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Renting an Audi Gasmobile: 3 Things I Miss (Massively) from My Tesla Model 3

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I had to rent a gas car this weekend. I ended up with an Audi Q2. It’s not the most expensive Audi on the market. In fact, it’s one of the cheapest (around $30,000). Three things about the car drove me nuts, with one of them perhaps being partly due to the car being on the cheaper end of the market but the other two just being symptoms of the outdated gas-car era.

The Seats Sucked

This is the factor that may have been due in part to low cost of the Audi Q2. However, I am skeptical any Audi’s seats could compete with my Tesla Model 3’s. Tesla’s seats are one of the most underrated features of its cars, in my opinion. Tesla designed and builds its seats in-house, and they are brilliant. They are made to distribute your weight/pressure evenly so that no single point on your body is pushing for too hard for too long on the seat and eventually getting sore. Also, I don’t know why or how, but they appear to be the best seats for my lower back. I’ve driven many cars over the past couple of decades, and my lower back routinely gets tired after a little while of driving. For whatever reason, that doesn’t happen in my Tesla Model 3. Tesla did something really well there. The Audi Q2’s seats? Man, they were not comfy at all, and I was quickly wishing I was in my Model 3 again. The only upside they offered: if my daughter pushed her feet against the back of my seat, I got a good little back massage. That solved the tired back problem for a few moments.

The Navigation Sucked

I used the navigation in two ways. First, I used the built-in navigation. On the next trip, I connected my iPhone to the car and used CarPlay. Both options sucked. I couldn’t do anything on the screen with my fingers — had to use the funky controls which take way too long and are way too confusing. I had my wife try to get a setting fixed while I was driving, and it was a PITA for her that almost made us give up on using the car’s navigation system. The thing my wife was trying to fix was that the map was zoomed out all the way for our 2-hour trip and wasn’t zooming in at intersections or exits that I needed to take. Why that should need to be selected deep in the settings is a mystery to me.

Of course, the screen is rather small. There’s not space for other stuff while you have the nav running. And my attempt to put on the radio while using the CarPlay navigation system on the second trip resulted in the navigation disappearing and me needing to restart it. So, I ditched the idea of listening to the radio.

I know there were more things about the nav systems I didn’t like, but there’s no need to go on. Not being able to interact with the screen directly, the screen being so small, and the difficulty using the system were enough to drive me nuts and helped to stimulate this article.

Please, just give me back my Tesla navigation system and touchscreen!

The Drive Quality Sucked

This is something that would be similar across gasmobiles. It’s just how a crappy internal combustion engine (ICE) works. It’s soooooooooo hard to get the car moving, and it’s so rumbly and loud as it tries to get itself going somewhere. It’s concerning, and it’s hard to tell if you are pushing on the pedal too hard or too soft — the car’s not moving, so it must be too soft; the engine and car sound like they’re going to explode, so it must be too hard. Overall, it’s just a horrible experience. I was so immediately and so strongly missing my Tesla Model 3, or any electric car of course, and after a couple of days driving the car, I never got over how slow and loud and rumbly the Audi Q2 was.

Then there’s also the lack of regenerative braking, which I sorely missed, especially when the car felt like a wild horse trying to fly forward or off the road on a curve. And as soon as you put it into drive, the car starts rolling forward fast — so weird.

Of course, there were other funny things about driving a gas car again — forgetting that I have to use a key to open it, forgetting where and how to put the key into the ignition, forgetting to turn the car off and take the key out, constantly going to the wipers to change gears (that’s Tesla’s fault), forgetting that the floor in the back seat isn’t flat due to the tunnel in the middle, not having a frunk to put stuff into, and surely more that I’m forgetting now. But it was really just those three core matters that drove me nuts about the Audi Q2 rental car and made me wish I could drive my Tesla Model 3 again.

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Zach 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 Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.


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