Tesla Model 3: First Opinions and Reviews from Test Drives

Tesla started the delivery of the first 30 Model 3 units a few days ago at the Fremont, CA factory. We didn’t want to write on that immediately, but rather wait a few days and see the people’s reactions to the newly launched and the company’s target: a high-volume, low cost electric car.

As every blog and newspaper noted, the Model 3 brags a 5.1-second acceleration from 0 to 60, 130mph maximum speed, five seats and a very, very minimalistic look. If you want anything else than the standard black car, the car’s cost can reach about $44,000. Standard range is 220 miles on a charge, with long range version of 310 miles.

These are the main points so far, observed for a single-motor, rear-wheel drive car:

  • almost no body roll observed, due to the low center of gravity – they used the same trick as in the Model S/X. (MotorTrend)
  • very good steering feedback
  • Autopilot activation is now clearly labeled on the stalk on the right of the steering wheel with the other drive options.
  • Regenerative braking significantly weaker than in Model S/X.
  • Mixed feelings about the center screen command center: some find it annoying, some say people could get used to it, others love it.
  • the quality of the materials used and the finish were good in the demonstration vehicle. (USA Today)
  • plenty of legroom in the back seats and trunk bigger than expected (Tim Stevens, Roadshow).

It’s good to see that public opinion counted in the latter case. The trunk opening was very heavily debated after the initial prototype had been unveiled last year. Therefore, the engineers at Tesla redesigned it and made it larger.

That was not the case for the big center console. In my (and others’) opinion, Tesla could’ve given up just a bit on that very minimalistic style and installed at least a heads-up display – not a big deal, after all – just a screen beneath the lower part of the windshield showing the speed and vital driving information (or at least the speed), so you don’t have to constantly shift your view from the road to the screen while driving (manually).

Toyota has it, lots of new BMW cars have it, I don’t see why Tesla thought differently on this. Can be installed aftermarket, anyway.

People who have made a reservation for a Model 3 early will soon get one, but if you make a reservation today, you’ll only get it at the end of next year, as Musk said. However, Model S or X can be delivered within a month.

Tesla’s target for the near future is about 500,000 cars a year, so this waiting line should drop significantly once a proper production line is set up.

via jalopnik

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