2021 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus - Review & Farewell

Nick1994

$100 site donor 2022
Joined
Feb 19, 2013
Messages
14,302
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Sure does seem like I have a car buying problem, this one didn't last long :ROFLMAO:.

Today I sold my Model 3 with almost 1,800 miles to CarMax, they gave me the best price of any other dealer. Private party could have likely done a little better, but there was a lot of flakey people. CarMax paid $48k, on my $41k car that after taxes and fees was $47.2k. Ceramic tint including glass roof and clear bra was $1,450 from a high-end shop, so all-in-all almost 7 weeks of ownership cost $650. @dishdude and I met up and he got to take it for a quick spin, he can offer input as well.

There are some things I loved about this car, and some things I couldn't live with. I didn't fall in love with it, so it doesn't hurt to see it go. One reason for selling is I am now unfortunately working mostly from home. I'll only be going into work maybe 1-2 times per week. I was excited about being able to for 1, drive the car, but 2, charging at work (free). The main reason I sold it was it just wasn't comfortable to me. I'm not a small guy, and the seat has side bolsters that are huge on the bottom. My butt would fall asleep and it was making my sciatic nerve act up. Just couldn't get comfortable. Another annoyance was the rattles, I had 3-4 of them (video of what was next to my ear posted below). It takes 4-5 weeks to get an appointment at a Tesla service center so if they couldn't resolve them on the first visit, I'd potentially be living with them for months and months. This was a turn off for any other future service needs.

The Pros:
  • Technology. I work in IT so I love the gadgets and gizmos. From the video games to video streaming, fart noises and ice cream truck sounds, security surveillance and customizability etc.
  • Roominess. For a small car, there's a decent amount of room. Lots of shoulder and head room, big front and rear trunks, legroom in the back wasn't the best but scooting up the seats made it ok.
  • Fit and finish (aside from rattles). The materials are nice IMO, smooth feel and they seemed to fit pretty good. No weird gaps, just the driver's side door belt molding was a little off. Could have gotten it adjusted at a service center if I kept the car. I'll lump in road noise on here. Pretty decent.
  • Suspension and handling. Smaller cars like this don't have plush rides, there's a firmness, and that was ok with this one. It absorbed pretty decently. Pushing into the corners was ok too, not spectacular. There was some under-steer. Dual motor models might not have as much of an issue.
  • Power. Effortless acceleration. Not a racecar, but at this price point 5.3s 0-60 and low 13's in the 1/4 mile is nice. Remember, this is the base-model of the 3's, there's 3 tiers.
  • Good A/C, it had no problem keeping the car cool.
  • Ability to charge with a lot of different plugs. Easy to find adapters for the charger to use lots of different types of 220 outlets.
  • Having no key was so nice. Just walk up to the car, get in, and go. Flawlessly from your phone's Bluetooth. Then get out and walk away. Don't need to turn anything off, it locks itself.
The Meh:
  • Seat bottom comfort. I've been in dozens and dozens of cars in my life. Never sat in a car that has seat bolsters in the bottom quite like this. Made for 100 pound middle schoolers I guess? Ok maybe not that small. But still weird.
  • The rattles. Each rear door panel had one, as well as the driver's side B pillar. I had one in the dash that would come and go. I worry that as the car ages these would progress.
  • The black vegan leather seats are HOT as heck in the sun. Ouch. My Genesis' real black leather seats were nothing like this.
  • The A/C is LOUD when cooling hard.
  • The A/C defaults to blowing on the driver only if there is no passenger. I wish this were a setting, I believe it is to preserve battery life. I want it to cool the whole car, not just me. This is easily fixed though in the A/C settings to turn on the passenger vent, but just an annoyance to do that every time.
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38C210B8-B8C2-4133-AB41-48DE666D37AE.jpeg



 

dishdude

$50 Site Donor 2022
Joined
Nov 14, 2008
Messages
12,399
Location
Phoenix
So....we had a little BITOG meetup at CarMax. No Crown Vics and we both left without our cars! Some BITOG car guy meet up!

Nick was gracious enough to let me drive the Tesla before he sold it, and I have to say it is an amazing machine. I only drove it around the auto mall, but the brake/throttle were a bit different than I anticipated but after the first couple start/stops I quickly became accustom to it. I didn't hear any rattles, but we were on smooth surfaces. Nick pointed out the fan noise, but I only think it was obtrusive due to the lack of ICE NVH. Seat bottom is narrow, but didn't bother me on the short drive. Some minor issues like the belt line molding not lining up....meh, I drive Chryslers lol.

Anyways, Nick sold the Model 3, I sold the Grand Cherokee. We left almost $100k of vehicle at CarMax and schlepped back home in the Corolla...
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
3,535
Location
utah
That’s incredible value they are paying out right now. Hard to turn down if your not 100% married to the vehicle.
 

dishdude

$50 Site Donor 2022
Joined
Nov 14, 2008
Messages
12,399
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Phoenix
That’s incredible value they are paying out right now. Hard to turn down if your not 100% married to the vehicle.

Insanity. I drove a brand new Grand Cherokee for a full year and sold it for what I paid for it. CarMax paid $42k for a one year old vehicle that stickered at $46k.
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2006
Messages
26,282
Location
Dallas,Tx USA
Sure does seem like I have a car buying problem, this one didn't last long :ROFLMAO:.

Today I sold my Model 3 with almost 1,800 miles to CarMax, they gave me the best price of any other dealer. Private party could have likely done a little better, but there was a lot of flakey people. CarMax paid $48k, on my $41k car that after taxes and fees was $47.2k. Ceramic tint including glass roof and clear bra was $1,450 from a high-end shop, so all-in-all almost 7 weeks of ownership cost $650. @dishdude and I met up and he got to take it for a quick spin, he can offer input as well.

There are some things I loved about this car, and some things I couldn't live with. I didn't fall in love with it, so it doesn't hurt to see it go. One reason for selling is I am now unfortunately working mostly from home. I'll only be going into work maybe 1-2 times per week. I was excited about being able to for 1, drive the car, but 2, charging at work (free). The main reason I sold it was it just wasn't comfortable to me. I'm not a small guy, and the seat has side bolsters that are huge on the bottom. My butt would fall asleep and it was making my sciatic nerve act up. Just couldn't get comfortable. Another annoyance was the rattles, I had 3-4 of them (video of what was next to my ear posted below). It takes 4-5 weeks to get an appointment at a Tesla service center so if they couldn't resolve them on the first visit, I'd potentially be living with them for months and months. This was a turn off for any other future service needs.

The Pros:
  • Technology. I work in IT so I love the gadgets and gizmos. From the video games to video streaming, fart noises and ice cream truck sounds, security surveillance and customizability etc.
  • Roominess. For a small car, there's a decent amount of room. Lots of shoulder and head room, big front and rear trunks, legroom in the back wasn't the best but scooting up the seats made it ok.
  • Fit and finish (aside from rattles). The materials are nice IMO, smooth feel and they seemed to fit pretty good. No weird gaps, just the driver's side door belt molding was a little off. Could have gotten it adjusted at a service center if I kept the car. I'll lump in road noise on here. Pretty decent.
  • Suspension and handling. Smaller cars like this don't have plush rides, there's a firmness, and that was ok with this one. It absorbed pretty decently. Pushing into the corners was ok too, not spectacular. There was some under-steer. Dual motor models might not have as much of an issue.
  • Power. Effortless acceleration. Not a racecar, but at this price point 5.3s 0-60 and low 13's in the 1/4 mile is nice. Remember, this is the base-model of the 3's, there's 3 tiers.
  • Good A/C, it had no problem keeping the car cool.
  • Ability to charge with a lot of different plugs. Easy to find adapters for the charger to use lots of different types of 220 outlets.
  • Having no key was so nice. Just walk up to the car, get in, and go. Flawlessly from your phone's Bluetooth. Then get out and walk away. Don't need to turn anything off, it locks itself.
The Meh:
  • Seat bottom comfort. I've been in dozens and dozens of cars in my life. Never sat in a car that has seat bolsters in the bottom quite like this. Made for 100 pound middle schoolers I guess? Ok maybe not that small. But still weird.
  • The rattles. Each rear door panel had one, as well as the driver's side B pillar. I had one in the dash that would come and go. I worry that as the car ages these would progress.
  • The black vegan leather seats are HOT as heck in the sun. Ouch. My Genesis' real black leather seats were nothing like this.
  • The A/C is LOUD when cooling hard.
  • The A/C defaults to blowing on the driver only if there is no passenger. I wish this were a setting, I believe it is to preserve battery life. I want it to cool the whole car, not just me. This is easily fixed though in the A/C settings to turn on the passenger vent, but just an annoyance to do that every time.
View attachment 75469
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View attachment 75471



I totally agree on the seat material, there's nothing worse than pleather or vinyl seats. Real leather breathes, and you don't sweat on it. The fake stuff makes you sweat like a pig.
 
Joined
Sep 20, 2014
Messages
2,524
Location
Seattle-ish, WA
The main reason I sold it was it just wasn't comfortable to me. I'm not a small guy, and the seat has side bolsters that are huge on the bottom. My butt would fall asleep and it was making my sciatic nerve act up. Just couldn't get comfortable. Another annoyance was the rattles

Great write-up.

Ergonomics matter and a lot of people try to write that off to be trendy, overlook real flaws. I don't personally have any physical issues, but I am a bigger as I lift weights, as well as genetics. Lots of cars are inherently designed to fit only folks under 180lbs and it's something that isn't noted enough.
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
48,348
Location
Ontario, Canada
I'm not surprised, and you did better than I did when I sold the e-tron by a wide margin.

The critiques of the seat and seat material match mine.

Thanks for the update!
 
Joined
Mar 8, 2012
Messages
1,397
Location
MO
What are your dimensions if you don’t mind me asking? I’ve contemplated a Model 3 depending on my future commute but have never sat in one. I’m 6’4” 230ish but don’t have a wide butt or anything.
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2008
Messages
2,577
Location
British Columbia, Canada
Sure does seem like I have a car buying problem, this one didn't last long :ROFLMAO:.

Today I sold my Model 3 with almost 1,800 miles to CarMax, they gave me the best price of any other dealer. Private party could have likely done a little better, but there was a lot of flakey people. CarMax paid $48k, on my $41k car that after taxes and fees was $47.2k. Ceramic tint including glass roof and clear bra was $1,450 from a high-end shop, so all-in-all almost 7 weeks of ownership cost $650. @dishdude and I met up and he got to take it for a quick spin, he can offer input as well.

There are some things I loved about this car, and some things I couldn't live with. I didn't fall in love with it, so it doesn't hurt to see it go. One reason for selling is I am now unfortunately working mostly from home. I'll only be going into work maybe 1-2 times per week. I was excited about being able to for 1, drive the car, but 2, charging at work (free). The main reason I sold it was it just wasn't comfortable to me. I'm not a small guy, and the seat has side bolsters that are huge on the bottom. My butt would fall asleep and it was making my sciatic nerve act up. Just couldn't get comfortable. Another annoyance was the rattles, I had 3-4 of them (video of what was next to my ear posted below). It takes 4-5 weeks to get an appointment at a Tesla service center so if they couldn't resolve them on the first visit, I'd potentially be living with them for months and months. This was a turn off for any other future service needs.

The Pros:
  • Technology. I work in IT so I love the gadgets and gizmos. From the video games to video streaming, fart noises and ice cream truck sounds, security surveillance and customizability etc.
  • Roominess. For a small car, there's a decent amount of room. Lots of shoulder and head room, big front and rear trunks, legroom in the back wasn't the best but scooting up the seats made it ok.
  • Fit and finish (aside from rattles). The materials are nice IMO, smooth feel and they seemed to fit pretty good. No weird gaps, just the driver's side door belt molding was a little off. Could have gotten it adjusted at a service center if I kept the car. I'll lump in road noise on here. Pretty decent.
  • Suspension and handling. Smaller cars like this don't have plush rides, there's a firmness, and that was ok with this one. It absorbed pretty decently. Pushing into the corners was ok too, not spectacular. There was some under-steer. Dual motor models might not have as much of an issue.
  • Power. Effortless acceleration. Not a racecar, but at this price point 5.3s 0-60 and low 13's in the 1/4 mile is nice. Remember, this is the base-model of the 3's, there's 3 tiers.
  • Good A/C, it had no problem keeping the car cool.
  • Ability to charge with a lot of different plugs. Easy to find adapters for the charger to use lots of different types of 220 outlets.
  • Having no key was so nice. Just walk up to the car, get in, and go. Flawlessly from your phone's Bluetooth. Then get out and walk away. Don't need to turn anything off, it locks itself.
The Meh:
  • Seat bottom comfort. I've been in dozens and dozens of cars in my life. Never sat in a car that has seat bolsters in the bottom quite like this. Made for 100 pound middle schoolers I guess? Ok maybe not that small. But still weird.
  • The rattles. Each rear door panel had one, as well as the driver's side B pillar. I had one in the dash that would come and go. I worry that as the car ages these would progress.
  • The black vegan leather seats are HOT as heck in the sun. Ouch. My Genesis' real black leather seats were nothing like this.
  • The A/C is LOUD when cooling hard.
  • The A/C defaults to blowing on the driver only if there is no passenger. I wish this were a setting, I believe it is to preserve battery life. I want it to cool the whole car, not just me. This is easily fixed though in the A/C settings to turn on the passenger vent, but just an annoyance to do that every time.
View attachment 75469
View attachment 75470
View attachment 75471



I have the identical car. I like mine a lot.

The seat dimensions are just fine for me. I find there's lots of room. The ride is stiff but in the same zone as my (former) BMW and Honda. I have one intermittent rattle that for some reason doesn't really bother me.

I really like the acceleration, the handling and the way it keeps me warm or cool while I'm waiting for my wife when she is buying groceries, getting her hair cut, etc. The range has been absolutely no problem so far and I really appreciate how I can charge it up in a couple of hours at home.

Different strokes for different folks I guess.
 
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