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  • The final cut of TMC Podcast #21 is available now. We covered the recent wide release of FSD Beta and shared our experiences. We also discussed the best times to charge and Tesla's official CCS adapter. You can watch it on YouTube.

Thinking of getting the Model 3

What's the price on the "Stealth"? Is it a standard SKU now? Where can I see the specs?

Y'all (welcome!) emigrants from the ICE Toad and Torque market seem to forget that, unlike traditional performance barbie bait, Teslas don't sell with a ton of "trim" options. Personally, I'd get a Stealth and customize it after driving it for a while. Because the bells and whistles of the Performance "trim" are one-size-fits all and the dollar delta is probably better spent on third party more personal choices. Red brake calipers and "performance pedals" aren't high value items, e.g. my equivalent aluminum pedals cost around $10.

With the center of gravity so low because of the massive battery these cars handle differently. And FWIW 18" wheels offer better energy transfer and tire choices. And with the battery being such a critical part of the car and its price, taking any chance on bottoming on it seems unwise.

But whatever you may think now, if you have the privilege and joy to go with the most advanced EV on planet Earth, please don't get half a Tesla. If you're getting the best, don't sell yourself short. Get the full package, whether Stealth or Performance, and finance it with the complete FSD automation.

There's a misconception about "FSD" that goes something like this: "when they ship Full Self Driving I can evaluate it, and add it if it's any good". But here's the deal. It's already darned good, and they will never ship a "Full Self Driving" SKU. Because there's no end-point. It will be an AI work in progress for years. And at every OTA update they will add more amazing features, while the regulators get in the way - to help the competitors try to catch up. Well, they won't catch up. And right now, once you learn how best to use it, you can have both a monster machine that handles like a mofo, say an updated turbo Porsche 928, AND in NOA w/ Mad Max mode the monster takes you from your Freeway entrance to your Freeway exit as much by itself as you choose. It's not either/or, it's a whole additional mode, and not having that (and all the coming developments) would be, to use an analogy, like only getting it with a 3 speed manual transmission, when you could have had selective 5 speed/4WD/Auto. By the time you realize that, and you see others loving and raging their Model 3s through all its different modes, you'll be digging up even more cash because - trust me - you WILL want it too.

I just had a fun drive in the rain tonight, running version 2019.36.2.3. It's great when you can say "Navigate home", and it lays out the map, and you crank up the speed limiter to 75 (or 80) MPH, and you can sit back and watch the traffic ballet and how the Tesla weaves in and out to pick the best lane, accelerating like a mofo when it's clear, and being cool when it's not. Your choice, you've got it ALL, you can drop into manual any time. It's a mood and context thing. Personally, I save that for "late for a meeting" thrill, or construction zones. There was one cone city tonight that was fun to take over on - but the rest of the route was more fun to co-pilot on, watch the dance, keep a finger on the wheel, lean back into the comfy seat, mess with the music and drip tasty Havana liquid into my vape. Why would anyone not want it all? It's just so cool. See what I'm sayin' and why I'm taking the time to keep y'all from that half a Tesla buyer's remorse?
.
 
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For me, the only useful feature of FSD is the ability to signal a lane change instead of disconnecting the cruise control and having to do it manually. Now that being said, It isnt worth $6k or $7k just for me to be able to do auto lane change. It just doesnt have enough features that are useful to me at this point and when it does, I have no idea if i will still have this car. If i do, then i have the option to purchase the FSD add on, if not, then itll be added to the next vehicle purchase.
 
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For me, the only useful feature of FSD is the ability to signal a lane change instead of disconnecting the cruise control and having to do it manually. Now that being said, It isnt worth $6k or $7k just for me to be able to do auto lane change. It just doesnt have enough features that are useful to me at this point and when it does, I have no idea if i will still have this car. If i do, then i have the option to purchase the FSD add on, if not, then itll be added to the next vehicle purchase.
The only useful feature of FSD for us is AutoPark, and it only works about 50% of the time because it sporadically recognizes parking spaces despite us slowly rolling past a spaces in anticipation of the grey "P". More often than not, we end up parallel parking the car ourselves.

I would not purchase FSD again in its present configuration and usability.
 
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What's the price on the "Stealth"? Is it a standard SKU now? Where can I see the specs?

Y'all (welcome!) emigrants from the ICE Toad and Torque market seem to forget that, unlike traditional performance barbie bait, Teslas don't sell with a ton of "trim" options. Personally, I'd get a Stealth and customize it after driving it for a while. Because the bells and whistles of the Performance "trim" are one-size-fits all and the dollar delta is probably better spent on third party more personal choices. Red brake calipers and "performance pedals" aren't high value items, e.g. my equivalent aluminum pedals cost around $10.

With the center of gravity so low because of the massive battery these cars handle differently. And FWIW 18" wheels offer better energy transfer and tire choices. And with the battery being such a critical part of the car and its price, taking any chance on bottoming on it seems unwise.

But whatever you may think now, if you have the privilege and joy to go with the most advanced EV on planet Earth, please don't get half a Tesla. If you're getting the best, don't sell yourself short. Get the full package, whether Stealth or Performance, and finance it with the complete FSD automation.

There's a misconception about "FSD" that goes something like this: "when they ship Full Self Driving I can evaluate it, and add it if it's any good". But here's the deal. It's already darned good, and they will never ship a "Full Self Driving" SKU. Because there's no end-point. It will be an AI work in progress for years. And at every OTA update they will add more amazing features, while the regulators get in the way - to help the competitors try to catch up. Well, they won't catch up. And right now, once you learn how best to use it, you can have both a monster machine that handles like a mofo, say an updated turbo Porsche 928, AND in NOA w/ Mad Max mode the monster takes you from your Freeway entrance to your Freeway exit as much by itself as you choose. It's not either/or, it's a whole additional mode, and not having that (and all the coming developments) would be, to use an analogy, like only getting it with a 3 speed manual transmission, when you could have had selective 5 speed/4WD/Auto. By the time you realize that, and you see others loving and raging their Model 3s through all its different modes, you'll be digging up even more cash because - trust me - you WILL want it too.

I just had a fun drive in the rain tonight, running version 2019.36.2.3. It's great when you can say "Navigate home", and it lays out the map, and you crank up the speed limiter to 75 (or 80) MPH, and you can sit back and watch the traffic ballet and how the Tesla weaves in and out to pick the best lane, accelerating like a mofo when it's clear, and being cool when it's not. Your choice, you've got it ALL, you can drop into manual any time. It's a mood and context thing. Personally, I save that for "late for a meeting" thrill, or construction zones. There was one cone city tonight that was fun to take over on - but the rest of the route was more fun to co-pilot on, watch the dance, keep a finger on the wheel, lean back into the comfy seat, mess with the music and drip tasty Havana liquid into my vape. Why would anyone not want it all? It's just so cool. See what I'm sayin' and why I'm taking the time to keep y'all from that half a Tesla buyer's remorse?
.

From my understanding, the Stealth is basically a LR AWD with the performance software that gives you the same 0-60 as Performance. it’s an additional $2000 over the regular LR AWD.

I don’t think the FSD is worth $7k for me. I never even used cruise control when my ICE cars. In NYC, people drive like maniac, and its nerve wracking to rely on a computer to drive my car.
 
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Thanks.

Currently the automation is not useful in maniac street driving. But for freeways it's phenomenal. It did take me weeks, literally, to get the hang of it, adjusting parameters and working it into how I drive. Before that my initial reaction was between doubt, and fear, so I can understand the rejectors, but I persisted and now I wouldn't give it up for anything.
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I bought the P3D and I love it. I like to drive faster than Batman.

I live in Los Angeles, we have crappy roads but you get used to being careful when necessary and mashing the pedal when you know the roads.

Nothing like accelerating from 0 to warp 1 on a freeway on ramp and already being at highway speed when you actually arrive at the highway.
 
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So, I made a visit to Tesla Center to check out the Model 3 again and also talk to the SA about the stealth model. I was ready to make the make deposit. Wife tagged along as well. We sat inside the Model 3, and sadly, we both agreed that while it feels airy with glass roof, it felt cramped, especially with 2 toddlers. I think it was the roof line design, the slopy A-pillar and C-pillar. My Civic Type R surprisingly was roomier. When I sat in the back, above my head is the rear glass, as opposed to the normal design where the rear glass is behind you. I think we're both are also accustomed to the roominess of the X3. 1st thing my wife did when she walked in (this is her first time) is sit in the back seat of the Model X and took out her phone to check out the price of the Model X LOL. I looked at her and was like "I don't think that's what we're here for :)". So I will hold off for now and wait for the Model Y.
 
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N54TT

Active Member
Aug 14, 2018
1,052
896
NY
So, I made a visit to Tesla Center to check out the Model 3 again and also talk to the SA about the stealth model. I was ready to make the make deposit. Wife tagged along as well. We sat inside the Model 3, and sadly, we both agreed that while it feels airy with glass roof, it felt cramped, especially with 2 toddlers. I think it was the roof line design, the slopy A-pillar and C-pillar. My Civic Type R surprisingly was roomier. When I sat in the back, above my head is the rear glass, as opposed to the normal design where the rear glass is behind you. I think we're both are also accustomed to the roominess of the X3. 1st thing my wife did when she walked in (this is her first time) is sit in the back seat of the Model X and took out her phone to check out the price of the Model X LOL. I looked at her and was like "I don't think that's what we're here for :)". So I'll hold off on hoping

That’s interesting. Looked up the rear dimensions...and seem pretty comparable with the model 3 having a decent more hip room and a little more head room, but less leg room. I feel it’s a bit more roomy than my 335. I did a NY-Chicago road trip this past summer with my wife, 9 and 13 yr old....only complaints my girls had were issues fighting over the center armrest lol. Had 3 full sized adults in the back with no complaints either. Model y might be better for you...or if the wife okays it get the x to replace the x3 and keep the civic. I’d take a test drive with the whole family if you didn’t already. Had my wife sit in the back with the girls also to see how they felt.
 
I'm sure it's manageable with the Model 3. 20, 30 years ago, when SUV wasn't a "thing", and cars were smaller, people were fine with fitting their entire family in a sedan. My aunt and uncle had 2 kids, and they were perfectly fine with a 92 Honda Civic back in the 90's LOL. We're just being spoiled by the space of the X3. Another convenient thing about SUV/CUV is that when you have smaller kids, it's so much easier to put them in the child seats. You don't have to bend down and not having their head banging against the window every time you try to put them in the child seats. I think the Model Y is a better fit for me even the wait is killing me. However, maybe it will work out better for me. 1,2 years later, as I'm making payments for the type R, I can keep my type R and get the Model Y :p.
 

CharleyBC

Active Member
Jun 28, 2019
1,580
1,805
Talent, OR
Also, I love driving manual and afraid that I would regret by trading in my...
Fellow manual guy here. It’s about the more direct connection with the power. No torque converter slushing around. Access to the most torque the engine can deliver. I get your hesitation on this point.

I have two words for you:
  • Do
  • It
The responsive power in this car is unlike any stick I ever drove. It becomes an extension of your will. You think, it delivers.

Did I mention do it?
 
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