In-depth reviews

Tesla Model 3 review - Reliability and Safety

Tesla doesn’t have the best reliability record but the Model 3 feels solid

The Model 3 is so new that it’s very difficult to predict what owners will experience in the reliability department. Tesla has had a patchy reliability record in the past but its owners are famously enthusiastic and keen to extol the virtues of their cars. Tesla did not feature in our 2019 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, so we’ll reserve judgement until the Model 3 has been on sale for a little longer. 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.


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