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.
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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 Plus, which uses a single electric motor to power the rear wheels and returns a claimed 254-mile range. Performance is good – 0-60mph takes 5.3 seconds and its top speed is 140mph.
The second, more 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 329 miles. The Performance version will get from 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds and go on to a top speed of 162mph.
The third is the Long Range AWD, which uses a larger battery for a claimed WLTP range of 348 miles; performance is still impressive, with 0-60mph taken care of in 4.4 seconds.
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.