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My wife and I own a 2019 Bolt and we are very pleased with it, except of course with the battery recall. The Bolt is basically my wife's car, though I drive it whenever I get a chance, and I have a Subaru WRX. Well, I'm thinking of getting rid of my WRX and buying a new Tesla Model 3 long range model. I'd like to ask those in the forum who also own a Tesla model 3 to share with me any information they think I should consider before I finalize my purchase. And just to share something that has surprised me, used Teslas are selling more than used ones with 20k miles and two years old than brand new ones! I guess people are willing to spend several thousand dollars more for the used Tesla in order to get it immediately than to order a new one and wait three months and pay several thousand dollars less!
 

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Not an owner, but on the waiting list for a 3LR. You should be pretty much up to speed on the whole EV thing due to the wife's Bolt. The one big difference will be the charging network, which could be worse, but is probably better with the Tesla, depending on your location. Of course it won't matter if you don't go on long trips.

And just to share something that has surprised me, used Teslas are selling more than used ones with 20k miles and two years old than brand new ones!
It has been that way even before the recent car shortage mess, but more-so now. It makes absolutely no sense to me. You could probably rent a Tesla until your new Tesla arrives and it would cost less.
 

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There are youtube videos on "things I wish I knew before I bought my Tesla". I haven't really watched any, but I do follow the Tesla forums.
I see a lot of questions/complaints about battery degradation. Seems to be around 10% the first year and maybe settles down after that. IMO, Bolt batteries hardly degrade at all. Also, Tesla tends to use an "aggressive" test protocol for EPA range, so the EPA number rarely match real world numbers. Even with that though, the real world range is pretty good, as is charging speed and the charging network.
I know you said LR, but they also make a lower range model that they now call RWD. It comes with a LFP battery. The jury is still out whether this is a good thing or not.
From what I've read, FSD isn't worth it. You can get it as a $199/month subscription if you want to try it for a few months, or buy it later if you really want it.
 

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I can answer most questions, having owned Teslas since 2017. Former 2015 Model S85 owner and currently own 2019 Model 3 stealth w/ FSD and 2021 Model Y LR dual motor, also had a couple of Leafs prior to the Model S.
I would say the biggest difference is Vampire drain of the batteries. I still have the Bolt for a few more weeks pending a buyback. Feel free to ask any specific questions.
 

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I just turned in my 2021 Bolt and just picked up a 2022 Tesla 3 LR. The Tesla is a better car in so many ways, ride, comfort, performance, looks, handling and so on. However.... The build quality issues are real, mine has minor panel gap issues and is missing some paint on a wheel opening for the rear bumper. None of them are show stoppers. I used to be a tech so I'll resolve the one gap issue that is easily visible. The rest, ehhh no biggie.

The Bolt does a few things better, blind spot monitoring, the camera rear view mirror and ..... I think that's it.

Tesla sells demo cars at the end of every quarter and if you get lucky you can find one in inventory on the Tesla page.
 

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I know you said LR, but they also make a lower range model that they now call RWD. It comes with a LFP battery. The jury is still out whether this is a good thing or not.
The "RWD" model used to be called "Standard Range Plus" ("SR+").

LFP (LiFePO4) batteries compared to other types of lithium-ion batteries:
  • Chemistry is less likely to catch fire.
  • Less degradation, especially when regularly charged to 100% (which seems to be the recommendation for LFP batteries, unlike other lithium-ion batteries).
  • Less expensive.
  • No cobalt and its high costs and unsavory supply chains.
  • Worse cold weather performance.
  • Larger and heavier for the same capacity.

For a car like the Model 3 offered with multiple battery capacities, it can make sense for the smaller capacity one to use an LFP battery, which just uses otherwise unused space that exists to accommodate the larger capacity battery.
 

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The M3 is a very low slung sedan, with the plus of better handling.
The M3 is a very low slung sedan, with the minus of ingress/egress being a huge PITA running errands where there are frequent stops.
The M3 is a very low slung sedan which won't plow much snow, should that be a consideration where you plan to drive.

jack vines
 

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Since you are used to a Bolt with basically zero maintenance I can suggest checking Rich Rebuilds channel who has a few Tesla ownership episodes. I'm indifferent about Tesla but I have noted, for an EV, they seem to have fairly high routine maintenance costs. More than any ICE car I've owned. Of course Tesla owners have plenty of money but I remember mention of $450 annual brake maintenance for one thing. And once some things are out of warranty, high repair costs.
 

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I can answer most questions, having owned Teslas since 2017. Former 2015 Model S85 owner and currently own 2019 Model 3 stealth w/ FSD and 2021 Model Y LR dual motor, also had a couple of Leafs prior to the Model S.
I would say the biggest difference is Vampire drain of the batteries. I still have the Bolt for a few more weeks pending a buyback. Feel free to ask any specific questions.
From what I understand, telsa's vampire drain is cuz it conditions the pack even when the car is off (I'm not saying I know this to be an absolute fact, but have read that multiple places). Is there no way to turn that function off?
 

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From what I understand, telsa's vampire drain is cuz it conditions the pack even when the car is off (I'm not saying I know this to be an absolute fact, but have read that multiple places). Is there no way to turn that function off?
There is no way to completely shut off the battery monitoring/conditioning. Sentry mode (camera security) and cabin overheat protection can be turned off and those are 2 of the big vampires. I live in FL, so cabin overheat protection remains a necessary evil.
 

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I moved from a 2019 Bolt to 2021 Model 3 LR almost a year ago so here are some random thoughts.

Only thing I miss is the 360 camera. I've found substitutes for Sirius/XM. Some things to note. Yes, it is a "low slung sedan" but not as low as you might think. I have back/knee issues and thought I'd have a difficult time getting in and out of the Model 3 but I find it nearly as easy as the Bolt. I'm not sure why, but the seat isn't low like my older sports cars (Corvette) but it isn't as high as an SUV obviously. Still: no problem for me. My 88 year old friend, however, has problems. He could get in and out of my Bolt fine but it took two of us 20 minutes to extract him from the Model 3 front passenger seat. Both of us said "never again" and I can no longer be the designated vehicle for him: our other friends with SUV's and vans haul him now. The problem ended up not being so much the seat height but the height of the roofline: he couldn't bend over while stepping out which you have to do because of the low roofline. He's 6'2" and I'm 5'8" so maybe because I'm already lower to the ground, that's why I have no problem. :)

I haven't had any fit and finish issues at all. Every panel is perfectly aligned. I don't have any paint thin spots but to me, the paint looks thin on the entire car (mine is white). In certain lights and angles, particularly in sunlight, the paint looks a little non-uniform... like it was sprayed on thin and is just a very tiny hint "cloudy" on the basecoat. You really have to stare at it in the right light to notice it though and everyone else I've asked thinks I'm crazy and doesn't see it. Possible I'm crazy but I'm also in the digital imaging/color industry so maybe I'm hyper sensitive. ;)

If you're a techie/nerd, prepare to become obsessed with your Tesla! Before I got mine, I told people I'd never get like these Tesla idiots who worship Elon and act like they are in a cult. Then I got one, and you just can't help it. Everything from the buying experience to ownership is unlike anything else. It's a car. It's a spaceship. It's a computer. It's a toy. Every year at Christmas time you get gifts from Elon: updates with new toys, games, along with really usable car features. This year was the light show and blind spot cameras. I even downloaded the open source software and made my own light show (Red Light Green Light from Squid Game) and thought, this is TOO MUCH fun for a car! What company does this? I mean, the legacy manufacturers... once they get your money, you'll never hear from them again and even if you NEED an update for something car-related, you'll probably have to take it to a dealer. It's a bit different waking up to your phone saying "Tesla software update ready" and you just click "update now" on your phone and rub your hands together and wait to see what cool stuff they added now. I'm still in disbelief that a car company would not only add a light show feature, but also make it compatible with open source light show tools like xLights so you can go even beyond the sample Tesla includes and customize it. For free. Only Tesla! My car gets better by the month: again... for free!

Finally, as far as issues, the only thing I've had is that the HVAC developed a stench when you first turn it on: smells like vinegar. This happened after only about 4-6 months of ownership. Common problem, particularly in humid climates like FL. I'm doing the fix today: replace cabin filters and spray AC coil cleaner in there. About a 30 minute job. Not bad, but IMO it's poor design: filters too close to AC coils. All else has been good.

Mike
 

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For a car like the Model 3 offered with multiple battery capacities, it can make sense for the smaller capacity one to use an LFP battery, which just uses otherwise unused space that exists to accommodate the larger capacity battery.
Except for the much reduced cold weather range. At least that's what the battery tests show. I haven't seen any real world data.
 

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Not a Tesla owner so my opinion is worthless probably, but watching a recent Tesla Bjorn video, one downside of software updates (I think the hated Tesla one is version 12?) is updates can change everything you're used to (UI) and some updates maybe done just because you're driving a computer vs. a car.

OTA is great for things people want, not so much if it moves everything you've been used to for years and have to relearn everything. This complaint is more common for the non-techies (look at the Ben Sullins video with his wife).

Minimalistic is something you are forced to love so it's a regular/common complaint I see with M3/MY...no front console and forced to constanty look to your right.
 

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The M3 is a very low slung sedan which won't plow much snow, should that be a consideration where you plan to drive.
This statement makes no sense.
 

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Minimalistic is something you are forced to love ....
Also forced to drive '1 Pedal' if you want regen.
They don't have the tech of Blended Brakes.
You can't give your right foot and brain a break,
and just coast, like a normal car, while 'repositioning things'... ;)
 
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My wife and I own a 2019 Bolt and we are very pleased with it, except of course with the battery recall. The Bolt is basically my wife's car, though I drive it whenever I get a chance, and I have a Subaru WRX. Well, I'm thinking of getting rid of my WRX and buying a new Tesla Model 3 long range model. I'd like to ask those in the forum who also own a Tesla model 3 to share with me any information they think I should consider before I finalize my purchase. And just to share something that has surprised me, used Teslas are selling more than used ones with 20k miles and two years old than brand new ones! I guess people are willing to spend several thousand dollars more for the used Tesla in order to get it immediately than to order a new one and wait three months and pay several thousand dollars less!
Personal perspective: Keep in mind I don't have a model 3, I have a model Y performance.

The performance is fantastic, neck snapping acceleration even in the non-performance models.

Quoted range is an EPA fantasy, even worse than the over promise of other EV's. In the Model Y the rule of thumb at highway speeds in summer is 2 miles for each percent of the battery used, in winter it is around 1.5 mile for each percent of the battery used... not over 3 miles for each percent of the battery used like you would expect from looking at the EPA numbers. These numbers are "worst case normal driving (headwinds, light rain etc). You can get better range in perfect weather or if you slow down. The 3 is a bit more efficient than the Y... but the difference between EPA and reality is about the same.

The tech is mostly hype. Full Self Driving is NOT REAL, and will not be for another decade, and will need much better hardware... what they market as full self drive is actually high functioning SAE level 2 autonomy, and even that is in Beta testing... so don't spend $10K on it. I don't have functional cruise control in my $60K+ Tesla... if you use cruise control a lot you will be frustrated. Over the air updates just means that they can push bad software and "fix it later" rather than getting it right before releasing it to the public.

I am not going to sell my Model Y Performance over these issues, but personally I would not have purchased the Tesla if I had known how bad the tech is. If you never use cruise conrol and just want the great performance then go for it... if you want it as a commuter car and use cruise control a lot there are better options.

Keith

PS: The Tesla cult is real. On the Tesla forum I frequent I actually changed my location to be less specific and edited out personal information on my profile because I was getting the feeling I was going to be doxed for telling the truth about vision only (no radar) based auto pilot and cruise control that doesn't work.
 

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Not an owner but researched pretty extensively when we had to replace a vehicle last July. No question the Tesla is superior in some ways and/or has features not found on the Bolt but, I couldn't find the value in it considering the price difference.
I understand there are different market offers out there, in fact one member on this forum told me he can get the M3 for $3K more than a Bolt so if true then maybe no big deal...maybe he's blowing smoke.
I can tell you in my market the M3 requires an additional $20K over what I paid for my EUV and the LR version is more like $25K more.....I can buy a second ICE car for that kind of money.
The other issue was service....closest Tesla service centre is about an hour away whereas I have 3 Chev dealers in my city and basically one in every town I might drive through.
Bottom line for me is the value proposition just didn't add up and seemed more like a Chev versus Cadillac comparison....yes, great car and added features but at a substantial cost...to me anyway.
 

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OTA is great for things people want, not so much if it moves everything you've been used to for years and have to relearn everything. This complaint is more common for the non-techies (look at the Ben Sullins video with his wife).

Minimalistic is something you are forced to love so it's a regular/common complaint I see with M3/MY...no front console and forced to constanty look to your right.
Having a Model 3, I disagree but you make a good point: the above is not for everyone! For me, however, updating the UI brings more positives than negatives. For example, for Christmas we just got blind spot cameras that come up automatically when you use the turn signals. The UI was also redesigned and for me, there are things I like more and others I like less about the new UI. But, and this is my point, it freshens it up! I get bored with the same look and a UI change now and then is welcome: something to play with.

Also, now that I've had the center display only, I don't think I can go back. I think a display behind the steering wheel is just dumb. You often can't adjust the steering wheel as low as you'd like because you have to be able to peek at gauges between the spokes. And sometimes your hands are in the way. I very much prefer the center display even though the MPH, etc. are not right in front of you because the steering wheel, stalks, etc. don't interfere.

You also realize quickly what a benefit it is for the software to have control over everything. They can even reprogram the ABS sensors to make the car stop faster with an OTA update. Control over individual headlights, their brightness and angle, etc. means they can improve (or fix) just about anything with an OTA software update.

Mike
 

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I own a Model 3, will have had it for two years in March and it has around 10k miles on it. With COVID it obviously hasn't been driven a lot compared to life a few years ago. Also my kids are now able to drive themselves so there hasn't been as much carting them around which has resulted in lower miles.

Keep in mind my comments below are from someone in the midwest, not the coasts or way up north.

As for maintenance on the Tesla, nothing. Really, it has never been back to Tesla and this isn't due to neglect. So I can't comment on having to deal with their service department. From what I've heard my local KC department is pretty good.

I don't believe the accusations of a Tesla needing more service than an ICE or any other electric vehicle. You do need to be cognizant of the brakes if you live in an area with heavy salt use, but that is true for any EV. After a storm I wash off the brakes on all my cars.

My car was fine from a fit and finish standpoint and is till fine today. Same with the Bolt. The Model 3 does live a rather sheltered life, but the same life as my Bolt and both cars are fine.

My Bolt is about 6 months older than my Model 3 and my battery degradation is similar for both cars. Teslas seem to lose about 5% in the first year and then maybe 1% each year after that. I'm in line with that. Of course your driving and charging habits will also affect this.

For running around town, I much prefer the Bolt. It is smaller, easier to maneuver, and is inconspicuous. For trips on the highway the Model 3 is much better. It is far more efficient. But that doesn't mean you'll get 330 miles on the highway at 70 mph.

The Supercharger network makes it easy. Put in your destination and you'll see how much charge you'll end up with and where to stop. You'll see how many open spots are at the Supercharger and what speed it is. It just works and it is easy (at least in KS, I can't speak for the east or west coast.) Pull up, back up, and plug in. Simple.

My Bolt is a Premier so I have the 360 degree camera and love it. Tesla does have the side and rear view cameras, but they aren't as nice as a 360 setup like the Bolt and Leaf have. I wish the Model 3 had a surround view camera. The cross traffic alert on the Bolt is also nice when backing up with the Bolt. I also like the adaptive volume on the Bolt. My 2013 Odyssey also had this and I can't believe Tesla doesn't have it. You'll be driving on the highway and exit and the radio is too loud. Yeah, maybe a nitpicking complaint, but it is something I got used to on my last two cars and not having it on a $50k+ vehicle seems strange.

I don't have Full Self Driving and really don't want it. For how I use the car it would be a waste. The standard Autopilot is very good in my opinion. Yeah, it has its weird moments but you should be paying attention anyway.

I use Android Auto with my Bolt and I don't have an iPhone. I don't find the lack of Android Auto on the Tesla to be a problem. I find Tesla's entertainment, navigation, and general layout to be fine. It does what I want with no complaints.

Edit: as discussed later my car may have regen options that aren't available on new models. So take that into consideration regarding the following comments on regen:
As for regen, Standard regen feels very similar to the Bolt in L mode. Low regen is more like D mode in the Bolt or more like an ICE with an automatic transmission. Despite what has been said, you do have a choice over how much regen, you just don't have a paddle to change it immediately. You can select for the car to hold, creep, or roll when at a stop. I don't find it hard to switch between the cars. However, the brakes on the Model 3 do not blend like on the Bolt. I.e. if you use the brakes, you get brakes, not more regen and then brakes like with the Bolt. But honestly, if I need to use the brakes it is due to a panic stop or weird occurrance, same as with the Bolt. Bottom line, regen feels very similar between the cars depending on how you set it up and prefer it in each vehicle. I find complaints about the differences to be overblown. Both cars drive and behave very similarly with respect to regen if you set them up correctly.

Software updates can be a double edged sword as things can change as people have mentioned. But in the end I'd rather have them than not. My car does many, many things today that it did not do when we bought it 1.75 years ago. New features and also fixes that cost me nothing extra and happened as the car sat in my garage. Yes, occasionally things move around and change, but I'll gladly take it as I find the plusses to far outweigh the minuses.

Buying my Model 3 was a cakewalk compared to buying the Bolt. I had an excruciating dealer experience with the Bolt. With the Model 3 I was told when the car would arrive and my wife and I went and picked it up. Took about 30 minutes compared to literally all day with the Bolt.

If you've already owned an EV, don't expect a Tesla to be earth shattering. You're already used to an EV's benefits.

You'll find horror stories for both vehicles and brands. People on a Tesla forum would find what I'm still going through with my Bolt's battery to be unacceptable and a nightmare. Although I certainly don't like it, I like my Bolt and I'm willing to deal with it. And you'll find delivery and ordering stories with Tesla that would make my Bolt purchase seem like a cakewalk. You'll find people frustrated with getting things fixed with Tesla, and you'll find frustrations dealing with Chevy dealers.

For the cost difference between the two cars you have to decide if a Model 3 is worth it. There's a reason I don't own two Model 3s, that's because it wouldn't be worth it as a replacement for the Bolt and how I use it. In the end, I like both cars and they've both been a great experience. They are just different and fill different needs. I'm glad I'm able to own both because neither car alone would do everything I'd want it to.
 

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The M3 is a very low slung sedan which won't plow much snow, should that be a consideration where you plan to drive.
This statement makes no sense.
The M3 is a very low slung sedan which won't plow THROUGH much snow, should that be a consideration where you plan to drive.

Yes, it is a "low slung sedan" but not as low as you might think.
I had to gift our family member who has the M3 a low-profile floor jack for Christmas; the standard floor jacks won't fit under. That's pretty low slung.

I'm 5'8" so maybe because I'm already lower to the ground, that's why I have no problem.
That's the answer. Not just Tesla, but when taller folk position the seat all the way to the rear, that puts their shoulder behind the B-pillar. Having to lean forward to begin the exit increases the degree of difficulty. That, plus taller guys will usually have the seat lowered so as to gain headroom for ingress/egress. So, bottom line, the M3 is relatively more low-slung feeling for taller guys than is the Bolt; average and shorter folk, your results may vary.

jack vines
 
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