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What was the best year to get a Model 3?

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It used to seem obvious that the Model 3 got better every year, but I'm not sure that's still the case. Radar is gone, and cars are delivered without full USB connections and passenger seat adjustments. The new heat pumps are proving troublesome. And both base price and the price for some options has been going up.

Taking into account everything about the car (including features, options, available trims, price, build quality, and delivery process), what do you think was the best year for Model 3s?

(Of course, the best year to buy anything is when you need it and can afford it, rather than waiting for the perfect moment, but for this poll I'm focussed on which year's buyers got the best car/deal/experience.)
 

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Went with 2021 (specifically early to mid). Wife’s Y has been perfect. Has all the little details that I wish I had on my 2019 3. The double pane glass is tremendous when it comes to interior noise. No heat pump issues here as the weather hasn’t gotten below 20° and it’s garage kept, yet we definitely notice the improved efficiency when using the heat. My 3 has to be charged every couple days where as the Y goes 3-4. Radar is meaningless since they’re essentially paperweights once Tesla went to vision.

And most importantly, the price of the Y went up $7500 within a few months of ordering it (more if you ordered in early 2021). So I can literally resell the vehicle for a profit today!

Incidentally, if I’d have purchased FSD on our Y, I’d of DEFINITELY took a massive loss instead. Appreciate my ass.
 
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That's a hard question for me; since mine was early car, there were things included that now cost money, though not a lot.

My 2018 has been great, minor gap things on delivery handled soon after. Free premium connectivity and since it was performance, I had free super charging which I sold back to Tesla. Turns out I prefer the original center console vs the new one though I had put a film on it to make it a more mat color.

Tesla promised the car would get better and it does seem some things have happened; range reported more (battery chemistry?) and the heat pump (though seems an issue right now).

Part of the experience is Tesla itself - I'm not sure the company is improving over time, certainly I don't feel the software experience is at all.
 

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That's a hard question for me; since mine was early car, there were things included that now cost money, though not a lot.

My 2018 has been great, minor gap things on delivery handled soon after. Free premium connectivity and since it was performance, I had free super charging which I sold back to Tesla. Turns out I prefer the original center console vs the new one though I had put a film on it to make it a more mat color.

Tesla promised the car would get better and it does seem some things have happened; range reported more (battery chemistry?) and the heat pump (though seems an issue right now).

Part of the experience is Tesla itself - I'm not sure the company is improving over time, certainly I don't feel the software experience is at all.
I agree with this. I know dual pane glass and a few things have improved the car and I know you are looking for feedback on those things, so truly I'd say 2021 was likely the best before radar disappeared.

However, I have to say that 2018 was the best, they worked out the early bugs and provided me with a great car that I truly don't have that many complaints about. They've added features along the way with SW and nothing can take away the fun and joy I've had driving it for over 3 years.
 

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I agree with this. I know dual pane glass and a few things have improved the car and I know you are looking for feedback on those things, so truly I'd say 2021 was likely the best before radar disappeared.

However, I have to say that 2018 was the best, they worked out the early bugs and provided me with a great car that I truly don't have that many complaints about. They've added features along the way with SW and nothing can take away the fun and joy I've had driving it for over 3 years.
Good point (re fun and joy). I prefer our 2021, but I definitely wouldn't give up my years with my 2019 3. If anything I regret waiting till March for my 2019 and would have grabbed a late 2018 for the added tax credit if I can do it again.
 
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I like the replies so far!

I think I'd go with around May 2019 (my actual purchase was 2018). Starting in April, Autopilot and HW3 was included. The tax credit was phasing out, but was still $3750. The early fit and finish issues had been ironed out, and the recent supply chain issues hadn't yet arisen.
 

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That's a hard question for me; since mine was early car, there were things included that now cost money, though not a lot.

My 2018 has been great, minor gap things on delivery handled soon after. Free premium connectivity and since it was performance, I had free super charging which I sold back to Tesla. Turns out I prefer the original center console vs the new one though I had put a film on it to make it a more mat color.

Tesla promised the car would get better and it does seem some things have happened; range reported more (battery chemistry?) and the heat pump (though seems an issue right now).

Part of the experience is Tesla itself - I'm not sure the company is improving over time, certainly I don't feel the software experience is at all.
M3 RWLR, June 2018, but simply the fact that the wait was over (from early March 16, 2016) and then the drive and feal of it, features,... it did not disappointed me in any way!
 

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I’ve had 3 of them … 2018, 2021, and 2022.

The hardware keeps getting better, so I’ll generally be in the “newer is better” camp.

I do wish my 2022 had the new 12V.

All told though, I think the new interior is more refined and overall better and the power trunk is a must have feature that was missed before.
 
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I have a late 2018, so I have the orange roof and all the radar. I would say that the only "hit" i had to take on this car was the MCU board upgrade which I think started some time in 2019 to come standard in the car. I also got premium interior/sound as standard and homelink.

I did add a charge pad, and debated in auto open struts for frunk/trunk but never considered kick open. the close on a button would be nice, I have had that on the other car for years, but to be honest auto open is too slow for me and I hit my head as I head around to the hatch too quickly.

did I mention
orange roof?
 

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I have a late 2018, so I have the orange roof and all the radar. I also got premium interior/sound as standard and homelink.
I forgot, I have the orange roof too and premium sound + homelink; I knew I forgot some stuff I actually use
 

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I forgot, I have the orange roof too and premium sound + homelink; I knew I forgot some stuff I actually use
I'm envious of those with an orange roof.
My roof usually looks more yellow. Sometimes more of a yellow-green. Not quite as pretty as the deep orange/red I've seen on others.

 

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I'm envious of those with an orange roof.
My roof usually looks more yellow. Sometimes more of a yellow-green. Not quite as pretty as the deep orange/red I've seen on others.

Forgot all about the roof. Didn't really see it make a difference between our two cars this past summer.
 

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I'm envious of those with an orange roof.
My roof usually looks more yellow. Sometimes more of a yellow-green. Not quite as pretty as the deep orange/red I've seen on others.

it's a particular shade - i believe that the Pantone name is "early adopter orange"

yours look perfect to me.
 
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My Model 3 Performance was a September 2019 build. It was perfect other than a detached passenger side door seal (Tesla's door seals are subpar IMHO). I didn't have the power trunk, heated steering wheel, double-pane glass or heat pump. All of those things were added in 2020-2021 cars.

Did I feel left out? Not really but Tesla tech moves quickly you can't get caught up with buyer's remorse and want the latest because that gets expensive quickly!

After 2.4 years I decided to sell the 3 and now have a Model Y on order. I deliberately tried to time the order to try and coincide with Giga Texas production starting to ensure my chances of getting one from there. Hopefully the quality will be decent by the time I get it. I'm especially hopeful the paint quality will be better than Fremont on account of it having a state of the art paint facility and not have to deal with California's crazy emissions laws that results in sub-par paint.
 

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In 2016 I waited 3 hours in line and put my deposit down for a 2018 Model 3 performance. For $83,197..included FSD.

Waited 2 years to purchase a car, "sight unseen!"

Couple months after delivery, TESLA lowered the price of the Performance M3 and actually refunded me 5k! Tell me which other car company would ever do that? I used those funds to tint, clear warp, chrome delete and powder coat the wheels.

I received the full $7500 tax credit.

Orders before July 1st came with free premium connectivity!

Orders before August 1st came with free super charging, for performance versions, for the life of ownership or 5k refund...I chose the refund and used the funds to install 100amp EV dedicated line to the garage with a wall connector.

I have the famous "Orange" roof..only noticeable when its wet really.

Vehicle included Homelink from factory.

Free FSD computer upgrade included.

At delivery, the front lower bumper had small chip in paint..TESLA took care of it..no major gaps to complain about.

The car has been trouble free. Only tire rotations and washer fluids. The 12V battery failed last month..surprised it lasted this long here in Arizona. Upgraded the battery to Lithium Ion..

My 2018 TESLA M3P has been the BEST car, I have ever owned. I have owned over 40 cars in my life!

This is the only car that keeps evolving with over the air updates and keeps getting better with time!

My wife now loves her new 2021 Model Y.

My only regret is not having the ability to install the outside speaker...not for the exterior fart noises, but for the intimidating Sentry mode voice-over.

On Launch day, I Placed my order for the Cybertruck and later the Cyberlander.

According to my Reservation calculator...I should be one the first 11,000 to take delivery of the CT.

TESLA customer for life!

Year doesn't matter IMHO..just buy it..you won't regret it..I'm glad Elon started the EV revolution..But what sets TESLA apart from the the rest is the Supercharging Network set up ahead of the cars..other manufacturers don't have the ability and the network to FAST CHARGE like a TESLA can on a cross country road trip.
 

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Tesla's paint issues aren't caused by California's attempts to reduce airborne toxins, they mess up just fine on their own sadly
Are you sure about that? Have you seen the paint quality on Shanghai made cars? I don't hear from Chinese or European owners complaining incessantly about the paint…
Fremont paint is known to be problematic on account of several issues, one of them being lax on drying time and subpar cleanliness
 

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I don't have the proof or the knowledge but it is definitely wide spread talk about how "soft" the paint is and it is widely said that it is due to CA laws about certain substances they can't use to make the paint better.

Ready for TX to be online.
 

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Are you sure about that? Have you seen the paint quality on Shanghai made cars? I don't hear from Chinese or European owners complaining incessantly about the paint…
Fremont paint is known to be problematic on account of several issues, one of them being lax on drying time and subpar cleanliness
I don't think you can blame anyone but Tesla for literal dust in the paint (not my car) - back in the crazy days before Covid, some of us locals went to Freemont to 'help deliver' cars ie mostly just help new owners understand touch screen etc controls. I saw things...

Other companies in the US build and paint cars with environmental guidelines etc, how does that equate to sloppy paint booth techniques ?

I think you called it out - 'lax on drying time + subpar cleanliness' ie Tesla rushing cars out of literal tent production lines
 
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