16 Months With Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus (Video Summary)
December 20th, 2020 by Zachary Shahan
After nearly 16 months with our Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus (SR+), I decided to create a full summary video running through everything I could think to note from the time of buying the car until today. Watch the video for the full summary. Below the video is a bullet-point list of some highlights.
- The ordering process is the easiest, quickest ordering (including financing) process imaginable for a car. It’s stunningly easy, quick, and painless.
- The delivery process was also quite quick and easy.
- A few days after receiving the car, I wrote an article titled “All The Problems With Our New Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus.” I recommend you check it out if you missed that.
- I also mention that we have no home charging, how that has worked for us, and the fact that we’ve spent $0 charging in these 16 months (and also for 9 months before that with a BMW i3 REx).
- One issue I had is that for a few moments after returning to the car, the AC started blowing out some stinky air. Apparently, the cause was moisture building up from the AC and then being left somewhere in the AC system to grow mildew in the hot, humid Florida air. When I took it into service recently, they cleaned out the AC system. Additionally, Tesla has implemented a software fix to try to help prevent this, but my understanding is that it’s still no match for the Florida humidity and I will eventually have to have this service done again — which costs $130 at the moment. (There is one potential fix I could try — turn on the heater for a few moments before leaving the car — but that’s too much for me to hassle with, so we’ll just see how it goes in the next year or so.)
- We’ve had a couple of minor trim issues — well, one was just imagined and one real (and extremely minor). Frankly, even on the second one, if I hadn’t been so aware of such issues from all the FUD about them, I might not have ever noticed and I definitely wouldn’t have thought to have it fixed by the service center. (Side note: I didn’t realize it was going to cost me
- I highlighted that the top descriptor I’ve used for many aspects of the car is “smooth.” Everything about the car is smooth, including the exceptionally minimalist interior design that I absolutely love.
- Additionally, the white seats are a luxurious feature I still notice and appreciate on a regular basis. They are so super duper soft, and they also look beautiful from outside the car looking in on many instances — at night in the moonlight for example. I am a big fan of the white & black contrast in the interior as well.
- The only part of the interior I really don’t like is the glossy black console — which is no longer what you get on a new Tesla Model 3 or Model Y anyway. And I will probably have mine wrapped at some point to improve this aspect of the car and freshen it up a bit.
- The infotainment system is amazing. The sound system is superb, even on the Model 3 SR+, and makes watching movies, shows, or music videos in the car a truly wonderful experience.
- The many firmware updates I’ve received on the car since getting it are ridiculous — there is really nothing you can compare them to. Unlike Apple software updates, they have considerably improved the product several times — increased the car’s range, increased the car’s performance, added Netflix and YouTube and Hulu and Spotify to the car’s infotainment system, added major driver-assist/”Full Self Driving” features, and more.
- One downside of the Model 3 in Florida is the heat really does come through the glass roof, and in the hotter months, that’s an issue. What we ended up doing was using high-quality sunshades to block the glass roof for a while. We got that tip from Danny Parker, who wrote a tremendously detailed analysis of Tesla Model 3 efficiency for us.
- Another notable downside of the car is that there is a lot of road noise and wind noise at higher speeds. I understand that is something that was improved last year with more sound insulation. I’m not certain if that improvement came right before or right after we got our car, but I presume right after.
- I love and appreciate Autopilot’s abilities and believe it has helped prevent accidents on a few occasions. I also think it helps me to see more and be more attentive while driving — counter to what many people assume about the feature.
- Overall, I think the Model 3 is indeed the best car in the world. Seriously. The only passenger vehicle I think is a step up is the Model Y crossover/SUV, which offers basically everything the Model 3 offers (except the lower sedan positioning and a slightly lower price) but also much more cargo space, more passenger space, and easier ingress and egress (and that higher positioning/view on the road if you prefer that).
For more on Model 3 ownership, check out our Model 3 Standard Range Plus long-term review archives, or check out our broader Model 3 long-term review archives — we have several other part-time writers who own different versions of the Model 3, and their review articles are included as well as mine in those broader archives.
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