Motor Trend Pours Love On Tesla Model 3

 

This story about the Tesla Model 3 was first published on CleanTechnica

Well, Motor Trend’s fairly early and outspoken love for the Tesla Model S certainly hasn’t hurt its Tesla test drive opportunities. The mainstream auto magazine got yet another super exclusive opportunity to test out the Model 3, this time 36 hours before the final reveal last night.

Tesla Model 3

The entire article may be worth your time to read. I have to admit that I found it a little verbose and flowery for my own taste, but just heading over there to check out the photos is a must. Additionally, there were 4 gems in the article that I found super interesting. They almost seemed hidden in the bushes of the overall story and in the midst of all the details we learned from Tesla in the past 24 hours, so I wanted to pull them out for stronger highlighting, discussion, and future reference.

1. The Model 3 Feels More Spacious Than You’d Expect

“Tesla worked hard to increase interior space, and subjectively it succeeded. For a compact car, the Model 3 feels incredibly light and airy,” Motor Trend Testing Director Kim Reynolds wrote.

This surprisingly light & airy feel is something that I find keeps popping up with electric vehicles designed electric from the ground up, not just the Model 3. This is a highlight of the BMW i3 that we discussed at length in a recent #Electrifying webinar.

When it comes to the Model 3, this is something we also got a hint of from the EV Annex boys last year at the first Model 3 unveiling, and again today during our latest #Electrifying webinar. However, it’s nice to see it confirmed and emphasized by another source — and one that has presumably had the most time with the Tesla Model 3 outside of Tesla’s staff.

As Matt Pressman hinted today and I think Elon hinted last night, the back seats of the Model 3 may even feel more spacious and open than the back seats of the Model S, thanks in part to that supersplendulous windshield it stole from the Model X.

2. Slickest Freakin’ Air Vents In The Business

“Interior air (from subtle vents) is aimed by moving spots around on the display, even dividing the airflow to send it past each ear.”

I imagine this may seem like a small thing to many people, but think about it: how many times have you been irritated by the annoying, undesired direction an air vent was blowing? How many times have you or someone else just not been able to get the air flowing in an ideal way for all the car’s passengers? HOw many times has an air vent blasted you in the eye like a Super Soaker?

This “small” improvement in the Model 3, if it’s as it sounds from Motor Trend‘s reporting, is one of those little things that make Tesla just that much better than the luxury car competition. This is actually one of the things I’m most excited to play with when I finally get my hands on a Model 3!

3. The Frunk, Conceptualized

“Up front, the frunk is precisely sized to hold a carry-on suitcase. ‘If it’s too big here,’ Franz says, ‘you’re going to have to check it.’”

How big the frunk actually is, what it can fit, and what it’s ideal for carrying are all questions that frequently pop into people’s heads and out of their mouths. This description from Kim Reynolds (er, from Franz von Holtzhausen) is super useful for answering those questions. It would also be cool if this claim was legitimately correct — it would be awesome to get into a kerfuffle with a Ryanair suitcase Nazi and be able to tell them, “Nah, you’re wrong, it fit in my frunk.” (You Europeans know what I’m talkin’ about.)

4. Incomparable Driving Experience — A New Era

“What’s blanching, though, is the car’s ride and handling. If anybody was expecting a typical boring electric sedan here, nope. The ride is Alfa Giulia (maybe even Quadrifoglio)–firm, and quickly, I’m carving Stunt Road like a Sochi Olympics giant slalomer, micrometering my swipes at the apexes. I glance at Franz—this OK? “Go for it,” he nods. The Model 3 is so unexpected scalpel-like, I’m sputtering for adjectives. The steering ratio is quick, the effort is light (for me), but there’s enough light tremble against your fingers to hear the cornering negotiations between Stunt Road and these 235/40R19 tires (Continental ProContact RX m+s’s). And to mention body roll is to have already said too much about it. Sure, that battery is low, way down under the floor. But unlike the aluminum Model S, the Tesla Model 3 is composed of steel, too, and this car’s glass ceiling can’t be helping the center of gravity’s height. Nearly-nil body roll? Magic, I’m telling you. Magic. And this is the single-motor, rear-wheel-drive starting point. The already boggled mind boggles further at the mention of Dual Motor and Ludicrous.”

Yeah … ’nuff said.

Though, Reynolds also added a note about the car he drove away after the Model 3 was gone:

“By happenstance, associate road test editor Erick Ayapana had penciled me into a 2.0-liter Alfa Romeo Giulia to get here, and it feels like a wet sponge by comparison.”

All images via Tesla





About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009. Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity. To connect with Zach on some of your favorite social networks, go to ZacharyShahan.com and click on the relevant buttons.
  • Ed

    We will probably never see or hear all of the discussions that went on at GM in positioning the Bolt design in the GM mix. Although a very practical design, it does not “rev” the soul in any way. Good specs, and I am glad GM did it, but if a buyer were to see the Bolt and M3 side-by-side in a showroom, I don’t think the choice would be difficult.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c02111aef84df5cc0edc83aa18da2326726dddd53ccdf6730e48c4b6f450e377.png

    • Steve Hanley

      Based on what I have read, I would have to agree with you!

  • Kieran Delaney

    “Motor Trend Pours Love On Tesla Model 3”

    Duh…it’s amazeballz!! 😉

    P.S.: Bring on the P75D Mod’3…

  • DRJJ

    Looks like it handles (low center) and goes like a more premium performance car (max torque at idle). Upscale, Scan Design too. But 200 mile range and $35K for compact car? Bigger depreciation with miles likely too. 500,000 cars per year?-California dreamin! Several 4wd SUV hybrids now for $30,000+/-. Hybrid is still the way to go (we drive too long and too much) Hybrids optimizes battery life and minimize battery cost

    • IPV7

      It’s all relative to your needs. 220 miles would enough for the majority of people. From the sounds of this article this 35k car drives more like 45-55k luxury car.

      • DRJJ

        Good point. I suppose one could rent a dino burner for the intermittent long trip. If it’s truly premium and reliable, it’s a hit.
        $2500/year-avg fuel cost for say a 4cylinder suv @ 1500 mi/month
        But resale value of all electric with higher miles could do in fuel savings. That’s the risk folks might wrestle with. The looks are spot on.

  • Epicurus

    The waiting list is over 500,000. How long will it take to manufacture that many Model 3’s?