The Tesla Model 3 is a mid-size sedan with four doors, five adult seats and two trunks (one in the front and one in the back). Tesla launched the Model 3 in July 2017 as the first electric car suitable for the mass market. With its 184.8 inches / 4.69 meters in length, it still appears relatively large and is more comparable to the BMW 3 series and the Mercedes C class than to the Volkswagen Golf. With its simple interior design, the Model 3 looks extremely tidy and because most of the buttons are only available as buttons on the screen, the effect of a computer on wheels is even stronger than on the Model S and Model X. Of course this design without the instrument cluster behind the steering wheel is unusual at first sight and not everyone’s cup of tea.
With the Model 3, Tesla tries to keep the production as cost-saving and simple as possible to be able to offer the vehicle at the lowest possible price. Therefore, there are no huge differences between the different versions. Mainly these are related to performance and range and not to equipment. The Model 3 is available in the “Standard Range Plus” version with rear-wheel drive and in the other two versions as a four-wheel drive car. It offers lower fuel consumption than Tesla’s luxury sedan Model S, due to more efficient battery technology, less weight and ultimately a more streamlined design.
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The Tesla Model 3 looks like a car from the future
The sportiest version, known as the “Performance” model, offers up to 510 hp and accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds (0 to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds), almost as fast as its big brother. Due to the only small differences between the variants, even the entry-level version is already very well-equipped and offers already in the basic version functions such as a rearview camera and automatically electrically adjustable seats with different driver profiles.
Newer battery cell technology makes the Model 3 even more efficient than the Model S and X. In the “long range” version it offers a range of up to 322 miles / 560 km on a single charge. And that despite a smaller battery. Thanks to these new cells, the Model 3 also has better fast charging capability compared to many older Model S and Model X. This means that under optimum conditions on the Supercharger or other suitable fast chargers, charging times from 20 to 80 percent battery state of charge are possible in around 20 minutes.
This photo shows the tidy interior of the Model 3:
Tesla’s mid-range model also has nothing to hide when it comes to technical functions. Just like in the upper-class models, some Autopilot functions are even included in the basic model. These are constantly being improved through software updates. The following Tesla demo video shows an Autopilot version that is still in the development stage. You can clearly see that at some point in the future we will not have to intervene at all while driving and the car will drive to the programmed destination completely independently. According to Tesla, this will also be possible with the currently sold cars at some point in the future through a software update. The only requirement is the purchase of the paid option “Full self-driving”.
Only shortcoming: the trunk
Other infotainment functions such as Spotify music or Netflix and YouTube video streaming are also possible. The navigation system can display Google Maps and use live traffic data for route calculation. Even the optional Homelink connection to the garage door can be retrofitted and thus controlled directly via the screen. If desired, Homelink can even be activated automatically when the vehicle approaches or moves away from the door. Only the trunk is a disadvantage and a point of criticism for many Europeans. In Europe, one is rather used to the large lift back trunk lid. Unfortunately, the Model 3 only offers the classic “trunk”. The SUV Crossover Model Y fills this gap.
With the Model 3, Tesla has made uncompromising electric mobility suitable for the masses and affordable for many from around EUR 44,000 (CHF 45,000). Compared to its competitors, the Model 3 offers unbelievable driving fun, efficiency and not to forget an excellent supercharger fast charging network. Compared to the Model S, the Model 3 also comes with an optional trailer hitch and scores even more with this additional equipment.
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