Test driving an S to an idea of the 3.

Test driving an S to an idea of the 3.

I wondered if test driving an S to get an idea of the 3 would a good idea. There's going to be a number of differences between the two models. I feel like a person would get high expectations if they did the test drive the S and then would be disappointed in the 3 once they got it. They probably won't let anyone test drive a 3 until a few months before release or after release. Thoughts?

mntlvr23 | 2016年5月11日

It is a very good idea, but it will undoubtedly make your wait seem that much longer, and your current vehicle that much harder to tolerate.

LeButler | 2016年5月11日

I have a 1993 Toyota Corolla that has a key for everything, a crank to operate the windows, a cigarette lighter, one working radio station, and the only air bag is in the steering wheel. I'm pretty sure I could tolerate it until I had enough to fund car, charger installation, and the insurance. It might be more of a motivator to save as much money as possible for at a 20% down payment.

Badbot | 2016年5月11日

your so lucky, a working radio station...

LeButler | 2016年5月11日

I forgot to mention that the gas meter isn't accurate anymore either.

PhillyGal | 2016年5月11日

Test drive a leaf. It will give you a good feel for the quietness and operation of an EV, plus the zippy pickup.
The Model 3 will blow it out of the water of course but EV driving does differ just a bit from gas car driving.

Czech | 2016年5月11日

I would recommend a chevy Volt. It has a closer size electric motor. I think the Leaf has an 80 kw motor and the volt has 110 Kw and the Model S has about 250 if I remember correctly and even higher closer to 320 kw for the performance models

adoh2010 | 2016年5月11日

The 3 should have a better "feel" but less handling capabilities than the S. That's due to the higher center of gravity from using heavier steel for the body which gets the COG up closer to the steering wheel thus a better feel but "obviously" more body roll. It will still have less feel than a 3 series but with much less body roll. Remember, steering feel is purely a mental thing. Lateral G is what matters.

It should be quieter than a model s due to the enclosed trunk VS hatchback and because they've learned a lot with the Model X in soundproofing. They made the SUV quieter than the hatchback which is insane. Add this to the lack of engine noise and it will beat any car in its category easily.

The ride should be a little firmer because of the reduced weight and shorter wheelbase. It still will beat any car in its category because it will be heavier, with a longer wheelbase, and use aluminum for the unsprung weight.

Technology wise, it should be more advanced. Expect the nVidia Tegra 3 processor to be replaced with X1. Electronics are cheap enough that putting the best costs a few bucks more.

Interior quality should be better than the original Model S but less than the current amazing interior.

carlgo2 | 2016年5月11日

Same DNA. Same dynamics. Drive an S, good clean fun and you will appreciate the brand.

patrick.herrity | 2016年5月11日

I recently test drove a Tesla P90D Ludicrous to accomplish your exact same goal. Honestly, now i am just depressed that I wont take ownership for ~2 years of my Model 3. Once you test drive an S, it will blow your mind like some have said above. A few things I noticed.
1. Absolute silence. All you hear is your music and when slamming down on the pedal, a sort of lazer like sound. Reverse of the lazer sound when braking.
2. Acceleration: pure joy. After flooring the pedal, there is no delay, no fuel injection, no transmission studder, just pure instantaneous acceleration. After flooring it at a light, i looked back and there was no one near me by a football field. I didnt even realize it but the sales person pointed out to me that I was smiling like a moron ear to ear. Almost like a child's reaction to their first roller coaster.
3. Autopilot works!: really cool.
4. Regenerative braking is a little odd at first but is pretty cool.
5. Also did launch mode. Mind --> blown

Anyways, I actually recommend that EVERYONE go out and test drive a P90D Ludicrous if you have a store near you. Its something I would even say is worth checking off a bucket list. I now cant imagine driving any other car. I hate getting into my car. I hate when it studders. I hate waiting for the 'system' to react to me pressing the pedal. I think once you test drive one, you will know you are making the right decision getting a M3. Now we just need Tesla to hurry the hell up!

alias4me | 2016年5月11日

My wife and I also test drove a Model S. They were very friendly and weren't at all pushy. The acceleration was amazing, but my wife and I were both surprised that her 2002 Camry seemed quieter. Anyway, do the test drive.

jordanrichard | 2016年5月11日

I agree that test driving a MS will give you a taste of what a Tesla is like. I don't think the experience will be too far from what you will experience in the Model ≡. If you watch any of the videos from the M≡ reveal, almost everyone was impressed by the cars acceleration and they all already own a Tesla.

Either go to a the nearest Tesla store for a test drive or perhaps a Tesla owner near you would be willing to offer you the chance to see/drive their car.

carlk | 2016年5月12日


I totally agree with your assessment although I only got that from my "reverse test drive". I couldn't wait to get back to my Tesla in the few occasions that I have to drive an ICE. That includes the Porsche that I have kept for two years after I got my S.

PhillyGal | 2016年5月12日

Regenerative breaking is the best feature you didn't know you needed.

When people ask my favorite thing about the Model S, I always mention that as one. One foot driving takes a few drives to get used to but once you become a pro, you'll be annoyed by other cars.

dsvick | 2016年5月12日

One foot driving takes a few drives to get used to but once you become a pro, you'll be annoyed by other cars.
What do you mean by "one foot driving"? Unless it's a manual transmission you should be using one foot anyway, right?

stevenmaifert | 2016年5月12日

What she is referring to might better be said as one pedal driving. The regen braking is so strong that you seldom need the brake pedal except for coming to a full stop or a panic braking situation.

Mike83 | 2016年5月12日

Driving my P85 for 2.5 years I can't stand driving anything else. The silent car with music seems like another world. Never seem to need the brakes with regeneration. We're on another trip again. Can't seem to get enough of this car.;-)
I have an M3 reserved.

damonmath | 2016年5月12日

I saved my E class Benzs, one of which is a quick E550 coupe. After my first Tesla test drive in a RWD 85 (not even a P) I was blown away. I have since given the E550 to my fiance, have the other Benz up for sale, and plan to replace the E550 with an M3. After that I will be a 100% all electric household. Did have the pleasure of driving a loaner P85D and now my fiance wants me to buy that one in the future ;)

dsvick | 2016年5月12日

@stevenmaifert - thanks for that. I didn't know that the standard regen braking was as strong as it sounds like it is. In my corolla I can coast a good long way :)

Haggy | 2016年5月12日

You don't need to coast in a Tesla. Taking your foot off the accelerator will slow you down fairly rapidly, but you also get a great deal of control. If you use the accelerator pedal to slow you down to the same rate that you might be coasting in another vehicle, you are being as efficient as you need to be. It might be using a small amount of regen but it's more likely that you will slow down to the speed you want fairly quickly, and then use just enough power to maintain that speed. You can come pretty close to one pedal driving and let up on the accelerator gradually, and know when to take your foot off to come close to a stop by the time you get to where you need to stop. You will need the brake pedal for that final stop, because regen can't work when the car has no momentum.

dsvick | 2016年5月12日

Thanks Haggy, sounds like it'll take some trial and error to get it right.

gekcut | 2016年5月12日

I drive a manual transmission vehicle, maintain a safe distance to the next vehicle and look down the road and anticipate stop signs, traffic lights and stopped traffic.. I don't brake much while moving and coast a lot to my stops. When my wife follows me she says it's difficult because for the most part it's like following a car whose brake lights aren't working. I am concerned that the Tesla with its regenerative braking will be a difficult transition for me.

Can any Tesla owners who had similar driving habits please comment on their experiences.

Red Sage ca us | 2016年5月12日

When the Regen is operating the brake lights come on.

jordanrichard | 2016年5月12日

Even in my Tesla, I am a "2 foot" driver. I have been doing this since 1984 and never once accidentally stepped on the gas pedal. If you are in the habit of using your left foot for the brake, why would there be a reason to accidentally hit the accelerator with your right foot?

This whole using your right foot for both gas and brake stems from a time when stick shifts were the predominant cars on the road.

Mike83 | 2016年5月12日

The advantage is both hands on the wheel instead of having to shift, (Like my old Porsche 5 speed). There is no safer car than the Tesla and much quicker than shifting or moving your arm off the wheel and back again.

Drdpharris | 2016年5月12日

Unfortunately some, who have one foot on the 'gas' and the other on the brake, put enough pressure on the brake pedal to activate the brakes slightly and activate the brake lights -- continuously. Not good for the brakes nor the drivers behind them.

carlk | 2016年5月12日


I've been driving nothing but stick shift for more than twenty years before I got the S. Not only it's an easy transition I also found that I could keep even closer distance with car in front and still feel safe. The beauty of one pedal driving is you can pretty much regulate the speed at will. Using your languange one can simulate either engine brake or coasting by just varying pressure you put on the pedal. Another thing this does real well is merging and lane change. I'm sure you will be hooked once you got a chance to drive this way.

bj | 2016年5月12日

I've never driven a Tesla but am a Model 3 reservation holder and currently drive a Leaf. One of the really cool things you can do in an EV is use the accelerator on a hill to hold the car still, instead of using the brake. It's not like you'll burn the clutch out doing that! I have fun trying that at every red traffic light I encounter on a hill. In the Leaf I find the accelerator control is so good that it's very easy to keep the car still under any conditions. The brake lights don't come on when you do that so it probably freaks out the drivers behind me a bit.

The other slightly weird thing that you get used to is that going down a hill (unless it's very gentle), the car slows down if you have your foot off the pedals due to regen. You actually have to press on the accelerator gently to keep a constant speed.

And the instantaneous response of the motor to the accelerator is one of the true delights. It really makes you feel like you have complete control. You don't realize how much delay and sloppiness there is in an ICE between pedal and motor until you drive an EV.

PhillyGal | 2016年5月13日

@dsvick - Yes. My apologies. One pedal.
And yes one foot should be used for an automatic ICE. Though I do know a chick who after 20? years of driving, started using two feet.

PhillyGal | 2016年5月13日

@gekcut - I'm speaking for my hubs but he had only owned manual cars before the Tesla and the transition was both easy and sort of a "where have you been all my life" thing.

@jordan - The only thing I've been doing since 1984 is breathing ;)

Haggy | 2016年5月13日

One thing I noticed before I bought a Model S was all the crazy Tesla drivers on the road who seemed to be zooming up and hitting the brakes. It turned out to be that because an accelerometer controls the brake lights, and since letting up on the accelerator causes regen to kick in, it can make it appear as if drivers are constantly going from one pedal to another.

It's not something that has a long learning curve, and if you are used to keeping a safe following distance, your practices won't change much at all.

carlk | 2016年5月13日

Yes one thing we need to learn is not to let go the pedal fast like we did when drving ICE. The correct way of driving the car is to move the pedal smoothly like you would turning the volume knob on your stereo. The car will react just like your stereo by instantly change to the level you desire either up or down. There is no hesitation or delay like we have used to when driving an ICE. There is no need to try overdo it to compensate for that.

jordanrichard | 2016年5月13日

PhillyGal, LOL gottcha ;-)

gekcut | 2016年5月14日

Thanks all, we will be test driving an S soon to prepare for the 3 and I didn't want to scare the rep or my wife if my driving habits clashed with the Tesla. When we get the 3, I can take it out when traffic is light to get the hang of it.

david.jones24 | 2016年5月14日

@ gekut

I did exactly this a few weeks ago. I had never driven an EV before, and I thought that I should at least drive one before I follow through with a purchase. My biggest concern was that the accelerator would be touchy. I'm coming from a Prius, and I thought (like ICE cars) that it would really move when I barely touched it. Not the case at all. It moves when you intend it to, and it was the single biggest selling factor for me to stick with my decision to buy the Model 3. Great, great experience. Most fun I've had in a car. I test drove the P90D, and fell in love. Have a blast on your test drive.