pooter03

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My brother-in-law/boss has a lemon of a Tesla Model S* he got back in early 2013. Since the thing is frequently in the shop, he gets loaners that he'll let me drive. So far, I've driven multiple Model S, a Model X, and most recently a Model 3. The more recent loaners had autopilot, and the Model 3 is the first one I've driven that wasn't locked into "chill" mode (severely limiting acceleration.) Figured I'd compare my experiences to my Mach E (Premium, RWD, standard battery with about 5500 miles on it so far.)

Things I liked about the Tesla (in comparison to my Mach E.)
  • The infotainment system is buttery smooth and has been from the start. Ford has a ton of catch-up to do from that perspective.
  • The autopilot works nicely on the highway and is pleasant for stop and go traffic. Although I kept my attention on the road, it is nice to have as a backup if I get distracted by something.
  • Part of the autopilot system is a screen that shows vehicles, people, and obstacles around the car. It really helps improve the driver's SA**.
  • The navigation is the best factory stock nav system I've used (although I still prefer car play.)
  • Speaking of which, the map can take up the entire screen. I'm hoping that at some point we'll get full screen Car Play and Android Auto.
  • Living in the NYC tri-state area, there are a ton of superchargers around, which is convenient.
  • I do enjoy the sense of whimsy they imbued in the infotainment system. (e.g. the fart noise generator. not something I'd ever use, but I appreciate the goofiness of it.)
  • Bluetooth connects almost instantly.
  • I instantly fell in love with chime on green light feature. I hope we get something like that at some point or another.
  • The Model X's forward view is outstanding, especially with the wind screen going all the way up and above your head.
  • The acceleration in the Model Y is almost shocking. I was pleased that my Mach E's acceleration was roughly similar to my boss's old Model S, and that it can throw me back in the seat, but it doesn't compare to the Tesla. It accelerates so fast that it actually locked up the seatbelt. I also scared the living crap out of my wife despite warning her. :)
Dislikes:
  • The door handles on the Model 3 are so poorly designed that it almost single-handedly kills any enthusiasm I have for that model. They are surprisingly difficult to operate, especially if your hand is full.
  • I hate having ALL of the controls and info on the tablet. The autopilot is almost necessary as it is very distracting to have to go through multiple menus in order to do something like change the angle of the rear-view mirrors.
  • I also dislike the tablet being in landscape. It makes sense since they need the real-estate to handle of the functionality, but I like vertical screens, especially for navigation (you can see further in front of you, as long as you are not using North is up.)
  • Somehow, Tesla managed to design a difficult to use turn-signal indicator. There were times where it took me a full minute to figure out how to stop it from blinking after a turn or merge. (In autopilot, it does turn off automatically after a lane change.) The cars behind me were probably somewhat bemused on my signals constantly switching from left to right as I tried to find the exact movement needed to turn them off.
  • Just to make sure we are clear: I despise having all the instrumentation located in a place that forces me to take my eyes off the road for a good amount of time. (anything longer than the time it takes to glance down briefly is too long.)
With the Model 3, if it wasn't for the acceleration, I'd have no interest in it at all. I'm very happy with my Mach E, and I hope that Ford starts including some of the features that Tesla got right. That being said, I bought the Mach E knowing it was a first generation of a new product and haven't been too frustrated or disappointed by anything yet.

*One of a few reasons why I bought the Mach E instead of a Tesla. I don't trust their build quality.
**Situational awareness
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Radish

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I didn’t realize Tesla was still doing loaners
 
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pooter03

pooter03

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I didn’t realize Tesla was still doing loaners
Apparently they are. He got the Model X and the Model Y in the same month.
 

ncaadam

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Thanks for the write up. I like to hear the perspective.
*One of a few reasons why I bought the Mach E instead of a Tesla. I don't trust their build quality.
This is the primary reason I did NOT want a Tesla. Seemingly horrible service experience post-purchase and build quality has dropped in the past few years. My friends that have them both love them and hate them for the reasons above.

You hit the nail on the head in regard to software / smart features. That’s been my biggest (and really only) disappointment since I got my MME. They need to step their software game up. Given all the hardware they have, they should have much more useful features. Not only the ones you mentioned above, but the battery, regen, charging, etc. there should be much more information available to the owner than there is.
 
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pooter03

pooter03

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Thanks for the write up. I like to hear the perspective.

This is the primary reason I did NOT want a Tesla. Seemingly horrible service experience post-purchase and build quality has dropped in the past few years. My friends that have them both love them and hate them for the reasons above.

You hit the nail on the head in regard to software / smart features. That’s been my biggest (and really only) disappointment since I got my MME. They need to step their software game up. Given all the hardware they have, they should have much more useful features. Not only the ones you mentioned above, but the battery, regen, charging, etc. there should be much more information available to the owner than there is.
I was kind of surprised about how choppy the interface is, but again, I leased this knowing it was a 1st gen product and would have lots of room for improvement.

One problem Ford faces is that it isn't exactly the kind of company that would attract top talent in terms of UX design and implementation. However, that might soon change. Ford just hired away an Apple exec who ran their secret car program.

In this new position, Field will report directly to Ford President and CEO Jim Farley and oversee the company’s embedded software and hardware organization, which today consists of vehicle controls, enterprise connectivity, features, integration and validation, architecture and platform, driver assistance technology and digital engineering tools. This means Field will be responsible for the design, development and implementation of the entire tech stack used in Ford and Lincoln-branded vehicles, including infotainment, navigation, driver-assist technology, connected services and vehicle cybersecurity.
It'll take awhile before we see the results of this hire, but it makes me very optimistic for when I pick up a new one after my 3 year lease isup.
 

Scrannel

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Uh... a 2013? Because of my wife's (possible) interest in a Mach E we're looking to test drive one. And compare it to my M3P. Will check in after.
 

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Do you have any observations regarding ride comfort comparison? Interior ride noise? Creaks and rattles?
 

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Is that Green Light Chime linked to the Traffic signal like the Audi system or just another cheap knock off design linked to the internal camera that makes all kinds of mistakes. The Audi system actually communicates with the traffic light, where available and subscribed, and will count down the Red light for you. From what I experienced very accurate.
 

digdug52

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Is that Green Light Chime linked to the Traffic signal like the Audi system or just another cheap knock off design linked to the internal camera that makes all kinds of mistakes. The Audi system actually communicates with the traffic light, where available and subscribed, and will count down the Red light for you. From what I experienced very accurate.
It is linked to the cars cameras. Since I received the update, sometime last year, I have found the chime to be reliable and consistent. It sounds within a second after the light turns to green or green arrow for left turn only lanes. It only chimes if you are the first car stopped at the light, no reason to sound if other cars are in front of you. It does require the latest hardware version 3.0 to work. This became standard on all cars built starting in April 2019. Any customer that purchased FSD before HW3 was installed in cars can upgrade to HW3 for free. Since I have never experienced Audi's system I cannot compare one against the other. I cannot say it always works in all cases, but in my experience it works 98 to 99 percent of the time.
 

Mach1E

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It is linked to the cars cameras. Since I received the update, sometime last year, I have found the chime to be reliable and consistent. It sounds within a second after the light turns to green or green arrow for left turn only lanes. It only chimes if you are the first car stopped at the light, no reason to sound if other cars are in front of you. It does require the latest hardware version 3.0 to work. This became standard on all cars built starting in April 2019. Any customer that purchased FSD before HW3 was installed in cars can upgrade to HW3 for free. Since I have never experienced Audi's system I cannot compare one against the other. I cannot say it always works in all cases, but in my experience it works 98 to 99 percent of the time.
Interesting.

I’d be worried when it doesn’t work and tells you to run a red light.

I feel like Tesla keeps adding features to encourage people to text and drive.
 

Fat Mach

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Usually the chime comes from the car behind. ;)
I was driving between campuses at work a few years ago when the car in front of me didn't go within a couple seconds of the light turning green. After I casually "chimed" him, I soon got a call from him, as he was my managing director at work. Sigh....
 
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