Tesla Model 3 - Now I get the hype.

flyingcheesehead

Touchdown! Greaser!
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Before this week, I had had the opportunity to drive a friend's Tesla Model 3 for a few minutes. Just enough to see that it was pretty cool, but I've driven other cars that I thought were pretty cool too.

Well, skipping the long story as to why, I happened to end up with a Model 3 rental from Turo for the week, and now I understand the hype. This is THE best car I've ever driven, hands down. Of course, it has all of the EV advantages (very low maintenance, cheap "fuel", ultra quiet and smooth) plus all of the Tesla advantages (long range, Supercharger network, over-the-air software updates, safety, no &*()#@$ing dealers to deal with, great styling).

But, I knew all that already. That's checking the boxes in a brochure. This thing has something else: FUN!!!

There are quite a few preferences you can set on the touchscreen as to how it should drive: Creep on or off (like what an automatic transmission car would do if you let go of the brake), steering Comfort/Standard/Sport, Standard vs "Chill" acceleration, and a bunch of others. Once I got all that dialed in to my liking and spent a few minutes feeling it out to get over my "oh crap I don't want to mess up this car" jitters, it just got plain fun.

It's a lot like flying a really well-harmonized airplane like a DA40 or P-51. You just "think" it in whatever direction you want, and it just does exactly what you tell it to, instantaneously and without complaint. No waiting for the engine to rev up to where it has a reasonable amount of power (or worse, wait for turbos to spool up!), no slop in the steering whatsoever, no noise and no smells.

As I write this, I'm finding it hard to find the right words to describe how it feels to drive. It accelerates effortlessly, it corners with no body roll at all, the view is great with the all-glass roof, and having the speedometer where it is on the giant center screen didn't even take any getting used to at all. (@SCCutler, take note.)

The controls are minimalist: Window controls, one stalk on each side of the wheel with a button in the end of each, two thumbwheels on the wheel, a button for the hazards and the reading lights. Oh, and that giant center touchscreen. But, in actual usage, it feels like they have EXACTLY the right number of controls, no more, no less.

There's a lot of automation: Auto wipers, auto headlights (including auto high beams), automatic on/off, auto locks, and plenty of other stuff. I didn't feel like I had to interact with the systems of the car at all - It just did a bunch of things for me that I've always had to do myself before, and it did them all exactly as I would have - No adjusting the timing of the wipers and such necessary.

I pushed the right-hand thumbwheel to give a voice command, "Navigate To" and rattled off my full home address, which it understood perfectly right away, and routed me to on the big screen with Google Maps' satellite view instead of the chintzy maps that most cars have.

And then, with two downward taps on the "gearshift" stalk on the right of the steering wheel, the car drove me home. All I had to do was to acknowledge/approve lane changes by hitting the turn signal (which the car would turn off itself after making the lane change). It would automatically change lanes both to get around slow traffic and to prepare for exits. It took the exits automatically, putting the turn signal on itself there too.

Off the highway, Autopilot still works but it doesn't recognize stop signs, lights, etc yet or make turns from one street to another. It's basically a combination of traffic-aware cruise control and autosteer that keeps you in your lane (unless you command a lane change by putting on your turn signal on a multi-lane road).

It's been just over a year since I rented an Autopilot-equipped Model X, and the amount of improvement they've made there is astounding. At that point, it was OK on a divided highway, but it was getting messed up by the shadows of power lines cast on the road and weaving back and forth. Now, on the highway it drives a lot more like a chauffeur and a lot less like a drunken teenager.

Our weather has been pretty awful this week, and I've driven it in rain and snow, and both of those at night, and hardly any daytime dry pavement. Autopilot did very well in poor conditions most of the time - The only trouble it had was in moderate rain with a lot of traffic and lights all around, I think it freaked out about a reflection or something but it did try to swerve a couple of times. Overall, though, even in those conditions it drove at least as well as I could have, with those couple of exceptions over probably 200 miles or so like that. And tonight, in driving snow that was blowing across the roadway, it did just fine.

The even cooler thing I noticed tonight: It's learning! On the 2-lane state highway that leads from the Interstate to the entrance to my neighborhood (about a 12-mile stretch), it was getting confused by the turn-bypass lanes (where the road briefly widens to allow you to get past someone turning left), and it was staying in the middle of the widened lane and then making a quick "correction" into the bypass lane even though nobody was turning left. The first time I drove that stretch, I just cut it off. But a couple nights ago, I decided to put it in autopilot, and every time it came to one of those lanes I would grab the wheel and overpower it when it started
to try staying centered between the lines, and then re-engaging it right away. Tonight, I engaged autopilot and let it go, and it followed the path I followed the other night with no cutoffs at all. Cool!!!

I have to take it back tomorrow. :( :( :( I'm going to be buying one as soon as I can. This really is the future of transportation. Wow.
 
Tesla gets things done in so many ways as a car maker.
 
Lol here we go! Another Tesla thread...
 
I was reminded of a post I saw several months ago in the Model 3 Owners group on Facebook, as I kinda feel the same way now. Here it is:

Facebook Tesla owner said:
I have to admit as I drove to pick up my car yesterday I had a little trepidation about the car (and frankly, the company). The media, the nit-pickers and the nay sayers had gotten to me.

I write this post in hopes of passing some wisdom to those of you still waiting...

F*CK THEM ALL!

This car is incredible! I don't even know how it's possible to meet the expectations of someone that has waited 2 years for something; but Tesla has truly outdone themselves.

The car is flawless. It drives better than I imagined. It's not a "harsh" ride at all. It's nice and quiet on the highway. Panel gaps are perfect. There's not a scratch on the car. Delivery was amazing. Their employees are top notch. This car is perfect.

If you're waiting, keep waiting. This car is going to change everything.

To quote Elon Musk yet again: "It's not really a car. It's a thing to maximize enjoyment." And they really nailed it.
 
Pffft...why spend the money on a Tesla when a Honda Civic will get you there just as well and for a lot cheaper unless you just have money to burn? The speedometer works just as well. (...says every POA thread about a Cirrus)
 
Pretty soon you’ll be telling us how great the Packers are too :eek:

Maybe next year. Dealing Ha Ha Clinton-Dix away and losing Geronimo Allison for the rest of the season is going to make things difficult. And Rodgers hasn't said "R-E-L-A-X" or anything like it. But who knows, that guy has worked more miracles than most saints. (Not the New Orleans kind either. :rofl:)

But the team in general is great. I think the fact that the Packers are owned by normal people like you and me, in all 50 states, is about the coolest thing in professional sports. And the fact that they not only have had their entire stadium sold out to season ticket holders for just about forever, they actually have THREE stadiums' worth of fans there: There's actually two sets of fans ("Green Package" and "Gold Package") that get in on different games (5 regular season for Green, 3 for Gold) plus a waiting list that would fill the stadium a third time and then some.

Incidentally, you can't buy a Tesla in Green or Gold. Maybe I'll have to get a wrap. ;)
 
Pffft...why spend the money on a Tesla when a Honda Civic will get you there just as well and for a lot cheaper unless you just have money to burn? The speedometer works just as well. (...says every POA thread about a Cirrus)

Yup... Why fly a Cirrus, Bo, or Mooney when a 172 will get you there just as well and for a lot cheaper unless you just have money to burn?
 
Mostly because I keep seeing you mention it - "over the air updates" is not just a Tesla thing. My '17 Ford F150 is capable of such and it has received updates adding vehicle features since I've bought it. In particular, Waze Sync3 support. Given that I've done a lot of "forscan"-ing the foundation of the technology in my truck seems rather sound and capable of lots of configuration. So - it's not like Ford isn't moving in this direction. It's also probably not a bunch of hacked together ghetto bash scripts using rsync (cough Tesla). It's actually ... more like a Blackberry (literally runs a Blackberry OS).

The automatic driving thing I will admit is cool. Lane assist and adaptive cruise control (a primate joke in comparison) would have added about 10K to my trucks price. The value wasn't there so I didn't buy it.

Would I have paid 10K for the Tesla automatic stuff? It'd certainly have made me think a lot harder.

As soon as Tesla makes a pickup truck that can drive 720 miles non-stop like my F150 I'll give them a good look. Though I'm really not comfortable with their model of having no dealers. A great part about owning a Ford - if I don't like the dealer - I can just go to a different one. I've got about five of them within 30 minutes of me.

An example from this week:
- Called Ford dealer (that I bought it from) to schedule some silly recall work that I don't think needs to be done. I also tell them to do any other maintenance else that should be done. Which is what I've told them each time I bring it in.
- Ford dealer tells me no problem. But you must drop it off between 7am and 8am if it is recall work. "It's the managers rule". If you drop it off the day before then no rental car will be provided. This is a problem...I sleep during those hours.
- I tell dealer, no problem, I won't be bringing my truck there. I'll find a dealer that is actually reasonable to do the work. And then I'll buy my next truck from them. And my next.
- Dealer pauses for a few seconds then, dealer tells me to bring it in any time, they'll have a rental available, sorry about that.

Not interested in losing that power as a consumer.

An all electric Ford Mustang would intrigue me (though it would angry much of the mustang fanbase). The Tesla European car clone look doesn't do anything for me.
 
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Yup... Why fly a Cirrus, Bo, or Mooney when a 172 will get you there just as well and for a lot cheaper unless you just have money to burn?

Ever see a backcountry Cirrus on 30” bushwheels? No? Why not? I thought a Cirrus was supposed to be AMAZING? ;)
 
To quote Elon Musk yet again: "It's not really a car. It's a thing to maximize enjoyment." And they really nailed it.

I have never been against new cars, I just really like my old ones.

You say it had the long range advantage, what is the range? Where I live distances are measured in hours instead of miles. For my driving missions I would need up to 10 hours a day. How long to recharge? I get gobs and gobs of sunshine, is there a solar charge option?
 
I feel like Tesla in many ways at least from a perception perspective, is the Cirrus of the driving world.. everyone loves to hate it until they actually ride in one. Then they fall in love

I have a fetish for the internal combustion engine, but the Tesla really is a sweet ride
 
Don’t get me wrong...I like Tesla’s...so much so I did a presentation on the Tesla Roadster when it was being developed while I was in engineering school. That said, I couldn’t afford one at this point.
 
I feel like Tesla in many ways at least from a perception perspective, is the Cirrus of the driving world.. everyone loves to hate it until they actually ride in one. Then they fall in love

I have a fetish for the internal combustion engine, but the Tesla really is a sweet ride
I’m not sure what it is about humans that causes that behavior. I’m sure it’s some underlying genetic flaw. I find it equally irritating and arrogant when pro cirrus/Tesla people treat me like a backwards uneducated person just because I don’t like or want to own either item. Then they act like it’s their responsibility/job to tell me all about how if only I were willing to try it out I would love it.

It is a consumer product. Nothing more. Nothing less. This particular consumer doesn’t want either because they don’t meet my needs and budget. Everyone just needs to get over themselves.
 
I’m not sure what it is about humans that causes that behavior. I’m sure it’s some underlying genetic flaw.
Most people have an aversion to new things.. which is natural, to a point, but when they become militant about their opinion that annoys me.. then I feel like I have to defend the brand

But yes, you are right, it goes both ways
 
Mostly because I keep seeing you mention it - "over the air updates" is not just a Tesla thing. My '17 Ford F150 is capable of such and it has received updates adding vehicle features since I've bought it. In particular, Waze Sync3 support. Given that I've done a lot of "forscan"-ing the foundation of the technology in my truck seems rather sound and capable of lots of configuration. So - it's not like Ford isn't moving in this direction. It's also probably not a bunch of hacked together ghetto bash scripts using rsync (cough Tesla). It's actually ... more like a Blackberry (literally runs a Blackberry OS).

I'm glad to hear that - But do you think they would have done it without Tesla making it a thing? :dunno: Tesla is certainly moving the needle in many different ways in the car industry.

The automatic driving thing I will admit is cool. Lane assist and adaptive cruise control (a primate joke in comparison) would have added about 10K to my trucks price. The value wasn't there so I didn't buy it.

Yep, I passed on that stuff on my Ford too, for the exact same reason.

Would I have paid 10K for the Tesla automatic stuff? It'd certainly have made me think a lot harder.

You wouldn't have to. It's only $5K... And now, having experienced it, that's a complete no-brainer. I was really impressed, and I tend to be kind of "meh" about technology that isn't really well done.

As soon as Tesla makes a pickup truck that can drive 720 miles non-stop like my F150 I'll give them a good look.

They're due to announce their pickup sometime next year I think. I'm also very curious to see what it'll be. I'm expecting it to be much longer range than anything they make right now, because with a truck there's so much more you can do with that power. I'm guessing the highest end battery option on that will be well north of 600 miles, maybe even 800, when unloaded. That will give some leeway to be able to haul and tow heavy things at least the distances that current Teslas can be driven. If you can't pull your camper even to the next Supercharger, it's gonna be worthless for that application - And there are places (like, say 6Y9) that you might want to take your camper that are quite a stretch to get to right now.

The other things that would be compelling on a Tesla pickup that I'm expecting to see are things that would be useful at a work site. For example, a 240V, 50-amp plus power inverter. Something that can run a table saw or an air compressor or some lighting or whatever. So, I expect to see probably a 200 kWh or bigger battery option for the pickup. It ain't gonna be cheap, though - Almost certainly six figures with that size battery.

Though I'm really not comfortable with their model of having no dealers. A great part about owning a Ford - if I don't like the dealer - I can just go to a different one. I've got about five of them within 30 minutes of me.

To me, that's an advantage. When I bought my Ford, I knew exactly what I wanted. I had to waste my time going to five different dealers before I found one I could stomach giving any money to!

An example from this week:
- Called Ford dealer (that I bought it from) to schedule some silly recall work that I don't think needs to be done. I also tell them to do any other maintenance else that should be done. Which is what I've told them each time I bring it in.
- Ford dealer tells me no problem. But you must drop it off between 7am and 8am if it is recall work. "It's the managers rule". If you drop it off the day before then no rental car will be provided. This is a problem...I sleep during those hours.
- I tell dealer, no problem, I won't be bringing my truck there. I'll find a dealer that is actually reasonable to do the work. And then I'll buy my next truck from them. And my next.
- Dealer pauses for a few seconds then, dealer tells me to bring it in any time, they'll have a rental available, sorry about that.

With Tesla, the cars are designed so that nearly anything can be done without having a lift, so they'll send a tech to your house or place of work and you won't have to spend any of your time taking it in. They're moving toward doing most of their service that way, since they've found that it makes customers happy.

An all electric Ford Mustang would intrigue me (though it would angry much of the mustang fanbase). The Tesla European car clone look doesn't do anything for me.

Elon Musk said the pickup is going to look like "something out of Blade Runner." I'm curious to see what that will look like!

You say it had the long range advantage, what is the range? Where I live distances are measured in hours instead of miles. For my driving missions I would need up to 10 hours a day. How long to recharge? I get gobs and gobs of sunshine, is there a solar charge option?

The one I had, 310 miles. Charge from 0-80% in around 30 minutes. So, 310 miles, take a half hour break, 250 miles, take a half hour break, 250 and that's more than most people will ever want to drive in a day.
 
The one I had, 310 miles. Charge from 0-80% in around 30 minutes. So, 310 miles, take a half hour break, 250 miles, take a half hour break, 250 and that's more than most people will ever want to drive in a day.
Pretend like this isn’t a negative if you want, but it is. The fanboy criticism occurs when people see others not being honest about the downsides of their favorite new toy.
 
I’m not sure what it is about humans that causes that behavior. I’m sure it’s some underlying genetic flaw. I find it equally irritating and arrogant when pro cirrus/Tesla people treat me like a backwards uneducated person just because I don’t like or want to own either item. Then they act like it’s their responsibility/job to tell me all about how if only I were willing to try it out I would love it.

It is a consumer product. Nothing more. Nothing less. This particular consumer doesn’t want either because they don’t meet my needs and budget. Everyone just needs to get over themselves.

That is every pilot, who justifies what they bought! Every talk to Beech owners? Or bush pilots flying a 185? Or Mooney pilots? It just happens that Cirrus likely has a more internet active community and representation. So you see more of them.

Tim
 
The one I had, 310 miles. Charge from 0-80% in around 30 minutes. So, 310 miles, take a half hour break, 250 miles, take a half hour break, 250 and that's more than most people will ever want to drive in a day.

Fairly decent range for probably most folks needs. But for me that would take me to Albuquerque and then turn around to come home, but not enough range to run errands in town and return. Once recharge stations are as common as convenience stores it will make owning an electric car a little easier. But then it would probably cost 40 bucks for a recharge. That would take the cost to something similar to driving my diesel pickup. Only other thing is I need to move 8000 pounds of revenue as well.

One day an electric vehicle will meet my needs, I am watching with interest. After all there was a lot of time between the Wright brothers flight and the first moon landing.
 
That is every pilot, who justifies what they bought! Every talk to Beech owners? Or bush pilots flying a 185? Or Mooney pilots? It just happens that Cirrus likely has a more internet active community and representation. So you see more of them.

Tim
Oh no doubt. I see it. Just don’t understand it...
I have no delusions that the decisions I make about anything are right for anyone else.
 
The one I had, 310 miles. Charge from 0-80% in around 30 minutes. So, 310 miles, take a half hour break, 250 miles, take a half hour break, 250 and that's more than most people will ever want to drive in a day.

I have a feeling that if you phrased that as "fly for 5 hours, land, refuel, break, take off 30 mins later, fly for 4 hours, land, refuel, break, take off 30 mins later, fly for 4 hours, land" nobody here would bat an eyelid.

There will even be arguments abound about how the fuel tank is larger than the bladder so who would want to fly further anyway?

But do that in a car twice a year while stopping for a steak and a coffee, and it becomes a totally unacceptable way of travelling...
 
I have a feeling that if you phrased that as "fly for 5 hours, land, refuel, break, take off 30 mins later, fly for 4 hours, land, refuel, break, take off 30 mins later, fly for 4 hours, land" nobody here would bat an eyelid.

There will even be arguments abound about how the fuel tank is larger than the bladder so who would want to fly further anyway?

But do that in a car twice a year while stopping for a steak and a coffee, and it becomes a totally unacceptable way of travelling...
Straw man. Nobody argued it was totally unacceptable. But it is a limitation. It’s pretending that being forced to stop for a long refuel is a positive that creates the argument. It’s not a positive. It’s acceptable to you, which is great, but it’s not a positive, it’s a negative. Period.

Comparing to flying is not really useful, as it’s totally different, but I’ll give my own comparison. People accept that every plane has a trade off. Want to carry more, you’ll burn more fuel, there’s always a trade off. Pretending like there are no tradeoffs with EVs is putting your head in the sand.
 
Straw man. Nobody argued it was totally unacceptable. But it is a limitation. It’s pretending that being forced to stop for a long refuel is a positive that creates the argument. It’s not a positive. It’s acceptable to you, which is great, but it’s not a positive, it’s a negative. Period.

Comparing to flying is not really useful, as it’s totally different, but I’ll give my own comparison. People accept that every plane has a trade off. Want to carry more, you’ll burn more fuel, there’s always a trade off. Pretending like there are no tradeoffs with EVs is putting your head in the sand.
Actually you and I view it as a negative. My wife would view it as a positive. In this case the requirement to recharge taking 30 minutes to an hour is a fact. If it is positive or negative depends solely on your perspective.

Tim

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So what happens to Tesla when the economy tanks and Musk's government subsidies dry up?
They keep on going. The customer incentives are already going down and it has not affected sales. The emission credits have crashed in price and it has not had a material affect (so far).

Tim

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Glad to read the review, and one from someone whose opinion I value. Yes, yes, Kent's a fanboy, but he won't lie. You can take that to the bank.

I rather suspect that, were I to drive one for a few days, I'd want it, so maybe best I don't, because I can't afford it just now!
 
Actually you and I view it as a negative. My wife would view it as a positive. In this case the requirement to recharge taking 30 minutes to an hour is a fact. If it is positive or negative depends solely on your perspective.

Tim

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No. Having less options is never a positive. You can always stop earlier and longer if you choose. You cannot continue on if you have no option to do so.
 
No. Having less options is never a positive. You can always stop earlier and longer if you choose. You cannot continue on if you have no option to do so.
And having to stop at a gas station instead of "filling" the car at home. And having to get the oil change early just before a road trip (or late after).
These all are compromises, it depends on ones perspective if they are positive or negative.

Tim

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They keep on going. The customer incentives are already going down and it has not affected sales. The emission credits have crashed in price and it has not had a material affect (so far).

Tim

Sent from my SM-J737T using Tapatalk

That's cause the economy is really really good right now. When it goes down the crapper and people don't have $100k to drop on electric cars, Mr Musk is gonna be in Dutch.
 
I don’t know if I’ve commented on this before but get rid of the stupid looking pc monitor! Embed it in the panel with a tilt feature and give me a HUD. Then I might buy it for $55K.
 
And having to stop at a gas station instead of "filling" the car at home. And having to get the oil change early just before a road trip (or late after).
These all are compromises, it depends on ones perspective if they are positive or negative.

Tim

Sent from my SM-J737T using Tapatalk
Yes, those are negatives about a conventional car. But nobody is trying to claim that having a coffee and relaxing while you get an oil change is a positive thing. :rolleyes:
 
Yes, those are negatives about a conventional car. But nobody is trying to claim that having a coffee and relaxing while you get an oil change is a positive thing. :rolleyes:

Pretty sure that if you tell someone that a couple of times a year they have to go sit down and have a coffee... BUT in turn for that they don't have to drive to a gas station every 2 weeks anymore, most people will see that as either a positive or at least a fair trade-off.
 
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