Tesla Model 3

Tesla’s Newest

Base MSRP: From $35,000
Configurations:

  • Standard – From $35,000
  • Long Range – From $44,000

Destination Charge: $1,200
Tax Credit: Up to $3,750

EPA Range: 220 – 325 miles, pure electric
Charging Acceptance Rate: Standard 7.7 kWh  Long Range 9.6 kWh

Reviews of the Tesla Model 3

Overview

Performance: Electric vehicle (EV); estimated 258 horsepower
Mileage estimate: Equivalent of 121-130 mpg

Price estimate: $35,000 to $60,100

Warranty: 4 years / 50,000 miles
Powertrain warranty: 8 years / unlimited 

Roadside Assistance: 4 years / 50,000 miles
Corrosion warranty: 4 years / 50,000

 

2019 Model 3

That’s not the imagination working overtime in regards to the number of Tesla Model 3 vehicles one encounters. Indeed, there are lots of the eye-catching, sleek compact sedan Teslas on the road these days.

Let’s consult the numbers for proof. In 2018, the all-electric Tesla Model 3 had sales of nearly 140,000, making it the 11th best-selling car in the U.S. And the Model 3 was the only luxury vehicle among the top-19 in 2019 sales.

The bad news regarding purchasing a 2019 Tesla Model 3: the cost is on the rise. Not the base price by Tesla, but the kickback from the feds. Because Tesla has now exceeded the government’s 200,000 model sales quota, the $7,500 federal tax credit for the Model 3 no longer applies.

Note that a new Model 3 still starts at around $35,000. Yet the cost can rise quickly if the base model is upgraded. The top-of-the-line Performance model can skyrocket as high as $60,100.

There’s lots of reasons to pull the trigger on the Model 3, the most affordable vehicle in the Tesla lineup. It has been lauded for its performance, styling, agility, high-tech nature, no emissions and low operating costs.

Billed as a car for the masses, the 2019 Tesla Model 3 does some amazing things, like scan a parking lot for an available space and self-park the vehicle. It has one thinking – “welcome to the future.” And Tesla is definitely a leader in the automobile future. It not only manufactures vehicles that go further without a charge than any other EVs, they have few rivals in regards to speed.

The standard rear-wheel drive Model 3 has a 258-horsepower electric motor and is incredibly quick, going 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds, and is capable of topping out at 140 mph. That makes the Model 3 a real thrill to drive, assuming you enjoy excessive speed. For real speed freaks, the Model 3 does not offer the insane Ludicrous Mode that’s an option with the Tesla Model S. Ludicrous lowers the 0-60 mph time to 3.0 seconds. It also costs an additional $15,000.

The 2019 Model 3 now has a range of 260 miles, up roughly 20 miles over last year’s version. Both the upgraded Long Range Battery and Performance models increase the range to 310 miles and also are faster than the standard Model 3. On average, it will take approximately 10 hours to fully charge the Model 3 at home through a 240-volt outlet. But a Tesla Supercharging station should take only15-20 minutes to add 180 miles of range.

One thing unique to Tesla is it updates its vehicles on an ongoing basis rather than by model year, which means if a Model 3 was purchased in January 2019 it’s already better than the original car that was delivered.

Even at higher speeds, the Model 3 exhibits great driving qualities. It delivers a smooth, quiet ride while giving the driver a feeling of tremendous control. It possesses a terrific ability to take corners and navigate challenging roads at high speeds. Thanks to its regenerative braking, stopping quickly is never an issue. Take your foot off the brake and the Model 3 immediately begins to slow down.

The defining interior feature of the Model 3 is a standard 15-inch touchscreen display mounted in the center of the dash. There is no traditional instrument cluster behind the steering wheel; all the functions are monitored and controlled through the center screen.

That’s both a good and bad thing. Getting comfortable operating the touchscreen comes with a learning curve and skeptics feel it will always be a safety issue – too distracting they say. Is it really necessary for routine functions like windshield wiper speed, steering wheel adjustment, audio, lights, and much more, all done by tapping the touchscreen? However, because many things can be programmed to the driver’s particular habits, the adjustments will become less and less.

Even though this is the smaller of the three Tesla models, the Model 3 is still roomy for even taller individuals. Rear legroom is solid for 6-footers and overall is fairly comfortable. The cargo area measures 15 cubic-feet and the rear seats fold flat for additional space.

With sales of the 2019 Tesla Model 3 likely to exceed last year’s impressive total, it’s not a stretch to say this luxury EV sedan has quickly gained a foothold among American drivers.

 — J.W.

2018 Model 3

It was a classic, “Look mom, no hands” moment, nervously driving the new Tesla Model 3 around my suburban neighborhood.

Benefiting from a 360-degree camera system, radar, a series of ultrasonic sensors, and digitally controlled brakes, we were “driving” in the Tesla autopilot mode. It doesn’t require hands on the steering wheel, thus conjuring up the old anecdote of a child letting go of a bicycle’s handlebars and shouting out to a very nervous mom, who was typically standing nearby hoping a fall wasn’t imminent.

Admittedly, I was more confident with no hands on my bike than the first time apprehensively feeling like a mere passenger as the Model 3 assumed the driving duties.

Tesla’s amazing autopilot, an optional feature that costs $5,000, keeps the car in its lane, adjusts the speed to offset nearby vehicles, and will also change lanes autonomously. Billed as a car for the masses, the 2018 Tesla Model 3 can also scan a parking lot for an available space and self-park the vehicle. It had me thinking – “welcome to the future.”

And make no mistake, the future of automobiles has arrived and Tesla is leading the charge. Like the previous two Tesla cars (Model X, Model S), the Model 3 is an electric vehicle (EV) armed with so much advanced technology it baffles the mind.

One other startling fact regarding the Model 3 – the base price is a mere $35,000. And that’s without the sizable kickbacks – federal incentive for buying electric is up to $7,500 and the California rebate is $2,500. However, once an automaker sells 200,000 electric cars in the U.S., the federal credit phases out and Tesla recently started it’s phase-out.

Also be aware that a fully-loaded Model 3 can jump in price to approximately $55,000 or more. Yet that’s still considerably less than the price estimate of $69,500 to $140,000 for the more upscale Model S.

There are so many unique characteristics to the Model 3, an attractive sedan that’s more classy than flashy. Two of its most impressive traits are going 220-310 miles (regular range vs. long range option) before a charge is required and its speed. The Model 3 is race-car fast, gobbling up stretches of asphalt in alarmingly quick fashion, thanks to its ability to travel 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds.

There’s no insanely fast “ludicrous” mode like the Model S, that goes 0-60 mph in 2.5 seconds, But the Model 3 has a 258-horsepower electric motor and is still incredibly quick and capable of going 140 mph.

Even at higher speeds, the Model 3 exhibits great driving qualities. It delivers a smooth, quiet ride while giving the driver a feeling of tremendous control. It possesses a terrific ability to take corners and navigate challenging roads at high speeds. Thanks to its regenerative braking, stopping quickly is never an issue. Take your foot off the brake and the Model 3 immediately begins to slow down.

Technology begins before one even climbs into the sleek and shapely-looking Model 3. A smartphone or a black hotel-like key card opens the car, starts the vehicle, locks it, and turns off the engine as well. The interior, which includes a very cool glass roof, is stark and devoid of practically any instrumentation. Even the door handles are unique. They don’t pop out, but instead fold flush into the metal.

The defining interior feature of the Model 3 is a standard 15-inch touchscreen display mounted in the center of the dash. There is no traditional instrument cluster behind the steering wheel; all the functions are monitored and controlled through the center screen.

Be prepared to get very proficient with its operation, because other than a turn signal and another lever (for park, reverse, neutral, drive, autopilot), everything is done through the touchscreen. Tesla likes to describe the Model 3 as having a “minimalistic interior.”

Admittedly, getting comfortable operating the touchscreen comes with a learning curve and skeptics feel it will always be a safety deterrent – too distracting they say. Some of the routine functions like windshield wipers, steering wheel adjustment, audio, lights, and much more, are all done by tapping the touchscreen.

However, because many things can be programmed to the driver’s particular habits, the adjustments will become less and less. When totally situated and comfortable with the every-day driving, the feeling here is that Model 3 owners will embrace this sedan like no other – reaching a feeling of simpatico that’s not possible with most vehicles.

We were enamored with the sound quality provided by the seven-speaker audio system and how much music could be programmed. We also loved the visual quality of the backup camera and the over-the-top detail it provided, plus how there was no waiting for the electrically-produced heat or AC to activate.

Comfort is another plus in the Model 3. Even though this is the smaller of the three Tesla models, it’s still roomy for even taller individuals. Rear legroom is solid for 6-footers and overall nearly as comfortable as the front seat. The cargo area measures 15 cubic-feet and the rear seats fold flat for additional space.

As a friend pointed out, repair work will be much less frequent with the Model 3 than a traditional vehicle. Since there is no gas motor and accompanying things like carburetor, valves, pistons, flywheel (the list goes on and on), the Tesla will seldom see the inside of a repair shop. And thanks to its regenerative braking system, brake issues will also be rarity.

Tesla has created what could be billed as the iPhone of automobiles. The Model 3 could be the gateway to the future.

— J.W.

For more manufacturer details on this vehicle visit: www.tesla.com

Additional info about the Tesla Model 3:

First-Time Tesla Owner’s Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide

Recommended Power Level of Charging Station for Tesla Model 3 = 48A

Vehicle Acceptance rate: Standard 7.7kW

Long Range 11.5kW

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