If you are into cars or more specifically into electric cars, you have probably read the headlines: Welcome the new Tesla 3 – a smaller and half-price complement to the Model X and Model S.
There are already over 500.000 reservations and these numbers speak for themselves. Everything Tesla has done up to today has built towards the new model and we must admit – it has been worth it.
Tesla Model 3 has been delivered to US customers and from what we can see on social media, there is a frequent sight on sunny California roads. You can order a right-hand model in the UK right now, however, we can’t tell for sure when it will land. You will be waiting for at least 10-12 months. But, hey, it is Tesla 3 and it will change your life.
Demand is obviously high, but is it enough to push the traditional cars out? We guess we’ll have to wait and see.
The model range is a little bit hard to keep up, especially if your options change frequently.
There are two options:
- The entry-level single-motor type which is a rear-wheel drive
- 6sec 0-60mph time.
The model starts at around $35.000 + government incentives.
You also have the dual-motor type which is all-wheel drive and comes with a powerful battery that allows you to go up to 310 miles per hour between plug ins. This model starts at $41.200 and if your budget allows, you can spend an extra $11.000 and have the Performance version. This version brings a 3.3sec 0-60mph time, uprated brakes, and 155 mph top speed.
When it comes to driving, the first thing we need to address is speed. It is obvious, right?
Let’s go back to the Model S, where even in base spec, ‘75D’ trim covers from 0 to 62 mph in less than 5 seconds. Now, the single-motor Tesla Model 3 (the electric car of the feature_ and the one that is grabbing all the headlines accelerates more like Mercedes C-Class or BMW 3 Series thanks to the instant torque.
What is even more impressive, is the dual-motor Performance version which is breathtakingly fast. You can watch a YouTube video and get the full picture.
When it comes to handling, we must admit, both are very able. There is no doubt that this is Tesla’s best masterpiece.
You can choose up to three weights for the steering. You can turn it on by showing your key card near the cupholders, push the right pedal, pull the column shifter all the way down, the left pedal to shop, and spin the wheel to turn. That’s it. Simple.
What surprised us is that the steering wheel doesn’t give the last feedback word, but, eventually, that doesn’t matter because the whole car feels strong and moves as one unit.
Tesla Model S has received a lot of critics for having an unnatural turn of speed and lacking any emotion. The new model (Tesla 3) moves things on. If you push it too hard, you will notice that the physics take over. After all, this is a heavy car and the tires can take so much. However, it is more agile than Model S.
It works perfectly fine, especially on the right road. You can even take your hands off the wheel and enjoy the ride. On American highways, the car will happily drive itself for a long time, longer than Audi or BMW. But, if you apply too much pressure to the wheel and it will automatically deactivate the steering function.
On the inside, just like the Model S’s minimalist interior design, the new Tesla Model 3 is just as simple. Besides the physical buttons, you will find two scroll wheels buttons for electric windows, as well as, a button for the lights above your head + extra button on the grab to open each door.
The seats are pretty comfortable and, of course, electrically adjustable. According to Tesla, the seats are vegan-friendly (they are made from polyurethane).
When it comes to equipment, there is a 15-inch screen, 18-inch alloys, sat nav, Wi-Fi, Led headlights, 60/40 split folding seats, and a reversing camera. It is not bad, however, if you want to let yourself enjoy in ultimate luxury, you can pay an extra $5000 for the premium bundle.
Overall, the materials used and the build quality are a step behind the well established European players. However, by keeping things simple, it is not a big issue.
In conclusion, we must say that the way this car drives is purely satisfying. The way Tesla focus on the car design, from the user experience to architecture, the sales model is unique.
However, it is not perfect. The autopilot is still a work in progress and the decision to put everything possible on one screen can be a bit complicated when you are on the move.
Tesla Model 3 is a convincing and valuable product. Let’s hope there are enough of them to make the brand stick for years to come.