Posted on March 01, 2018 by Matt Pressman
The Model 3 has been a difficult car to get your hands on — and Tesla hasn't been actively releasing its cars (for review) to the media until recently. However, the first media outlets, mostly automotive press, seemed to be quite taken with the Model 3. Now, mainstream media outlets are beginning to review Tesla's lower-cost option. So what's the consensus? Let's take a look...
Above: Tesla's Model 3 (Instagram: model3guy)
Consumer Reports' Mike Monticello writes, "the Model 3 rushes off the line with authority, and every prod of the accelerator translates to immediate thrust in near silence... Our testers were impressed by our car’s glued-to-the-road handling, with steering that is quick and precise, much like a well-tuned sports car. The Model 3’s taut suspension keeps the car from leaning when cornering, while its sharp reflexes help it carve through tight turns with ease and tear down straightaways."
Above: Consumer Reports gives their first impressions of the Model 3 (Youtube: Consumer Reports)
While Consumer Reports is "on the fence" with the Model 3's minimalist interior, ABC News was impressed. Reporter Becky Worley writes, "Almost every single interaction with the car is done through that tablet. There are no instrument displays at all. It takes a second to get used to it, but the upside is revolutionary in the car industry: the entire car and its functionality can be updated like a computer... This is a car that is constantly evolving."
Above: Model 3 in front of the Marina del Rey Tesla location (Instagram: hk997.evm3)
USA Today's Marco della Cava was taken with Model 3's similarities to it's big brother, the Model S. He writes, "From across a street, it is difficult to immediately tell a Model 3 and a Model S apart." And the drive felt similar too — as an example, he points to the steering wheel which was "thick in the tradition of a nice aftermarket Momo wheel — and the steering feel, which [also] has three adjustable settings. There is nothing worse for a driver than spongy communication with the road, and the Model 3 offers the sort of feel normally reserved for cars closer to Model S prices."
Above: USA Today's Marco della Cava takes us on a quick drive in the Tesla Model 3 (Youtube: USA Today)
What about a local paper... like one from Detroit. Unfair. They must be in bed with the Big Three, right? Wrong. Auto critic Henry Payne gives kudos to the Silicon Valley contender. He writes, "The 'mini-Model S' is here... Luke Skywalker would be impressed. You’ll want to slip inside a lot because this Starfighter is a blast to drive." And he appreciates all the tech packed into the Model 3. He notes, "impressively, sci-fi Tesla is constantly improving such features with over-the-air software updates... It’s the iPhone of autos."
Above: Immediately after taking delivery of the Model 3 (Image: EVANNEX)
Having actually taken delivery of the Model 3, there are some things the big reviewers missed. That said, the overall impression of the Model 3 appears in line with comments made during the Model S launch back in 2012 — perhaps a bit shocked by the minimalism of the interior, but taken with the car's performance. The real question might be — which Tesla sedan is really superior?