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Tesla’s Model 3 – is it worth waiting for?

The Tesla Model 3 is the most eagerly awaited new car of the decade and it is ready to set the marketplace on fire with its distinctive styling and impressive performance.

For those drivers who are excited by the introduction of electric cars but are unwilling to accept anything but superb performance and an impressive 0 to 60 acceleration there has to be only one car manufacturer that fits the bill – and that company is Tesla –  run by the famous entrepreneur Elon Musk.

Following the recent media hype regarding Tesla’s new car for the masses alongside the negative commentary regarding the continued production delays and delivery backlog, I was excited to come face to face with the new kid on the block – the Model 3 . Being the lowest priced car in Tesla’s growing range, it is expected that the Model 3 will be the car that makes or breaks the Tesla as a mass car manufacturer.

     

Aerodynamic and Sporty look                      Stylish rear with large boot capacity

Having recently enjoyed a weekend driving the excellent S series across Cheshire and Manchester, I fell in love with its outstanding turn of speed and superb comfort, so I looked forward with great anticipation to paying a visit to Tesla’s new showroom in Manhattan, New York. Located in the heart of the Meatpacking district in one of the coolest parts of the city is the perfect location to showcase the car that I believe is going to revolutionise the way in which we all drive over the next decade.

Entering the bright and contemporary showroom pride of place was given to the Model 3 with its distinctive Tesla exterior styling and unique interior (which you will either love or hate within a minute of sitting in the car.) The showroom was already buzzing at 1030 on a weekend and there were American families and couples keen to learn more about this iconic vehicle.

Stepping into the driving seat for the first time is quite a shock as you are immediately faced with no instrument panel in front of the chunky sports steering wheel – in fact your eyes are immediately drawn to the 15″ centre touchscreen located on the dashboard to the right of the steering wheel which acts as your entertainment, navigation and driving display. I could immediately understand why the Model 3 is so different from other cars.

     

Simple layout and great visibility                Clear information on large touchscreen

With great visibility the front windscreen was complimented in this showroom model by the large panoramic sunroof across both the front and rear seats and the simple dashboard which delivers a very stylish interior. The rear seats which can be folded down, deliver a very generous amount of boot space which will be a big plus. However the headroom in the back is somewhat restricted as is the rear view visibility (hence the need for a rear view camera as standard)

The exterior displays the iconic Tesla door handles, the opening flap for charging forming part of the nearside rear light cluster and the lack of a radiator grill. Meanwhile the aerodynamic front and rear styling were very pleasing to the eye and will certainly generate some new friends amongst traditional petrol heads.

     

Minimalist interior                                          Smooth and attractive lines

The showroom model was sadly just that and there was no way that the car was ever going to allow me to sample the acceleration from 0 to 60 in just over 5 seconds (a full 2 seconds slower than its S counterpart) – there were no test drives available in New York but I am assured that the ride and acceleration will not disappoint.

Am I convinced that the Model 3 electric saloon, will transform Tesla’s fortunes and would I buy the car ? The answer is a very definite yes to both questions – with a selling price for the basic model expecting to be around £30k when it finally arrives in the UK, there will be a queue of buyers who will be looking to replace their petrol and diesel saloons.

With over half a million reservations already there is a waiting list of over 2 years if you want to buy a Model 3 – but if like me you are happy to put down a deposit of £1k (refundable if you give up waiting) you too could be one of the first UK drivers to be enjoying the Tesla Model 3 experience in 2020 – the car that I believe will transform driving over the next decade.

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