Drove a Tesla Model 3

Discussion in 'Gearhead Garage' started by tweakmonkey, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    After seeing them everywhere here for years now I finally got to drive a Model 3.

    I was going to Los Angeles for the day so I rented a Model 3 long range (RWD, enhanced auto pilot but not self driving). Blue ext / Black interior

    I knew I'd be in traffic for most of the day, so my choices were Uber or renting cars, but I thought renting would be cheaper actually. I ended up driving in EXTREMELY heavy traffic for 4 hours (only covering about 60 miles between LAX and Studio City, some surrounding areas, then out to the coast). So averaging 15 MPH and often times stop and go for 30-minutes at a time.

    But the Auto Pilot made it SO easy, and so stress free. I couldn't believe it. You simply get onto the road and click it on (double click if you want to enable the auto steering). It inched along happily that whole time and I think it was less stressful than renting an Uber even. I was driving in traffic for hours and didn't feel fatigued or annoyed at all. I love how you don't even need to pick a speed. It knows all the speed limits and will automatically drive the limit (if it can), or higher if you scroll the wheel up. One bad thing I observed was it sits in people's blinds spots sometimes.

    I also tried "navigate on auto pilot", where it changed lanes a few times for me and took freeway ramps and merged. It even signaled automatically. Very cool, and no issues there (though I didn't try it much). When trying to figure out how to use it, it scared me a couple times. I wouldn't suggest playing with this much unless you're very careful.

    If you drive in any regular/heavy traffic and especially congested freeways , then you need a car that does all this auto stuff these days. I don't yet personally but seeing from this perspective you're just thinking, man those poor suckers next to me.

    Even this 2WD car was fast, it handles well, the interior is simple but nicely done, and really a comfortable place to be. I was already wanting to buy one but this moved it to a whole new level of want.

    Also, I hate the door handles. I guess you'd get used to them but I don't see the advantage of lower drag justifying it in a car with this kind of juice. The chrome was fingerprinted and dirty, and I kept using 2 hands to open the handle... maybe I'm doing it wrong.

    PS - never rent Turo at LAX airport. What a disaster that "valet" lot is... it took 2 hours just to get the car. Otherwise Turo worked well this time.
    PSS - halfway through that drive, I was also thinking it's too bad this car can't make me a sandwich right now!
    MaesterB says thanks for this.
  2. hans5849

    hans5849 Serious as a heart attack

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    I'm considering one for my wife, or a used model S. I really want the self driving features because she doesn't always follow the traffic laws.
  3. mattdev

    mattdev liberal crybaby

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    We are actually debating getting a Model X for my wife. Figured we might as well just do one electric and one gas. The new gas car, however...

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  4. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    I should've replied here. My GF (you've met her Matt I think?) picked up a model 3 dual motor about 3 months ago. We've taken it on a 2500 mile trip and a 1000 mile trip now. It's amazing.
  5. mattdev

    mattdev liberal crybaby

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    Yup I remember her! How’s the mapping work out with the charging stations? That’s the thing waifu is most worried about.
  6. tweakmonkey

    tweakmonkey Webmaster Staff Member

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    It works great.

    The nav on the car is the best I've seen, and it shows all the superchargers. If you click on any one of them, it shows how many stalls are available and how fast they are. They're all open 24/7. Now with about 20 supercharger stops under our belt, I haven't had a single location down, and the worst I've seen was 1 or 2 disabled stalls (usually there are 8-20 stalls). We did have to wait for 20 minutes once, but every other time we've driven right in. That was on a busy holiday weekend and was due to our poor planning mostly. You can navigate to anywhere in the USA (say, New York from California) and it plans its route all along those superchargers. The in-car version of this is best cause it's aware of real time traffic and your car's range and habits etc. Maybe you can find Youtube videos showing this.

    I'd recommend renting one on Turo and driving it a few hundred miles, especially out of town, and see how it all works.

    The thing about road trips and this car... just cause it's SO good (the streaming music stuff, the quiet and comfortable ride, auto pilot, dog mode etc.) the fact that is, even if we couldn't use the superchargers and road trips, I'd still want to drive it 350+ days out of the year. I'll happily trade off the extra hour or two on a 1000 mile trip for charging when it's so good every other day. But we usually combined charging stops with dinner or lunch breaks, or we'd charge for 10-15 minutes while walking the dog / stretching our legs and getting a coffee (20+ in those cases). And we'd get back to the car with 80% charge (enough to easily drive another 200 miles).

    I only wish it was MY car not hers cause I only get to drive it on road trips. I just have to drive my Smart to work still /cry