Tesla Model 3 Performance: 16,000 km report including driving cost

The build quality of the EV is inferior to my BMW X3 M40i but it does not feel bad in any way. There are no squeaks, rattles or disturbing sounds from anywhere in the cabin.

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2023 Tesla Model 3 Performance-10,000 Miles Report

Whew! Finally, got some time to pen down a brief report of how I feel about the Rosso Diablo after living with it for nearly 1 year now.

I hit 10,000 miles/16,000 kms earlier this week in roughly about 11 months of ownership. As most of you know, I work 100% from home with a little bit of travel thrown in, so these miles like the BMW miles are purely pleasure miles.

It’s a surprise to us as well how the 10K miles came up so quickly despite not doing any long trips with the Tesla till date (Barring a couple of visits to Vancouver, Canada which isn’t a long trip in my books).

After living with it for 10K miles, it is time to pore over again some of Tesla Model 3 Performance’s key parameters.


Nobody including me can start a feedback of a Tesla without talking about the acceleration which is “intoxicating” to say the least. If I can roughly think how much time I spent between the 2 modes “ Chill” and “ Sports”. I can it’s about 40%-Sports and 60%-Chill.

After the recent software update, this toggle between modes happens on the fly and while driving via the scroll wheel on the steering wheel. Chill mode itself is plenty fast but, when you toggle to sport, the acceleration becomes indescribable as acceleration becomes savage and instantaneous and supercar levels.

Many people other than my family sat in my Tesla and I haven’t had a passenger yet that hasn’t reacted. My wife and mom hate the acceleration as it makes them giddy, nauseous and alarmed. But, everyone else (including the small kid-Your’s truly) always squeals with delight.

Just to put things in perspective the two models roughly translate to the following :

Chill Mode- This is plenty fast and if I can roughly equate the acceleration, it can do 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds.

Sports Mode- I call it the “Flying” mode and does it in 3.1 seconds and this mode can also be termed as a Lamborghini or any other supercar killer. When you activate this mode, there is a major difference in power from Chill to Sports. There is nothing around you on the road including M cars that can accelerate the way this car does.

In Chill mode, you need to gently press the accelerator to reach unmentionable speeds quickly.

In Sports mode, you need to be careful “not” to press the accelerator by mistake. If you know what I mean, even the slightest input and the M3P rockets forward with a blinding surge that makes you feel that you are “whooshing” away into space.

This is the single most fun factor of owning a Tesla.

Steering & Handling

Honestly, the steering doesn’t feel as good as the BMW to hold (no protruding leather, thinner curves) but, what it lacks in the steering feel, it makes up very well with the actually feel of the car. The steering is spot on and is super sharp to inputs. A slight twitch and you know the exact direction it will go.

There’s also so much traction to work with. It holds on through corners astonishingly well. I regularly throw this car into roundabouts (4-exits) at unmentionable speeds and it sticks to its course like a leech.

You can set up where the power goes – RWD is possible for drifting – and this does help enjoy the car more as it slides and still gives you the feeling of control. With a balanced set up, it’s a confidence-inspiring drive. I haven’t played with the track options yet as saving it for a track day that I plan to do in future.

An analogy I would like to repeat that I mentioned in my ownership report – When you are driving on freeways with 4 or 6 lanes and want to change lanes at high speed (70mph), it’s a visual treat. You can see it slide like an eel from one lane to another so quickly and remaining so flat to the ground. It’s surreal.

The handling of the Tesla Model 3 Performance is like a sports car. The availability of all that breathtaking power, knowing that it will be delivered instantly, brings a smug feeling at each red light/every corner and every sweeping bend that you see in your sight. You know for sure that it will beat anything off the line.

Build Quality

The build quality is definitely inferior to my BMW. But, it does not feel bad in any way. There are no squeaks, no rattles or disturbing sounds from anywhere in the cabin. I’m extremely particular about any sound emanating from the cabin and it disturbs my driving experience and I just cannot tolerate it. There is no sound to disturb my Tesla driving experience.

The only issue I have is when the road surface isn’t good, due to the cabin being so silent, the tire noise seeps into the cabin and that’s kind of disturbing to some extent. But, I have a solution, I switch on music and it’s gone. Well, in any case, I never drive the car without music so this downside is ignorable. Only times music is not important is when I am in my BMW and want to enjoy the exhaust note.

Perhaps, if I change to a Michelin in future and move down a size from my current sporty 20” low profile tires this issue will be better. But, I have no plans as the current tires are phenomenal from a performance perspective.


This took me a few months to develop the confidence. But, once you start using it. You will realize it’s better than human beings.

I can make the mistake of not paying attention and sliding into my neighboring lane on a freeway but, if I switch on AUTOPILOT, there is no way the car is going to make any mistakes. It uses all of its 9-camera prowess to stick to the lane and auto-steers beautifully.

In my 10,000 miles ownership, I experienced Phantom braking only ONCE. It was when I switched on the AUTOPILOT at a higher speed > 75mph and it did give me a big scare as the car assumed that another car was changing lanes and coming in front of my car (while in reality the other car was very close to the lane and Tesla assumed it’s moving over to my lane). Phantom braking is when the Tesla brakes abruptly and with a sudden jerk scaring everyone in the car. It used to be an issue in the past but, continuous software updates have almost gotten rid of this issue.

Not sure how much of the object recognition is neural-network-based versus discrete programming. Apart from that sole scary incident, it works beautifully.

I started with day time then I developed confidence to switch on at night time. It works flawlessly well even at night time on freeways with 70+ mph speeds.

The only issue is Tesla has now updated the software to ensure that you touch the wheel every 60 seconds or so (There is a camera inside the cabin that is also watching if you are sleeping or doing something different while driving)- I reckon it’s required as tons of people have misused this feature to do stupid things and jeopardizing other people’s lives on the road.

Overall, it’s like an advanced version of cruise control and works well to give you a smooth, tireless drive during those long freeway drives.


In my entire ownership experience, I have charged my Tesla only 2-times at Superchargers and both times in Vancouver, Canada. I normally charge the car overnight at home and it’s fresh and ready to rock ’n’ roll the next morning whenever I want some electric performance fun. My M3P comes with a 315-mile (500kms) range. I never charge the car beyond 80% of its battery (as suggested for long battery life) and never wait beyond 20% to resume charging.

In a few instances, charged to 90% and let it drop to 10% when doing the Canada trips. But, otherwise, by thumb rule, the usable range is 60% (from 80% charge to 20% charge) and I get about 140 miles (225 kms) to 160 miles (250 kms) range depending on how I drive. Well, it’s usually the lower range as I didn’t buy this car for range. I bought it to have some fun.

Both times at superchargers, the charging from 20% to 80% took about 35 minutes (while we were playing karaoke or watching Netflix or YouTube in the car) which helped in passing time.

As I live on the West Coast, the charging network here is phenomenal and there are superchargers every 15-30 miles distance so that helps.

I use more of Tesla and less of BMW these days for the reasons below:

  • Same amount of miles (350 miles) with a BMW vs. Tesla is $85 to $10. It’s a no-brainer which car to use for run-of-the-mill and daily chores.
  • Tesla is way faster than my BMW X3M40i.
  • It feels so much easier to drive the Tesla vs. BMW- Just walk in and start driving and it’s like a toy on wheels.


Pirelli 20” shod on the Uberturbine wheels have exceptional grip in summer, fall and rain. But, they are absolutely terrible in snow conditions as last winter, I had a couple of close calls when the car could not stop in time when braked hard (it was a snow blizzard so I can’t blame the summer performance tires).

Comfort is absolutely fine as long as you don’t run into a really terrible patch of road. Thankfully, 90% of Washington state has amazing road surfaces.

10K miles completed with no punctures till date (touchwood) and there is no uneven tire wear as well.


Why am I talking about seats? Well, I never paid attention to seat comfort in most of my cars but, Tesla makes you think about them. These seats have been designed and made for large-bottomed Americans.

It’s like sitting on some high-quality leather couch. The comfort is phenomenal. This Vegan leather is super soft, extremely comfortable and has 12-way seat position adjustment including support to lumbar. Hands down these are the most comfortable seats that I ever sat in a car.

BMW seats in comparison have higher quality leather which is harder, contoured at the edges like racing seats and they sometimes bite into your thighs (But, not anymore as after getting used to it, it does not and feels reasonably comfortable).

BMW vs. Tesla Seat Comfort Comparison- Hands Down Tesla is way more comfortable!

Cost of Driving 10,000 miles/16,000 km

As you can see, I spent a meagre $372 for charging my Tesla for driving it for 10,000 miles. This is unimaginable savings. To give you a perspective of the savings, a simple comparison with my BMW for driving similar miles. BMW would need approximately 29 tankfuls of gas assuming each tankful is roughly 350 miles.

Each tankful of gas costs an average of $80.

29 Tankfuls X $80 : $2,280

Darn- I saved nearly $1500 by driving a Tesla.

Isn’t this unreal? No wonder whoever drives a Tesla is ditching gas cars. But, I ain’t one of them (at least, for a while till I tick off my bucket lists of a couple of other gas car ownerships). So for the foreseeable future, I would love to think of Tesla as 2nd car that is equally fun as a gas car but, with a lower total cost of ownership (barring the high cost of procurement… LOL)

This happened yesterday. Needed 56kwh to charge from 12% battery to 80% battery. Means this one charge costed me just $5.60 for driving about 200 miles.


Tesla’s headlights are also possibly the brightest that I ever saw in any car till date. Due to its software prowess, the adaptive lighting system is brilliant as it moves from “low beam to high beam and back to low beam” in split seconds.

If I compare that to my BMW which also has the adaptive system but, it’s not as fast as the Tesla and it does not change each time the situation arises which is possibly a bug in BMW system (dark patches on the road when the lights are supposed to automatically go on to HIGH BEAM)

How it works- Car turns on HIGH BEAM when there are no cars on a dark 2-lane road. However, it recognizes headlights as far as a mile or 0.5 mile ( I don’t know the exact distance but, the approaching car would be pretty far) and then it immediately moves back to LOW BEAM.

Secondly, the spread of Tesla lights is excellent. If driving at night in backroads, it covers both lanes and also illuminates the shrubs/trees on either side.

Lastly, I get a lot of hate from people at night. Due to the extremely bright lights, people think I am on high beam and they give me the “HATE” by turning up their HIGH BEAM. Unfortunately, they don’t realize that I am in automatic mode and in low beam and that itself probably becomes unbearable to them when they approach me on the road from the opposite direction. I am sure, Tesla owners may have faced this situation at night on dark patches.

Notifications & Software Updates

There are regular notifications on the phone (be it if you leave the windows open when you walk away from the car to software updates to charging start and stop etc…). Therefore, I scheduled it as a summary or I would go crazy with the amount it sends to the phone.

Software update happens regularly and I would peg the average of once in 2 weeks at least.


Finally, let’s talk about what I don’t like or rather I miss when driving a Tesla.

  • Biggest miss has to be exhaust. That’s one of the biggest fun factors in my BMW.
  • NVH is not the best even with double-pane windows. The cabin is silent but, due to this silence the tire noise seeps in which is disturbing at times. I never drive without my music system not being switched on. So this hides that tire noise.
  • My performance model comes with Performance tires which perform incredibly well during dry weather and rains but, these tires are a death certificate in winters as the car just does not stop in time when braking during winters. Wish they sold this car with All Season Tires. Many people have 2 sets of tires here in the US but, I don’t like that arrangement. All seasons would have been nice.
  • Another big irritant is the “Automatic Wipers” there are 4 levels for the wipers to be turned on apart from “ Auto”. The auto wiping is always faster than the rain falls and is not in sync with the rain pattern. Living in a place where rain is more than other places, this is an issue that I struggle with. I use the 1, 2, 3 or 4 options but, it means I am constantly using it manually to adjust based on the intensity of rain.
  • Finally, the range will have a huge variation depending on how you drive. Mine being a performance, it’s difficult to drive it slow and that including the Ubertine wheels and 20″ size tires take a toll on the range. I don’t think my car can go beyond 250 miles 0%-100% charge especially with my driving style against the claim of 315 miles by Tesla.


Finally, I found a car that I can live with for the long term and never get bored due to the aforementioned reasons. With its battery capacity life being 300,000 miles-500,000 miles. I think this car can be used for the next 25 years without even coming close to its EOL (End-of-Life).

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoyed the feedback. Look forward to hearing back from folks who own a Tesla and also who don’t about what they feel about this amazing product.

Here are some latest pictures of my beautiful ” Rosso Diablo” taken with my iPhone.

All these pictures were taken on Oct 4th, 2023 and belong around my home community and neighborhood homes.

Do check out the videos as well. Lucky to be living in a pretty neighborhood.

Video 1

Video 2

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