Posted on June 02, 2018 by Matt Pressman
Reporting for Top Gear, Jack Rix visited Tesla's store in the Meatpacking District of New York City in order to test drive the Model 3. Sure, Top Gear had taken a brief drive in the car (at a previous Tesla event) but this would be 6+ hours of driving, a "proper opportunity to get to know the car, the celebrity, that is the Model 3."
Above: Top Gear's Jack Rix checks out the Tesla Model 3 (Source: Top Gear)
Before driving, Rix says he thinks the Model 3 looks like "a shrunken Model S... but it's quite an attractive thing." After an extensive overview of the touchscreen, Rix heads out into the streets of New York to test the Model 3. He talks of "nuggety suspension... kind of firm in a way that a well-tuned BMW 3-Series is which is a good thing."
Rix also enjoys a few laughs exploring Tesla's Easter eggs — all while he's testing Autopilot. Ummm, this is a definite no-no. Tesla advises that you keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road during use of Autopilot. That said, I guess it makes for some fun footage in this Top Gear video. Let's just hope the camera guy was paying rapt attention to the road.
Above: Top Gear's Jack Rix takes the Tesla Model 3 out for a lengthy test drive in New York (Source: Top Gear)
What does Rix think of Model 3's acceleration? He tries "the classic UK on-ramp challenge, 40-70 miles per hour." After this test, he claims the acceleration was roughly comparable to a BMW 340i. He says, "it's a really satisfying thing to drive because you've got this wodge [that's Brit-speak for a "bulky mass"] of acceleration under your foot whenever you want it."
In terms of handling, Rix feels the Model 3 has the "same DNA as a Model S... that means it feels really solid and planted." But it might even be better — Rix notes, "it feels a little bit lighter, a little bit more agile, a little bit more fun... it's really quite a satisfying thing." He admits, "it is properly sorted, the chassis engineers know what they're doing."
Above: Model 3 takes on the streets of NYC (Source: Top Gear)
To sum things up, Rix asks himself, "Would I actually want one, would I actually put my money where my mouth is, and do I feel that emotional connection and the answer is: yes." He admits he doesn't want the stripped-down base spec version. And he doesn't want that burdensome long wait Model 3 reservation holders must endure — especially Brits. Nevertheless, he concludes, "It's just great fun... they [Tesla] have got themselves one helluva car."
Source: Top Gear