Last year I wrote a piece that was published by Inside EVs, Rebirth of the American Sedan. After writing the piece I knew I would own a Tesla one day. Well, that day is today. This fall I bought a Model 3 Dual Motor AWD and these are my first impressions.
The process is straightforward, you find a car online, either in stock or custom order, fill out some info and press the order button. I was done in a couple minutes. Ordering is easy. Use someone’s referral code who has helped you. They get a bonus, you get a bonus. Win-win. Mine is https://ts.la/eric35018
Post Order Wait
Shortly after ordering the process started in earnest and did not go very smoothly. I purchased a car listed as in stock, so figured I would be able to pick it up in a few days. It took them a long time to confirm my trade on my i3. Lots of back and forth with Tesla in Nevada over email and phone regarding my trade in. Once that was finally settled they generated a new order instead of inventory. No big deal, but it meant 3 week wait: in retrospect this was necessary.
The credit union they assigned my financing to had a site that didn’t even work with mobile devices and something got in a bad state and didn’t progress so took longer than it should and delayed payment.
Tesla in Nevada said they would deliver my car to my house in Iowa and scheduled delivery. A few days before the scheduled delivery date Tesla called me and said I could pickup my car in Schaumburg 4 hours away. What? I asked them why they weren’t delivering it and they said the don’t deliver that far.
Fine, no big deal as I wasn’t expecting them to deliver when I placed the order. I scheduled a delivery time and contacted my other contact at Tesla Nevada and asked if everything was in order for pickup. This is when I found it wasn’t paid for yet. I called the credit union and they straightened it out, but they couldn’t do anything until after the weekend (it was Friday afternoon). I call Schaumburg and rescheduled pickup for the next week.
Grade: F, it felt like I was a general manager of my delivery. I had to call everyone multiple times to make sure work was getting done. Buying a car I thought was in stock was a 3 week process and getting a totally different car fresh off the line. At the local car dealer I would have done this all in 2 hours.
The delivery process was much better than the post order process. I walked in, met with the specialist, signed the paperwork, and we walked out to the car. He gave me a great overview, answered my questions, and I was on my way in 30 minutes. Thank you Tesla Schaumburg.
I had to call and harass Tesla to send me my MCO (manufacturer’s certificate of origin, required to register for first title). First time they sent the wrong thing. This document is critical to register the vehicle, so if you haven’t received it in 2 weeks call your delivery center.
Grade: C, the next Tesla I buy I will not trade in and I will secure my own financing. I would also not order online, and instead go to one of their dealers like in Schaumburg and work with one of their delivery specialists to find a local car for pickup. This would smooth up the process dramatically.
The wait and hassle was worth it. I absolutely love this car. I didn’t have any quality concerns I asked Tesla to fix, although I did notice a couple minor fit issues I wasn’t worried about.
My paint is good, it does have orange peel, but most cars do as it hides defects better. It is smooth and glossy, panel gaps are mostly good. I notice the driver’s side corner of the hood sticks up slightly on mine (and most Model 3 cars), the trim visible through small back corner window on the passenger side isn’t fit well, and the B pillar trim can pop out if you put pressure on it.
I am really glad I opted for white interior. It is so sharp looking with the black trim for contrast and is easy to clean with baby wipes. The black is nice, but since it is all black it lacks the visual contrast I like so much with the white.
I love driving the car. Everything else suddenly feels old. I drove my R55 Mini to the race track the day I got my 3 and it felt like I was handicapped in that vehicle. Like one of my senses had been taken away.
The Model 3 feels like a sports sedan; accelerating with urgency, flying through corners, all while remaining composed. It is a great car. I will follow up with a detailed review in a couple weeks.
Grade for Fit/Finish: C
Grade for Style: A
Grade for Drive: A
Stay tuned for more updates! I will also add a 50,000 mile update for the Clarity PHEV soon!
Photos are copyright of Eric Tastad 2019, all rights reserved. Contact me if you want to use any.