It is well known that I love my Tesla Model 3, like practically every other Model 3 owner on the planet. Last month, following the news that Consumer Reports found Tesla owners were happier with their cars than any other vehicle owners in the US, I listed 70 reasons why the Model 3 is loved so much. That doesn’t mean it’s perfect. In the interest of balance — and much more so a hope that some of these things will be seen by Tesla and modifications made — below is a list of things my wife and I would love to see added to or improved in the Model 3.
Before we get into these, though, I think it’s important to remember that false balance is a major problem in society and the media — on many topics. The list of 70 benefits I wrote about in March compared to this list of 10 things I’d love to see implemented in the Model 3 does not imply the ratio of good to bad is even 7:1. A mountain is not equal to a grain of sand, and you have to consider the level of importance of any pro or con. One of them may be 1,000 times more important than the other. In my opinion, there is no non-Tesla vehicle that comes close to a Tesla in its overall pro:con ratio. That said, it would be great to see that ratio improved further!
Note of disclosure: I reserve the right to call myself an idiot if some of the requested features or options exist but I somehow couldn’t find out how to unlock them.
1. Passenger profiles: At the moment, you can save various “driver profiles” in a Tesla. Each one will save the position of your seat, steering wheel, and mirrors. I have one profile set for normal use, one set for getting in and out of the car, and one set for working on the computer while parked. The problem is there’s no option to save such settings for the front passenger. My wife normally sits in that seat, but I sometimes work there, and she isn’t normally too enthusiastic when she gets in the car and the seat has been moved back a foot or so. (I know, this is a clear “1st world problem.”) It would be cool if you could save different “passenger profiles” just like you can save “driver profiles.” I believe someone asked Elon Musk for this on Twitter once upon a time and he said they could do that, but if my memory serves me correctly, that was quite a while ago and nothing has changed since. Maybe soon?
2. Smarter navigation for multiple destinations: Tesla’s navigation system is brilliant. It will make sure you don’t ever run out of charge — unless you’re extremely stubborn about not listening to it and you go beyond normal risk-taker behavior. That’s why it’s somewhat bewildering to many of us that it doesn’t have one basic, hugely useful function. You can’t set more than one destination on a trip. You can only go from A to B (and, if the car’s calculations indicate you will need to charge between those two points, it will navigate you to a Supercharger — or as many as needed — along the way.) For example, you can’t input a Starbucks in the city of Tatooine (point B), a Chipotle in Coruscant (C), and a Best Buy in Hoth (D) on your way to grandma’s house in Alderaan (E), leaving from your home in Naboo of course (A). You have to input each trip individually as you move from place to place on the road trip, which of course makes it a bit difficult to estimate trip time or see at the start where you will need to stop to charge.
I know this has been requested several times, but I’ve never seen Elon indicate Tesla would implement this basic navigation feature. Sure would be nice if Tesla did, though!
3. Better soundproofing under/in the floor: If you drop something, even something small, on the floor in the back seat area, it makes a thumping sound sort of like you dropped something on a long, thin sheet of metal. The same is also true if your 3-year-old or 5-year-old daughter decides to quickly plop down on the floor. I’m not sure if it’s simply a lack of soundproofing or some other aspect of design that creates this oddity. The most annoying thing about this quirk is that it can be a bit startling. It also just sounds concerning. You don’t expect to hear such a reaction from putting something on the floor of the car, or from your daughter getting out of her carseat quickly to come play Beach Buggy. Depending on how you do things and who rides in the back seat, you may seldom hear this, but I imagine most Model 3 owners have noticed it and thought it odd.
4. Better soundproofing from the wind: I know more soundproofing was added last year around the time we got our Model 3, but I’m not sure if the change happened before or after that, so I’m not sure if our Model 3 has the same soundproofing as a new Model 3 today or less. I hope it’s the latter, because there seems to be more wind and road noise than there should be inside our car — especially when driving fast, of course. I’ve been eager to test drive a new Model 3 to see how it compares, but the whole don’t interact with other living beings thing has been putting that on delay, not to mention other aspects of human life.
5. Ungloss: The glossy center console is … glossy. Not ideal in multiple ways, including the fact that it looks like Darth Vader’s chest armor. I’m yet to meet someone who really likes it, and I’ve talked with many people who hate it or at least moderately dislike it. I get it — for some reason, it tickles someone’s fancy. Maybe beyond aesthetic preferences there’s also some usefulness about it that I’m not imagining. Nonetheless, it would be way cooler to get a nice matte finish or something that screams “the dark side” with slightly less volume.
6. Fan adjustment in Entertainment mode: Whether watching Netflix or playing Beach Buggy, there are times you’d like to adjust how hard the air conditioning is blowing without exiting Entertainment mode. As you can see in the picture below, you can adjust temperature at the top of the screen if you tap that area and awaken the options there, but more commonly we just want to lower or increase the fan strength, not the temperature.
In the remaining items, we’re getting to things that I think are really unlikely and perhaps even more minor than the ones above. Feel free to abort reading now if this is all too prissy for your senses.
7. Open back doors from touchscreen: You may be thinking “what?” while looking at this request. The thing is, with little minions sitting in the back, I keep Child Protection Lock on. From time to time, though, it would be nice to open their doors from the front seat rather than having to either get out and open it or go through the settings to turn off the Child Protection Lock option.
One of my favorite things about the Model 3 is actually how the doors pop open when you press the open-door buttons on the inside of the doors. You just press the button and “pop,” the door opens. It seems it would be easy to make that a quick option from the touchscreen for all doors just like it’s an option for the trunk, frunk, and charge port. Would be cool. (I assume for safety’s sake this would only be an option while in Park mode.)
8. Fully opening trunk and/or frunk: There are times when you’d really like to press the “open trunk” button and have it open all the way. There are aftermarket products available to make this happen with the frunk and trunk using pneumatic struts, but it would be nice if Tesla included this by default or at least offered it as an individual upgrade or part of an upgrade package.
I don’t know enough about the technicalities of the option here, but knowing that there are times when you want the hood to just pop open a little bit in order to not hit something, it would be extra useful if you had two options for automatic (via phone app or touchscreen) opening of the trunk/frunk — one that opens it slightly and one that opens it fully. Perhaps a tap could open it slightly and holding down the button could open it fully (maybe after a confirmation for extra safety).
Yes, I know — I’ve written a lot of words about a feature that Tesla probably won’t offer at all on the Model 3. #tear
9. Back windshield wiper: I don’t know if a back windshield wiper wasn’t included because of aerodynamics, cost and a sense it’s not needed, or what, but it would be nice to have a windshield wiper on the back side of the car, especially when the windshield is fogged up. Yes, you can defog the windshield, but that’s a slower and not particularly perfect process itself. (I almost put it on the list.)
10. Better radio channel customization: I know, I know — most people don’t listen to the radio these days. However, we do, and as long as there’s a radio feature, it seems it should have some better customization options. At the moment, any station that gets added to your list of favorites appears on the left side of that horizontal list. If you hold a channel down, you can easily remove multiple channels, but it seems there’s no way to drag them around to put them in the order you prefer. You have to unfavorite and favorite the channels in perfect order, and that’s extremely time consuming and cumbersome. (Extremely.)
I have spoken.
There are other “just for fun” ideas that have come to mind, and I’m sure I could dream up more ideas purely aimed at humor or entertainment, but above are the 10 practical features my wife and I have come up with after exactly 8 months of Tesla Model 3 ownership. I can’t really think of anything else in that regard. If you have some ideas, though, feel free to chime in down in the comments or on Twitter, where I think your thoughts are more likely to be seen by Chief Product Architect and Meme Lord Elon Musk.
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