First Tesla Model 3 Test Drive Review Since Unveiling Night – Video


Tesla’s apparent non-disclosure agreements has prevented new reviews of the Model 3 from popping up on the Internet until now.

Tesla Model 3 At Supercharger

Leave it to OCDetailing, the same folks who brought us the exclusive videos highlighted further down below, to become the first to release a rather in-depth test drive review video of the Model 3.

This latest video by OCDetailing

Video description:

Tesla Model 3 – Driving Impression

Joe takes the Tesla Model 3 for a spin to the headquarters and gives his opinion.

OCDetailing seems impressed with the the Model 3 handling and sporty feel, but let down by Autopilot, which as we know, is more or less in full-on beta form in the Model 3, meaning it’s mostly useless right now.

In conclusion, OCDetailing wraps up its brief review by saying that if you’re expected the Model 3 to feel like a Tesla, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

As promised, here are those other Model 3 videos from OCDetailing:

video 1: Tesla Model 3 Interior Space Compared To S, X – Video

video 2: Red Tesla Model 3, Matte Wrapped S, Plus Model 3 Interior Details – Videos

video 3: New Tesla Model 3 Videos Show Hidden Exterior/Interior Features, Detailed Impressions

video 4: Tesla Model 3 Detailed Video Review Finally Surfaces

Categories: Tesla, Test Drives, Videos

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54 Comments on "First Tesla Model 3 Test Drive Review Since Unveiling Night – Video"

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That’s what you get when you don’t want to release any info on your new cars – Reviews by dudes working in a carwash. πŸ˜€

Haha, good one… That was an review that would make me wonder if this is the right car for me. He does bring up some good points about the screen and UI. But not knowing how to control the AP is a shortcoming on his part.

It’s likely this Model 3 doesn’t have EAP as an option. Also, he has driven hundreds of Teslas and used the standard stalk command to initiate AP.

‘But not knowing how to control the AP is a shortcoming on his part’.

Your comment is not helpful or incisive. He has access to Model 3 and has been given permission from the owner to drive the car.

He did not know whether the car had AP enabled and he tried to engage it. He did not fault the car for it not being operational.

He is helping a lot of reservation holders get a sense of the Model 3 (features, performance, potential issues, etc.).

Finding fault (where fault does not exist) is getting old. If Tesla wants to avoid criticism from the ‘general public’, they can release/sell a random card to Consumer Reports and others who can provide a full review and put one in their long-term test fleet.

OCDetailing does great work and probably has more experience with Teslas than most customers.

Funny, but his might be the most “unwashed” review many see.

He goes on about the tight suspension and favorable steering, without recognizing he’s driving a coil car instead of the air suspensions most MS’s ride on. Could also be the 800lb diet, but steering does not feel the same (coil vs. air).

M3 would be much more a driver’s car, if it weren’t for its extravagant assault on ergonomics. Better stop there.

Center screen already geting little love. Autopilot goes bacwards. I love Tesla, and wouldn’t note Joe’s opinion if these issues weren’t self-inflicted.

Don’t forget that the M3 is a “budget” EV! If you want a car that has all the extras of the MS, go buy a MS.

Yet everyone says don’t compare the Model 3 to a Bolt EV because it is a premium car that competes with Audi and BMW.

And that assertion is going to stop exactly how many people from going ahead and comparing the Model 3 to the Bolt EV?


It seems pretty clear that Tesla has aimed for the TM3 to compete most directly with cars such as the BMW 3-series and the Audi A4. The pricing for TM3 options certainly indicates so! But of course, people can and will make comparisons with cars and other vehicles far outside that narrow category.

A budget EV? I thought this car was supposed to kill the BMW 3-series, and let’s not forget about that $55k+ price tag these early versions are sporting – that is NOT budget.

Yup. I always found it weird that so many people described TM3 as an “affordable” car. The best-selling cars (not light trucks) have a MSRP of around $18k-25k, not $35k!

The estimated average transaction price of a new car or truck sold in the U.S. in April was $33,560

Yes, but that median includes lots of very un-affordable cars along with the affordable ones.

The term “affordable” certainly is a complex issue.

Yes, median new car buyers in general certainly can “afford” to buy a base model considering the median price is around the same. That’s one definition.

But if you look at the category of cars that are typically called “affordable”, you won’t see any 35K cars like BMW’s, Audi’s, etc that also sell for the same price as the Model 3. That’s another definition.

Finally, if you look at the history of prices of 200-300 mile EV’s, the Model 3 (and Bolt) are HUGELY more affordable than any car in the last decade. So in relation to previous cars, 35K is incredibly “affordable”. Third definition of affordable EV.

The problem lies in the word “afford”, because it has no empirical meaning. So it is hard to nail down a single meaning that everybody will agree to.

Interesting that the video of the display while Supercharging showed a ~28 kW charge rate despite being around 50% SOC. What’s up with that?

Overall, the guy seemed to WANT to shower glorious praise on the 3, but there were definite issues that nagged at him that he mentioned.

OK, really, really need an edit function. Make it happen, IEVs!

I was going to add that even a Bolt EV charges quicker than 28 kW at 50% SOC even AFTER it hits the first charging taper. 28 kW is one helluva slow “Supercharge”.

Since OCDetailing has done over a thousand Tesla wraps and paint corrections, I’m sure it’s in his best financial interest to praise them. I’m curious about the average price per car, probably $3-4K?

maybe Bolt charging simulation mode on?


Ouchie…the truth hurts.

Looks like just an aging Supercharger network infrastructure that is starting to wilt BEFORE the (eventual?) flood of Model 3’s hitting the streets.

πŸ˜† πŸ˜† πŸ˜†

The only “flood” here is the amount of B.S. you churn out every day.

When superchargers get busy, they slow down drastically. As OCD guy mentioned, it was busy. Below is plugshare comment from the only Supercharger in San Diego.

“Long line with 5 cars waiting. Some left in frustration. Slow charge at 25kw.”

Frankly, I prefer charging at 25 kW over not being able to charge for an hour (or two!) waiting for free and slow charging Bolts. And it’s always Bolts.

That seems to be an issue that Tesla owners often mention: neutered Supercharging rates for no apparent reason. Even a shared Supercharger stall should be charging well above a 28 kW rate. It seems the Supercharger network may not be “aging” well.

As for Bolts in fast charging spots, don’t expect that issue to get any better, as Bolt sales will likely set monthly records the last 3 months of this year and many more Bolts will be on the roads (and charging in DCFC spots). πŸ™‚

First there’d have to exist CCS stations that have more than a single plug. So far, I’ve not seen a single one.

If the station is busy or broken, you’re SOL!

What’s that just over a couple thousand a month. A record. This will be a record sales year for the Bolt even if they come in under 20k, lol.

I noticed the 28 kw also, and even at a busy SC, the dispenser will provide 60 kw. So its obvious to me that the 28 kw charging rate cannot be blamed on the dispenser since it had plenty of power left. The only thing that might be an issue is if a 100kwh “S” just showed up and is hogging all the juice, but that’s giving the thing more than the benefit of a doubt.

Obviously someone somewhere will do the definitive test of charging a “3” with an ’empty mate dispenser’.

But it does seem as though people complaining about the ‘Absolutely Horrible’ ccs jack on the BOLT ev should realize it is competitive with the ‘3’, even apparently besting it.

Yep, you know with the Bolt you will get at least 37-46 kW charge rates at a CCS station through 70% SOC.

It must be maddening for a Tesla P100DL S/X owner to pull into a Supercharger stall, expecting 100+ kW charge rates only to be greeted to rates slower than a Bolt can achieve!

Doesn’t happen. I’m harsh on touch screens, but I think you’re supposing something the fleet generally doesn’t exhibit (or more would talk about it?). Unless stations fail (rare), smaller battery Teslas always work at lower charging rates. I don’t have 100KWh, but do 75 and 85.
(late) 85: 119KW drops to around 60KW
75: 90KW drops to around 46-50KW
Both after about 20 minutes, from 10-20% state of charge. My last charge achieved 140 miles, in 30 minutes.

It’ll be interesting to see how fast the smaller Model 3 battery charges, but really not that relevant for days beneath 200 miles. As was said, the 28KW in the video was likely near the beginning of the session.

Problem is not Bolt sales. Problem is free charging Bolts. With longer range of Bolts, “normal people” will just home charge and not bother with DCFC hassles, not so with free chargers.

Of course, even if all Bolts disappeared, free charging i3 will be there to take the spot.

Stimpy is right. For 12 stall supercharger like the one in San Diego, you’d need 12 cars charging + 6 cars waiting (waiting for 18 cars total) to be equivalent to waiting for single Bolt at CCS.

Even with free charging I doubt I would go to a charger if i could charge at home. What a PITA doing that all the time! Much rather a piddling cost to charge at home than wasting time at a charger. Unless, of course, the charger is at my super market or somewhere I am stopping anyway. Maybe that is the case with these Bolts.

“The first one in a pair gets the full power. When another car uses the 2nd connection of the pair they will start off at 30 kW (and the other gets 90-105kW depending on the Supercharger: 120kW or 135kW).

As the first car tapers off, the 2nd car gets the excess (i.e. more power). This usually happens fairly quickly, 15-20 minutes after the first car has started charging.

It doesn’t matter which slot starts first, the first one of the pair always gets the highest power until it is charged (or leaves).”

So while not ideal the 29 kW rate you see when he starts charging won’t stay that low for long. He doesn’t seem to know this and comments that when the chargers are busy its slower. It has nothing to do with how busy all the chargers are but if the one spot that a Supercharger is paired with is occupied or not.

Now obviously this system needs to change soon. A customer should be able to expect that when they pull into any Supercharger spot anywhere that they can expect at least a 100 kW rate. That would mean upgrading the entire Supercharger network but it will happen eventually.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. There is limited power available, or the cost to run higher tensile power lines to the location are cost prohibitive, so the Tesla method is actually pretty clever. Compare it to what CHAdeMO/CCS multi head units do, is it similar or do they just split the power 50/50.
It sort of like the internet, if your on it alone it is fast, but as others start to use it the performance slows down. Limited resources used by many at the same time, something has to give.
Tesla might be better off placing pairs of SC in different locations rather than 6+ pairs in the same location. That way their power availability is spread over more sub stations. Not sure if power works that way, but could also provide more access to different localities as well.

Have we determined if these M3s he’s posting videos on are delivered cars?

These are employee cars. Tesla probably still has thousands of employees to fulfill before public sales even begin.

That seems like an awful lot of time with eyes off the road to manipulate the screen. Seems very fiddly to me.

The door latch thing wasn’t so impressive. The software stuff can be updated. Not a big issue.

He also mentioned that the turning radius of the 3 seems to be greater than an S. How is that even possible??

(βŒβ– _β– ) Trollnonymous

You’ll have to question his credibility at that point…

I suppose it’s physically possible that the wheel lock on the TM3 occurs too soon, not allowing the wheels to turn as far as they should; but it seems more likely that this is an indication we should take what this reviewer says with a healthy dose of skepticism.

He may be an experienced car detailer, but that doesn’t make him a professional car reviewer.

Can’t believe all we get on model 3 is the inferior stuff of this car washing guy.

No need to denigrate him; he’s not even a car journalist.

I’d put the stink on Tesla. Three months on, and owners still aren’t allowed to discuss their cars – pretty bad.

I think that was a decent review – thanks for posting it.

Cons I observed:
1. Door closing – shouldn’t be difficult, even for solid doors.
2. User interface – my distaste for the gauge-less, knob-less dash is growing.
3. Turning radius – this could be a pain.
4. Inoperative features.

Pros I observed:
1. Range seems to be as advertised.
2. Quiet ride.
3. It’s still a beautiful car.

As bad as the PR and rollout has been handled, it’s still better than the Model X rollout which only single digits were delivered each of the first 3 months. It’s imperative for the future of EVs that Tesla, Nissan, and GM all succeed. Tesla isn’t helping by acting like amateur hour at the manufacturing plant.

On the contrary, I rather suspect Tesla is quite pleased with how the PR is going with the Tesla Model 3. Dropping a “bamboo curtain” over social media posts about the car keeps it mysterious, which only increases interest and media “buzz”. Info is being managed (and controlled) by Tesla much, much better than it was during the first few months of Model X production.

Those who think they have a significant impact on public perception when they express frustration over the information embargo, have a vastly exaggerated idea of the importance of their posts. That’s pretty common for comments on fan-oriented sites; those frequenting such places sometimes forget there is a wider world outside their own insular community.

(βŒβ– _β– ) Trollnonymous

“but let down by Autopilot, which as we know, is more or less in full-on beta form in the Model 3, meaning it’s mostly useless right now.”

Meh on the AP. Don’t care for it. It should be an option and save me $1000.

I still predict the two of the top complaints about this car will be ride quality and road noise.

Tesla’s are already more firmly damped than a lot of folks are used to and the general consensus is that they are louder on the road that other cars in their PRICE class.

I purposely got the air suspension on my Tesla to take the edge off of impacts after back-to-back test drives between coil and air cars.

Model 3 customers will NOT care about the two concerns you mentioned.

But I bet, plenty will about the controls or lack of them. The only people who get burned are the early adopters, because they have no clue what they are getting into … 12 months from now, people will now before they actually put their money down.

Not everyone will be fan of this, especially 40+ population would I estimate. Understandably, not demographics where most of Tesla’s revenue comes from I’d estimate anyway.

“Tesla’s are already more firmly damped than a lot of folks are used to…”

I was somewhat amused, but also somewhat disturbed, at how the Motor Trend reviewer practically did handsprings in his excitement over how firm the ride is on the Model 3 (source 1 below). There seems to be a pretty strong bias among car reviewers to prefer cars which drive like sports cars. Most people I know would rather have a more cushioned ride, so the apparently very stiff suspension may well be one area where the general public won’t like the TM3.

“…and the general consensus is that they are louder on the road that other cars in their PRICE class.”

Please tell me you’re joking!

To quote from the review of the car by The Oatmeal (source 2 below):

Being fully electric, the Model S is completely noiseless, which was jarring at first because every time I came to a stop I thought that the motor had stalled. It also makes parking lots rather interesting because pedestrians can’t hear my Ultra Stealth NinjaCar as it approaches.

source 1:

source 2:

Sorry Pushmi – I wish it wasn’t true, but it’s fairly common to hear (no pun intended) owners complaining about road and wind noise in their Model S over on

Keep in mind, these folks are often coming from equally expensive cars. A modern Lexus, Mercedes, Audi, BMW etc. anywhere near the Model S’ price class tends to have excellent sound deadening, triple door seals, laminated side glass, etc. Noise from the engines in those cars are so well suppressed as to be a non-issue. When you do hear it, it is typically just under harder acceleration.

MOST noise that you hear at freeway speed comes from the tires, wind and other cars. The Model S simply does a worse job blocking out that noise relative to other cars. At speed, my Model S is certainly louder than my old 5 series was except under all out acceleration. Even then, I’d rather listen to a sweet engine under acceleration over tire and wind noise any day of the week.

I’ve seen some posts on the subject, enough to know the arguments are entirely subjective. Let’s see somebody put a sound meter into these cars and do an actual objective test of the decibel levels.

But unless and until that happens, I’m persuaded by those Tesla owners who say that the only reason some people subjectively find the interior of the Model S/X to be “noisy” is that the background noises that are generally drowned out by engine noise in a gasmobile, are much more easily heard when that blanketing noise is missing.

I’m also reminded of the story of what happened one night when an ice jam temporarily blocked water flowing over the Niagara Falls. Many of those living in a town nearby were awakened by the lack of noise. Apparently the silence really was deafening! πŸ™‚

I think, like many people, you overestimate how loud engines are and underestimate how loud tires/wind are.

PHEV drivers – particularly of the Volt or i3 REx – have a better insight here than most. I can tell you that when the gas engine is engaged, the sound is noticeable on city streets, but at 70+ it’s impossible to hear whether the engine is running or not (except at absolute max RPM).

Outside of sportscars with exhaust systems designed to make the engine noise noticeable, wind and tires are generally much louder than the engine at highway speeds.

Confirmation that the iPad and stalk combo is terrible in my view. No way I could live with that. Sick of pad just reading stuff for an hour at home … now +/- adjustment of cruising speed requires touching a small dot on a screen??

Considering how much is Tesla about increasing safety, how did stuff like this got by them??

According to what study is this safer than hands-on-steering wheel adjustments??? The only way I am thinking is that they expect most people to be in AP mode, so the driver can be distracted by trying to hit the screen dots??

“Considering how much is Tesla about increasing safety, how did stuff like this got by them??”

Tesla is most interested in the safety of Autopilot. They prove it in comparisons with the very (inferior) people who buy their cars.

So, some won’t be surprised if I say a harder car to drive manually is one that helps prove the safety of autonomous drive. Awesome, huh?

We have to wait and see for ourselves. Good thing is Tesla OTA updates, so if the cruise +/- prove too small they will be able to easily send an update to make it bigger, more convenient. It looks like there is heaps of screen real-estate, so lots of opportunities.
I don’t like the big map on screen, I rarely use them because I actually know where I’m going, so to me that is a whole lot is screen real-estate I would prefer to use for other things.