I’ve had my Model 3 Standard Range Plus w/ FSD (full self driving) for about 3 weeks now, and have put about 1300 miles on it.
Let me tell you right from the horse’s mouth.
It’s the best car I’ve ever driven.
I keep reading all this hate, ignorance and pessimism about Tesla, their cars, their tech. I want to squash that RIGHT now.
The driving experience is fantastic. There are a couple things to get used to, such as the fact the screen controls EVERYTHING. But the car’s handling is smooth, the acceleration is immediate and the seats are plush. Really, telling you about it doesn’t do this justice, you would really have to experience it for yourself to see the difference. I have been in gas cars (VW GTI, Mercedes G-Wagon, Mercedes M Class) since the Tesla, and it feel so backwards.
Autopilot/FSD – Autopilot on my model is basically adaptive cruise control. Set the speed, and the car brakes and accelerates for you. The FSD add on at current is in beta and the function is called Autosteer. When engaged, the car will look at the lane lines and surrounding traffic and steer for you. It won’t take turns yet, and isn’t the truly ready for city streets (it is in beta after-all), but really shines on the freeway. Tell the car where you’re going and it will (if enabled) automatically make lane changes for you to go around slow vehicles, take exit ramps for you and essentially take you from on ramp to offramp with minimal interaction. The only requirement is to keep your hands on the wheel and continue paying attention. It’s not perfect, but it’s sure better than not having it! As far as the crashes that have happened on autopilot, that falls back to user error. There are constant warnings to pay attention, if someone gets into an accident on autopilot/fsd, that’s on them, not Tesla.
Other Functions, safety, etc. – The additional functions are a plethora. Lane departure at time of writing was recently added, where the car will automatically correct, not just warn, (if enabled) you from leaving the lane. Other great functions, which won’t be gone in depth: Cabin overheat protection keeps the car from being too hot in the summer. Built in Dashcam. Sentry Mode, which uses the cameras to monitor the surrounding areas when parked. Dog mode, which keeps the AC on for your furry friends and lets people know it’s on via the screen. 360 awareness of what vehicles are around you, sure, you have to look at the screen, but you get used to it. Just to name a few.
Charging is easy. For the daily commutes, I plug in at home each night, and wake up to a 90% charge (215 miles). It’s pretty fantastic to not need gas stations! The cost where I live is about 7 cents per kilowatt hour off peak, which for me is equating about $0.017 cents per mile to charge at home. Using Superchargers is a little more expensive, at about $0.07 cents per mile, but still a fraction of the price of fuel. Time to charge varies on where I charge at. Superchargers can give me a full charge in about an hour. I’m estimating as I’ve never gone below 20-30 percent battery and never charged fully to 100.
Long Trips are a breeze. Throw on FSD and let the car steer for you from the freeway to your primary exit. I’ve so far been from Phx to Payson (charged for 15 mins in Payson), Badger Springs, South Mountain. More to come. Depending how far you have to go, how far between charges, the electric cars like to go a little bit slower to conserve battery, but I will say, using the Tesla on road trips is FAR less painful than a gas vehicle due to the comfort of ride and autosteer functionality. There are enough chargers all over, you can get to more places than you would think.
The Cost up front is relatively steep. $2500 deposit just to place your order, then if you finance through Tesla, you’ll pay taxes and fees up front ($4800ish) plus whatever you want to put down (if anything). However, the True Cost to Own is very minimal compared to an ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle. This video may help a bit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR_ub5eL9n0 . Over the span of 5 years, you’ll likely save money on other costs such as maintainence, repairs, fuel and registration (1 year on my GTI was $400ish, 5 years on the Tesla was $220ish)
Wait Times to get the car will vary on what you order. I bought a common one I presume, because mine was delivered 2 days after I ordered it.
Where Tesla is going is hard to tell. There are so many fake news articles and so much judgment from people who don’t actually own their cars. Bottom line is that they make a phenomenal vehicle that the majority of owners are thrilled with and at current wouldn’t go back to any other vehicle. They are also not just a car manufacturer, but a tech company. They have to focus money not only in building the cars, but the supercharger network, software enhancements, etc. Something other manufacturers don’t have to do. You buy a VW, you get the same car for as long as you own it (assuming no mods). You buy a Tesla, the car will improve with updates you can download from home! They have increased top speed, acceleration, etc remotely. Elon has gotten this far, I think and hope he’ll continue along just fine, continuing to build Tesla into an amazing company. Let’s also leave this here: https://cleantechnica.com/2018/09/09/tesla-model-3-becomes-1-best-selling-car-in-the-us/
Improvements – Tesla has definitely had their shortcomings. The known QC issues, panel gaps, etc. Let’s face it though, they’re still a young company, and they’re moving quickly trying to meet demand. As with anything in life, there will always be room for improvement. Let’s focus more on the good than the bad. Learn from what needs improving, let Tesla know, then enjoy the amazing product.
With this said, if you’re in the market for a new car, a change or are ready for something better.
Go schedule a test drive and if you order, use my referral link and get some free miles for supercharging! 🙂 http://myaz.tech/tesla