Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, one of the most innovative and forward-thinking electric vehicle makers on the market, has grown his car company before our eyes. Because we’ve been a firsthand witness to Tesla’s phenomenal growth, we’ve also come to more fully appreciate its model lineup. For one, the company’s flagship four-door electric luxury sedan, The Model S, is both beautiful and technologically advanced. For another, Tesla offers one of the most comprehensive all-electric SUVs in the EV segment; the Model X. Both those models are priced at up-market rates, however. But Musk is acutely attuned to the EV market. He’s also made sure Tesla produces a high-quality, well-equipped EV four-door sedan for the masses, the Model 3. It’s safe to say, as well, that the Tesla Model 3 is probably the most satisfying car on the market today, and here’s why:
With the average new car coming in at a total transaction price of nearly $41,000 in 2021, the Tesla Model 3’s base price of $38,190 is especially noteworthy. A Standard Range Plus Model 3 in rear-wheel-drive comes in at only $800 more, and for that, you get even more equipment and up to 263 miles of range from its battery pack. That amount of mileage from any EV is usually enough for most people, especially if they can recharge the Tesla’s battery whenever needed. Also, with the standard equipment you get in the Model 3, calling it “entry-level” hardly seems fair.Read More »
Standard Equipment Menu
The Standard Range Plus Model 3 does seem to be the best value among the different equipment levels for this particular Tesla line. Though by no means comprehensive, standard equipment includes:
- Heated front seats.
- Power front seats.
- Driver memory seat.
- Two wireless smartphone charging pads on the center console.
- Back-up camera.
- Rear parking aid.
- Keyless start.
- Smart device integration.
- Aluminum wheels with plastic aerodynamic hubcaps that help improve driving range.
There’s much more equipment found on the Model 3, and the car’s base model is no slouch when it comes to standard equipment, either.
Powertrain and Performance
The Model 3 is also satisfying because its engine and transmission setup seems ideal for the car’s mission. Together, the engine and transmission combine to deliver excellent performance. Additionally, because it’s an electric vehicle, the Model 3’s power is 100% ready-to-go with just a press of its accelerator pedal. Electric motors come with large amounts of torque. Unlike a gasoline or diesel engine, all that torque is also instantly available. Here are some 0-60 mph performance times for various
Model 3 trims:
1. Rear-wheel-drive Long Range Model 3 trim (it gets 353 miles on a full charge):
0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds
2. Model 3 Performance trim:
0-60 mph in only 3.1 seconds. That zero to 60 mph time isn’t a typo, either. A Model 3 in Performance trim can hang with some exotic and supercar lineups in a straight-up zero to 60 mph contest, and for many, many thousands of dollars less.
Why it Performs So Well
Like all Tesla EVs, the Model 3’s high-voltage battery is located under the floor, giving it a low center of gravity. Low CG in a car helps it make crisp direction changes, meaning no wallowing or diving into and out of corners and bends. That low center of gravity also helps the Model 3 feel well-planted and equally stable going into and heading out of corners, with nearly unnoticeable body lean or sway.
In addition to the above, the Model 3’s steering is dead-on centered, which means it’s very accurate, which also means the ‘3’ will go in the direction in which you steer it. Plus, three different settings adjust steering effort. If you want sports car-like steering, it’s on tap. If you’d like steering to be a bit lighter and more manageable, that’s also available in the Model 3. When combined, the car’s powertrain, performance, and steering make it very satisfying to drive.
A familiar knock against EVs is that they can’t deliver the mileage or range found in conventionally-powered gas and diesel vehicles. The Tesla Model 3, though, capably rebuts that misconception. Consider:
Standard Range and Standard Range Plus trim levels: 263 miles per battery charge.
Performance trim: 315 miles per battery charge.
Long Range trim: 353 miles per battery charge, making it equal to many conventionally-powered motor vehicles.
As noted earlier, “just” 263 miles of range from an entry-level Tesla Model 3 Standard Range is usually enough for most people. Unless they intend to drive cross-country at great distances, standard Tesla range seems more than sufficient. But with a growing Tesla ‘fast-charge’ infrastructure popping up all over the United States, quickly topping off or recharging the Model 3 is becoming easier by the day. Here’s what Tesla offers for charging options for all its vehicles:
- The company’s network of fast-charge stations, which are called ‘Superchargers.’
- Using a 240-volt or 120-volt outlet.
- Through your Tesla adapter at public DC (direct current) charging stations.
- Through an available home charging station.
The Model 3 is of course attractive and ultra-modern outside, but its interior is also unique in the automotive market. Except for its steering wheel, pedals, and a few other controls, almost everything else in the Model 3 runs through a large touchscreen in the center of the car’s dashboard. Attractive aspects of the Model 3’s interior include:
- A spacious and airy cabin, which is due to the car’s low, flat floor.
- Comfortable and supportive front seats.
- The Model 3’s rear seats are 60/40 split-folding, easy to fold down, and they expand trunk space considerably.
- According to one major car magazine review, with this Tesla’s rear seats folded down, there’s enough room for 15 suitcases.
- Generously sized bins and cubbies reside throughout the Model 3’s interior.
With navigation, Bluetooth, and USB standard, there’s little to dislike about the Model 3’s connectivity capabilities. This Tesla also comes standard with several different internet-streaming radio selections. That sizeable central touchscreen in the dashboard’s center also delivers numerous entertainment options during charging station layovers, including Netflix and YouTube, not to mention many arcade games.
Safety and driver-assistance technology-wise, the Model 3 delivers where it counts. This sedan received a perfect five-star crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for one. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also gave Model 3 a “Top Safety Pick+” rating. Here are some of the 3’s best safety features:
- A smooth-operating driver-assist system with automatic lane-change capability.
- Standard automated emergency braking system.
- Standard lane-departure warning system.
- Standard adaptive cruise control system.
Tesla also offers comprehensive warranty and maintenance coverage on the Model 3, with its extended limited warranty of 4 years or 50,000 miles being one of the longest in the EV market. The car’s 8-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty is also excellent.
Satisfaction on Tap
Add up the Tesla Model 3’s battery range, its powertrain, its performance, its list of standard equipment, and its warranty coverage. When all those features are combined, it’s no wonder the Model 3 is consistently rated the ‘Most Satisfying Car on the Market.’ This Tesla is very popular, though. As soon as one becomes available, its many fans quickly snap it up. Visit the Tesla website to build and price a Model 3 today.