Tesla Model 3 Long Range 6-month review – The Pros and the Cons

This post will provide a 6-month review of my Tesla Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor.

This is a video I’ve been trying to put out for quite a while now and it’s finally here.

Overall, I’m very, very happy with the decision to go for the Model 3.

Because all cars have pros and cons, let me mention a few that I’ve noticed over the months.

Table of Contents

  1. The pros
    1. The Model 3 is great to drive
    2. Comfort and refinement
    3. Trip planner (sharing destination using the phone)
    4. OTA Software Updates
    5. Autopilot
    6. Long range
  2. The cons
    1. Opening and closing the doors
    2. No auto frunk
    3. AC charging is limited to 11kW
    4. Updates over Wifi only
    5. Trunk area features
    6. No ventilated seats
    7. The blinkers stalk is sometimes a bit clumsy
    8. The Model 3 has a low ride
  3. Conclusion on my 6-month review of my Tesla Model 3

Let’s start with the pros.

The pros

The Model 3 is great to drive

Despite being a quite practical 4-door sedan, it packs some serious punch and will even outpace some hot hatches. That’s because the Model 3 Long Range is just fast, doing the 0-100km/h in 4,4 seconds.

The low center of gravity helps while going around corners and the steering is sharp.

Again, it’s not a sports car but it’s still fun to drive.

When I’m at the wheel I love using one-pedal driving. For that, you might have to change your regeneration settings, check the link in the description to see my video about it.

Comfort and refinement

In terms of comfort, it’s a bit on the firm side. Expect more of a sporty ride than a relaxing one. If comfort is a priority for you and you still want a Tesla Model 3, go for the 18-inch wheels to get the most tire sidewall. A test drive is ultimately your best help to know if it’s good enough for you.

On long trips, the Model 3 has a comfortable ride on good roads. It’s also spacious. 

Tesla’s were known for weak sound insulation and I’m sensitive to that matter but they have definitely been improving.

Trip planner (sharing destination using the phone)

If you’re going to do very long trips on most EVs, there’s no way around it. You’ll have to plan your route and check the charging station’s coverage.

You’ll also have to decide for yourself how much you have to charge at each stop to get to the next selected charger. And it’s always a good call to charge once or twice before you really have to, in case the charger doesn’t work for some reason.

That’s a totally different story with a Tesla.

If I had to choose an EV for someone to do a long trip without having never used an EV before, the easiest choice would be a Tesla.

Although in 2022 you have a lot of other charging options, the Supercharger network is still very, very convenient.

And Tesla keeps being at the lead with its trip planner.

Just open the trip planner and you choose your destination. The car will then calculate the best route including the required stops at Superchargers and the time it will take at each of those stations.

OTA Software Updates

For many years we’ve been used to updating and improving the software on our computers and smartphones but not on cars.

Nowadays more and more car brands are doing the same via frequent over-the-air updates thanks to Tesla starting it.

What’s the point in getting updates? Apart from fixing possible bugs, it allows your car to get improvements and even new features. And we’re not talking only about minor updates.

One pedal driving wasn’t available on the Tesla Model 3 when it was launched but it was introduced later as an update.

Autopilot

It doesn’t replace the driver and it was never meant to. Still, it’s very useful.

Whether you want to edit your trip settings while on the highway, change your playlist or just be a bit more relaxed on a long trip, Autopilot will strive to keep the car in the lane and keep the speed. If it’s approaching the car ahead, it will reduce speed and even come to a full stop if needed.

Long range

Many people see distance or range limitation as a feature of electric cars. Coming from a diesel car that could go 1.000 kms between fillups, I get that.

That’s not much of a trouble in a Tesla and certainly not in a Model 3 Long Range as it combines a large battery pack and superb efficiency.

And you need to stop anyway to stretch your legs, have a drink, or pee, right?

The cons

Opening and closing the doors

I don’t have any trouble opening or closing the doors. Even the first time I stepped into a Model 3 I could do it easily because I had seen videos online and knew how to do it.

So, what’s the problem?

Well, most people unfamiliar with the Model 3 will stare at the door handle without understanding how to use it.

Things aren’t better after they’re inside. The unlock button is in a place that could easily lead to confusion with the window button.

And sometimes the emergency lever is used because… well, it looks like something that would open the door. Which it does, but should be used only in emergencies.

For these reasons every time I have someone in the car for the first time, I have to explain how to open the door both from the outside and from the inside.

I also have to show them the emergency lever and ask them don’t use it (unless it’s an emergency, of course).

No auto frunk

Having a frunk is something normal in a Tesla. In the refreshed Model 3 you don’t get as much volume as before but it’s still 88 liters.

That’s handy for your groceries. Or to carry your Uniserval Mobile Connector and your Type 2 Cable. And you’ll still have room to spare.

While opening it is not too big of a deal, closing it is not very practical.

As you can see in the image, the owner’s manual specifies how you should close it. To avoid denting the hood, you shouldn’t use only one hand; you should use two and apply pressure simultaneously in these specific areas.

Sometimes you’re carrying objects and it’s not easy to use both hands. To make matters worse, this is an area that quite easily accumulates dirt. And it doesn’t get better if it’s raining. A motorized frunk would fix this.

Am I being a little unfair? Maybe I am. Some EVs have frunks as small as 20 liters and many EVs don’t even have any cargo space at the front end of the car.

So, all in all, the Model 3’s frunk is actually very good.

AC charging is limited to 11kW

The Model 3 can charge up to 250kW on DC fast chargers. That’s not the fastest charging rate of all EVs but let’s face it, it’s very near the top, whether you take advantage of it or not.

Here in Portugal we only have one V3 Supercharger, so I mostly use chargers that have peak speeds of 100-150kW. 

What I don’t take much advantage of is AC charging in public areas. 11kW means a full charge to my car would take about 7 hours.

If my car could charge at 22kW, that would be about half the time.

If you’re traveling and you go get lunch and do some shopping or go for a walk, you can easily take to 2 hours doing that.

At 11kW those 2 hours will add about 30% to my battery; at 22kW, I would get about 60%.

Updates over Wifi only

A cool feature of Tesla’s for years now is their connective capabilities. The car is online using a 4G connection which allows you to enjoy media from apps like YouTube or Spotify as well as get traffic information for your trip planner.

Despite that, it will not download the frequent Tesla updates.

For that, you to use a Wifi network, which could be your phone’s hotspot, the one you have at home, or at your favorite restaurant while your car is parked.

Trunk area features

The trunk by itself is quite spacious for a sedan but it’s also lacking in some aspects.

First, the standard lighting is weak, it doesn’t illuminate the whole trunk properly. That’s easy to improve.

Another thing that’s pretty much standard in any car but you won’t find here are cargo hooks. Sometimes these hooks are very helpful in securing your cargo and avoiding it from moving around in your trunk as you drive.

Last but not least, in this day and age and in a so-technologically advanced car,… why is there no 12v socket in the trunk?

It would be great to charge devices like your laptop or to power a cooler box during summer trips.

No ventilated seats

It’s now summer time and as I write these words it’s 37 degrees outside. Yes, 37 degrees Celsius, not Fahrenheit.

I’m still testing the Model 3’s air conditioning and it’s been working flawlessly but when you have your back against the seat for long minutes or even hours, you’ll sweat and your shirt will be sticking to the seat.

Ventilated seats would be a great improvement to comfort.

Sometimes it’s a bit regarded as a luxury as many cars don’t have it, that’s true. But you might be surprised to know that top-specced versions of the older Hyundai Ioniq or Kia eNiro had them.

The blinkers stalk is sometimes a bit clumsy

The blinkers stalk is something I haven’t gotten totally used to. Many times I exit a roundabout or make a turn and a few seconds later I have to stop them manually.

Other times I’m using the left blinker and I try to change for the right one and it doesn’t work at first, it cancels the other one. That happens frequently on roundabouts.

By now I’d be totally comfortable with the blinkers on any car but not 100% with the Tesla; still, most of the time it works all right.

The Model 3 has a low ride

The Model 3 is efficient and being close to the ground helps. I knew that since the start and I have no regret.

But bear that in mind if you park near higher curbs. Getting too close might get your bumpers damaged.

Also, beware that the wheelbase is a bit long and the battery is on the car’s underbody.

Conclusion on my 6-month review of my Tesla Model 3

Here is, a list of things I like and dislike about the Tesla Model 3.

Bear in mind that this review is about the Model 3 refresh. In my opinion, there were several improvements on the Tesla Model 3 interior and exterior.

Most of my review also applies to the Model 3 Performance, although the Performance has 20″ wheels and is firmer. The same can be said for the Model 3 Standard Range Plus (it’s actually called Model 3 RWD now), which has a small battery pack and less range.

Some of it also applies to the Tesla Model Y as it’s closely related to my Tesla Model 3 2022.

What’s your opinion? What is it that you like best or worse about the Model 3? Let me know by commenting on these videos.

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