2020 Tesla Model 3 review – the worlds best electric cars | What Car?

In our 2020 Tesla Model 3 review, we spend two days putting this to the test in Europe to find out if it’s the world’s best electric car.

So here it is the car we’ve been waiting for for quite a long time actually the tesla model 3 it was first unveiled almost three years ago and although there have been various teething problems and production bottlenecks along the way the car has actually been on sale for about 18 months now over in the states it’s only now though that the first cars are finally

Arriving in europe at the moment it’s just left-hand drive models which is why we’re out in madrid today but right-hand drive cars are expected to appear in the uk before the end of 2019 now some of you tesla fans will doubtless know plenty about this car already like my cameraman for today dan who actually has a deposit down on one of these and it’s so excited

To be filming it today that he’s wearing his model free t-shirt let me just take a quick video on my phone of that for you but for those of you who aren’t that clued up about the model 3 what exactly is it well it’s an electric car test it doesn’t do petrels diesels or even hybrids and it’s the company’s entry-level model so it’s below the model x suv and the

Model s which is a fairly big luxury saloon it’s about the same size as a bmw 3-series and tesla quotes a maximum range of up to 310 miles between charges we talked about that a little bit more in detail later on as for how much it will cost you in the uk well tesla is still being a bit cagey about that but if you convert the cost from euros you’re looking at

Roughly 50 thousand pounds for the all drive long range model rising to about sixty thousand pounds for the performance version that we’ve got here today in other words it’s priced roughly somewhere between a kia niro and a jaguar ipace now we did get a brief go in the model three out in san francisco last year but this time we have the best part of two days to

Really get to know the car properly so we’ve put together a bit of a plan today we’ll be heading alta madrid and a couple of hours north to the city of burgos on the motorway up there we’ll try out some of the autopilot autonomous driving tech and we’ll see what the model three is like as a high speed cruiser when we get to our hotel which i’m reliably informed

Has a supercharger on site which is one of tesla’s own really quick charging points we’ll have a proper look around the model three and a good play with it enormous screen infotainment system then tomorrow we’ll head out into the countryside to find out what the model 3 is like to drive on some twisty mountain roads and then finally we’ll be finding out roughly

How many miles you can expect from a full charge in the real world but before we head off it’s worth mentioning that although you probably know us best for our car reviews we’ve been doing them for more than 40 years now these days we can also help you buy and potentially save you quite a lot of money in the process so if you are in the market for any new car make

Sure you head over to our website what car on or click the link up there in the top right to find out how much you could save okay so on the motorway and we’re going to try out some of the autopilot features firstly you’ve got adaptive cruise control to activate that what you do is you pull once on this stalk here on the right hand side of the steering wheel now

That will set you to the speed limit of the road and it will automatically maintain set distance from the car in front by accelerating and braking accordingly now you can change that distance if you bother be a bit further away from the car in front then you just move this doll backwards and if you knock it to the right then that brings you up closer to the car

In front now on top of that you’ve also got something called auto steer as the name would suggest this is a function that really takes care of the steering for you as well as the cruise control now to activate that you double tap on the stalk and in the most part it actually works really well it steers you in the center of the lane it does so smoothly so you’re

Not bouncing off one side of the lane and then the other the only time that it can get a little bit confused if there are some quite severe corners on the motorway and what it will do then is it warned you before disconnecting and on top of that you must keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times because it senses you haven’t after a short period of time

Then it deactivates the system as well but there’s more because if you’ve got auto steer enabled you can actually perform a lane change as well what you do to do that is you just indicate and a car will check there’s nothing around before you’re out into the next lane and turning the indicator off and if you want to go back in the lane again all you do is you

Indicate back the other way it checks there’s nothing that’s come along on the inside and then it steers you over to that lane as well so it’s pretty clever and actually in the us the autopilot system will work with the navigation systems so you can effectively just plug in the destination and the car pretty much take care of the driving for you while you’re on

The motorway it will take you off a junction it thinks you need to come off at and then hand things back over to you but at the moment there’s no word on when or if at all this will be available in europe in other respects on the motorway that model 3 is very good as well it feels really stable at speed and the steering when you are choosing steering yourself

That is is nicely weighted and it’s very precise so it allows you to place the car exactly where you want it in your lane the one downside is that this is not the quietest cruiser in the world there’s quite a lot of wind noise from around these frameless doors here and there’s quite a lot of road war as well which is no doubt partly caused by the 20 inch wheels

That come a standard on this performance model cheaper versions that come on 18 and 19 inch wheels will no doubt be quite a bit better in that respect how it’s one more thing that’s a complete gimmick really it’s called rainbow road and how to activate that you tap the store four times and the road goes rainbow-colored and it plays the tune for you while it’s

Activating an auto step sourav writes our hotel and we found the tesla superchargers but these aren’t just any old superchargers they are model three ready now that’s because the usual tesla connector which is one of these and you use that to charge a model s or a model x doesn’t work with the model three so you have to use one of these which is called a

Ccs connector this is a bit of a pain because it means that until tesla updates all of its superchargers some aren’t compatible with the model three at all on the plus side the car does know which locations are and on model three ready so it isn’t as though you’re gonna have to take any gamble’s plus the model three can charge at the same speed as other tesla’s

Around 120 kilowatts which is much much faster than a jaguar pace or a kia enero the new ccs connector also means you can charge reasonably briskly at about 50 kilowatts at some regular public charging points that would previously have been incompatible with tesla models and of course you can still use a regular type ii connector to charge your model 3 at home

So what about the rest of the car well let’s start with how you get into it because there’s no conventional key you just get one of these a smart card and you touch it on the side pillar here and the doors unlock if you’re thinking it’s a bit rubbish that there’s no keyless entry in a car costing this much money then fear not because as long as you’re logged into

The smartphone app that tesla provides on your phone then the doors will automatically unlock when you approach the car the door handles are flush with the bodywork just like they are in a model s but here they don’t automatically pop out for you to grab you have to push here to get out again you just press this button although there is an emergency release in

The unlikely event you get stuck inside the car without power now driving positions tend to be quite personal things they work for some people and not quite so well for others but most of the fundamentals are really good here there is a lot of adjustment in the seat and once you finally figured out how to do it in the steering wheel as well now the only downside

Really is that the driver seat it doesn’t have a great deal of support and even with the adjustable lumbar support in its most extreme setting i did still get a bit of backache on the two-hour journey up here now we can spend more than an hour talking you through the finer detail of this touchscreen so just run through the basics the screen measures 15 inches

Across so it’s slightly smaller than what you’ll find in a model s or a model x and it’s also in landscape orientation rather than a portrait layout that tesla usually favors but the basic interface is very similar why let’s start with this icon here which brings up a lot of the cars functions you can adjust the mirrors and the steering wheel we talked about that

A minute ago here you’ve got the light controls this is the lock so that’s where you set up your phone to unlock the doors automatically and you can also set child locks and things like that this just allows you to play about the display the brightness these are driving modes so you can adjust the aggressiveness acceleration you can change the steering weight and

You can play about with the regenerative braking this is the auto pilot stuff and that is what we talked about you on the way up here you can play about with those settings this is sat nav so you can do things like avoiding toll roads and here is safety and security so you can set speed limits and you can also turn off the alarm now finally you’ll see here this

Is how you open the glove box but you can also open the bonnet the boot and the transport platform the touch screen as well so this menu here as you probably guessed is the music side of things you’ve got various options along the bottom there this one here it brings up a lot of the cars apps you can see your energy consumption over a period of time for example

And you can also see all the charging information so you can set the charging limit to preserve the life of the battery can change the current of which the battery is charging you can schedule charging and you can also see how much you’re being charged you press this icon here you get a reversing camera and you can keep that on any speed you like unlike pretty

Much every other carton cell which will automatically switch the camera off when you go above crawling speeds if you swipe left you get trip information here is what we did earlier and finally there is the wiper switch and the aircon is also rather fancy because there are no adjustable vents on the dashboard there you can adjust the airflow by playing around with

The touchscreen here remember we showed you that silly rainbowroad function on the way up here well a fun feature that tesla calls an easter egg and there are a few more you can turn your model 3 into santa’s sleigh change the sat-nav maps to the surface of mars turn the screen into a giant drawing pad play some classic atari games turn up the heat with romance

Mode or even try to embarrass your passengers give some fart noises the touchscreen even displays the speedo and all the other bits of info that you’d usually expect to find on a screen behind the steering wheel and that’s helped create this incredibly clean looking dashboard with no buttons switches or dials on it at all interior quality isn’t gonna worry

The likes of audi but it’s certainly something tesla has improved on a lot over the years and nice touches like this ceramic face on the dashboard helped make the model 3 feel reasonably premium inside the model 3 also feels really light and airy in the front and there’s a huge amount of storage space dotted around the interior things aren’t bad in the back but

I’m 6 foot and i’m sitting behind my imaginary self err i don’t have a huge amount of knee room i can’t really move my feet at all but the fact there’s no hump in the floor like you usually expect to find in a petrol or diesel car should make it pretty easy to fit three people across here now the model 3 is a saloon so the boot opening isn’t as big as a jacket i

Paces but there is loads of room for luggage in there and it’s actually a hold more if you lift up the boot floor there there’s even space for a couple of soft bags under the bonnet right now it’s our second day with the model 3 and we’re heading out into the mountains to find some good driving race this is the performance version after world which has stiffer

Sports suspension and really sticky michelin tires to help it go around corners better and compared with other electric cars even the jockey i paced for example handles really quite well i mean it is obviously quite a heavy car still there are a lot of batteries it needs to carry around so just turning the corner is quite like an alford julia quadrifoglio for

Example but once you settled into corner you can carry a surprising amount of speed through it and out the other side again it’s there surprisingly well – it’s something tesla’s work really hard on since the early days of the model s and we reckon it’s something the company is now better than any other electric manufacturer to date most impressive of all though

Is undoubtedly the acceleration even the regular long-range model can do naught 60 in 4.5 seconds whereas this performance version that i’m driving today can do that in a scarcely believable 3.3 seconds now that’s quicker than porsche 911 let alone a jaguar ipace now the other thing i really like about the model 3 are the brakes the regenerative side of things

Is taken care of when you lift off the accelerator so the effect doesn’t increase unpredictably when you press the brake pedal like it does in many electric cars now that not only makes it easier to slow down smoothly it just generally makes the car more enjoyable to drive as for the rides well this performance version is undoubtedly quite firm and that’s hardly

Surprising when you consider it has stiffer sport suspension and massive 20 inch alloys we’d still say it’s no firmer than m sport versions of the latest bmw 3-series for example but there’s no doubt if comfort is a priority we would recommend you look at the regular long-range model now before we give the car back to tesla there’s one last thing we need to do

And that’s to find out roughly how many miles you can expect from a full charge tesla quotes a range of 310 miles based on an official government test carried out over in the us but the european w ltp figures have just been published and they say the performance version that we’re driving here can do 330 miles or the less powerful regular long-range model can

Manage 338 miles on a charge so we’re charging the car back up again and then we’re going to drive it relatively gently all the way back to madrid which is about 150 miles away to see how much charge we use up a bit of maths and that should give you a rough idea of the mileage you can expect in the real world although we will of course be putting the model to

Reach through on much more scientific real range tests when we get the car back in the uk to find out more about our real range tests including how many miles other electric cars can manage on a full charge just click the link up there in the top right okay so we’re coming towards madrid now we’ve done around 130 miles and the car is saying we’ve used up 55%

Of the battery so assuming that song correct that gives us a potential maximum range of around about 235 miles which is very good when you consider that pretty much the whole way we’ve been doing 70 miles an hour on quite a hilly motorway we reckon if you’re driving on slower roads you should be able to get well over 250 miles and as well as having a long range

The model 3 is actually a really good car in other respects it’s fun to drive it’s packed full of tech it’s ridiculously fast and it’s even reasonably practical the problem is we don’t know how much it will cost in the uk yet and until we do it’s impossible to say where the model 3 will rank in our electric car league table tesla also needs to get a bit of a move

On with deliveries in the uk because there are plenty of other electric cars on the horizon from more established manufacturers that could potentially snap up would be model 3 bars who just can’t be bothered to wait any longer but hopefully that won’t happen because assuming the prices aren’t too optimistic this is a car that really does deserve to succeed watch

Out for a full uk video review of the model 3 in the coming months and in the meantime head over to what car.com to read our full written review of the car thanks for watching and if you’ve enjoyed this video give us a like and hit the subscribe button so that we can let you know about future content as soon as it’s published

Transcribed from video
2020 Tesla Model 3 review – the world's best electric cars | What Car? By What Car?liveBroadcastDetails{isLiveNowfalsestartTimestamp2019-03-05T173029+0000endTimestamp2019-03-05T174946+0000}