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Considering a Tesla Model 3 for wife...would like informed opinions

jeff

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#1
My wife and I are both turning 47 this month. She's been driving various kid haulers (we have 4 kids) for most of our 23 years of marriage, but now with 2 kids gone and a third leaving soon the time has come to dump the minivan. We've had a Honda minivan since 2003, that's 16 years. My thing has always been when the time comes she picks whatever she wants up to the price of $50k. So we've been casually looking at a few vehicles over the last year or so with plans to buy in the next year or two. We kinda figured we'd get an SUV or sedan...Mazda CX-9 or CX-5 were high on the list, Accord sport 2.0 or Acura RDX were all possibilities. Maybe even a Ford Explorer Any of those fully loaded gets up around $40-45k.

In the last few months I've read a bit on electric cars. I've never been a fan, just not interested, but what I keep hearing is "buy an electric for daily use/short trips and keep a gas powered car for longer trips". The eliminates the charging issues for the most part. Advantages of electric cars (specifically Tesla), we all know - tech tech tech, torque/hp, low maintenance costs (no fluids, belts, etc.).

Anyhow this still never caught my interest until I realized I can get a Model S Performance for $49k out the door after incentives. So for just a few grand more than the options above I get what many are calling the best car to be made in the last few decades. 320 mile range, 0-60 in 3.2 seconds, plus all the tech (which if you haven't looked into it, it's pretty insanely good), plus resale value is excellent. Keep the Honda Odyssey for long trips - it's bulletproof and is only worth about $4k anyway...and buy a Tesla for the other 11 months of the year.

I don't believe electric cars can or will ever fully replace gas powered ones, but in some ways they are simply far superior. I'm looking at this from a purely practical viewpoint - until now I've never cared much for them, I'm not a Testa fanboy, but when I look at what I can get for around $50k I see this as one of the very best options. I'm kind of shocked but that's where I'm at.

Anyhow I'd love opinions if you've been researching the same or have experienced or owned a Tesla.
 


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#4
I have an EV for commuting, a Leaf. I love it. Super smooth for stop and go. Good-enough auto pilot. More convenient than a gas car as I plug in at home and in the parking garage and never worry about having to fill up. It’s a perfect commuter for me and I’ll have at least 1 EV going forward. There’s no way I’d buy a Tesla. They are unreliable and have very poor build quality. They are disasters off of warranty, are shitty to non-certified shops, and don’t have a decent source of repair parts.

I have a BZ associate with a P90. It’s a monster from 0-60. It’s a refrigerator everywhere else. It is not a driver’s car.
 


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jeff

jeff

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Thread Starter #5
You ever watch the TFL car channel on Youtube? They are in Boulder. They've been running long-term Teslas for a year or so.
Yeah I saw that, thanks. The usual, super happy yesterday super disgruntled tomorrow. That tends to be how the honest reviewers are on this car.

Read this article a few months ago and it stuck....made some valid points. To each their own....

https://www.thethings.com/20-reasons-why-you-shouldnt-buy-a-tesla/

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Thanks man, good stuff. Yeah I've considered those things. I love crawling under my car and DIY, that would be an adjustment. Plus THE MAN factor. Again just thinking of the best way to spend >$50k and this is one option. Not sold yet by any means....just thinking.

I have an EV for commuting, a Leaf. I love it. Super smooth for stop and go. Good-enough auto pilot. More convenient than a gas car as I plug in at home and in the parking garage and never worry about having to fill up. It’s a perfect commuter for me and I’ll have at least 1 EV going forward. There’s no way I’d buy a Tesla. They are unreliable and have very poor build quality. They are disasters off of warranty, are shitty to non-certified shops, and don’t have a decent source of repair parts.

I have a BZ associate with a P90. It’s a monster from 0-60. It’s a refrigerator everywhere else. It is not a driver’s car.
I looked at a few other EVs with the same thought in mind. Heard good things about the Leaf but that's not the car for my wife, we need something a bit bigger being that she's 105 lbs and all. Ha ha but seriously we do want something a bit larger. But yeah the idea of always having at least 1 EV makes a ton of sense. I've looked into Bolts and Volts too.
 


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#6
I looked at a few other EVs with the same thought in mind. Heard good things about the Leaf but that's not the car for my wife, we need something a bit bigger being that she's 105 lbs and all. Ha ha but seriously we do want something a bit larger. But yeah the idea of always having at least 1 EV makes a ton of sense. I've looked into Bolts and Volts too.
The new Leaf is larger than the Tesla 3. I like the specs. of the Bolts but am not an SUVs driver, the Volt is a hybrid, and the i3 is goofy looking, so it was the Leaf for me. 2 months in and I still look forward to driving it. It’s a very nice refrigerator.
 


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#7


I know the feeling all too well! Here’s my wife’s Model 3 dual motor that we bought late 2018 before they started cutting the prices. We paid about 62k before tax breaks. We still have the MDX in the background for long trips. She’s uses the Model 3 as a daily and I daily my Fiesta ST. Her commute is about 30 miles round trip and nothing high speed like mine so it’s perfect. I do 100 miles round trip so EV isn’t really desirable. The stop and go she does helps with regeneration.

Power delivery on these EVs are pretty much second to none. Instant torque is amazing - picture a roller coaster ride from the line. We don’t have the performance model but 0-60 in 4.4 seconds is still pretty quick; at least faster than any combustible engine I’ve driven.

Cost per mile is not as efficient as advertised. We have a long range rated at 300 miles but we rarely hit that mark. The car is very temperamental to weather; it doesn’t like hot weather and absolutely hates the cold. It prefers the Goldie Locke weather around 75 degrees otherwise miles per charge loses by 10-20%. Our real world driving experience yields about 290 in the summer to 220 in the winter. Highway driving at best is 280 since people go pretty fast in NJ averaging 70+ MPH. Each charge costs about $10-12 and best of all is no maintenance cost since there’s no oil change or timing belts etc.

In the end, range anxiety is a real thing. I much prefer the Fiesta that I only paid 18k for which I can fill up on $30 and go 400+ miles vs sitting at a super charger for half an hour to make it home.




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jeff

jeff

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Thread Starter #8
I know the feeling all too well! Here’s my wife’s Model 3...

In the end, range anxiety is a real thing. I much prefer the Fiesta that I only paid 18k for which I can fill up on $30 and go 400+ miles vs sitting at a super charger for half an hour to make it home.

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That is super helpful thanks. Sounds like we're in a similar situation...keep the bigger gas car for trips and get the EV for around town. Nice car.

Yeah the range anxiety thing, that's been said so many times. In theory if you don't drive it more than a couple hundred miles a day in town (which would rarely if ever happen) can't you just charge it every night and it's ready again without causing range anxiety?
 


kivnul

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#9
We have a chevy bolt at work.. it is quite similar to a Fiesta actually. I agree that 1 E car and one Gas car is a perfect combo. Whether that is a Tesla or not is up in the air. All the major manufacurers are uping their E game so the next couple years may be exciting.
 


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#10
That is super helpful thanks. Sounds like we're in a similar situation...keep the bigger gas car for trips and get the EV for around town. Nice car.

Yeah the range anxiety thing, that's been said so many times. In theory if you don't drive it more than a couple hundred miles a day in town (which would rarely if ever happen) can't you just charge it every night and it's ready again without causing range anxiety?
That’s your best case scenario! We charge the Model 3 up to 80% to preserve battery life and charge every 3-4 days at home.

Also forgot to mention that we did get a software update 3 updates ago and got a 5% bump in HP. Really didn’t expect that coming but EVs are kinda like buying a cell phone.


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Dpro

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#13
Bolt if you absolutely have to have an EV screw Teslas over rated piles of crap. Leaf is good if not mundane. I would buy a Hybrid long before getting a EV . I am firmly in the camp of EV’s are not the answer and we are getting sold a Bill of goods by in part Elon and the automakers jumping on the bandwagon. Just don’t do it!
 


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#14
My wife and I are both turning 47 this month. She's been driving various kid haulers (we have 4 kids) for most of our 23 years of marriage, but now with 2 kids gone and a third leaving soon the time has come to dump the minivan. We've had a Honda minivan since 2003, that's 16 years. My thing has always been when the time comes she picks whatever she wants up to the price of $50k. So we've been casually looking at a few vehicles over the last year or so with plans to buy in the next year or two. We kinda figured we'd get an SUV or sedan...Mazda CX-9 or CX-5 were high on the list, Accord sport 2.0 or Acura RDX were all possibilities. Maybe even a Ford Explorer Any of those fully loaded gets up around $40-45k.

In the last few months I've read a bit on electric cars. I've never been a fan, just not interested, but what I keep hearing is "buy an electric for daily use/short trips and keep a gas powered car for longer trips". The eliminates the charging issues for the most part. Advantages of electric cars (specifically Tesla), we all know - tech tech tech, torque/hp, low maintenance costs (no fluids, belts, etc.).

Anyhow this still never caught my interest until I realized I can get a Model S Performance for $49k out the door after incentives. So for just a few grand more than the options above I get what many are calling the best car to be made in the last few decades. 320 mile range, 0-60 in 3.2 seconds, plus all the tech (which if you haven't looked into it, it's pretty insanely good), plus resale value is excellent. Keep the Honda Odyssey for long trips - it's bulletproof and is only worth about $4k anyway...and buy a Tesla for the other 11 months of the year.

I don't believe electric cars can or will ever fully replace gas powered ones, but in some ways they are simply far superior. I'm looking at this from a purely practical viewpoint - until now I've never cared much for them, I'm not a Testa fanboy, but when I look at what I can get for around $50k I see this as one of the very best options. I'm kind of shocked but that's where I'm at.

Anyhow I'd love opinions if you've been researching the same or have experienced or owned a Tesla.
A neighbor let me take his new Model S performance out for a spin a couple of months ago. The straight line acceleration is incredible. The regenerative braking, which can be adjusted, was a bit weird on the default setting, at least coming from a normal car. I think you’d get used to it. The safety nannies literally slammed the brakes at one point when a car passed me (for no good reason). My neighbor asked if I did it.

It’s not a Fiesta when it comes to handling, but it felt just fine to me for non-racecar driving. Lots of fun tech to play with. I think it would be a great car if you have the means. There are enough charging stations along interstates to make 500 mile trips somewhat realistic.
 


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jeff

jeff

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Thread Starter #15
A neighbor let me take his new Model S performance out for a spin a couple of months ago. The straight line acceleration is incredible. The regenerative braking, which can be adjusted, was a bit weird on the default setting, at least coming from a normal car. I think you’d get used to it. The safety nannies literally slammed the brakes at one point when a car passed me (for no good reason). My neighbor asked if I did it.

It’s not a Fiesta when it comes to handling, but it felt just fine to me for non-racecar driving. Lots of fun tech to play with. I think it would be a great car if you have the means. There are enough charging stations along interstates to make 500 mile trips somewhat realistic.
Good points here.

I'm a whole 2 days into my research into Tesla. I just never really gave them any attention before. But people are super passionate about this. I'm surprised at the 2 camps that have formed around all things Tesla, I'm noticing this:

CAMP HATE TESLA
* Teslas are junk
* Elon Musk is the Antichrist
* Tesla is a culture club of tree hugging elitists
* They'll never take my gasoline!
* It's a fad don't give in
* Making a Tesla actually damages the earth more than making/driving a gas car
* That 22 year old kid with a Tesla on YouTube really bothers me
* Maybe I am a little jealous?

CAMP LOVE TESLA
* We are saving the earth
* Just look at how amazing these cars are - you can't deny it
* The future is here, be willing to move out of the dinosaur age (literally - their remains = our gasoline)
* Elon Musk is Tony Stark
* Look at me, I'm 22 years old and I'm a little mini Elon Musk
* Maybe I am a little full of myself?

I'm in neither...like I said I'm new to all of this. There is no denying that Musk is charismatic, he's got people ordering cars in droves who haven't even seen or driven the car in person. At the same time the cons are real.

I'm in neither camp...I'm just looking for the best car for $40-$50k for my wife. I'll always do my own wrenching and enjoy rowing the gears on my Fiesta and old Hondas. Buying a Tesla for me would be a purely objective decision, one made because it's the best car for the money all things considered. But is it? I don't know.
 


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#19
Here is a great review from Matt "I am a big fan of being as invisible as possible while driving like a complete dick" Farah:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrGgIDqgUj4
I bailed on his channel when he started getting really douchey. Used to check out more interesting cars, etc. but now he just seems like another industry talking head.
blehhhhh look at my watch bleeehhhhhh look at my coffee. plbbpt.
 


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#20
It's not just parts availability but repair difficulty that makes Tesla insurance high. The experience of TFL Car trying to get one repaired when they backed the corner into a garage door opening and broke a taillight lens and bent the sheetmetal a slight amount is a cautionary tale. The manner in which the body of a Tesla is assembled is so unconventional and poorly thought out that you cannot do repairs easily.

If you have time to wait, you could get a mach-E.
 




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