The Tesla Model 3 offers impressive performance, great range and a unique take on car design. It’s an expensive EV but one of the best

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the best EVs around: practical, high-tech and boasting great performance and range. Understated styling hides a sophisticated electric drivetrain and an ultra-modern interior that’s dominated by a huge touchscreen.

The Model 3 is the cheapest car in the Tesla range but doesn’t feel too far off the larger Model S in terms of quality or practicality. It’s big enough for four adults to travel in comfort; combined with fantastic refinement, the Model 3 is a relaxed car in which to spend time. It's fast too – the Performance model can give most sporty saloons a run for their money.

If you aren’t intimidated by the amount of cutting-edge technology, the Tesla Model 3 is one of the best electric cars on sale today. For a few thousand pounds more than a Kia e-Niro you get a product that feels more special.

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Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus

The Tesla Model 3 is the smallest, most affordable car in the American manufacturer’s range of EVs. It’s built to take on the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class, but Tesla also has one eye on the arrival of the BMW i4 and upstart executive EVs from the likes of Polestar and Lynk & Co.

Following on from the success of the Model S saloon and Model X SUV, the Model 3 shares those cars’ combination of clever battery technology, powerful electric motors and high-tech onboard systems. Outside, the Model 3 also shares its siblings subdued styling, which easily flies under the radar – a stark contrast to the remarkably minimalist interior that’s all but bare save for a very large infotainment screen used to control virtually everything.

The Model 3 range is very easy to get to grips with as there are just two versions to choose from. The entry-level car is the Standard Range Plus, which uses a single electric motor to power the rear wheels and returns a claimed 254-mile range. Performance is good - 0-60mph takes 5.3 seconds and its top speed is 140mph.

The second, more expensive option is the Performance model. It has a second electric motor to provide four-wheel drive and improved performance, along with an increased range of 329 miles. The Performance version will get from 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds and go on to a top speed of 162mph.

4.5
4.5/5
The Model 3 is one of the best EVs around to drive – it’s fast, fun and refined
4.6
4.6/5
Impressive range, fast charging times and zero emissions all bode well; residuals should be good for an EV
4.8
4.8/5
An inoffensive exterior is contrasted by a show-stopping interior packed with tech
4.2
4.2/5
Lots of room for passengers and two luggage areas make the Model 3 a practical proposition
4.2
4.2/5
Tesla doesn’t have the best reliability record but the Model 3 feels solid

All cars come as standard with 12-way power-adjustable front seats, a tinted panoramic glass roof, 18-inch alloys and a slick 15-inch touchscreen infotainment system that’s used to control just about everything.

Performance trim adds an uprated stereo, one year’s premium connectivity, LED fog lights and heated front and rear seats, amongst other luxuries.

Performance models can also be specified with a Performance Upgrade pack that adds 20-inch alloys, uprated brakes, lower suspension, a carbon fibre lip spoiler and a Track Mode setting.

Last updated: 
30 Aug, 2019