Car of the Year 2019: Tesla Model 3
The Auto Express Car of the Year for 2019 is the all-electric Tesla Model 3
With the Model 3, Tesla has proved that it can listen to feedback, return to the drawing board and innovate. Forget the big steps, it’s the small evolutions that make living with an EV palatable. In fact, this EV is very nearly as easy to live with as a combustion-engined car.
That’s because, along with Supercharging capability, the Model 3 accepts CCS rapid charging. 50kW is the UK’s most common level currently, but prepare to see 100kW points become more common over the next few years, and with a recent update that sees the Tesla support charging at up to 200kW, it’s future-proof for the foreseeable.
Performance and range are brilliant, and our tests prove that Tesla’s claimed numbers when it comes to how far you can go on a charge are accurate. True, although you might only fill up your petrol or diesel junior executive saloon every 500 miles or so, the Model 3 Performance has up to 329 miles of range.
Most people won’t exceed this in a single day’s driving, and simply charging the car overnight will replenish that entire range for the next day.
Clever torque vectoring from the Tesla’s dual electric motors gives the car incredible agility on the road, considering its 1,847kg weight.
Boot capacity is good, there’s enough room inside the car for passengers, and the clean, simple design of the cabin means that the Model 3 is slick to use, regardless of which area of the market this brand-new American EV is competing in.
But importantly, it’s the best Tesla yet. Even on the Performance model’s 20-inch wheels, the ride is acceptable – controlled and taut – and while the steering doesn’t have any feel, the car’s dynamics and ability will genuinely surprise you. It grips and grips, while the control software shuffles power around to help the Model 3 change direction and at least make it feel more engaging. Even keen drivers will be able to scratch away at the surface to reveal the seed of a personality in the car; that’s a big step for an electric vehicle that, until now, few have achieved.
Auto Express New Car Awards 2019
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- 1IntroductionWhat are the best new cars to buy in the UK today? The 2019 New Car Awards have the answer...
- 2Car of the Year - currently readingThe Auto Express Car of the Year for 2019 is the all-electric Tesla Model 3
- 3City Car of the YearThe Volkswagen up! is the 2019 Auto Express City Car of the Year, with the Kia Picanto and Skoda Citigo commended
- 4Supermini of the YearThe Ford Fiesta is the 2019 Auto Express Supermini of the Year, with the MINI 5-door and SEAT Ibiza commended
- 5Convertible of the YearThe MINI Convertible is the 2019 Auto Express Convertible of the Year, with the Audi A3 Cabriolet and Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet commended
- 6Compact Family Car of the YearThe Skoda Scala is the 2019 Auto Express Compact Family Car of the Year, with the Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla commended
- 7Family Car of the YearThe Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport is the 2019 Auto Express Family Car of the Year, with the Skoda Superb and Toyota Prius commended
- 8Compact Executive Car of the YearThe BMW 3 Series is the 2019 Auto Express Compact Executive Car of the Year, with the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Mercedes C-Class commended
- 9Executive Car of the YearThe BMW 5 Series is the 2019 Auto Express Executive Car of the Year, with the Mercedes E-Class and Volvo S90 commended
- 10Estate Car of the YearThe Skoda Octavia Estate is the 2019 Auto Express Estate Car of the Year, with the BMW 5 Series Touring and Volvo V60 commended
- 11Small SUV of the YearThe Citroen C3 Aircross is the 2019 Auto Express Small SUV of the Year, with the Dacia Duster and Volkswagen T-Cross commended
- 12Mid-size SUV of the YearThe Skoda Karoq is the 2019 Auto Express Mid-size SUV of the Year with the Peugeot 3008 and Toyota RAV4 commended
- 13Large SUV of the YearThe SEAT Tarraco is the 2019 Auto Express Large SUV of the Year, with the Peugeot 5008 and Skoda Kodiaq commended
- 14Small Premium SUV of the YearThe Range Rover Evoque is the 2019 Auto Express Small Premium SUV of the Year, with the Audi Q3 and Lexus UX commended
- 15Mid-size Premium SUV of the YearThe BMW X3 is the 2019 Auto Express Premium Mid-size SUV of the Year, with the Porsche Macan and Volvo XC60 commended