Edmunds' newest long-term test vehicle is a Tesla Model 3, so this is the first of an upcoming assortment of professional reviews.

As many of you are aware, when Edmunds acquires a vehicle for long-term testing, there's generally an initial article/video, followed by more detailed information at a later date, and then concluded with a recap at the end of one year of use. This is meant to give the reader an idea of what it's like to "live with" the vehicle.

Tesla Model 3 interior

Tesla Model 3 interior

Being that this is just Edmunds' introduction post, the publication hasn't had an opportunity to get into the nitty, gritty details about the Tesla Model 3. In fact, Edmunds has not yet taken the Model 3 to the track. Nonetheless, we look very forward to the wealth of details that will come from the upcoming process.

So, what does Edmunds have to share in this early stage, aside from the current "knowns," like pricing, range, and power?

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing, spent a weekend with the Model 3, thus far. His key takeaways are as follows:

  • Don't lose track of the key card (if your phone dies you'll be locked out)
  • The minimalistic dashboard really works well
  • The interior feels very clean and "not cheap"
  • There's plenty of logical interior storage
  • The trunk opening is large
  • Tesla Model 3 trunk opening and interior space

    Tesla Model 3 trunk opening and interior space

  • The internet browser and the power menu is either not present, or buried in menus
  • The owner's manual is missing or hidden in menus
  • There is no physical owner's manual in the glovebox
  • Outward visibility is excellent (even out back ... )
  • The car offers plenty of thrust
  • The steering wheel has a nice feel and you can adjust its level of effort
  • Good grip, minimal body roll, although a bit firm for rough roads (it feels like a Tesla)
  • Rear-wheel drive lessens the function of the regenerative braking
  • Great stereo! (as part of the currently mandatory Premium Upgrades package)
  • Touch screen is cool and mostly simple (though some operations are too hard to perform while driving)
  • Adjusting the steering wheel tilt and mirrors is difficult at first
  • Wiper controls on the touch screen is an issue
  • The air vent system is very well-designed
  • Cruise control and Autopilot controls are "weird"
  • Tesla Model

    Tesla Model

    Looking to your right (at the screen) while driving is the biggest problem that Dan repeats throughout the review

Edmunds concludes:

"I'm diggin' this thing ... I'm pretty impressed with the Model 3 sedan, so much so that I'm going to hang onto a second reservation that I put in for myself."

Dan is confident that the Model 3 is going to live up to the promise, despite worries about whether or not this car can live up to the hype and make reservation-holders happy, especially after such extended wait times.

Video Description via Edmunds on YouTube:

What is it like to drive the long-awaited Tesla Model 3 sedan? Director of Vehicle Testing Dan Edmunds shares his thoughts after spending a weekend in our newest long-term test vehicle.

Q: How much does the 2017 Tesla Model 3 cost? A: They're not yet building the $35,000 base vehicle with the standard battery. All 2017 Tesla Model 3 sedans have the long-range battery, so they start at $44,000. For the time being, the $5,000 Premium Upgrades package is a mandatory option, so the effective base price of the car is $49,000. This test vehicle was priced at $55,000 because it also has Autopilot ($5,000) and a paint color other than black ($1,000). Delivery and taxes are extra, of course.

Q: How far will the 2017 Tesla Model 3 go on a full charge? A: Model 3 sedans built with the long-range battery are officially rated to deliver 310 miles of range. The base model will be rated at 220 miles when it debuts in the near future.

Q: How much power does the 2017 Tesla Model 3 have? A: The rear-mounted electric motor produces 258 horsepower. There is no transmission because the Model 3 uses direct drive to power the rear wheels.

Q: How quick is the Model 3?

A: We have not yet brought our Tesla Model 3 to the track. Complete test results will be coming to Edmunds soon.