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.
-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.
-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.