Surrey’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine

All good things come...

The Tesla Model 3 was mentioned in despatches over three years ago and has finally been ‘pencilled in’ to land on British shores in July. Euan Johns examines Tesla’s long-awaited and most affordable addition to its range.
Stacks Image 61568
Well here it is, it’s been a bit of a wait. We all know that a certain Mr Musk has been having a few personal issues, along with his company’s. Perhaps that’s part of the reason the Tesla Model 3 took so long to be offered for sale to UK customers. Well, let’s not dwell on all of that, the fact is it’s here and it’s been worth waiting for.

What do we get for £38K plus? That buys the (entry level) Standard Range Plus with rear-wheel drive and 258-mile range. Over 56k buys the Performance model with its 0-60mph time of 3.2 seconds and a range of 329 miles. Sitting in the middle of these two is the Long Range AWD priced at £47,900 that stretches the range to 348 miles. It’s still pretty swift, with the 362bhp from its dual motors offering a 0-60mph time of 4.5 seconds.

Looking at the Model 3, it could only be a Tesla – its arrowed shape is like a Model S that’s been shrunk in the wash, but is far more appealing to the eye. In the flesh, although actually longer than a BMW 3 Series by almost seven centimetres, it’s surprising how compact it looks. Large side areas of glass, together with rather stubby front and rear overhangs, help mask the car’s size, a neat illusion.
Stacks Image 86908
As with the latest Model S and Model X, there’s no traditional front grille: the air intakes are positioned under the number plate. Some imaginative design has taken place within the headlights making them narrower than the 3’s bigger siblings. It’s a head-turner to be sure, no worries on that front.

What’s it like on the inside? It takes minimalism to a new level: purchasers won’t need declutterer Marie Kondo’s advice to help tidy anything up. Just two things appear on the dash: the touchscreen (which pretty much controls everything, but actually can be a little distracting whilst driving), and the steering wheel with two buttons and a couple of stalks behind it. That’s it, this car owns minimalism.

Hot or cool air is provided through what looks like a slim slot running the full width of the dash above the white panel and behind the screen, while sockets for smartphones (four in total) and storage space is hidden behind gloss black panels on the centre console.

This car performs too: its acceleration is exhilarating and provides the most fun. In fact, it’s very addictive and almost silent, putting more expensive machinery to shame. The ride comfort is a little firmer than its larger and more expensive stablemates, but nothing to write home about.

Top 10 electric and hybrid car enquiries for May:

Toyota RAV4
Tesla Model 3
Hyundai Ioniq
Toyota C-HR
Jaguar I-Pace
Toyota Corolla
Audi e-tron
BMW i3
Lexus UX
Kia e-Niro
Stacks Image 86891
The Model 3’s popularity is down to several factors, with cost being one of them. Monthly prices for the Model 3 start at around £400 per month, which is almost half the cost of Tesla’s larger models. It also undercuts comparable EVs such as the Audi e-tron and Jaguar I-Pace.
Paul Harrison, Head of Strategic Partnerships at
The popularity of Tesla is mirrored by the Tesla Model 3 which has quickly become the most popular electric car people want to lease. During May, it outshone other electric models such as the Audi e-tron and Jaguar I-Pace, generating more lease enquiries within seven days than its rivals managed during the entire month. The long waiting period undoubtedly helped contribute to this huge early surge in interest. If the Model 3’s popularity continues in a similar vein over the next few months, then Tesla may deliver its first mass-market electric car.

The marked increase in interest in the Model 3, I-Pace and e-tron during the first five months of 2019 is a strong sign that consumers are ready to make the jump to next-generation vehicles. The Model 3 is still not exactly cheap, but charging up to 80% capacity can take just 30 minutes and cost £14, against £40 for a comparable conventional car, so savings can be made in that way.

If anyone is still deliberating, in my opinion the Tesla Model 3 has to be the coolest car from the future that can be bought right now.

essence info