Some think it’s the perfect car, but no car is perfect.
The Tesla Model 3 looks to be an amazing car and a great technological achievement. Including autonomous driving and a 0-60 time of around 5 seconds, the Model 3 is getting a lot of people excited, as reflected by the UK reservation list. With that said, don’t let the prestigious brand image and futuristic tech distract you from the reported problems and undesirable features included with the car. These things probably won’t bother you, but it’s better to know them now rather than after you’ve bought the car…
Questionable build quality
Experts have laughed at the building practices employed by Tesla when building the Model 3 and although they’ve streamlined their production over the past year, it’s still not near the same standard as major, veteran car companies. Inaccurate and sloppy welding jobs, rivets punched through both sides, wonky glove boxes, slightly misaligned body panels, asymmetric headlight positions, problems with centre console reliability and so on. Even the cheapest models from Toyota, Peugeot, Ford etc. would not have any of these problems, let alone a luxury car manufacturer set to charge around £40k for its cheapest offering.
Nothing that will upset the average motorist, but for the manufacturing experts and those that obsess over small details, it may be slightly dissatisfying to know your brand new £40,000 car has imperfections. With Tesla being new to the industry, we should expect teething problems like this and just be thankful that none of these issues are dangerous, like Vauxhall’s handbrake recall or Ford’s ignition switches that set cars on fire.
Too minimalistic for some
To put it simply, the interior of Tesla’s Model 3 is not for everyone. It’s like a cold, barren wasteland of empty space broken up only by one ginormous centre screen (which is actually very pretty). On this centre screen is all the information, functions and buttons you’ll ever need including mirror adjustments, fan direction, steering wheel position and so on. So rather than being able to turn the volume dial, or adjust the vent direction wheel, you have to take your eyes off the road and navigate a menu on a screen. Sounds awfully like using your phone…
The screen is actually really cool and very intuitive, however, that doesn’t make up for the fact that it’s actually the only thing in the inside of the car. If you were to compare it to the interior of a 4 or 5 series BMW, well, it just wouldn’t compare at all. It’s an acquired taste for sure and the intuitive and innovative controls really do feel next-level. But if you like cars that have more than just a touchscreen monitor inside, you may want to buy a different Tesla model.
Other little things include:
It’s incredibly hard to fault the Model 3 because it truly is an amazing car in almost every way. However, there are some small things that could be improved. For instance…
The steering wheel
The wheel looks like it belongs more in a Peugeot 107 than a luxury sedan.
Although those little roller balls are very clever and serve a great purpose, they look kind of cheap and when compared to wheels found in today’s modern cars, the Model 3s certainly stands out for all the wrong reasons.
No gauge cluster
Unlike the Model S and X, the 3 completely lacks any kind of gauge cluster. Look through the steering wheel and you’ll see nothing but the blank wood trim and the air vent.
The speed is shown on the centre screen (as is everything) and although that’s not an issue, it would be nice to have some sort of display that’s directly in front of you, rather than to the side.
Opening the doors from the inside
Now we’re really nitpicking but there’s a small annoyance you’ll find when opening the doors. There are two ways to open the door from the inside. There’s a button placed near the top of the handle, and a latch placed near the base of the handle. Many people have found that they naturally reach for the latch, but wait! That latch is for “emergency use only”, as illustrated by a warning on the screen that pops up each time you use it. Only the button will lower the window a little, thus allowing for a smooth and safe opening, not the latch.
We’re yet to get a confirmed price here in the UK, or a confirmed date for that matter. However, if the US prices are anything to go off, we shouldn’t expect to see a low price tag anytime soon. Even though good ol’ Elon spoke of the Model 3 costing as little as $35,000, at the moment, the cheapest one you can buy costs $44,000 because it’s the “long-range” version, rather than the basic “no-frills” version.
Extras cost a pretty penny as well. If you want to buy one in any colour other than black, that will already cost you an extra $1,000. Long range battery will cost $9,000, enhanced autopilot (which most people want) costs $5,000 and it doesn’t come with heated seats as standard, that package will cost an extra $5,500.
The Model 3 is making waves, there’s no denying that. People are talking about it and demand exceeds supply. Nonetheless, it’s not perfect, just like any car.