My Life

Jeff’s Tesla Model 3 Review

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!

Interior

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!

Exterior

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).

Jeff's Tesla Model 3 Review - So many of you wanted our opinions on the Tesla Model 3 car - is it worth the money? All of our thoughts!

Driving

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.

Jeff's Tesla Model 3 Review - So many of you wanted our opinions on the Tesla Model 3 car - is it worth the money? All of our thoughts!

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.

Jeff's Tesla Model 3 Review - So many of you wanted our opinions on the Tesla Model 3 car - is it worth the money? All of our thoughts!

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!

Trunk Space

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’.

Charging

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.

Jeff's Tesla Model 3 Review - So many of you wanted our opinions on the Tesla Model 3 car - is it worth the money? All of our thoughts!

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.

Jeff's Tesla Model 3 Review - So many of you wanted our opinions on the Tesla Model 3 car - is it worth the money? All of our thoughts!

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

Cons

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.

Jeff's Tesla Model 3 Review - So many of you wanted our opinions on the Tesla Model 3 car - is it worth the money? All of our thoughts!

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.

Jeff

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Thoughts?

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31 thoughts on “Jeff’s Tesla Model 3 Review

  1. Great review! We too have a Tesla 3. We love it! It’s so fun to drive and it really is a great commuter or around the town vehicle. We have the all black performance package so our range is slight less at 312 max but it hits 0-60 in 3.2 seconds! Hold on to your chonies lol! Cons we’ve encountered would be long drives, driving from bay to San Diego would add approx 3 hours to the drive to allow for 3 stops for charging. But hey, you have video game and Netflix to occupy your time while charging.

    1. Great review. I have a white m3 as well. After having Lexus GS 300 for years which was a great car this one rides so smooth and more enjoyable!

  2. I loved reading this review of the Tesla … I’m in the U.K. and currently researching electric cars for my next car which I hope to buy next year. How great is this review Jeff – thanks – everything real you need to know. Tesla’s are very rare and pricy in the U.K.! Thanks

  3. Great review. My husband has been considering getting one. I’ll make sure he checks out Jeff’s review. My sister and I recently took a trip to Napa (your Napa post was great!) and our driver for the week had great things to say about it as well.

  4. Love the review Jeff! Question about charging. If you only want it to go to 80% most times, do you have the ability to tell the car what percentage to stop charging, or do you have to remember and manually remove the charger?
    I think a Tesla will be in our future someday, so we’re gathering all the info we can get. Thanks for your review!!

    1. Hi Jeannine, I get this questions a lot. Yes I can set the battery charge level very easily from either the console inside the car or from the Tesla app on my phone. I tend to leave it at about 80% until we go on a long trip in which case I bump it up to 100%.

      Thanks for your question!

      -Jeff

  5. Hi Jeff! What was the cost to have the charger installed into your garage? Did you have to hire a licensed electrician. Do they need to pull a permit? Thank you!

    1. Hi Elizabeth, I had a licensed electrician install mine. At the time he was doing 5 – 10 installations per week in my area so he was very familiar with what’s required. I would check to see if you need one. According to another person who commented, apparently you need a permit for every city in the state of California.

      He charged me around $300 plus the materials/permit needed, but of course your cost would depend on the details of where the charger is located, how far from the electrical source and other conditions that consume either time or materials.

      It’s easy enough to get a quote before agreeing to any work which is what I did. The chargers are available from the Tesla website.

      Thanks for your question.

      -Jeff

      1. Hi Jeff,

        A permit is certainly required for these installations in every city in the state, so unfortunately you were ill informed in regards to this.

      2. Thanks Steve, I just checked with my electrician and he did in fact have to get a permit. Thanks for helping answer this question!
        Best,
        Jeff

  6. We purchased our Model 3 last June and while we were uncertain about what it would be like owning an electric car, we are totally in love with it. We would do it all over again. The car is such a great drive. They really put a lot of smart features into it. The only issue we have had is with the FM radio. It stopped working so we took it in. Service was easy and quick. Unfortunately about a month or so later the FM radio stopped working again. We have had no other issues so far and are very happy owners. I love the face that we have lowered our carbon footprint and our electric bill has not gone up at all.

  7. I read this to my husband and he appreciated the full review. Honestly, I thought he was convinced Telsa would be his next vehicle but now I’m sure of it. Thanks, Jeff!

  8. We have had one of our Model 3’s since it was first released. Things I love: interactive cruise control and self driving, and driving in the car pool lane, saved me 30-40 minutes each way on my commute! We loved it so much when my husband’s lease for his all electric Fiat was up he ordered another! The new model 3’s self driving is so much improved to mine. His recognizes red lights, stop signs, arrows in the road. I agree the ride is not very smooth at all, it is very uncomfortable to ride in the back seats too! That is the only con and we are constantly recommending our friends to buy one and have quite a lot of free charging miles accumulated now!

  9. Love my Tesla too! I got it about 2-3 weeks ago and it’s amazing. To be honest, I feel like it’s meant for the person who hates filling up at the gas station and forgets oil changes. It’s beautiful, but smart and eco friendly. I love it!

    1. Hi Julie,

      Awesome! Yes it’s so nice to not have to go to the gas stations anymore or remember oil changes.

      So happy you are loving your new car!

      Thanks for your note!

      -Jeff

  10. Thanks Jeff for the thorough review! Our sons tried to talk us into buying a Tesla and I love that they are so good for the environment but we ended up getting an Equinox!😏 I really wish I had listened to my son Shawn because he has one and loves it! It is an awesome car! His is Blue!! Thanks again!

  11. Hi Jeff! Thank you so much for your review. I’ve been interested in a Tesla for a while, mainly because I like the way they look. But, not having to pump gas sounds awfully nice too. I’m wondering how practical they are for roadtrips. Have you and Kristy taken a roadtrip in your Tesla?

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