Tesla model 3 UK – The first 3,500 Mile Mega review

After much more than three years of waiting I picked up my model 3 from Tesla’s Edinburgh service centre at the end of June and drove it home to northern Ireland through a 5-day route around the Scottish Highlands.

So, after 3 months and over 3,500 miles, here are some thoughts on the car.

God bedre best

When I placed my purchase (May 2019) there were 3 different versions available in the UK. The range topping ‘Performance’, the ‘Long range AWD’, and the starter priced ‘Standard range Plus’, which is the one I went for.

Tech & Equipment

Even in this base model 3 the standard equipment list is excellent…

Dual zone Aircon
12-way power adjustable heated front seats
15″ Touchscreen
Auto dimming, power folding, heated side mirrors
Music and media over Bluetooth
Custom chauffeur profiles
Centre console with storage and 4 USB ports
Premium seat material and trim
Upgraded audio – immersive sound
LED Front Fog Lamps (no longer included)
App Control
Nøkkelløs inngang
Docking for 2 smartphones

There are also numerous other features that don’t fit into the typical car categories such as TeslaCam, a dashcam system that includes ‘Sentry Mode’ to monitor your car when it is parked.

There are 8 cameras, 12 sonar sensors and a radar all feeding the new v3 AI computer. The system is learning continuously as the neural net gets better and better – view this video if you want to learn much more (much more).

Passive keyless entry comes courtesy of Bluetooth and the smartphone app and this works really well. just walk up to the car with your phone in your pocket and pull the door deal with for it to unlock. step in and put your foot on the brake pedal. The car is now on. Strålende.

Photo credit report – reinisbphotography

When you leave, it locks itself once your phone is a few metres away. You can set an option to give a quick beep of the horn to confirm this or you can look back and view for the door mirrors folding in if you choose a silent confirmation.

In addition, the car comes with 2 RFID ‘credit cards’ that can be used to lock / unlock and start it too. An optional £140 essential fob is also available but neither it nor the cards support the passive walk-up lock / unlock the way the phone app does. [UPDATE] The new updated keyfob that’s just been released now does have passive lock / unlock.

If you are concerned about the safety and security of any of these devices then you can simply turn on ‘PIN to Drive’ to add the additional requirement to enter a personal identification number to start your car.

The 15.4-inch (39 cm) LCD landscape touchscreen is the single point of control for the car, even opening the glovebox is done from here.

Klikk for å forstørre

The interface takes a bit of learning, but it rewards. Its chock-full of little touches that you need to discover too. For example, a micro-flick of any of the seat controls is a shortcut to bring up the mirror and steering wheel adjustment options. press and hold the volume or temperature icons on the screen and you can slide your finger left and best to set the level.

The screen can be distracting though and the wiper controls in particular are ripe for improvement. An update to add a double-click on the end of the stalk to bring the wipers on at speed 1 would help. The software-controlled car setting is not up to the task currently, not detecting rain early enough or wiping often enough, and in some cases wiping for no reason. This is because Tesla are using their cameras and AI to detect rain, rather than a dedicated sensor like many (all?) other car manufacturers. It ought to get better over time hopefully.

The screen switches to a dark night mode based on time.

As for the lack of a binnacle behind the wheel, this is something you forget within about 20 minutes of your first drive. My better half said she was already used to the speedo being in the centre of the car just from being in the passenger seat. It’s a similar change to your iphone losing its home button, something you soon never even think about. some of the advantages are better visibility out the front of the car and fresh air for the chauffeur straight through the steering wheel through the smart slotted fan system.

The HomeLink garage door opener is no longer included in any model 3 but can be added for $300. That price includes the (bumper off) fitting at a Tesla service centre.

Even though it’s a saloon, the model 3 has a hatch back shape and occasionally you do miss having a rear wiper to clear the screen. many times the rear video camera is able to compensate though. even with the rear window clear, its high line doesn’t offer great visibility behind you. canine owners and other hatchback fans might choose the model Y coming in 2021?


Basic Autopilot features are now standard on all model 3’s and that’s as it ought to be as Tesla are probably known for this tech above all else. So now every car has adaptive cruise control (right down to a standstill), auto-steering and a lane departure cautioning system.

At the time of ordering the option was there to pay another £4,900 for the FSD (Full Self Driving) package which adds Summon, car Lane Change, Autopark and navigate on Autopilot. some of these features are not available yet in the UK due to legislative issues. The hardware for them is fitted to every car so they can be enabled for a fee at any time in the future, although you’ll pay much more than if you paid for it along with the car. I think this is bad value, particularly with the current restrictions here.

The radar cruise control is a step backwards in some instances. I like to hit cruise when I come into a 30mph or 40mph zone and with dumb systems this works well. but with the Tesla ‘intelligent’ radar the car regularly shits itself and jumps on the brakes. in some cases this is due to a parked car (that’s not in your path), in some cases a pedestrian or car safely crossing a long way down the road from you, in some cases for no obvious reason at all. This makes you A) very annoyed, B) look like a tool to anybody following you and C) wish you could have good old vanilla cruise back round town. In fairness this was mostly the same in the last car I owned that had traffic aware cruise control too. Let’s hope it’s another one of those things that “gets better over time”.

On the motorway however, the system is mostly excellent. This is what it was made for and where it performs at its best. I drove the M6 from Manchester to Gretna completely on Autopilot and it was brilliant, bar the odd blip, mostly at off ramps where there’s a break in the white lines on the left-hand side. The car nags you too often (every 15 seconds on the motorway) to keep your hands on the wheel, even when they are already there, and you have to put some torque into the wheel for it to sense you.

The model 3 currently does not read road signs like its older Mobileye equipped siblings, so it’s depending on GPS data for speed limits. I’ve found that on numerous roads these details are wrong and this is particularly annoying when the cruise control matches itself to the speed limit.

Apps, software data & Fun

The Mobile app is excellent, allowing you to control certain aspects of the vehicle, like its temperature, locks, headlights and horn, plus the ability to monitor its location and state of charge. It’s particularly enjoyable to use after coming from the abomination that was the Nissan leaf app. push notifications are helpful too and come through on the Apple view as well.

Obviously the app requires connectivity to the car and several times now my 3 has lost its LTE connection for around a day implying the app is only able to control things when in Bluetooth range.

Tesla -app – Klikk for å forstørre

I also registered for the 3rd party TeslaFi service and I love the amazing range of stats it logs for the car. After each drive I get an email showing the information below and this is all available online too.

Teslafi Trip Sammendrag – Klikk for å forstørre

I’ve had 5 software updates because I got the car and version 10 is due any day now. These OTA (over the air) updates are particularly impressive, improving the cars features as well as adding new ones. It’s just another area where Tesla are showing the way to the rest of the industry.

Tesla’s sense of humour is well documented (fart mode anyone?). slightly much more helpful are the on-board games and version 10 will bring the ability to view Netflix and YouTube while parked and on Wi-Fi.

Performance, dealing with & Ride

The model 3 feels rapid and its 0-60 time of 5.3 seconds is just half a second shy of the E46 M3 I had a few years back. Not bad for the slowest car Tesla currently sells.

However, the car’s many outstanding acceleration seems to be from around 40 mph on (Auto express magazine reports 30-50mph in 1.9 seconds and 50-70mph in 2.6 seconds). While all electric cars are governed to some extent, the initial acceleration from zero feels like it’s being held back very artificially on the SR+. I guess this is probably so the 0-60 performance of this lightest model 3 (the smallest battery and no front motor) aren’t too close to the times of the much more expensive 3’s, S and X. It certainly feels like it could easily be ‘uncorked’ at a later date.

It’s worth mentioning that performance tails off as the battery level goes down. I’d like to see some of the car mags do 0-60’s for every 10% drop in SoC (state of charge) to quantify this.

In addition to that powerful instant torque, the Tesla’s ultra-low centre of gravity implies it handles extremely well too. I had read about the GoKart like flat cornering and it’s all true. An added benefit of placing the cars heaviest component, the battery, between the wheels implies that the car has a low polar moment of inertia. even the rear motor sits slightly ahead of the rear axle and this all combines to make it simpler to chaNge retning raskt, og gir den mye mer til felles med en midtmotorert sportsbil enn en 5-seters familiesalong.

Mens styringsfølelsen er ganske følelsesløs, er den veldig rask (bare 2 svinger lås til lås), og det gir smidigheten og tilbyr det endelige elementet i denne smilfabrikken. Det er tre innstillinger under kjøremenyen, komfort, standard og sport som krever gradvis sterkere innsats fra sjåføren for å snu rattet.

Chill -modus slenger akseleratorresponsen, men du har ingen tilgang til full strøm i en nødsituasjon i denne innstillingen. Bladet hadde en knapp på gulvet under pedalen som tillot deg å overstyre øko -modus, men akk ikke på 3. Så jeg bare forlater bilen i standardmodus og utfører min egen kjøle -modus med et lett berøring på den høye stille pedalen .

Før jeg fikk bilen, trodde jeg at Tesla ville ha fordel av en Regen -padle. Andre produsenter har gjort dette, og muligheten til å øke Regen når du kommer inn i et hjørne ved å trekke på en padle et par ganger, kan forbedre kjøreopplevelsen. På Model 3 kan du imidlertid gjøre dette, men alt med din beste fot. I motsetning til måten bladet fungerte på, er Regen her i utgangspunktet lett, men når du løfter mye mer og kommer mot den siste delen av gasspedalens reise, øker det betydelig. Du trenger ikke å berøre bremsepedalen med mindre du kjører ganske hardt – og da virker det at Regen ikke vil bremse deg nok plutselig rart. Rundt 30 minutter med kjøring ser muskelminnet tilpasse seg regenen. Fra den dagen og fremover er det merkeligste å komme inn i en stempelbil og prøve å takle sin uvanlige kystoppførsel og mangel på kers.

Hjul, dekk og mods

Jeg hadde kjøpt Tesla Aero Wheel Cap-settet slik at jeg kunne få de mindre enn drar aero-hjuldekslene av og avsløre de kjekke legeringene under.

Standard Fit Michelin Pilot Sport 4 -dekk (235/45 ZR18) er et veldig godt kvalitetsberøring. Jeg oppdaget at noen Model 3 -er med den oppgraderte Tesla 19 ″ sportslegeringer kommer med den mye mer budsjettet Hankook -gummien i stedet.

Selv om jeg liker designet, har jeg alltid følt at standard 18 ″ hjulene ser for lite ut for Model 3.

Jeg kjøpte disse Satin Black 20 ″ turbinlegeringene fra USA, og de kom flere uker før bilen, men det ga meg tid til å få dem keramikkbelagt før dekkene gikk.

De er et forskjøvet sett-fronter 8,5 ″ brede (dekk 235/35-20) og fører 10 ″ brede (dekk 275/30-20), og jeg fikk disse svarte Tesla T-hjulene på Amazon.

Dette er stort sett en kosmetisk endring, selv om Michelin Pilot Sport 4S -dekk er en grepoppgradering. De reduserer imidlertid bilens effektivitet, med en dråpe på rundt 15% av beregningene mine.

Men jeg elsker utseendet til 20 -tallet og har fortsatt aksjen 18 -tallet. Hvis jeg noen gang drar på en trans-europeisk biltur, vil de gå tilbake for maksimal rekkevidde. beste av begge verdener.

Det vil være interessant å se hvordan en bakhjulstrekk Tesla også er i snøen slik at 18 -tallet kan bli til vintersesonghjul.

Bilen har hatt et keramisk belegg av Gtechniq, blitt avkjørt og hadde bremsekallipers malt rødt, alt av PMG Autocare i Belfast. Jeg har et annet par mods å gjøre de kommende ukene for å fullføre utseendet.


Model 3s stål- og aluminiumskonstruksjon er blitt evaluert krasj i USA av National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, og de fant at det hadde den laveste sannsynligheten for skade på en bil de noen gang har evaluert (selv om de refererer til den som sådan ser ut til å ha forårsaket litt av en spyttet mellom NHTSA og Tesla).

Nærmere disse delene fikk bilen nylig 5 stjerner i Euro NCAP -testen, og de kommenterte …

Tesla Model 3 gjorde en sterk debut med en ideell poengsum i frontal forskyvning deformerbare barriere -krasjetest, en bærebjelke i Euro NCAPs vurdering fordi oppstarten i 1997. Dens ytelse i sikkerhetshjelpen tester spesielt imponert, takket være sine suverene sjåførstøttesystemer Som kjørefeltstøtte, hastighetsassistanse og autonom nødbremsing. Teslas 94 prosent poengsum i

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