Model 3

Why does CR hate M3 so much??

Why does CR hate M3 so much??

Tesla: The Model S sedan has dropped to below average, with suspension problems and other issues that included the extending door handle. The first-year Model 3 sedan had average reliability

However, the ride is very stiff and choppy, and the rear seat sits uncomfortably low. The controls are very distracting, since many simple tasks, such as adjusting the mirrors, require spending time interacting with the large touch screen.


  • edited October 2018
    @doctorsmile: Tesla doesn’t pay to advertise, and also called them on their bullshit.
  • edited October 2018
    CR has been struggling, and seems to rely more on clickbait, and trying to seem important by being contrarian. With the Model S, they raved about it because it was something new, and doing so brought a lot of attention to CR. Now that Tesla is more well known, they do better by trashing it.

    IMO, they do the same to Apple.
  • edited October 2018
    They call the touchpad a distraction? Shows this is an older reviewer. They cannot think outside the box.

    If you love to drive, you love a Tesla.
  • edited October 2018
    Strange, when I read the review I find it a generally positive review, with more positive feedback than negative. I would not interpret that review to be that of a hater.

    CR does not accept advertising and purchases their products on the open market.
  • edited October 2018
    CR has a few big complaints, right up in the summary:

    "We bought a Model 3 with the Long Range battery. Our testers found the Model 3 to be fun to drive, thanks to the superb handling and immediate thrust from the electric motor. However, the Model 3's distracting controls, overly stiff ride, and uncomfortable rear seat count heavily against it."

    1) Ride feel. They expect cars in this price class to be floating couches. As a result, they dislike the suspension system in the car and its "sportier" feel. If it was marketed as having a "sportier" feel, they probably would have liked it.

    They acknowledge the sporty feel, which ties into the "overly stiff ride" they complain about:
    "We were impressed by the Model 3's glued-to-the-road handling and quick, precise steering. The taut suspension keeps the Tesla from leaning when taking corners, and the car's sharp reflexes help it carve through tight turns with ease. Overall, it feels like a well-tuned sports car."

    And they even acknowledge that they don't like the sporty ride, they want a couch feel:
    "The Model 3's ride is overly stiff, like many sports cars, and it struggles to absorb bumps with any grace. Its bigger sibling, the Model S, has a far superior ride. The Model 3 also suffers from considerable wind noise at highway speeds."

    Right here, it's clear they want it to be a downsized Model S:
    "The Model 3's ride quality will disappoint many, particularly those who expect it to ride like a smaller version of the Model S. Its ride is overly stiff, partly due to Tesla's recommended 45 psi tire pressure, because it suffers from choppy body motions. Bumps and ruts punch through in a pronounced way that doesn't befit a car at this price point."

    2) Noise. I find this one to be totally arbitrary. People hear more road noise in a Tesla. They hear more road noise in any EV, period. This is simply because you aren't hearing the engine all the time, which ends up bothering some people. On the otherhand, some people complain about wind noise -- something all cars have that is usually drowned out by the ICE.

    "The Model 3 has a whisper-quiet electric power plant. But because there is an absence of engine sounds, ambient noise from passing cars and road noise on coarse pavement is more noticeable than it is in other cars. With the large glass roof, there's a pronounced level of wind rustle at highway speeds."

    3) Rear seat room. I've had friends of all heights ride in the rear seat with most of them saying it is the most comfortable car they have sat in. I literally don't understand their complaint here, but suspect it is based entirely upon raw measurements or possibly measurements from the inner dimensions as given by Tesla.

    They must have had someone super-tall who didn't want to stretch out, but instead sat feet flat on the floor knees at 90 degrees: "Those door handles and low stance make getting in the back equally difficult. Once inside, passengers will find the rear seat cushion short and mounted too low. This pushes passengers' knees up into the air and eliminates any thigh support."

    4) Front and Rear Access are a matter of preference. Front access is adjustable with "Easy Access". I get the feeling they didn't get a premium model and so didn't have the easy access and found it a bit nitpicky to fit in.

    "Some ducking is required to get into the low-slung car."

    5) Controls and Display. They simply hate the "stark" interior aesthetic. The reviewer is used to a busy, cluttered dash, and wants to have an independent button for every operation rather than having to go through the central display. This is a matter of personal preference.

    They also don't like the doorhandles and they're right, the first few times you get in and out of a Tesla the doors are unnatural and awkward -- right up and until you adapt to it after two or three days:
    "Other Model 3 eccentricities seem to be there just for the sake of being different. The door handles are one example: Press on one side of the chrome lever, and then pull on the other side to open the door. It’s unnatural and awkward."

    My biggest complaint is the view out of the rear of the car -- and they nail it:
    "Visibility is expansive and clear, except in the rear, where the high package shelf hurts the driver's view to the rear."

    They don't like interacting with the touch screen and if you only took the car for a test drive and were playing with all the features, rather than settling into pace with it, then it would be obnoxious:
    "We found it is highly distracting to use the screen, which, too often, forces the driver to divert their attention from the road. Users must frequently fiddle with the screen to perform common tasks and the text is small."

    I disagree about adjusting the mirrors while driving -- I find the Model 3 to be one of the most comfortable cars I've driven while doing that:
    "It's one thing for drivers to adjust the mirrors while parked, but it's incredibly distracting to attempt micro adjustments while driving."

    "A head-up display would be a big help, but it’s not offered."

    6) Trunk space boggles me. I've been in a lot of cars and actually find the Tesla to have more space than most of them, I would have given it a 4/5 only because the trunk entry is a bit awkward.

    7) Materials annoy them: "The center armrest feels flimsy, and the front seats' faux-leather material doesn't look upscale enough for a $59,000 car."

    8) Common complaints about little things (and some big ones like the media system):
    "There is no AM radio, and neither Android Auto nor Apple Carplay are supported."

    "There is no overhead container for sunglasses."

    "The Model 3 doesn't have a spare tire, run-flat tires, or air compressor, so drivers who get a flat tire must call Tesla's roadside assistance. There's no charge for the service for the first four years or 50,000 miles, but this lack of independence is disconcerting."

    They're right about blindspot monitoring:
    "Blind-spot warning -- The Model 3 doesn’t have a traditional blind-spot warning system with icons that are visible in the side mirrors. Instead, it displays an image of the car in the center screen and shows images of surrounding vehicles. Red lines are displayed when a vehicle or object is in close proximity. In our experience, this is an inadequate warning system as drivers naturally check the mirror for a blind-spot warning, and not a center screen."


    Summary -- overall they're pretty fair, but they heavily ding the car for feeling sporty instead of comfy at its price range.
  • edited October 2018
    Mr. Xerogas suggests. "Tesla doesn’t pay to advertise," But CR doesn't take advertisements.

    CR does, however, want to attract attention and saying bad things about something -- or someone -- that everyone else is praising, is one way to literally stand out in the crowd.

    But, let's be realistic here. Tesla cars aren't perfect. The S has a complicated suspension system and those amazing door handles are mechanically complex too. And, let's face it, to the uninitiated, the Model 3's touch-screen-to-the-max user interface can seem a bit... well... "overdone," what with wading through menus just to open the glove compartment.

    The result, however, of this UI paradigm is an extraordinarily beautiful interior. When I get into "old fashioned" cars these days, I get a headache just looking at the dashboard with its visual cacophony of displays, buttons, knobs, levers, lights, gauges, etc. In fact, one of my greatest criticisms of the Model 3 is that I can't adjust the seat details from the touch screen.
  • edited October 2018
    CR is payola. It used to be fairly unbiased but now it just as bad as Fox News.
  • edited October 2018
    CR gave Model 3 a higher rating than every other car in its category except the Audi A4. Better than the BMW, Infiniti, Alfa, Marc, Lexus, Acura, etc. etc. etc.

    I agree that the reviewers are completely old school and what they really, really, really like are old, frumpy, ugly, low-tech cars with loads of switches, knobs, and whatnot. Their HIGHEST rated sedans - in ALL Categories - were the Subaru Impreza and the Toyota Avalon. So take it for what it is worth. They like the grandmother cars and all this fancy schmancy touch screen stuff is just too distracting and unfamiliar to them. My 89 year old mother had a similar reaction to my model 3. "Very nice but too complicated for me to learn all that."
  • edited October 2018
    It is good to have independent reviewers of products like CR. I may not agree completely with them, but they do provide some good feedback. It is actually great to have everyone beating on Tesla since they just continuously improve with all the feedback. That is what is great about Tesla.

    My Model 3 is the most expensive car I’ve owned and was never expecting to spend this much. But I am definitely happy with such a great car and hope that Tesla keeps improving every day.

    They get beat on safety. They improve safety for customers and workers.
    They get beat on reliability. They improve reliability.
    They get beat on quality. They improve quality.
    They get beat on production rate. They improve production rate.
    They get beat on cost, they improve on cost.

    Impossible to compete against someone who continuously improves.

    Performance in the end will show through negative media.
  • edited October 2018
    I disagree with most of CR's points wrt to the M3. I find that the reviewer just isn't progressive and is one of those old "when I drove a car in my day, it was Iike flying around on pillows". I say go back to your Laz-E-boy. If I wanted a car to ride around like an ocean liner I would go on a trip.

    However I find its more about the media highlighting it rather than CR itself. This whole thing was of course timed to try to take a bite out of the Q3 Report. Uhm nu'uh friends. Last ditch attempt. They should all now start to stop the shenanigans. More and more see through it.
  • edited November -1
    People now can find much better product info and reviews either by real pros or crowd sourced (e.g. Amazon reviews) online for free. CR's old customer base is going away or dying off. It's in a survival mode and will do anything to get that click. Whatever it does I think it's days are numbered.
  • edited October 2018
    CR is independent. They do not hate any car company and are simply giving their views
  • edited October 2018
    CR makes money by selling more CR. If "opinions" that diss TESLA sells more CR than "opinions" that praise TESLA they will publish findings accordingly. I gave up on CR about 20 years ago.
  • edited October 2018
    CR has never liked a car that I bought. This goes back to the 80s. It seems they want every car to behave like your Grandpa's family sedan. Still I appreciate their reviews for what they are, but their opinions by and large don't match what I seek in a car.
  • edited October 2018
    The problem with CR's reliability numbers are that they are not based on empirical data, they are based on an annual questionnaire to a select group of people(it's members and subscribers) it is voluntary and does not even require that you own the vehicle you report on(no way to confirm). Questionnaires like polls are based the representative populations and the willingness of people to answer correctly without a bias. kind of like the internet it's all true … right.

    I always thought they gathered statistics, I was wrong.
  • edited October 2018
    @dkabq Absolutely. It's never real statistics even if it's presented that way. It's just a volunteered response from a selected group of people. Worse is you can't even verify survey respondents really own Tesla. Just like if you read recent V9 posts on the S forum you'd think Tesla screwed it big time.
  • edited October 2018
    Consumer Reports is ripping off people and got a real low rating itself.
  • edited October 2018
    What's the issue here? What did CR say that is inaccurate?

    I've been driving one of our company Model 3's for the past couple of weeks. Coming from a Model S, the Model 3 IS very stiff and bumpy in comparison to the Model S. Expectedly so, being that it's a lighter car with no air suspension. I am a little surprised with how stiff the ride is. For me, being I drive a lot of sports cars as well, I actually like it, but am surprised at the stiffness of the suspension. CR certainly isn't wrong in saying so.

    Controls distracting.......Absolutely. Everything being on a screen to the side, requiring multiple taps to get to what you need while driving is absolutely more distracting than most cars, including the Model S. This is Tesla's way of doing it. Accept it or don't. Nobody has to buy the car. They're doing it because they think nobody needs easy control of this stuff since the cars will be autonomous. Unfortunately, they're way too far ahead of themselves and I think the majority agrees that it would nice if the car was more user friendly. But again, it is what it is. It's Tesla choice to build the car as they want and consumers choice whether to buy it or not. But again, CR is not wrong.

    And finally, having read many reviews, the common complaint has been about the rear seat positions. Tesla chose to have a sloping roof line and to move the interior toward the edges in a smaller car to give passengers more space. With gains, there are almost always sacrifices. To accomplish this, and allow adult passengers to sit erect, the lower seat pad had to be lowered. It IS lower than most passenger cars. Your knees are much higher up than in most passenger cars. For passengers over 5 1/2 feet, there have been many complaints that it's not the most comfortable seating position. The trade off would be to move the seats forward, take away leg room like other cars of similar size do and raise the seat bad up. Which is better? That's for you to decide as a consumer. Again, Tesla chose to do it this way, it's up to the consumer to decide. Can't have everything. Again, CR said nothing inaccurate.

    And yes, after driving hundreds of cars in my lifetime, in comparison to any other car, the door handles are a pain in the ass. No big deal for those that only get in their car for work and home. But for those that are in and out multiple times a day and commonly have their hands full, it's a huge pain in the ass. As is having to pull out your phone or use the key card to unlock the doors or open the trunk. Without the phone, can't even open the trunk or passenger door without first going to the drivers door. Something so simple in almost every other car is far more complicated in this car. It's a cute party trick for a second or two, but I'd bet the large majority would trade out the door handles for something simple if they could. Again, compared to the simplicity of the Model S door handles, yes, in relative terms, they are difficult.

    At least they didn't mention the lack of a key fob!
  • edited October 2018
    I think the may have tested an early version with the stiffer suspension and perhaps more road noise? The early build I rented on Turo certainly was noisier than mine. That being said I agree the rear seat is uncomfortably low but I accept that current battery prices dictate a heavy emphasis on aerodynamics to get the required range. As such, Tesla had a choice between seat cushion height and head room in the rear seat. I think the made a reasonable trade off. As for road/wind noise, it pains me a bit to say this but my wife's 2018 Leaf has a lot less road noise (tire rumble) and *slightly* less wind noise than my model 3 (acquired 9/19). Tesla has some room to improve there and I am sure they will. As for adapting to the UI, I am 57 and found it a piece of cake. Easier than my wife's Leaf actually. For the Leaf, I had to RTFM to figure out a lot of things I could just poke around the model 3 UI and figure out for myself. The only thing on the screen I need to touch while driving is the temperature control and occasionally the wiper speed since the automatic wipers, while greatly improved in V39, still aren't aggressive enough at times.
  • edited October 2018
    The CR report is accurate and even handed.

    I like my model 3 dual very much. . . and some of the "flaws" pointed out by CR are why I like the car.

    I love the sports car feel and handling (MUCH better than my 2001 BMW M5, my 2002 Porsche 996) The spartan dash, the quirky door handles.

    The windshield wiper controls are just plain dangerous & they need to fix this. The high rear shelf is annoying. The lack of a useful blind spot warning is disappointing.

    Would the Model 3 be perfect for an "average" large car buyer? Maybe not. But a nice Porsche sports car would also be a disaster for the "average" US car buyer.
  • edited October 2018
    CR has never been good with car reviews, unless you only want utilitarian. They don't see value in a quick, sporty vehicle. If you want a Camry or Civic, they are fine, otherwise only use them when you need a new toaster oven.
  • edited October 2018
    Does anyone under 70 actually read CR? I did in high school before the internet.
  • edited October 2018
    @Bighorn Nope. They provide nothing useful.. Far more (and better) data available elsewhere
  • edited October 2018
    I think the review is fair for the most part, especially when you consider they’re basing those opinions on general, normal convention visa vis “typical” car considerations.

    Most of what we’re paying for is the technology aspect. Tesla isn’t putting money into “soft suspensions,” or “supple,” (real) leather, or any of the other things people typically look for in a car of this price range, because that’s not any of this is about.

    It’s like attempting to rate a sports car by limo concerns. It’s going to rate really low, even if it is the most exceptional sports car in the world.

    If they reviewed it as a long range, all electric, perennially updateable car that arguably can compete with supercars costing 3 and 4 times as much, while being a safe, reliable, daily driver, it would be the highest rated car they’ve ever tested.
  • edited October 2018
    In addition to what @Xerogas said, check who CR sponsors. Check their funding. Who do they support. CR has an agenda just like everyone else.

    Ultimately, the data they have is legit, but how they analyze it and distribute it is governed by their bias.
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