triangles
Posts: 1056
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:40 am
Location: Toledo, Ohio

Thoughts on a Tesla Model 3

Tue May 29, 2018 6:57 pm

So my thoughts after the first 72 hours... I now understand why Tesla has 90+% brand loyalty. Despite its shortcomings it’s by a moon shot the best car I’ve ever owned. I still have yet to figure out how to put it in neutral, supposedly this is covered in the manual which I haven't read that far yet. Somewhat explained below, the automatic regen implementation is so much more natural and enjoyable to use. Right under the speed is a black line that grows to the right with increased motor power drawn and similarly is green and grows to the left with increased regen. I really wish they had at least included a space for a spare tire but you get nothing, not even an air pump. Fortunately I figured out an 18" spare from a Genesis fits perfectly. To me the thought of traveling long distance without a spare just seems like the stupidest thing to do. Probably the biggest surprise is the seemingly vastly greater efficiency of the TM3 vs the FFE. It will be interesting to see how the cold affect the the TM3. So besides the obvious, here’s the pro’s / cons.

Pros:

-Creep can be turned off!!!

-charge capacity and speed are user selectable to maximize battery longevity.

-suspension is great. Really connects you to the road. This is a sports sedan so if you’re expecting a luxury car “floating” suspension experience you will be disappointed. I can only assume that’s where the “harsh ride” criticism I’ve read about comes from. It rides better than the FFE.

-accelerator response; not talking about fast acceleration. The throttle gently accelerates the car much more naturally than the FFE.

-almost 1 pedal driving. Kind of like driving the FFE in L but much more natural and controllable. You only use the brake pedal as you are rolling to a stop, single digits mph. Once stopped the car will indicate “hold” and stay put until you depress the accelerator. No need to keep your foot on the brake. I should also probably mention that when decelerating at a certain amount the brake lights illuminate, also they stay illuminated when you lift your foot while stopped. I initially hated the idea of one pedal driving because of how clumsy it is to get the FFE to just roll. TM3 has a bar that grows with power exerted and likewise goes the other way but in green color indicating the amount of regen. I really like that.

-homelink garage door opener: automagically opens the garage as I approach the driveway and automagically closes the garage when I pull away.

-Supercharger access!!! I haven’t tried yet but supposedly when the battery is low it can have over 200 mi added in 30mins!!! https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads ... kw.107619/

-Manual is on touchscreen and is actually well written. What little I have looked up and read thru.

-Has lane departure warning by vibrating the steering wheel.

Cons:

-Lack of parts support and aftermarket support.

-no key fob. It’s weird with the "phone key" the car simply shuts off and locks after you walk away. Not sure how this would work with the RFID key cards (the backup if your phone dies).

-everything on the central display: speed, gear selection, and turn signals feel natural so no complaints there but cramming EVERYTHING into the display leaves a lot that is unintuitive. It wasn’t as bad as I expected and I think after a few weeks will be less and less bothersome.

-“P” on the gear select stalk is hidden behind the steering wheel. Not a big deal once you know where it’s at.

-emergency mechanical door lever inside is intuitively located where you’d expect the door latch lever to be. The problem is that normally the window opens slightly to clear the seal/trim. It’s too easy to accidentally use the mechanical lever and possibly damage the window seal.

-no spare tire! Apparently we as a society have become too incompetent to accomplish the simple task of changing a wheel. Not even a flat tire kit. I so wish they had done away with the frunk and just put the spare tire under the hood. Thankfully a Genesis 18” spare fits and I got one reasonably at a junkyard.

-rear brake/indicator lights are tiny. Mostly just a personal preference. Also would have preferred separate amber rear turn signals.

-cost; I ended up spending about $10k more than I expected. But being assured to get the tax credit helps ease that pain.

Pro and con:

- auto wipers and headlights; I prefer manual but not having dedicated buttons/knobs make it clumsy and impossible to do without taking your eyes off the road. So auto everything is an acceptable compromise. I can tweak the settings while stopped and it’s safe to take my eyes off the road.

Final thoughts: The TM3 is a phenomenal car. There are a few minor details that appear incomplete or not very well thought out. Hopefully these will eventually be improved upon in later versions. I think I understand what Elon meant when he said you wouldn't care about the lack of an instrument cluster behind the steering wheel. It seems the end goal is to make everything voice command or automagic. The voice command needs some improvement but is marginally usable unlike the FFE which is IMHO completely unusable. The automagic stuff is almost there. Speaking of which, I did not get autopilot because I actually enjoy driving and the car was already stoopid expensive without it. I have driven an S on autopilot and though it was a neat gimmick but not something I would want. When the tech progresses to the point of Level 5 autonomous driving, now that could be useful. One nitpick I almost forgot is that there are no %numbers shown for battery charge state and also none where you set how full the battery charges to. Just a graphical display.
2014 Blue Candy FFE
http://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/focus/2014/triangles/303811 (since this forum doesn't allow BBcode in sigs)

sefs
Posts: 236
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Location: Gibsonia, PA

Re: Thoughts on a Tesla Model 3

Wed May 30, 2018 5:27 am

Congratulations man! I'll be there soon too, just waiting for my AWD Model 3 delivery.
2018 Tesla Model 3 LR AWD Multicoat Red Metallic
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EVA
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Re: Thoughts on a Tesla Model 3

Wed May 30, 2018 9:44 pm

Congratulations Triangles. Glad you love the car.

Supercharging - yeah you will be amazed. Here's the trick to find them - look for the big fenced in box near them. The Superchargers themselves are sometimes hard to find. They all have a big fenced in area that holds the transformers - those are easy to find.

Not sure if the Model 3 app is different from the Model S - that setting for how full to charge the car, you don't really need to know percentage. Just set it to the notch before Trip, and you'll be fine. There's a bracket for daily and a bracket for trip - just set it at the far end of daily.

You'll end up hating the navigation system. That's the worst part of the car. Point to point, that's all you can do.

The best part you haven't mentioned is the energy chart. The first time you take a long trip, watch that thing. You'll be surprised.

42 degrees is the temperature where the battery starts using energy to warm itself. Your range will drop a decent amount below that temperature. You can pre-warm the battery and car from shore power with the app. You're lucky, that is a recent improvement. The pre-warming used to only do the car heater and not the battery.

Be careful if you ever charge the car to 100% or the car is cold with reduced regen. It is worse than the FFE with no stopping power. You will get used to that one pedal driving, and when regen doesn't work, you'll be surprised.

Also be sure to use the brakes every once in a while - they get a really bad glaze on them if you don't.

Have tons of fun.
2014 Platinum White FFE (Turning in mid Dec. 2016 25,000 miles)
2013 Ingot Silver FFE
2012 Titanium ICE Focus
2014 Tesla Model S 85

spirilis
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Location: Maryland

Re: Thoughts on a Tesla Model 3

Thu May 31, 2018 4:50 am

Don't they list the Superchargers on Plugshare.com (& app)?
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2017 Ford C-Max Energi SE (Kona Blue)

damania
Posts: 180
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 6:03 pm

Re: Thoughts on a Tesla Model 3

Thu May 31, 2018 3:12 pm

Congrats! I would get a 3 if only it was $50k or less and I would prefer dual motors. The disappearing tax credit also makes it more difficult but I suspect price reductions will be in place.

EVA
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Re: Thoughts on a Tesla Model 3

Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:52 am

spirilis wrote:Don't they list the Superchargers on Plugshare.com (& app)?
Yes Tesla chargers are listed in Plugshare. You can't filter for Superchargers only - you can only filter for Tesla chargers. Destination and home chargers come up, along with superchargers.

Plugshare is the goofy way around to find them (it is useful if you in a Tesla charger desert, and trying to find L2 chargers or people willing to share). The Destination Chargers and Superchargers are all listed in the navigation software inside the car. They are also listed at the Tesla website. And there is the best way to find superchargers around the world, and what is happening (as in where are the permits to build, building, and open superchargers):
supercharge.info
Yes that's the address, no .com or www.
Supercharge.info is crowd sourced Google map, with tons of information about each charger. And it is totally world wide - it is cool to look at the chargers in France or China, or Australia. There are sweet links to at each charger. Including discussions about the charger.
2014 Platinum White FFE (Turning in mid Dec. 2016 25,000 miles)
2013 Ingot Silver FFE
2012 Titanium ICE Focus
2014 Tesla Model S 85

triangles
Posts: 1056
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:40 am
Location: Toledo, Ohio

Re: Thoughts on a Tesla Model 3

Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:20 am

So I thought I posted this yesterday but apparently I forgot to hit submit :lol:
EVA wrote:Not sure if the Model 3 app is different from the Model S - that setting for how full to charge the car, you don't really need to know percentage. Just set it to the notch before Trip, and you'll be fine. There's a bracket for daily and a bracket for trip - just set it at the far end of daily.

You'll end up hating the navigation system. That's the worst part of the car. Point to point, that's all you can do.

The best part you haven't mentioned is the energy chart. The first time you take a long trip, watch that thing. You'll be surprised.

Also be sure to use the brakes every once in a while - they get a really bad glaze on them if you don't.

Have tons of fun.
Yeah I think the charge settings are the same. On mine it doesn't say what % the brackets are either but the guy at the service center said it's 50% to 90% for daily making each notch 10% I leave it at a fuzz over 70% which gives me 222 miles of range. Seems odd that they don't tell you on screen what % each notch is.

The nav system works great from voice command for point to point. Unlike the FFE's it's actually useful. I hadn't tried to do multiple stops yet. I also haven't tried putting in any long trips to see if it tells me what superchargers to use and how long to stay there.

At least not yet, Model 3 does not have this energy chart you speak of. All there is, is a line under the speedo that is black and grows to the right with increased power draw. On regen the line is green and grows to the left with increased regen. The only other energy info is in your trip meters it gives miles traveled, kWh used and kWh/mi average. There's nothing to indicate what is using power or how much. Still not used to having nothing to do to turn it off other than get out and walk away. I am curious to find out if there is a camping mode for TM3. I could see this being advantageous for camping if it's going to rain. Taking down a wet tent sucks!
spirilis wrote:Don't they list the Superchargers on Plugshare.com (& app)?
Yes and they are also shown on the nav in the Tesla. What EVA was referring to was finding what end of the parking lot they are located in once you get to the charging destination. Almost all the ones I'd ever use I've already scoped out using http://supercharge.info which usually has info or a link to a forum discussing each location.
damania wrote:Congrats! I would get a 3 if only it was $50k or less and I would prefer dual motors. The disappearing tax credit also makes it more difficult but I suspect price reductions will be in place.
They currently start at $49K as long as you like black. Tesla is trying to put off the 200k'th until after June 30th which would make the full credit available to the end of the year and then $3750 until June 30th 2019. If they manage to get production up to 5000-6000 per week by July like they are trying, you might be able to put in a reservation now and get one by the end of the year but it won't be AWD, too many people in line for that. I had really wanted AWD but I wanted the LR battery more. The price for both put the car out of my budget (also I'd still be waiting for AWD). I actually now think AWD would have been a waste of money. RWD provides adequate regen that I only need to hit the brake pedal at single digit mph rolling up to a stop. Anyway with demand far outstripping production capability, and Tesla desperate to turn a profit, no offense but you are smoking crack if you think there will be any price reductions anytime in the next year or two. Unless by "price reducitons" you meant the $35k base and less optioned cars being available. Those should be available early next year but I imagine the base model may not be available for a new reservation before the $3750 credit expires.
2014 Blue Candy FFE
http://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/focus/2014/triangles/303811 (since this forum doesn't allow BBcode in sigs)

EVA
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Re: Thoughts on a Tesla Model 3

Sat Jun 02, 2018 8:59 am

The Nav does give you supercharger stops, and how long to charge. When you are at the stop, the app tells you when you've charged enough to continue your trip.

It is not a bad exercise to use Supercharge.info and Google maps to plan your trip. The first two years I had the car, I spent a lot of time working out stops. It is a great mental exercise. A lot of people use evtripplanner. Personally I hate it. Have never figured out how to use it and how to dial in the factors exactly right. Then the output was weird, something I don't understand.

Our first long trip was from Chicago to Phoenix. The whole trip was 5,000 miles round trip. There were hardly any superchargers back then. Had to take the far northern route (Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona). It was a gorgeous trip where we saw things we would have never stopped to visit. Today, the supercharger route takes you down the shortest Google map route to Phoenix.

That trip took a lot of planning, which chargers to use, what was nearby, and where to stop for the night along the way. Today you'd have a much easier time.

The reason for pre-planning, sometimes the nav will tell you to stop in strange places, too early, or too far away. Knowing your options is a good thing. In theory, you can put your destination in the nav, follow the advice, and drive.
2014 Platinum White FFE (Turning in mid Dec. 2016 25,000 miles)
2013 Ingot Silver FFE
2012 Titanium ICE Focus
2014 Tesla Model S 85

jmueller065
Posts: 2386
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Re: Thoughts on a Tesla Model 3

Sat Jun 02, 2018 9:13 am

EVA wrote:The Nav does give you supercharger stops, and how long to charge. When you are at the stop, the app tells you when you've charged enough to continue your trip.

It is not a bad exercise to use Supercharge.info and Google maps to plan your trip. The first two years I had the car, I spent a lot of time working out stops. It is a great mental exercise. A lot of people use evtripplanner. Personally I hate it. Have never figured out how to use it and how to dial in the factors exactly right. Then the output was weird, something I don't understand.

Our first long trip was from Chicago to Phoenix. The whole trip was 5,000 miles round trip. There were hardly any superchargers back then. Had to take the far northern route (Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona). It was a gorgeous trip where we saw things we would have never stopped to visit. Today, the supercharger route takes you down the shortest Google map route to Phoenix.

That trip took a lot of planning, which chargers to use, what was nearby, and where to stop for the night along the way. Today you'd have a much easier time.

The reason for pre-planning, sometimes the nav will tell you to stop in strange places, too early, or too far away. Knowing your options is a good thing. In theory, you can put your destination in the nav, follow the advice, and drive.
LOL All good advice for any long duration trip EV or not! (I do something similar when taking an RV trip--obviously not with all the EV websites, but roadtrippers, etc.).

Now I get to dirty this Tesla thread: I pulled the trigger on a Bolt today ;)
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