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 2020 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.
In this review
- 1Tesla Model 3 reviewThe Tesla Model 3 offers impressive performance, great range and a unique take on car design. It’s an expensive EV, but 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 Safety - currently readingTesla doesn’t have the best reliability record but the Model 3 feels solid.