Best Electric Cars 2019 Nomination: Tesla Model 3
2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance
There were times when we wondered if the Model 3 would even make it in time to be considered for the Best Electric Car 2019 title. As with everything at Tesla, the Model 3 is over the top, exclusive, packed with technology, and not on schedule.
It may have been late to the party, but the Model 3 is here, and deliveries are rolling. Granted, the first units to arrive were the Performance versions that pack a hefty price tag that’s about $20,000 more than the “affordable” base price Tesla has been flaunting around, but Tesla fans don’t seem to mind.
That said, no matter which way you look at it the Model 3 isn’t cheap. The RWD base model starts at $45,400 (US $34,200) with 418 kilometers (260 miles) of range while the AWD Model 3 with 500 kilometers (310 miles) starts at $54,700 or $41,200 in the U.S.
The Performance version has the same range but gets to 100 km/h or 60 mph in less than 4.0 seconds, and even close to 3.0 seconds. As Matt mentioned in his Tesla Model 3 review, the Model 3 is pretty much the fastest car you can buy for less than $150,000, including any Corvette you can think of.
Matt also pointed out the impressive handling capabilities of the Model 3 and the EV’s overall stability, pointing it on par with the Golf R he was driving at the time. Throw in a new Track mode with drift capabilities, and the Model 3 certainly has the performance part nailed.
2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance | Photo: Matt St-PierreBack to range, there’s no doubt the Model 3 is the clear winner in its segment, and when compared with electric cars in general. No other EV reaches 500 kilometers at the moment, not the Chevrolet Bolt nor the upcoming Hyundai Kona EV. The Model 3 even outdoes its older Model S and Model X brothers in many versions.
There are issues with the car’s infotainment system which isn’t as intuitive as it should be, but it is beautiful to look at.
The real issue with the Model 3 is that they are hard to get. You want one today? You’ll wait. How long will you wait? No one knows. Then there’s the price. Sure you get a lot of range and sure you get tons of performance, but the car is still very expensive.
Buyers on the fence about EVs may prefer putting their money on a Nissan LEAF or Hyundai IONIQ as their first electric vehicle purchase then going with a Model 3 that can easily cost twice as much.