Consumer Reports dings Model 3
The Model 3 has already been struggling to meet production goals, but the problems stretch further than that.
After Consumer Reports tested the Model 3, they reported many issues with the vehicle, stating that they cannot recommend it. Its overall performance, they stated, was impressive, but it had many minute problems that add up.
For example, the car cannot break as quickly as a heavier truck like the Ford F-150, for example, which is mind-boggling. Although Tesla claimed it only needed 133 feet to brake from sixty to zero miles per hour, the tests resulted in a 152-feet stretch.
Additionally, the touch screen control system requires too many steps to complete simple tasks. Because the computer is used to control nearly everything in the Model 3, normal one-button motions are accomplished by three or more.
Moreover, with something like an iPhone, consumers can “get used to” the new product’s feel and added complications. However, with a car, that isn’t an option. Requiring the driver to take his/her eyes off of the road multiple times can be extremely dangerous.
And although the Model 3 has its flaws, Consumer Reports also highlighted many positive characteristics about the car. Apparently, it was a very exciting driving experience, similar to a Porsche Boxster. It also drove 350 miles on a single charge, which is an incredible distance for an electric car.
The Model 3 has its problems like any car, but at the end of the day, consumers may be a little harsh on Tesla. Because consumers hold Musk and Tesla to such a high esteem, they view every small miscalculation as a catastrophic disaster.
So, should you buy a Model 3? Well, that depends on the size of your patience and wallet.
The Model 3 is no longer a car for the average consumer
When Tesla first announced the production of the Model 3, they portrayed it to be a $35,000 car that many more people could afford. It was a huge step in increasing its consumer market, as their cheapest car, the Tesla Model S, starts at $75,000.
However, this small 35K figure is not really as accurate as it seems. First of all, Tesla hasn’t sold a single Model 3 at this base price – not one. Musk tweeted a fairly reasonable defense to this, claiming that immediate shipment of the cheapest model would cause “Tesla to lose money & die.” With economies of scale, this is fair; they must be able to produce many Model 3’s a week for immediate shipment to be profitable.
And although this 5,000 per week goal has taken a while, all signs point to Musk closing in on that figure. Thus, if a consumer wants a Model 3 at the base price, he/she must have some patience.
Additionally, the base price Model 3 is likely not the car that most consumers desire. Using any other color besides black, for example, will cost the buyer an extra thousand dollars. The Enhanced Autopilot feature will cost $5,000. New wheels add an additional $1,500. When all is said and done, the once 35K vehicle is now looking more like 50K.
Hence, Tesla’s attempt to move from a luxury car to a middle-income car is looking down. But this may not be a bad strategy for Musk – the luxury car market has always proven to be more profitable than the average-income car market, which has been seen in vehicles like BMW, Mercedes, and Audi.
No matter who buys the Model 3, it is clear that it did not exceed expectations. That doesn’t mean it was a failure of a car; instead, it just took a different path than anticipated. The world is eager to see what project Musk has lined up next.
Featured image via Pixabay/Blomst