I’m a year and 10,000 miles into owning a Tesla Model 3 and I thought it would be good to share a few of my experiences with the readers, both good and bad.
Its difficult sometimes to put into words the experience of owning a Tesla without sounding like an absolute fanboy, which I am. But for transparency I want to share the good and the bad.
So like an employment appraisal, I will first start with the bad:
The 3 worst things about the Tesla Model 3
I ike to keep my car clean and I work full-time, so I like to get my car valeted over lunch while I grab a Costa Coffee. But within 10 minutes of leaving the car wash place, there is already specs of dust settling on the centre console.
I do believe, if its true, that the new 2021 Tesla Model 3 refresh will have Matt surfaces and I’m also aware they sell kits, but I like my cars pretty much factory finish, without any modifications.
Poor Build Quality
We’ve all seen the videos on the internet of the large gaps, shoddy paintwork and poorly fitted features on the car and I have had a few.
For starters my bonnet didn’t sit correctly, as you looked at it straight on you could clearly see the huge gap, I could get my thumb in it. On a recall at Tesla Leeds, this was adjusted and now looks perfect.
I noticed within the last week that the boot lid is catching on the rear light clusters and the paint almost looks like its rusting, again, Tesla has got this booked in and I will update people reading this blog at a later date.
I have also gained a few rattles in the car and after spending a few hours emptying the car completely, I have worked out that these are behind panels. Its annoying.
It is disappointed to see so many defects, but its not uncommon on quite a few cars now including BMW, Mercedes and VW. But there just seems to be quite a few on the one vehicle.
Responsiveness of the Computer
I have noticed since having the vehicle that the responsiveness of the touchscreen has slowed down, also things like opening the car with your phone hands-free, there seems to be a delat.
I have done a hard reset on the car but still find that its acting the same way. Even when starting I have to wait a few minutes until the screen responds to my input when entering my Pin.
Positives of the Tesla Model 3
The positives of this car definately outweigh the negatives, and that could be the Tesla Fan Boy in me, but as a car fan, it really is the best car I have ever owned.
Top 5 best things about the Tesla Model 3
I have touched on this subject before, but I have never bought an Audi or a BMW that has had so many updates, and these updates are those that improve the software, add new features to the car and even improve the range and performance.
Even recently we’ve had PIN to lock the glovebox, traffic sign recognition and to the point where the visulations now shows the neighbours wheelie bin.
Elon has promised further features in the future and its always exciting to see on your app if there is a software update.
Yes, I am putting Range Anxiety as a positive. I just don’t get it anymore.
In fact, the Tesla Model 3 was always intended to be a 2nd car and we would use my wifes larger car as our main mode of transport.
Sometimes a bit of planning using Zap Map is required if you’re doing long distance and if you’re staying overnight a charger at the hotel is extremely helpful.
But day trips covering a couple of hundred miles is easy, using the in-car sat nav it can schedule you in charging stops. Sometimes these are only 10 minute top-ups, but if you’ve got the time you can fill the battery with ease over a 45-60 minute period.
I treat the car’s battery like a tank of fuel. I top it up to 85-90% and then use it over the week. When I get to 30-40 miles, I then fill it up. I’m not sure if this is good for the battery but works really well for us.
I’m very lucky that in my business I get to drive various electric cars, from the amazing little Renault Zoe right up to the Audi E-Tron, but no-one can beat Tesla for its supercharger network.
Dotted around the UK, these bank of charges can really make a difference to the car ownership experience with an Electric Vehicle. They are cheap to use (even cheaper with a Tesla Referral Code) and very quick.
Yes, I know ionity have some 350kW chargers, but the 150kW to 250kW chargers are enough to give your vehicle a boost.
The only thing that lets it down, is that the number of Tesla owners is increasing and I have witnessed queues and arguements at Tesla Charging points, which is a shame.
As Tesla roll-out more chargers which are also quicker, this should solve these issues.
I can’t explain how comfortable these Tesla Mode 3’s are without letting you take one over a long distance. I can do hours in the car and get out, with no aches.
With the electric seat adjustments, you can make minor changes and change your driving position. I have read on other Tesla Blogs that people have saved 2 different profiles. Normal driving and Motorway Driving, I’ve not done this.
Seating in the rear is pretty cramped for adults. But no worse than similar German vehicles. We also have a large car seat which take sup a lot of room. Its very rare, especially during Covid, that we have anyone except for our family in the car but I wanted to note this.
As you will see in my 3 Top Set-up Tips, I drive the car mainly in Chill Out mode. In fact recently I have been using the speed limiter as my right foot really does want to push down harder and I do not want to get a speeding ticket.
But the performance of this car is amazing, I have just the long range car but the acceleration is fantastic. Proper, push back in the seats acceleration.
It can have a huge impact on range if you have a heavy right foot, but you cn soon bring this around. Make sure brake re-gen is on full and let it coast as much as you can down hill. Keep that green bar active.
Something else I love…
Tesla Model 3 Wavers
Its like the old Land Rover Owners wave, if you see another Tesla Model 3 driver, give them a friendly wave. Its amazing how a car like this has bought a car community together.
I have regular chats with other Model 3 owners at the supercharger networks and I also have lots of emails from other owners, I love it.
What I’d like to see on future software updates
Speed Limiters based on Speed Limits
It is really tempting to put your foot down in the Model 3, and what I’d like to see on a software update is the facility to turn on a speed limiter that restricts you to the local speed limit.
A similar version of this is available in the Mercedes, when entering a new speed zone you flick a switch and it updates the limited speed.
At the moment on the Tesla, you have to be pulled over at the side of the road, in Park and enter a pin code to change the speed limiter.
Over the air transfer of Dashcam Footage
The dashcam system is excellent and the viewer they have added is excellent, but it would be nice to send the odd clip via WiFi or Bluetooth to your device for easy sharing.
When adding your dashcam files on a Mac or a PC, it can take time to work out which file is which and with all of the views, it can be hard work.
Internal Camera Activation
Not many owners realise that there is an internal camera in the Tesla Model 3. Have a quick look above your mirror.
Whislt there are privacy concerns, it would be nice to be able to turn this camera off or on. I have nothing to hide, so would be ideal for me. It may also prove worthwhile should your vehicle be broken into.
PAYG Self Driving
I’ve got to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of Autopilot. I like to drive the car myself on country roads or motorways. But I would like to experience the self driving system and would be quite happy to pay a monthly subscription.
Also, I’m in a lease car so I’m reluctant to spend a large amount of money that I won’t see the benefit of in the future. On top of this, the performance upgrade would also be nice on a pay monthly basis.
Yes, the Tesla system has some amazing features built in, from Spotify to an amazing Sat Nav. But wouldn’t it be nice to use Apple CarPlay on your Tesla for various things.
Your Comments and Views
What do you think about my 10k report on the Tesla Model 3, do you agree with some of the items I have brought up? Is there anything I’ve missed? I’d love to hear from you.