Tesla Model 3 review - Reliability and safety
The Tesla Model 3 achieves full marks for safety, with initial quality issues hopefully now resolved
The Model 3 has been mechanically reliable, although owners have experienced some issues with paint and overall build quality - with unacceptably large panel gaps and loose trim on certain production models.
Tesla did not feature in our 2020 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, but with increasing sales it will be interesting to see how customers view their Tesla experience next time around. We can say, however, that our test car felt solidly put together.
Euro NCAP crash-tested the Model 3 and awarded it five stars, along with the all-time highest rating of 94% in the safety assist category. Tesla’s ingenious semi-autonomous Autopilot technology did not contribute to this rating, but the system incorporates autonomous emergency braking and sophisticated adaptive cruise control, amongst other systems. An optional ‘Full Self-Driving Capability’ pack can do just that (with active driver supervision) – the Model 3 can effectively drive automatically on the motorway, including changing lanes and overtaking. This system also includes automatic parking.
A four-year, 50,000-mile warranty is standard on the Model 3. This beats key rivals on outright length but can’t match the mileage allowances of other premium manufacturers. The car’s batteries are subject to a separate eight-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
There are no set servicing intervals for the Tesla Model 3, with the car itself alerting the driver as and when a service is required. Over-the-air updates and remote diagnostics help make some smaller maintenance jobs more convenient, as do Tesla’s Mobile Service technicians. Fixed-price Tesla Maintenance Plans are available and can be transferred from owner to owner when required.
In this review
- 1Tesla Model 3 reviewSignificant new rivals are circling, but the technology-packed Tesla Model 3 is one of the best electric cars around.
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Model 3 is one of the best EVs around to drive – it’s fast, fun and refined.
- 3Range, charging & 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 Safety - currently readingThe Tesla Model 3 achieves full marks for safety, with initial quality issues hopefully now resolved