What are car reviewers saying about Tesla's pricier 'Performance' Model 3?

Should you settle for a lower-priced Model 3 or splurge on the souped-up "Performance" version of Tesla's newest sedan? The reviews, thus far, have been enticing. Media outlets ranging from Top Gear to the Wall Street Journal have come away impressed. Check out this latest round-up of Model 3 Performance reviews to consider if this top-end model might be right for you.

Above: Tesla Model 3 Performance has a lower stance with 20" wheels and red calipers (Image: Tesla)

Alexander George writes (via Popular Mechanics), "The ultra-luxe Performance variant, at $64,000, adds the kind of stuff that will appeal to anyone who'd chose a BMW M3 or M4 over the 3-Series." In a race, the Performance version of the Model 3 "can dust anything that’s not mid-engined and costs six figures." Regarding the radical interior, George adds that "after driving a Model 3, every other car’s console feels like a misuse of wires and visual real estate."

However, Tim Stevens (via CNET) is not a fan of the car's console. He admits it's "nice once you experience it, but still not as immediately intuitive as the dedicated controls found in most cars." Yet, when it comes to raw power, Stevens says the Model 3 Performance will "leap forward with brutal aggression." He adds, "the Model 3 is just always ready to go, morphing from docile, silent EV to ballistic projectile with just a little more pressure on the go pedal."

Above: CNET's Antuan Goodwin also tested Tesla's Model 3 Performance "Track Mode" feature on an autocross course (Youtube: Roadshow)

After 600 miles behind the wheel of the Model 3 Performance, Kim Reynolds (via Motor Trend) reports, "Tesla still knows how to extract staggering performance out of its electric vehicles." Reynolds says, "Imagine a gigantic slot car, and you'll get the idea. Of course, the slot you're following isn't an actual slot but a virtual one, a sharply defined path the steering angle has mentally scribed on the road ahead of you. If any alterations are needed, you just make small steering adjustments... [and] quick steering is exactly the scalpel you need here."

Patrick George (via Jalopnik) says, "For me, the Model 3 Performance is the most impressive Tesla I’ve driven to date, and easily the most fun... It’s very, very quick." And, "Inside it feels about as roomy as a BMW 3 Series, but it feels noticeably more compact to drive... its relatively small size makes it super fun to just throw into corners." His impression: "the Model 3 Performance handles like a legit sports car, and that’s not a descriptor I toss around lightly, especially for a sedan." 

Above: Tesla Model 3 Performance is also available with special badging and a carbon fiber spoiler (Image: Tesla)

Steve Fowler (via UK's Auto Express) gives it a perfect 5 stars. He says the "range-topping Tesla Model 3 Performance sports saloon offers M3-beating performance and best-in-class tech. Among a of sea of legends, the Tesla Model 3 stacks up." Fowler says, "What’s most enjoyable is that the slightest tickle of the throttle from any speed – especially standstill – will shove you back into your seat with a ferocity to rival the fiercest rollercoaster, with a fun factor to match. You’ll never tire of it and will look for every opportunity to do it."