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What's all this stuff in front of me?!?!?! I'm getting claustrophobic!!

tomas

Out of warranty...
Supporting Member
Oct 22, 2012
4,345
4,264
Santa Barbara/New York
Less than a week with the Model 3... I've been alternating back and forth between my S and the 3 (my wife's car... supposedly).

Every time I sit down in the S and start driving, I feel hemmed in by instrument cluster and surround, vents, raised dash...

Who needs that stuff! Amazed at 1) how quickly I could get used to the 3's controls and amazing forward visibility, and 2) how annoying that makes the S... and every other car.
 
Being alternating between my 3 and S as well for two days. While getting used to the 3 interior better, can't help being bothered by the cheap looking cloth headlines. I am not a picky person at all on aesthetics. ButtTo me, the cloth headlines, both the material and color (should be darker like the dash and door panels), is the achilles' heel of the 3.
 
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Az_Rael

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jan 26, 2016
5,681
8,986
Palmdale, CA
I was on travel this week, so stuck in standard rental cars for the trip. I got in the rental and drove off, then once I got on the freeway, I realized I kept looking at the center screen on the rental as it was placed in about the same spot as my 3. But no speedometer info there. That resulted in several "look down quickly, then back ups" while I tried to locate the actual speedometer while driving (it was an analog one). All the while thinking - there is a LOT of crap in front of me here. Finally found it, but just thought it was funny how used to the off-center speedo on the 3 I had gotten.

Luckily the rental had an option to display a digital speed on the instrument cluster, so I turned that on, which was easier for me to spot on the fly. Guess my analog speedometer reading skills are wasting away!!

On a random note, I did get to try Android Auto for the first time this trip, and I will admit it is a pretty slick voice interface for both navigation and music. I get why Tesla doesn't do it - it takes over the whole screen when enabled, but it would be nice if they could figure out something that provided a similar level of functionality.
 
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ℬête Noire

Active Member
Jan 30, 2018
3,105
2,702
TX
On a random note, I did get to try Android Auto for the first time this trip, and I will admit it is a pretty slick voice interface for both navigation and music. I get why Tesla doesn't do it - it takes over the whole screen when enabled, but it would be nice if they could figure out something that provided a similar level of functionality.
I haven't noticed any rampant demands here for Android Auto/Carplay. I assume that was in the past before people had had a chance to use them. :p Maybe you could sort of get away with it on the two screen Model S setup but expect it would still feel weird and disconnected from the rest of the UI.
 

svp6

Member
Sep 6, 2014
731
791
MN
Less than a week with the Model 3... I've been alternating back and forth between my S and the 3 (my wife's car... supposedly).

Every time I sit down in the S and start driving, I feel hemmed in by instrument cluster and surround, vents, raised dash...

Who needs that stuff! Amazed at 1) how quickly I could get used to the 3's controls and amazing forward visibility, and 2) how annoying that makes the S... and every other car.

Almost similar feeling - but still love the Merc ambient light, some of the separate buttons (glovebox :), ability to adjust mirrors / wheel without going through the screen menu). I think somewhere in the middle would be my ideal spot.
 
I rented a Model 3 over the last weekend, and I can't agree with the OP's assessment.

The forward visibility is indeed great, but it's a fallacy IMO that you can't have a screen in front of the driver without significantly degrading visibility.

I guess some people just put a lot more value on aesthetics vs functionality/practicality than I do. That said, glancing to the side for the speedometer (and other misc stuff) isn't nearly as annoying as the incomplete UI and being forced to do things through the touchscreen that should be done via stalks or steering wheel buttons, and a 2nd screen wouldn't do anything to fix those deficiencies.
 

tomas

Out of warranty...
Supporting Member
Oct 22, 2012
4,345
4,264
Santa Barbara/New York
I guess this dates me, but at one time cars did not have any controls on stalks. Not even turn signals. Then they appeared. We got used to those controls, and now expect them to be there on stalks. There’s no reason they can’t or shouldn’t be on a screen. We will adapt to that too. Some immediately, and others over generations. Someday I expect we will have either autonomous or voice control that works. Or maybe “mind control”.
 

ℬête Noire

Active Member
Jan 30, 2018
3,105
2,702
TX
I guess this dates me, but at one time cars did not have any controls on stalks. Not even turn signals. Then they appeared. We got used to those controls, and now expect them to be there on stalks. There’s no reason they can’t or shouldn’t be on a screen. We will adapt to that too. Some immediately, and others over generations. Someday I expect we will have either autonomous or voice control that works. Or maybe “mind control”.
Depends on what you mean by "control stalk"? Does a manual transmission gear-shifter count as a "control stalk"? Parents had a pick-up with one of those "3 in the tree", that I drove. Of course there were these most definitely anti-stalk controls. I've sat in a vehicle with those but it was past it's operational life, never driven one.

Yeah, control regimes ebb and flow.
 

WileyTheMan

Peanut Gallery Member
Apr 20, 2016
1,001
955
Los Gatos, CA
Several writers have expressed a different thought about the M3's dash.
If all the auto reviewers praised the M3 with no negatives, I would wonder who was padding their pockets. :) The only red flag to watch for is when hardly any reviewers like a product/feature, but that is not the case with this dash.
 
I guess this dates me, but at one time cars did not have any controls on stalks. Not even turn signals. Then they appeared. We got used to those controls, and now expect them to be there on stalks. There’s no reason they can’t or shouldn’t be on a screen. We will adapt to that too. Some immediately, and others over generations. Someday I expect we will have either autonomous or voice control that works. Or maybe “mind control”.

I'm all for the current interior (not that we have a choice :) ), but I think it would be a huge mistake to put everything on the screen including the turn signals. Any critical function of the car should have a mechanical mechanism to decrease the chances of failure.

Imagine the screen glitching out and not being able to turn on the wipers in a huge storm, and not having headlights when it's dark outside.
 
Same here. Now every time I walked into some new place in office or friend's houses, I called out "okay google" and sure I hope everything can be controlled by such simple means even in cars. Everything can glitch and improve over time, and human adapt to it too. I don't want to be like flying a plane.
 
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I'm all for the current interior (not that we have a choice :) ), but I think it would be a huge mistake to put everything on the screen including the turn signals. Any critical function of the car should have a mechanical mechanism to decrease the chances of failure.

Imagine the screen glitching out and not being able to turn on the wipers in a huge storm, and not having headlights when it's dark outside.
I've been wondering about that as well. My MCU (Media Control Unit — main computer screen) failed on my S60 but I was still able to drive it in "limp mode." Turn signals worked but had no sound. Auto-on headlights worked. Auto wipers worked. Brakes, regen, speedometer, energy meter and all the rest of the dash instruments worked (except for odometer and temp gauge). What didn't work was the audio system, nav, and climate control. That latter function was a problem when my windshield fogged. Driving with the windows cracked in single digit (F) temperatures was "brisk!" The other function that didn't work right was charging: it would only charge at about 280 W net to battery, which is really, really, really slow. So, it took several days to charge back up after a 38 mile trip. Overall, however, the main driving controls were not affected by the failure of the MCU.

This recent experience got me to wondering what happens when the computer and screen in the Model 3 crap out? What will still work and what won't?
 
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ℬête Noire

Active Member
Jan 30, 2018
3,105
2,702
TX
yeah who needs all that pesky stuff in your line of sight like your speed, autopilot settings, and directions ;)
Ummmmm, okay the "directions" I get because that's a long ways over (I'm more an audio person). But the rest is as much in LOS as looking into the hole in the steering wheel. The speed probably more-so.

P.S. Sat in an M3, not driven. But I've mocked up the screen position and tried it driving. Have long hated fighting the steering wheel to see stuff in the dash cluster.
 

tomas

Out of warranty...
Supporting Member
Oct 22, 2012
4,345
4,264
Santa Barbara/New York
Ok, I hope this doesn’t reignite the instrument cluster vs screen debate that has been litigated ad nauseum other threads.

I noted a personal impression in my original post. Not everybody has to agree. But let’s not call each other wrong. It’s a personal preference and adaptability question. But I’d also appreciate if those who don’t own a 3 stay out of it. You are not entitled to an opinion unless you’ve driven 10 times and 100 miles.
 

kbM3

Active Member
May 22, 2017
2,096
12,067
Orlando
Ok, I hope this doesn’t reignite the instrument cluster vs screen debate that has been litigated ad nauseum other threads.

I noted a personal impression in my original post. Not everybody has to agree. But let’s not call each other wrong. It’s a personal preference and adaptability question. But I’d also appreciate if those who don’t own a 3 stay out of it. You are not entitled to an opinion unless you’ve driven 10 times and 100 miles.
Totally unfair:( You should have to only drive it 9 times!
 
I agree that this shouldn't reignite another debate but there are fair points brought up in this thread - perhaps better suited with a new thread.

While your impressions are helpful in validating that it should be effortless adjusting to the new interior, I think most of the posts revolve around the safety of the car. The real question is 'what happens if the screen console fails and how is the car's core driving functions affected?' I don't it is necessary to have driven in a Model 3 to have a question about safety. Again, I digress as this should be in a new thread.

Back on topic, I'm glad that there are fewer knobs and buttons. In my current car, I don't know how to use more than half of the "features."
 
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