Today we are driving a Tesla Model 3 Long Range for a review. The idea behind Model 3 (initially called Model E) was an accessible electric car with a bigger success on the market compared to more expensive Model S and Model X. Tesla Model 3 was announced in March 2016 as the electric car for everyone, and thanks to a competitive price (in that range) and smaller dimensions, in a few days it managed to accumulate 325,000 reservations. The first product produced left the factory in July 2017 and is owned by Elon Musk, for Europe instead we had to wait until February 2019 for deliveries, but trust me, it was worth it!
The feeling just by getting into the passenger compartment is quite strange, it is a totally new concept for the interiors. Everything is clean and minimal, reduced to the essentials. You will find very few buttons and switches; everything is controlled by the huge central display. How to open the car? For the first time it is mandatory to access into the car with a card that is very similar in size and appearance to a conventional credit card, after that you can configure your smartphone as a Bluetooth key.
The Tesla Model 3 Long Range has the “Premium Interior”, which compared to the “Partial Premium” version offers a year of “Premium Connectivity”, an improved hi fi system and heated front and rear seats. As on all Teslas, the spaces are studied really well, in fact there are the rear trunk and a small compartment positioned under the front hood.
The time has come to get onboard and to drive. From the first seconds I appreciate the more “European” dimensions of this Model 3 (compared to the already tested Model S and X). In maneuvering and especially in the Italian city traffic it is much more manageable than the much larger models. On the streets of Milan the comfort and performance offered by the electric propulsion are undoubtedly a plus. Inside, it is possible to travel in total silence, the maximum torque is instantaneous and overwhelming, and the regenerative braking allows you to reach the complete stop of the vehicle, managing to obtain a decidedly higher efficiency than any endothermic car. After a short stretch in the highway, where I use the notorious AutoPilot with great pleasure, I arrive on the roads leading to Morterone, a suggestive town in the province of Lecco near Mount Resegone.
This car behaves really good between the corners it allows you to have a lot of fun. Thanks to a very precise steering wheel, with the very low center of gravity and the all-wheel drive, there is an almost omnipotent feeling. Model 3 is literally glued to the road. However, one problem remains: the Long Range version reaches 1847kg, a very important weight. Thanks to the electric motors, the low center of gravity and the almost 50 and 50 distribution in acceleration and cornering, this increase in weight it is not felt very much.
Arriving at the top, during a short break, I stop to observe Model 3. I have to admit it, I’m not a big fan white painted cars, but on this I find that this pearly color is truly a right choice. The glass panoramic roof manages to be the right mix of elegance, clean lines and aggressiveness. They complete the picture of the optional 19 “inch wheels (1600 €) which, although less efficient than the 18” Aero wheels, offer a completely different look.
The journey back home awaits me, where I notice even more how efficient this car is. Model 3 Long Range is equipped with a 75 kWh battery which, compared to Model S Long Range, it is smaller. In fact, the range is slightly affected, however charging is faster and consumption is much lower.
On the highway, with an average speed of 130 km/h, you can reach 200 w/km, while on a mixed city and suburban it even drops to 145 w/km, managing to travel even more than 500km with a full charge. Furthermore, with the continually expanding Superchargers network, it is also possible to travel much longer distances with extreme ease. In fact, the V3 Superchargers are about to arrive, offering Model 3 a charge up to 250kW, translated into a charge rate that exceeds 1000km per hour. Truly impressive.
Setting the navigator; the car calculates the route based on Superchargers, if the percentage of battery allows, the car just before a stop preheats the battery so that when the cable is connected it reaches immediately the maximum charging power. This, on Supercharger V2, allows a reduction of the charge time of 25%.
While charging the Tesla Model 3, interested in all the innovations introduced by the new V10 software, I immediately start to explore the infinite possibilities that this infotainment system offers. Compared to Model S and Model X I immediately appreciate the position of the display in landscape mode, a whole new world!
With the latest updates, Netflix, YouTube, Twitch and a series of video games that can be controlled via touchscreen, joypad or even steering wheel and pedals have been introduced. There are also a series of Easter Eggs ranging from a fireplace simulator to a function for reproducing the car’s “farts” at each insertion of the arrows.
A lot of substance in a European form factor and with a much lower price (compared to the other Teslas). For the Long Range it starts from € 57,920 which in Italy can be subtracted from a minimum of € 4,000 of eco-incentives. The Tesla Model 3 Standard Range costs € 49,500 which offers a 50kWh battery, rear-wheel drive only and premium partial interiors. The Tesla Model 3 Performance version costs € 64,590 which offers even more exhilarating performances than the model being tested. Very interesting prices for what I overall believe to be the best car made by the American brand.