Does anyone but me absolutely hate all the buttons on other cars?

Does anyone but me absolutely hate all the buttons on other cars?

My family has a Ford Explorer (my wife’s old but surprisingly reliable car), and a Prius (for my daughter. Our first experience with an eco-conscious vehicle). I love them both, but when I sit in the driver’s seat, I look at all the buttons and think “what the hell are all these buttons for?” I guarantee that half of the buttons on my wife’s Explorer have never, ever been pressed even after 7 years. Same with my daughter’s Prius. She says she uses them every day, but she can’t tell me what they all do. The buttons are driving me crazy every time I have to ride one of their cars. I had a lot of buttons when I had my Infiniti G35, and I never used more than one or two consistently. I have the same feeling when I look at the interiors of the i-Tron and i-Pace. There are just too many buttons and knobs, and most of us will never use them. Why are they there if most of us never use them?


jimglas | 14 juli 2019

i agree

us | 14 juli 2019

Every time I see one of those we car reviews where the car is rented from Turo or kin for a few days they mention the lack of buttons. I smile and think. Just drive a month in a Model 3 and even that gorgeous Model S starts to look like grampa's car.

To be fair, I have seen some 20ish old reviewers in Europe that are over the moon with the clean interior.

casun | 14 juli 2019

i do now, yes.

Lonestar10_1999 | 14 juli 2019

The only manual control I wish was designed into the M3 was full windshield wiper control on the stalk. I can cope with the on screen control but I wish it was a backup or redundant to the manual stalk control. If implemented, the minimalist look would not be compromised.

us | 14 juli 2019

@Lonestar, Yeah I keep hoping they will change the one-time swipe on the windshield wiper to an on-off toggle. At least until the AI is smarter on the auto. I do laugh when I start reaching for the wiper and the AI does one swipe but mostly it is pretty hit and miss for AI. Simple on at speed I already set in console and off. Would be better for that end of stalk button for now.

BuffaloBillsFan | 14 juli 2019

I agreed with the windshield wiper thing before the last update. Now I feel confident about the auto windshield wiper function. It really works well in my experience. I’m still happy about the lack of buttons on the M3, and I still get confused by the overwhelming number of buttons and wheels on my family’s other cars. Simpler is definitely much better for me.

Tyguy | 14 juli 2019

I'm fine with the 3's wiper implementation, and yes, I hate buttons in other cars. Even brand new models coming out are loaded with multiple screens, buttons, and switches as if it's a point of pride. Totally off putting for me.

tesel | 14 juli 2019

Yes! I got to try a BMW i3 and it was so incredibly messy! The stalk for drive mode is this massive bulky thing, see pictures here

Similarly, Nissan Leaf will have a physical button for the "e-pedal" regenerative braking so that you can toggle that on and off (picture:

Generally, other car companies are obviously much more conservative. Similarly, the VW ID.3 will half of the regenerative braking effect over to the brake pedal "because first time electric car buyers are not used to the strong regenerative braking". Have they even surveyed how many minutes it takes to get used to regenerative braking?

It will be very interesting to see if Tesla designers continue this extremely minimalist design. I get that the dream of FSD makes any heads-up display superfluous, but Tesla could add some sanity checks, like that windshield wiper that should work fully automatic, but never has the right tempo, and starts in dry tunnels!

The rear window heater could also be a bit closer or have a physical button.

coleAK | 14 juli 2019

I’m ok with how it is but I would also be ok if there were a few more buttons. Not many but a few more. Even controls on the rear of the steering wheel would help.

moabchick | 14 juli 2019

I completely agree. Even the Model S loaner I had for a few days seemed more cluttered.
A friend of mine recently bought a new Kia Sorrento and was all excited. I was completely overwhelmed by all the buttons and levers. I kept quiet about it though - lol.

Sunergy-NJ | 14 juli 2019

Tesla repair shop loaned me a Cadillac CTS or CTX, I don't know which, and it had so many freakin' buttons it drove me crazy for the two weeks I was stuck with it. Not to mention having to remember to watch the fuel gauge. And the Apple CarPlay and the useless GPS fought constantly with my iPhone so I barely was able to use them. I ended up sticking my phone in the old, nearly thrown away, CD insert phone mount and just used the basic Bluetooth. I was never so happy to get my Model 3 back.

82bert | 14 juli 2019

@fishev. You most certainly can toggle the distance your 3 follows behind other cars on AP with little to no effort. No involvement of the screen is necessary.

82bert | 14 juli 2019

Hint: it’s also on the 3’s wheel. You’d think such an ardent critic and owner would know this...

BuffaloBillsFan | 14 juli 2019

Flagged again, fishy. You obviously have no idea about how a model three works. Which means you don’t own one. Which means, get the fuck off of these boards, Please!

And I might get flagged and removed from this board for this post, but screw it. If you are removed as well, I’ll consider it even.

Can Tesla please remove this person and his acolytes ( or his alternate identities on this board) please?

BuffaloBillsFan | 14 juli 2019

WantMy, you are just another version of Stinky. Go find another board to post on. You are worthless here, and you have no idea what you are talking about.

casun | 14 juli 2019

fishev - “Subaru has the following distance control as a toggle on the wheel. You don't have to take eyes off the road to change following distance (short in slow traffic, long in fast traffic)“

that sounds a lot like the model 3’s following distance which can be adjusted with the scroll wheels. it’s almost like you don’t know how the model 3 works. hmmm.

82bert | 14 juli 2019

It’s beyond intuitive. Nice try.

BuffaloBillsFan | 14 juli 2019

Stinky, please stop posting. Sincerely, every Tesla Model 3 owner who has ever posted on this board.

Go away, stinky. You don’t know what the fuck you are talking about. And please take your alter egos Howard and WantMy with you.

You stink, stinky.

That is all.


RES IPSA | 14 juli 2019

I like the look of of only two buttons on the steering wheel in the M3... but while driving, I wish some of the "buttons" on the screen could be made larger so that they would be easier to press while driving. Sometimes i take my eyes off the road for an extra second to press what needs to be pressed.

It would be nice to be able to customize the size of the "buttons" on the screen. Some I want larger, some I want smaller, some I want to hide away as I never use them.

M3phan | 14 juli 2019

@BuffaloBillsFan, to your opening question, yes yes yes, I hate all those buttons in other cars. I love the 3 look and feel.

vmulla | 14 juli 2019


The one thing I did not like about the interior, the gloss center console, was wrapped for under $50.

calvin940 | 15 juli 2019

I consider most cars consoles and dashes to be a big hot mess now. I didn't really appreciate this before the M3.

calvin940 | 15 juli 2019


To each his own I guess. I like the fact that everything is essentially the same arm-length away. I find no difference in safety with the screen vs adjusting the radio on the toureg or my mazda.

calvin940 | 15 juli 2019

"All modern cars have controls on the steering wheel to adjust radio/volume/call etc, no need to reach anywhere."

And that's also how I use my M3 scroll controls for most of my daily needs.

Devilstower | 15 juli 2019

You should try my first generation Chevy Volt.

In a way the interior was rather lovely -- a center console covered in tiny uniform switches all of which glowed a gentle blue-white at night. With the screen above and some controls below, the whole thing had a very NASA feel that made me smile.

Except when I was trying to use it. When those dozens of absolutely uniform buttons with their tiny, abbreviated labels made trying to do anything while driving seem like trying to operate the Space Shuttle blindfolded.

calvin940 | 15 juli 2019

Well that and voice I should say.

calvin940 | 15 juli 2019


Did you run through a checklist before each drive? ☺︎

Devilstower | 15 juli 2019

@calvin940 Well, since I bought a white car with black accents, with a black interior with white accents, and then got a license plate saying APLO11 ... yes I did.

BTW, the license for the Model 3 says WARP 3. Time to go interstellar.

calvin940 | 15 juli 2019

ha ha Nice!

gballant4570 | 15 juli 2019

BuffaloBillsFan, it ain't just you....At first I was a bit apprehensive about the Model 3 UI. That did not last long.... now I am put off by the Model S or X interior.

coselectric | 15 juli 2019

Every vehicle I have ever owned - except the Model 3 - had buttons that I never touched nor even knew what they did, usually with cryptic acronyms on them. In some cases I got curious, opened the invariably atrocious owner's manual, and looked up the button in question.

The worst offender has been our 2003 BMW X5. Its dash "computer" uses seemingly dozens of cryptic acronyms in a series of nested menus, and sometimes the functions are repeated in different menus. I have never known what half of them do. Apparently this is what luxury car buyers expected from their expensive vehicles circa 2003? I wonder how many 2003 BMW purchasers ever touched their dash computer but instead valued its existence for the wow factor with their equally tech-illiterate friends (BTW, the thing that cracks me up the most about the BMW is the "business CD" player - like, I guess adding the word "business" in front of CD somehow adds prestige? Ridiculous).

My favorite thing about the Model 3 interface is that everything is explained on the screen. No need to thumb through a paper manual that just takes up space in the glovebox. I have only one request for improvement, which is that they add fan +/- speed controls right in the main menu ribbon at the bottom of the screen (they'd have space if they scoot the other buttons aside a little bit). Other than that, the Model 3 interface seems wonderfully clean and intuitive. Makes me roll my eyes at all other automobile interfaces.

(Full disclosure, I actually took a college psychology course as an engineering undergrad in "Human Factors in Human-Machine Interfaces", and while the Model 3 could use improvements, ironically the legacy automakers do a really terrible job of interface design).

dmastro | 15 juli 2019

I agree that some cars are overdone with buttons, switches, and knobs, but I also think Tesla would be well-served to have some.

With physical devices, it's much easier to use muscle-memory to activate one without looking at it while driving.

With a touchscreen where you need to scroll and drop down a menu-level or two, it's necessary to take your eyes off the road. Perhaps when/if Tesla is able to add additional functionality to the scroll wheels and more voice control, it will overcome that challenge.

carlk | 15 juli 2019

@BuffaloBillsFan I loved my Blackberry until the iPhone came out. Most people will change their opinions when giving the opportunity to.

@dmastro Elon mentioned a while ago they are working on voice control. That would be a much better solution than adding buttons. I could never find those tiny buttons without taking a look anyway.

M3phan | 15 juli 2019

@vmulla, yes, wrapped my console too, Day 1. A must.

Joseb | 15 juli 2019

At the same time, I've heard from a BMW owner complaining about the lack of buttons in the M3, without ever actually driving one.

It was one of my main worries until I test drove the M3, and now after a month, you really don't need many buttons.

Wiper button would be nice, BUT the Auto works really fine so far.. I wish you could customize a small lay-over on the left hand side for any functions you want (quick AC on/off/auto, music source, for example)

Lonestar10_1999 | 15 juli 2019

FishEV, your posts have no benefit to M3 owners on this forum who are enthusiastic about their new M3s. What is your angle?

BuffaloBillsFan | 15 juli 2019

Go away, Stinky. For all others, thanks for the feedback!


Atoms | 15 juli 2019

I refused to buy a Honda Accord due to the complex dash. Love my 3 for simplicity but wish they would move the glovebox to the front screen replacing the lighting symbol with glovebox opener. Battery symbol is sufficient to open charging window. It is the only button which is hidden which is weird. The could also remove the + and - buttons on the screen to change speed set-point since the scroll wheel should be used for this.

WantMY | 15 juli 2019

I like my EV buttons, they are in the right place and very convenient, Using touch screen while driving is a nightmare.

vmulla | 15 juli 2019

3's extreme approach - let's get rid of all the buttons and introduce only the buttons we cannot do without.

Other normal approach - if you want to do something let's include a button for it.

Even more extreme approach - let's add all the buttons we have and add one more clickity wheel/touch thingy AND let's give it a fancy name

I'm not opposed to having a few buttons for functions that are extensively used, but no one has made a good balance between the extremes yet.

M3phan | 15 juli 2019

@WantMY, to each their own but no need for hyperbole...the screen is not a nightmare while driving. I almost NEVER use the touchscreen while driving, most every setting is set-and-forget, and when I do use it, it’s no different than reaching for center console/dash buttons/dials in another car for things like stereo and AC.
After 35+ years of driving, the M3 screen is a game changer, not a nightmare.

lilbean | 15 juli 2019

I not only hate all the buttons on other cars I hate the whole car.

M3phan | 15 juli 2019


BuffaloBillsFan | 15 juli 2019

+1000 lilbean