Modern Dad drives a Tesla Model 3!

Subscribe to Modern Dad on YouTube!

Priorities shift as we get older — and also when price tags shift exponentially. The need-it-right-this-second feeling you get from a smartphone — even one that costs a ridiculous $1,000 or so, as is the case with today's top-shelf devices — just isn't quite as pressing when you're paying mortgages and starting to give serious thought to your kids' college costs.

Getting old sucks. Don't do it.

But every now and then you get something that takes a look at that veil of responsibility, takes a peek inside, and then threatens to take both hands and just rip it the hell open. I remember that feeling with the Treo 750 in my late 20s. (Which, long story short, is the reason you're even reading this in the first place.) And for the past couple years I've had that same sort of feeling with a much more expensive toy — the Tesla Model 3.

I'm only on my second car. My first was a 1985 BMW 325e that had more wrong with it than I care to recall. (But you've never really lived until you've driven a car with a busted odometer and a brake master cylinder that, shall we say, was a bit of a trickster.) My current literal daily driver is a 2005 Honda Civic (stick!) with a mere 84,000 miles. It no longer has the car seats in the back, but it does show the stains of being the first vehicle your kids grew up in.

Eventually, it's going to be time for something new. And I really want that to be a Tesla Model 3.

The Model S is just too damned expensive. I can't buy a car that costs nearly as much as my house. But the Model 3? It's not inexpensive. But it's also not out of the realm of possibility. That's workable.

This is the perfect car for me — even if it's not the perfect car for me right now.

So much has been said about the Model 3 already that I'm not going to rehash it too much here. It's a fun drive. It's heavy, but bottom-heavy because of the batteries. So it sticks to the road, even while you feel every last one of those 3,800 pounds — a good 1,300 or so more than what I'm used to driving. You notice.

And that 15-inch touchscreen. I wasn't sure I'd dig it. But it pretty quickly became second nature, even if there's still plenty of room for improvement. (To say nothing of my almost never needing the option to heat the seats or the steering wheel in Florida.) It's half car info, half map, with a fairly intuitive UI. Things pop up over the map, which is always. Underneath as a point of reference.

Obviously there's no Android Auto on board. While AA isn't perfect, I'm still convinced it's the best UI in a car for minimal distractions. But the Model 3 handles multimedia and contacts through Bluetooth just fine, which is to say it's still better than so many other infotainment systems out there.

That the car is electric is a huge selling point for me. First, just the idea of getting off fossil fuels and all the environmental (and political) headaches that come along with that. But also because sending that much power straight to the wheels is just something you have to experience before you die. No, there's no Ludicrous Mode, but doing zero to sixty in (more or less) 5 seconds is more than enough acceleration pretty much any everyday circumstance. It'll get you out of as much trouble as it might get you in.

The rest of the car? Interesting, if not overly exciting. The interior actually is a little ho-hum, even if I think it's improved on the Model S only by getting rid of those trash cans that they called door handles. (Whoever designed those never had a kid in a car. Ever.) A frunk is fun. The buttons instead of door handles are actually kind of cool, and I got used to them quick enough.

See more

So why did I ultimately cancel my reservation? The math just wasn't lining up for me right now. I don't need a new car right this second. And then there's the thing with the federal tax credit. I still needed to come in on the low end of the options here — the car I drove was $56,500, and not the $41,000-spec'd version I'd actually order — and I just don't know when I'd be able to order, or if the credit would be available when that time comes. And I'm not going to force myself to buy this car before I can afford it.

Do I still want it? Hell, yes. And I'm still going to try to get one at some point. I think Model 3 — and Tesla — will still be around when that time comes. In the meantime, I'll be saving. And I'll be ready.

Be sure to check out MrMobile's video, too!

I drove the Model 3 in the Tampa Bay Area along with the one and only MrMobile. Be sure to watch his video below for even more hot frunk action!

14 Comments
  • Interesting stuff, there's no question it's an incredibly cool automocar. Although, while I don't actually drive, moving all of the control's from the steering column to a touchscreen seems like an incredibly bad design. I'm sure in California it's not an issue to take your eyes off the road to turn your windscreen wipers on or off the twice a year or so it slightly drizzles. But here in the kingdoms of United, or even a touch North or East in somewhere like Seattle that actually have realistic weather effects enabled, it seems like a major flaw. But again, I don't actually drive, I could be incorrect.
  • The bay area gets rain, well basically north of I-80 Sacramento. Gets a decent amount of rain not as much as UK or Seattle area in the summer. But fall thru spring they get a lot. But with that said. Not a big deal really. No different than using your radio in car.
  • You just leave the windshield wipers on auto and don't worry about it.
  • Yeah that would do it.
  • I'm all for environment, but Tesla is not the future and will never be.
    We need to invest as much as possible into renewable energy. Batteries as they are extremely ineficient storage of energy. On top of that they lose that capacity very fast and long term not good for environment. However, in transition it is better to try to use some of it in urban areas to reduce pollution which is causing plethora of chronic diseases and early deaths. It's literally Killing us. That's where adequate public transportation can help tremendously. It can all run on electricity (like Trolleys) or in some other forms.
    Tesla as a car is terrible long term investement all sides. Only in case where we would have 75+ % renewable source for electricity it would be somewhat less painful of a loss - at least on a carbon side of the problem.
    Scientific community is not on Elon's side of a dream at all. He is just good at selling it. And in short term it does help in many areas , so those benefits nobody can deny. Now , Germans will also invest heavily in electric cars , Chinese , etc. Again , it will help with pollution in areas with dense population.
    Where money needs to go and where future really is , it's Hydrogen Powered Vehicles and Hydrogen Power small power stations. That's the only true potential. There are many projects in place (it work well) already - A small mini plant - power from solar , stored as Hydrogen.
    And Hydrogen cars are almost there. The area that needs solutions is not as much for cars to be much better (big improvements made but still in progress) but how we get to make as many fuel stations which will efficiently create hydrogen. Seems like a lot was done already but the will is lacking. We can get there
    much faster. Tesla or any electric car in order to become a good transitional solution for cities needs heavy subsidy by govt (almost a giveaway) otherwise it doesn't pay off for a little a guy to own it at all.
  • Doesn't matter, environmentalists and tree huggers will never be happy. If they had their way we would be living in caves . We would be back to horse and carriage. Then they would still ***** because the horse farts to much which of course contributs to climate change.. Sails on ships once again on the open oceans to get product to consumer. Drill baby drill.
  • You mock horse drawn carriage and sailing ships, but if you think about it burning fossil fuel isn't just unsustainable, it's also not really that much more advanced Holocaust technologically. Fission baby fission.
  • Ah subsidies. Self righteous polititions deciding where money should be distributed. Never mind that the free market as of right now wants nothing to do with electric vehicles. They know best.
  • That's where I disagree. Civilization is in peril (unless you are fundamentalist Christian) and therefore environment can not and should not be left in the hands of "the free market". Free market idea is as utopian as Communism. Cool theory but in practice Humans - greed will find it's way to control it.
    Now, it's undeniable fact that we f c. u. k e d up environment to almost irreversible point. So, those in the know have to steer us out of disaster. I'm talking about Air and Water quality , not Global Warming. The science on pollution is undeniable. So, when we educate enough people on what's killing them on daily basis (from Brain tumors to lung cancers, neurological infant disorders, etc) , then will have a strong demand for change. But to get there, Massive Action needs to take place. Then, people as Goverment , will decide what kind of a business conduct is allowed. For God's sake , just with plastic waste we killed off so many species in Ocean. Combined w fracking and all other spills, we reduced them by a half if not more. We gotta stop this or else we will consume world and ourselves in it.
  • Just let AI take care of everything
  • Take out all the hate, Phil needs a Tesla.... I know I do, most advanced auto ever with a future. Move forward people, plus your kids will think you are even cooler then before.
  • You mean he needs an EV, there are several affordable ones on the market right now but for some reason everyone is still waiting on the subpar model 3.
  • Subpar compared to which electric vehicle?
  • Chev Bolt for one. Tesla's build quality is NOT great. I know, I have been in and driven the model s. Chev has GM backing. Meaning, GM is not going to go **** up, unlike tesla. the bolt is ultimately cheaper and easier to get. Meaning the car is available NOW..the model 3 is a hens tooth.