January 26th, 2020 by Zachary Shahan
We’ve had our Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus for about 5 months now. The car is a wonderful vehicle and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. (Though, I frequently debate with myself if I’d prefer the Model 3 or the Model Y.) There is so much chatter about Tesla and Tesla vehicles and why they’re great, but it crossed my mind recently that I seldom see a ranked list of the best things about owning a Tesla Model 3, so here’s my shot at it. These benefits mostly apply to any Tesla, of course.
0. Zero emissions
Before getting to other reasons, I’ll just note that buying a zero-emissions vehicle seems like an absolute requirement to me these days. Human society depends on it. Nonetheless, even if there was no such thing as climate change or air pollution, this top 10 list would still apply, so this is item #0 instead of item #1.
1. Safest car on the planet.
This is a big one if you have kids, love your family and friends, and love yourself. As you may remember, it was one of my top 4 reasons for buying the Model 3, and it currently sits at #1. There are many reasons why the Model 3 is so safe in the event of an accident. Additionally, though, the car is extremely good at helping you avoid accidents. There have been a number of cases where the car has beeped loudly at me (if not more) to make sure I see a hazard and avoid it. There are also a number of ways it is superb at keeping me in check in more mundane ways:
- if I start to cross over from the lane I’m in, it will make a rumbling feeling like I’m driving on rough pavement;
- it offers superb visibility and a giant backup camera display when I need some help seeing out the back (including when backing up);
- the lane keeping feature is amazing;
- so is the automatic lane changing feature.
2. The driving quality.
There’s really nothing that compares. Between the quick acceleration, the great handling, and the smooth powertrain, this car is a joy to drive. I often use Autopilot but then turn it off for fun driving segments. It is even more fun that way, in my experience.
3. It’s a beauty.
The car is so pretty. There have been so many times that I’ve returned to the car, looked up at it, and just been in awe at the beautiful design. It’s truly a piece of art. Rather than wearing off, I feel like I appreciate that as much today as I did on day 1.
4. You often get a brand new car!
This one is hard to describe. Before I had the car, I thought I saw the benefit of over-the-air updates, but it’s so much different when you have the car and drive it every day. People have said it’s like Christmas morning when you get a big new update. It is. You see a notification of an available update; you get excited; you update the vehicle thinking about the new features you’re going to get; the update finishes; you rush to explore all the new features; you love them (some of them, at least); and you feel like you just got a brand new car.
5. Free fuel.
This is not the case for everyone. Most people charge at home and have the benefit of that extreme convenience. I don’t have home charging, but I do live in an area with a good number of public charging stations — and they’re all free. Well, technically, you should have to pay for Supercharging at some point, but I make enough referrals that I don’t have that issue*. Most of our charging is done on slow chargers, but they’re all hosted by stores, malls, the city, or someone else. So, yeah, in a bit more than 5 months, we’ve spent $0 charging the car.
6. No gas stations.
This is such an obvious one that I almost didn’t think about it, but it’s a truly wonderful thing. Gas stations are not exactly known for their beauty, great scent, or lounge amenities. I can’t stand the places, to be honest. So, it’s nice to not have to visit them. Even going to the gas station two times in the course of a year with the BMW i3 REx made me go “ugh” and grossed me out.
I just gotta say it again. The acceleration of the car, even the SR+, is so smooth and powerful that it’s a true daily joy. It makes my daughters laugh. It adds a little thrill to many days. Life should be fun.
From Netflix to Beach Buggy to Stardew Valley to YouTube to Caraoke, the infotainment options on the Model 3 are wonderful. We use them at least a few days a week. Also, this is one area where the Model 3 clearly beats the Model S and Model X. The horizontal screen is just much better for the video options.
9. Stays Cool in Florida.
There’s a “cabin overheat protection” feature in the Tesla that makes sure the temperature inside the car doesn’t get too hot when you’re away from it. This may not seem like a big issue … unless you live in Florida. If you live in Florida or someplace with a similar climate, you know how quickly your car can turn into a giant oven. It’s not fun. Opening the doors and having the heat light your hair on fire is not one of the top retirement attractions of the Sun Belt. With Tesla’s cabin overheat protection, you never have to worry about that. The car does it for you. It provides a significant boost to quality of life.
10. The app.
I’m bundling several things in here under this “single benefit.” I can easily pre-cool or preheat the car, lock or unlock it, honk the horn at someone, turn Sentry Mode on or off (Sentry Mode should probably be its own item on this list), check the charging status, summon the car (again, this should be its own item on the list), ask for roadside assistance, schedule Tesla service, upgrade the software, watch the progress of a software upgrade, locate the car, and more.
Also, the phone is my key! This is one of my absolute favorite features but something I just forget about because it’s such an invisible benefit. Keys are so last century. It’s wonderful basically never having to pull out a key to open the door, not having to lock the door while my hands are full, and not having to worry about whether I locked the door.[embedded content]
Overall, the car is better, safer, and more fun than any other car on the market (except perhaps another Tesla if you prefer a bigger vehicle). Tesla haters can hate on me for saying that, but seriously, you saw the headline — if you prefer another car, don’t open an article with the headline, “10 Best Things About Owning A Tesla Model 3.”
*Want to buy a Tesla Model 3, Model S, or Model X? Feel free to use my referral code to get some free Supercharging miles with your purchase: https://ts.la/zachary63404. Or not. Always best to use the code of the owner who most helped you decide on a Tesla, imho.
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