I placed my order for the Model 3 Long Range back in October of 2019. I took delivery in December 23, 2019. A few months later, the pandemic/lock down happened. I didn’t get to drive it much for a year. I was still able to drive it 30,000+ miles in the near 3 years of ownership. Here is my review.
Here is the spec I bought.
Above are the cost for the configurations back in 2019. Here are the reasons why I chose the configurations.
Long Range All-Wheel Drive: This was an easy choice of paying extra for my case. My daily commute is over 100 miles. I want the extended range. It is also recommended to keep the battery between 20-80% state of charge so that’s about 60% of usable range. You can go above and below, but to prolong the health of the battery, this should be followed as much as possible.
Pearl White Paint: This was an easy choice as well. It’s the free color and it’s multi coat.
19″ Sport Wheels: My original order had the stock 18″ wheels. It gave the best range. But after a few days of contemplating, I decided to update my order and added the 19″ wheels instead. For $1,500, it’s cheaper than buying after market. And they look better in my opinion. I did have to sacrifice some range loss.
Black and White Premium Interior: This option is for the white seats. I’ve always wanted white interior in the car. My previous cars didn’t have this option. Even if they did, buy from the dealership, you mostly could only get whatever is in their inventory. If memory serves me right, this also gave me the upgraded sound system. Although, I believe the speakers were there but they were software locked. Not a bad deal for $1,000. They look nice and at that time, hardly any Tesla I saw had white interior. The white interior is also better for the California summer.
Full Self-Driving Capability: For an additional $6,000 it was priced “right” for something that was new. Compared to now at over $10,000. I was curious about the technology and wanted to try it. Back then there was no subscription. Either you have it or you don’t. I would rather include it with the financing than come up with cash or credit later. I planned to use it for the traffic I go through.
Why this car is great
This care is truly amazing. I have had several hybrid cars but the Model 3 not only is more efficient and cost-saving, but it is very fun to drive. The instant torque makes it easy to do any lane changing and driving in an incline. I used to dream about having a Ferrari for it’s speed and performance. But now I have that at a more affordable and practical price. Now I just want a Ferrari for the looks.
For a 4-door sedan, this car has a lot of space. The floor is flat so there is more room. The trunk has a hidden compartment that is pretty deep. There is no engine bay so the frunk (front trunk) has storage space. If you lay the back seats flat, you even have more room.
The simple design is arguably great. Most controls are found on the 15″ tablet-like console. It is touch screen. The interface is responsive with no lag at all. There are three different modes for steering that control the tension when turning. There are different acceleration modes.
The car has many cameras that are recording all the time. This is used by the autopilot feature as well as sentry mode for security. Every car should at least come with a dashcam.
After 30,000 miles I have done only a little bit of maintenance. I had to change a pair of tires. One had an irreparable flat. I usually change tires in pairs. I would rotate the tires every 8-10K miles. They are free from Americas Tire. I had to get the cabin filter changed. I didn’t want to do it so their mobile service came to the house and did it. I had to refill the wiper fluid. That’s really about it. No oil change. No brake services needed.
No car is perfect. Here are some things that I could have been improved. The front windows in my car are not double pane so a lot of road noise came in the cabin while driving. I drown it out since I play music loud anyway. This has been addressed in future versions of the car. I say version because Tesla introduces new features at any time unlike traditional car companies where they introduce it during an annual cycle.
A powered tailgate/trunk would have been nice. For the price of this car, they should have included it. There are aftermarket kits. Again, Tesla added this feature in new versions of the car. Powered frunk would be nice as well but so far it’s not included at all.
If I had to buy this car again, I would’ve spent the extra money on the Performance version rather than upgrading the wheels and getting full self-driving. I hardly used FSD. It’s an expensive party trick to show people but it gets old fast. The car is fun to drive so I’d rather drive it than it drive me. I didn’t get the Performance because many people damage their wheels driving over potholes. This was a concern since I drive a lot and cannot afford to have my car always in the wheel shop getting fixed. Thinking back, I would’ve taken the chance.
I have traded the car in for a Model Y Performance. I’ve always wanted larger cars and because of Tesla, I can now afford to own larger cars. What I mean by afford is, I can afford to keep the car. Buying the car is only the beginning. You have to maintain it and you need fuel to drive it. With my long commute, an EV is a more practical purchase than a gas car, at any size.
More about the review on my Youtube video.