Owning a Tesla Model 3 After One Year - The Truth
The standard range Model 3 RWD is Tesla's cheapest vehicle. Even with it being Tesla's least expensive vehicle, it is filled with many features. Here, we have one user's experience after one year of ownership. Let's see what he has to say.
What is great about the Model 3? The car looks really great. It is designed for aero dynamics. Most angles are really great to look at. The car is the smallest Tesla, but it still has great storage. The back area has plenty of room and flat folding seats with a large storage compartment beneath that. There is also side cubbies and a front frunk storage compartment.
The car being fully electric means it can be charged at home. You can also charge at super chargers if you don't have home charging. Day to day, this is much better than filling up with gas. Gas is often at least 3 times as expensive as an electric vehicle. You can still take road trips using super chargers with no problem and using the Tesla app. Super chargers are very fast and conveniently placed. You can time road trip charging with rest room trips and food.
Charging is a concern with people, however, charging at a super charger is not a concern - they are very quick. The Tesla Model 3 is very quick even with the base model at 5.8 seconds 0-60 mph. It doesn't sound fast, but with instant torque, you can zip around very quickly and accelerate quickly if you need to.
More Benefits of the Tesla Model 3
You can use one pedal driving using the accelerator and when you need to brake, you simply lift up on the accelerator. This puts energy back into the battery and can extend the range of the charge the battery is on. Most of the time, you can use one pedal driving to brake. You can come to a complete stop using just the accelerator.
Other benefits come with zero tail pipe emissions and you can run the car pre-conditioned with air. You don't have to worry about an engine running and the car is nearly silent. If the climate controls are off, you hear just a little bit of the electric motor and the tires. The car also has auto pilot by default. FSD is $12,000 right now and doesn't provide enough to justify the price. Auto pilot is great for long drives and relaxed freeway driving. You still need to monitor auto pilot.
Everything about driving a Model 3 is great, along with the technology on screen. The 15 inch touch screen has all the features you will need for driving your car. You can browse music easily. Connecting blue tooth is easy as well. When backing up, you get the rear camera and side cameras, making backing up the car so easily. That means you can backup into a space in one try.
User profiles are another bonus for the car and all preferences, including seat positions and climate controls can be stored in a user profile. The user interface also adds blind spot cameras when a turn signal is turned on so you can see if another car is in your blind spot. The Tesla app also allows you to pre-condition your car and check its location, along with its sentry mode cameras.
The car is small, but it has a glass roof and that makes it feel like it is open. The standard range has a 272 mile range. This has been plenty of range for this user. If you have an easy charging solution, the standard range car should work well, even with daily driving. Real world range is likely about 10% less than the stated range and is more like 250 miles.
Negative Aspects of the Tesla Model 3
Some things don't operate perfectly all the time, like small things. Apps like Spotify and Title can be a bit buggy. Spotify has regular issues and switching to Title for music worked better for this user. The search for music is difficult and confusing.
For pre-conditioning the car. As soon as you get in the car though, it reverts to your profile settings. If it is hot and you want the AC on, the car will revert back to your profiles default settings.
If you don't like the new UI on the center console screen, you are stuck with it. Many want their car to stay the same and not have things moved around. This will be a challenge for people who don't like change.
Tesla's auto windshield wipers don't quite work perfectly. Sometimes they will go off for no reason on sunny days. And they won't go on soon enough when there is rain.
The door handles on the car look nice and contribute to its sleek look. Trying to explain how to open the Tesla Model 3 to a non-owner is difficult. The wheels are flush with the tire and makes it easy to curb crash. It's important to drive far away from curbs and to use the cameras.
One of the weirdest things was something in the AC system. Sometimes the vents just smell awful. You shouldn't need to do this on a car though. Natural air fresheners can help. The issue pops up usually in the heat and the sun.
Since an initial service appointment, there hasn't been anything paid for maintenance-wise. That's a big improvement over the average car.
What do you think about the Tesla Model 3 standard range? Is it worth it at $47,000?
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Jeremy Johnson is a Tesla investor and supporter. He first invested in Tesla in 2017 after years of following Elon Musk and admiring his work ethic and intelligence. Since then, he's become a Tesla bull, covering anything about Tesla he can find, while also dabbling in other electric vehicle companies. Jeremy covers Tesla developments at Torque News. You can follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn to stay in touch and follow his Tesla news coverage on Torque News.