We Take a Deep Dive Into the Tesla Model 3 — Cars.com


few car companies have created quite as
much buzz in recent history as Tesla California automaker responsible mostly
for very expensive and very fast cars like the Model S and the Model X but
here we are with the all-new model 3 now this is the Tesla that’s more affordable
this is the Tesla that competes with sort of bread-and-butter luxury sports
sedans like the BMW 3-series and they’re saying these Benz C Class but there’s
still a lot that’s different about it and we’re gonna take you through that
well start off with size and styling now the model 3 unlike the Model S is a lot
shorter you can tell there’s tighter overhangs it’s about a foot and a half
shorter bumper-to-bumper than the Model S now speaking of bumper this front one
here you can tell there’s no grille this being an electric car doesn’t need as
much ventilation there is some ventilation down here but just a very
simple face similar to what you see on the Model S you come around at the side
there’s a lot of cameras if you look closely there’s one here behind the
front fender there’s another camera up here on the B pillar overall Tesla says
there’s eight cameras 12 ultrasonic sensors and forward-facing radar built
into every single Model 3 even though some of these aren’t even turned on yet
Tesla says they’re supposed to enable the car to have kind of full autonomy
full self driving capabilities under Tesla’s auto pilot program at some point
in the future now come around to the back some cool stuff here the model 3
unlike the Model S is a traditional sedan but this trunk here the way it
comes up gives you a lot of access to the trunk because the trunk lid actually
look how far it rises it just kind of comes all the way out of kind of halfway
down the seat pillar right there but just gives you a lot more access back
there now there’s no spare tire instead there’s just kind of well down here
where Tesla has some charging hardware all of that hardware is gonna plug in
right here to the charge port to get up to the roof every Model 3 has a glass
roof standard underneath it the rear passengers really can pretty much see
everything up there it’s similar to what you get in the Model X facing forward
three that’s the visibility you get looking back now a clear section over
the front seats is optional if you don’t get that there’s actually just headliner
material here we’re told even though the glass roof above that remains as you
look around here in the model three it’s very simple some might think it’s
actually too austere but as far as materials quality and consistency I mean
everything is really up to snuff to what you’d get in some of these other cars in
kind of the thirty and forty thousand dollar price range it’s just in terms of
graining and soft stuff where your arms and your elbows and your knees kind of
land now all the action happens through this 15 inch horizontal display your
distinct from the 17 inch vertical display in the Model S because that also
accompanies sort of a gauge display over here not the case in the model three
everything happens through here although the left side of the display
has we’re told things like the speedometer all your driving instruments
over you’re kind of within your line of sight this is sort of your home screen
here Google Maps right here very responsive it all works through a 4G LTE
connection and pretty much everything else but the kitchen sink is in here
everything from volume to you know phone controls to climate whatever you want to
do there there’s even some very cool stuff in terms of what you can control
the air vents for example I mean passengers and kind of control the
direction of the air vents which by the way are all up here along the dashboard
itself kind of embedded and you can either create two of them or you can put
them together and just have one direction kind of moving around speaking
of all these features some of the stuff that you’d expect physical controls for
there aren’t any because they’re repurposed from these steering wheel
controls which can do various things including obviously a stereo volume and
tuning but they can also do things like let’s see if I can figure this out
mirror adjustments yeah there you go so basically you can use these controls you
have to use these controls to change your mirror angles a steering wheel
column if you want to go up or down with the steering column you use the controls
again to do that just lots of stuff embedded into this screen you know I’m
sure that you’ve learned it eventually but right here at first glance seems
like there’s just a lot of learning you’d have to do even just getting into
the car now a few features that curiously are missing for such a high
tech car apple carplay Android and wireless smartphone charging none of
those are available in the model 3 Tesla says among the few controls that aren’t
embedded in this screen are window switches here and a button to get out of
the car that activates the door handle basically there’s an override lever here
in case it’s not working for some reason to get back into the car there’s manual
door handles on the outside as opposed to kind of the ones that motor out
toward you to present themselves in the Model S and the Model X now the model 3
being an electric car doesn’t have all the drivetrain architecture so what you
don’t get is a floor hump here across the floor lots of room to kind of
stretch out for rear passengers I’m 6 feet tall that’s about where I’d sit to
drive and I’ve got like really good legroom left over here we do wish the
seat set a little bit higher off the ground though I’d kind of just think I’m
squatting here overall though if it’s at higher that would mean that over bumps
in the road my head might hit this glass ceiling which looks pretty cool probably
doesn’t feel very good now the model 3 has had a very slow roll
out painfully slow if you’re waiting in line for one of these cars but Tesla
says it’s finally started to get through the initial rollout to Tesla employees
and now it’s selling them as we speak to Tesla owners current Tesla owners are
actually getting deliveries of this car and people who don’t own a Tesla we’re
new Tesla owners they’re still waiting but hopefully that wait will kind of
start to move along sooner rather than later how long is that wait well if you
signed up right now and put down a deposit test Assessors a roughly 12 to
18 month to wait for the model 3 and cars that are actually close to its
$35,000 starting price before tax incentives that’s going to be kind of
toward the tail end so far what we’re looking at so still a lot of waiting to
do stay tuned you