wasn’t as blown away as I was expecting. This is probably because we have a Fiat 500e in the household and so I’ve already experienced instant torque of an EV. I was always impressed with how much the Fiat could move. The Model 3 definitely has more and it lasts longer, but it wasn’t “ludicrous” for me. I will say this- this car is plenty fast and there is absolutely no justifiable reason to need more speed and power. No doubt some will want more, but it’s totally want vs need here. That all said, it definitely puts a smile on my face and I feel like I’m in a race car.

RADIO/MEDIA

This is my biggest gripe area. This is not against audio quality, which is great- the quality is on-par with my last car which I thought had one of the best stereo’s I’ve ever heard from the factory. The car has TONS of media options (FM HD, slacker, tune-in, phone, USB) and does a good job of making those sources look sexy. If you just listen to music, you’ll love this thing and probably think it perfect. For me, I have very diverse listening tastes. I listen to music (today’s hits, and 80’s and 70’s and 90’s and Y2K, rock, smooth jazz), news, podcasts, and talk radio. I found all these things in the Tesla, but for the life of me can’t find a good way to organize them. You can “heart” them or add them to your favorites, but that is ONE list and it’s a flat list. No way to organize them. That works for someone with 5 favorites, but not so much with someone like me with 50 favorites. I also struggled trying to find certain radio stations. I listen to some local AM talk radio and was told most AM is rebroadcast on the HD FM radio and that’s true…. Problem is that it’s not labeled that way. You have to just keep clicking stations and waiting for it to read the meta-data and then you might have found it. It’s a slow and painful process. Also, once you’re done, you better remember that station because you can’t label it and you won’t know which one it was (ie KOST HD2 might be a AM 1170, but you don’t see that until you’re listening to it). Even if you “heart” it, it will always show as “KOST HD2”. I’m also getting a fair amount of “loading error” messages on certain streaming channels and I don’t know why (I get that a lot on the Tesla daily podcast. I just keep hitting re-load and it eventually works sometimes). In summary, great quality and selection. Terrible organization. Looking forward to an overall via OTA!

ENHANCED AUTO PILOT

So after probably using EAP for about 300 miles I’ve got my 2 cents. It’s a great tool with limitations. I was initially enamored by the fact that the car could drive me! Now I’m starting to critique it’s driving skills. EAP is kind of like a 16 year old driver to me. It knows the basics, but doesn’t have any practical experience yet to shape it’s technique. That’s my biggest complaint is that EAP needs more wisdom and experiential learning. Couple examples. First, I will admit this isn’t the textbook use-case for EAP, but it’s like 25% of my commute, so I’ve been experimenting. When I drive on a 2-laned highway with double yellow to my left and single line to my right, my driving experience influences where I put my car. If there is ample room to the right of the right line (like bike line space, or just “space” before you get to non-pavement) and cars are coming AT me to my left, I tend to NOT drive smack in the middle of that lane. It’s common sense to drivers with experience. Big dangerous head-on collisions are result of mistakes to your left and very little if any consequence on the right. I will stay in my lane (mostly) but I’ll certainly position my car to the right side of the lane in this circumstance. Not EAP. Nope, the 16 year old EAP drive wants to drive CENTER of the lane. Now I’d argue it might be an ok argument if ALL cars on the road were EAP, but they are most certainly NOT. Hence, my propensity to drive a little to the right. Anyway, when EAP is driving this way, it drives me crazy because it’s just not right and we fight over the steering wheel and I win and I drive. You can see the permutation here. Concrete barrier to the right, or seeking smooth pavement. If there is potholes and rough patches that I can avoid be being a little left….I do it. Not EAP. Simply put, EAP needs to kick that neural network into high gear and start learning these subtleties. Every single time I have to override what EAP is doing, I think “how in the world is FSD ever coming if you can’t get this right?” I’m looking forward to EAP ratcheting his/her skill level up several year and not driving like a 16 year old. Having now said all this, I’d like to point out that it still makes for excellent commuting. I let the 16 year old have it. If you’ve ever taught a young person to drive, you might remember how scary it can be because you don’t have the extra brake pedal and steering wheel that my driving instructor had. You can coach, but not really intervene. That is NOT the case with EAP. You have your hands on the wheel and your feed right need to the pedals, so I’m totally ok with letting EAP handle much of my commute and if I briefly take my eyes off the road the radio, I’m much better off than I was before my Tesla. I’m learning what types of situations/roads EAP excels at and which one’s EAP is downright scary with. Again, with the neural net and OTA this should only get better. It should get MUCH better as we approach FSD being viable.

OVERVIEW/SUMMARY

My Tesla buying experience was fantastic. 2 years is a LONG time to wait for a car, but I feel this thing is worth it. While the car isn’t perfect, it’s light years ahead of everything else. When I come to the garage, I smile at the beauty that lies ahead of me. Most of the things that I have issue with are all fixable via OTA! I’m excited about the journey ahead!

RANDOM THOUGHTS

  • LOVE how the app shows me the temp in the car and lets me cool it. FUTURE.
  • Lighting during delivery is VERY poor; found a few more headliner marks once I got it home and could see
  • Brilliant of Tesla to turn the AC/heater on once you touch the door handle. How awesome is that, I don’t even need to crawl into a 150 degree car and start the engine and click buttons…..I just have to push on the handle.
  • Love the ride quality. Firm and positive without being harsh. It does NOT like terrible roads though, you’ll feel those. Complain to your government.
  • Turning radius is better than I read about. It’s no Fiat, but it’s good.
  • Phone placement leaves a lot to be desired. My phone has a fingerprint reader at the bottom (home button), but when docked that button is REALLY hard to get a fingerprint on. Will look into an extension, but there’s not a lot of room above. It’s a good dock if you aren’t going to use your phone, otherwise I’m looking into other options to mount it to the bottom left of the LCD for easier use/view
  • Already used the frunk for food leftovers after dinner that I didn’t want to take away from that new-car smell. Brilliant
  • Love seeing other Tesla’s on the road. Love being in a Tesla. Still feels exclusive. For now.
  • LOVE regen braking and single pedal driving. Has taken longer to gain smoothness, but almost there and I'm really impressed with how powerful the regen is. Without surprises, you barely touch your brakes around 5mph to help get to 0mph quicker. Tesla seriously ought to consider a user selectable option that uses the brakes from 5 to 0 (like EAP and TACC do) so you can TRULY drive with one pedal.
  • If 18” don’t offer enough grip for you, then you’re like a serious racecar driver.
  • I’m averaging about 240 watt/kWh on my commute. Something like 200 watt/kWh in and 280 watt/kWh back. With AC. Speed and elevation kills efficiency
  • I’ve measured my HPWC output (CT taps) vs my car’s input (cURL script to API) and am seeing about 90% charging efficiency
  • I estimate with my 30mpg ICE vehicle, my fuel costs were $2,500 per year vs Tesla using numbers above is < $700. I’ve had approximately $500/yr credit from solar over-production. Because of my unique scenario, my net fuel costs should go to <$200.
  • My insurance will be $17/month higher than a 2018 Nissan Altima with identical coverage (which is very high limits)

MY TESLA MODEL 3 DELIVERY DATES

  • 3/31/2016 Reserved in-store, in line
  • 3/22/2018 Configured
  • 4/15/2018 Received VIN (14,XXX)
  • 4/30/2018 ISA first contact
  • 5/5/2018 Delivered!


IMG_20180505_174327.jpg
 
Last edited:

SomeJoe7777

Marginally-Known Member
Mar 28, 2015
2,175
5,610
Houston, TX
Phone placement leaves a lot to be desired. My phone has a fingerprint reader at the bottom (home button), but when docked that button is REALLY hard to get a fingerprint on. Will look into an extension, but there’s not a lot of room above. It’s a good dock if you aren’t going to use your phone, otherwise I’m looking into other options to mount it to the bottom left of the LCD for easier use/view

Look for an option in your phone to auto-unlock it when it detects that it's connected to the car's BlueTooth. Android 8 on my Samsung Galaxy S8+ calls this "Smart Lock". I activated this because my phone has the fingerprint reader (which is used to unlock it) on the back, so it's completely inaccessible when docked in the car. But with the Smart Lock, it auto-unlocks as soon as it connects to the car's BlueTooth so the fingerprint reader is not required.
 

Unpilot

Sell order in at $5999.99
Dec 2, 2017
4,765
36,486
A Coast
Nice write up thanks! I got the chance to sit in and drive a model 3 the other day.
Comparing it to my MS I was pleasantly surprised.
The car of the future for sure.
 
Last edited:

cab

Active Member
Sep 5, 2013
1,032
719
Grapevine, TX
Nice write-up. Sadly the AP description and audio system software complaints sound like the same stuff we were all reading 3 years ago on the Model S..and everyone assumed we were just an over the air update away from things getting better...just saying.
 
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Reactions: insaneoctane

Blu Angel

Member
Oct 7, 2016
280
259
Mississauga, ON, Canada
So I’ve had my Model 3 for almost a week (over 500 miles)..... this car is the future.

DELIVERY
My delivery experience was eerily simple and fantastic.

My Tesla buying experience was fantastic. 2 years is a LONG time to wait for a car, but I feel this thing is worth it. While the car isn’t perfect, it’s light years ahead of everything else.

insaneoctane,
Thx for a wonderful,well-thought and detailed description of your Tesla 3 ownership experience.
 

insaneoctane

Active Member
Apr 6, 2016
3,484
6,161
Southern California
Look for an option in your phone to auto-unlock it when it detects that it's connected to the car's BlueTooth. Android 8 on my Samsung Galaxy S8+ calls this "Smart Lock". I activated this because my phone has the fingerprint reader (which is used to unlock it) on the back, so it's completely inaccessible when docked in the car. But with the Smart Lock, it auto-unlocks as soon as it connects to the car's BlueTooth so the fingerprint reader is not required.
Admittedly, I considered this.... Am I crazy to be concerned that it makes it too easy to steal my phone and then you get my car and an unlocked phone? I haven't given up on this option, but I am thinking through the potential liabilities ...
 

mhan00

Active Member
Oct 13, 2014
1,062
1,280
Southern California
Re: your regen and mechanical brake suggestion

It’s a good one, and one that cars like the Bolt and i3 and maybe the new Leaf currently use, iirc. Hopefully Tesla implements a similar solution. I’d also like them to make shifting to neutral while driving easier. When I had my Leaf, flicking up on the shifter to the reverse “gear” would shift the Leaf into neutral so I could coast when I wanted to and then flick down on the shifter to the drive “gear” to go back into drive and re-engage the regen to slow down. Really useful when approaching traffic or a red light/stop sign since it let me do so without having to feather the accelerator and engage regen when appropriate.
 

Remus

Active Member
Apr 14, 2016
1,381
6,326
California
Admittedly, I considered this.... Am I crazy to be concerned that it makes it too easy to steal my phone and then you get my car and an unlocked phone? I haven't given up on this option, but I am thinking through the potential liabilities ...
Anything that discourages you from playing your phone while driving is a good thing.

And you can setup hey Google to wake your phone with your voice, read your text messages, place phone calls etc.

What else do you want to do while driving? Pull over! Seriously!
 
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novox77

1.21 Gigawatts
Nov 25, 2017
1,638
3,544
NH, MA
I quickly set the Tesla app to “not optimize” in the Android settings, so that the app could run in the background.

I didn't think much of this when I read it, but I decided to give it a try. It's only been a day, but so far, the BLE connection with the car has worked every time I've gotten in the car. If this holds up for another day, I'm going to feel pretty confident this can fix a lot of flagship Android devices.... Fingers crossed.
 

SomeJoe7777

Marginally-Known Member
Mar 28, 2015
2,175
5,610
Houston, TX
Admittedly, I considered this.... Am I crazy to be concerned that it makes it too easy to steal my phone and then you get my car and an unlocked phone? I haven't given up on this option, but I am thinking through the potential liabilities ...

In terms of security, the phone has to be treated just like you would treat any other set of car keys. If someone steals the phone, then yes, they can steal the car. And with this option turned on, then yes, they now have an unlocked phone as well.

On my phone, I use the security package Lookout. It's an anti-malware and security package that also has some neat security features. One of those is remote wipe. If someone steals my phone, I can log onto the Lookout web site and remotely wipe the phone, destroying all data. This is my plan should my phone ever be stolen. That will prevent them from getting into the phone, prevent them from getting my data, and also prevent stealing the car since the phone-as-key function will also be gone.

I do not know if there is an equivalent security package for iPhone that has this feature.
 

sooner

Member
Aug 19, 2016
222
225
Ohio
How long is your commute?
$2700 a year on fuel is quite a bit. I fill up once every 6 days, at about 36 bucks a pop, and still am about $400 below you. My TDI gets 45 or so MPG and holds 14 gallons.
Is this going to be your commuter car? And based on your commute length, you might start really racking up the miles.
 

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