Tesla Model 3 Test Ride – Video (update)

Tesla Model 3

JUL 29 2017 BY MICHAEL BEINENSON 27

You could be wondering how is this review different from anything you already read today? Tons of reviews have already been posted online but I promise you, there are some facts here that were not mentioned anywhere.

Full recap of event below

Update (July 31):  InsideEVs had some video of a Model 3 drive with Steven Loveday and his daughter Bria up front, alongside some of the many other first drives (check those out here) taken on Friday, but for some confusing reason(s), Tesla has asked us to do them a “big favor” and remove that video (despite us first asking for permission, and being granted that ok).  Not wanted to create an issue, we have agreed.

Nonetheless, we have a written report from the event below for you to check out!

Pre-event mood:

It was simply electric. Tesla was very good at make sure everyone was well taken care off. Press had their own gig, employees patiently waited to take their place in front of the stage and then there was the reception for the referral program winners and their guest.

Good food, music, drinks but another group was present: tons and tons of suppliers that will make Model 3 a success. I got to meet people from around US and even as far as South Korea. Everyone was excited and none of them could believe the success Model 3 already had.

Event:

Bria, the youngest attendee at the Tesla Model 3 party, about to take a spin!

If you have watched enough Apple events you now know they are kinda the same. Since Tesla has done a few major announcements, this could have been the same as before? No. The event was as much about Model 3 as it was about the employees of Tesla. I think the choice to host the event in the back of Fremont Factory was super smart and you could follow the theme of the presentation that without the hard work of all Tesla employees none of this would be possible.

Our very own Steve Loveday’s daughter (Bria) did a fantastic job on world stage to announce the winner of the Project Loveday. There was a pause and everyone looked to the right to see Elon drive up on stage. Yes he actually drove up the ramp, which from the safety perspective had no guardrails and everyone was amazed to see him do it.

Without going into too much detail of what Elon said, I simply will state this: He had a ton of fun. I felt like Elon knew that this is it, he and the team did it. That this was a very long and hard journey and now he can have a little fun!

Test Ride:

Just to be clear, as with other events, this was a test ride, meaning you got to ask a lot of question, look around but not to drive the car. I got lucky to ride with Bria Loveday and of course her dad Steve Loveday.

If you watched the video above, I am going to fill you in a few details: The car is amazing, yes it. Tesla did it and the first impression that there will be another 400,000 reservations coming up shortly. It looks good from the outside, it feels solid and when it will hit the public roads, people will turn their heads to say: WOW! I want one! We waited our turn to take the ride and as each car came around, the shapes, contours, design features, all of it made sense. Yes some labeled Model 3 as a mini Model S, but it is only a first impression.

Interior was spacious. I got to sit in the back seat and I am 6’2″, no problem. Frankly there were taller people at the event and they said, that was a nonissue. As the current Model S owner, I started to see what has changed. A lot! Having 2 kids riding in the back, there is always one issue with Model S: “Daddy, can you put my drink in the cup holder!!!”. Well no more. There is an arm rest in the rear seats with two cup holders. USB ports.

But, wait…. there are also door pockets in front and rear doors. Finally! Center console is very specious. Arm rest, middle, front, tons of space. The cars we drove was a premium package and had not just one but built in chargers for the phone. The air vents are hidden in a single line across the dash. When asked the driver about speedometer being in the middle, he said it was not a big deal. Ladies: There is not only a mirror in the visors, there is now a LIGHT! Yes a Tesla sedan with a light! I know my wife will be happy! Doors have changed too. I observed people trying to get into the car and it takes a second to get used to the new handle. But once they do, everyone loved it. Getting out was tricky for some as well. No regular lever to open the door. There is a button that you press as you hold the door handle and the door opens. Simple solution and probably a reduction in cost.

The ride felt smooth, acceleration was perfect. Regen was nominal. No complaints, but this part Tesla has had a lot of experience with the last 3 cars so no surprises here. There is a frunk here. Yup! Not as big as Model S or X but there is one. Trunk was off limits during the drive but 15 cubic feet should do the trick.

Conclusion:

Tesla has done it. And this is not a biased opinion because I own one, it is an opinion of someone who has owned 5 electric vehicles and drove almost everyone on the market today.

Tesla Model 3 checks off almost all of the boxes on the list. It is affordable, sexy, specious, innovative and from the looks of it FUN!!! But the event was yesterday, now it is time to get through “production hell” as Elon has said and get the cars to the people. Because something tells me, more reservation deposits will be coming in today!!! Enjoy!

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27 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 Test Ride – Video (update)"

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Anyone notice the center console door not staying closed? Minor issue but I genuinely LOL because it made me think of a great moment from the movie “Gung Ho”.

Hmm wiper controls on the screen? Not sure I like that. I was hoping for a lot controls to be able to be done on the steering wheel and the stalks, but it appears that isn’t the case.

With you on that…the steering wheel needs to be packed with controls. On the other hand the screen looks good and the speed is easily visible.

I also do not like having to swipe card each time. I sure hope there is a keyless start option, like he mentioned.

IIRC keylessis done via app on phone and bluetooth.
Keycard is a backup.
Need to integrate apple watch into their iOS app.

So far there aren’t many negatives about Model 3 from all the articles I already read today. Tesla is definitely had done their homework. Congratulation.

$9k extra for the extended range is a pretty big negative for many including myself. For a $35k car i expected the premium package to be included but instead is 5k extra. Other than the lame presentation the car shoul do very well.

They said 215 mile range for $35K and they delivered. If you don’t want the 310 mile range then don’t get it.

And why in the work did you think a $35K long range EV would come with all the premium options? You are not in touch with the EV market.

I still can’t get over how people think that the Model 3 was going to be a $100k car for $35k

Sigh….. I really like the Tesla vision but I think I am going to cancel my M3 reservation.

JUST TOO much forced up-charging here, warranty 7k omg?, those ugly aero wheels, black only free color, center display shoved down our throats, that ohh-too-simple steering wheel it’s 2017, the low regen (reported), no apple carplay, the touchscreen used for critical driving activities like wipers OMG, the keycard no-worky from pocket.

TESLA, WHY are you hiding the trunk on a PRODUCTION car, and what’s with the dead-of-night test drives (again). We can’t see anything, what are you hiding this late in the game?

Seems like a realistically optioned model 3 is approaching 60k+ and even this is missing TOO MANY BASIC things I NEED to DRIVE.

Anyone who wants dual-motor will not be getting the fed credit. What a let down.

Glad I got a Bolt, even without ACC. Bob Lutz was right.

There are pictures of frunk and trunk online on motor trend

Have fun with your EV from a car company who doesn’t care about EVs.

So Fabian…How many fence-sitters do you think you dissuaded with your senseless drivel?

You outed yourself as an anti-Tesla liar so many times using such lame tactics as exaggeration and misinformation. One might be easily pursuaded to think that you work for one of the fake news cable outlets! ?

$60K?! Its. ice to know anyone can equip their M3 with bells and whistles, but my state just implemented a new law last week that fines you for taking your hands off the wheel! No autopilot extras for me. Rear wheel drive is what I prefer, glad AWD is available for some folks. 220 miles range is perfect for me and a bargain.

You seem to have cherry picked every doubt, every negative observation found online and highlighted them. Gee, Tesla must be hiding something, right?

If you had a M3 reservation, I’d eat my hat! You’re just another naysayer with an agenda.

At least you are a funny one. Good job, your lack of subtlety made me laugh.

Wheels on the Model 3’s were nice basic hubcapless mags.

Price of $60K loaded is fine for a 300 mile, well designed EV with AWD, an eight year warranty/service package, adaptive cruise, autobraking, power heated seats, cold weather options.

Its THE 21st century car. As for the price, I’d give it a 10 year time line for the $60K car even with a possible battery replacement at 10 years.

I’m 2019 so I might have choice of the smaller SUV, no stupid falcon wings, 300 mile range, towing package, hatchback again make it a $70K over 10 year payoff car with a $2,500 a year discount for no gasoline.

Motor Trend will do a lot more to sell these that you will to dissuade. “this is missing TOO MANY BASIC things I NEED to DRIVE.” What is not here that you “need to drive”? Have you not driven till now? You need trainer wheels?

Just saw the pictures on Motor Trend, thanks, trunk seems okay. Not sure why Tesla blocked access during the drives yesterday, maybe they were time-constrained.

I love EVs and the Bolt is my 3rd.

@James, not sure why you found my post funny. I do have a 3/31 Cali ~9am reservation.

The features noted in my list are lacking and many were confirmed last night with the final reveal. Fumbling through a touch display to find a wiper control while in heavy rain on a highway can lead to an accident or death. This is just bad design.

My points might be cherry-picked, but they are the specific reasons why I am now having difficulty accepting this vehicle. I’m ready to buy, but not with these interface design choices. Most of the issues I listed exist regardless of how much money you put down on this car.

Why were you expecting a Model S for half the price?

Go ahead and cancel, I’ll get mine sooner.

@Fabian: I’m now on the fence as well. I HATE it that a basic function like windshield wipers are on the display instead of a stalk. During any drive, I’ll adjust the wipers several times, even just for the mist function. This design presents a safety issue. Why, oh why, did Tesla have to eliminate a key fob, and go to a card or phone/BT signal. That’s not cool; it’s stupid. Guess what, I don’t always have my phone with me when I travel to the grocery store, and (gasp!) sometimes I have it on airplane mode when it is with me. And, the key card is just plain clumsy. I use a card to get into my work office, not my car. The card is no longer hands-free – a real step backward. Electric door releases for the *inside*?! Another thing to break. Mechanical door latches are cheap and reliable. And that hideous display seems to have not improved much since March 2016. I’m not sure having a bright display in your eyes is a good idea for long drives at night, either. Sure, you can probably dim it down, but then you can’t see your wiper function, either… Read more »

Extended warranty is NOT forced.

Your whining seems a bit forced. 😉

The shills, shorters and haters are really getting desperate now.

the shills shorters and haters don’t realise that in an autonomous ready car, wipers will be automatic. duh. how else will one sleep or watch a movie in level 4 autonomy?

Disagree. Some of these remarks seem reasonable criticisms to me. You come across as an abusive fanatic, by the way.
I am disinterested as I will never own or drive any EV, unfortunately.

Love the car. The central display is a great solution, like the guy in the video said – it allows you to focus on one point whatever you do instead of looking here for the air conditioning, there for the radio etc.

“Trunk was off limits during the drive but 15 cubic feet should do the trick.”

Interesting as that was one of the big issues was lack of hatchback as on the Model S and X and lack of utility in a typical sedan trunk lid.

That back seats were supposed to fold down and that’s not mentioned either. A ski pass through above the back seat fold out arm rest would be good also.

Trunk is shown on Motor Trend test drive of one of the 30 beta cars delivered to employees the other day. Typical sedan trunk, limited head banger but it does look like the rear seats fold down in usual 60/40 so useful enough.

The fold down is on the specs sheet too.

“Besides what I’ve already described, the Tesla Model 3 is available with Enhanced Autopilot ($5,000) and for another $3,000 what’s called “Full Self-Driving Capability” in the future. A lot of money, sure—but how many $35,000 cars offer that? Or for that matter, standard over-the-air updatability?”

Chuckle they don’t. You were driving a $60K car. Which is fine. I think everyone knew the “$35,000” was a “fine print” price point. It looks like everyone of the beta test cars delivered to employees was the $60K option outed 300 mile version.