Tesla Model 3 Review 2024
Tesla Model 3 At A Glance
In this Tesla Model 3 review, you'll read the American firm's BMW 3 Series rival has the range, performance and charging network needed to make it one of the best electric saloons currently on sale amongst rivals such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5, BMW i4 and Ford Mustang Mach-E.
You don’t have to be an eager early-adopter to consider the Model 3. It’s a genuinely usable electric car with a relatively affordable price tag, generous range and minimalist cabin.
The Model 3 is available in three guises: the Standard Range Plus, the Long Range model and the range-topping Performance. The cheapest is the Standard Range Plus, which will make the most sense for the majority of buyers. It makes do with a single electric motor powering the wheels, providing impressive acceleration (0-60mph in 5.3 seconds) and an official WLTP range of 254 miles between charges.
While the Standard Range Plus is powered by an electric motor powering the rear axle, the Long Range and Performance versions have an extra electric motor driving the front wheels, making them both all-wheel drive. As their names suggest, the Long Range focuses on range, capable of covering 348 miles between charges (and accelerating to 60mph in 4.4 seconds), while the Performance is all about chasing supercars. This will reach 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds, making it one of the fastest electric cars around, and cover 329 miles between charges.
Driving the Model 3 takes a little acclimatisation compared to other cars. Pretty much everything is operated through the large, tablet-like infotainment display that's situated at the centre of the dashboard. This seems excessive at first, but the truth is that the majority of features you’ll access when parked up, at which points it’s simple and intuitive to use. Once on the move, anything you do need is easy to access and no more confusing than infotainment systems used in rival vehicles.
There are a few quirks - the flashing indicator lights on the central screen, for example, and the lack of conventional dials above the steering wheel (again, information such as your current speed are shown on the infotainment display).
Once you’ve got your head around these features, the Model 3 is a wonderfully easy car to drive. Just the two pedals, obviously, and probably the best all-around visibility of any car on sale. Acceleration is instant thanks to its electric drive, and even the most affordable model feels ultra quick.
Is it entertaining? Yes. Even if you’re used to a BMW 3 Series - traditionally the driver’s car of this price point - you’ll enjoy driving the Model 3. Probably more so. The steering is direct and, with the electric motor driving the rear wheels on the standard model, you can feel the Model 3 being pushed rather than pulled through the bends.
One advantage of a Tesla over other electric cars is access to the firm's Supercharger network. This is a network of rapid chargers located at convenient locations across the country (usually motorway services) and only open to Teslas. Unlike other models, this isn't free to use with the Model 3 - but you're looking at about £15 to fully charge a Standard Range Plus.
Whether you're a Tesla fan or not, the Model 3 is objectively a very convincing electric car. It's priced right to make it a competitive alternative to other EVs, as well as mainstream petrol and diesel models. Not only will it travel far enough before charging to quash any range anxiety concerns, it's also fun to drive and has a trendy, minimalist cabin.