Plug-in baby Tesla is fast, fun and the future (love to see this in Bermuda!)
Now this is an electric car I could imagine owning.
The 400,000 people around the world who have already ordered the long-awaited Tesla Model 3 are in for a treat.
It’s good-looking, sporty, really quick and great fun to drive.
There are three different specifications available.
The entry level model is the Standard Range Plus which has a single electric motor, and for £38,900 you get a range of 258 miles.
Next is the £47,900 Long Range which has two electric motors, is four-wheel drive and has a claimed range of 348 miles.
And top of the range is the Model 3 Performance which costs £56,900 and, as its name suggests, is rather more sports orientated.
We’re testing the middle one and I can’t see why you’d need more performance as 0-60mph in 4.5sec is up there with proper sports cars.
But before we hit the road in the Model 3, let’s have a look around it.
Our car’s white leather interior wouldn’t be for me, but that’s a matter of taste and I’d simply choose differently.
But I love the wonderful simplicity of the cabin.
The trademark Tesla huge 15-inch touchscreen is in landscape in the Model 3 and you control almost every function of the car through it.
The steering wheel has a couple of buttons that help with the audio, control the Autopilot and activate the voice control.
I’m very against complicated systems in cars that take your eyes off the road.
The Model 3 does break that rule in having everything controlled via a touchscreen, but having said that, most of the functions you would set up before you left home.
Oh, there’s one other very nice detail I nearly forgot to mention – because you can’t actually see it.
There are no air vents peppered around the Model 3’s dashboard, instead there’s what looks like a narrow slot that runs the full length of the top of the dashboard through which hot and cold air is blown.
The ride is on the sporty side but not uncomfortable, and the steering is accurate and well-weighted.
The Model 3 is not just quick in a straight line but handles corners with a very neutral balance.
I’ve not enjoyed driving an electric car quickly as much as this one.
The Model 3 looks and feels quite small but is longer than a BMW 3-Series.
It’s great-looking, much nicer than the Model S and eccentric Model X SUV.
There’s a decent-sized boot and another one at the front, together with room for 425 litres of luggage.
Tesla’s Supercharger network is no longer free to use but you can charge this to 80% capacity in 30 minutes for around £14.
With a range of over 300 miles, that’s a lot cheaper than a tank of fossil fuel.
You can also charge your Model 3 elsewhere as it is also compatible with CCS (Combined Charging System) that allows the use of points outside the Tesla network.
This is the best Tesla yet. Best made, too. And one of the most entertaining cars I’ve driven this year.
This first appeared in The Mirror