This is not a comparison between my Model S and the recently acquired Model 3; that will come later.
I have loved the Model X since release and had been my top choice for myself but my wife really thought the S was a date-night car and so decision made: get the Model S as my first battery electric vehicle.
I love the Model X seating positions, ability to take up to 6 passengers (as long as the 3rd row people weren’t large).
I had always planned on waiting until my lease was up on the S and then making the jump to the X as my second Tesla ownership. My wife has opinions that vary from my own. Further discussion with her showed me just how much she disliked the Model X vs either S or 3 to the point where I learned, in no uncertain terms, she would never drive the X. It’s my car that I will be primary driver on but if she is never going to use it?! That killed the idea for me.
Let’s back up 5 weeks to mid-December 2018..
So I started looking more closely at the Model 3. I had driven a few of them already and I liked the go-kart feel, the idea of turning and having the vehicle feel like it is pivoting vs rounding a corner.
I had my savings account and plan for what I would be spending on the Model X and the Model 3 is a lot cheaper though I was also jumping the gun by 9 months.
Talking it over with my wife she liked the idea of the smaller car (she liked the S but was bigger than she liked to drive) and thought it would be far cuter in the garage than the S. I ran some numbers and reached out to our local service center owner advisor (OA) I have had good luck talking with.
Let’s leap forward..
It was late morning on Friday, going back and forth with the local OA on what I was looking for and how fast it could be delivered. Had a goal to receive by end of 2018 to take advantage of the federal tax credit as well as starting out the new year with a new vehicle.
Do I pull the trigger? So many thoughts and so little time to think!
- it is 1/2 the cost of a Model X Performance that my wife won’t drive anyway
- it’s 2/3rds the cost of a Model X 100D.. that she still won’t drive
- it is a pocket rocket (faster than my current S)
- I love the spartan interior (drive a Model 3 at night and you’ll see what I mean)
- purchase is the only option as leasing is not available (also makes my wife happy)
- can finally think of what kind of fun can I have on a track
- can I give up the upgraded HVAC system that blocks all the smells?
- can I give up the hatchback and huge amount of storage in the S?
And as you can guess: 4 hours later I put down my $2,500 order deposit on a Model 3 Performance with Performance Upgrade (performance with a performance upgrade? Confusing! Lets call it PU going forward).
Base options I chose:
- Premium Interior (well you cannot chose anything else at this time)
- Midnight Silver Metallic (dark grey color #TeamMSM)
- White interior (now named Black and White)
- Enhanced Auto Pilot (EAP)
The PU add-on includes:
- 20″ wheels with performance summer tires
- lowered suspension offering a more sporty feel
- upgraded brake rotors and calipers
- Track Mode (read link for more on this)
- carbon fiber spoiler (which I am not attaching)
I then added in Full Self Driving (FSD). This required a separate order as it can no longer be added via the order page at Tesla. Easy to do – just talk with your OA and have a credit card handy.
Since the new vehicle was coming with summer, performance tires I went to Tire Rack and ordered up 18″ wheels + winter tires that will fit the large rotors and calipers.
Opinions after 5 weeks:
- love the clean look and lines inside
- having door pockets again is very nice; I have really missed them
- love the look out the windshield especially at night
- seats are more comfortable than the next-gen seats in the S
- holy shit it is fast in comparison
- track mode is fun.. not that I have done anything in a parking lot..
- I **miss* the upgraded HVAC system from the S and X
- after 5 weeks that the extra storage of the hatchback is not an issue
So you have some of the why and a few details.
I am having a blast with this vehicle and I am looking forward to spring so I can get the summer shoes back on and then it’s on my head to get some driving classes going so I can bring it to a track. I think it will be a blast.
Now to consider writing up that comparison between the S and 3 but not today!