Should You Buy a 2018 Tesla Model 3?

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2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

This is a loaded question. How so? If you’re a Tesla/Musk disciple, you’ll have clicked on the story just to find mistakes and argue with me. Go ahead, please! If you’re curious about Tesla/Musk, then you’ll want to know if this car’s really worth all the hype and coverage it’s received in the last 3+ years. Do you too have to drink the cool-aid to get it?

The Tesla Model 3 is finally here. In fact, if you live in a large urban area, you’ll have spotted very many of them. While the car’s bland shape already blends in with the background in my eyes, much like the Model S (Model X still sticks out), everything else about the Model 3 blows the proverbial mind.

Should you buy into the hype, drink the cool aid, and follow Elon’s twelve step program (thanks Ian)? Read on.

2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Why you should buy a 2018 Tesla Model 3:

  • At this very moment, there is nothing like the Model 3 for you to sink your teeth into. No matter the make, no other car provides this kind of technology, range and power. Carmakers that have EVs (Nissan, Chevy, Hyundai, VW) might potentially make you wait longer for your car than Tesla now will!
  • About power, whether you’re committing financial suicide or using pocket change, the Model 3 Performance’s performance is unrivaled by anything under $150k, and I’m including the mad-as-hell Chevy Corvette ZR1
  • The drive is excellent. The Model 3 Performance feels very much like a Volkswagen Golf R (I drove them back-to-back). The steering’s quick and perfectly weighted, throttle response (in “normal” mode) is instantaneous but not razor sharp and the ride quality is tout, sporty although never punishing
  • With up to 500 km of range, fast charging capabilities, the Model 3 with Long Range battery (75 kWh – apparently really 80.3 kWh or thereabouts) can take you from Toronto to Montreal with the same effortless ease we’ve come rely on with our ICEs
  • I may have spent too much time with two super-hooked cool-aid drinkers but to own a Model 3, or any Tesla, automatically makes you part of a huge movement for change and the betterment of our planet. The feeling of belonging to something this important is fulfilling, and rewarding 
2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Why you should not buy a 2018 Tesla Model 3:

  • Quality control still lags behind that of large-scale carmakers. There’s a marked improvement over the early cars, and Model X, but spotting uneven panel gaps, misaligned panels and missing clips on a $65k or $100k automobile is difficult to accept
  • Centrally-mounted instrumentation/gauges/displays is not a new concept. In 100% of the cases, OEMs dropped the idea at every model refresh. Looking to the side and down for vital driving information is and always will be a poor decision. Interestingly, the next Model S and X will lose the bigger IP in favour of a smaller integrated one in order to avoid this situation
  • There is nothing affordable about this car, at this very moment. If you’re engrossed by the Model 3, but have fewer than 65,000 loonies to spend, best to wait a few months until the base car becomes available for order. Even so, you’ll likely not be able to configure one for less than $50,000
  • The Wicked Twister ride that is Tesla, its stocks, investors and CEO could explode any day (or thrive for centuries to come). What that means for resale value, parts availability and warranty could be a problem in the near future. And yes, I know GM and FCA almost shut down for good ten years ago
  • The list of issues with these early cars has become a Halloween horror story classic and a favorite among Tesla forum users. In my opinion, I’d allow the early adopters and Musk disciples to suffer through all the teething issues. Give it another 6-9 months before ordering. The good news here is that the standard battery will be available. And BTW, by then, the Model Y small SUV will have broken cover. Best to put in an order for it then and wait another 6-9 months before taking delivery…
2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance | Photo: Matt St-Pierre

Conclusion:

After years and many, many months of delays, you too can take delivery of a new Tesla Model 3 in four to eight weeks. My good friend Ian is over the moon with his Model 3 and after driving it, I totally get it. It’s completely insane.

And yet, it’s also morbidly tame and normal. This is perhaps what I love most about this car – it’ll blow the doors off a Porsche 911 Carrera S and, in the next moment, drop the kids off at school without nary a sound to be heard. To not love this car is impossible. To sit and not ponder the price of admission is equally impossible.

At pennies shy of $100,000, Ian’s car is the Model 3 poster child – it’s the top-line Super 3 and there’s nothing it cannot do. A $65,000 Model 3 can almost do anything as well.

Heck, to truly conclude, just buy one. Wait until the spring however before ordering. Once you get your Model 3, you’ll be shouting “Oh Yeah!” every time you think about it.

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