I joined in with about 253,000 other people who pre-ordered a Tesla Model 3.
My friends would say I have a car-buying problem. In my younger years, I preferred to lease vehicles since I had a tendency to want something new and shiny every three years. With age, that habit has gotten a bit better and when I settled on the Mercedes-Benz CLA 45 AMG, I told myself that I would keep the car for a while. To force myself into believing that, I decided to finance the vehicle and actually own a car for once.
But all that changed when Tesla unveiled its Model 3. Unlike the 115,000 or so people who dropped a $1,000 deposit without even seeing the car, I waited patiently for its debut. Of course, I was also tasked with reporting the details of the reveal for AutoGuide.com, so needless to say, I was glued to the livestream when the Model 3 rolled out. Having spent the weeks leading up to the vehicle’s debut reporting rumors about its specifications, I remained cautiously optimistic that Tesla would deliver on its promise of an affordable, all-electric sedan with a respectable range. And it did.
Here are 6 reasons why I made the leap:
I’ve Never Bought an American Car, and This One Will Be Fast
I was well aware that what was debuting wouldn’t be the final production model and to no surprise, Tesla CEO Elon Musk spouted off some specifications but not all of the details. The base model will get at least a 215-mile electric range and be capable of doing zero-to-60 mph in under six seconds. It’s also no surprise that Tesla will offer faster versions of the Model 3, since like Musk said, the company doesn’t make slow cars.
I’ve stuck to Japanese and German cars my entire life. Owning an American car has never crossed my mind, which makes my deposit on a Tesla even more strange.
It’s the First Affordable Tesla
The biggest problem with the Tesla Model S and Model X is that they aren’t affordable for most people, with the P70D starting from $75,000. And that’s what makes the Model 3 so intriguing.
Admittedly, as long as the Model 3 wasn’t entirely ugly, it would be easy for me to hand over the $1,000 deposit to Tesla. It seems for many other people, it didn’t even matter what it looked like – they just had that much faith in the brand. I have never even jumped behind the wheel of a Model S, but I’ve heard enough to know it delivers when it comes to performance and comfort.
I Need the Longer Range
Having owned a Toyota Prius in the past, I always liked the idea of a high-tech car, especially one with electrification. But range anxiety has always been a concern, which is why I never bothered to jump into something like a Nissan Leaf. Sometimes you just have to go over 150 miles in a single day and when your primary method of transportation isn’t capable of doing that, there’s a problem.
Tesla is trying to deliver on a big promise it made and so far everything on paper looks great for the Model 3. With Autopilot safety features standard along with Supercharging and a minimum 215-mile range, the Model 3 negates nearly every concern someone could have with an electric vehicle. That’s not even mentioning its more affordable price tag of $35,000.
I’m more excited to see what other variants Tesla will offer. If the rumors are true, there should be a model that is capable of going zero-to-60 mph in around four seconds, making it competitive with my CLA 45 AMG.
I’m a Geek and I Love the Technology
All that said, the biggest reason why I ordered the Tesla Model 3 is because of how Tesla handles the technology baked into every existing Model S and Model X on the road today. I’m a nerd and I love geeky things, and the idea of a vehicle getting an over-the-air (OTA) update is simply amazing. In a way, Tesla future proofs its vehicles and it’s evident with older Model S owners being able to take advantage of Autopilot without having to purchase an entirely new vehicle. Whether the Model 3 is truly future proof remains to be seen, but Musk wouldn’t drop the Autopilot word if Tesla has no intentions of making the Model 3 a completely autonomous vehicle in the future. Ideally, Tesla Model 3 owners won’t even have to drop money on an all-new vehicle; their existing one would “magically” be upgraded to be state-of-the-art.
I’m Not Green, I Just Hate Going to the Gas Station
Look, I don’t believe I’m going to save the environment by climbing behind the wheel of an all-electric car. What is important, and likely to many Model 3 buyers, is how much money I will eventually save by not having to make stops at the gas station every week or two. The car looks even better than I thought it would, and I’m confident that Tesla will tweak its styling based on feedback they’ve already been hearing from potential buyers.
I Believe in Tesla’s Philosophy
Most importantly though, and maybe it’s just me taking a gulp of the kool-aid, but I believe in what Tesla is doing. Look, people were waiting in line outside Tesla stores to drop a deposit on a car they have never seen, so you know it has to be amazing. And this isn’t just a few dozen people around the world trying to just do something different to have a story to tell. This was 115,000 people worldwide before even seeing it. This isn’t some $600 smartphone where you already know what you’re going to get. People were waiting in line to buy a car they had never seen.
ALSO SEE: Tesla Model 3 Orders Now Past 253K Mark
I, for one, am excited for Tesla to contact me to personalize my future Model 3 and I can’t wait to see what options they have available and just how much the money it will cost fully loaded. Unfortunately for me and some 253,000 other people, we have a while to wait. Not being a current or previous Tesla owner, I’m far down the list and that’s OK with me. I’d prefer a second-year vehicle anyways, so Tesla can work out some inevitable kinks as they try to kick off production on its first real, mass-market, high-volume model.
Besides, it gives me another two years to get really bored of my CLA 45 AMG.
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