Blog/Article 2 Week Observations of 21' Tesla Model 3 SR+ vs. 18' Tesla Model 3 LR RWD

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We've now had our new 2021 Tesla Model 3 SR+ for just over 2 weeks (delivered 10-14-21). As many of you know, we also are owners of a 2018 Tesla Model 3 LR RWD which has enhanced autopilot and the premium connectivity included. For comparison purposes, our 2018 was approx. $60,000 out the door (prior to the tax credit), and the 2021 was approx. $44,000 out the door (no tax credit available). So we are looking at about a $8,500 difference in price between the two vehicles after the tax credit. First, before we start comparing the two vehicles, lets go over our top 5 things we love about our 2021 Model 3 and top 5 things that could definitely be improved:

TOP 5 BEST THINGS:
  1. Power trunk - At first I thought, why do we need this? But now that we have used it numerous times, the automatic open and the button close is amazing. A great addition that now I feel our 2018 needs.
  2. Center console - The redesigned center console is amazing. No more shiny blacks to cover with wraps. The sliding open door was a good addition rather than the push and close one on our 2018. And the included wireless charger is great (and fits our Note 20 Ultras).
  3. USB stick in glove box - Moving the USB stick (and including one) in the glove box for the newer Model 3 was a great move. We lock our glovebox using a PIN so it adds extra security where someone has a harder time removing it if they break in
  4. Minimal loss of acceleration - That instant power and torque is still very evident despite being just a SR+ model and $8,500 less. I believe our 2018 goes 0-60 in around 4.7 seconds, whereas this 2021 does it around 5.3 seconds per Tesla's specs.
  5. No More Chrome - The chrome deletion makes the 2021 look amazing (especially with tinted windows and white exterior. Great move Tesla!

TOP 5 THINGS THAT COULD BE IMPROVED:
  1. Rattles - Just 2 weeks into ownership and this car already has several rattles. The first was very apparently somewhere in the rear passenger area near the door. We haven't been able to figure it out. A 2nd rattle comes and goes near the driver seatbelt area. There are far more rattles in this vehicle than our 2018 Model 3.
  2. Stereo - Oh my, this stereo doesn't even compare to our 2018's stereo system. Its almost laughable they think this is a good stereo. We are already looking at options in the aftermarket sector to improve the horrible system.
  3. Scroll wheels - The switch to metal scroll wheels has made it harder to use them on numerous occasions. Not to mention I feel over time dirt will get in the groves and start to show.
  4. Pedestrian warning whine - The whine that the pedestrian alert system uses is obnoxiously loud. Yes, its required by law, but I feel they could use a different sound.
  5. Floor mats and dead pedal are not included - I understand Tesla is trying to cut costs and gain some more profits. But providing no floor mats or dead pedal just feels cheap on their part.

SO WHICH IS THE BETTER VEHICLE?
We have owned the 2018 Model 3 since July of 2018, making it almost 3.5 years old and approaching 36,000 miles. We've had the 2021 Model 3 for a little over 2 weeks, and about 450 miles. It still has that new car small, and any new car will usually win the battle. However, out of the top 5 things we like and dislike about the 2021 above, one very blaring weakness seems to overshadow the 2021 Model 3 in a big way. That is the horrible stereo system they've included. I love listening to music while driving and when no one else is in the vehicle, doing so loudly. I usually kept the 2018 at about half volume, whereas the 2021 Model 3 doesn't match that when the speakers are almost all the way up. I understand that Tesla is trying to make the premium interior better which they accomplished with the stereo. But for that reason, I would have to say at this time, the 2018 Model 3 LR RWD is the better vehicle.
 

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Nov 14, 2021
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Only thing I miss in my 2018 LR is not having a heated steering wheel and a heat pump HVAC system.
I had heated steering wheel in my 2015 Leaf, 2017 Volt and 2018 Bolt.
Why not the Tesla?
 

talkingevs

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Oct 9, 2021
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EV #2
18' Model 3 LR
EV #1
21' Model 3 SR+
Only thing I miss in my 2018 LR is not having a heated steering wheel and a heat pump HVAC system.
I had heated steering wheel in my 2015 Leaf, 2017 Volt and 2018 Bolt.
Why not the Tesla?
I agree. I would add in the lack of blind spot monitors on the mirrors like every other vehicle on the road today. I don't trust the red lines on the display as its been wrong a couple of times. @Bob in Squamish do you have any other EVs or is the Model 3 your only?
 
Nov 14, 2021
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Only have the M3 now. Sold the Bolt when I left Ontario for BC in Dec. 2019. Didn't want to drive it out west in winter and cost to ship was about 2200.
Figured we would buy another used EV in BC. Covid hit and we didn't need a 2nd car for now.
So many EVs here and used ones for sale all the time. No rush.
Tesla was great driving from London, On to Squamish, BC. Superchargers across the U.S. were perfect. Weather was a bit dicey at times.
 

talkingevs

Administrator
STAFF MEMBER
ELITE MEMBER
Oct 9, 2021
961
50
Las Vegas
EV #2
18' Model 3 LR
EV #1
21' Model 3 SR+
Only have the M3 now. Sold the Bolt when I left Ontario for BC in Dec. 2019. Didn't want to drive it out west in winter and cost to ship was about 2200.
Figured we would buy another used EV in BC. Covid hit and we didn't need a 2nd car for now.
So many EVs here and used ones for sale all the time. No rush.
Tesla was great driving from London, On to Squamish, BC. Superchargers across the U.S. were perfect. Weather was a bit dicey at times.
Nice. We also had a Bolt previously but sold it after the 2nd fire recall to get our 2nd Tesla. We looked at the ID4 and Mach E as other options but didn't feel either offering the same at the same price point yet. We did a cross-country trip back in 2019 where we went up into Canada around Winnepeg and drove west through Calgary and Vancouver. At the time there were limited superchargers so we took a gas vehicle. But I've seen they've added quite a few now. Might take another trip up to Edmonton this time with the Tesla.
 

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