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Nivosok

New Member
Nov 1, 2019
1
0
Canada
Is the model 3 a reliable and cost efficient vehicle? I hear lots of praise going towards Tesla but also lots of hate.

This will be my second vehicle purchase but my first vehicle never came close in purchasing price so I have no knowledge of purchasing higher end vehicles.

I still own my first vehicle, a 2011 Ford Focus. I have the money to purchase a Model 3 outright in cash so financing is no issue. I just know so little about potential problems that the model 3 experiences. Are mechanical repairs expensive? I heard cosmetic repairs are expensive is this true? Is it possible or likely I will receive a Tesla that only charges to 300km instead of 402km? Will the battery/car survive a cold Canadian winter of temperatures sometimes below -40c/f? Does the vehicle handle poor roads well (rough/poorly kept roads)? Ect.

Please comment any information that could be of use, I really have loved my experience riding and driving a Tesla previously and would love to make this my new car.
 

theStig

Member
Apr 16, 2019
43
28
Vancouver
Is the model 3 a reliable and cost efficient vehicle? I hear lots of praise going towards Tesla but also lots of hate.

This will be my second vehicle purchase but my first vehicle never came close in purchasing price so I have no knowledge of purchasing higher end vehicles.

I still own my first vehicle, a 2011 Ford Focus. I have the money to purchase a Model 3 outright in cash so financing is no issue. I just know so little about potential problems that the model 3 experiences. Are mechanical repairs expensive? I heard cosmetic repairs are expensive is this true? Is it possible or likely I will receive a Tesla that only charges to 300km instead of 402km? Will the battery/car survive a cold Canadian winter of temperatures sometimes below -40c/f? Does the vehicle handle poor roads well (rough/poorly kept roads)? Ect.

Please comment any information that could be of use, I really have loved my experience riding and driving a Tesla previously and would love to make this my new car.
Expect your range to drop to half in a Canadian winter. Factor in that you don’t want to go below 20% or charge above 90%. So that’s even less range to work with. The charging infrastructure is limited up here depending on where you are. You should hope you don’t have to get any replacement parts as the wait is long. It’s especially inconvenient if you’re far from a service centre. You will hear more rattles and noises as the time goes on with bumpy roads. Canadian roads aren’t the best kept.

The plus, it’s cheap to charge at home. It drives and handles remarkably well, close to or better than the European brands. It’s supposed to be very safe. The gadgets and updates will keep you entertained. Maintenance costs are very low.

I think it makes an excellent city car.
 

sandange

sandange
Mar 19, 2016
76
78
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Where in Canada are you.
I'm in Quebec, owned my SR+ since June and now have over 21,000 km.
No issues.

I suggest you record your distances on your gas car that you regularly travel for a week, and consider what would be your longest daily trip.
Consider the frequency of the odd road trip you make and look at the charging locations for those.
Winter will impact your distances traveled in an extreme -30C up to 45%-50% depending on heater settings, driving speed & elevation climbing.

Pre heating the car while plugged & using the seat heaters help greatly for the shorter trips.
I have almost 300,000 km experience of driving EV's and would never go back.
Good luck with your decision.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,395
14,407
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Will the battery/car survive a cold Canadian winter of temperatures sometimes below -40c/f?
I don’t live in a place with extreme winter temps like that, but based on what I’ve read from owners like @sandange and Byron in Norway, Teslas are very usable in extreme cold as long as you understand the range loss. Also, it is best to be able to keep the car plugged in every night, whether it is outside or inside in an unheated garage.

Note that EVs are extremely popular in Norway, with over a third of new car registrations being electric.

Also, my Model 3 is the best car I’ve ever owned, and I’ve owned a lot of cars in 50 years.
 

yyzbig6

Member
Jan 21, 2018
111
153
Toronto
You do lose a large percentage of range if your drive is short (e.g. 30mins) because lots of energy is required to initially heat up the cabin and battery. But on longer drives, you will lose less as a percentage since you need less energy just to maintain temperature. But if your drive is short, that larger percentage loss doesn't matter anyways!

You don't say where in Canada you are, but if you're in the GTA there are at least 5 superchargers in the area. In the GTA, you are better served by superchargers and destination chargers than in New York City where I drove to in the summer.
 

billionaiire

Member
Apr 2, 2019
258
302
West of Mississippi
Is the model 3 a reliable and cost efficient vehicle? I hear lots of praise going towards Tesla but also lots of hate.

This will be my second vehicle purchase but my first vehicle never came close in purchasing price so I have no knowledge of purchasing higher end vehicles.

I still own my first vehicle, a 2011 Ford Focus. I have the money to purchase a Model 3 outright in cash so financing is no issue. I just know so little about potential problems that the model 3 experiences. Are mechanical repairs expensive? I heard cosmetic repairs are expensive is this true? Is it possible or likely I will receive a Tesla that only charges to 300km instead of 402km? Will the battery/car survive a cold Canadian winter of temperatures sometimes below -40c/f? Does the vehicle handle poor roads well (rough/poorly kept roads)? Ect.

Please comment any information that could be of use, I really have loved my experience riding and driving a Tesla previously and would love to make this my new car.

Pros:

1) Quicker acceleration than most gasoline cars so Tesla are definitely more fun to drive
2) Quiet cabin
3) Even if you get a Rear-Wheel Drive Tesla, they handle better than their gasoline counterparts with more even weight distribution (snow tires are a MUST in winter even if you get an All-Wheel Drive Tesla, I don't need to tell this to someone living in Canada but I did it anyway), and don't forget - almost no maintenance.
4) Very comfortable seating for two adults and two teenagers in Model 3 - four large adults is tight.
5) Entertainment options are aplenty - screen is awesome (with some quirks, of course)
6) Car driving features (adaptive cruise control, lane tracking, etc. and full self driving package features) and other entertainment features continue to improve with over the air updates.

Cons:

1) It's a battery car after all, so as others are saying, expect a large range loss in cold weather conditions (approximately 25% additional range loss than warmer months). If you can afford it, get a Tesla with the maximum rated mileage (Model 3 Long Range has 310 rated miles, which is about 275 miles average all year weather conditions on full charge. Note that you typically shouldn't charge the battery to 100%, so the practical range average all year is even less, say about 250 miles for daily commute.)
2) Quality control continues to improve, but it not yet where other brands like Toyota, Honda, etc. are in terms of mechanical perfection. Little things (noise/vibration/rattle, panel gaps, etc.) are expected - but for the most part, they are handled pretty well by the service centers. Some cars do have serious flaws that directly affect driving (motor failure, etc.) but that's rare. Remember, you only read about the problem cars on forums. NOTE: If you do not have a Tesla Service Center AND a Tesla Certified Body Shop within reasonable driving distance, think twice before buying a Tesla.
3) Expensive to repair, period. If you get into a significant accident, you are going to regret your purchase if it is your fault. A damaged quarter panel costs about $15,000 US dollars to fix. The time to get your car back can be significant - it's improving, though.
4) Expensive up front, so no savings as such even if you don't have to buy gas. It's not a car you buy to save money. And Tesla does not hold its value at all, given how quickly the new technologies are being implemented in battery vehicles. Battery pack replacements are not commonplace (the heart of the car)
5) While entertainment options are many, the media player is very basic (play/pause/track skip) on bluetooth. Of course, no Apple/Android integration. Tesla uses their own media player. It's decent, but nowhere close to what Apple CarPlay offers.
6) Most importantly, the software continues to improve, but it is also a con because some features offered today, if relied upon heavily, can be outright dangerous in certain situations.

That said, if you are considering a battery vehicle, Tesla is way farther in terms of every aspect of it than other cars at this moment. It's somewhat impractical in select situations (e.g. road trips take longer, but then you are less fatigued due to longer pit-stops) but definitely the future of automobiles.
 
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5_+JqckQttqck

Active Member
Apr 27, 2018
1,851
1,404
Toronto
Hi Nivosok, I'll share my one year ownership experience with you and answer your questions accordingly. My Model 3 replaced a 2018 Honda Civic. It's an apples to oranges comparison as the TM3 is three times the sticker price. However, the running costs, low maintenance, conveniences, technology, and overall driving experience makes the Model 3 second to none. I've driven the Models 100D and the Model 3 is more fun to drive on twisty roads even though the Model S will break necks.

Is the model 3 a reliable and cost efficient vehicle? I hear lots of praise going towards Tesla but also lots of hate.

The Model 3 reliable (so far) and cost efficient. Keeping some charging numbers and running cost is ~1.7c/km (factor in charging losses, mechanical losses, and general AC/heating/misc usage of the electrons) - the Model is currently running at ~2.3c/km; see link > Model 3 kW Log

My VIN 29xxx has been in service a handful of times for warranty things like all new cars. Overall experience at the Mississauga SC is positive (only gripe is there's a long wait for appointments).

This will be my second vehicle purchase but my first vehicle never came close in purchasing price so I have no knowledge of purchasing higher end vehicles.

If you're comparing overall cost of ownership, I believe the Focus still wins out until you take into consideration of the cost of CO2 and other toxins to your health and society as a whole. Also the lifestyle change of not going to the gas station once/twice a week. Also, Tesla tech is cutting edge compared to any other car company. No more scraping off iced up vehicles in the winter (of course, winter range is less with added energy use - will get to this later).

If you're in the market for an entry luxury vehicle as your next car. I say test drive the Audi / Merc / BMW / Lexus / Infiniti / etc. vs the Model 3 and then make your choice. Dollar for Dollar, that's the segment the Model 3 is destroying.

USP (Unique selling points) - All electric, SuperCharger network, Over the Air updates, AutoPilot > FSD(other companies have similar clone tech), the IT thing to have/styling/iPhone moment on wheels/etc.,

I just know so little about potential problems that the model 3 experiences. Are mechanical repairs expensive? I heard cosmetic repairs are expensive is this true?

Drive train warranty is better than all ICEV warranties on the market. 80,000km 4year warranty on new vehicle (better than most in it's class). Earlier VIN vehicles did have more issues as it is to be expected. If you're okay with getting the iPhone on wheels, get one. Otherwise, maybe hold out for the Model Y or even the Model T (Truck?).

Is it possible or likely I will receive a Tesla that only charges to 300km instead of 402km? Will the battery/car survive a cold Canadian winter of temperatures sometimes below -40c/f? Does the vehicle handle poor roads well (rough/poorly kept roads)? Ect.

That's a load of FUD. If a car was delivered with 300km out of the rated 386 (SR+), you'd get a 100D S loaner while Tesla addresses the issue (battery module replacement). This does depend on the way you drive: those are EPA numbers based on 55Mph. Drive faster, you use more fuel to save time. You won't get the 386kms in one charge but will arrive earlier and have a warm battery to Supercharge at peak speeds. The best practice on a long road trip (depending on your needs) may be to speed a bit and hop to each SC and cycle the battery from 10% to 60%. Really depends on how fast you need to get to the destination.

In the winter:

1. Regen braking and available range will be reduced.
2. More energy is used to warm up the battery and cabin for peak performance and comfort.
3. Charge rates are reduced if the battery is "cold soaked" - ie. parked in negative C for a long time, don't worry, the BMS will manage the system to ensure no damage occurs during charging (thus the reduced rates; when the battery warms up, charge rates will be normal).
4. The Model 3 is a solid car and low center of gravity, even with RWD and a good set of winter tires, I never had an issue driving around the GTA and going to the Mont Tremblant for snowboarding. Drive to the conditions and the car will take care of you.

Go test drive and make your choice, happy EVing :)

P.S. Commuting on the 401 is no longer the soul destroying "gas, brake, gas, brake, brake, gas, honk, brake, brake, honk, gas" song. I've devoured a dozen audio books while AutoPilot does all the boring stuff. And on road trips, it's a blessing! Also if your destination/route has good destination chargers, it costs next to nothing. If you Supercharge the whole time, expect it to cost ~40 to 50% less than buying gasoline (vs the Focus).
 
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theStig

Member
Apr 16, 2019
43
28
Vancouver
What’s your daily use like? City, town, highway? How far are your commutes? Have you researched the charging network along your commute? There are online resources to help you with that.

If you buy the long range, keep in mind the worse case in those cold temps, you’ll only be able to drive 200km before needing another charge. (Take 20% off the top and bottom ends of your 499 starting range and cut it by half)

If you get the Standard Plus that number will be more like 154km.

Don't just buy the car based on hype. It is a great car but I’d hate for you to be stranded somewhere.
 

Zaxxon

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Dec 11, 2012
4,678
21,823
Colorado
I'd recommend taking a gander at Bloomberg's just-released tabulation of a survey answered by 5,000 Model 3 owners. Good data to be gleaned from it.

As for me, I'm in Colorado and not Canada, but I wouldn't trade my 3 (25k miles, 1.5 years old) for anything at present. And it convinced my wife to get an X.
 

Nocturnal

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 23, 2018
6,718
36,695
Deepening Crisis!
Most Model 3 owners are crazy about their cars. That should tell you a lot.

4) Expensive up front, so no savings as such even if you don't have to buy gas. It's not a car you buy to save money. And Tesla does not hold its value at all, given how quickly the new technologies are being implemented in battery vehicles. Battery pack replacements are not commonplace (the heart of the car)
Disagree here. Yes of course a Model 3 is more expensive than something like a corolla or Camry, but it's not comparable to those cars. A model 3 is comparable to a 3 series or similar. So, if you compare apples to apples, you will certainly save money.

As a p3 owner my benchmark is the M3. I'm saving 2k a year in gas.
 

Bkoyle

Member
Aug 21, 2018
14
1
So Cal
If you can afford it, purchase the Model 3. I love mine. Only regret is that I did not purchase the LR. Only one or two things that I miss from my Mercedes Benz, that I gave to my son.
 
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billionaiire

Member
Apr 2, 2019
258
302
West of Mississippi
Most Model 3 owners are crazy about their cars. That should tell you a lot.


Disagree here. Yes of course a Model 3 is more expensive than something like a corolla or Camry, but it's not comparable to those cars. A model 3 is comparable to a 3 series or similar. So, if you compare apples to apples, you will certainly save money.

As a p3 owner my benchmark is the M3. I'm saving 2k a year in gas.

I think we are saying different things. I agree with your point of view. What I am saying is that OP shouldn’t look at an electric vehicle like Tesla as means to “save money” just because it doesn’t need gas or much maintenance. There are other costs / risks associated with Tesla that should be considered. One of it is two times sticker price than a cheap but reliable gasoline car, the other is significantly higher repair costs.

Buying a new $20,000 gasoline car leaves you $20,000 for gas and maintenance. If you commute 10,000 miles a year, at 25 mpg, you’ll need 400 gallons x $3.5 = $1500 in gas. A new gasoline car needs minimum repairs and maintenance for first 4-5 years except regular oil changes and topping off fluids and brake maintenance etc. That’s no more than a generous $400 a year for the first 5 years = $2000.

$1900 per year. Let’s round it off to $2000 per year is your gasoline car run cost. I’m ignoring insurance even though most people are paying more insurance on Tesla than they would on a $20000 car. Let’s knowingly ignore that.

Still, $10,000 is my 5 year run cost total, leaving me $10000 in my bank. And I’m about a year or two away before selling the car for $6-7k and upgrading anyway. Lol

In no book, buying a $40,000 Tesla “saves” you money so directly. It’s an expensive depreciating asset without doing anything else than other cars - taking you from point a to b. Slower than gasoline cars too.
 
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jebinc

MSM Model S PLAID, cream/FSD; MYP, white on white
Jun 19, 2019
6,377
7,728
Seattle area
Is the model 3 a reliable and cost efficient vehicle? I hear lots of praise going towards Tesla but also lots of hate.

This will be my second vehicle purchase but my first vehicle never came close in purchasing price so I have no knowledge of purchasing higher end vehicles.

I still own my first vehicle, a 2011 Ford Focus. I have the money to purchase a Model 3 outright in cash so financing is no issue. I just know so little about potential problems that the model 3 experiences. Are mechanical repairs expensive? I heard cosmetic repairs are expensive is this true? Is it possible or likely I will receive a Tesla that only charges to 300km instead of 402km? Will the battery/car survive a cold Canadian winter of temperatures sometimes below -40c/f? Does the vehicle handle poor roads well (rough/poorly kept roads)? Ect.

Please comment any information that could be of use, I really have loved my experience riding and driving a Tesla previously and would love to make this my new car.
If you decide to get and M3, I would recommend the LR AWD, given your location. Assume 322 rated miles (518 km) , and usable SoC range of 70% (20%-90%), that leaves you 225.4 miles (362.7 km) of usable range in nice weather at EPA rated eMiles/Gal - without range anxiety. If you half that for a brutal winter's day in CAN, your worst case usable range would around 113 miles (182 km), w/o range anxiety. If your longest daily round trip commute is less than that, you're golden. Good luck with your decision!

Edit: I assumed home charging vs. Super Charging
 
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trojaneen

Member
Apr 8, 2017
118
355
Long Beach, CA
I think we are saying different things. I agree with your point of view. What I am saying is that OP shouldn’t look at an electric vehicle like Tesla as means to “save money” just because it doesn’t need gas or much maintenance. There are other costs / risks associated with Tesla that should be considered. One of it is two times sticker price than a cheap but reliable gasoline car, the other is significantly higher repair costs.

Buying a new $20,000 gasoline car leaves you $20,000 for gas and maintenance. If you commute 10,000 miles a year, at 25 mpg, you’ll need 400 gallons x $3.5 = $1500 in gas. A new gasoline car needs minimum repairs and maintenance for first 4-5 years except regular oil changes and topping off fluids and brake maintenance etc. That’s no more than a generous $400 a year for the first 5 years = $2000.

$1900 per year. Let’s round it off to $2000 per year is your gasoline car run cost. I’m ignoring insurance even though most people are paying more insurance on Tesla than they would on a $20000 car. Let’s knowingly ignore that.

Still, $10,000 is my 5 year run cost total, leaving me $10000 in my bank. And I’m about a year or two away before selling the car for $6-7k and upgrading anyway. Lol

In no book, buying a $40,000 Tesla “saves” you money so directly. It’s an expensive depreciating asset without doing anything else than other cars - taking you from point a to b. Slower than gasoline cars too.

You aren’t making an equivalent comparison with a $20,000 car. The model 3 is in the same range as a BMW 3 series, which starts at $40,000+. Having owned 5 BMW’s, I can attest to their maintenance costs being significant, even though we had low mileage and took excellent care of them.

We have solar, and our monthly electrical bill is $14, which includes charging our Model 3. Pre-solar charging was approximately $75. Our turbo charged BMW was about $200 monthly in gas, and $2,000 +/- annually for maintenance, after approximately year 6.

Being ”slower than gasoline cars” is a complete joke, which unmasks the ICE lover. Yes, you can save money buying a Ford Focus, but you can save even more by walking or taking public transit.

We love our Model 3, and will never go back to gas.
 

VRUNNER

Member
Sep 18, 2019
72
60
NJ
It’s all about expectations. I drive a lot, about 30k a year. I live in NJ so some cold weather, not as cold as where you are. I have owned Volts, ELR, and regular ICE cars like Cadillac CTS. For me I researched everything and had proper expectations. Yes it is more to insure, repairs and replacement parts take longer. Already experienced a minor accident and have had scheduled SC repairs. It wasn’t that bad at all. It is a big computer so it can be a bit glitchy sometimes. However, it is the most enjoyable and comfortable car I have ever purchased. I drive both long highway runs and in traffic. It is a joy to drive in all situations. On average I am experiencing about 90% of advertised range with my mixed driving (278 WHP) and in average temps of 50 degrees of late.

If you want the most advanced car, comfortable ride and tons of torque on demand then buy a Model 3. Also there is NO comparison to a basic 20-30k ICE car, it also doesn’t compare to cars in the same price range... it is unique, so don’t use that as a guide, it is apple and oranges.
 
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billionaiire

Member
Apr 2, 2019
258
302
West of Mississippi
You aren’t making an equivalent comparison with a $20,000 car. The model 3 is in the same range as a BMW 3 series, which starts at $40,000+. Having owned 5 BMW’s, I can attest to their maintenance costs being significant, even though we had low mileage and took excellent care of them.

We have solar, and our monthly electrical bill is $14, which includes charging our Model 3. Pre-solar charging was approximately $75. Our turbo charged BMW was about $200 monthly in gas, and $2,000 +/- annually for maintenance, after approximately year 6.

Being ”slower than gasoline cars” is a complete joke, which unmasks the ICE lover. Yes, you can save money buying a Ford Focus, but you can save even more by walking or taking public transit.

We love our Model 3, and will never go back to gas.

I agree with you 100% but please understand that the very basis of this thread right from OP’s title is comparing apples to oranges when he or she asked about cost efficiency. I am stating what I said above deliberately, saying that there IS a way to save more money (technically) by just buying a cheaper car (don’t care if it’s gasoline or battery).

Buying a more expensive car just because there’s less maintenance or no gas cannot always be a very strong argument. Other factors other than just higher upfront cost do play a part.

I’m on my second Tesla so definitely not an ICE lover here - rest assured lol.

Of course, when compared apples to apples, Model 3 vs say equivalent BMW or Lexus in price, Model 3 (Or Tesla, for that matter) is possibly the only choice despite its limitations. (And yes, despite the road trips taking a bit longer in Tesla cars vs gas cars - not sure why you didn’t agree with this one, that surprises me)
 

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