The Model 3 delivers impressive acceleration and handling, a long driving range, and low running costs. But the thrill is tempered by its distracting controls, overly stiff ride, and uncomfortable rear seat. This EV rushes to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, and in CR testing, our Long Range Model 3 met its EPA rating of 310 miles.

The car’s range extended to 350 miles when using Tesla’s higher regenerative braking mode. This feature aggressively slows the car to charge the battery when drivers lift off the accelerator. Owners can also take advantage of Tesla’s nationwide high-speed charging network during long trips. 


We were impressed with the sedan’s glued-to-the-road handling and precise steering. But the car doesn’t absorb bumps well, and there’s a lot of wind noise at highway speeds.

Our initial testing showed long braking distances, which Tesla responded to by improving the performance through an over-the-air update, and now braking is typical for the class.

The front seats and driving position are terrific. But the rear seat is positioned low to the floor, resulting in an uncomfortable knee bend and not enough thigh support.

Almost every readout and control in the Model 3 is handled using the distracting 15-inch center touch screen, including basic functions such as adjusting the side mirrors.

The optional Autopilot system combines adaptive cruise control and auto-steer, enabling the car to vary its speed and stay in its lane. But we stress that drivers need to remain attentive and engaged.

Read the complete Tesla Model 3 road test.

2018 Tesla Model 3 review

HIGHS: Instant power, handling agility, front-seat comfort, low running costs, driving range
LOWS: Stiff ride, distracting controls, rear seat, charging times
POWERTRAIN: 258-hp electric motor; 1-speed direct-drive transmission; rear-wheel drive
RANGE: 310 miles/7 hrs. (40 amps), 12 hrs. (32 amps) to charge on 240 volts

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the September 2018 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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