this is the Tesla Model 3. it’s the $35,000 testing that’s less than half the price of the Model S which starts at 74,500. Tesla gave us the long range version of Model 3, now it has a single electric motor that pushes out 271 horsepower and 307 foot-pounds of torque. that means it’s quick off the line and it’s a lot more nimble, it’s a lot more fun to drives and the Model S or the Model X, because those two they’re kind of handicapped with the added heft of how big those cars are, this in the other hand feels light this feels nimble it’s a pleasure to drive on the freeway, around the neighborhood and even on mountain roads. but you came here for the tech and there is so much tech.
the Tesla Model 3 doesn’t have a key or a key fob in a traditional sense, instead it has a black car that you just placed against the b-pillar, there you go. plus, just place right here in the center console and that’s how you start the car even though you can’t hear. but you don’t even have to do that if you pair your phone with the Tesla app and the card and the car with that using bluetooth, when you walk up to the vehicle it’ll just unlock and when you sit down, you can just drive. of course it’s a good idea to keep this black card in your wallet or purse at all times. in two instances even though I had my phone on me I needed this to start the car. but what you’re in the car some of the items you become accustomed to in a vehicle, they’re they’re just not there. and that’s where the frustration comes in. I love a car with a clean design aesthetic, and at first glance the sparseness of the model 3 it’s serene, it’s just nice big piece of wood there’s nothing like here there’s nothing in your way just this giant display. but it’s a bit like one of those houses where it’s so sparse there’s nowhere to sit and really no one wants to visit the guy who doesn’t have it a chairs. the centerpiece of this stripped down cockpit is these 15 inch touchscreen display that hovers in front of the dashboard. it is the home of most of the vehicles controls and that’s where most of the things can get annoying.
Tesla’s removed all physical controls except for these two stocks on the steering column and these two sort of Bali wheels on the steering wheel. that means there’s no real physical control for climate control. there’s nothing for the headlight switch, there’s no physical control for the side mirrors, there’s no cruise control adjustment, there’s no trip reset ,you don’t even have a drive mode control. it’s all taken care of by the display. that brings up issues with adjusting things while driving in my own car or even in a rental or interview car, after a few days I can adjust the wipers or the adaptive cruise control follow distance without actually looking. in the model three I have to tap on this car icon then have to tap on autopilot and then I have to tap to increase or decrease the follow distance. and if I want to turn off the navigation voice control I have to reach way over here to do that. meanwhile the wiper controls they require a few taps to adjust the speed. now the vehicle does have automatic wipers which do work but during a recent rainstorm it seems to have taken well too long in my opinion for them to engage. now there are wiper controls on the stock over here but they currently only set the wiper to either a clean the windshield or be do one swipe. but this is an opportunity to see where Tesla shines. they are already working on an update that’ll come over the air, that you can control turning the wipers on and off with this button.
one thing the company said that it is going to change already is it’s gonna add the ability to adjust the speed of cruise control to this right button, so you can scroll up to go a little bit quicker, scroll down and go a bit slower. which is better than the current situation where I have to peck to go. let’s say I want a top speed of 67 and I mean back down to 65 so the cops don’t get me but I’m over here pecking like a like a bird make this happen. the moral of the story is if enough model 3 owners think something needs to be fixed and it can be accomplished with a software upgrade Tesla might make it happen. the problem is is there’s not going to be enough hardware buttons to take on a lot of the issues people may have with display UI and then you have to deal with the fact that there’s people like myself who actually enjoy physical buttons in a car.
fortunately the voice control is top-notch it even picks up when I flub things and I typically flub things when I use voice control. it’s so good, that I wish they would expand it beyond navigation media plane and phone calls into doing some like replying to text messages. if it did that it would almost make up for the fact that Tesla still doesn’t support Android auto and carplay, almost. another thing that’s missing it’s well kind of an important thing.
a lot of people signed up for the car based on the $35,000 price tag of the entry-level model 3. but that price can quickly skyrocket, autopilot will add an additional $5,000 to the sticker price. this amazing glass roof is part of a $5,000 package that includes a better sound system, power adjustable and heated seats. LED fog lamps and other items any color besides black will cost you a thousand bucks and of course there’s the $9,000 premium. for the extended range version it has a range of 310 miles versus the base level which is 2 an 20 miles. it’s also quicker both on the road with a zero to 60 and 5.2 vs. 5.6 seconds and while charging. it’ll get a hundred and seventy miles of range in 30 minutes, versus 130 miles in 30 minutes.