Tesla Model 3 Owner Review

title image of 1st year with our Model 3 LR AWD

Tesla Model 3

Long Range AWD 2019

9.5/10not logged34 votes

1st year with our Model 3 LR AWD

Our first year with Elsa. 

21 Jul 2021

Tesla Model 3 Pros and Cons

Pros:
  • OTA (WiFi or 4G) updates.

  • Supercharger network for trips

  • Looks (most people love it)

  • Dual Motor (AWD) handling

  • Performance on both straight line and cornering.

  • 15” touchscreen is iPad Pro like quality.

  • Driverprofiles! When getting close to the car it recognises the phone and after entry my personal preferences are set (seat position, leven of brake regen and so on).

  • Sound system is incredible. 

  • Seats are generally a good mix of comfy and sporty and the “vegan leather” is quite tough.

  • Google maps is not perfect but seems to know all locations.

Cons:
  • Wind noise from frameless windows if it’s very windy or at high speeds.

  • Paint is beautiful but not perfect when you look closer inside doors and trunk.

  • Seats lacks adjustable lower rear thigh support for long legged drivers.

  • Some body panels misalligned.

  • Noise from wheels quite noticeable on some roads.

Considered buying

Kia Soul EV

Full spec version

example image of Kia Soul EV

The Attractions:

Cute and different. Bear I mind there was no ID3/4 and no Polestar at the time we bought. Still I had chosen Model 3.

The Dealbreakers:

Full spec and only FWD almost as expensive as the 1 year old 2nd hand Tesla Model 3 Long Range we bought.

Owner Review

1st year with our Model 3 LR AWD

In general Tesla is good at servicing the cars and they do their best to uphold their commitments to the 4 year warranty (8 years for battery and motor).

We bought the car 2nd hand (1 year old) and has owned it a little more than a year. During this first year we have had the following done under full warranty coverage:

  • New rear glass after discovering a small crack in the outer layer along the edge (known defect).
  • Front support arm lacking grease at joint at 50.000 km (known defect). Tesla changed both front support arms.

Performance is amazing. A few OTA’s has even added extra power to the car. The electronical AWD system handles the excess power quite perfectly. Officially 4,4 seconds from 0-100 km/h but many have recorded faster even without the optional acceleration boost you can buy from Tesla (software update).

A Model 3 does not have ESP or similar driving aids - but don't worry. The electric motors can calculate and react faster than any of those systems. An example could be that flooring it from standstill will not result in any wheelspin at all. There might be a splitsecond lag when the first few km/h is added but the moment the full torque sets in passengers tend to either scream or shout "holy f***"... And this isn't even the quickest model.

In spite of high power always on tap it’s easy to drive economically. This EV is still one of the most effective and we are in general only a bit higher than the official numbers when it comes to Wh/km. Yeah well I can’t help driving a little sporty when turning off FSD/Autopilot in backroad country.

The Supercharger network (SuC) is fantastic. So easy to use and there are so many of them. If I set my destination to Berlin then it is calculated and shown which SuC I need to stop at and for how long the recommended stop is. Waypoints are still not part of the navigation but I have heard it coming soon.

It has FSD but in EU it’s not as good as it could be (due to EU law that prevents Tesla from using the full potential of the system). Still it makes most trips very relaxing.

When using FSD or Autopilot you have to be aware of your surroundings. The car can perform sudden braking if it detects something (could be a truck that does not cross the line but car detects it might be about to). It’s not perfect and sometimes you get a “wake up call” and take over. I actually find myself more aware of my surroundings when driving with Autopilot/FSD enabled.

Sublime touchscreen

Sublime touchscreen

The touchscreen is amazing quality. Menus are very simple and iPad like. After a short while you dislike buttons when sitting in other cars.

Misaligned rear trunk at hinge

Misaligned rear trunk at hinge

It’s easy to find some misaligned body panels. Slight difference between body panels around front lights and also the trunk lid could have been much better aligned at the hinges. The photo shows the worst of them. I have only had older cars before (also an Italian) so it’s not that big a deal for me. Looks worse than it is.

The material on the seats feels soft and nice. So far no worn patches after 50.000 km. I used a leather cleaner+protect kit which made them look spanking new again.

Mudflaps front

Mudflaps added front

Make sure you protect the paint job at the area behind front wheels. I installed a discreet and stock looking set from EV mudflaps Canada. Tesla has introduced a kit but it is not a pretty sight and some owners complain about it scruffin’ the paint. Also make absolutely sure you at least once a year remove the dirt buildup behind the front wheel inner fenders (towards the rear of the car).

The pre 2020 piano lacquer center console is terrible. Gets greasy and scratched just by looking at it. Be sure to wrap that. We picked a wrap that was similar to the wood trim. Most just pick black but we like this look.

Other stuff I have added:

  • 3D Spider rubber mats for winter. They are perfect fit.
  • Aluminum pedals and left foot resting plate. Looks so good along with the stock aluminium trim.
  • Added auto frunk and auto trunk. We use the frunk a lot so it made sense and makes it feel more luxurious. Bought from Hansshow. The trunk kit got faulty after 11 months so reinstalled with newer version from Hansshow (under warranty).
  • Yeda USB hub for hard drive to save DashCam fottage. On newer models there is also a USB outlet for this is in the glove compartment.

Long-term average consumption

Long-term average consumption: 165 Wh/km

Tesla referral link

If my review helped you decide to buy a new Tesla, I'd be happy if you use my referral link below that will give the both of us 1.000 free Supercharger miles.

karsten65348

Tesla Model 3 Photos

Tesla Model 3 - Supercharging Tesla Model 3 - Beauty of the basement Tesla Model 3 - Mudflaps rear Tesla Model 3 - Mudflaps front Tesla Model 3 - Misaligned rear trunk at hinge Tesla Model 3 - Added aluminium pedals and plate Tesla Model 3 - Centre console wrapped Tesla Model 3 - Sublime touchscreen

Discussion

  • 2021-07-22 13:25:59 UTC

    Supercharger station

    Thanks for the review of your model 3!
    What is that giant Supercharger station in the main photo? Where is it? :)
  • 2021-07-22 13:39:44 UTC

    glass roof

    How do you feel about a glass roof in the sun? I tried it on another car (e-tron GT) and it bothered me a lot.

To comment, you must be logged.

Related (Tesla Model 3)

Next Up (The Latest)