Tesla Model 3 Instrumented Test

blue Tesla Model 3 front


The long-awaited Car and Driver Tesla Model 3 Long Range instrumented test is here and it’s not quite as positive as some other mainstream reviews.

The negativity toward the Model 3 is fortunately not about the car itself, at least not mostly. Instead, Car and Driver used its instrumented test story to bring more public light to what it believes are Tesla’s false promises and shortcomings.

Related: Tesla Model 3 Mainstream Media Review Roundup

The review begins with a concise list of overall pros and cons:

Highs:Tesla Model 3

Satisfying handling, impressive tech integration, looks and feels like the future.


Not the price we were promised, not the range we were hoping for, the questionable build quality we’ve learned to expect.

The Tesla Model 3 that CEO Elon Musk promised – the “inexpensive, mass-market” vehicle, which many people likely put their deposit down on in hopes of dropping its price further with the $7,500 federal EV tax rebate –  is not here, and won’t be for some time.

By the time it does arrive, the rebate may be gone, or at least reduced. This does not rub C&D the right way.

In addition to the above issue, Tesla has made the $5,000 Premium Upgrades package mandatory on the current Long Range Model 3. This variant of the car starts at $49,000, a far cry from the promised $35,000 small sedan.

The takeaway points from C&D’s test drive, in terms of instrumented testing and how the Model 3 performs, are largely summed up in a single graph, which we’ve presented in condensed form below:

The car we tested rode on the base 18-inch tires, which means workaday 235/45R-18 Michelin Primacy MXM4 all-season rubber. As such, the chassis test numbers—a 176-foot stop from 70 mph and 0.84 g around the skidpad—were unremarkable, even by mainstream-family-sedan standards.

…the electric motor still provided a decent if not eye-opening shove as it propelled the car from zero to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds—just a smidge quicker than the Audi A4 and the BMW 330i, which both have turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-fours. That acceleration rate suggests that the Tesla puts out more than the quoted 221 horsepower.

Push the Model 3 a bit closer to its handling limits, as we did on our 10Best loop, and the tires give up early and understeer becomes the predominant dynamic trait.

The car that C&D tested has an MSRP of $56,000, due to the addition of the $5,000 Enhanced Autopilot feature, the $1,000 paint color (any color other than black), and the $1,000 destination fee. With all of that being said, what did they think of the car itself?Tesla Model 3

Car and Driver’s notable takeaways:

  • Solid and satisfying if not pushed past 7/10 of its capabilities
  • Pushed to its handling limits, the tires give up and understeer is predominant
  • No one-pedal driving – Regen is not strong enough and lacks adjustability
  • Chassis tests were “unremarkable, even by mainstream-family-sedan standards”
  • Acceleration is impressive, but it’s not Ludicrous
  • Lots of road noise at high speeds
  • Cabin rattles and creaks
  • The calculated range was about 200 miles (not EPA 310), though it was cold outside
  • The 15-inch touchscreen is beautiful, responsive, well-organized, good graphics
  • Having everything controlled by the screen is problematic and confusing
  • You get used to the screen quickly, and useful information is in plain view
  • The minimalistic interior works for what its worth and saves money
  • Lots of interior storage space
  • Rear seats are adequate, but result in a “knees into their chests” position
  • Interior quality was void of any obvious finish issues
  • Exterior fit and finish was among the worst they’ve seen lately

In the end, Car and Driver seems saddened that the Model 3 could have been so much more had it not been such a hurried process. If Tesla wasn’t forced to make so many, so fast, the potential could have led to something truly special. The publication concludes:

As much as Tesla has achieved here in creating a nicely integrated, capable, and relatively fun entry-luxury EV, we’re still left waiting—along with all those hopeful would-be owners—for the Model 3 to change the world.

33 photos
2. Tesla Model 3
Range: 310 miles; 136/123 mpg-e. Still maintaining a long waiting list as production ramps up slowly, the new compact Tesla Model 3 sedan is a smaller and cheaper, but no less stylish, alternative, to the fledgling automaker’s popular Model S. This estimate is for a Model 3 with the “optional” (at $9,000) long-range battery, which is as of this writing still the only configuration available. The standard battery, which is expected to become available later in 2018, is estimated to run for 220 miles on a charge. Tesla Model 3 charge port (U.S.) Tesla Model 3 front seats Tesla Model 3 at Atascadero, CA Supercharging station (via Mark F!) Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3 The Tesla Model 3 is not hiding anymore! Tesla Model 3 (Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs) Tesla Model 3 Inside the Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3 rear seats Tesla Model 3 Road Trip arrives in Tallahassee Tesla Model 3 charges in Tallahassee, trunk open.

Source: Car And Driver

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122 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 Instrumented Test"

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Is there any sport sedan that achieves the upper 3/10ths of performance on all season tires and a stock suspension tuned for freeway driving? I would say that 7/10ths is pretty decent performance. I suspect not or we wouldn’t see all the after market chases mods that are available and there would be no need for specialty versions. I have driven a 3 and the uncorked S I own and no, it is not as quick as the S but then it doesn’t have the same horsepower either. I suspect the dual motor version may be as quick or quicker but that will be up to Tesla.

It’s also worth pointing out that this is C&D. I’ve been reading this magazine intermittently for over three decades, and they’ve always had a strong “boy racer” identity. So when they talk about a car’s handling only holding up to 7/10, I write it off as an irrelevant (to me in real world driving) comment.

The other comments, including the poor exterior finish, rattles and creaks, and the “problematic and confusing” screen, point to things I wouldn’t accept in a $15,000 Versa, let alone a $50k+ EV. Tesla MUST get these issues worked out ASAP.

Others have reported getting delivered perfect cars, running thru an internet checklist.

Yes, I’ve seen numerous reports from new TM3 owners who found absolutely no flaws in the fit-and-finish or the panel gaps.

I was struck by one report, which said that there were some minor variances in panel gaps, but nothing out of the ordinary for most new cars — or even display model cars — and that the only reason he even noticed those minor variances is because there have been so many comments online about panel gaps in Tesla cars.

I’ve never seen a Model 3 in person, so all my knowledge about the car is second-hand, but it comes across to me as variances which professional reviewers will notice, but the average car buyer wouldn’t, and wouldn’t care about even if they were pointed out to him.

What is this internet checklist you write of?

35 years for me. They are also the very most thorough in their testing. But to answer the question on the upper reaches that list includes mostly a bunch of German autobahn vehicles in that price class. As mentioned in the article 3 series BMW, Audi A4, Mercedes C class, and for less money a VW GTI, Mazda 3, etc. You aren’t going to beat the Germans right out of the box at every single aspect. That’s a ludicrous expectation. But to even come close on handling has them spooked.

I found this comparison by Motor Trend between their test on a BMW 330i and a Long Range Model 3 illuminating.

https://tinyurl (dot) com/yagq6urg

That’s interesting. Some expected and 1 unexpected.
(will go with the smaller set of things won by BMW).
Expected BMW wins in:
1. Curb weight
2. lateral acceleration (that’s the ‘performance at the edge’ metric CarandDriver is speaking of).
3. Turning Circle (again impacting handling)…but in the full article (googling it) they say the 3 has ‘quicker’ handling.
4. Price….well wait for the ‘but the electricity’. Yeah well people still care about out the door.
Tesla wins 0-60 but the BMW wins 0-30. I expected it to be the opposite. I didn’t check…maybe the BMW is all wheel drive and can lay down more power without wheel spin right off the beginning….which of course when the AWD 3 comes out will be remedied.

Interesting. I hope we can get a subjective comparison from professional reviewers as well. Maybe once the dual motor performance variants are available Tesla will lend some to C&D and MT for review.

My hunch is it is the extra mass causing the complaints. You can’t get around mass in the corners, to change directions the car has to overcome that inertia.

Model 3 weight is very similar to the German competition, with the Tesla having much more of it’s weight lower in the chassis. Tires would be my guess as the culprit. Easily remedied by any owner who wishes to.

Pretty sure the article covered this. The Tesla is over 300 pounds more which is infinity in a small performance sedan. And they also address the center of gravity below lower etc. They additionally address the tire issue. Perhaps read the Car and Driver source article…it gives more detail

Correction, they acknowledge the issues I mentioned. Saying they addressed them implies they accounted for or dismissed them. And the article says the Model 3 is 300 pounds more than the 3 Series specifically, but doesn’t mention the other cars in the class such as the heavier C-class.

The problem is that is the normal model, not the performance model. When the AWD performance model comes, then that would offer much better performance that they expect.

More like it’s the limitations of standard tires, plus what appears to be more than just a bit of reviewer bias.

If someone redacted the make and model of the car, you’d never know it was the same model in Motor Trend’s “First Drive” review of the car, which favorably compares the Model 3 to a Giulia, an Alfa Romeo luxury sports sedan!

But the version tested by Motor Trend had better tires, and likely other sports options, altho it was (according to their review) still a single-motor Model 3.


1. The 200 mile range even in the cold is something to watch.

2. The lack of regen is puzzling but are the brakes regening, the test didn’t answer the question.

3. Fit and finish and road noise are also issues.

The AWD with premium, air suspension, max range is going to be pushing $70K so those three items would be show stoppers for a $70K car.

I would not be seeing my model T3 per above until 2019 so things could change.

One other point I forgot to mention is that based on user feedback on the various Tesla forums, it appears that quality is rapidly improving. So the comments by C&D on quality may be true for a point in time but it isn’t static. The quality on my 2016 S 75D is extremely good and I would say as good or better than the 2015 Hyundai Genesis I owned previously and that is saying a lot as I thought it was better than the Mercedes C class that preceded it.

I’d like to know how they were driving to manage only 200 of the 310 miles. Speeding with the heater blasting?

Probably. How dare they test it the same way they do every other car!

Reduced cold weather range is probably one of the biggest surprises for and complaints of new EV owners. They see the “XXX” range number and expect that in all conditions. Boards are full of first time owners with “I charged my car and it’s only showing XXX for range. What’s wrong with my battery/should I take it to the shop?”

As to the rest of the article, no surprises there. The “Luxury” segment is defined by more than price and that is Where Tesla must get it together in order to compete And actually build the promised $35K car.

Cold weather range drops typically on 30% in the 20’s.
So, more like they beat this thing to death.

30% loss from 310 miles is nearly 100 miles loss. They probably beat it hard as well – but the cold weather alone is a range killer.

I think in general people don’t understand how driving and conditions impact range. 300 miles means 300 miles – up / down / cold / hot / hwy / city. Many of these things (excluding the heating) impact ICE cars as well. I have a well educated/smart friend who got a Volvo XC60 T8 that is supposed to get 17 miles on pure battery. So they think they can get 17 miles going up a 2500′ pass to ski (in the winter), and then get another 17 miles coming back since it is mostly coasting – with a partial recharged battery. Maybe because the range in ICE cars is so much further, people don’t pay attention in an ICE car to know they aren’t always getting the rated mileage.

Car and Driver doesn’t normally test vehicles in 20’s and 30’s degree F weather. You can see this in their test notes. Both their range test and their instrumented test were done in unusually cold weather. That affects range and tire performance.

It’s a standard loop test they run at a steady 75 mph on the freeway. It lets them know just who is gaming the EPA tests. Some cars do better than EPA highway mileage and some considerably worse. Ford for instance is notoriously bad for this whereas Mazda generally beats it by a wide margin. The reality of electric vehicles is that their greatest advantage lies in city driving. On the open road, it’s less of a gap.

Hyundai and KIA too! Always way lower than EPA estimates.

People seem to forget EPA numbers are submitted by the car manufacturers. It’s rare for the EPA to actually test a car.

This applies to EVs as well. Tesla is really bad and overstates EPA range by quite a bit.

Originally BMW was also lenient with their EPA EV range estimates. However, they definitely revised their method when the 50% increase to a 33kWh pack upgrade happened. Peopled dissed BMW because the EPA estimate was a “disappointing” 30% increase from the old pack, but real world tests showed range being closer to 50% under ideal conditions.

So I think BMW is making good with their EVs now and at least trying to report realistic range under normal driving and cold weather conditions.

“This applies to EVs as well. Tesla is really bad and overstates EPA range by quite a bit.”

Bull pucky. Obviously you are a biased Tesla basher, and as I recall, this isn’t the first time “Me” has posted anti-Tesla FUD here on InsideEVs.

The EPA’s range estimates for EVs are pretty accurate; a pretty good reflection of what actual drivers of actual EVs actually get in everyday driving. The EPA’s EV range ratings are definitely more accurate than their MPG ratings for gasmobiles!

You seem to be claiming that only a test run at 75 MPH on the freeway gives “real” results for range testing. Well, most people drive a mix of highway and stop-and-go city miles, which is why the EPA test driving pattern includes both.

They didn’t actually do a range test, this is their “calculated” range. Which can mean anything.

“I’d like to know how they were driving to manage only 200 of the 310 miles. Speeding with the heater blasting?”

The review makes it very clear that the reviewer was repeatedly pushing the limits of the car. Gosh, you mean if you drive a sedan as if it’s a sports car, and repeatedly push the limits of its performance, it’s going to get a lower EV range than one driven under the EPA range testing procedures?

Well, duh!

Reminds me of a complaint, long ago, from Motor Trend, that claimed they took a (2008) Tesla Roadster and ran it on a track, and it ran out of “juice” in only ~55 miles. As one comment on that hacket job pointed out, if you take a gasmobile out to a track and run it flat out, it probably won’t go much farther than 55 miles on a tank of gas!

Looks to me like there’s no question this “review” is more than a bit biased against Tesla. Coming from a gearhead magazine like Car and Driver, that’s no surprise.

If Tesla took out two-page ads in every issue I bet the reviews would get a lot more favorable.

Pushi, this is just more of the same crap from you. Anyone who has any constructive criticism is constantly bashed by you. And most of what you say is nonsense. First off, C&D doesn’t hate electrics – they voted the 2014 ELR the best handling Hybrid (plug-in or not) of all time. After driving the car for 3 years I can confirm their statements. All the ‘big experts’ here just called the car a fancy volt, displaying their ignorance, when the only thing the car has in common with the GEN 1 volt is the power train hardware. You wouldn’t know it from reading here, but a car is so much more than just the power train. Second point I haven’t seen anyone mention is the range of 200 miles seems to me quite good. NO ONE has taken into account the battery heating, which obviously has to reduce expected range. The Bolt ev does better relatively than the ‘3’ because somehow the GM design seems to keep the heat in and while it does need heating, it is amazing how little it needs commensurate with its size. Tesla quality control and Service Center response is all over the map… Read more »

Another thing Pushi – from someone who is clueless regarding the Tesla Roadster’s performance characteristics as well as its battery’s characteristics – both being impacted by high I – squared R losses. its not a criticism, its just an acknowledgement of the car’s characteristics.

Writers on these car blogs, when the Top Gear show came out with a calculated 58 mile range for the roadster that “WE ALL KNOW the car will go further” (!!!!). The writer was just showing his ignorance. It depends on how you drive the car. A few times I could get actually over the epa rating of 244 miles. It was far easier to get 55-58 as was confirmed by Motor Trend.

But a mighty keyboard warrior such as yourself is uninterested in actual TRUE performance of anything, since you apparently will never purchase any EV.

Wasn’t that the infamous Top Gear ‘test’?

Yeah, Tesla, if memory serves, tried suing them in British Courts twice, and Tesla lost twice, since it was deemed the show was truthful. You know its funny. I was an early owner of the Roadster, and while I enjoyed the time I had while I was actually driving the car, I enjoyed the “TOP GEAR” segment on the Roadster and found the show to give the car a fair, honest assessment of its performance and handling.

But the fanboys, who knew nothing about the car, since at a base price of $109,000 plus tax (most, with options were far more), never even got near to one of them, where as I drove it every day it was not in for service, for 4 years.

The lawsuit wasn’t about if Top Gear was untruthful. TG stated they are an entertainment show and not required to be truthful. The lawsuit was for libel damages for Roadster sales, courts didn’t think the episode hurt Tesla sales.

Here is a good (unbiased) recap:


Josh Bryant why would I listen to Nelson Ireson’s drivel (the piece you quoted has precious few facts), other than stating that the Top Gear defense team decided it would be easier to claim TG was just entertainment, rather than getting into the weeds about this or that fact. Their game plan on defending Top Gear is their own, and it was successful. As a new Roadster owner at the time I thought the Top Gear Segment was perfectly fair – other than I have one small nitpick with the show – they complained it took 18 hours to refill the car. I feel this is a nitpick for the following reason – since at the TIME (TG may have no way of knowing otherwise), Britain could recharge in twice the speed once the release of the North American J1772 adapter was sold by Tesla, and then a 32 ampere J1772 (I guess they call it ‘type 1’) British wall box was sold. So TG was correct AT THAT POINT in time, but the situation would improve very soon afterwards. There – with my correction of Pushi earlier and the info here, I’ve provided at least Three TIMES the amount… Read more »

200 miles? and you dont want to drive around when there’s only 50 miles left, thus you have to charge that crap every 150 miles. 55k and you get questionable build quality. Mr Musk is a genius as he could easily sell kangaroo sh.. like hotcakes to millions of social media junkies

Road testers drive it like they stole it, not like a normal person drives every day. I get 44 miles with my Volt most days, but if they were road testing it they would probably only get 30 miles.

Hell, I could get my i-MiEV down to 30 miles of range if I had the heater blasting and running at very fast highway speeds. Under normal conditions in the city, however, I was able to get around 85 miles of range.

It was cold so the M3’s range was compromised as would that of any EV.

I doubt the cold had nearly as much impact as the way the car was driven. Obviously the reviewer was driving this sedan as if it was a sports car — which it’s not — and he makes it very clear he repeatedly tested the limits of the car’s performance.

Drive a gasmobile that way, and *GASP* it won’t get anywhere near the EPA rated MPG, either.

The problem here is that C&D reported the estimate of “200 miles” as if it’s the range an average driver should expect, which of course it’s not. But what do you expect from a gearhead magazine? Is anyone actually surprised C&D didn’t give the Model 3 a fair review?

So the range of the “cheaper” one will be like100 miles, thus charging every 50 miles?

A serial Tesla bashing FUDster like you will never drive this car, so why would you care what the range would actually be when driven by a typical TM3 buyer, rather than by a C&D gearhead repeatedly pushing the performance limits of the car?

The answer is, of course, that you’re not at all interested in the truth; you’re merely looking for another fake reason to bash Tesla.

I have had a 3 for two months and consistently get close to EPA rated mileage. Typical ICE-supported rag.


EPA rating is supposed to reflect normal driving, not driving it like you stole it.

You must not drive an EV if you won’t drive with 50 miles range still left. If I followed your “rule” with my Kia Soul EV then in the winter I’d only have a ~25 mile range car.

James is just another bitter and jealous anti-Tesla troll.

Confirms what I’ve read elsewhere and what I’ve thought for a while. Tesla will eventually produce a quality affordable long-range EV for the rest of us, but they are not there yet and won’t be for a while.

That’s disappointing but not too surprising considering this is their first run at it. It’s a different game than producing luxury cars in smaller quantities, and it seems they are learning as they go.

We had a deposit on the M3, but I got it refunded and bought a Bolt. I like Tesla a lot, but we needed a car and knew we wanted an EV but could not wait another year or two, especially with the current president and his administration bent on destroying the planet and our future.

Glad you went electric. I told most Model III reservation holders to lease a Leaf in the meantime.

I just had a loaner of a BMW X1.
It’s reported average mpg was 17.5.
This is your typical C&D driver.

I have subscribed to C&D since 1988. Go back and read all of C&D’s articles and editorials about Tesla from 2012-date, and draw your own conclusions about the editors’ bias. As you will see, they are unabashedly in bed with the petroleum industry.

In bed with the petroleum industry?

caranddriver dot com/features/chevrolet-bolt-2017-10best-cars-feature

Surely you’re not going to try to convince us that Car and Driver isn’t a gearhead magazine, with a strong anti-EV bias? One single aberration, one single positive article about a GM electric car, doesn’t change the picture.

So the M3 is a solid family sedan, with great performance but only above average handling. Basically a $35K car for $50K, much like the Bolt is a $20K car for $35K. Is the extra $15K for an EV powertrain worth it?

Nobody I know of who’s driven an EV would say it isn’t.

My guess is improved handling will be featured with the dual motor performance M3. Maybe some magnetorheological goodness?

Quality? It’s a Tesla. How many new automaker startups can make quality cars? Even experienced automakers have trouble with quality – look how long it took the Detroit automakers to catch up to imports (and they’re still behind Toyota and Honda).

I’d have to test drive the dual motor performance version, but I suspect I could live with the shortcomings (ahem, regen?) in order to drive such a sexy car. I know some here don’t care for it (one M3 owner says it looks like a frog) but I’m smitten by every one of Franz Holzhausen’s designs, M3 included. I rank him among the greatest automotive artists ever to live.

They did these test on stock 18″ tires. The 19″ tires improve performance quite a bit. Motor Trend’s test with 19″ tires on the M3 had it beating a 330i in skidpad and their figure 8.

Cool, that explains their lower opinion of the M3’s handling.

I’d want both sets of wheels: 19″ for the summer, 18″ aero shod with winter tires. I wonder if a Tesla dealer would work out a deal on that setup?

I think the entire review appears a complete tribal waste, and not very objective. 235’s aren’t a “workaday” tire width, for starters. It did not describe a car with weight down low, and between the axles. One nearly 1,000lbs less than the Model S. It’s HARD to get a Model S to deliver 200 miles, even in cold weather, and we’re to believe this is all the 310 Model 3 is capable of when cold? BS

C&D used to do reviews featuring tests so thorough, they’d include interior decibel measurements. If they weren’t pre-disposed to Detroit, and their paid advertisers, they may have brought these back.

I can’t find issue with Model 3’s exterior. This seems like the most bizarre repeated criticism, of its haters. If a panel gap is .2mm wider, its as if a car’s silhouette is meaningless. I care about what my cars look like, not what a feeler gauge tells me. It is just a stupid effort, to get those who haven’t seen one to pre-judge.

You sound bitter, are you a Tesla fanboi? It was a thorough article and overall gave a great impression of the M3. Sadly, you didn’t read it, because they did measure sound levels:
“Our sound meter measured 69 decibels at 70 mph.”

Straight from the article.

Hah, I said “it appears”. I’d be bitter if I did take time to read C&D’s review. There’s little you get from them, when you’ve done most of what the reviewers have. Following that, if you understand “electricity” and aren’t intimidated by “KWh”, there is little to get from the pages of those stuck in the past.

“It’s HARD to get a Model S to deliver 200 miles, even in cold weather, and we’re to believe this is all the 310 Model 3 is capable of when cold? BS”

Indeed. Consumer Reports got 210-220 miles from the Model S85 using only an 80% charge. There’s no way that C&D should have gotten only 200 miles from this car with normal driving. But of course, they weren’t driving it like a family sedan, they were driving it like a gearhead drives a sports car.

Better handling and quieter ride is achieved through better tires. If CD tested a BMW and Tesla M3 on the same tires, the gap would be cut in half.

Franz von Holzhausen basically only copied the whole front of a Porsche, that it was makes Teslas look quite ok, the back of Teslas is never really pretty. He is a good designer, but for sure not one of the best ever.

Just my opinion of course, but I think the original version of the Tesla Model S, nosecone and all, is the most beautiful car on the road from any angle — front or back!

I think from the back, and from back/side view (a bit more from the back then the picture) the Model S is really nice. . like borderline art. https://goo.gl/images/42jYZb https://goo.gl/images/fSKAE8 From the front (old and new).. there should be some changes. New is better then the old, but not quite there yet. We have two model S at work (an old and a new), and the old one got a new paintjob last summer (it had some problems with wear around and behind the wheel arches, and small bubbles forming on a side – so it was “gutted” and had extra work done) and the new color is just fantastic. Some special deep blue paint, with a lot of metallic in it, and x-layers of clear on top. Polished to showcar finish. That is just stunning. I sometimes just stare at it 🙂 Add in two new suspension parts, and extra sound insulation (that works really well, and Tesla should probably add that at the factory, as an extra to make more money, and give people the option – insted of the solution by boss chose (which only people with too much money do). The total cost was more then… Read more »

Imo the front-end 2.0 of the Model S looks a 1000 times better than the silly fake grille nosecone.

“the Bolt is a $20K car for $35K.“

Find me a $20k ICE car with 200hp, 200ft-lb of torque, 95sq-ft of interior volume, 4G LTE, Mobile WiFi, 4 USB ports, Bluetooth connections, backup camera, 0-60in 6.5 seconds, ~$600/yr operating costs, 10” infotainment screen with CarPlay and android auto.

“My guess is improved handling will be featured with the dual motor performance M3. Maybe some magnetorheological goodness?”

Wouldn’t that be funny. Tesla having to pay GM to licence magnetorheological shock technology.

Keep in mind the performance version of the Model 3 will need to go up against the BMW M3.

“0.84 g around the skidpad—were unremarkable, even by mainstream-family-sedan standards.”

Motor Trend got 0.86 g around the skidpad but on the 19″ tires. That is only .01 g less than a 330i so not necessarily unremarkable. Especially when you then account for instant torque and zero lag coming out of corners.

Saw a guy on Youtube take his Model 3 with stock tires and brakes out to Laguna Seca. Posted a pretty good time even though he destroyed his brakes. His time tied Jeremy Clarkson’s romp around Laguna Seca in a 2001 NSX.

And 200 miles range at 75 mph in sub freezing weather isn’t unexpected for any EV. Especially if they don’t disclose what level of climate control they were using.

Ugh. Got that wrong. Went back to MT and checked their numbers again.

Model 3 pulled 0.88 on skidpad and did their figure 8 in 25.7 seconds.

330i pulled 0.87 on skidpad and did figure 8 in 26.1 seconds.

Yeah that range was damn good for 28˚F weather.

The cold would hurt the skidpad figures as well. Even all season rubber loses it’s grip in the cold. Odd that C&D didn’t point that out. Before the fanbois jump in, I’ve noticed that C&D almost never remark on how cold temps affect skidpad and handling tests, so no, it isn’t “anti-Tesla bias.”

Edit: saw your above post on how 18″ vs. 19″ wheels affect handling.

Looks like C&D tested the cheapest M3 available, which is actually a good idea since they’ll want to test the dual motor performance M3 next year. 😛

Go make sh!t up on the C&D forums, if you want. Half an inch of freagin’ wheel radius doesn’t mean much, and there are plenty of (actual) owners posting cold-weather range.

Of course larger wheels affect handling. Even going up 1″ in diameter can completely change the character of a car.

Check out this test of a Bolt with UHP rubber:
motortrend dot com/news/chevrolet-bolt-ev-summer-tires-review-electricity-meets-grip/

That’s not even with larger 18″ wheels with a half inch less of sidewall.

200 miles at 28˚F with aggressive driving is damn impressive. I don’t care what hypermilers report over on some Tesla cult forum, I drive my cars like real cars and I like to push them hard in the summer and use the heat in the winter.

That’s funny. I never noticed what you say, when instructing in a GT3, on 18’s, and then going back to 19’s for the street. Some people get nervous about sidewall flex, but when it comes down to it handling is about grip.

Many run lower diameters at the track, simply because higher aspect ratios are cheaper when you are going through that many tires. “completely change the character”, puh-lease.

Half an inch of freagin’ wheel radius doesn’t mean much,

Probably not, but the wider width on the larger tires are certainly going to affect braking distance, traction, and handling. From Motor Trend’s “First Drive” review, it appears it affects handling quite a lot! Even after one discounts the gearhead anti-EV bias from Car & Driver, it still appears to be a significant difference.

Width and diameter are different things, I agree, and its why I said “235’s aren’t a “workaday” tire width”, above. Going down to BMW’s 155mm i3 tire width would feel significant, where 18″ to 19″ means little.

Between 234mm widths, the low cg, and the weight placement, C&D
‘s commentary should have been nothing short of **glowing**. Model S handles well on 245’s, managing the extra 800-1000 pounds of that car. With auto-journalism “Professional review” has become more of caveat; a bunch of numbers with a hack message. These guys will have to earn their readership back.


“No one-pedal driving – Regen is not strong enough and lacks adjustability”

What’s the regen power? To have it feel similar to SparkEV and Bolt, it would have to be about 72 kW.

Good question. I am also curious to see if the regen is more powerful on the dual-motor version of the car, given that there are two motors to regen from.

I appreciate the more in-depth reviews from Car & Driver, Consumer Reports, and Edmunds on the Model 3.

I also look forward to seeing a summary from Munro and Associated on the Model 3 teardown.

There is still a very important role these organizations play in their analysis that you rarely find from the mountain load of Tesla Model 3 YT content.

How can we trust these YT content providers who financially benefit from Tesla by getting Tesla swag, invitations to Tesla media events, and direct benefits from pitching their referral codes?

Tesla benefits greatly from non-journalists Tesla-positive commentary.

Yeah, that Tesla swag. There’s money filling the glossy pages of C&D. The lobby budget of AAM. The ~4billion VW saved, not installing NOx filters on 11mn cars…

It’s all no match for Tesla’s swag budget.

TeslaPlease said:

“How can we trust these YT content providers who financially benefit from Tesla by getting Tesla swag…”

Seriously? Just how long have you been a serial Tesla basher, dude?

There is a notorious and corrupt partnership between legacy auto makers and “car magazine” automobile reviewers, with the reviewers regularly getting lots of swag and complaining loudly about it when they don’t.

Contrariwise, Tesla does not pay for ad in auto review magazines or auto review websites, and it does not hand out swag on a regular basis to reviewers.

Tesla does hand out swag at media events and on special occasions, but it’s certainly not the regular thing you’re insinuating here, Mr. Anti-Tesla FUDster.

Just a note that Tesla shares are back around 300 today, up from this months low of 252, though still down from their yearly high of 389. I hope most of the shorts got out, it would keep them from posting FUD 24/7 trying to get out of the squeeze they put themselves in.

The shorts that put in options when the stock was in the high 300’s must surely be happy right now.

One thing that is for certain with TSLA stock: the roller coaster ride never ends! Unless they file for bankruptcy, that is.

Another thing that never ends is Troll1999 daily anti Tesla hate postings. Unless he ever gets a life that is….ROFLOL!

There is no risk of bankruptcy in the short term – none. They have $51+ billion in market cap (at $305+/share) that they can use to issue more shares with minimal dilution – if an emergency need should arise. And the Model 3’s successful launch – painful and slow as it has been – is inevitable.


TSLA’s Total Current Liabilities are just 7.7 Billion dollars, the rest of their debt is longer term debt, much of which is already convertible to TSLA shares. (Source: NASDAQ)

At a $300 Billion dollar valuation, Tesla could do a debt-equity swap with only around 3% dilution and entirely wipe out their Total Current Liabilities, and literally have zero debt overhead in the short term.

If-fact I think a lot of those shorts got burnt, they believed Seeking Alpha claim about Tesla falling to 200, it got down to 249 but then it start up.

Any short not paying attention expecting the stock to fall further got short changed.

Notice the forums are not full of shorters telling us about how much money they made of Tesla stock falling? Yest, while it was falling there were quite a few of them telling us the stock would keep falling and the money they would make.

Where are they now?????

It would be nice to think that every single one of them took the opportunity to cash out on their short investment, with the recent sharp (altho short-lived) dip in Tesla stock price.

Sadly, it seems many of them are so foolish as to treat their short investment as a long-term investment, pretty much guaranteeing they’re going to lose money — lots of money, due to repeated short squeezes — on the investment.

But yes, the amount of incessant Tesla bashing seems to be rather less today, and likely that’s because a lot of the shorters are no longer invested, so are no longer motivated by greed to make anti-Tesla FUD posts here.

C & D repeatedly asked Tesla for a car to test and the company said no. So they had to go out and borrow one from a willing Model 3 owner.

Musk loaning a car to C&D would be like granting the Wall Street Journal an interview.

“The negativity toward the Model 3 is fortunately not about the car itself, ”

Not the price we were promised, not the range we were hoping for, the questionable build quality we’ve learned to expect.

I dunno, those 3 things seem to be specifically about the car. I don’t know what they’re complaining about the range for though. I think it’s in-line with most people thought it was going to be around and it’s nice they offer a shorter and longer range version.

DJ said:

“I dunno, those 3 things seem to be specifically about the car.”

Nope, two of those three things are merely a serial Tesla basher — that’s you — repeating FUD.

Your point about the base $35k version not being available is a fair complaint, but the others are just you parroting Tesla Hater FUD, yet again.

It’s an exact quote from the article you dumbass…

IOW their complaints were directly about the car despite whoever wrote it thinks.

What is the VIN on this vehicle?
If an older one, not as big of a deal.
If a current one, then Tesla really needs to jump on QA.

“a 176-foot stop from 70 mph”

I expected better than this for a “sports sedan”.

I guess an upgrade to the tires and brakes are expected for the “sports package” in the future.

We know the brake pads are cheap pieces of crap, that’s for sure!

“Cheap pieces of crap”? Thanks, the very words I was looking for to describe your posting! ROFLOL!

The performance version will be the “P” version. Tesla has announced it is coming, but not set a date. This is the non-performance standard version of the Model 3.

What was the serial number of the Model 3 that C&D tested? Earlier cars had more assembly problems than the most recent cars. What was the version number of the software on the Model 3 that C&D tested? The most recent versions have added features and addressed some complaints about earlier versions. A friend brought his new Model 3 over to test his max charging (11.5kw on board charger). Over 410 miles he was getting about 5 miles per kw-hr in 40F to 50F weather. That’s about 375 miles of range and included 65 mph highway driving as well as city. He had no concerns about exterior panel gaps or quality inside or out and I could find no defects when I examined the car, which had a VIN near 10,000. The car had the 19 inch wheels and performed well in an uphill twisty two lane road nearby. The regen was variable so there was no big slowdown when lifting off the accelerator on the highway, but quite a lot when approaching a stop sign so that almost no brake was required to come to a complete stop. The regen also held well on an uphill stop on a… Read more »

The anti-sell is strong with this one.

I got 380 miles on one charge on my M3 long range, this is complete crap! I have screenshots to prove it to all the haters. I have no clue how they would get it that low.

Not hard if you drive the car like a gearhead driving a sports car, “Push the Model 3 a bit closer to its handling limits, and “push it until the tires give up”.

I can understand why a test driver for a gearhead magazine would drive a car like that. I can not understand why he would report a range for the car so much lower than the EPA rating after doing so! Well actually, I can: It’s the stereotypical gearhead anti-EV bias. I’ll bet he doesn’t get anywhere near the EPA’s rating for MPG on gasmobile cars, either.

7/10ths — Tesla has to save SOMETHING for the “P” series performance version of the Model 3.

It seems like they are rating Tesla’s non-performance version as correctly not being the performance version of the Model 3. I’m not sure what is surprising or bad about that.

The rationalizations come thick and fast here. Face it, the car and the build process need some work and it will take time. It will be a great car in 3 or 4 years.

Do you have a model 3? I do so I’m probably more qualified than many to make assertions/judgements about this car.

Gearhead said:

“The rationalizations come thick and fast here.”

Dude — you’re on the wrong forum. The coal-rolling forum is several websites over. 🙄

“Acceleration is impressive, but it’s not Ludicrous”
No sh**! It’s not a ludicrous model. It’s not even the Performance model. Yet by all reports the performance is very satisfying.
If your going to benchmark, then you have to make sure some things are equal. For instance, if the motor is rated for 220hp, then how does it compare to other vehicles that shall make 220hp? No point comparing it to a vehicle with 250hp.
Same goes for tires. If one is tested with ordinary, all weather tire and the other with some performance brand, then no kidding the performance tires should be better.
At the end of the day, answer this question. Which would you rather drive every day? I’m guessing by all the interest in EV’s more people are starting to say “the EV”.

I’ve had the Model 3 for nearly 2 months now and some of the claims they are making are simply not true. “Cabin rattles and creaks” Initially when we purchased the car, the steering wheel made some slight noise when making tight turns but that has since gone away after a few days. I don’t know what they mean by this statement as it is vague and provides no details. Are they rally racing? Driving through a construction zone? “No one-pedal driving – Regen is not strong enough and lacks adjustability” I find the regen pretty powerful. Granted, I haven’t driven any other EVs besides Teslas, but it works as described. It isn’t adjustable which is true. You can’t stop completely with the regen, but do other EVs allow this? “Lots of road noise at high speeds” I’m not an expert in measuring road noise, but I find the car pretty quiet compared to ICE cars. There is no engine noise, just the noise of the tires on the pavement and any expected wind noise. “The calculated range was about 200 miles (not EPA 310), though it was cold outside” I haven’t measured exact mileage but I can confidently say… Read more »

“You can’t stop completely with the regen, but do other EVs allow this?”

Yes, some of them do. Not suggesting Tesla is wrong to design their cars so you have to use the brake pedal to stop, but certainly it wouldn’t hurt if the strength of regen could be adjusted to support “one-pedal driving”, as other EV makers have.

As I see it, it’s a matter of choice by designer and by driver. Tesla chooses not to support full one-pedal driving; some other EV makers do support that. And some drivers prefer one-pedal driving, while others hate having to keep pressing their foot on the “go pedal” even when coasting. Those who prefer to be able to rest their foot while coasting will prefer Tesla’s setup.

If you compare to the Nissan Leaf 2018, then regen takes it down most of the way, and then it applies the brakes for the complete stop. Assuming Tesla has total control over the whole car, it should be pretty simple for them to program the same sort of behaviour. And we know they have program control over the brakes because they use it on hill starts.
Also, I suspect Tesla could do it as their AP suite can drive you in stop start traffic, which must include complete stop? So it must be a design choice target then a technical problem to do one pedal driving.

Saw my first Model 3 in person the other day, western NC. Black, base wheels, absolutely gorgeous. I saw zero noticeable body panel fit flaws from the outside.

If the test driver is going to push the car to the limits of its performance, and push tires past the limit of traction, then shouldn’t they have chosen a version of the car that’s built to support that kind of driving? Compare to the overwhelmingly, almost embarrassingly gushing and very positive review by Motor Trend: 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… Read more »

What makes you think C&D tested the base version of the model 3? The car they have has the base tires but they reported 0-60 in 5.1 seconds which would mean they have the long range version.

“What makes you think C&D tested the base version of the model 3?”

I didn’t say they did. The base short-range version isn’t yet available. Perhaps you confused my generic use of the word “standard” with Tesla’s term for its short-ranged Model 3, which they call “Standard Range”, but everybody else calls “short range”?

At any rate, if you will more carefully re-read my comment, you’ll note I took care to specify exactly what I was referring to, and that the word “base” appears nowhere in that comment.

You did say standard though. That’s what I meant to say. What did you mean by that?

“Now to be fair, that Motor Trend review didn’t use a standard Model 3 with standard tires, like the one Car and Driver tested.”

C&D is a very anti EV magazine and they shower praise only on Big SUVs, Pickups and Fast cars.

One thing common among the 3 types is that they are all gas guzzlers.

I don’t buy the magazine, just borrow it from a neighbor. Probably some Oil company is paying money to them to write like this.

Oh, I think Detroit auto makers provide enough advertising money, plus paid travel junkets, free hotel rooms, and “swag” for the mag’s reviewers, to keep the C&D bias heavily toward gearheads and gas-guzzlers. No subsidy by Big Oil appears to be needed.

From Jalopnik: “This Is Everything Wrong With Auto Journalism In One Facebook Thread”


Two things missing from the C&D Review: One, they posted 80 photos and NONE show their reported body fitment issues; two: no quarter mile numbers? SAD!

The Bolt and new leaf offer one foot driving. On the Bolt you get two levels of regen and even that can be varied by the go pedal. Works great on the Bolt. It will come to a stop without moving your foot to the brakes. After driving almost 20k miles in the Bolt I don’t like going back to the programmed creep to mimick a torque converter automatic. The Volt is that way and I don’t like it. I am not surprised by the range drop. The Bolt range drops by 30% or more in the cold and highway speeds. My winter usage over 5k miles was 3 miles/kWh with a few days down about 2.5. Considering the tm3 is close to the Bolt in rated mpge I would expect similar usage and 75kwh at 3 is 225, 2.5 would be 188. My brother who drives in a warmer climate, slower, and more stop/go has been about 5m/kWh or better Not out of line with some of the other posters here at a range of 375. This is why I hate rating ev’s by range. Tell me how much energy it has so when I have to drive up… Read more »
Not that I’m going to buy a Model 3 (we’re waiting for 1 at work expecting it now, in late 2019..), since I have a BMW i3 as a company car – and drive a huge van when I need room for more people.. anyway.. good quality, low noice, no rattling or creaks are all important. Fit and finish too. Interior quality, and how things feel is also important. I like firm handling/shocks. High reliability and quality over time is a given. High top speed, super quick from 0-100km/h, be able to pull a lot of Gs.. not important at all. I would just buy a track car for that. I don’t really need a top speed of more then 130km/h (but would like to be able to keep speed up hills too). 0-100km/h in 8-10 seconds is all right. Even 12 would do. Low running costs is important. I’m looking to replace my van with an electric one, and when you see top speed is set to 80-90km/h.. that is a huge disappointment, together with tiny batteries and psycho prices. I’ve been to many car factories over the years – and I see control meassures to make sure panel… Read more »

176-foot stop from 70 mph seems not very good.. did not know that…

I agree with what you say about the Price Promise issue ..Tesla Will Lose all The people that were planning a $35000.00 Model 3, Especially The ones on a Strict Budget ..Hence., I Honestly believe that Probably at Least 35% to Half of the 500,000 Depositors will Drop off as Result , If they haven’t already . Also they are Now offering other Countries to Start Configuring their Model 3 Ahead Of Schedule which would lead One to Believe that the Drop Off is Factually Real. We all know there will Be “No Such Thing” as a $35,000 Model 3 0r least we will Not See one for a very very Long Time, if at all ! As a Result IMO the Demand will Be Dropping Off….