The Auto Express Car of the Year for 2019 is the all-electric Tesla Model 3
With the Model 3, Tesla has proved that it can listen to feedback, return to the drawing board and innovate. Forget the big steps, it’s the small evolutions that make living with an EV palatable. In fact, this EV is very nearly as easy to live with as a combustion-engined car.
That’s because, along with Supercharging capability, the Model 3 accepts CCS rapid charging. 50kW is the UK’s most common level currently, but prepare to see 100kW points become more common over the next few years, and with a recent update that sees the Tesla support charging at up to 200kW, it’s future-proof for the foreseeable.
Performance and range are brilliant, and our tests prove that Tesla’s claimed numbers when it comes to how far you can go on a charge are accurate. True, although you might only fill up your petrol or diesel junior executive saloon every 500 miles or so, the Model 3 Performance has up to 329 miles of range.
Most people won’t exceed this in a single day’s driving, and simply charging the car overnight will replenish that entire range for the next day.
Clever torque vectoring from the Tesla’s dual electric motors gives the car incredible agility on the road, considering its 1,847kg weight.
Boot capacity is good, there’s enough room inside the car for passengers, and the clean, simple design of the cabin means that the Model 3 is slick to use, regardless of which area of the market this brand-new American EV is competing in.
But importantly, it’s the best Tesla yet. Even on the Performance model’s 20-inch wheels, the ride is acceptable – controlled and taut – and while the steering doesn’t have any feel, the car’s dynamics and ability will genuinely surprise you. It grips and grips, while the control software shuffles power around to help the Model 3 change direction and at least make it feel more engaging. Even keen drivers will be able to scratch away at the surface to reveal the seed of a personality in the car; that’s a big step for an electric vehicle that, until now, few have achieved.
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