6 Reasons Why I Put Down a $1,000 Deposit on a Tesla Model 3

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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.

SEE ALSO: 5 Facts That Were Just Unveiled About the Tesla Model 3


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.

ALSO SEE: 5 Surprising Cars that Cost More Than a Tesla Model 3


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.

Discuss this story on our Tesla Forum

  • Noe

    Hopefully a good choice.

    Its actually, comparable to the sized models of other makers it is going up against, is a very nice looking car. Good slippery and smooth edges etc …as long as they stick to this design for the very final

    Will be good to start reading the real world reviews

  • wcjeep

    I’m still surprised people placed $1k down on a car that probably won’t arrive until 2019 without the tax credit. I have read the tax credit only applies to the first 200k vehicles. I do like tech. More important than Tesla product is them pushing the competition outside their comfort zone.

  • jmcd102

    It will cost more than $35000 unless 200000 people are all buying the base model.

  • craigcole

    I hope this proves to be a good choice as well, but at this point the 253,000+ people that have pre-ordered a Model 3 haven’t actually bought a car, they’ve only bought into hype.

  • Noe

    Well hype and buying a position in the queue – earliest/first down with the deposit and the soonest to receive you’d guess

    Not quite sure on the long wait time for such a main stream car …. but for which Tesla really needs to put themselves properly in the party

    Personally longest ordering wait i’ve had is 2.5 years ….. you generally forget what you’ve ordered after a year ……

  • Circa79

    Since you work for AG it goes without saying that you’ve never owned an American car before. I doubt anyone who writes on this site has ever had one or has plans to ever consider one (aside from tesla of course). If I read one more article about this car being $35k my head might explode. Technically speaking the 3 series is a $38k car, but good luck finding one for that price. Get a decent # of options and you are at $50k in no time. The starting price of a luxury car is almost irrelevant.

  • Circa79

    are they really? I’m not seeing a lot of evidence that other luxury brands are rushing to emulate tesla. Some people are incorrectly stating that other cars cannot have their software updated which is a lie. TEsla is the only one to offer the updates (for a charge) over internet, but it’s not the only one that makes cars that can be updated. All cars can have their infotainment systems updated these days, it just typically takes a dealer visit to accomplish this.

  • Circa79

    very few people are willing to wait 2+ years for a new car. Its amazing that people haven’t considered that such a long wait time gives competitors time to develop products to appeal to these same people.

  • Circa79

    not only that, its been reported that the initial models will be higher trims with price tags closer to $60k.

  • Noe

    Agree its a surprise that people buying effectively a ‘mass market’ car are going to wait so long.

    Then again stepping back and looking at it you wonder whether Tesla is trying to create themselves as being the ‘Apple’ of the auto world – i.e. – loyal followers willing to queue / pre-order ………..

  • Reckoning Day

    Because you aren’t good with money ??

  • JSul

    Glad you have money to waste….since you are not a current Tesla owner, you already know that it may be a few years before you get your car….sweet……and that tax credit will have long expired too.

    Tesla has never met a production deadline to date….they have never earned a profit and are drowning in red ink…..BUT they are pushing the other automakers into producing better products, and the success of the electrical automobile will come from folks like BMW, Toyota, Honda, etc…..not Tesla.

  • Circa79

    ive read many comments from people making claims that Tesla is “pushing” other automakers, etc. How true is that? Other automakers have been and continue to work on hybrids, EVs and more efficient gas powered cars independent of Tesla. Tesla’s media profile is HUGE but the number of cars it sells is minute. The media seems to think Tesla is on par with the big boys simply because of the coverage. The numbers don’t back that up. Tesla has proven that many luxury buyers are interested in an electric car as long as it’s exclusive and something the masses can’t afford. Tesla hasn’t proven anything about the viability of EVs to the mass market in an era of $2/gallon gas. This is why regular automakers are hedging their bets by developing multiple solutions. Tesla says the hell with consumer preferences, the future should belong to ONLY one solution- EVs.

  • Jason Siu

    Having over-the-air updates is a huge benefit for the average person that isn’t tech savvy. Could you imagine if everyone had to visit an Apple Store or their carrier to have their phone manually updated? Over-the-air updates may be something minor for a vehicle, but it’s a huge step in the right direction, especially with autonomous cars on the horizon. Patching security flaws or being able to update over-the-air for vehicle-to-vehicle communication is hugely benefit.

  • Circa79

    First of all other brands aren’t launching unfinished beta cars that need constant updating. Secondly most people take their cars to dealers for routine maintenance and that is where updates are done. Software updates should not be life or death situations that require instant downloading in order to operate the vehicle safely. Many cars are available with on board cellular connections so in the future I’m sure these internet updates will become quite common. But let’s not overstate how difficult it is currently to get something updated. Tesla lacks much in the way of a dealer network so I can see why they had to rush to implement this.

  • JSul

    Evidently we have lots of folks forking over a grand to get on a list for a car they may not see for several years.

    One major Japanese car maker is working toward total electric, and distancing from fossil fuels….so any impact by Tesla is a positive towards any end of fossil fuel vehicles.

    It’s all about the long distance capabilityof the battery.

  • Circa79

    Reducing emissions is possible in a host of ways. eVs are one way and tesla isn’t only maker of evs even though media ignores the other evs in the market. Tesla is niche player making cars for upper income people and it will he that for forseeable future. Tesla is too small to sell enough cars to have any significant impact on the market as an whole or vehicle emissions as a whole. Telsa and its media fans like yourself hace perpetrated the notion that they are only automaker innovating and the only automaker that is offering vehicles that rely on electricity for propulsion. The economics on EVs aren’t good right now and unlike Tesla real car companies have to make a business case for products. With increased has taxes and increased incentives for automakers and buyers you would see acceleration in ev acceptance. If we don’t get that these cars will remain a niche of a niche. Hybrid sales have cratered since gas prices fell several years ago. Several years ago people contended that automakers that didn’t offer a plethora of hybrids and compact cars were risking extinction. In
    2016 that all sounds foolish as pickups and cuvs fly off dealer lots and compacts need incentives to entice buyers

  • Reckoning Day

    What a bloody naysaying ‘wet rag’ you are. Got any…. any, yes ANY…. women in your super boring life ??? We thought not.,,,,,

  • Reckoning Day

    Then go and take your billion dollars and spend elsewhere Super-Guy (or Gay). pffffft !

  • Reckoning Day

    Oh yeees I see, And we would give a shit because … why ?!

  • Circa79

    Classy.

  • Circa79

    Huh?

  • JSul

    Nice, civil discussion…..your personal attacks don’t change the facts.
    Tesla has continued to miss production times…have never made a profit…and are swimming in red ink …..and it will be a few years before you get your car, but don’t let some facts get in the way of a childish personal attack and rant.

    Keep reading the news on Tesla… hopefully they get turned around, but they have dug a pretty deep hole and their excavating crew continues to dig deeper.

  • JSul

    Am neutral on Tesla, but enjoy facts.
    They lose $$$$$$$$ on each vehicle they make….. not a formula for success over the long term, but perhaps a miracle can happen.
    At least we can enjoy a civil discussion on the matter, unlike another poster here.

  • Circa79

    lets see how many people are actually willing to wait 2+ years for a car. Especially if other options hit the market in 2018-2019.

  • Reckoning Day

    Like YOU… pffft !

  • Reckoning Day

    Maybe you need to find a new topping partner !~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  • Richard Torcato

    yes it’s an american car, but more importantly it’s a silicon valley car and that’s what makes it different. If Tesla was based in Detroit nobody would be talking about it.

  • Get_at_Me

    What matters most is the product that Tesla has put out. Just bc a company isnt turning a profit or misses deadlines doesnt make the product bad. Most ppl that buy a particular product dont care about the business side of things. They care about the product itself.

  • Get_at_Me

    Tesla made the EV desirable. They made it mainstream in terms of looks, yet forward thinking with its tech features. The S and X arent affordable for the average person and thats fine. Let the rich be the guinea pigs! I believe Tesla has inspired other automakers. Its just a matter of making EV’s affordable and versatile (multiple segments) for the average person. I dont think Tesla will be the automaker to do that. The 3 is shaping up to be a huge leap fwd for EV, but Tesla is a small company. They already have over 100k+ preorders and the vehicle is still a long way from from production. You wont be able to walk into a store and buy a 3 for a very long time. Thatvspeaks to Tesla’s small scale. GM can get their affordable EV out to the masses much faster.

  • Bug S Bunny

    A good number of the folks putting up these early $1000 deposits are hoping to sell them at a gain when (if) the cars actually start getting delivered. Under that assumption, I wish them luck.

  • Reckoning Day

    So an old ‘merican model T would be more appropriate ?

  • Reckoning Day

    True.

  • wcjeep

    The new Ford Sync 3 was advertised at CES debut as update available over home owner wifi.

  • Circa79

    I did hear that. I’m sure other manufacturers will be offering this soon. It’s a nice feature, but the reality most people have to take their cars in for service occasionally so getting an update during a visit isn’t all that much of an inconvenience.