Do you prefer the door handles on the Tesla Model 3 or the Tesla Model S?

I have a 2012 S85, and my wife has a 2018 Model 3 so I'm pretty qualified to answer. I prefer the Model S handles, but they are more complex and likely to have problems. The early Model S handles used pressure sensors to detect pulling on them, and those failed over time - I had all 4 door handles replaced from years 2–5 (one under extended warranty so I had to pay the deductible, the others were free). The replacement handles use a microswitch that actually detects moving the handle (it doesn't extend quite all the way out so there is room for it to move), so they should be more reliable.

The Model 3 is a much simpler design and still gets the benefit of reduced drag compared to traditional door handles, but the downside is people don't know how to use them without explanation (and a similar problem on the inside, for minimal benefit over a traditional handle).

So, I prefer the Model S handles, but I think the Model 3 handles are a reasonable compromise to get retracted door handles with less complexity and cost.


I don't have a problem with either, but the ones on the Model S are easier. There are some people who don't like the ones on the Model 3 because the ones on the driver's side are easier to use with the left hand. Apparently there are people who regularly approach the car with their left hand full and find it awkward.

My wife has a coworker who feels that way about her Model 3. I haven't been there personally when she had an issue. I didn't ask whether she'd buy the car if she had to do it all over again.

I've never heard of a person having a problem using the door handles on a Model S, unless one broke. With earlier model years they were more likely to have problems. Fortunately they are cheap to repair out of warranty.


The door handles on the new Demon are pretty good.

The ones on the ZL1 aren't bad.

The really good ones, are the door handles on a new GT350, they give me the impression the car likes it rough and I don't need to hold back, I can slam the gears with the throttle wide open, floor it through the floorboard and listen to that engine sing.

If the choice were somehow only between a model s and model 3? Flip a coin. The Odyssey isn't half bad in the door handle department either, if you've already decided against a muscle car you might as well choose blindfolded by walking around feeling door handles to find a good car.

Once you feel a few you have an idea which ones fit your style.


Model S:


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