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Three weeks of driving a Peugeot 208 GT (ICE); what do I miss now I have my Tesla back?

Zigway

Member
Jun 27, 2020
29
20
Gloucestershire, UK
My Model 3 company car was having some warranty work and minor bodywork repair done and my company provided a Peugeot 208 GT (petrol) hire car for three weeks (was originally only going to be a few days, but apparently certain suspension bolts are incredibly rare in Tesla's universe). It was interesting driving a manual ICE car again for the first time in over a year, and in some ways quite fun having a small and peppy 'hot hatch' (at least for the first few days, reminded me of my old mini), but the price of putting petrol in it was frightening over 1200 miles in total, even at 45mpg average.

Therefore very pleased to get my Model 3 back, surely there would be nothing I would miss from a small French hatchback? Surprisingly I found my experience really showed how much work Tesla need to do to catch up with mainstream manufacturers in the usual areas, and I really miss some basic functionality of the 208:

1) auto-high beam switching for headlights; the 208 just worked, quickly and reliably. Tesla's is laughable in comparison, frequently confused into prematurely dipping by road signs, chevron signs, parked cars, random road furniture, etc., all while being slow to actually dip for oncoming cars and turning main beams back on in many cases.

2) self-levelling LED headlights; the 208 adjusts it's height automatically, exactly as my old Passat did, and every one of my previous cars in last 20 years allowed easy manual adjustment. It drives me crazy that Tesla doesn't do this, how did they manage to homologate a car with LED headlights without this? And no, being able to individually adjust each headlight via settings does not count as 'easy manual adjustment', nor does entering the adjustment menu and seeing the car (maybe?) attempt to adjust itself by winding lights slowly up and down before picking a level that's just as bad as previously.

3) auto-wipers; the 208's were extremely good even though you need to flick the stalk down to first activate them. After that, they seemed excellent in all conditions, including light drizzle and night-time, which the Tesla really struggles with.

4) Apple CarPlay; ahhh, the joy of being able to seamlessly continue podcasts and music from my phone when getting into the car. Something we will never see in the Tesla world, back to trying to work phone via Bluetooth and Siri or using unlinked apps in the Tesla.

5) properly comfortable and supportive front seats; 208's did become a little firm underneath on a long trip, but the back and side bolster support and comfort was great compared to Tesla, and no complaints from my wife either (she really dislikes the Tesla front seats). How come Tesla can't work out how to make seats as good as the rest of the car?

Rant over, I feel a bit better. Obviously I'm glad to have my Tesla back, it's a phenomenal car, but does make me think about what I will replace it with in a few years time if they can't get these basic things right (and if superchargers become clogged with all the non-Tesla's out there...).
 

Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
3,715
2,712
Bath, UK
Auto wipers on Teslas being the way they are will always mystify me. Rain sensors are inexpensive, and it is a technology that is refined and just works. I hate to think how much R&D man hours and ongoing CPU cycles have gone into approximating what a nominally costed part does flawlessly, but it’s not been a success. Even if Tesla’s AI version actually did work, and achieve parity with a simple sensor (which it doesn’t), why do it???

Auto headlights? For a car that is lauded as having class leading autonomous technology, and several cameras, the fact it can’t see distant rear lights, or ambient light changes, or even oncoming cars before it becomes excruciating, is just a disaster. Auto headlights on the 3 are not fit for purpose. My 2013 Audi did this almost flawlessly.

I agree about the seats. They are comfortable (to me), but that’s about it. And it is irritating to me that the Performance model comes with the same ones. Given what else it’s got to lead one to suspect it is intended to be driven enthusiastically, the zero support you get in them is disappointing.

Apple CarPlay - mehhh. I don’t like the idea of Tesla getting into bed with Apple, or Google for that matter, and having them impose their UX on us. And I say that as someone who has an several Apple devices and enjoys the connected ecosystem. I imagine the licensing costs for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not inconsequential too.

Good, balanced review though.
 

Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
3,216
3,284
Shropshire
Auto wipers on Teslas being the way they are will always mystify me. Rain sensors are inexpensive, and it is a technology that is refined and just works. I hate to think how much R&D man hours and ongoing CPU cycles have gone into approximating what a nominally costed part does flawlessly, but it’s not been a success. Even if Tesla’s AI version actually did work, and achieve parity with a simple sensor (which it doesn’t), why do it???

Auto headlights? For a car that is lauded as having class leading autonomous technology, and several cameras, the fact it can’t see distant rear lights, or ambient light changes, or even oncoming cars before it becomes excruciating, is just a disaster. Auto headlights on the 3 are not fit for purpose. My 2013 Audi did this almost flawlessly.

I agree about the seats. They are comfortable (to me), but that’s about it. And it is irritating to me that the Performance model comes with the same ones. Given what else it’s got to lead one to suspect it is intended to be driven enthusiastically, the zero support you get in them is disappointing.

Apple CarPlay - mehhh. I don’t like the idea of Tesla getting into bed with Apple, or Google for that matter, and having them impose their UX on us. And I say that as someone who has an several Apple devices and enjoys the connected ecosystem. I imagine the licensing costs for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not inconsequential too.

Good, balanced review though.
Its ideological more than anything. minimise components, reuse as much as possible and do as much as possible with software. Which is fine until it gives you substandard systems that work fine in other cars using components that cost pennies.
That is what worries me about the "if we can do it by vison so can the car philosophy" that is now being applied to FSD going forward. My stance is when they make it work for the auto headlights and wipers then we can talk about letting it drive the car.........
 

spooksman

Member
Jan 24, 2020
263
196
Manchester
My wife has an e208 (electric) and I agree completely with your comments - however without the fuel cost!

I also like the TACC / lane assist - you get on a motorway, turn it on and that's it - if you change lanes, it finds the new lane and carries on, none of the constant bing-bonging... :p

Oh, and a proper speed limiter...
 

Mr H

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
1,972
2,164
Manchester
Feel my pain, i advertised my SR+ thinking it would take a few weeks to go before the new car arrives……it took 3 days.
There was a spare car lying around at work, taxed and tested so I stuck it on my insurance so I could still get about.
That car is a……..17 year old Corsa and it’s crap
 

Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
3,715
2,712
Bath, UK
Its ideological more than anything. minimise components, reuse as much as possible and do as much as possible with software. Which is fine until it gives you substandard systems that work fine in other cars using components that cost pennies.
That is what worries me about the "if we can do it by vison so can the car philosophy" that is now being applied to FSD going forward. My stance is when they make it work for the auto headlights and wipers then we can talk about letting it drive the car.........
My biggest gripe with auto-wipers and auto-headlights being the way they are is that it's something that is really conspicuous and aggravating to the driver/owner when it performs badly.

Satnav not having waypoints or lack of CarPlay, etc is something you can learn to live with, but fundamentals like wipers and headlights failing to perform is a constant annoyance and it feels even more so when you're sat in a car that is all about autonomous features (AP isn't the be all and end all).

The fact a however-much-£ Tesla can't do these basic things properly, when cars costing a fraction of the price that came out nearly 10 years ago did it competently and consistently is just embarassing.

I've had exposure to - and have actually been to blame for - projects that should not have been undertaken, or abandoned once it became clear the end product would not meet or beat expectations of pre-existing stuff, either because of vanity or hubris, and these feel like that to me. Auto-wipers for sure feels like one of those "we have to do it this way no matter what" things. Auto-headlights just seems like development stopped on it years ago, because they got bored or it wasn't sexy enough, or something.
 

sparkymark75

Member
Jun 22, 2021
273
202
Scotland
Feel my pain, i advertised my SR+ thinking it would take a few weeks to go before the new car arrives……it took 3 days.
There was a spare car lying around at work, taxed and tested so I stuck it on my insurance so I could still get about.
That car is a……..17 year old Corsa and it’s crap
I thought I had it bad driving around in my wife’s wee Audi A1.
 

Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
3,715
2,712
Bath, UK
Auto wipers aren't terrible, in my experience, but they aren't perfect either, and it's clear end user experiences are all over the place.

In other cars I've driven that use a rain sensor (i.e. literally everything else) I don't think I've ever even thought about them, they have just worked. I've just stuck it on Auto and it's never crossed my mind again. And this isn't even on cutting edge cars too, as said earlier this stuff worked just fine on my 2013 TTRS.

That's the problem really, once you know how well these things can work you can't help but ask yourself why Tesla's have such a flawed version of it. Auto wipers and auto headlights are such a fundamental thing that the moment they work unpredictably it disproportionately intrudes on your assurance level about the car, in my opinion.

You shouldn't even have to think about this stuff, it should - and can - just work and be the convenience feature you expect at this level (and even lower).

Worse, and I don't think I'm alone on this, I can't shake the feeling that if Tesla can't get something as basic and solved as this right, with however many cameras and AI in play, what hope have they got of mastering autonomous driving?
 
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Artiste

Member
Jun 17, 2019
450
368
Lancashire
This mirrors my experience exactly. The wipers are crap, especially at night or in “unusual” weather conditions. The auto headlights are just not fit for purpose. The way road signs, particularly chevrons, make them turn off just when you need them most is just ridiculous. They are slow to turn off for oncoming vehicles and even slower to turn back on afterwards.

This is one reason why I’ve never sold my A6. I use my M3P for local journeys and when I want a bit of fun, but I tend to use the A6 for longer journeys, especially in the dark, when I just can’t cope with the M3’s inadequacies. In the Audi I’m guaranteed flawless adaptive cruise control with no phantom braking, superb matrix LED headlights and wipers that I don’t even think about. And the A6 is MUCH more refined and comfortable than the M3, which suffers very badly from wind and tyre noise at motorway speeds.

And as for autonomous driving - yeah right! I’ve seen no real improvement or significant new features in FSD in the two years I’ve had my car. Many people think phantom braking has actually got worse during this time - there’s a thread in this forum dedicated to just that. I can perhaps see (unreliable) Level 3 autonomy coming in a few years, but Level 5 isn’t even on the horizon. I’ve actually read people on this forum (i.e. in the UK) saying that they’re looking forward to sending their cars out to work as robo taxis. Hilarious!

The M3 is a good car. It has the potential to be a great car. But in some ways buying one has taken me back several years when I was hoping it would take me into the future.
 
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Nick77

Deep Blue Model 3 LR (2021 MIC)
Mar 15, 2020
516
213
Burton-on-Trent
I haven't driven enough at night time yet, but the headlights do have a habit of coming on too often in the day time. Even just from it being cloudy or overcast, or just slightly lower ambient light.

The wipers I still find to be too trigger happy. Even just a very light drizzle has them going every 5-10 seconds which is too much. In heavy rain they're great though, but you'd expect that to be the optimum as they basically have to be on constantly.
 

C225

Member
Jul 7, 2021
150
110
Scotland
Feel my pain, i advertised my SR+ thinking it would take a few weeks to go before the new car arrives……it took 3 days.
There was a spare car lying around at work, taxed and tested so I stuck it on my insurance so I could still get about.
That car is a……..17 year old Corsa and it’s crap
Although not that bad as I still have my car I’m trading in I’m loathed to use it incase of damage and to keep mileage down. So I’ve resorted to the train to work. (Or as I like to call it the COVID Express🤣)
 
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Mr H

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
1,972
2,164
Manchester
Although not that bad as I still have my car I’m trading in I’m loathed to use it incase of damage and to keep mileage down. So I’ve resorted to the train to work. (Or as I like to call it the COVID Express🤣)
Mine has only one saving grace……it was free so no hire car costs. I do have to mix with peasants down at the local filling station though……
 
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MattJ M

Member
Jun 27, 2020
57
24
Manchester
Feel my pain, i advertised my SR+ thinking it would take a few weeks to go before the new car arrives……it took 3 days.
There was a spare car lying around at work, taxed and tested so I stuck it on my insurance so I could still get about.
That car is a……..17 year old Corsa and it’s crap
Where did you list for sale that it went so quick?
 

OttoR

Member
Mar 12, 2020
238
149
Amsterdam
Autowipers...

Today I cleared my windscreen and immediately after the wipers kept going and NoA turned off "due to bad weather".

Clear blue skies, sunny days.
 
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page3

Member
Aug 4, 2021
115
85
The Chilterns, UK
Not got my car yet…..however:

I’ve never used auto-high beam assist, so not bothered about that.

Auto wipers were excellent on my Leon, but crap on my Mercedes.

I’ll absolutely definitely miss CarPlay. There just aren’t Tesla alternatives to Audible, PlexAmp and Prologue. Going back to a phone mount and Bluetooth is such a huge regression in convenience.
 

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