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Tesla Model 3 After One Year. Here's The Truth.

For someone who isn't a car geek, this car has managed to surprise me in every way. Unbiased review of the Tesla Model 3 after 1 year of ownership.

Jerry Zhang
Jerry Zhang

4 min read

tesla model 3

I almost did not buy the Tesla Model 3. Towards the end of 2018, my 15-year old car was reaching its age limit, and being the fiscally responsible person that I am, I was considering between a Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, probably hybrid versions. Somehow, I ended up with a Tesla Model 3.

Pros of the Tesla Model 3

I’ll start with my favorite things about the Tesla Model 3

1. No More Gas. Ever.

I really miss my days of filling up at the gas station. Said no one ever.

I charge at home now, which has been great. No longer do I think about needing to fill up, unless I’m making a long road trip. Another article on my first road trip ever coming soon.

2. Amazing Acceleration and Handle

This is coming from a person who isn’t even that big into cars. I’m not much of a car guy. But after driving a Tesla Model 3 for 1 year, I can understand what good acceleration and vehicle handle mean, and the Tesla Model 3 definitely has that. The car is really fun to drive, and the 4-second 0-60 mph acceleration never gets old.

The car is just really responsive to everything I do.

3. Autopilot — Lazy Days Are Okay

Despite what I just said above, in the event that I do not want to spend significant mental effort driving on the freeways or during commutes, I can simply pop auto-pilot and let Tesla handle most of the cognitive load. Of course, I still need to keep my eyes on the road and hands on the wheel, but this takes off tremendous psychological energy so that I can use it elsewhere during my busy day.

We only have a limited amount of willpower everyday—may as well let the car save us some!

4. Software Updates Rock!

Unlike most cars which start deteriorating the moment they are driven off the lot, the Tesla Model 3 actually can improve itself via software even after the purchase date. Of course, the hardware can’t change, but Tesla has done a good job of making sure to front load all the necessary hardware so that software can be changed later to add more features.

Here are some of my favorite features that I received after purchasing the car:

  • Dash Cam — using the car’s autopilot cameras, Tesla started allowing car owners to plug in USB drives/disks to store the dash cam footage. This saves me from buying an extra device for my car and keeps the dash nice and clean.
  • Sentry Mode — this feature uses the autopilot cameras around the car as security cameras in case the car senses anything suspicious around. Here’s a story where cops were able to use the captured footage to solve a crime.
  • Entertainment Suite — Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and Spotify. Of course, this only works when the car is parked. I can enjoy entertainment on the big screen while I’m waiting for my car to supercharge on a road trip.

5. Solo Carpool Lane Privilege

With a Zero Emission Vehicle, I was eligible for a sticker that lets me enter HOV (high occupancy vehicle) lanes when I’m driving solo.

Of course, it’s encouraged to carpool, but this does come in handy too!

6. 4G LTE Data

This is actually really nice. In a lot of other cars, in order to have internet, you would need to use your phone. But I like how this is built into the Tesla Model 3. Without having to do any setup on my phone, I can use navigation with traffic, stream music, and even surf the web.

7. Mobile App

I thoroughly enjoy being in my car. But even when I’m away from the car, I can use my mobile app to control the car. I can check the range, unlock the trunks. My favorite is to turn on the AC before I enter the car so that the car will be cooled by the time I reach it.

8. Front Trunk!

Otherwise known as a Fronk, because the Tesla has far less components than a traditional internal combustion engine car, there’s extra room for a trunk in the front of the car. This adds quite a bit of storage space to the car—I can fit 2 small suitcases in here.

Cons of the Tesla Model 3

And just to be fair, I do have to give a few cons to the car.

1. Exiting the Car

Opening the door from the inside requires pushing a button, instead of pulling a latch. I’ve gotten used to this by now, but for those who have not ridden a Tesla beforehand, I do need to explain this to them.

2. No Manual Button For Opening Glovebox

In order to open the glovebox, I need to find the button on the touchscreen console. Closing it is manual. This is just pretty strange—I wonder why Tesla couldn’t have simply put a latch.

3. No Spare Tire

Instead of a spare tire below the rear trunk, Tesla opted to provide more trunk space. This is indeed nice—for a small car, the Model 3 has an immense amount of trunk space.

But, for safety purposes, if one of my tires pop, I’ll have no choice but to call the Tesla Rangers or Roadside Assistance to get me back up and running.

4. Charging Speed

tesla model 3 at supercharger

Being an electric car, the fastest charge from empty to full does take at least 30 minutes.

Luckily, I only have to worry about this on longer journeys or road trips since I either charge at home or work. And even so, Tesla’s supercharging network is amazing and can cover most ground.


1 year later, has the Tesla Model 3 been worth it? Absolutely yes. The pros far outweigh the cons. I could not have been happier with my purchase. This car is simply amazing, and there hasn’t been a single moment when I experienced any form of buyer’s remorse.

Even though Tesla is a very young car company, they are disrupting the automobile industry. I’m looking forward to seeing what else Tesla has in store!

Interested in joining the EV family? Here’s my referral link:


Jerry Zhang

Programmer, YouTuber, and amateur musician. I like to write too!