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2018 Tesla Model 3 Performance: Here’s What We Thought

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What can one chairman establish about a ultra-important Tesla Model 3 Performance with customarily an hour and a half behind a wheel? Probably not much, yet this week we had a common brain-weight of 4 Jalopnik writers who took turns inside a quickest and many absolute chronicle of Tesla’s compress car. And we walked divided not customarily impressed, yet wanting more.

(Full Disclosure: One of Tesla’s PR folks was in New York and they invited us to take a spin in a new Model 3 Performance malcontent automobile on Thursday morning. No food, drink or airfare was concerned this time.)

It’s no good tip that pushing around Brooklyn is a terrible proceed to exam a opening car, or unequivocally any car. The trade is awful and so are other drivers. Room to unequivocally open it adult and go discerning is tough to come by. The streets are riddled with potholes and highway damage. And to tip it all off, there’s rubbish everywhere, so it’s tough to even find a good place to take photos!

But a Tesla Model 3 is a vast deal, so we took what we could get. It’s a automobile that Tesla has tethered a whole destiny to, a make-or-break mainstream volume-selling compress sedan designed to quarrel a BMW 3 Series and a competitors. And while a much-awaited $35,000 chronicle of a car—long a most-touted offered point—is nowhere to be found, we wanted to see if this $75,000-ish Model 3 Performance was unequivocally a M3-killer people contend it is.



The Model 3 Performance gets dual electric motors for all-wheel drive, a incomparable 75-kWh battery over a bottom 50-kWh one, an electric operation of 310 miles, and a claimed 0 to 60 mph time of customarily 3.5 seconds. On paper, it’s great. In reality, it’s… unequivocally fast. And interesting.

Here’s what we thought.

Patrick George: When we’ve been vicious of Tesla it’s customarily been over prolongation issues, vast promises or a fact that a CEO unequivocally needs to record off. (Really, everybody does.) But one thing’s always been transparent to us: a tangible cars Tesla creates are extremely impressive. They always have been.

For me, a Model 3 Performance is a many considerable Tesla I’ve driven to date, and simply a many fun.

Inside it feels about as ample as a BMW 3 Series, yet it feels noticeably some-more compress to drive. It advantages from carrying a super brief nose adult front, that creates it easy to customarily indicate and fire wherever we wish it to go. In that proceed we found it identical to the 991.2 we customarily gathering a few weeks ago; a Model 3 Performance handles like a legit sports car, and that’s not a descriptor we toss around lightly, generally for a sedan. While we didn’t get any loyal tail-out action, a comparatively tiny distance creates it super fun to customarily chuck into corners.



It’s very, unequivocally quick. We got a few moments to light it adult on a Belt Parkway and I’m certain we frightened my passengers a few times. The proceed it jumps from about 40 mph to 70 mph is customarily stunning. No drama, hardly any sound yet a slight whine, and afterwards it kind of leaps forward, tough and instantly. (Also value noting: the new initial Track Mode was incited off by a Tesla repute for Jalopnik’s test. we don’t know since they don’t trust us!)

In some ways it feels like Tesla’s taken a classical flesh automobile proceed here: take a engine—or batteries and motors in this case—out of a bigger automobile and put it all in something smaller, and we have an present recipe for fun. I’ve never found a Model S to be tedious to drive, yet this is proceed some-more of a blast.

I’d need some back-to-back lane time before we call a Model 3 Performance a loyal M3-killer, and we contend a genuine magnitude of this car’s success will be a much-promised $35,000 chronicle (when and if that happens), yet we couldn’t assistance yet be tender with what we drove.

The night after a drive, and even now, we found myself still meditative about what it was like to be behind a wheel. we get to expostulate a lot of fun cars for my job, so that doesn’t occur to me unequivocally mostly anymore. I’m fervent to get another, longer shot in it.

Mike Ballaban: Thought experiments like “is this an M3 killer??!?!?!” are kind of foolish since a M3 has been tedious for a while now (E46 4 lyfe) and since they’re vastly opposite cars. But even if we demeanour during a Model 3 Performance in a possess right, it was flattering good and even hilarious. This wasn’t one of those cars where we go “hmmmm, competence need to spend 19 months with this before we strech my BIG VERDICT,” it’s a arrange of thing we know is special right away. Well, not right away, yet positively in reduction than 4 seconds.



It’s got a neck-muscle-stretching acceleration that during this indicate is fundamentally a Tesla hallmark, and it does it with such tiny play and such ferocity that we don’t so many as accelerate, as it is that one present you’re doing 20 mph, and a subsequent present we customarily occur to be doing 60 mph.

Yes, it needs a HUD, and yes, a interior is customarily “minimalist,” it’s officious so dull we design a fly to come acrobatics out once we open a door, and YES, that’s kind of furious for a automobile that costs $80,000.

Ryan Felton: Unlike Patrick and Mike, we didn’t have as many space to open adult and see how a automobile performs, so my pushing knowledge was about as sparkling as we can suppose bumper-to-bumper trade in NYC can be. That said, there were a few moments that stood out and underscored accurately since there’s such an seductiveness in a Model 3: it’s a damn good time.

Jumping off a line, it’s not going to chuck we behind into your chair like a Model S P100D can, yet fully-optioned Model 3 is fast. I’m not certain what Patrick’s blending with his coffee this morning to make him consider him a Model 3 Performance creates for a improved time than a Model S, yet it could customarily boil down to preference. The Model 3’s light on a feet, and that’s great, yet we get an overwhelming, unsound rush and pristine fun throwing around a automobile like a Model S. we suspicion before that a Model 3 Performance could cannibalize sales of a S, yet it’s apparent now they’re dual opposite experiences.

Since my chair time was limited, I’ll concentration on a car’s minimalist interior, that typically garners a boatload of courtesy and deeply obscure looks during first. we was really doubtful that I’d ever suffer it, yet we get it now. A integrate months back, we was in new Buick Regal, and we couldn’t get over how many shit was function behind a steering wheel.

Patrick George: The interior is a trip. Nearly all we can consider of operates by a screen. Want to open a hood or trunk? Screen. Adjust your mirrors? Screen, afterwards a buttons on a steering wheel. A/C, radio, meridian controls? All on a screen. we get a meditative there, yet there’s a training bend to get used to it.



Ryan Felton: But a plain blueprint of a Model 3 felt liberating. The use of a core touchscreen immediately felt intuitive. Over time, we can see how locating a required controls would get easier, like how we have mental reflexes to locate a required app on a phones yet meditative about it. If anything, I’d contend that’s what stands out a most: a dull interior won me over.

Kristen Lee: Unfortunately, we did not get a possibility behind a Model 3’s wheel, as we were intensely pulpy for time and we had a before rendezvous around a same time. But in a years that I’ve spent doing this job, I’ve grown a sincerely good boundary dyno during feeling out what a automobile is like and how it rides. And we can tell we this: It tucks orderly into corners, has unequivocally tiny physique hurl and rides during that ideal turn between numb-soft and rock-hard. It’s really not something you’d tumble defunct simply in.

Up front, a brazen prominence is incredible. The car’s fantastically low and brief hood means that we can simply see over it, and a vast windshield gives a cabin a splendidly ethereal feel. I’m still not sole on a vast inscription in a middle, as we will never give adult buttons and dials. But Elon gets what Elon wants and we theory a rest of us will customarily have to deal.

As Patrick mentioned above, a acceleration is unforgettable. It’s been a full 24 hours now and I’m still stranded on that rare feeling of accelerating so discerning that your tongue kind of curls adult on itself in your mouth. But it’s not violent, murdery acceleration, like in a V10 M5 or anything. The feeling was very fast, yes, yet also elastic. Like we were regulating vast rubber bands to fire ourselves into a horizon. The miss of rigging shifts also adds to this sensation.

All we get is an increased, high-pitched fussy noise, harsh brazen thrust and afterwards unexpected a whole cabin is giggling manically. If we demeanour into Patrick’s eyes, you’ll know that a male has a complicated foot.



Anyway, a exam automobile came with a new, snowy white leather interior, we forget accurately what it’s called. It is a truly, gorgeous white, yet as someone who owns a white couch, we can assure we that that white will not final long. All it takes is for some improperly painted jeans and a coffee brief from one rascal crony and afterwards it’s a quick skirmish into gross, off-white. Everyone’s favorite. (Update: Evidently we spoke too soon, as a white seats are apparently un-killable. Good pursuit there, Tesla.)

Consumer Reports wrote that it felt that a behind seats were too low and didn’t yield any knee support. we suspicion they were fine? But we customarily spent about 30 mins there and, as Ballaban constantly reminds me, we am apparently an abnormally sized tellurian and my chair takes can’t be practical to everyone. (By a way, a average tallness for women in a U.S. is 5’4”, that is customarily an in. disproportion for me.)

The final thing we beheld when a automobile was during speed was a breeze noise. It’s not generally something we experience, so we was astounded to hear it during all. One could ding a Model 3 for bad breeze sound insulation, yet we consider it also has something to do with a fact that there’s no engine sound to drown out a wind. This is something I’d like to examine further, though.

I’d like to see how a Model 3 performs in situations other than straight-line acceleration. That’s overwhelming and everything, yet it can’t customarily be a one-trick pony.



Mike Ballaban: And yes, Ryan is a officious crazy chairman for looking during a unclothed sideboard and going “mmmm there’s a full dish here,” yet a law of a matter is that Ryan is a ill vegetarian and this is a arrange of very-few-compromises drivers’ automobile that people hunger for. The steering is officious sharp-witted compared to probably any new automobile on a road, and notwithstanding weighing ever so somewhat some-more than SpaceX’s Big Fucking Rocket—I’m being hyperbolic yet it’s still a vast 4,000 pounds—it was somehow both nimble and comfortable. It’s foolish fast, comfortable, and a behind window crawls all a proceed adult a donkey and over a behind seats. What’s not to like?

Oh, and a seats. The seats are DEFINITELY to like. The Volvo S60’s aged seats were legendary, yet Volvo transposed them for a new S60 with a opposite seat. Those new Volvo seats are fine, yet a estimable successor? Feh!

The Tesla Model 3 now takes a climax for Best Seats. They’re soothing and pillowy and not too vast and not too small. Gimme these chairs for each chair we lay on for a rest of my life.

Patrick George: A vast doubt with these (and justly so) is still build quality. And in a brief drive, collectively, we didn’t mark any superb or vital issues. In one box a nav complement destined us from downtown Brooklyn to Red Hook by going to Lower Manhattan and looping around, in what should have been a true shot on a Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. But we see controversial navigation decisions in copiousness of cars.

Also a car’s heat review 97 degrees when it was 81, that we’ve apparently seen in other Teslas. That was it. I’ve seen weirder issues on newer Jaguars.

Ryan Felton: we did get to try a horn.



Patrick George: It went beep-beep!

Ryan Felton: Yeah, it did.

Patrick George: Proud of you, bud.





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