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Impressions from Model 3 after first month

Impressions from Model 3 after first month

I have had my Model 3 it for 4 weeks now, loving it more every day. It is a Long Range, pearl white with white premium interior.
My wife and I did a 1250 mile road trip after the first week, it was a great time to learn about the car and really enjoy the ride.
Here are some of the unexpected positives from my first month:
+ Responsive accelerator pedal - This is my favorite feature of the car, and one that I didn't realize until I started driving the car. I rarely use the brake pedal, since full acceleration and deceleration can be controlled from the accelerator pedal. With previous cars, I used hypermiling techniques, often coasting and using the brake as little as possible. The Tesla does all that for me, all controlled with the right foot.
+ Trip navigation added stops at superchargers as necessary, no need to plan any of it. We spent some time before our road trip researching charger locations and planning our trip. As it turned out, none of that was necessary, as the car figured it out for us. And when we went on a side trip, the car readjusted and figured it out again.
+ Large screen is great for navigation, so much better than other car navigation screens. I often used both car navigation and phone Google maps. The Tesla large screen navigation is about 10 times better than the best of both.
+ All seats are heated. I think we were told during our test drive that the rear heated seats would not be available until the next year. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that all seats have heaters.
+ Lane visualization. Showing my car, with other vehicles around it, is a nice, helpful safety feature that enhances the information that is already available from the traditional car mirrors.
+ Cargo space is surprisingly big. Coming from a hatchback, we were worried about packing for a road trip. We had plenty of easily accessible room, and the frunk space is a bonus.
+ Happier, less stressful, driving experience. As one who does not like to brake without warning, dense traffic and quick light changes can be frustrating. The Tesla, with it's regenerative braking, slows the car down efficiently and without the use of the brake pedal. This makes for a much more relaxed driving experience. It also results in me letting cars turn in front of me more often, as I can control the deceleration without hitting that wasteful brake pedal.
+ Remote control from the phone app brings Smart Home features to the car. Best use of this so far was, after spending an afternoon in the hot sun, to get into a cool car after turning on the AC remotely.
+ Free recharging stations are a nice bonus to find. We charged to 90% upon arrival to our road trip destination, then realized that there was a free charger a short walk away. We ended up using it during the vacation, now we know that free chargers are fairly prevalent.

Here are some of the unexpected negatives from my first month:
- Battery drain. I naively thought the driving would be the only drain on the battery. The parked car will consume a few miles per day, but the Sentry Mode consumes a significant amount - about 6 kWh (24 miles) per day. Now that I am aware of how it works, this is not an actual problem, though it could be a concern when on vacation and parked for over a week without charging.
- Automatic wipers tend to wait too long to start. A known problem that should improve with software upgrades.
- Home WiFi connection. The car was unable to discover my home network when plugged into the garage. I added the network manually, now it connects fine.

Other observations:
* As is probably true for any new car, you have to be careful when demonstrating features while driving. I almost ran a stop sign while showing how easy the map was to resize and re-orient.
* Auto driving, with Adaptive Cruise Control and Auto Steer, is a great feature to have. But it could be dangerous when using it intermittently - always be aware which features are on. Those feature which allow you to think less about braking or steering become dangerous when your mind is in the "think less" mode, but the feature has been turned off.

leo33 | 18 October 2019

Nice write up.

Joshan | 18 October 2019

agree with it all, good summary.

calvin940 | 18 October 2019

Nice summary. Welcome aboard.

vmulla | 18 October 2019

Good clean observations.

About AP, you get used to the chimes and what they mean. Over time you will just know when AP is on/off. I'd wake up immediately If someone played the AP disengage sound to be in my sleep,

SamO | 18 October 2019

Great feedback. What a perfect example of constructive criticism and ample recognition of the benefits of Tesla ownership. Welcome to the cult. :-p

TexasBob | 18 October 2019

deep rain is coming... soon

Good write-up.

Mattski30 | 19 October 2019

Good write up...I ended up returning my model 3 after 2 days, but the 1 pedal/regenerative braking is a feature I miss (and a reason I rented a hybrid on the trip I was suppose to take my Tesla on.

Have you done any mountain driving? I was put off by the thudding under my feet...was told this was normal battery expansion, but it didn't happen in the model X I test drove.

rtshefe | 19 October 2019

why did you return the model 3 Mattski ?

bcpmercer | 19 October 2019

Good review. We have had our M3 for about 13 months and had similar experiences. Watch out for cold weather driving because using the heater reduces range, but you will be able to adapt. My car still feels new to me and I enjoy it everyday.