Tesla Model 3 review
The Tesla Model 3 offers impressive performance, great range and a unique take on car design. It’s a relatively expensive EV, but certainly one of the best.
The Tesla Model 3 is one of the best EVs around: practical, high-tech and boasting great performance and range. Understated styling hides a sophisticated electric drivetrain and an ultra-modern interior that’s dominated by a huge touchscreen.
The Model 3 is the cheapest car in the Tesla range but doesn’t feel too far off the larger Model S in terms of quality or practicality. It’s big enough for four adults to travel in comfort; combined with fantastic refinement, the Model 3 is a relaxed car in which to spend time. It's fast too – the Performance model can give most supercars a run for their money.
If you aren’t intimidated by the amount of cutting-edge technology, the Tesla Model 3 is one of the best electric cars on sale today. For a few thousand pounds more than a Kia e-Niro you get a product that feels more special.
The Tesla Model 3 is the smallest, most affordable car in the American manufacturer’s range of EVs. It’s built to take on the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class, but Tesla also has one eye on the arrival of the BMW i4 and upstart executive EVs from the likes of Polestar and Lynk & Co.
Following on from the success of the Model S saloon and Model X SUV, the Model 3 shares those cars’ combination of clever battery technology, powerful electric motors and high-tech onboard systems. Outside, the Model 3 also shares its siblings subdued styling, which easily flies under the radar – a stark contrast to the remarkably minimalist interior that’s all but bare save for a very large infotainment screen used to control virtually everything.
The Model 3 range is very easy to get to grips with as there are just three versions to choose from. The entry-level car is the Standard Range Plus, which uses a single electric motor to power the rear wheels and returns a claimed 267-mile range. Performance is good - 0-60mph takes 5.3 seconds and its top speed is 140mph.
The second is the Long Range AWD, which uses a larger battery for a claimed WLTP range of 360 miles; performance is still impressive, with 0-60mph taken care of in 4.2 seconds.
The most expensive option is the Performance model. It has a second electric motor to provide four-wheel drive and improved performance, along with an increased range of 352 miles. The Performance version will get from 0-60mph in 3.1 seconds and go on to a top speed of 162mph.
Standard and Long Range cars come as standard with 12-way power-adjustable front seats, a tinted panoramic glass roof, 18-inch alloys and a slick 15-inch touchscreen infotainment system that’s used to control just about everything.
Performance trim adds an 20-inch wheels, an uprated stereo, one year’s premium connectivity, LED fog lights and heated front and rear seats, amongst other luxuries.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Tesla Model 3 offers impressive performance, great range and a unique take on car design. It’s a relatively expensive EV, but certainly one of the best.
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Model 3 is one of the best EVs around to drive – it’s fast, fun and refined.
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsImpressive range, fast charging times and zero emissions all bode well; residuals should be good for an EV.
- 4Interior, design and technologyAn inoffensive exterior is contrasted by a show-stopping interior, packed with tech.
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceLots of room for passengers and two luggage areas make the Model 3 a practical proposition.
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Tesla Model 3 achieves full marks for safety, with initial quality issues hopefully now resolved