Review - Tesla Model 3

image for Review - Tesla Model 3 The Tesla Model 3 is by far the company’s most attractive EV on paper, considering the simple fact that the Model 3 is the most attainable electric vehicle in Tesla’s range.

Better still, Tesla has recently revised its prices for the Australian market, applying some discounts across its full range of Model 3 units, meaning that, on paper at least, there’s never been a better time to join the electric revolution. 

Before they make that leap, however, the buying public needs to be reassured that they won’t need to make any major sacrifices while joining the electric revolution. So, with that in mind, just how well-suited is the Model 3 to the needs and requirements of the Australian public, and how well does it perform as a daily driver and family commuter in the aspects of features, safety equipment, driving range and charging times? Let’s find out. 

Starting Price: $59,990

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Tesla Model 3 (LONG RANGE AWD) Specifications

Model Date 2022
Make TESLA
Model MODEL 3
Series MY21 UPDATE
Variant LONG RANGE AWD
Body 5D SEDAN
Fuel type ELECTRIC
Transmission 1 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive RWD
Engine ELEC
Engine capacity 0
Engine configuration NOT APPLICABLE / 0 valves
Engine RPM 0 / 0
Cylinders
Torque 510
KW 258
Fuel tank size 0.0
Fuel usage specs 0.0 / 0.0
CO2 0
ANCAP security rating 5

For more details and other variants, check Tesla Model 3 car page.

How Much Does It Cost?

The Tesla Model 3 range kicks off from $59,990 for the entry-level Model 3 Standard Range Plus, which offers a single-motor, rear-wheel drive platform. Moving to the Model 3 Long Range all-wheel drive variant comes at a cost of $73,400, while the range-topping Tesla Model 3 Performance is priced at $84,900. 

Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs. The price tag could also be significantly lower than mentioned here, considering which state you live in, and whether you’re eligible for certain government subsidies to increase the uptake of electric vehicles. 

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You? 

Using OnlineAuto’s car buying service, you could save by sourcing one of our car specialists to help you find the best value model for you. 

What Features Does the Tesla Model 3 Have?

The entry-level Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus comes riding on a set of 18-inch alloy wheels, and receives a tinted panoramic sunroof, reversing camera with front and surround-view cameras, adaptive cruise control, power-folding mirrors, heated 12-way adjustable front seats, vegan leather upholstery and a 15-inch infotainment system with an upgraded audio system and satellite navigation. 

Opting for the Model 3 Long Range all-wheel drive adds a set of 19-inch alloy wheels, LED fog lights, floor mats, heated rear seats, live traffic updates for the infotainment system as well as media streaming and floor mats. 

Finally, the range-topping Model 3 Performance receives a set of 20-inch alloy wheels, lowered suspension system, carbon fibre spoiler, upgraded brake package and a track mode for the electric motors. 

Full self-driving capabilities are also available for the Model 3 range, with prices slated at $10,000 for a package that includes Tesla’s Autopilot system, automatic lane change and parking systems. 

Range Features: 

  • 18-inch alloy wheels 

  • 15-inch infotainment system 

  • Tinted panoramic sunroof 

  • Vegan leather upholstery 

  • 12-way adjustable heated front seats 

  • Adaptive cruise control 

  • Reversing camera 

  • Front and rear parking sensors

  • Power folding mirrors 

  • Satellite navigation 

  • 19-inch alloy wheels (Long Range AWD) 

  • Heated rear seats (Long Range AWD) 

  • LED fog lights (Long Range AWD) 

  • Live traffic updates with media streaming (Long Range AWD) 

  • Upgraded sound system (Long Range AWD) 

  • 20-inch alloy wheels (Performance) 

  • Upgraded brakes (Performance) 

  • Carbon fibre spoiler (Performance) 

  • Track Mode (Performance) 

  • Sports suspension (Performance) 

Is it Comfortable to Drive? 

While the Tesla Model 3 might be the baby of Tesla’s range, you could be fooled into thinking this is merely a smaller version of the flagship Model S sedan. It takes only a few seconds behind the wheel of the Model 3 to gain a sense of its futuristic engineering, and realise the benefits of electric driving. The Model 3 offers a clear view into the future of not just electric vehicles, but the entire automotive segment as we move in-line with government restrictions on petrol and diesel vehicles, and that slice of the future is incredibly promising. 

Around town, lifting your foot off the brake pedal causes the Model 3 to coast off the line, similar to what you’ve experienced in an automatic vehicle when the brake is lifted. From there, depending on how much weight you put on the throttle pedal, the Model 3 offers silent, smooth and incredibly linear acceleration that is perfectly suited to picking up speed from a set of traffic lights around the city. Depending on which Model 3 you’ve opted for, the acceleration potential on offer ranges from rapid in the entry-level single-motor variant, all the way up to absolutely insane in the Performance variant. While it might be tasked with lugging around a heavy battery pack, the Model 3 is undeniably rapid, even in the base model. 

This acceleration translates to an absolutely effortless driving experience, which is complimented by the silent driving experience and sturdy suspension system that can handle all the added weight. While the power is intoxicating, the Model 3 is extremely adept when it comes to comfortable cruising at town and highway speeds, requiring only the smallest of inputs from the driver to pick up speed and overtake. This means that the Model 3 offers two distinctly different personalities, in much the same way a powerful sedan can hide its power when necessary, while offering extreme acceleration. 

One thing that will take some getting used to, however, remains the Tesla’s brakes which are fitted with clever regenerative braking systems that capture energy lost during braking, while feeding this energy back into the battery pack. While the level of regenerative braking can be adjusted, it’s worth noting that lifting your foot off the accelerator will feel as though you’re simultaneously braking. Once you’re adjusted, though, you can drive the Model 3 with just one foot, while capturing energy you would have otherwise lost. 

Around town, the Model 3 retains a fairly weighty steering design that is easy to pilot at low speeds and while parking, while offering the driver enough feedback to know what the front wheels are up to at higher speeds. Better yet, the Model 3 is packaged with relatively compact proportions, which means that the process of finding and squeezing into tight car spaces will rarely prove a problem. The firm suspension fitted to the base model is perhaps more suited to the urban environment, but still offers enough dampening for small and medium-sized irregularities and potholes you’ll find in town. 

All up, then, it takes only a few minutes behind the wheel of the Model 3 to gain a clear picture of its overall quality, and the smooth, powerful yet refined driving experience on offer. 

How Far Can the Model 3 Travel on a Single Charge? 

The amount of distance you can travel in a Tesla Model 3 depends largely on which variant in the lineup you’ve picked. The entry-level Model 3 Standard Range Plus receives a single electric motor, with power supplied by a 54kWh battery pack that offers up to 448km of range, when tested on the WLTP cycle. 

Moving to the Model 3 Long Range adds a larger capacity, 79.5kWh battery pack, and while there is another electric motor that requires power, the range figure increases to 580km on the WLTP cycle. Finally, Tesla’s flagship Model 3 Performance receives the same 79.5kWh battery pack, which translates to the same 580km range figure as the Long Range all-wheel drive. 

These range figures do, however, depend largely on your driving style, as well as how much time you’re spending in stop-start traffic or motorways. 

How Long Does it Take to Charge the Tesla Model 3? 

Charging times for the Tesla Model 3 change dramatically, depending on what type of charging infrastructure you’re using. The Model 3 range supports both level one charging -  up to 16.5kW of alternating current (AC) - as well as level 2 charging, which uses direct current (DC) up to 120kW for fast-charging. 

For the best and fastest charging results, visiting one of Tesla’s Supercharger centres that utilise 120kW charging speeds is the best and fastest way to charge your Model 3, which can take the battery pack from 0-50% state of charge in just 30-minutes, with a full-charge possible in 1.5-hours. You can also use the range of public fast-chargers on offer from ChargeFox, Evie and the NRMA, which offer DC fast-charging speeds of anywhere between 50kW-350kW in the case of ChargeFox’s network of ultra-fast chargers. 

Using a Tesla wall box at your home offers charging speeds of between 3kW-7kW, which can be raised up to 22kW with Tesla’s wall connector hardware. Using an AC power supply at home means the Model 3 takes anywhere between 6-10 hours for a full charge, while using a standard 240-volt AC power plug in your home adds around 15-kilometres of range for every hour it is charging.

Is it Practical and Spacious? 

As the baby of the range, the Model 3 is not the largest and most practical Tesla you can buy, however, it offers enough size and practicality for a number of Australian families. The front of the cabin greets the driver and front passenger into a wonderfully-curated, minimalist-inspired cockpit that offers a heap of space to stretch out and get comfortable. The flat dashboard offers a great view out of the front windscreen, while the large infotainment system dominates the cabin’s dash. 

In terms of practical elements in the front of the cabin, you’ll find the usual set of storage in the door bins, as well as the centre console and underneath the folding armrest. Wireless smartphone charging, as well as storage for loose items can be found below the infotainment system. All up, the ambient in the front of the cabin is outstanding, aided in particular by that massive panoramic sunroof. 

Moving to the rear of the cabin, you’ll find a comfortable bench seat and a completely flat floor that doesn’t feature the usual transmission tunnel you’d find in a petrol or diesel-powered car. This means that occupants in the rear have more flexibility in how they sit, and more real estate to stretch their legs with the unique floor design.

Space in the rear, however, is somewhat limited when it comes to comfortably transporting full-sized adult passengers. This is dependent on the size of the driver and front passenger, though, so if you’re willing to sacrifice some room, you can comfortably transport adults for long journeys. 

The Model 3 redeems itself when it comes to boot space, though, which is perfectly suited for growing families, thanks to its double-boot design that offers storage in the traditional boot, as well as the front of the vehicle. Officially, there is 649L of boot space on offer in the Model 3 between those two storage areas, which makes the Model 3 an undeniably practical vehicle, especially when you consider the fact that it’s a relatively compact sedan. 

Is it Safe? 

The Tesla Model 3 has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating, scoring 96% for adult protection, 87% for child protection, 74% for vulnerable road user protection and 94% for its range of active safety assistance technologies. As standard, the entry-level Model 3 receives autonomous emergency braking as well as lane-departure warning and lane keep assistance, as well as adaptive cruise control, a reversing camera, parking sensors and airbags. 

Our Verdict: Is the Tesla Model 3 Worth it?

The Tesla Model 3 is a car that proves the future of electric vehicles is extremely promising. Typically, consumers are worried about making a major switch to electric motoring, for good reason. The Model 3, however, takes these preconceived notions and throws them right out the window. It’s a wonderful car to drive, and offers enough real-world performance and range to alleviate the anxiety that any Australian buyer might be feeling. 

Considering the fact that Tesla has recently revised its pricing to make the Model 3 range more affordable here in Australia, it seems as though there’s never been a better time to test-drive the future of the automotive industry, and get behind the wheel of your very own slice of the electric revolution. Make sure the Tesla Model 3 is on your shortlist while shopping around for premium sedans, and on that note,  if you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925 

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Four-year/80,000km warranty 

  2. 8-year/160,000 km battery warranty; 192,000km for Long Range and Performance 

  3. Five star ANCAP safety rating 

  4. 54kWh battery pack in Standard Range Plus; 448km range on WLTP cycle 

  5. 79.5kWh battery pack in Long Range & Performance; 580km range on WLTP cycle 

Pros 

  • Unbelievable acceleration

  • Effortless cruising around town

  • Sleek interior design packed with luxuries

  • Massive panoramic sunroof 

Cons

  • Limited legroom for tall rear passengers 

  • Suspension is firm on rough surfaces 

  • Build quality inconsistencies 

OnlineAuto Rating: 9/10

Tesla Model 3 Competition 






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