2019 Tesla Model 3 Review | carsales

2019 Tesla Model 3 Review | carsales


Let’s cut to the chase. Electric cars are here in Australia, and whether
we like to admit it or not, they’re becoming more mainstream. Now, in the past, Tesla’s been a brand that’s
resonated with people for their novelty factor and their out-of-this-world acceleration times. But this is a Tesla that deserves to be taken
seriously in its own right. It’s the new Model 3 and, yes, it has a
lot of those carryover traits, but it’s here in Australia at an affordable price and
with some really solid real-world virtues. Let’s take a closer look. It was three years ago, the Model 3 was first
presented to punters on a global stage. Since that time there have been quality issues,
financial instability and no shortage of Elon Musk controversy. It has also been three years since the very
first Aussie customers put down $1,500 of hard-earned cash to be first in line for Tesla’s
highly-touted entry model. Now, when you see the Model 3 in the skin
and you begin to look over some of the Australian specs, I reckon you have to argue that it
has been worth the wait. There are three different models on offer. The BMW M3 rivalling performance, which sits
at the top of the line-up, the mid-range, long-range and also the standard range car
driven here. $66,000, a 460 km range and a nought to 100
time of 5.6 seconds. Now, those are all good starters. But step inside and it gets better. Now, naturally, for a Tesla, there is a real
wow factor to the interior. There’s no physical key, instead you just
use your smartphone. And aside from two buttons on the steering
wheel and the hazard lights in the roof, there’s no physical switchgear. Instead, everything is controlled by this
mammoth 15-inch touch screen. And we mean everything, from fan speed and
direction to opening the glove box, adjusting the steering wheel and mirrors or playing
your favourite music. The best part is those concerns over quality
have seemingly dissipated with neat panels gaps, no squeaks or rattles and comfortable
vinyl-clad seats. Ultimately, batteries directly under the floor
can result in slightly perched knees. But otherwise, the Model 3 feels well-resolved
inside and out. The Tesla Model 3 has some surprisingly strong
credentials out on the road. Don’t forget that to get to this point Tesla’s
gone and recruited some pretty senior car company executives and engineers. So, as a result, yes, the throttle tip-in
is perfect, it drives quite well, it sits nicely on the road and has a decent level
of road holding for an 1,800 kilogram electric car. Those initial impressions are supported by
excellent front and rear vision, minimal road noise and an airy feel to the cabin. Further back, the boot aperture is tight at
best, but there’s plenty of length and split folding seats, while cabin storage is strong
and there are two USB points front and rear. Five-star safety, a premium interior fit-out
and an excellent and polished driving experience. There’s a lot to like about the Tesla Model
3. Now, you argue in real-world terms it still
has some question marks. The range of this car is kind of closer to
350 Ks than it is 460. And then there’s that whole backdrop of a
lack of government incentives and infrastructure. But more than anything the Model 3 has proven
itself as a car that really stands up on its own. It’s not just a competent electric car,
I reckon it’s a really accomplished driver’s sedan.