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#4638632 - 01/18/18 10:09 AM Tesla Model 3 brief review
Cujet Offline


Registered: 02/15/03
Posts: 7162
Loc: Jupiter, Florida
A friend just got a Model 3 and I flew over to Tampa to visit him and drive it. He came to Tampa International and let me drive the car from Sheltair TPA about 15 minutes over to his shop.

First thing, it's unique, with unusual flush door handles and a really interesting set of glass roof panels that let in very little light. The interior is comfortable, simple and basic looking, is not in any way distracting or busy. The center display panel is quite simply, perfect. It's a high resolution panel that will (and does) display everything you need and want. Including fantastic maps and traffic information. Just ask for what ever song you want and the system looks up the song and plays it on a fairly good audio system. It's got plenty of audio HP, but it's not quite audiophile quality, good but not fantastic.

The autopilot works well and will drive in traffic properly, until you neglect to touch the steering wheel, then it locks you out of the system for the rest of the trip. I found this amusing and annoying.

The car is stupidly quiet inside. Very little road noise gets in. Possibly due to the big 2170 battery pack under the floor. While it has no engine noise, it does have motor noise when power is called for, and it's pleasing.

As far as power goes, it's real-world fast. While not stupidly fast off the line like the P100D, it's sports car fast with tires at the grip limit, and it's fast at speed too. Passing people is a really fun event. Just jam the pedal to the floor and it's 90mph in seconds. Other drivers can do NOTHING to keep you from passing. We had a guy in a Challenger try to zoom and cut us off, nope! The instant response is, quite frankly, amazing and really pleasing.

The steering is as responsive and quick as any sports car, and the over all feel of the driving dynamics is better than my S2000. It's quick to turn in and the grip is sufficient to want to drive it like an idiot. Of course, the car slows rapidly upon pedal lift, for regen. But the brakes are really good too. The brakes worked properly with none of that wonky hybrid car feel. I think most/all ( ? ) of the regen happens upon pedal lift and the brake pedal is simply a brake pedal.

In any case, it has well over 300 miles range and really begs to be driven like a true sports car. It's the best new car I've ever driven. I LOVE IT. Period.

Driving this thing around Tampa is an absolute blast. Full "throttle" power U-Turns are an absolute ruckus. No drama at all, just a high G event that cannot be duplicated with any other type of vehicle. No downshifting, instant response and no sliding. YEAH!


Edited by Cujet (01/18/18 10:10 AM)
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#4638641 - 01/18/18 10:17 AM Re: Tesla Model 3 brief review [Re: Cujet]
oil_film_movies Offline


Registered: 06/13/16
Posts: 2566
Loc: MN
I saw my first Tesla 3 in the wild the other day at my fitness center. I have an electric Focus, so I talked to the guy. He was oddly unaware Tesla has only delivered about 1,500 so far.

With my electric Focus, which is not considered fast, I can get "darty" in traffic. More so if it was a Tesla 3!
This can surprise drivers, so its very dangerous to hit the pedal, change lanes, and overtake someone before they have a chance to glance around. Insurance companies and the IIHS are looking into the instant acceleration nature of electric cars. Expect more weaving and darting in traffic. I've seen Tesla Model S drivers do it as much as the usual rocket bikes (motorcycles).

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#4638657 - 01/18/18 10:40 AM Re: Tesla Model 3 brief review [Re: Cujet]
CT8 Offline


Registered: 10/09/14
Posts: 10979
Loc: Idaho
I have no real experience with electric cars but with electric forklifts there are adjustable settings on the electronics that allow rate of acceleration etc. Electric cars are really still in their infancy. I like the idea !!! My worry is as the numbers increase where will the electricity come from?
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#4638678 - 01/18/18 11:04 AM Re: Tesla Model 3 brief review [Re: Cujet]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 9092
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Cujet

The steering is as responsive and quick as any sports car, and the over all feel of the driving dynamics is better than my S2000. It's quick to turn in and the grip is sufficient to want to drive it like an idiot. Of course, the car slows rapidly upon pedal lift, for regen. But the brakes are really good too. The brakes worked properly with none of that wonky hybrid car feel. I think most/all ( ? ) of the regen happens upon pedal lift and the brake pedal is simply a brake pedal.

In any case, it has well over 300 miles range and really begs to be driven like a true sports car. It's the best new car I've ever driven. I LOVE IT. Period.

Driving this thing around Tampa is an absolute blast. Full "throttle" power U-Turns are an absolute ruckus. No drama at all, just a high G event that cannot be duplicated with any other type of vehicle. No downshifting, instant response and no sliding. YEAH!

Wow, that good eh! I read one journalists review of a pre production model that the design engineer drove and he said the same thing. Well, that level of driving feel makes it interesting just from a driving enthusiast standpoint, never mind if the car is electric or not.
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#4638702 - 01/18/18 11:31 AM Re: Tesla Model 3 brief review [Re: Cujet]
double vanos Offline


Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 1885
Loc: 5600 feet elevation, Arizona
With so many foreign cities and countries banning IC engines the time for electric cars has come. And come they will, with so many manufacturers planning models in the near future, the concept of a full electric will advance to point of convenience, then full acceptance.
And with manufacturers fully on board (itís a matter of their survival) I suspect battery and charging technologies will grow by leaps and bounds. Iím guessing than within 10 years things like range anxiety and charge times will be fading memories- modern electric cars will the same as todays gas cars range wise and fill up wise too.
And as Cujet has reported electric cars can be a full on blast! The only fear I have for electric cars is that each new generation will be so much better than the last, people will hold off purchases, not wanting to be hung up with last years super car, when the new one just around the corner will be an absolute killer. That happened all through the 50s and 60s - every new model brought more horsepower and speed and gizmos.
The future of the automobile I think is secure and Cujets review just confirmed that.
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#4638704 - 01/18/18 11:32 AM Re: Tesla Model 3 brief review [Re: Cujet]
OneEyeJack Offline


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 7479
Loc: S California
It's going to be interesting to see what the major manufacturers can do now that they are getting serious about this segment. Tesla just might be in for some difficult times ahead.

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#4638714 - 01/18/18 11:45 AM Re: Tesla Model 3 brief review [Re: CT8]
Superflan Offline


Registered: 04/28/15
Posts: 357
Loc: Reunion Island
Originally Posted By: CT8
I have no real experience with electric cars but with electric forklifts there are adjustable settings on the electronics that allow rate of acceleration etc.


Same settings are available on Zero Motorcycles, via a smartphone app over Bluetooth:

Appstore screenshot:
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#4638743 - 01/18/18 12:18 PM Re: Tesla Model 3 brief review [Re: Cujet]
Miller88 Offline


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 12703
Loc: Onondaga County
They are definitely pretty intense technology pieces.

I'm not sure I could see myself buying a Tesal. But a Volt, Focus electric or Leaf -- I could see myself with something like that.
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#4638761 - 01/18/18 12:37 PM Re: Tesla Model 3 brief review [Re: Cujet]
goodtimes Offline


Registered: 12/08/10
Posts: 2856
Loc: california
When I jockey for free charging with my lowly 14 Volt, I have seen a few Bolts. Same battery capacity as the 3. I would take Chev as a brand, dealers everywhere. Takes too long to charge them from empty at regular free 6,6kw stations. I'm already sick of charging the Volt after one year. I cn charge at home, but the cost equals gas hybrid pretty much. I probably will let the battery go to it's low state and just drive it as a gas electric hybrid if the free charging station competition gets any worse. it is huge time wasting for a couple dollars. The novelty wears off. I really like the all electric drive mode though. Never would buy an all electric unless have a backup gas car. Which sort of defeats the whole thing.

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#4638776 - 01/18/18 12:46 PM Re: Tesla Model 3 brief review [Re: Cujet]
AZjeff Online   content


Registered: 01/14/11
Posts: 2641
Loc: PV Az
Not sure why there should even be free charging stations. Are they everywhere or only in Cali? I guess Tesla has them but can you plug your Volt in there?
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#4638779 - 01/18/18 12:49 PM Re: Tesla Model 3 brief review [Re: Cujet]
nthach Offline


Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 3898
Loc: California
I've seen one or two Model 3s in the wild, one was in front of the Tesla store a while ago. I test drove a regular Model S a few months ago, I was impressed and even the the non-PXXXD models still have considerable go - the beauty of electric motors is torque from a standstill. Even a Prius can be zippy as long as the ICE doesn't spin up, which requires careful feathering of the accelerator. I was surprised at a lowly Chevy Spark EV, a old acquaintance from grade school gave me a ride in his and with traction control off, that thing can chirp the tires.

I think a Bolt/Leaf/i3/eGolf unless GM, VW and Nissan license out Tesla's DC Supercharging tech are better suited for the city - I see plenty of Model S/Xs making the trip to Tahoe, Tesla does have a Supercharger station next to the Sonic burger on I-80 in Vacaville and perhaps in Folsom/Placerville as well. A Volt/Prius Prime(Plug-in) are better for longer trips. Supposedly with a ChaDeMo station, a Leaf or Honda Clarity EV can charge faster via DC.

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#4638786 - 01/18/18 12:53 PM Re: Tesla Model 3 brief review [Re: AZjeff]
OVERKILL Online   content


Registered: 04/28/08
Posts: 36452
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: AZjeff
Not sure why there should even be free charging stations. Are they everywhere or only in Cali? I guess Tesla has them but can you plug your Volt in there?


They exist to entice people to buy the cars so that the municipality looks "green" (the non-Tesla chargers). Eventually they will have a metered per kWh charge levied on whomever is charging.
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#4638813 - 01/18/18 01:12 PM Re: Tesla Model 3 brief review [Re: AZjeff]
oil_film_movies Offline


Registered: 06/13/16
Posts: 2566
Loc: MN
Originally Posted By: AZjeff
Not sure why there should even be free charging stations. Are they everywhere or only in Cali? I guess Tesla has them but can you plug your Volt in there?
Tesla charging stations only charge Teslas, unless you have a $400 adaptor in your Leaf/Bolt/Volt/I3/Focus/Spark/etc.'s trunk. Even though Tesla receives lots of tax breaks, they have taken the Apple approach to compatibility to keep others out: They don't use the standard SAE J1772 charge plug like everybody else uses. They have their own proprietary plug style. (The converse isn't quite true, since Tesla owners typically have a J1772 adaptor so they can use "normal" electric charging stations, displacing all other electric cars at normal stations.)

"Free" charging is wherever a private company has decided its worth it to attract customers. Or, its sometimes free when state/local governments want cleaner local air. Many reasons to offer free charging. Most of the time you pay for your electrons like it was a vending machine (ChargePoint & SemaConnect).

Tesla has charge stations all over the U.S. Normal charging stations are mostly in bigger urban areas, businesses, public parking areas.

If you're lucky enough to find an unoccupied charger, it might be broke (vandalized by gas-lovers), or it might be blocked by a diesel pickup truck rolling coal.
You can really only count on charging at home. Thats the real story. People who "go to Tahoe" in their Teslas are hoping they find a charger to actually use.

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#4638819 - 01/18/18 01:17 PM Re: Tesla Model 3 brief review [Re: Cujet]
Johnny2Bad Offline


Registered: 05/20/13
Posts: 1810
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
Electric cars are not going to be mainstream anytime soon. The infrastructure to replace the IC fleet simply doesn't exist, and just the power generation aspect requires years of planning before it can come on-stream. The vehicles themselves are quite efficient, but power generation isn't. Alternative energy has promise, but see the "rare earth" issue following. Nuclear takes 20 years to actually get to the generation phase, and Natural Gas is only 70% efficient.

Some countries or cities have made grandiose proclamations about banning this or requiring that, but the politicians who make those speeches won't be alive when they are supposed to come to pass, nor is there any viable proposals as to exactly how this is all supposed to happen. A lot can change in the meantime. Consider these to be in the "a chicken in every pot" type grandstanding.

The other issue is the rarity of the materials required. It's not just the batteries, which is a problem in itself, despite the new advances on the horizon there ... there is a lot of copper and electronics in them, (and both batteries and electronics require rare earth elements, currently the source of 90% of which is controlled by the People's Republic) an order of magnitude greater than in an IC vehicle.

Perhaps consumer behaviour is to wait and see, or wait for prices and infrastructure to be built out, but that isn't going to happen very quickly. So go ahead and buy now, if you want one.

Resale on electric and hybrids has not been very good so far. It is right now essentially a long term commitment, perhaps longer than most people want to keep a vehicle.

That could change, but consumers are doubly-wary of used electrics and hybrids. Recycling at auto wrecker prices for your used electric/hybrid will be needed to obtain the materials to build new units.

Now, you might think I am an electric naysayer, and that is not the case. It's just that there is a lot of futuristic thinking going on, but no real plan to carry it out, and the challenges are far from trivial.
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#4638822 - 01/18/18 01:18 PM Re: Tesla Model 3 brief review [Re: Cujet]
Pajero Offline


Registered: 05/05/12
Posts: 855
Loc: Rio Rancho, NM
Sounds awesome. But, no one know the long term longevity of the batteries? Five year warranty? My friend had a Prius and after six years it was cheaper for her to buy another Prius than to replace the batteries. I don't mean to be negative. It's just uncharted territory, as to state.

Thanks for posting Cujet



Respectfully,

Pajero!
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