I’ve taken delivery of my new Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus and I thought I’d quickly jot down some of my impressions. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about her soon in more detail!
Delivery was seamless and amazing
From the moment we ordered the car over the phone from a nice gentleman called Jasper, to when we walked into the delivery warehouse, the customer service from Tesla and the process have been seamless and amazing. Everything (including delivery timeframe) was transparent, communication was ample and genuine, and there was none of the painful negotiation fluff you usually get when buying a car.
On delivery, we did go over the car in detail and found that there were some scratches in the clearcoat, watermarks and some small scuffs here and there. It wasn’t pristine but given I work in the automotive business, I’m probably looking a bit closer than I should be. Anyway, it’s a car, and after the 200km we drove today, I can’t imagine we don’t have a few more scratches on there now.
Panel gaps and paintwork was as good as I would expect. No issues there from me.
Oh wow…the acceleration!
You put your foot down and you feel it behind your navel. I knew the car would be fast even though I had never test-driven it, but I hadn’t prepared myself for the “type of fast”. The acceleration is supposed to be similar to a BMW 330i, but this just feels so much quicker off the line. The torque is instantaneous and it just doesn’t feel like it is going to let up (not that I have driven it past the legal speed limit yet).
If you think you need to spend the $15k for the performance of the LR or models because the SR+ would be too slow, please test-drive first. This thing is already going to get me speeding tickets, I have no idea how the extra performance of the LR or P would ever be useful (and would likely just scare your passengers).
Learning curve is steep
As everyone knows, everything in the car is controlled through one giant touch screen in the middle. There are lots of options and the layout is new and unique (in that it’s not like a grid of icons which is what most people are now accustomed to).
I’ve spent a little time with the car fiddling with the settings (not heaps though), and it’s definitely not as quick to learn as a conventional infotainment system (e.g. Audi’s MMI or BMW iDrive) is. I know the features are plentiful, but I think Tesla could have made things a little bit clearer and intuitive.
A simple example: I wanted to change the battery remaining display to range remaining. But I just couldn’t work out how to do it quickly on the fly and had to check out a YouTube tutorial to do it (apparently I needed a software update).
I’ll circle back on this one once I have spent more time with it – maybe it will all fall into place.
This car is for nerds
Data, data, data. If you like loads of data and like to nerd out about your efficiency or other stats, this is the car for you. I’ve particularly been amazed at the ability to connect Tesla through an API to third-party apps such as TeslaFi, Nikola, Tessie etc. If you do, the amount of information you get access to is astounding including charging and driving statistics.
I do have some privacy concerns with this, particularly as you can go so far as to enable full control of the vehicle through a third-party app (something I haven’t done yet and I don’t think I will). But otherwise, this is a value add I don’t think any other mainstream car manufacturer offers. I’m sure I’ll be creating some posts outlining my experiences with some backing data.
People genuinely get excited about the car
Every person I told I was getting a Tesla was excited for me. Now I have the car, everyone wants to drive/ride in it to find out what it is like. They send photos of it around to the family Whatsapp groups. It’s the sort of excitement that new cars used to have a long time ago before they became appliances to be replaced on a 3-year cycle. This is something I have missed, and I don’t think a Mercedes or BMW purchase would garner similar attention.
I am really excited too. I can’t wait to get out and drive it every day, and have spent so much time plotting out routes, reading through forums and connecting with the community. I liken it to what it was like to get a new phone in the early 2010s. The anticipation was intense, and when you got it, it wasn’t the same OS with a 5% better camera. It was an entirely new experience with a stylus for the first time, or a completely different OS or form factor. That’s what buying this Tesla has felt like to me.