Tesla Model 3 Early Impressions – it’s as good as we hoped it would …

Tesla has finally started shipping Model 3 in poignant numbers, and as a Roadster owner, an early reservation hilt and a California resident, I’ve been propitious adequate to get one of a initial batches of cars sent to non-employees, and have been spending a final dual days pushing it, giving exam rides, and perplexing to figure out all we can about a automobile over a march of this bustling holiday weekend.

Without removing too into a weeds (yet), we wish to share some of my early impressions.  I’ll post some-more sum in a entrance days and weeks of ownership.

The other day we asked for your questions about a car, and while I’ll hold on a few things about that in this article, I’m not going to answer all of them now, and will do a “your questions answered” essay once I’ve had a tiny some-more time with a car.

While we’ve had a possibility to expostulate a automobile before, that was customarily a brief expostulate around a factory.  Fred’s impressions from that expostulate mostly compare mine, so far, yet his was a unequivocally early indication while Tesla was customarily usually starting to broach to employees and now Tesla is finally ramping adult prolongation and removing cars in a hands of customers, so I’ve got a “real deal” so-to-speak, with a VIN in a mid-2000s.

Fit and Finish

I’m going to answer this initial since it’s one of a some-more common questions people have about this car.  Many people have common photos of unsuitable physique row gaps on recover claimant Model 3s.  I don’t utterly caring about this too many myself, since as prolonged as a automobile looks good and is fun to expostulate and has good record in it, we don’t need all to be ideal down to a sub-millimeter level. But many people do care, and this can be seen as a sign of bad prolongation processes as if things don’t fit together well, a automobile can have use issues down a road.

After saying my automobile and 3 other “first collection to a public” cars adult tighten in a final integrate days, we can news that a cars by and immeasurable do not seem to have poignant issues with row gaps.

Early Model S had a lot of issues with unsuitable row gaps, yet as Tesla built some-more and some-more of them, this problem has been disappearing.  Many suspicion that a same would occur with Model 3 – that early cars would have issues, and after cars wouldn’t.  The fact that these “first-batch” cars to a open do not have these issues shows that Tesla is not customarily removing softened during creation a Model S, yet softened during creation cars in general.

At a few automobile meetups I’ve been to this weekend, everybody I’ve asked has celebrated a same – that a fit and finish seems many softened from what they approaching after saying early Model S cars and recover claimant Model 3s.

Driving experience

On to a driving.  The initial thing we beheld is that a doing is superb.  The automobile feels unequivocally “pointy” – it’s intensely manageable on turn-in, and feels many some-more nimble than a Model S due to a ~1,000lb reduce weight.  There is probably no physique hurl due to a low core of gravity.  The steering in competition mode feels ideal and responsive, yet there are comfort and customary modes as good if we cite lighter weight on a steering wheel. Keep in mind here my daily motorist is a Roadster.

I need to underline that whole paragraph.  This car’s doing is unequivocally great.  I adore it.  I unequivocally unequivocally adore it.  It’s my favorite thing about a automobile so far.

Acceleration feels identical to a ~70D.  It’s not as “punchy” as my Roadster or any “P” Model S, yet it’s still got good pedal response and good energy by a range.  Regen is clever yet still a tiny weaker than a Chevy Bolt and reduction than I’d like; it’s probable that it will be stronger in a destiny all-wheel expostulate chronicle of a car.

On my initial expostulate of a automobile (in Southern California), in churned driving, we averaged an considerable 246 Wh/mi, that translates to an effective operation of ~305 miles.  It should be easy to get some-more than 310 miles of operation with a tiny bid and underneath a right conditions (especially with aero caps attached).

Rear prominence for a motorist leaves something to be desired.  The case lid is utterly high, that obstructs a behind perspective significantly.  I customarily like to lay low in a car, yet practiced a energy chair upwards since behind prominence is poor.  This is utterly loyal during nighttime, when this can hinder a driver’s perspective of a following car’s headlights, creation a following automobile roughly invisible.  As a workaround, it’s probable to expostulate with a rear-view camera on, and a touchscreen symbol to activate it is in a many accessible position for a motorist to reach.  I trust this competence have been an conscious UI preference by Tesla to make adult for bad behind visibility.


Interior room is ample.  Headroom and legroom are not going to be a regard for a immeasurable infancy of passengers, a headroom is definitely cavernous and a potion roof creates a behind feel unequivocally open.  As for width, with 3 below-average sized passengers in a back, a shoulder room was “okay, about as good as you’d pattern from a sedan this size.”  This is a genuine five-seater.

The automobile is unequivocally still inside, even during highway speed.  Bluetooth calls are transparent and easy to know both for a motorist and for a chairman on a other side of a call.

Suspension is tight, and if we were looking for something to nitpick, float peculiarity would be it.  A parsimonious cessation is good for opening pushing and manageable doing that Model 3 has in spades, yet a tighter cessation also creates a float a bit harsher.


The shade is is smaller and has fewer functions than that of a S/X, yet it is many some-more touch-responsive and has a snappier user interface.  Switching a map perspective from streets to full satellite perspective happens roughly instantly, boring and zooming a map is smooth, and there’s no loiter when interacting with hold buttons indispensable while driving.  This is good, since a touchscreen interface can need some-more courtesy than earthy buttons, and loiter customarily increases a time a motorist isn’t profitable courtesy to a road, so minimizing loiter is unequivocally critical and Tesla has finished this unequivocally good in a Model 3.

The steering circle buttons offer a accumulation of uses, yet there are some functions blank – in a S it’s probable to adjust fan speed or other settings with a right corkscrew wheel, yet that duty is not accessible on a 3.  Hopefully this will be combined in an refurbish soon, since right now a right corkscrew circle doesn’t do enough.  The right corkscrew circle does activate voice commands, and responsiveness to them has been softened significantly.


It’s an early prolongation automobile so there are firm to be a few bugs.  These have been reported on sincerely widely, mostly sourced from a Model 3 Road Trip facebook page where several problems have been documented – and we’ll hear all about those when Fred interviews You You Xue, a motorist endeavour a trip, when he gets to Montreal after this week.  So far, we have customarily gifted one of these bugs – a audio complement finished enormous sounds after unresolved adult a bluetooth call, that we solved by rebooting a shade by holding down a steering circle buttons for a few seconds.  Early owners should get used to this gesticulate while any kinks are worked out, yet Tesla will certainly repair many of them shortly with over-the-air updates.


There are a lot of sum I’ve left out of this post that I’ll cover after in a some-more full review.  Tesla unequivocally got a lot of tiny pattern facilities on this automobile right – from a self-centredness mirrors, to a frunk space, to a cupholders, all seems unequivocally well-thought-out.  Coming from a proof-of-concept Roadster (which we still love), and carrying spent copiousness of time in a somewhat-idiosyncratic Model S (no aflame self-centredness mirrors, no door/map pockets, no place to hang a dry cleaning, etc), a Model 3 finally feels like a “real car,” and an well-developed one during that.

EV fans have all spent a final few years with a bizarre reduction of excitement, cheerfulness and nervousness, wanting a Model 3 to be all we hoped for yet fearing that it competence skip that mark, or that there competence be other problems with Tesla that outcome in a automobile being reduction than betrothed or expected.  But, from early impressions, Tesla seems to have finished it.  The automobile is great.  You can all take a exhale now.

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