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WHY I LOVE MY VEHICLE: 2022 Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD

As an expert in the latest gadgets, many know Matthew Moniz from his self-titled tech YouTube channel. Having amassed over 617,000 subscribers, the Toronto-based content creator has had an interest in owning a tech-forward car since 2012, when Tesla introduced the Model S.

Instead of being an early adopter, Moniz decided to wait due to the many issues the new car manufacturer was experiencing.

When it came time to replace his BMW 3 series, Moniz still wasn’t ready to purchase a Tesla, citing quality control issues. Building in buffer time, he leased an Audi A5 Sportback that he used daily for his short commutes to work, or for transporting his children to soccer practice or gymnastics lessons.

Last November Moniz found himself faced with two attractive options thanks to a robust used-car market: he could bring his low mileage car back to the dealership a little earlier or purchase it for its residual value and sell it for a profit. He answered the siren call, retuned his A5 a month early (earning $6,000 cash back), and placed his order for a 2022 Tesla Model 3 Long Range.

He tells us what he loves most about his car.

“You have three options with the Model 3,” said Moniz. “I didn’t need the most expensive [trim] – mine is [standard] white with 18-inch [Aero] wheels. I decided to go for the long range because it’s all wheel drive. We live in Canada where there’s snow, and all-wheel drive is historically better in terrible driving conditions.

“I’m anti buying the most expensive car; I’ve always felt that cars were a terrible investment because they depreciate so fast. I felt comfortable paying more because Teslas have the lowest depreciating value. Tesla does offer leasing, but you can’t buy the car out afterwards. You also have the option to finance it, which is what I decided to do. The process was very easy.

“I loved how purchasing the Tesla was kind of like ordering a phone: you go online, select the model you want, and put down a small deposit ($250 in this case). It was way less stressful than going into a dealership and haggling with some salesperson. The only downfall is they need better customer support – the only time you talk to someone is when your vehicle is ready.

“Plus, there’s a little-known thing with Tesla that people on Tesla Discord servers and in Tesla communities have noticed: The more expensive you spec the car – even just adding a colour option, the faster you’ll get the car.

“I can go on for hours,” said tech-minded Moniz. “I love the car. The first thing I did was to go through every screen to play with the tech just because there’s so much cool stuff. It has many features that other cars don’t have right now because Elon [Musk] is so invested in the actual tech. I tried all the voice commands; they have a really good voice assistant that allows you to control the car with your voice while you’re driving.

“I purchased the full self-driving package. The cool thing is it’s already in the car, and if you want it in the future, you can pay $10,000 to activate it. [Even without it], there’s stuff in the car that gives you a little taste of it, like Autopilot. Seeing your car in real time on the screen with the cars passing and objects around you was probably the coolest thing for me. If a car or someone gets too close to your blind spot, the car will start to turn a little red on the screen to let you know it’s in your blind spot.”

“One thing I had to get used to is regenerative braking. Unlike a gas car, unless it’s a hybrid, when you let go of the pedal in a Tesla, you’re literally sending charge back to its big battery pack to reuse again using kinetic energy. On top of that you don’t use your brakes. So, you could literally drive a Tesla for years and avoid using the brakes 95 per cent of the time and never have to replace them. It took me a few hours to get used to one-pedal driving, but now I can start pretty aggressively.”

While the stars aligned for Moniz when he bought his car, the tech reviewer shares some concluding thoughts for those considering an EV.

“I think we’re in the early stages,” said Moniz. “The cars – at least the good ones – are still really expensive. If [you] really want to get into the market, wait until the chip shortage is over, and all these companies release their cars in the next year or two. That’s going to offer so much competition compared to what we have right now. You’ll find a better deal and [a greater] selection to choose from.”

This article was edited for space and clarity. Want to be featured in Why I Love My Vehicle? email us at wheels@thestar.ca.

Renée S. Suen is a Toronto-based lifestyle writer/photographer and a freelance contributor for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @rssuen

A CLOSER LOOK: 2022 Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD

TECH

 “The coolest thing about ordering this type of car is just being connected to it,” said Moniz. “There’s so many little controls on your phone that allow you access to your car. When I get home, I plug [the car] into the charger, and I can see it on my phone. I can disconnect the charger, pre-schedule it to pre-heat for nine o’clock in the morning or check the dashcam (sentry mode) footage directly from my phone. There are simple things too. Like, I no longer need to carry keys because the Bluetooth on my phone allows me access to the car. So, as soon as I walk up to the car, it kind of springs to life, I open the door, I get in, and I drive. There’s no ignition, no push button. It’s kind of just always on, which I found to be really exciting.”

INSTANT ACCELERATION

“One of the main things I love about the car, and pretty much what every EV owner would say, is the acceleration,” said Moniz. “Not so much speed or anything – I drive normal speed limits, but the typical internal combustion engine vehicle needs to build up torque. With an EV, it’s instant. You don’t have to wait for it to happen. As soon as you touch that pedal, the car just goes. And you feel it in your stomach; it’s like going on a roller-coaster and it puts you back into the seat. So, if you need to pass anybody getting into a lane or on the highway, it’ll never be an issue with these types of cars.”

NEW FEEL

“One of the best things about a Tesla is it never feels the same,” said Moniz. “Every year, Elon [Musk] pushes out a big software update, that completely changes aspects of the car to make it better. I think that’s probably one of the most exciting things about it, it’s just like getting a new software update on your phone.

“So, with [the recent Holiday software] update, he added gimmicks like Light Show, where the windows of the car will go up and down, the trunk will open, and the lights will start flashing to the music you play. This year, the word Tesla also popped up while the car was doing its little dance. There are new added features, like the blind spot camera now pops up showing you a video feed on the screen.”

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