Tesla Model 3 Review

Tesla Model 3 Long Range

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What is it?

The Tesla Model 3 is the latest offering from Tesla who are the fastest growing Electric Vehicle company in the world. The Model 3 is solely powered by an electric motor coming in 2 versions – Standard and Long Range. The Long Range version is the one tested here with a claimed range of 360 miles as a WLTP figure. The Model 3 is designed to be Tesla’s more affordable offering to take on vehicles such as the BMW 3 series and Mercedes-Benz C Class. The standard model comes with rear wheel drive and the Long Range with all wheel drive. The Long Range comes with Tesla’s Dual Motor system meaning a huge amount of torque / power is available from standstill. The Model 3 was the best selling Electric Car in 2020, which speaks volumes for just how good it is.

What’s it like?

To drive, the Model 3 can either be blisteringly fast or very sedate. You do have to actually drive it yourself as the Autopilot is just a term to describe the Adaptive Cruise Control, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Following Assistant and Pedestrian Avoidance Steering. To get the full “Self Driving” Experience you’d need to purchase the Full Self Driving Package when ordering which is an extra £6,800. This adds the ability for the car to control itself on the motorway (with hands on the steering wheel), automatically find and enter parking spaces, and also to summon the car forwards out of a car park space. We really liked the animations showing cars in front, traffic cones, traffic lights (including if they were on red or green) and also the wheelie bins at the side of the road. It seemed to show everything that the car could see, and if you were coming in too hot towards an object it would beep and flash red warning of a collision. The performance of the car was scorching and you could easily get up to speed without giving it a second thought. There are 2 driving modes – sport and chill. We found that chill was the best all round mode and whilst it didn’t give the fastest acceleration, it was sufficient for normal driving. Practicality wise the Model 3 is very spacious in the cabin and can seat 5 adults in relative comfort. There are plenty of storage spaces and 2 Wireless Charging plates in the front for mobile phone, and 2 x USB C ports in the rear. The boot was large, but limited with the access so you may struggle fitting in larger items. With there being no “engine”, the Model 3 also has what Tesla refer to as a “Frunk” which is small, but could be used to house extra items, should that be required.The interior is very minimalist with everything being controlled (apart from gear selection, indicators and wipers) by the main iPad Pro sized screen. There are no discernible air vents and we felt the dashboard looked clean and uncluttered because of this. The screen was easy to use, and housed some amazing features to use whilst waiting for charging such as Netflix and YouTube, and a whole host of games – our favourite was the racing game which used the car’s steering wheel and brake pedal to control the action. Everything flowed nicely and once we had set up the screens, information and settings to our liking we had to put in very little effort to find something we needed whilst driving.

Should I buy one?

If you’re looking for a 100% Electric Vehicle, but want something with a little prestige; then we can’t think of a better proposition for the overall package that the Tesla Model 3 represents. I really didn’t want to like the Model 3, just as I never really wanted to like the Apple iPhone; but it’s hard to deny just how well it works. For a self confessed Petrol Head, the concept of charging a car rather than filling it with fuel was a difficult hurdle to get over. However, with the Tesla Supercharger network and charging the car over night at home, I found the switch to be very easy and worked out cheaper than having to fuel a regular petrol or diesel powered vehicle. With new EV Contenders such as the Mustang Mach E, and the BMW i4 due to be coming to market it remains to be seen if the Model 3 will continue at the top, but it is a hard act to follow. We really did feel like we were driving the future, and actually we were pleased that the future looked bright!

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