The Tesla Model 3 Experience

I have always loved the Tesla cars. Have always wanted to buy one. Have always wanted to drive one. Have never had the chance. Recently, with my wife’s car getting in an accident (and being far in the future to being fixed), we occasionally need a second car.

I found a service called Turo, where normal, everyday people, rent out their cars to strangers, for a fee that they set.

I went on Turo, and found a Tesla that I could rent. I decided that I would rent the Tesla Model 3 (2020 edition, normal range), for six days.

Last Wednesday, I picked up the Tesla.

It was very sweet. The torque is instantaneous. It’s fast. Probably TOO fast, for me. It had self driving built in, which I did not use.
The driving range, because this was an older standard model, was about 200 miles per charge.

I drove it around for the time I had it. I charged it every day (mainly due to my own range anxiety), but it was not necessary to charge every day.

There are lots of things I like about the Tesla. There are a few things I don’t like, but some of those things can be fixed by add-ons that were not present on the rental Tesla.

– Fast
– Easy to charge, convenient chargers that were quick to use
– Spacious inside
– Felt like a rocket ship on rails
– Easy to drive, easy to park

– No CarPlay. – Since I bought my car in 2019, I’ve become accustomed to using CarPlay, which allows my phone to connect to my audio system in my car. I use it for navigation, to make phone calls (all hands free) and send and receive text messages (also all hands free). Tesla has built in navigation, but it’s not the same. There is an add-on available from a 3rd party company that would add CarPlay to the Tesla for about $100. Definitely a necessity if I bought a Tesla in the future.

– Charging is (somewhat) inconvenient. Superchargers can charge the car fairly quickly, adding 100+ miles of range in about 45 minutes or so. Yes, it’s not as convenient as gas stations, but from where we currently live, there are four SuperCharger stations that are fairly close. They are adding more every week.
– Charging works well, BUT, it requires patience. On a road trip, you could spend 25-45 minutes charging the car every 150-180 miles. That’s normally fine, because you usually will want to get out of the car and stretch you legs, use the restroom, eat something every few hours anyway. But it can (and will) add time to your trip, and if your passengers are not patient, it could be a problem.
– Initial cost of a Tesla is somewhat higher than a regular car, but will pay you back in the long run due to lack of maintenance costs required.
– If you need to have your Tesla serviced, it can be expensive. And it’s really a dealer only option to get it serviced. That may be a pro or a con depending on your thoughts. Tesla’s don’t have dealers, but they do have authorized service centers.

When I returned the Tesla to the gentleman who rented it to me, I said “My wife loves this car. Now she wants one.” He said “Would you like to buy it?”

I was sorely tempted. But, at this juncture, I declined, even though the price that he offered was quite reasonable. For me, I just don’t drive enough to justify the expense. Maybe down the line, things will change, and it will become more of a possibility.

But it was a fun experience, and I would rent another Tesla in a heartbeat.