After driving other electric cars, we finally bought the Tesla Model 3 and have become fully converted to Tesla fans. Our family likes to explore and drive around the Pacific Northwest and with the Tesla Model 3, we can travel with peace of mind and an abundance of Tesla Superchargers to make recharging easy. We look forward to continuing our adventures and taking full advantage of all that the Tesla Model 3 has to offer as an excellent electric vehicle that is fun to drive.
Tesla Model 3
The Tesla Model 3 is a midsize sedan. The size comfortably seats four people with space for a small fifth person in the middle of the backseat. (Unlike the Prius Prime Meagan hates.) The riding experience is very smooth and quieter than our gas powered SUV, but it is not a completely quiet experience based on the road conditions.
The Tesla Model 3 has a rear-wheel drive base price of $38,990 with add-on options of an extended battery and AWD for $9,000, self-driving software $6,000 and a premium interior for $1,000. The model under review has the extended battery, AWD and white premium interior.
Tesla Model 3 Features I appreciate!
Tesla Model 3 is rated #1 for safety: look at these safety features!
- Air bags (Driver, Passenger, Front Head, Read Head, Front Side)
- Blind Spot Monitor: Displayed on screen
- 4-Wheel ABS
- 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
- Daytime Running Lights
- Child Safety Locks
- Brake Assist
- Electronic Stability Control
- Traction Control
- Auto-Leveling Headlights
- Lane Departure Warning
- Lane Keeping Assist
Fun to Drive
The first thing you notice when you drive a Tesla Model 3 AWD is how much fun it is to accelerate! Going from 0 to 60 miles/hour in 4.5 seconds demonstrates the high efficiency of the powertrain and results in a speedy entrance to the freeway. It takes practice to be aware of your speed, as the smooth ride in the car can be deceptive and you may end up going faster than intended.
Easy to Navigate and Charge
Living in the Pacific Northwest, there are many Tesla Supercharging stations along major highways as well as scattered through more remote areas like the Olympic Peninsula. With the extended battery, we have 300 miles on a single charge which is a benefit for long road trips. The Navigation system is integrated into the display and is very intuitive to use.
The Navigation system includes the option to plan for trips, including charging along the way and as you near the Tesla Supercharger, your car senses that it is getting close and starts to warm up the battery to optimize charging and reduce the amount of time you spend at the Tesla Supercharger.
Lots of Storage
Not only does the Tesla Model 3 have a large-sized trunk, including a covered storage area beneath a cover, there is a second storage area called a Frunk (front trunk). We use both of these storage areas consistently and have purchased aftermarket mats to keep them protected as we increase our mileage on road trips as well as our local travel to work and school.
Customer Oriented Service
The Tesla Service model is to have a Tesla service representative go right to the customer. My husband can request service while he is at work and the Tesla service representative will locate his car in the parking lot and make the repair or update without any interaction required. They also have roaming service representatives and we ran into one when we were charging in Grants Pass, Oregon. They asked if we had any concerns with our car, answered some random questions we had and applied a new sticker for our AWD option (it was not included at the time we ordered the car in 2018). This model makes it very easy to get help and eliminates the logistics of “taking your car into the shop”.
Low Maintenance Cost
We bought our 2018 Tesla about a year ago and have had minor issues that were fixed quickly. Long term we expect our maintenance costs to be lower due to the inherent design of an electric car (no moving parts) as well as the way the car reduces speed by using regenerative braking when you remove your foot from the accelerator (saving brake pads from wear).
For the biggest kid in our family, there are software features that are fun to explore. There is a racing game (all of the cars are Teslas, of course) that uses the large display. You also can turn your car into an electronic whoopie cushion (which can be a positive thing for some and a very negative feature for others). The kids really enjoy watching the display because it navigates as the car icon and actually shows it turning when the Tesla rounds a corner.
Overall, I am very impressed with the Tesla Model 3. They only reason I wouldn’t buy another one is that I want a third row for extra seats (for friends and extended family) so we are waiting for the Model Y release.