So my friend and I decided to rent a Tesla Model 3 to see if it can live up to the hype.
The production of the Tesla Model 3 started in the middle of 2017. In June 2021 it became the first electric car that has been sold over 1 million units.
The Model 3 comes with three different trim levels:
- Long Range
While the Standard version of Model 3 has only one motor and rear-wheel drive, the Long Range and Performance versions have two motors with all-wheel drive.
Also, the Long Range version has about 35% more range than the Standard.
Related: Beginners Guide to EVs
The Performance version is the fastest of the three. However, it’s also the most expensive. Read more about differences from Motortrend.com.
We rented the Tesla Model 3 Long Range. Until this point, we didn’t know much about it. So here are the first impressions from total beginners.
Incredibly Fast Acceleration
What do you think is the most important thing to do when sitting in Tesla for the first time?
Obviously, we went to try the acceleration.
Although it’s not the Performance model, the acceleration is still amazing. It has 346 horsepower and goes from 0 to 100 km/h in about 4 seconds.
At first, the acceleration felt unreal. Those dual electric motors have so much torque. To be exact, the torque of the Tesla Model 3 Long Range is 527 Nm.
However, it’s something you get used to very easily. After driving for a while, it didn’t feel so abnormal anymore.
But I must admit that after returning the Tesla, my own car felt ridiculously slow.
Tesla Brakes Without Depressing the Brake Pedal
One of the major differences with a regular car was that it brakes without depressing the brake pedal. Since it was my first time driving with Tesla, I didn’t know that before.
Usually, when taking your foot off the accelerator, the car is slowing down very calmly. With Tesla, the second you let your foot off the accelerator, the car immediately starts to brake. It was really unusual at first.
It’s because of regenerative braking, which is actually very practical. Regenerative braking uses the excess energy produced by a moving car to charge the battery.
Later, I got to know that it is possible to change the regenerative braking settings. But it’s usually suggested to set it to ‘standard’. There are two reasons for that. Firstly, you can charge the battery while the car is slowing down. And secondly, you are saving brake pads, so you don’t have to change them so often.
Also, make sure to have the ‘Stopping Mode’ set to ‘Hold’. Then you are basically able to drive with Tesla using only one pedal.
Tesla Has Eyes All Over the Place
The reverse camera is quite common these days for all cars. In addition to that, Tesla Model 3 has side cameras.
While you are driving, cameras and sensors are detecting everything around you. You can see all of it from the display. Tesla identifies what type of cars are around and how far they are. It also detects the speed zone and other traffic signs.
When you turn on the turn signal light, the camera image appears on the display.
However, I was still looking at the side mirror, not the display.
Surprisingly, Not Everything is Electric
So far I was getting used to that everything in Tesla is electric. Even for opening the door from inside, there is a button.
So, I was quite surprised at how plain the trunk door was. It’s the same as cars had 40 years ago. I would even say the sound of closing the trunk is cheap.
I have seen that some Teslas have an electric trunk and I am not sure why this model here hasn’t.
One generous person explained it in a Youtube video. It seems that Tesla added power trunks to all Model 3’s in late 2020. So the car I was driving was a mid-2020 or earlier model.
No Engine Under the Hood
Actually, this was no surprise for me that the front hood is empty. But still, I think it’s very cool that Tesla has two trunks.
They call this place a frunk, which is short for the front trunk.
I have no idea where they have put the motors, batteries, and all other essential components.
This means with Tesla, you get an SUV-like cargo capacity.
Not Much Legroom in the Back Seat
Model 3 is a medium-sized car. There’s plenty of room in the front row. Nothing to complain about that.
Surprisingly, there is not much legroom at the rear.
It was literally impossible for me to sit at the back without moving the front seat.
However, after moving the front seat, it was pretty comfortable in the back seat. Plenty of headroom for tall people.
Tesla Model 3 Long Range – Final Words
To sum it up, I really must say that driving with Tesla felt special. Although it was just a car, there was something different than a regular car.
It is so high-tech, yet so simplistic. I like that there are hardly any buttons. It makes the overall look very clean and simple.
While driving for about 90 minutes, we didn’t have time to discover all the bells and whistles on the menu and I believe there definitely is some learning curve.
Overall, definitely a worthwhile experience.
Have you ever driven with Tesla? Let us know in the comments what were your first impressions.