2017 Tesla Model 3: Monthly Update for August 2019
by Carlos Lago, Manager, Feature Content
Where Did We Drive It?
While Tesla was off testing a future high-performance variant of the Model S on the Nürburgring, our long-term 2017 Tesla Model 3 spent the month like any other car in Los Angeles: commuting slowly around the city.
The tenor in our logbooks and the data we record haven’t changed much, but anticipation for the future is higher than normal. One, consider the aforementioned Nürburgring attempt and what it may mean for future Tesla products. Two, software update V10 should be ready any minute. The headlines of this update don’t appear to change drivability but add a host of features that could improve the in-car experience. For example, “Caraoke” adds an in-car karaoke mode that displays song lyrics when parked, while Tesla Theater adds support for YouTube and Netflix (insert joke about “chill” mode here). Tesla’s even included a version of the game “Cuphead,” which should be interesting to play considering that game’s high level of difficulty.
What Kind of “Fuel” Economy Did It Get?
Our Model 3 traveled just 337 miles last month as it was under the care of an Edmunds employee who lives very close to the office. During its heavy city-commuting duty, it was charged three times. Average lifetime consumption improved slightly (0.1 kWh/100 miles), and we’re continuing to watch the projected range after a fill, which is now hovering around the mid-280-mile mark.
Average lifetime consumption: 30.6 kWh/100 miles (110.1 mpge)
EPA consumption rating: 27 kWh/100 combined miles (126 mpge)
Best fill consumption: 21.7 kWh/100 miles (131.5 mpge)
Best range: 217.2 miles
Current odometer: 20,441 miles
Other fun facts:
Best onboard consumption meter reading (aka “The Featherfoot Award”): 177 Wh/mi
Worst reading (aka “The Leadfoot Award”): 570 Wh/mi
Average meter reading: 241.9 Wh/mi
Maintenance and Upkeep
“We’ve said it plenty, but it bears repeating: The Model 3 is a blast to drive. The always-available immediate acceleration matches the sense of power you get after an aggressive downshift in a traditional car, but you don’t have to wait for the shift in the Tesla. You just go. It’s that immediacy paired with smoothness and silence that gives the Model 3 stealth speed. And, let’s admit it: That sensation can make you drive like a bit of a jerk. Why wait to merge or be patient with traffic when you can just zip around everyone?” — Carlos Lago, manager, feature content
“I love that you can go full yeehaw on the right pedal without making a sound. I live above a busy residential street and curse every modified car that drives by at speed. I want to tell each of them, ‘Look, bro, I like acceleration, too. But we don’t need to hear the exhaust backfire, especially when it’s midnight and the speed limit is 35 mph.’ I tell myself the same thing when I want to go fast in every car I drive in an attempt to be considerate of people nearby. And in the Tesla — provided I’m following all laws — I don’t have to worry as much.” — Carlos Lago
“I have yet to develop any trust with Autopilot beyond low-speed cruise control. Every time I try the beta navigate on the Autopilot feature and let the car manage lane changes and turns by itself, its movements always fall out of sync with my instincts. The system can wait too long to speed up after a turn, and it can pogo back and forth between lane markers. It seems hesitant in places it shouldn’t, which is frustrating to both me and surrounding traffic. I bet it’s much nicer on smoother and straighter freeways than I’ve been on lately, but until I drive those kinds of roads more regularly, I’ll keep control of the wheel and only use the system in stop-and-go.” — Carlos Lago
“There are two things I wish I could change immediately about the Model 3’s interior: piano black plastic and the glass roof. Piano black looks amazing when clean, but that only lasts for about five minutes. It becomes a magnet for hair, dust, dead skin, and smudges. Yes, you can quickly clean it with a rag, but a textured or patterned material would do a much better job hiding the mess. And the glass roof? It’s just hot. Sure, it’s been treated in a way to lessen glare and heat, but you know what doesn’t let glare and heat into the interior? A roof. We should start looking into getting shades or a tint.” — Carlos Lago