Tesla Model 3 Review – Impressions?

This month I have decided to do a Tesla Model 3  review. Last year I made the major decision to install solar from Solar City / Tesla. While last year I wanted to take the plunge I didn’t for a few reasons I wanted to make sure I maximized my tax credit so I didn’t want to buy both a Model 3 and solar and lose out on some rebate dollars so I spaced the purchase apart. The other reason was, while I love technology, I also like for it to have a little time on it before I purchase. So any issues that arise or updates that are needed can get cleared up before I purchase.

The Stigma

Owning a Tesla whether it is solar or a vehicle comes with a certain “stigma” from those who haven’t done their research and even my mother had the same impressions and that is “man you must have money”. Whether that is true or it isn’t it really comes down to understanding the payoff. On solar I was researching generators for the hurricane periods in Florida and I decided to take a look at solar just to see what it looked like. As I thought about it I realized that I pay Duke Energy every month and that adds no value to my home, not a penny! So adding solar if I could get close to what I pay per month on electric and add in the Powerwall batteries I could kill 2 birds with one stone. So now we have added value to the home, I have power during power outages, and I am helping save the earth.

In regards to the Model 3 its kind of the same reaction. However, reality is that the Model 3 costs less than the F-150 pickup I had before the factors of fuel, services, etc. In our household we had 2 bigger vehicles which not only take a lot of fuel but neither could park in the garage. Most of my driving is commuting back and forth to work and not much hauling the kids around which made the Model 3 a perfect choice. The crazy thing is that I see people drive 60k dollar cars staring at our Model 3. It just has that kind of look and style.

The Ordering Process

It is true that you have to change your mindset on the normal dealership experience when ordering a Tesla. This is my first ordering a car that I haven’t went and looked at, taken for a test drive and then negotiated. It takes a $2500 commitment to start the process and it took us right at 2 weeks to get it in at the local Tesla store. I did have a few challenges during the process. To start with I was given a trade in quote when the process started and then it was changed a few days later not in my favor and I raised some questions regarding the change. The approach to this process is they have you go to Carmax to get it quoted and if its better they will match the quote or you can sale it to them. The bad is no matter how well you take care of your vehicle the price is the price. So for the person who didn’t take care of their truck they get the same trade in value as someone who is meticulous. Not a big fan of this process but I do understand that streamlining the process is the goal and accurately quoting trade ins can shift the focus and time needed to get deals done however it also may impact sales and push people away. Especially if they depend on that trade in value and don’t have the cash to make up the difference. I found that the rest of the process was quite easy. The credit application, insurance, tag, down payment, etc all done online and via bank transfer. I got a few phone calls through the process but not a lot almost feeling like should I call and make sure this is still happening? It was really hands off. The experience at a dealership is just brutal typically and looks similar to this:

  • Look at cars pick out one you like.
  • Await trade in value
  • Negotiate – brutal
  • Transfer to finance – my recent experience is that this has been the worst part
  • Argue about extended warranty needs
  • Finally get your car – normally dark :30

This brutal process can take hours and hours. So it was quite refreshing and actually was worth the trade in value I received just to avoid all of the above at a normal dealer.

The Delivery

So delivery day was here, actually I think it was 12 days from the time I placed my order. I was excited about it but also a little skeptical as I was thinking man the trade in, paper signing, etc I will be there for sure a few hours. Listen no lie 20 minutes and I was out. I went in with an appointment, I signed some paperwork they walked me to my car and had a staff member walk me through how everything worked and I drove off. I mean I was thinking with the trade in surely they are going to walk over the car, check it out come back and have some change that needs to be made? Nothing! I cleaned it out they changed the tag over and done! I will say though that I had watched plenty of videos on the Model 3 and so I was well informed when I arrived so I knew everything about it for the most part. Overall this was impressive.

The Car

Ok, so how is the car? I will say that the car drives better, smoother, faster, than any car I have ever driven. Some concerns I had was being 6’3″ how would I fit in it and I have no issues as the driver maybe in the backseat its a little tight for me depending on the size of the driver but it’s perfect for kids in the back like we have.

I got the windows tinted using Llumar Formula One Stratos window film. There are so many windows and being in Florida keeping the heat out is important even though the car will manage it’s heat throughout the day. Yes it does that on it’s own. I also added some carbon fiber wrap as well just to keep the inside looking new, less finger prints and sport it up some.

I went with the Standard Plus version of the Model 3 just knowing my commute isn’t very far. Fully charged it will get 236 miles on a full charge. Tesla recommends that you only charge it to 80% for daily charges and 100% on trips. You can control that from the car or the app. Generally I will charge once every few days on the standard 110 charger that comes with the car. It will do 5/6 miles of charge per hour on the car. I am awaiting our electrician to install our new Tesla wall connector which will charge much faster than that. We did try out some Supercharger Stations in the area and in about 30-45 min we can charge the car so about enough time to run in to the store eat, bathroom break and get back on the road. We will be taking our first trip in the car next week so will let everyone know how it goes.

The best parts about the car for me are that all the controls are in one place. There isn’t any connection issues with my phone or problems finding settings in the car. It not only is safe but it feels safe. The air conditioning direction is controlled by a swipe. I can change driving modes from chill to standard on the fly as well as really any other setting on the car. The regenerative braking is my new best friend. I love it. Not only does it add power to the car but very rarely do I need to press the brakes. No warming up the car, stopping at gas stations, etc.


This will be short….. what services? I will need to add windshield washer fluid, have the tires rotated like any other car and my brakes may one day need to be changed but not near as much as a normal car. Other than that no oil changes, no engine issues, no transmission problems, no fuel system and cooling system services so very little maintenance needed.


Listen, as perfect as it sounds no car is without it’s issues. Here are a few I have noticed so far:

  • Auto Pilot – Have had a few issues with it going into lanes i’m not trying to go into, some intersections that are larger spaced it freaks out of course I always have control and I am sure it is much better on the interstates but with my minimal interstate driving lately this is what I have noticed.
  • Collision Warning System – Had a few things pop up like parked cars and such. Nothing major.
  • Garage door opener – Doesn’t come with it. I have to pay $300 more for it.
  • Full Self Driving – $6000 add on currently. I just can’t see the value right now but I also have not tried it. I know they were doing trials with it maybe after that I could see the value but not right now for that price. I do like the idea of summon mode but not for that cost.
  • Floor Mats – Not sure if I was supposed to buy them before purchase or what but the car didn’t come with any so I bought some on Amazon. I feel like every car should come with something.

Other than those above it’s all I have found wrong so far. Maybe after our upcoming trip I will have more to add but so far I am beyond impressed. Now I need to start saving up for the Tesla I really want in the future the Model X.

For those who are reading this considering purchasing either Tesla Solar or a Tesla Model 3,S,X, or Y feel free to use my referral code. The referral code will give you an extra 5 year warranty on solar (25 years) or 1000 free supercharger miles.  http://ts.la/stephen4171



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