Review: Tesla Model 3
The budget electric vehicle you’ve been waiting for.
Tesla is renowned for being the hands-down best manufacturer of electric cars in the world. Now they’ve released their Model 3 vehicle to the public, but before that even happened they already managed to amass a whopping 500,000 pre-orders to die-hard fans of the Tesla. This is already a substantial success on Tesla’s part, so let’s take a quick look at what the Model 3 has to offer.
This vehicle retails at around $35,000, which is considerably lower compared to some of the other Tesla units like the Model S or the Model X. This price includes all the upgrade options like Autopilot and the new and improved battery pack which allows for a longer driving range. In all honesty, the Model 3 is on par with some of the entry-level units from BMW such as the 530e, and it sits in the same price range as well.
As you’d expect, the rear-wheel powertrain provides instant acceleration that can take even the most experienced driver by surprise, but you’ll learn to love it really quickly. The powerful electric engine handles curves as easily and meticulously as is expected from any Tesla model as if it’s hot-glued to the concrete.
The built-in Autopilot is a really useful feature that makes operating this car a breeze. One of the greatest advantages of the Model 3 is how it’s been geared towards providing the optimum driving experience. In lieu of all the gadgets and interfaces the vehicle offers, it’s still a car first and foremost, which it has proven with its spare cockpit design. Put simply, this allows you to move the instrumentation display to a single 16-inch touchscreen panel mounted in the center.
Because of the functionality mentioned above, the Tesla 3 model offers you a clear, unobstructed view of the road so you can focus on the very experience of driving. However, the touchscreen interface itself is probably the weakest point of the Tesla 3, although it seems very smooth and responsive at first glance, it does have some significant setbacks that need improvement.
The main issue is that there’s simply too much information to go through, and when you’re driving this is the last thing you need. The interface needs to be dumbed down significantly to be easily accessible for someone who’s driving, and at the moment this is simply not the case. It does get easier when you get used to it, but not by a longshot. You still need a lot of time to go through the various menus, so unless you’re on an absolutely deserted highway I’d recommend against doing it while you’re driving.
The Bottom Line
Apart from the aforementioned issues with the touchscreen interface, I really can’t find any additional shortcomings in this unit. You have to remember that as far as Tesla models go, this is definitely a budget unit and it still delivers an amazing, immaculate driving experience.
The electric powertrain offers pristine acceleration and control, far superior to anything that an internal combustion engine can give you. The Autopilot makes operating this vehicle a breeze over long stretches of boring highway road, and thanks to the spare cockpit design you get a completely unobstructed view to be able to fully focus on the driving experience – something that a lot of modern vehicles have yet to implement.
All in all, if you’re looking for a budget electric car that still performs well, I’d definitely recommend that you give the Model 3 a shot.