After hearing endless hype about Tesla’s “affordable” EV sedan, I finally snagged a Model 3 test drive. Time to see if Elon’s wonder car lives up to the Sci-Fi spaceship promises.
Spoiler: this test drive blew my tiny petrol-loving mind! Let’s get into the nitty gritty of what makes the Model 3 so sick.
That Future Shock Styling…
Rolling up in the M3, my boring neighborhood suddenly felt like Gotham City 2050. This slate grey bad boy looks downright predatory and alien gliding down the street – all stealth fighter contours and B2 stealth bomber angles.
The tinted glass roof arcs beautifully for that astronaut helmet visor effect. Throw in the hidden door handles that magically extend when you approach, and it’s easy to feel like the superhero of the streets. I half expected lasers to appear and zap oncoming traffic out of my way!
Clearly Tesla’s designers were allowed to run wild, ignoring the tired “make it fit in” rules binding normal sedans. The Model 3 exudes menace and thrill like no fossil fuel car possibly could.
Space Age Techy Interior
Hopping inside the mothership…I mean Model 3…feels deliciously futuristic as well. The stereo plays alien synth music as if beckoning you to lift off into the atmosphere at any moment.
A massive central touchscreen dominates the minimalist cabin like mission command on the Starship Enterprise. It controls everything from navigation to seat heaters with haptic feedback – just tap and slide.
Lose the key fob – the M3 turns on when it senses your smartphone is near using wizard-level magic…I mean Bluetooth signals. Little details like auto-presenting door handles and self-dimming mirrors make it feel more intelligent than any old car.
I could geek out forever about the tech – from Tesla streaming music services to remote assisted Smart Summon. But suffice it to say the M3 cabin makes an iPhone look Flintstonian in comparison.
Lightning Off the Line
Okay, enough foreplay – time to drive this baby…quietly. With no growling engine, you glide away with faint futuristic “wooshes.” Mash the accelerator, and your eyeballs damn near flatten from the instantaneous force.
This is Ludicrous Mode acceleration – 0 to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds while your unsuspecting organs get plastered to your spine. The force of the near-silent acceleration only amplifies the sensation – like being fired from an electromagnetic rail gun.
Once you get past the initial neck-snapping torque, the acceleration feels vigorously smooth. You know how in cartoons when a character gets whisked away and they’re just an elongating blur? Yeah, like that. My 11-year-old Tesla passenger described it best: “It feels like teleporting!”
Nimble Handling + Suspension
Carving around corners and popping over speed bumps, the low center of gravity and balanced weight distribution gives the M3 pleasingly nimble handling for a mid-size sedan.
It grips the road with poise thanks to the independent multi-link rear suspension (fancy talk for stability). The turning radius is tight enough to shame most compact cars – this Tesla can make a u-turn on a coin.
On highway clover leaf ramps, the g-forces shove blood to the side of your head but in a thrilling rollercoaster way. Meanwhile, the crystal clear stereo provides your own action movie soundtrack. Through it all, the comfy seats cosset like a luxury recliner.
For an efficient eco car, the M3 drives impossibly lively. Handling purists might miss engine vibrations that transmit road feel, but I’d rather have the smooth precision. This handling leaves bike-like driving smiles plastered on your face.
Tech That Blows Minds
We’ve covered the space-age interface, but the Model 3’s tech wizardry goes deeper. First, there’s Sentry Mode – a security system that watches for threats when you’re away from the vehicle and records any incidents.
Summon allows parking and retrieving your car with the app – I could hardly believe it as I watched the empty Tesla roll itself toward me like an obedient pet!
Autopilot builds on existing cruise control by steering and braking automatically on highways when activated. Is it weird having a robot driver? Sure, but also pretty damn amazing! However, you still need to pay attention in case the AI messes up.
Everything from GPS navigation to audio volume auto-adjusts to your preferences thanks to machine learning. Yes, the car gets smarter the more you drive it – such a brilliant example of applied tech.
Altogether, the Model 3 isn’t a car – it’s an always-online supercomputer on wheels that Renault and Toyota can only dream of creating. If you geek out over seamless human/machine interfaces like me, Tesla’s nailed it.
Downsides: Less Cargo and Range
Look, no car is flawless, so I made sure to observe the M3’s weak spots too. Cargo space is a modest 14 cubic feet – enough for some grocery runs and luggage but smaller than many sedan trunks.
The rear glass roof looks slick but reduces headroom somewhat in back. Taller passengers may graze their dome on the ceiling. Lastly, range between charges can fluctuate from 260 to 315 miles based on conditions and driving style. Road tripping requires planning your charging stops carefully.
But you know what – these are minor quibbles. For the future-forward innovation Tesla delivers, I’ll happily adjust my packing list and road trip routes.
The Verdict? A Rad Ride
From its space-age contours to its sci-fi tech, the Model 3 earns its reputation as an EV game-changer. Yes, the six-figure Model S may boast more luxury bells and whistles. But in terms of upending how electric cars look, feel, and think, the Model 3 fully delivers on its promise.
Beyond the technology, it simply drives phenomenally well for how efficiently it operates. Meanwhile, Autopilot and Summon provide real-deal glimpses into an autonomous future.
Starting around £40k, this Tesla still represents a big purchase but feels worth cost once behind the wheel. For the price, no other EV comes close in terms of tech innovation and all-around user experience.
I expected a gadgety toy but drove away a Tesla believer. This miracle car combines digital ingenuity with motorsports thrill. My puny petrol vehicle now feels downright primitive in comparison. Raise your door handles to the future and throw out your keys – the Model 3 is an automotive revolution.