Popular Mechanics Spends 72 Hours With Tesla Model 3 Performance


After driving the Tesla Model 3 Performance, Popular Mechanics now understands annoying Tesla fanatics.

Popular Mechanics journalist and associate editor Alexander George recently spoke on television about why the Tesla Model 3 was chosen as the winner of the publication’s Car of the Year award. He jokes that, during the broadcast, he forgot to even mention Popular Mechanics and that he spoke of the popular Tesla sedan like a salesman. He may have been finding himself a little too enamored by the car, although he admits to being irritated by Tesla fans in the past. In order to form his own firsthand opinions, he spent three days with a Tesla Model 3 Performance.

After his time with the Model 3 Performance, George calls it “exceptional.” He explains:

When I pulled into my garage after a day of back roads, plus 90 minutes of commuter traffic, I realized that you would have to work hard to kill 310 miles of range. For the average American who drives less than 30 miles a day, you can go for weeks without needing to find a high-voltage charger. The app actually told me to charge it less for sake of the batteries’ longevity.

After 72 hours of putting this Model 3 through my daily routines— groceries, visiting friends, and commuting into the city— I began slipping into the mind of a Tesla-phile.

You imagine quiet city streets subtly humming with electric engines. You imagine how the dangers of fossil fuels, whether global or personal, would be relegated to the past. You even compulsively check the car’s charge status on the Tesla app. You smile and nod approvingly at other Tesla drivers.

And while fanatics can be annoying by nature, when it comes to Tesla, I kind of get it now.

So, why is George entering the realm of the converted?

Well, first off, he has to list his one negative. However, he doesn’t really call it a negative. The Tesla Model 3 Performance costs a whopping $64,000, but you’re getting a lot for your money and that pricing is on par with many rivals. George’s test car was a Performance Model 3 with the $5,000 Performance Upgrade package and $5,000 Enhanced Autopilot. The rub here is that the $35,000 Model 3 is not yet available and won’t be for some time. Now, the cheapest Model 3 you can buy is priced at $49,000. It surely hasn’t hurt demand, but it will be nice when Tesla can finally offer a much more affordable version.

Moving right along, George emphasizes the Model 3 Performance’s fun factor. He compares its suspension setup to that of a Porsche Panamera and says it works in practice exactly as you’d expect it to. The Model 3 handles hard cornering well and makes you feel confident as a driver. He also appreciates the car’s regenerative braking, and incredibly smooth, quiet ride.

While George admits to not being well-versed in talking about vehicle dynamics, he says there’s really not much to complain about in the Model 3. He loves that you don’t need a key fob, outward visibility is excellent, and the center-mounted touch screen does the trick. George says:

After driving a Model 3, every other car’s console feels like a misuse of wires and visual real estate.

According to the review, the Model 3 Performance should appeal to people that prefer cars like the BMW M3 or M4. George notes that it’s not only spacious and practical, but also a joy to drive. He completely agrees with Musk’s statement that “a Tesla is a tool for fun.” And yes, there’s no reason it can’t be your only car.

Follow the link below to read the review in its entirety.

Source: Popular Mechanics


Tesla Model 3 Performance - Dual Motor Badge
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Tesla Model 3 Performance Tesla Model 3 Performance Tesla Model 3 Performance Tesla Model 3 Performance - Midnight Silver Tarmac Motion (wallpaper 2,560x – click to enlarge) Tesla Model 3 Performance - White Interior - Wide Tesla Model 3 Performance - White Interior - Touchscreen


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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.

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45 Comments on "Popular Mechanics Spends 72 Hours With Tesla Model 3 Performance"

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Help juice Tesla’s Q3, check out the Tesla Store for a Cap and a Jacket. ;^)

If they really wanna get creative they could have toilet paper with Tesla logo so the trolls can shop too….

And short shorts.

That won’t work, I’m talking about something to please the trolls not piss them off.

Tesla urinal things would sell well Republican majority states LOL

Come onman, don’t make it political when it doesn’t have to be.

Everything is political everything is political BELIEVE ME

Also for Tesla owners login to your account and pay any idling fees from staying at superchargers too long.. i didnt even know i had a balance due till i logged in the other day lol so i told them they should email owners to let them know

They are known to waive those when you go in for service sometimes, if you haven’t racked up a bunch of them.

Butts in seats = believers

That’s been our experience, too.

Yup, and it’s true for all EVs. One risk as the mainstream press is forced to get to know the Model 3, is that they will promote the uniquely American notion (as this PM article does) that this experience can only be had with a Tesla.

As a eGolf owner i can tell you they are right, my ev can’t ever hold a candle to the TM3…so they are right, maybe the ipace will get close but that’s it for now.

“And while fanatics can be annoying by nature, when it comes to Tesla, I kind of get it now”

He like most people are misunderstanding the source of enthusiasm for Tesla. Tesla drivers aren’t fanatical simply because of blind tribal brand name or sports team devotion where the object of devotion is barely distinguishable from the next. In those cases they are only different in branding but not much different in substance.

The enthusiasm comes not simply from being a Tesla but from having a superior drivetrain and driving experience. Put a GM or Ford badge on my Model 3 and I could give a sh*t. I just want to drive it.

AMEN!! I keep saying the same thing. And to add to your great points, why do Tesla owners have to apologize because they like a really great product? I own a Tesla, am not paid to drive my Tesla. As a matter of fact, I actually PAID to drive my Tesla. I gain nothing from sharing my positive experience. Yet folks who come to this site love constantly telling me that my car sucks and I’m a fanboy just because I like it. And to me it’s all about the car. Regardless of the daily stock price or production rate of the Model 3, my Model S is still the same great car.

I think it was the reviewer from MotorTrend who said the Model 3 was Car 2.0. I think that is the best description yet. It is a disruptive product at so many levels (fossil fuels, dealer network, autonomous driving, service stations/fuel distribution, ….)

The Model S was called car 2.0.

Even more by Motor Trend in 2013

The pattern I mentioned before in another story is becoming clear. The surge of last minute converts to Tesla is continuing as we approach Q3 (and later Q4) official production numbers, so they can pretend they were ahead of the news proving how popular and successful a car it has become.

They really can’t resist taking swipes on the way down as the realize resistance is futile. The other story included a swipe about drinking the Tesla koolaid. They are still trying to maintain that “I’m still cool even though I’m dating an electric car” attitude in front of their motor-head bro’s, by trying to Neg Tesla. It really just comes out making them still look a year behind and just now catching up.

They are indeed at least a good half-decade behind. 80% of the experience they describe is common to nearly all EVs. That a tech writer is still unfamiliar with what EV driving is like nearly 8 years after they re-entered the mass market, is ridiculous.

Is the tech writer unfamiliar, or is he writing for an unfamiliar audience? You shouldn’t automatically presume they’re ignorant.

When I talk to people who are new to EV’s I often treat them like the lowest common denominator (in a nice way, I don’t treat them like idiots) because I don’t know what their experience or understanding is. If I speak to them as if they’re more advanced they may not know what I’m talking about but not question me in fear of looking stupid, which is the last thing i’d want.

“And while fanatics can be annoying by nature, when it comes to Tesla, I kind of get it now.”

Dude, obviously you haven’t drunk enough Kool-Aid. Have another glass! 😉

Forget the glass, and go straight for the Kool-Aid pouch of drink mix. Injest as you would the old fashioned 1940s candy Pixy Stix!


Suweet! 😀

Wait, I thought the Model 3 is supposed to be terribly cheap, bad panel gaps, only quick in a straight line, isn’t very popular regardless of how many are being produced?? This just isn’t adding up! Yet ANOTHER glowing review from an independent publication??

Popular Mechanics Alexander George will now go back to driving his ICE… but he has been afflicted… a taste for that which his ICE can not deliver will not easily be forgotten… it will fester.

That’s the great danger for anyone experiencing an extended Tesla drive… not an easily forgotten fling… playing with the Tesla order configuration tool seems like a harmless pretend activity… “Place Order” button gets increasingly long stares… you start asking yourself… Why am I driving an obsolete ICE when I can be driving a Tesla? … Pro/Con list of ordering a Tesla gets refactored every which way… then again once more for good measure. Significant-other gets so worn out on your Tesla fixation that she encourages you to place an order it in hopes of regaining your attentions. Sleepless night waiting to take delivery.

Best to stay away from test driving a Tesla if you want to remain loyal to your ICE.

Hopefully soon more EV’s outside of the Tesla brand will illicit similar allure.

lol… I know. My above comment = Tesla fanatic gibberish. But I’m certain relatable to many Tesla owners.

What would happen if you put jimmy chanos in a Tesla for a week? Probably stroke out.

I enjoyed it! I was thinking about how to go further down the same path…

I love the whisper-quiet sound of you running down the road, with the enticing hum of your motor in my ears… the warm glow of your huge central screen is a hypnotic pool I could fall into, losing myself… I run my fingers lovingly through your many menus… I love the silky caress of your doe-soft leather seat on my skin… and that new-car smell leaves me gasping for more!

Okay, time to stop before this turns R-rated! 😆

Chanos may own a Tesla. Einhorn leased a Model S. He disparaged it for having multiple problems in his letter to investors, kicking off the whole short shorts gag. Einhorn was probably trying to distract investors from his 18% loss this year, of which Tesla was the second largest contributor (he’s also short NFLX and AMZN).

@Doggydogworld said: “Einhorn leased a Model S…”

Einhorn leased the Model S specifically with the mission to disparage it… likely he did not himself drive it. These Wall Street guys don’t drive themselves around… driving for them is considered a menial task below them. My guess is Einhorn handed the Model S to some intern and said “your job is to break it”… that’s how these Wall Street short-thugs roll.

Regarding investment portfolio performance…

Yes, both Chanos & Einhorn are negative Alpha big-time… technically that makes their value-add as portfolio managers less than worthless… going long on each of their short positions is arguably one of the best investment strategies.

It’s easy to disparage shorters — but when another “crisis” comes and the market crashes, those holding short positions will suddenly be very happy. The trick is trying to short stocks that are likely to crash most in a crisis, but ideally also to perform below market average during boom times. In other words, minimising losses on a short fund during boom times is an achievement in itself.

Of course it’s arguable whether Tesla specifically is a good choice…

@antrik said: “… but when another “crisis” comes and the market crashes, those holding short positions will suddenly be very happy…”

Good try there but shorting Tesla to hedge against a theoretical future market crash was never the object of the anti-Tesla Chanos Wolfpack.

The Chanos Wolfpack miss-calculated Tesl as being a soft target to turn investment community and general public opinion against by means of a classic Chanos sophisticated coordinated negative media campaign… they used the big sticks to gang clobber Tesla. Tesla has proved to be more resilient than Chanos anticipated.

Playing the market you win some… you loose some… but Chanos has been on a solid loosing streak…


Dunkin Brands (yes Chanos shorted Dunkin Donuts!)



@CDAVIS said: “…going long on each of their [Chanos & Einhorn] short positions is arguably one of the best investment strategies.”

To clarify what that means is making the opposite bet of Chanos & Einhorn. So if they for example short Tesla then take the opposite long-term buy position in Tesla.

Perhaps some clever Wall Street firm will establish a contrarian Chanos/Einhorn ETF that bets against each short position these guys make… perhaps called “180 Chanos Einhorn”. It would likely be one of the top performing ETFs.

LOL, very funny post and so true at the same time.

Way too glowing a review. I believe the Consumer Reports review gives a better picture of the Model 3. They claim the ride is overly stiff, which is expected in a car tuned for extreme sport. They also said there’s a lot of wind noise and I’ve seen complaints about road noise from owners. I’d also deduct points for its lack of instrumentation, lack of knobs, switches, and its venting. I don’t like that big screen and would hate having to use it for functions better performed by simple switches and knobs. Because I prefer a plush, quiet ride to razor-sharp handling, this car wouldn’t be for me.

Tesla’s service department plans also need to be analyzed. Will Tesla owners be subjected to long waits for scheduled maintenance and unscheduled fix-its? Will parts be readily available? Will there be a major recall? That would be disastrous. Will Tesla be in serious financial trouble a few years from now due to all the upcoming competition? All these things must be considered.

CR’s car was a completely different model with different suspension. And they have an early version, and Tesla has already changed the suspension even in the same model CR has.

And CR likes soft suspensions – always have. They also don’t value handling very much.

Yup! ALL Things! Like GM trying with all their might to destroy them, bragging that you can’t setvice a Tesla In Michigan, since they have worked to block them! Car dealers Lying that Tesla Doesn’t provide “Support” to the Community, because they don’t “Sponsor some Little League” Ball Team, and also complaining about them not “Letting them Sell Tesla’s!”

Or, that GM has refused to sell Bolt EV’s in Ontario, while we still had the Rebate, or Toyota only starting sales of the Prius Prime in Quebec, simply because Quebec had a CARB LIKE ZEV Law they were putting on the books!

Yup! Consider it ALL!

@Al D said: “Way too glowing a review… I don’t like that big screen… Will parts be readily available?… Will Tesla be in serious financial trouble a few years…”


Sounds like @Al D is more a Chevy Bolt kind of guy seeking the comfort of more established safe (putting the GM bankruptcy aside) & more established traditional (no desire for radical-edge design & tech).

Which is ok because Chevy Bolt is in need of more sales:

August 2018 INSIDEEVs Scorecard:

Tesla Model 3: 17,800

Chevy Bolt: 1,225


Don’t tell that to Anton Walhman ,the GM Bolt is supposed to be a Tesla Mod3 killer!

@rey said: “Don’t tell that to Anton Walhman ,the GM Bolt is supposed to be a Tesla Mod3 killer!”

Flash back Sep 2017 (during Tesla Model 3 ramp-up):

Anton Wahlman said on SeekingAlpha:
“…Chevrolet Bolt EV also out-sold the Tesla Model 3 in August to the tune of a whopping 28:1 ratio in the U.S… “

What a difference a year makes.

I don’t know what INSIDEEV’S did with their on screen formatting of these articles but I read them on my iPad and they are almost unreadable…Now the typeface/fonts show up very small and impossible to see on screen without zooming in…the articles are full of multiple images of cars that are totally immaterial to the article content….???

I suggest going back to the original formatting where these articles were fun to read.

I find it surprising that he called summon “cool but not useful”…