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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Currently an eNiro owner looking to buy an additional all electric car to accommodate longer distance journeys North. Looked at long range Mach E a few weeks ago which was great. The other option is the LR Model 3. Would really great to get owners personal insights of quality of the model 3 - build, reliability, service when things needs sorting. Seems Tesla’s polarise a little.
Regards,
Chris.
 

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Mine is a 2019 model and not had any major issues on build quality and Tesla has been great sorting out any niggles.

By all accounts the new models made in China have exellent build quality. Definitely go for test drive.

If you do order use the referal thread link below to get 1000 supercharger miles free!

 

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Go for the Model 3, it will improve as time goes on, the Mach-E is a little stuck in the past, the supercharger network is invaluable.

Once you've had the opportunity to use it the peace of mind it gives you is worth an extra £10,000 in my opinion and as the Mach-E is roughly the same price it makes the decision an easy one I think.
 

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Another big thing in favour of Tesla is their Supercharger network. The public network isn't reliable enough to depend on with broken charge points often taking weeks to get fixed.
 

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One thing I'd strongly recommend is spending time in a Model 3 and just getting a feel for the way the HMI works. It's generally OK, but I found that the speed display was hidden behind my left hand in my normal driving position, as were some of the icons for lights etc. Not a show stopper, but a bit irritating having to move my head to the left, or move my hand below the steering wheel spoke, to properly see the speed.

Another thing to check is that you're OK with using your left hand to do key screen functions, like turn the wipers on and off, change wiper settings etc. The auto wiper function works fine in daylight, or with some ambient light from other traffic, street lights, etc, but I found it would often stop working when driving on very dark lanes. Ultimately this was the main reason I sold mine. Most of my driving is at night, and last winter I just got fed up with having to stop the car in order to safely turn the wipers on and off. I found I just didn't have enough fine control to do this on the move, and combined with the need to look at the screen, at the same time as trying to drive along narrow and winding lanes, in heavy rain, it was safer to just pull over to turn the wipers on. I fully accept that this is a niche issue, caused by the fact that I live in a rural, Dark Skies area, and that if there's any ambient light the cameras will usually detect rain OK. It wasn't really a problem with a passenger in the car, either, just get them to turn the wipers on and off, whilst you keep pressing the wash/wipe to get some view through the screen.

Build quality of my 2019 LR wasn't great, but things have definitely improved a lot since then. I found the build quality issues frustrating more than anything else, as the car clearly had the potential to have been assembled and finished properly, almost all the issues I had were just sloppy workmanship, that on any other car would be picked up and sorted during the PDI. I suspect that 90% of the issues are because Tesla don't PDI cars, you are expected to accept the car as it is on collection day, and take it to your nearest SC to get any issues sorted. Mine had glaring paint damage that could be seen from the other side of the collection area, but you don't really have the option to refuse to accept the car for things like this (well, you can, but you have to wait 6 weeks before you're allowed to re-order, then wait again for another car to be shipped).

People complain about the paint, and mine did have very obvious damage to the paintwork when I collected it. The SC sorted this out within a month or so, though, and when I looked closely at the car all over I really don't think the paint is any worse than on any other car. Mine was black, a colour that tends to highlight paint problems, too, so if there were paint quality issues I think I'd have seen them.

Handling is OK, not great, but not at all poor, pretty much on a par with other cars in this class. Steering response is average, not as sharp as I thought it could be, with a slightly vague feel, even in sport mode, on winding lanes, but perfectly acceptable. In comfort mode the steering felt significantly worse on winding roads, but part of that might be that I prefer cars with slightly heavier steering.

Road noise can be a bit intrusive, and it's far from being the quietest EV around, especially at motorway speeds, and on poor road surfaces. I think the wind noise issues that plagued my car have been fixed with the different glazing on the newer cars, but if you take a test drive do check to see if you think that the noise from the door windows is OK. Being frameless, there is naturally a bit more wind noise, but some are more sensitive to the frequency of it than others (it bothered me, never bothered my wife, for example).

Performance is simply stunning. I never once failed to grin at least once every time I drove it. The neck-snapping acceleration never gets old, although it is best to warn passengers before pressing the pedal. My wife refused to get in the car unless it was in chill mode, she'd check the screen to be sure, and even then yell at me if I was a little over-enthusiastic with my right foot. Range was always pretty good, never managed to get the advertised range, but that's true for many EVs, but it met all our needs, with range to spare most of the time. Overall it's a pretty efficient car, not at all hard to get around 260 Wh/mile if you don't hoof it everywhere, which isn't bad, given the performance.

Being a saloon wasn't as big an issue as I thought it might be, as the boot is pretty deep. The limited height of the boot opening might be a bit restrictive if you need to load tall things into the back, but it wasn't something that ever bothered me. The standard lighting in the boot is appalling, but the LED lights can very quickly and cheaply be replaced for decent after market ones that light the boot space properly, and look no different when off from the OEM lights. I used to use the frunk for things like shopping, really because it seemed easier to get bags in and out of there and things didn't tend to roll around. I think they've removed the frunk hooks from newer models, though, so that may make the frunk less useful for holding a couple of shopping bags.

Tesla customer service at service centres I always found to be first rate, probably the best I've ever experienced from any car dealership. I shouldn't really have needed to find that out, though, if the car hadn't had so many niggly defects that took months to iron out.

Overall, it just wasn't the car for me, though. I just found some negative everyday aspects of the car, pretty much solely related to my pattern of use and the area where I drive much of the time, outweighed the many positive aspects of the car. I needed to own one, for sure, just to scratch that Tesla itch, and I don't regret those 16 months at all. Nothing really matches the grin factor from driving the Tesla on a nice day. I could even forgive it's tendency to panic when detecting non-existent threats (although I did develop the habit of being ready to push the accelerator hard to over-ride phantom braking events) for the fun it gave on a straight road, or when being juvenile at traffic lights.
 

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Can echo the excellent service experience with Tesla. Had a service centre visit scheduled and they phoned up in the morning and asked did I want the mobile visit for that day as they had a cancellation.

They also sorted out the SD card issue (software updates not working) as part of the cost of the CCS update as the issue pre dated my ownership. That needed a separate service centre visit.

Service experience is really easy. You go to a centre at the specified time and head into the waiting room. They know when the car is there and you don't have to hand over keys or anything at all. You also get to speak to the person that works on your car which is fantastic compared to the chinese whispers you get with most other manufacturers as everything is relayed from the tech to the service manager and often to whoever reads the notes on the car when you get it back.

Super charger network. Again so much better. Integrated navigation in the car that actually gives you charging stops and how long and when. No fuss. No late 'oh the car is nearly flat beep beep beep' at 20% when you're in the middle of nowhere.

Build quality. Can only speak for a geriatric S. It's ok. I always thought if the mechanics and build issues were the problem then they're what folk can fix more easily. You can change bits, add sound deadening or seal leaking lights or fix most of the stupid stuff. What you can't do is to take a normal car manufacturer and get them updating and improving their cars continuously including cars that already exist. None do it. Even the CCS upgrade is a world away from the normal manufacturer attitude.

The ergonomics of the 3 would do my head in frankly. I like a dash console with the speedo and the map and energy usage. I do not like constantly looking over to the centre of the car to get important information. Wiper stalks are essential. The early S only has 2 stage wiper sensitivity rotary collar on the stalk but it also has a push button 'wipe now' which is very easy to use if it's under wiping. Later ones might have more choice.

I'd think you have to drive a 3 and see what it's like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mine is a 2019 model and not had any major issues on build quality and Tesla has been great sorting out any niggles.

By all accounts the new models made in China have exellent build quality. Definitely go for test drive.

If you do order use the referal thread link below to get 1000 supercharger miles free!

Thanks for responding. Very helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
One thing I'd strongly recommend is spending time in a Model 3 and just getting a feel for the way the HMI works. It's generally OK, but I found that the speed display was hidden behind my left hand in my normal driving position, as were some of the icons for lights etc. Not a show stopper, but a bit irritating having to move my head to the left, or move my hand below the steering wheel spoke, to properly see the speed.

Another thing to check is that you're OK with using your left hand to do key screen functions, like turn the wipers on and off, change wiper settings etc. The auto wiper function works fine in daylight, or with some ambient light from other traffic, street lights, etc, but I found it would often stop working when driving on very dark lanes. Ultimately this was the main reason I sold mine. Most of my driving is at night, and last winter I just got fed up with having to stop the car in order to safely turn the wipers on and off. I found I just didn't have enough fine control to do this on the move, and combined with the need to look at the screen, at the same time as trying to drive along narrow and winding lanes, in heavy rain, it was safer to just pull over to turn the wipers on. I fully accept that this is a niche issue, caused by the fact that I live in a rural, Dark Skies area, and that if there's any ambient light the cameras will usually detect rain OK. It wasn't really a problem with a passenger in the car, either, just get them to turn the wipers on and off, whilst you keep pressing the wash/wipe to get some view through the screen.

Build quality of my 2019 LR wasn't great, but things have definitely improved a lot since then. I found the build quality issues frustrating more than anything else, as the car clearly had the potential to have been assembled and finished properly, almost all the issues I had were just sloppy workmanship, that on any other car would be picked up and sorted during the PDI. I suspect that 90% of the issues are because Tesla don't PDI cars, you are expected to accept the car as it is on collection day, and take it to your nearest SC to get any issues sorted. Mine had glaring paint damage that could be seen from the other side of the collection area, but you don't really have the option to refuse to accept the car for things like this (well, you can, but you have to wait 6 weeks before you're allowed to re-order, then wait again for another car to be shipped).

People complain about the paint, and mine did have very obvious damage to the paintwork when I collected it. The SC sorted this out within a month or so, though, and when I looked closely at the car all over I really don't think the paint is any worse than on any other car. Mine was black, a colour that tends to highlight paint problems, too, so if there were paint quality issues I think I'd have seen them.

Handling is OK, not great, but not at all poor, pretty much on a par with other cars in this class. Steering response is average, not as sharp as I thought it could be, with a slightly vague feel, even in sport mode, on winding lanes, but perfectly acceptable. In comfort mode the steering felt significantly worse on winding roads, but part of that might be that I prefer cars with slightly heavier steering.

Road noise can be a bit intrusive, and it's far from being the quietest EV around, especially at motorway speeds, and on poor road surfaces. I think the wind noise issues that plagued my car have been fixed with the different glazing on the newer cars, but if you take a test drive do check to see if you think that the noise from the door windows is OK. Being frameless, there is naturally a bit more wind noise, but some are more sensitive to the frequency of it than others (it bothered me, never bothered my wife, for example).

Performance is simply stunning. I never once failed to grin at least once every time I drove it. The neck-snapping acceleration never gets old, although it is best to warn passengers before pressing the pedal. My wife refused to get in the car unless it was in chill mode, she'd check the screen to be sure, and even then yell at me if I was a little over-enthusiastic with my right foot. Range was always pretty good, never managed to get the advertised range, but that's true for many EVs, but it met all our needs, with range to spare most of the time. Overall it's a pretty efficient car, not at all hard to get around 260 Wh/mile if you don't hoof it everywhere, which isn't bad, given the performance.

Being a saloon wasn't as big an issue as I thought it might be, as the boot is pretty deep. The limited height of the boot opening might be a bit restrictive if you need to load tall things into the back, but it wasn't something that ever bothered me. The standard lighting in the boot is appalling, but the LED lights can very quickly and cheaply be replaced for decent after market ones that light the boot space properly, and look no different when off from the OEM lights. I used to use the frunk for things like shopping, really because it seemed easier to get bags in and out of there and things didn't tend to roll around. I think they've removed the frunk hooks from newer models, though, so that may make the frunk less useful for holding a couple of shopping bags.

Tesla customer service at service centres I always found to be first rate, probably the best I've ever experienced from any car dealership. I shouldn't really have needed to find that out, though, if the car hadn't had so many niggly defects that took months to iron out.

Overall, it just wasn't the car for me, though. I just found some negative everyday aspects of the car, pretty much solely related to my pattern of use and the area where I drive much of the time, outweighed the many positive aspects of the car. I needed to own one, for sure, just to scratch that Tesla itch, and I don't regret those 16 months at all. Nothing really matches the grin factor from driving the Tesla on a nice day. I could even forgive it's tendency to panic when detecting non-existent threats (although I did develop the habit of being ready to push the accelerator hard to over-ride phantom braking events) for the fun it gave on a straight road, or when being juvenile at traffic lights.
Thanks very much. V v helpful and generous of you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Can echo the excellent service experience with Tesla. Had a service centre visit scheduled and they phoned up in the morning and asked did I want the mobile visit for that day as they had a cancellation.

They also sorted out the SD card issue (software updates not working) as part of the cost of the CCS update as the issue pre dated my ownership. That needed a separate service centre visit.

Service experience is really easy. You go to a centre at the specified time and head into the waiting room. They know when the car is there and you don't have to hand over keys or anything at all. You also get to speak to the person that works on your car which is fantastic compared to the chinese whispers you get with most other manufacturers as everything is relayed from the tech to the service manager and often to whoever reads the notes on the car when you get it back.

Super charger network. Again so much better. Integrated navigation in the car that actually gives you charging stops and how long and when. No fuss. No late 'oh the car is nearly flat beep beep beep' at 20% when you're in the middle of nowhere.

Build quality. Can only speak for a geriatric S. It's ok. I always thought if the mechanics and build issues were the problem then they're what folk can fix more easily. You can change bits, add sound deadening or seal leaking lights or fix most of the stupid stuff. What you can't do is to take a normal car manufacturer and get them updating and improving their cars continuously including cars that already exist. None do it. Even the CCS upgrade is a world away from the normal manufacturer attitude.

The ergonomics of the 3 would do my head in frankly. I like a dash console with the speedo and the map and energy usage. I do not like constantly looking over to the centre of the car to get important information. Wiper stalks are essential. The early S only has 2 stage wiper sensitivity rotary collar on the stalk but it also has a push button 'wipe now' which is very easy to use if it's under wiping. Later ones might have more choice.

I'd think you have to drive a 3 and see what it's like.
Great. Thanks for this and investing the time. Some valuable insight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Go for the Model 3, it will improve as time goes on, the Mach-E is a little stuck in the past, the supercharger network is invaluable.

Once you've had the opportunity to use it the peace of mind it gives you is worth an extra £10,000 in my opinion and as the Mach-E is roughly the same price it makes the decision an easy one I think.
Thanks for sharing.
 

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Service centre quality depends on which service centre. Some are first rate, Stockport have been less than professional in my case, but I'm just one person
 

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2 years ownership today.

Still the best car I've ever had.
 

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Only complaint I’ve got is the paint. I went for the red but it’s of very poor quality and very thinly applied, despite supposedly being multi-coat. After the first thousand miles the bonnet looked like a pepper pot.

I wouldn’t have minded just so much if it hadn’t been for the £2k extra it cost.
 

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I’ve had my 3 for three months. Build quality is perfect as far as I can tell. Nothing to complain about at all - maybe apart from Autopilot. It’s currently not very clever, but as others have said, the software is continually being improved, so it will get better.

I don’t have an issue with the ergonomics. In fact, I think they’re surprisingly good. I’ve never had an issue with glancing at the speedo. The IU is so slicI, quick and intuitive that it doesn’t take long to get used to it. Another real plus is that the lane keeping and other intrusive stuff has to be turned on, rather than off - or at least it stays turned off.

My favourite feature, other then the way it drives generally, is the profile feature. It’s great if you have drivers of different sizes and preferences, as it sets everything up automatically when you unlock the car.
 

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Only complaint I’ve got is the paint. I went for the red but it’s of very poor quality and very thinly applied, despite supposedly being multi-coat. After the first thousand miles the bonnet looked like a pepper pot.

I wouldn’t have minded just so much if it hadn’t been for the £2k extra it cost.
Any pics?

I just went for the blue and after 2 years and 27,000 miles apart from one or two stone chips which you'd get with any car, it's as good as new.
 

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I had a 2019 SR+ which I sold recently not because I didn't like the car but because it just wasn't being driven and it's a total waste having a £40k just sat depreciating. Anyway...

What I miss:
Performance. Even the SR+ is in another league compared to any other car I've owned. I'm now sharing my wife's 38kWh Hyundai Ioniq which has a 0-60 time of around 10 seconds and it feels so damn slow. It also handles terribly in comparison with the Tesla. I've never owned an BMW M3 or 911 so I can't compare with true 'handling' cars but it definitely went around corners faster than any other car I have owned.

Cargo space: The saloon style means you can't carry very large items but the actual space available for luggage is considerable with the frunk and under boot floor compartment adding even more.

Tech. I loved the user interface. It's just so simple and easy to navigate and change settings compared to the absolute nightmare maze that is the Ioniq which has some settings in the nav screen and some that you need to fight through on the steering wheel. The auto wipers were terrible when I first got the car but various OTA software updates had got them to the point they were actually alright.

Switching it on. You don't switch it on or unlock it. You just walk up, open the door then get in and drive. You also don't switch it off. You just get out and walk away. I didn't appreciate how much I liked this until after I sold it and started driving the Ioniq.

Charging. The supercharger network. It just works and you don't have to worry about it.

What I don't miss:

The build quality on my 2019 model wasn't exactly poor but I did wonder how well it might hold up over the years. I only had one mechanical problems which was a squeaky steering column that happened in the first couple of weeks and was fixed without fuss. I had no electrical problems. What I did have was fit and finish issues.

It's kind of hard to describe but imagine a kitchen that looks really nice but underneath the installers had really rushed. If you started taking the drawers out or looking behind cabinets you would find screws that they had forgotten to put in and they didn't use enough glue on the joints. My Model 3 felt a bit like that. I understand the new made in China cars are much better built though.

In my car the door seals started to fall off. The drivers door developed a massive creak. I had a problem with the drivers window not going up properly. The panel gaps were fairly terrible on my car which didn't bother me but might have bothered others.

The paint on my car was mostly fine although the shape of the Model 3 means that you will get paint chips on the rear wheel arches from stones thrown up by the front wheels. Fitting mud flaps is essential. I left it a year which was a huge mistake. I'd probably get a small section of PPF fitted in that area if I bought another.



Basic Autopilot is overrated. If you haven't ever had a car with adaptive cruise then it's like magic but I had come from a Leaf with Pro-pilot. Unless you spend extra money for Enhanced Autopilot or FSD then changing lanes is a pain because you have to reactivate the lane follow assist each time you charge lane. In the Leaf it just picked up the lines after you had completed your lane change and automatically continued to steer.
 

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I forgot to say that in my experience Tesla service was excellent and far superior to any other brand I've owned. All my issues were addressed under warranty without fuss.
 

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Service is very hit and miss.

I bought a Used/CPO from Tesla, they cancelled the delivery date 3 times on me after payment (and so I was without a car as I sold elsewhere and could live the 3 days before collection without a car), told me the delivery driver had damaged the rear bumper, it took over 3 weeks and no compensation, not even a "have £50 in the store"

On collect... the tow hook was reporting as faulty preventing parking sensors and most AP features. They cancelled the service appointment twice, each time the night before, and on the third cancaltion I started to go public with it (6 cancelled deliveries/appointments for a new car is beyond a joke), and they magically got me in. When they replaced the bumper they didn't fit any of the electrics for the tow bar. Anyway car fixed as was fine, and when they were doing the fix comms was good etc.

Previous cars have been fixed ok

I'd say in summary
  • the cars get a lot of stupid niggle faults Some people are more tolerant of these things or don't notice them, others do.
  • despite "we're all one company" the variability between service centres is big. The lack of competition between them seems to be a disadvantage rather than an advantage
  • minor changes you need to do yourself. Someone recently got charged over £10 to have a 50p battery put in their key fob while the car was in - it takes 30 seconds to do. This extends to windscreen wipers and they even advise you to change your own cabin filter which isn;t easy but for some its a great idea.
  • if a fault is a easy to spot, slam dunk, seen a thousand times etc then genelly the process is fine. Have something unusual and the process can fall apart.
  • face to face, the people are usually all lovely
 

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I enjoy my Model 3 more than Audi, BMW, VW and Lexus cars I have had in the past, way more.

Loved having a mobile tech come to fix the seat controls my wife broke, with no charge. Love how much stuff I can fit in it, how it drives, the updates, the network etc.

The build quality could be slightly better in some areas for sure but all the other positives are way more important to me. Software 'build' quality is unbeatable, much better than my VW app and in car. I intend to have two Teslas one day, hopefully. I started out anti-Tesla as I wasn't keen on Elon and the fan mentality but have enjoyed ownership so much, it's sort of turned me into one too.
 
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