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

TESLA MODEL 3