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.