Tesla Model 3 Road Trip is (possibly) coming to a town near you

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Domenick, Dec 26, 2017.

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  1. The Tesla Model 3 Road Trip is an all-around-the-country trip (plus parts of Canada) taking place right now. It is basically the effort of a new (non-Tesla employee) Model 3 owner who's decided to show off the car to as many people as possible in as many places as possible. He's even letting people (in exchange for a small gift to help defray expenses) take it for a spin.

    Besides that, on their Facebook page, they are leaving a string of posts discussing a number of their own impressions about the car and its features. This is a pretty interesting read, as it is a very honest, unvarnished take.

    As it happens, the TM3RT will be passing through my town, hopefully tomorrow night and I hope to meet up with them to chat about the trip and the car. Maybe even drive it. The itinerary for the trip has been laid out, but the dates/times are very fluid.

    I'll probably post some photos and my impressions in this thread, and hopefully others will too.

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  3. Here's hoping he doesn't get the car impounded before tomorrow. Why would that happen, you might ask? Because it seems someone has a need for speed. Also, possibly unrelated, it's recently been confirmed that the Tesla Model 3 will go 141 miles per hour. There's video.

    Tesla Model 3 Hits Top Speed Of 141 MPH – Video

  4. We Hitched A Ride With The Tesla Model 3 Road Trip

    It happened!!!!!!!

    If anyone has any questions about the Model 3 or the Road Trip, hit me up.

    To answer some previously asked questions, yes, the foot wells have a dedicated vent that should warm your toes.
    And I do have video of some of the panel gaps (not too bad, really), but I need to upload them to YouTube. (Will happen shortly.)
    HGTZ likes this.
  5. Ok, as requested by someone on Twitter, here is video of some panel gap alignment. A couple places where it's not perfect, but overall I thought it was fine.

  6. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Hey, thanks for that, Domenick! That does indeed look pretty good for an off-the-line car, not a specially selected show unit. As I've said before, the only place you'll see a car with perfectly matched panel gaps is in a commercial, where they use computer animation rather than a real car because no real car is perfect!

    If this is typical for a Model 3, then clearly Tesla has no problem with panel gaps. And personally I'm not at all convinced they ever did; it could be that the photos copied all over the internet were just a few anecdotal examples, the kind you can find for literally any model of car; a few atypical cases which were never indicative of a larger problem.
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  8. A photo of a particularly bad gap on an early mule got reposted all over the internet, including mixed in with a review of a production vehicle that made it look like it was the production version suffering from the problem. (Wish I could track that down again. Short $TSLA Twitter was all over that.)

    But yeah, maybe I need to spend some time on a Chevy or Ford lot of examine gaps as closely as this car's gets looked at. It didn't seem bad to me, but I can't claim any special panel alignment expertise.
  9. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Really, I think the "panel gap problem" has gotten so much attention that people tend to examine Tesla cars far more closely than other cars. In other words, observational bias.

    Just take a few minutes to look closely at cars you walk past, the next time you're in a busy parking lot. If your experience is like mine, then no car is going to get a perfect score in the area of panel gaps and trim alignment.

    But, Domenick, I'd still like to see a list of problems you encountered in your TM3 test drive.
    Domenick likes this.
  10. While it's relatively fresh in my mind, I should probably mention a couple things about its ergonomics.

    As I mention in the piece, the front seat was quite comfortable for me. It was adjustable in every direction. Add to that, the steering tilted and telescoped, making it pretty easily to achieve the "perfect position." Plenty of head and leg room up front. The armrest was right where it should be and soft. Forward visibility was great. Rearward visibility is slightly hampered by the high deck, but being tall, it wasn't an issue.

    The rear seats were a less coddling, of course. The center seat position, which is often more firm than the two rear positions, was acceptable, though. It had a glass roof, and as I remark in the piece under the photo of my ugly mug, there was plenty of headroom.

    Now, I've heard people mention the floor in the rear being higher than normal, and that's probably true, but I only came to mind because I had read that comment. It seemed quite tolerable to me.

    One thing I didn't like was the egress from the front. Though I would probably adjust quickly if I owned one, the door sills are a little high. Ingress, I thought, was better than the Model S, and way better than the Chevy Sonic I rented last summer.
  11. The problems I had personally stemmed from not knowing the controls, and some controls working differently than in other cars I've driven. As I mentioned in the post, I couldn't figure out the windshield wipers on the fly. It wasn't raining too hard, so I just kept pushing the button on the end of the turn signal. (and while I do like the screen, I think all wiper functions should be controlled by a switch, or maybe even have the end of the turn signal stalk twist for various speeds.)

    Also, turn signals. Say you're turning left, usually one just pushes down on the stalk and it stays until the wheel straightens and (hopefully) it turns itself off. In the 3 a push down (or up) gives you 3 blinks and stops. I ended up just holding it down until I wanted it to stop, though I'm not certain that was really working. I was too busy looking around to look down to see if the signal indicator was flashing.

    Also, as I mentioned in the piece, the self parking mode wasn't great at detecting spots wider than a single car. I didn't try to parallel park, and I wonder how that would work. This is something I imagine will be improved via software, maybe by leaning on the cameras along with the ultrasonic sensors.

    Though it wasn't a problem for me, I did use the autopilot. I knew how to turn that on. It seemed to work fine. One interesting thing -- it knew the speed limit there is 45 mph and had a little 45 mpg speed limit sign on the screen. I was doing 48 mph, but when I tapped the sign, the car slowed down to the limit. I thought that was pretty cool.

    What I was really curious about regarding autopilot was the effort needed to tell the car I wanted control. I know there's a simple way of turning it off, but I gave the wheel a good tug to the left to do it. I was surprised at the amount of resistance it had. Auto pilot is stronk! I really wish I had more time to play with it.
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  13. Oh! Just remembered another issue. After Supercharging, the cost given by the car and on his account were different, and from what I understand, this is an ongoing issue with this car (and possibly all of them). The car told him the charge was $8.71, while the website said $9.10.

    By the way, according to the car, at least, Supercharging in Tallahassee is $0.14/kWh. I believe the rate at my house is $0.10522 per kWh, plus monthly $7.59 for single phase, $26.56 for three phase.
  14. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    If I understand correctly, and I'm pretty sure I do from all the comments and videos I've seen, it's not that the floor has been lowered in the rear of the TM3; it's that the seat portion of the rear seats has been lowered, sacrificing thigh support in favor of more head room. Some say the TM3 actually has more rear seat head room than the Model S, but that came by lowering the seats themselves. I've also seen a complaint that visibility from the rear seats is bad for those of normal height, because you're sitting so low.
  15. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    This is certainly one thing that a lot of drivers have complained about. Altho (as you know, Domenick) there is a stalk on the steering column with wiper icons on it, all it will do is activate the wipers for a single swipe or activate the windshield washer. As others have commented, it seems strange that Tesla would have put that control on there yet not set it up to set the wiper speed. You have to do that thru the central touchscreen, which annoys a lot of people.

    As some have pointed out, the car will eventually be enabled with rain-sensing automatic wipers, which should solve most of the problem. But some prefer manual control of intermittent wiper speed, and it does seem like a non-ergonomic design for Tesla to set it up so that it can only be controlled by a touchscreen menu multiple layers deep.

    It's possible that Tesla might upgrade that function using one of the steering wheel mounted thumbwheels. For example, perhaps if you first push the wiper control on the stalk, then for let's say two seconds thereafter, one of the thumbwheels would control wiper speed. That was one suggestion I saw. Seems reasonable, but of course there's no indication Tesla will enable that.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
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