As I approach the five-year mark with my 2019 Tesla Model 3 Long Range, I thought it was a good time to reflect back. Here are my take aways.
The Tesla Model 3 boasts impressive safety features, which is a major plus. The car’s structural design and advanced safety systems provide a secure driving environment that reassures.
The instant torque and acceleration are exhilarating and fun. The car’s ability to go from 0 to 60 mph in a blink is a feature I don't use often, but it's nice to know that it's there.
Great Sound System
With a top-tier sound system, the audio in the car is outstanding.
The firm ride is also very comfortable.
Good Handling and Braking
Handling is precise and braking is responsive.
Convenience of Charging at Home
Charging at home is a game-changer. It's convenient and eliminates the need for routine stops at gas stations, saving both time and effort.
Full Self Driving Has Come A Long Way
The driver assistance features significantly reduce the stress of long drives. On my trips from Lewes to Wilmington, I can relax and let the car do most of the work. The FSD (Full Self Driving) Beta software has improved significantly and I hope Tesla will release the production version soon.
Low, As-Needed Maintenance
No more oil and filter changes. But don't forget the windshield fluid!
The car has been reliable and hasn't left me stranded. Knock on wood.
The handling and performance of the Model 3 comes at the cost of tire wear. Replacement tires are not cheap.
It's important to monitor charging and take care of the battery. I normally charge to 80% unless I'm going to take a trip. The battery has lost about 10 miles in range which I feel is very acceptable.
For road trips under 300 miles round-trip, the car’s battery range is sufficient, eliminating the need for mid-trip charging.
On longer road trips, the necessity to stop for charging can be a hassle. The 30-45 minute charge time can feel long if on a tight schedule. The good news is that the car knows where the 20,000 Superchargers are located and the entertainment system offers a variety of options to kill time while charging. From catching up on a Netflix series, browsing YouTube, scrolling TikTok, to playing games - there’s a lot to keep one occupied.
My first long-distance trip was to the Woodstock 50-year reunion at Bethel Woods. The charging experience at the Allentown supercharger was smooth, and the Red Robin restaurant next door served up some fantastic hamburgers, turning the charging stop into a pleasant break.
Road trips over 300 miles arn't a big deal with Teslas but they do need to be planned.
The nearly five-year journey with my 2019 Tesla Model 3 has been a blend of futuristic driving and convenience, with a few learning curves. The downsides are minor in comparison to the upsides, and they have not deterred the joy and satisfaction derived from driving this incredible machine. Would I buy a Tesla again? Absolutely!
One Last Observation
There are over 150,000 gasoline stations sprinkled thoughout the country. Not so for high-powered fast EV chargers. Long distance travel is the biggest headache that EV drivers face. Our government has funded the addition of 150,000 charging stations, a very good thing, but then leaves the largest EV charging network with 20,000 fast chargers out of the equation. I struggle to understand the logic. The new stations are being located along major roadways and are basically duplicating the already existing Tesla Supercharger network. Doesn't make sense. Too many in one location, and not enough in another. Unfortunately, I don't see this issue getting resolved anytime soon. There should be a "national charging framework" for ensuring that the country's charging network provides maximum coverage and compatibility. Ideally, industry coordination through collaboration. Without this framework, the charging network will grow haphazardly and struggle to meet the demands of a growing EV population. Not sure where these decisions are being made but they demonstrate a lack of sound management and engineering. In the mean time, buy a Tesla.