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Published on October 11th, 2019 | by Zachary Shahan



October 11th, 2019 by  

Since I got the Tesla Model 3 a month and a half ago, I’ve been trying to figure out a one- or two-sentence summary of the car. It’s been tough. I’m plagued by a few issues. For one, I’m used to communicating with people who know a ton about Tesla (you), whereas people in the “real world” are often not such people. It’s hard to know where to start. Secondly, I had a Model S for a while and I think my brain tries too hard to come up with something new and different for the Model 3 since it’s a different car. I think my typical response about how I liked the Model S was, “It’s awesome!” This second matter actually just came to mind as I started writing this, so maybe that will remove the mental block and I’ll start responding in that way again for the Model 3. It is hard to find a better word than “awesome” to describe the car.

A third issue is that I often just want to say it’s the best car you can imagine, the best car ever. However, “best” is not really a descriptor, it’s a ranking. Additionally, it’s a little ridiculous to make that claim and then not explain why it’s the best, but to explain why it’s the best would entail covering a bunch of different topics. Generally speaking, in these situations, I don’t think the other person really wants to hear a long monologue about a product they know nothing about. Being a totally crazed fanboy talking a million miles an hour is not a good look.

So, with “it’s the best,” I either make a wild claim that is so exuberant that it probably makes people nervous, or I start rambling and ranting for 5 minutes in a way that turns off the listener even more. Not the best options.

Internally, one way I’ve thought about the car is that it’s the most complete car out there. It just feels right because it’s so complete, is put together so thoughtfully and perfectly, is such an overall good package. That said, “complete” is another vague, useless term for someone who doesn’t really know from personal experience what I’m talking about. Yes, I think other Model 3 owners know what I’m trying to say when I say it’s the “most complete car” out there. Strangers on the street? Not so much.

Somehow, in recent days, one word finally popped into my head for how to describe the car — smooth. It drives so extremely smoothly. The user interface on the touchscreen is so brilliantly smooth. Autopilot is now a smoother driver than me. The exterior and interior design of the car is the definition of smooth. The car is a beautiful wonder. The app: smooth. The navigation: smooth. The air conditioning vents: smooth. It’s all smooth. The whole car is smooth.

That said, I’m sure some of you have already thought of this — if someone asks me how I like the car and I say, “Great! It’s so smooth,” they’re going to look at me like I’m a crazy person and probably walk swiftly in the opposite direction. Again, it’s a nice word for describing the car to people who have it or know it well, but it’s a horrid explanation for someone with little to no experience with a Tesla.

My conclusion is two-fold. First, I think it’d be appropriate to say, “It’s awesome! It’s so smooth, such a complete car — like nothing else out there.” Afterward, I can then ask them, “What do you care most about? What’s important for you in a car?” Depending on what they say, it’s very easily to highlight the car’s many benefits. You can talk about its record safety score, its wicked acceleration, its traction control and superb handling, its unmatched infotainment, its home charging and Supercharging capabilities, or other goodies. Inviting the listener to set the frame for the discussion is a good way to make sure your answer interests them, and you know the Model 3 is going to soundly defeat anything else in its price class.

Perhaps awesome is going to be the best way to talk about the car to a newbie asking me about it. However, for talking to myself in my head (it happens), the words that really capture the car best are now smooth and complete. These words represent the car in a useful way. They communicate the car and “life with the car” better than all of the other efforts to put the Model 3 into simple descriptive words.

Have another descriptor you love? Want to chime in about this whole smooth thing. We’ll see what happens as more features roll out.

If you’d like to buy a Tesla Model 3 and want 1,000 miles of free Supercharging, feel free to use my referral code: https://ts.la/zachary63404 — or use someone else’s if you have a friend or family member with a Tesla. I won’t cry. 


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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in NIO [NIO], Tesla [TSLA], and Xpeng [XPEV]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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