Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Tesla Model 3 quick drive


A few days ago, I was lucky enough to be behind the wheel of a Tesla model 3 for just a few minutes.
A far cry from my usual week-long drives, but I thought would still mention it.
And report on  a few things.



The large center screen is actually very cool. And not that hard to get used to.
The speedometer is all the way to the left, so it is not such a reach to see how fast you are going.

I still think there is nothing better than a volume knob for a stereo system, and of course, the Tesla does not have one.
But these days, many other models don't either.
Like with these other cars,  the best way to control the volume is to use the steering wheel control, and not the annoying slider on the screen. It's not that bad.



But, on the Tesla Model3, everything else is controlled from the screen.
Although it looks really cool and futuristic, (especially the way you control the AC "invisible" vents)
it is still a very distracting process.
It is like having a phone screen controlling everything in your house.  From the coffee maker to your TV.



As for the drive itself, it is very typical of other EVs.
Which means, very quick and silent.

The steering has a nice feel to it. But I thought the suspension was too firm for most.
It is quite sporty, but as a family car, it might be a bit much. And it is not adjustable.

The truck is very roomy. And even though it lacks a proper hatch, it seems the Tesla Model3 could actually work as a camping companion.

The rest of the interior is not as futuristic or simply designed as the dashboard. It almost feels like it was designed by another team.
As it looks more like a VW Jetta than an expensive EV. (The car I drove was well above $50 000)
And while the frameless doors are a cool design, they don't feel as solid as what you'd find of a Jetta or a Golf. (And not even close to that super solid feel of the Honda Accord doors)


No matter what people think of Tesla, it is the way of the future.

The Tesla Model 3 is a very nice car. 
It is just overpriced in my opinion.
(It does feel a bit like a regular car at a luxury car price.)
Plus, the lack of color choices would be a deal breaker for me anyway.

The regular looking wheels (Not the weirdo grey wheel cover ones) are a $1500 option.
So is any other color other than black.

The "$35 000 Model 3" does not exist. And it might never be available. ( I don't think they will actually ever produce the base model)
At over $50 000, the interior needs a bit more. (But the same can be said of the "over $80 000 Model S")
The whole thing is a bit plain. It lacks things like adjustable suspension, cooling seats etc...
Things an "over $50 000" car should at least offer as an option.
There is also no Apple Car Play or Android Auto available. And no satellite radio either...

That huge available power can almost never be used on public roads. So I am not sure why people even spend the extra cash on the performance version.
Since the regular model is already faster than almost anyone will ever need.

Tesla has built an amazing image in just a few years. And it seems that hundreds of thousands of people will never even consider anything else.
But for most people, (And the ones who can't afford a car that expensive), the competition will soon flood the market with tons of other EVs.
And most of them will be at least as good as the Model3, and many of them will be cheaper.
Once EVs cost about the same price as gas cars and everyone is making them, Tesla will need something else than hardcore fans.

Or maybe not?












9 comments:

Carl Sandstedt said...

But you HATE stuck on tablet-type information clusters!?!?

Scott MacEwen said...

Define 'soon' for soon be flooded...the VW stuff has been delayed till 2020; and that's if they manage to get it off the ground in meaningful QTY's; Tesla has expertise, factories for batteries -and yet they still can't make a launch deadline...while Model 3 is now +6-7K per week in production, it's about a year late getting there and the $35K model is still yet to be produced. How on earth does VW think they'll be able to best this? They don't have a single battery factory yet....

I'm an EV owner (Model S) - and am among the group of people who can't go back to ICE cars....not having to fill up with gas when it's -20 (in Canada - that's game changing) / you just plug your car in at night and it's good to go in the AM. Or the hypnotic acceleration...it's awesome.

My wife drives the Volt as well...which is another GREAT product. GM is dumb for killing it.

Ralph L said...

Voice controls to the rescue!

If car makers aren't going to offer an adjustable ride, how tough would it be for them to offer a softer suspension option? Some of us have loose teeth to worry about.

Barry Oppenheim said...

Did you notice that there's no AM radio? When I test-drove the 3, I asked the salesperson about that. He asked "why would you want AM radio'?

'Nuf said.

Anonymous said...

First the i3 and i8 were going to destroy Tesla. Then the Bolt. Then the new Jag I-Pace. Next the Porsche Taycan. Nope, nope, nope and nope. Tesla’s got the brand that people crave. Just like how Apple has fended off the competition that is cheaper and basically just as good. And with Tesla even more so than Apple, the innovation keeps coming, Maybe every little bell and whistle the competition has is missing but can they make fart sounds with a turn signal?

Anonymous said...


Blogger Barry Oppenheim said...
Did you notice that there's no AM radio? When I test-drove the 3, I asked the salesperson about that. He asked "why would you want AM radio'?

'Nuf said.

January 2, 2019 at 3:31 PM

Why use AM radio when you can stream the stuff from the web? Any meaningful radio station (AM/FM) has a digital streaming service. No AM 'noise', you can get it anywhere worldwide and it costs the same as AM, nothing.

Nuff said.

Barry Oppenheim said...

Funny thing about that - Tesla salesperson tried to do just that - but couldn't find the station here in LA.

Oh well - I guess it was a better Tesla idea to not include an AM radio....

Nick said...

You can not get to know a Tesla with a few minutes. It took me a few hours watching YouTube for tips of many things I can do without touching the screen. Model 3 does have a volume scrolling button on the left side of the steering wheel. That button can also be used as songs skipping forward and backward button.

Nick said...

You can not get to know a Tesla with a few minutes. It took me a few hours watching YouTube for tips of many things I can do without touching the screen. Model 3 does have a volume scrolling button on the left side of the steering wheel. That button can also be used as songs skipping forward and backward button.