Model 3 Hands On

Last weekend I had the chance to see the Model 3 in person at the Prudential Center in Boston, MA. There’s a Red Model 3 there until February 1st and I wanted to see the car in person and share my impressions.

The Wait

When we arrived there was already a line through the store to get to see the Model 3 close up.

When you get in line they take your name to keep basic metrics. In talking to the employee, they’ve had about 3,000 people a day come to see the Model 3 and more than 90% of those already have reservations.

The wait was just over an hour at the time we arrived. By the time we left the line was even longer.

The Car

When we finally got to the car we only had about 5 minutes with the car as there were so many waiting to see it.

My key takeaways from seeing the Model 3 in person were:

  • The car is a very reasonable size and doesn’t feel small at all.
  • The seats are much more comfortable than my 1st generation seats on the Model S and fit me well.
  • The footwell under the rear trunk is very deep and quite big.
  • The front trunk is a lot smaller than that in my S but it still has some decent room and would fit the things I’d want to put there.
  • The upgraded 19″ wheels are very nice and I prefer them to the base 18″ aero wheels, but $1,500 for the upgrade doesn’t make sense to me as you can buy new wheels from TSportLine for the same price and keep the original 18″ wheels and then sell them or keep as a backup.
  • The rear trunk is very spacious but I do not like the opening or the manual open/close of it. I much prefer a hatch coming from SUVs and then my Model S.
  • The 15″ screen is big and bright. I obviously didn’t get to drive the 3 and I was already missing the dash, but I assume I’d get used to not having it.
  • The center console/storage is very nice. Much better than the after-market one I have in my S and I think it’s even better than the new factory one in the latest Model S.
  • The extra items like door pockets, coat hangers, etc that aren’t on the S are nice and well done.

Final Thoughts

I’m still somewhat torn on the 3. Right now it’s missing two things that would stop me from ordering it: AWD and tan/cream interior color. I don’t like black interiors and I do not like the white and the way it shows dirt. If they don’t plan on offering tan/cream I would do the black over the white.

The 3 is missing a few things that the S has that I’d really care about, but I could live without both of these:

  • Rear Hatch
  • Heated Steering well

Yes, it doesn’t have unlimited supercharging, and it doesn’t have a dash, but it’s also about $50K cheaper than the equivalent Model S.

I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with my current Model S, but the 3 will be better in all the major areas I care about.

The Pictures