I’ve been wanting to write a review on my new Tesla Model 3 for quite awhile now but decided to wait so that I can give a true evaluation after using it for a good amount of time. I’ve had the Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle with the extended range battery (which gives me about 325 miles of range) for 18 months now and I use it to commute to work 4-5 days a week. Some days the drive is a wonderful short 30 minutes while other days it can take up to 1 1/2 – 2 hours with heavy traffic. Making the switch to an all electric car has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. I was over filling up my tank with gas and wanted to contribute to being more environmentally friendly. Also, having an all electric car enables me to use the HOV/carpool lane. Incredible advantage!! Below I’m sharing the pros and cons (what few there are) of my car and my honest thoughts on making the leap to electric.
Disclaimer: Kristy asked me to do this last minute so I didn’t have time to get my car washed or detailed before taking photos. All makeup marks belong to Kristy and any dust and dirt I apologize for. We’re keeping it real here!
The seating is comfortable with the front seats fitting me well (I’m 6′ 0″), there’s great adjustable lumbar support and plenty of head room. I have the premium interior package with 12-way adjustable heated seats (rear are heated too!), premium sound with 14 speakers and what they refer to as ‘immersive sound’. All I can say is IT’S AWESOME!!
Just about every option is controlled through the large touch screen which is wide and sits at a good height. Most of the controls are intuitive and easy to get to. A bunch of extras are available through the console like video games, Caraoke (Karaoke in the car) and other entertainment options like Netflix movie streaming. Of course all of these options are only available while the car is in park, but very nice to have while you are waiting for your car to charge.
The glass roof lets the sunlight in but acts more like sun glasses by keeping the super bright sun rays out. As a result the cabin is bright during the day but doesn’t overheat.
The heating and cooling system works really well. This includes the heated seats that come in handy when it’s cold out. In fact on cold mornings I can begin warming the interior including the seats through the app on my phone so by the time I need to start driving to work it’s nice and toasty inside and the widows are defrosted/de-iced on the outside. I love this feature!
The Model 3 has a sleek very cool exterior style. I wanted a smaller car after driving SUV’s for the past several years and this was a nice balance between compact and larger cars. I chose a few exterior upgrades such as the 19″ sport wheels and the Obsidian Black multi layer metallic paint (which is no longer available).
The car handles really well on both the highway and around town. There are several options that change the way it drives such as the re-generation level that sends power back to the battery and the steering that can be adjusted from sporty to comfort which gives you the option of feeling like you’re driving a sports car/ luxury car depending on what style you like best.
One of my favorite features is the navigation. While most of us have navigation available on our mobile phones, the navigation built in to the car continually checks traffic levels and will re-route me during my commute which saves me a ton of time. It appears on the large screen which makes it easy reference while driving.
The self driving features are what set Tesla apart from most other vehicles. While self driving is not yet available for city streets, it works well on highways and comes in handy during heavy commute traffic. I can press a single button to set the navigation for ‘Home’ and when I reach the freeway, I turn on the auto-drive feature and it takes over. It handles staying in my lane, changing lanes at various times, keeping speed with traffic including stop and go as needed. During my commute, stop and go seems to happen more and more these days and having the car do this takes a lot of stress out of the daily commute. Note: You are required to keep your hands on the steering wheel, stay alert and be ready to take over at any time, which I think is extremely important!
The trunk is spacious with the ability to lower the rear seat backs all way down to allow for longer cargo like skis, large rugs, etc. The fact there is no gas tank or spare tire allows for even more space which can be found in a compartment underneath the trunk floor. We use this for groceries because it holds everything upright which is so convenient. There is also room available in the front trunk for small bags and the portable charger that comes with the car, this space is referred to as the ‘Frunk’.
At first I thought that charging would be an ongoing concern but that soon faded and I haven’t had any issues. My car has a range of 325 miles when fully charged, but in order to maximize battery life, Tesla recommends charging to about 80% of capacity which is about 260 miles for me. For occasional long trips it’s ok to fully charge to the 325 mile range, which I have done several times.
There are 2 key convenient ways that I charge my car, home and at work.
For home, I had a Tesla wall mounted charger installed in my garage ($500 for the charger plus installation charges). With this charger I’m able to charge at the rate of about 45 miles for each hour of charging. While this option was a little more expensive than just using the portable charger that comes with the car it’s been worth it because the portable charger provides only about 4 – 20 miles for each hour of charging depending on the outlet that is available. When we had it installed I also made sure to have a long charging cord attached so that it can reach the car in every position on both the driveway and inside the garage.
At work, my company has provided a large number of chargers at our offices that that give me the ability to charge free for 4 hours at a time. These chargers give me about 25 miles for each hour of charging.
Another convenient option for charging has been made available by Tesla through their super charging stations with 100’s located in the area where I live and more than 9000 world wide.
If you decide to buy a Tesla Model 3, you can get 1000 miles of free Tesla supercharging by using the following referral code: https://ts.la/jeff64516
There really aren’t many cons with this car and certainly none that would keep me from buying another. But there are a few things that could be improved. For one, the door handles take some getting used to because there is an unusual motion required by using your thumb to first push out the handle in order to grab it with your fingers. Kristy says she doesn’t like this but I guess I am just used to it, so it doesn’t bother me.
Another thing about the Tesla Model 3 is that it has a very stiff suspension (in my opinion), compared to many of the cars I have driven over the years, which means that I feel a lot of the little bumps in the road. It would be nice to have it a little smoother.
Next time you are in market for a car, I would recommend looking at electric vehicles and while you do that, why not look at Tesla? I did and I’m hooked. I intend my next car to also be a Tesla.
I hope you enjoyed my quick review and good luck with your next vehicle purchase.
If you decide to buy a Tesla Model 3, you can get 1000 miles of free Tesla supercharging by clicking here.
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