Tesla Model 3: Why?

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!