Test Drive: Tesla Model 3 not just a game-changer, it’s a mind-changer

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The Model 3 is certainly something different, and could change the minds of EV-doubters, and mark a shift in the lagging EV market in Australia.

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The Tesla Model 3 hits Australian country roads. Credit: Bridie Schmidt
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The Driven

Everything is faster in a Model 3. The acceleration of the Performance variant which I have driven over the past three days – 0-100km/hr in just 3.4 seconds – is outstanding, just for a start.

The lack of revolutions and engine noise does not diminish that feeling of sheer power. In fact, it enhances it as the car effortlessly zips ahead at the traffic lights, and provokes absolutely no worries when changing lanes in heavy traffic.

The software interface, which references Apple’s easy-to-use UI is precise and responsive, and easy to learn how to navigate (as a Tesla newbie, having never driven a Model S or Model X, I must admit I was a little nervous about not having all the traditional car nobs and dials at my disposal).

Even my recently acquired 5G phone charged faster off the Model 3’s USB ports than at home on a 240V socket.

But speed is not all that the Model 3 is about. It is leading the shift to clean, zero emissions transport worldwide, becoming the best selling vehicle in both US and European markets, and it has been called a game-changer.

I would posit that a more accurate term is mind-changer.

For someone who has to now had a preference to the typical Australian favourite SUV – thanks to living in a region with questionable road quality and a tendency to flood – I have come to enjoy sitting high in a vehicle.

But after half an hour in the Model 3 (the Performance version of which sits even lower to the ground than the Long Range and Standard Range+ variants), I find myself seduced by the low ride that is further enhanced by the super low centre of gravity due to the flat battery pack.

To read the full version of this story on RenewEconomy’s electric vehicle dedicated site, The Driven, click here…

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