Things I wish I knew Before Buying a Tesla Model 3

Published: July 23, 2020
By Anthony
6 min read
Things I wish I knew Before Buying a Tesla Model 3

1. Autopilot is Impressive, but it's Still a Work in Progress

I was excited about the concept of just sitting in my car and letting my car drive through Bay Area traffic, but we're still not there yet. You'll still need to hold onto the steering wheel or else the car will eventually stop. Autopilot is great for in a predictable environment like freeways, but it still can't drive locally yet. Tesla recently added support for detecting stop signs and street lights, but that requires Full Self-Driving which is an extra $8000 in addition to the base Autopilot package.

2. The Range is Less than the Advertised Range

Tesla advertises the Standard Range Plus to have 240 miles of range. In reality, it's much less. This can also change depending on weather conditions. The car's battery will drain much faster overnight when it's out in the cold. That's not to say road trips are impossible with Teslas. There are Superchargers all over the US. As of July 2020, there are 1971 Superchargers Stations. If you plan on taking the car for a long trip, be prepared to take multiple stops to charge your car at Superchargers.

3. There's a Bunch of Awesome Third Party Accessories

Tesla sells a lot of accessories on their official website, but most of these are pretty expensive. Thankfully, you can find alternative items and accessories you won't find from Tesla on Amazon. Here's some of my favorite accessories that I've purchased.

Jeda USB Hub

Model 3 USB Hub

The front console only has 2 USB inputs. If you purchased the device before 2020, the car comes with 2 USB A ports, but newer models come with 1 USB A and 1 USB C. I realized really quickly that this wasn't enough ports especially if you have a wireless charger and you're using a USB port for Sentry Mode. Luckily there are a bunch of USB hubs that expand the number of ports you can have. This one allows you to hide a USB storage device inside and provides 3 USB A and 2 USB C.

All Weather Tesla Model 3 Floor Mats

I was originally planning on ordering floor mats from Tesla, but I changed my mind once I saw the price. While the Tesla ones look a lot cooler, I couldn't justify spending an extra $150 on floor mats. These get the job done and keep my car nice and clean.

Tesla Model 3 Tempered Glass Screen Protector

Nobody likes a scratched phone screen so why risk that happening to your car display too? It was easy to install, but it took a week for the air bubbles to go away. No complaints here!

Tesla Model 3 Wireless Charger

It's so convenient being able drop your phone in the charging pad without having to deal with plugging your phone in. It's so convenient if your friends don't use the same phone as you and you don't have the USB cable for their phones. While wireless charging isn't as fast as wired charging, I still think the convenience factor outweighs the charging speed.

4. Benefits from Buying from Referral Link

If you purchase a Tesla using someone's referral link, both parties earn 1,000 miles of free Supercharging. Since new Model 3s don't come with free Supercharging anymore, having some free credits is a nice to have.

Here's my Referral Link.

5. Overall Build Quality is Meager

Unfortunately, in order to mass produce the car, Tesla had to compensate on quality. One of my seat belts doesn't work and I'm afraid to take my car into repairs since I heard rumors that repair time could take a long time. Another nit I have is the car doesn't feel like a luxury car. Since the car is so barebones, it doesn't have the same cabin luxury as other cars in the same price point. Also, I take pretty good care of my car, but I still have random scratches on my car. I ended up buying extra paint to cover some of these scratches.

I also purchased a Model 3 Key Fob, but it didn't work. The key was able start my car by putting it where the key card should go, but the buttons on the fob didn't work. I assume I got a faulty key so I ended up sending it back and it took almost 3 months to get my money back.

6. Lack of Blind Spot Detection

Blind Spot

I wish there was some sort of blind spot detection feature. The car doesn't beep if you're merging into a lane and a car is in your blind spot. The car doesn't have any notifications or displays when a car is in your blind spot. Even my previous car, a Volkswagen Jetta, had this.

7. The 0-60 on the SR+ isn’t as Fast as the Dual Motor Models

The Tesla Model 3 Performance model can hit 0-60 in 3.2 seconds. However, don't expect the base model to have these kinds of speeds. My Standard Range Plus hits 0-60 in about 5.3 seconds which isn't slow, but I wish it was a bit faster.

Here's a breakdown of the 0-60 for all the Model 3s. I got this info from Inside Evs.

Standard Range (2019)5.6 seconds
Standard Range Plus (2019)5.3 seconds
Long Range RWD (2019)5.0 seconds
Long Range AWD (2019)4.5 seconds
Performance LR AWD (2019)3.2 seconds

8. People Love Breaking into Model 3s

Back in late 2019 and early 2020, there was a surge of car break-ins in the Bay Area. This was extremely common with Model 3s due to the lack of actual sensors that detect broken car windows. Even my friend in the Bay Area got his Model 3 broken into. To fix curb this issue, Tesla introduced Sentry Mode. Sentry Mode uses the car's cameras to watch for any offending activity and uses some sensors to detect if the car is being broken into. While better than nothing, Sentry Mode isn't perfect. It sometimes doesn't trigger and video can get corrupt. Also, battery drain is pretty bad. 1 hour of use drains about 1 mile of drive time.

All products recommended are selected by our team. If you buy something through one of the links on this page, you'll be supporting our team to keep doing what they love.

Related Posts

Copyright 2020 © Mai Nguyen. All rights reserved.