Posted on May 28, 2018 by Matt Pressman
Launched in 1981, Motorweek remains television's longest running automotive show in the US. The critically-acclaimed show (found on PBS) finally got its hands on a Tesla Model 3 for episode #3,736. However, like many others in the media, they had to get their test car directly from an existing owner.
Above: A look at the new Tesla Model 3 (Image: Tesla)
Motorweek reports, "It’s fitting that Tesla chose Model 3 as the name for their entry-level EV, as they are looking to do for battery electric sedans what the BMW 3 Series has done for sport sedans, become the new benchmark for others to follow."
Can it compete with its German counterpart? According to Bill Clarke, the owner who Motorweek borrowed the car from, "The Model 3 is a great vehicle as a driving vehicle; it feels tight, responsive, very powerful. The handling is similar to a BMW in my opinion; I like that nice, tight German feel to a car. "
Motorweek's host, Jon Davis, agrees. Davis says, "Bill’s right on; with an output of 271-horsepower the Model 3 is quite fast. A typical 0-60 run takes about 5.0-seconds... [and] on the road, the ride is well composed, with a solidly tight but not jarring ride. It indeed drives much like a European sport sedan."
Above: Inside Tesla's Model 3 (Image: Tesla)
That said, Davis does take issue with the Model 3's fit-and-finish, lack of physical key, and noisier-than-normal rear suspension. He also experiences some glare (and distraction) from Model 3's 15" center touchscreen display — however, he concedes that the interior is "surprisingly pleasant; new era minimalism at its finest."
One clear advantage Tesla has over its German gas-guzzling competitors — consider "the Model 3 MPGe Ratings of 136-City, 123-Highway, and 130-Combined... [which combine] for a near perfect Energy Impact Score, responsible for just 2/10 of a barrel of oil use annually and zero CO2 emissions."
Motorweek concludes, "Tesla is a car company unlike any other; doing business more like a tech startup than an automotive brand... the 2018 Tesla Model 3 is the best convergence of high technology and the practical automobile that we’ve yet seen. And, it does drive great." Yes, there are production delays, but "it is here right now, and will be the populous EV benchmark for years to come."
Motorweek's Road Test