The Model 3 is undoubtedly the most controversial EV of all time. Not even the revolutionary battery-driven transportation of the 19th century caused this much of a row. But blow past all that controversy about production capacity, viability and so on, and what you have is an argument that boils down to the pros and cons. An allusion to a milestone Wild West classic from Hollywood might tempt us to call it…
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of the 2018 Model 3
The Good – Pros
It’s a sports sedan, and it’s fast. The Model 3’s top speed (production specs) of 140 mph put it squarely in the sports car category.
It’s got the range. The EPA range (upper limit) of 310 miles means you can realistically do Detroit to Chicago (279 miles) non-stop. Hypermiling takes that up to 600 miles, and it’s not theoretical anymore. But even from a practical viewpoint, 300 miles on a single charge is not bad, even when you compare it with a regular gasoline-run sedan doing 500 to 600 miles on a full tank. Add Tesla’s Supercharger network to that equation and the problem of range becomes moot.
Impressive is standard. In an age when accessories and features add significantly to the cost of your average gasoline car, Tesla’s 2018 Model 3 comes with LED front and rear lights, two-zone climate control, heated seats up front and even an app that can remotely start your car.
On the infotainment console front, the 15-inch touchscreen is a segment first. You can even adjust your steering wheel on the touchscreen, and Tesla is pushing the envelope on touch-integrated features.
The Bad – Cons
A few cost-cutting measures are clearly visible on the inside. For example, the second-row bench is a little low, making it more like an SUV’s third row rather than the back seat of a sedan.
Some users have also reported finish or fit issues.
Oddly, there’s no blind spot monitoring, neither as a standard feature or trim option.
The Ugly – Oops
Inconsistent braking was a problem reported by Consumer Reports, which is why they didn’t give the Model 3 a rating. The problem has been acknowledged, and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has promised a fix. To be honest, it’s not a problem you should face in a $35,000 car.
Delivery times. Need I say more? This is probably one of the biggest gripes among Tesla enthusiasts who’ve plopped a thousand bucks towards their reservation. It does help to know that Tesla is very close to the 5,000 cars a week production mark, and has flown in six planeloads of robots and equipment to help bring in more automation to the production line. Still, the base model isn’t due for first delivery until the end of this year.
And in the words of Angle Eyes: Isn’t 3 the perfect number? Model 3, that is.