The Tesla Model 3 is a game changer in the electric vehicle market. The Model 3 provides well-rounded results as well as a generous variety at a price that is more affordable to the average buyer. The Model 3's streamlined interior architecture is a departure from what other customers are used to, making it a distinct cabin that you won't confuse with anything else. Many who like driving will not be disappointed. With its dual-motor configuration and AWD, the Model 3 Performance is a true sport sedan with moves to rival the best of the breed.
Tesla is offering the entry-level Model 3 sedan a slew of updates for 2021, including exterior styling features that have been replaced with satin black trim instead of neon chrome. The rolling stock has a new look thanks to three new wheel styles, and the trunk lid is now power-operated. The black satin trim on the car's metallic door-sill protectors matches the black satin trim on the exterior.
The center console of the Model 3 has been modified to fit two wireless handset charging pads, and the sun visors are now held in place by a magnet. The seat-adjustment controls and the steering-wheel-mounted infotainment scroll wheels have been refinished, the former in graphite paint and the latter in brass.
The increased driving range of the Model 3 is the most significant feature. The standard Standard Range Plus model now offers a driving range of 263 miles per charge, up from 250, while the Long Range model boasts a 353-mile range, 31 miles more than the 2020 model.
The interior of the Model 3 looks spacious, and the seating position differs from that of most compact sedans. You look beyond the short, sloping hoodline, not onto it, and the 12-way power-adjustable seats, which are now standard on all models, provide enough protection for both long-distance travel and the higher cornering forces you'll likely feel better tackling in this sporty vehicle. Given the low position and sloping roofline, rear passenger seating is remarkably fine, even for taller riders—though three 6-footers would find it close.
In this price point, quality is a letdown on premium fuel brand models. The textiles, panels, trimmings and all the interlude looked cheap and underdetailed. Building quality has something to do with it, but something has to be done with Tesla's best driving and technological data.
The Smart Summon feature of Tesla helps Model 3 to pull out its car park and reach your place independently. The device operates with a mobile app that allows your car to access you as long as you are inside a car park or private driveway within a distance of 200 feet. However, the feature does not cause the Model 3 to identify curbs and sidewalks, so we'd use it with caution.
In addition, unlike traditional sedans, the Tesla Model 3 has a 15.0-cubic-foot trunk as well as a narrower front trunk for smaller pieces.
The IIHS has rated the Tesla Model 3 a Top Safety Pick+, and the NHTSA has given it five stars. There were no clear areas of interest in the occupant-safety rating subcategories. It also has a robust range of active-safety features.
The Model 3 impresses as a reasonably attractive car that feeds you the future in what seems to be a gently evolved shape. The dimensions are less evocative than on the Model S, and the structural specifics are essentially frumpier.
The Model 3 lacks a front grille, and the absence of an engine under the hood makes it very quiet. The roodline's straight arc tapers somewhat at the edges, and it's a slippery curve by door handles that lie flush to the body. It all fits together in a very tall rear end that could cause you to think the Model 3 is a hatchback at first glance; it's a sedan with a very short trunk lid.
The 2021 Model 3 has a new look thanks to three new wheel styles, and the trunk lid is now power-operated. The black satin trim on the car's metallic door-sill protectors matches the black satin trim on the exterior.
The Tesla Model 3 is available with either a single-motor rear-wheel-drive or a dual-motor all-wheel-drive system. But for the base Standard Range Plus series, all 2021 models will have dual-motor all-wheel drive. The Model 3 Dual Motor output model claims to accelerate to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds, while the Long Range Version claims to do so in 4.2 seconds. Even if it is the base model, the Standard Range Plus has a 5.3-second 0-60 speed.
The Dual Motor Performance variant takes advantage of the Model 3's stability systems and provides enough off-the-line acceleration to keep you firmly seated. The total output is 450 horsepower and 640 Newton-meters of torque. The all-wheel grip provides the gravity-defying acceleration off the line.
Under that is the Dual Motor Long Range model, which is also all-wheel drive and produces a respectable 346 horsepower and 530 Newton-meters of torque. The rear-drive Standard Range Plus model is powered by a single electric motor that produces 283 hp and 416 Nm of torque.
With a claimed range of 263 miles, the Standard Range Plus variant is the most affordable. Upgrading to the Long Range or Performance configurations expands the Model 3's estimated range to 315 miles for the Performance and 353 miles for the Long Range. Of course, as we discovered in our long-term Long Range Model 3 research car, this gap is not easy to reach. The Model 3 has many charging options, including Tesla's network of fast-charging stations known as Superchargers, adapters for DC public-charging stations, 240- and 120-volt outlets, and a home-charging station.
The Tesla Model 3 is one of the fastest electric vehicles on the market. While the Model 3 covers all the essentials, we've seen flaws in build quality and materials that belie the $50,000 price tag of more common models.
If you're not put off by the amount of cutting-edge technology, the Tesla Model 3 is one of the fastest electric cars on the market today.