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New Car Review: Tesla Model 3 Long Range
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Not a lot – no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, but you really won’t miss it
What is The Tesla Model 3?
One of the most impressive vehicles on sale in Ireland today
The Tesla Model 3 is the brand’s entry point to the range, but is anything but an entry model – even in its most basic guise proving to be one of the most impressive vehicles (electric or otherwise) on sale in Ireland today. This is an EV that is exciting to drive, packed full of tech, incredibly fast (especially so in Performance guise) and it can be charged at Tesla’s superb charging network. It is a car that is very easy to recommend and very difficult to fault.
Tesla Model 3 Long Range
How does the Tesla Model 3 look?
The poster car of every 10 year old
The Tesla Model 3 is the poster car of every 10 year old and this was borne out in our week in the car where the school run took on a new vibe. Tesla has achieved so much in terms of brand strength, that this €60,000 car has the same kerbside kudos to a new generation as a €150,000 Ferrari has. Styling-wise the Tesla Model 3 has a strong family resemblance to the original Tesla Model S.
“This is a handsome car that isn’t overtly flashy but does get a huge amount of attention.”
There are generous curves on display, with no grille, and very uncluttered styling on the exterior which has been refined even further in the latest iteration. There is an updated matte black trim, there are more efficient tyres and the alloy wheels have been refreshed too. The new Powerlift Trunk opens at the touch of a button and the trunk itself or from the touchscreen or the Tesla app.
What's the Tesla Model 3 inside like?
Famed for its simplicity
The Tesla interior is famed for its simplicity – the interior is dominated by the vast touchscreen in the centre around which everything revolves. Every control is on this and while you might imagine that this would take some time to get used to, it couldn’t be further from the truth as the interface is so good that it actually becomes second nature.
For this latest model, interior updates include a heat pump as seen on the Model Y which improves cold weather efficiency and there is an updated matte black finish which replaces the gloss ‘piano’ black finish which was very prone to finger print smudges.
The centre console has been redesigned, featuring fixed inductive charging mats for two smartphones. Two additional high-powered USB-C ports have been added for high-speed device charging.
Inside the Tesla Model 3 Long Range
There is also an additional USB-A port in the glove compartment to use for storage devices for Sentry Mode and Dash Cam footage. The 15” touchscreen integrates media, navigation, communications, cabin control and vehicle data and the car receives regular over-the-air software updates that can add new features, increased performance and enhance existing functions.
What's the Tesla Model 3 like to drive?
It's blisteringly fast
The Tesla Model 3 is interesting because so many things so very well. For a start it is comfortable. But what stands out most is how blisteringly fast the car is.
The AA Review Team
“Press down on the accelerator and you have the sensation of being propelled from a slingshot – such is the instant acceleration and urgency and this is not even the Performance model.”
But there is no point in all this speed, if the car doesn’t handle and this really does. It has such a low centre of gravity that is squats down coming out of bends and after a few days in the car you really get used to its competency and everything you drive afterwards feels pedestrian.
The range on the car is superb, the Tesla charging network works so well, so trips across country are a doddle and when you are at a charger, watching Netflix makes the time fly by.
Which Tesla Model 3 should I buy?
There are 3 choices
There are three choices in the Tesla Model 3 range. The entry-point is the 251hp Rear Wheel Drive version, capable of 448km. We have been driving the 351hp Dual Motor (which means all-wheel drive as there are electric motors powering both the front and rear wheels which can manage up to 580km on a full charge.
The top of the range model is the Model 3 Performance, which boasts 456hp and yet can still manage up to 567km from a full charge. For us, we would pick the model we were driving, which feels more than fast enough and has the most possible range from a full charge.
Tesla Model 3 Long Range: interior charge pads
Is the Tesla Model 3 safe?
The Model 3 comes with a raft of active safety features and hardware built to provide extra visibility. There are a total of eight surround cameras, that allow for 360-degree vision, while there are twelve ultrasonic sensors providing detection of surrounding objects. There is a forward facing radar that can see through heavy rain and fog. The Model 3 achieved a 5-star Euro NCAP safety rating in every category, with the highest ever score in the latest Safety Assist tests.
For more information, visit https://www.tesla.com/
The Tesla Model 3 is one of the best cars we have driven. It is probably the best EV you can buy today, run close by some new arrivals from Kia (EV6) and Hyundai (IONIQ 5). If your budget allows then this has to be at the top of your list.
Spec Check ⚙️
Tesla Model 3 Long Range
82 kWh battery
Single Speed Automatic
Annual Motor Tax
Price as tested