Published on August 27, 2019 |
by Zachary Shahan
27. August 2019 by Zachary Shahan
Yesterday I wrote about the 4 main reasons we just bought a Tesla Model 3 and decided to say goodbye to a BMW i3 REx 2015 we loved. Below are three more reasons – not as big as Core 4, but nonetheless remarkable. Were any of these critical when deciding to bring home a Model 3? No, but there were major improvements over the i3 that continuously came to mind and helped build the case for the switch. In our first day with the car, each of them was already noticed and appreciated.
This factor seems much more important to other people, and I didn't consider it to be a real factor for me until recently. However, with some life changes, it became clear that more reach than offered in i3 in 2015 would be quite useful.
We have been driving a BMW i3 REx 2015 for 10 months (9 months from July 2018 to March 2019 and then also a few weeks in the last month). During the first nine months, the range was basically a total non-issue for us. If I remember correctly, the gasoline extension (REx) started only once. But for the past month we have lived in another place and our 5 year old daughter started kindergarten. As a result, we pushed the limits of the i3's electric range a lot more, and often had to go somewhere to charge (not just charge when traveling to places with chargers for other, normal reasons – to shop, play in the park, new beach, etc.). We even had to change range extenders a few times before coming to a charger, which is a nice safety feature, but not fun.
Admittedly, we haven't been very impractical of the short range, but this month has been much different than the other 9, so the thought of a longer range Tesla – with easy Supercharging if we ever really needs a boost – was appealing.
Also, even with REx, I was a little nervous about going to another city (ie Disney World) with my whole family. Driving on the interstate eats the reach. Air conditioning in the Florida heat is eating range. And the weight of a full family and food for the trip is eating up. On the other hand, it is practically worry-free to plan such a trip with Model 3. I have driven a Model S from Poland to Paris, and it is criminally easy to place the destination in the navigation system and just follow the instructions. Plus, 240 miles of range is plentiful!
Yes, we have Standard Range Plus, which is the lowest range of Tesla. I know people routinely recommend getting more range, but as I noted above, even 60 miles of electric range works basically for us, so I imagine 240 miles will be more than enough to be comfortable and come back to just charge when I'm somewhere I want to be whatever.
After a day with the car, I can already see that it is a nice and relaxing convenience to have so much reach. It seems I don't even have to think about the range. There are many places we go with ChargePoint charging stations. We only connect when we get to one of these destinations ( it's fun ), do what we would otherwise do and disconnect when we leave. With i3, still recharging the battery meant that we had to recharge the day after in many cases, so that's something we had to pay attention to and plan for, but with Model 3 it looks like we will stop paying attention to how much range that are left in the battery and only live our lives as we would if it were a solar powered car with infinite reach.
Infotainment & Navigation
I was used to driving a Tesla Model S in Europe before moving to Florida, since a couple of other guys and I bought one to operate a Tesla Shuttle service out of Poland . When my family and I moved to Florida and got an i3, I definitely loved the car – and still do – but there are absolutely no debates about missing a few benefits with a Tesla. One of the biggest things I thought about every day with BMW was the navigation system + infotainment.
BMW's navigation system is what professionals and librarians in the UK call… total shite . Okay, that might do the job, but the system for entering an address is absurd, and the screen is small and appears to be from another generation of the community. I almost never used it as a result of these drawbacks. Sometimes I used the screen to look at the streets around me and see where I was going, but it was so much worse than Tesla's navigation screen that it was always at least semi annoying. Tesla's navigation system, on the other hand, is brilliant. Seriously. It's smart as hell. It is fantastic. I really wanted to get it back. There was not enough reason to buy a Model 3, but it definitely hit me in the direction of the "order order" button.
Aside from my moderate yearning for Tesla's navigation system, entertainment tech is the other shoe on this "infotainment" part of vehicle ownership. BMW's entertainment options are basically inferior to the navigation system. We listened to the radio, and that's about it. What fun for the little girls to do while sitting in the front seats? Change channels. The Tesla Model 3 has much better options. It has a giant touch screen that actually makes you feel like you are in 2019, plus all the fun Easter eggs that make owning a Tesla such a pleasure. They may seem clumsy, but they bring so much laughter and are great entertainment for kids as well as adults. The girls love drawing pad, speed app, navigation maps and more. Also, the sound system is way better than in BMW.
Tesla: the ultimate fun machine.
As I have suggested before, these factors were not the most important to me and they would not cause me to switch by themselves, but they were decent strong presses to click the order button, especially since I probably thought of them every single time i drove i3. (Pro tip: a Tesla will destroy you.)
I could have made another point, but I'll just slip it in here: The Tesla app is much better than the BMW app. They can do similar things, but the Tesla app works much better and doesn't take forever to one day implement a command. I basically stopped using the i3 app while using and expect to use the Tesla app every day.
i3 REx was a perfect size for us last year. Somehow, a year makes a world of difference with young children. My legs got a little too long, which led to a lot of seat kicking and / or cramped leg space for me while I was driving or parking in the student pickup line. More annoyingly, they started a sibling routine. All one had to do was lean too much into the other's room, and the tornado of screaming and swinging began. (Side note: children….)
We'll see how things are going in Model 3, but there's clearly a lot more passenger space. It seems good for now, but the girls are still pretty dense in the back seat – more than I expected after getting used to the Model S. (I knew the Model 3 was a bit narrower, but also knew it is still a relatively wide car.) We'll see what another year does in this regard.
Apart from the passenger area, one of the obvious disadvantages of the i3 cargo compartment is. The trunk is small, really small, and frunk is basically useless. I know some people complain that the Model 3 is not a hatch. I also prefer a weed. But it's not really very good, and it's a total 21st century world problem. The Model 3 trunk is huge a lot big for everything we ever need to put in there and more. The large cargo area under the main deck floor is perfect for groceries, so they don't fly around while I "lift" the line in red light. And frunk is probably about as useful as the i3's luggage compartment was. It is nice to have space for groceries again.
There is no doubt – Model 3 is beautiful. In fact, I think a lot of people don't rate a Tesla because it looks so good . They assume it's in the price range of a Porsche or Ferrari or Aston Martin or something. I love the look of a Model 3, so I'm sure I'd love to see the white + black + white one on many trips up to the car.
And a Tesla is just cool. I don't need to be cool. I loved the i3, and many people consider it to be completely cold (though people seemed to appreciate the interesting and at times attractive aesthetic on the street and in the parking lots). Like other people, "cool" appeals to me. The Fonz, Indiana Jones, James Bond, Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle – I like cool dudes and I wouldn't mind being a cool guy.
Did beauty and the "cool factor" sell the car? I suppose I'm more rational than that, but there is no way to quantify how much of a role they played. What they definitely did is that they made it a lot easier to make a purchase I wanted to make for other reasons, and they certainly contribute to Model 3's immense popularity and expected high resale value, a critical issue near the top of my list. We humans like beautiful flowers, beautiful sunsets, beautiful views of the sea and majestic mountains.We also like beautiful tools that work as works of art Franz von Holzhausen, Jerome Guillen and Elon Musk absolutely nailed the beauty goal of model 3.
Come on, how can I be the director of CleanTechnica and not run a Tesla? Tesla card sellers and critics say we're on the Tesla payroll. It would be super rude – maybe even holy – not to own a Tesla. with CleanTechnica is also obsessively covering and inspiring the cleantech revolution. When it comes to a daily driver, there is no better way to do it than with a Model 3. After a day of driving, it has already paid off (some of the costs at least) in that regard. But there are stories for another night.
If you want to buy a Tesla and get 1500 miles free Supercharging, please use my referral code: https://ts.la/zachary63404 The girls will appreciate it and I will be sure to share photos of them Supercharging. 😀