Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD 4dr Auto

  • Automatic
  • Electric
  • 4 door saloon
  • 4.4 secs 0 to 60 mph
  • 351 bhp Engine power
  • 391 mi Combined range
  • 79 kWh Battery capacity
  • 8 yrs Battery warranty

Ten Second Review

The Model 3 is the car that's really put Tesla on the map and this revised version has been thoroughly updated. It's even more avant garde inside, quieter to drive and better to ride in, plus there's more equipment despite the fact that the entry-level version has a useful price advantage over its rivals. All Model 3s are in this form sleeker and more aerodynamic, helping EV mileage figures that have been gradually improving, with the range of the Dual Motor version being class-leading. So, your next executive saloon? Middle managers who are early adopters of new technology should form an orderly queue.

Background

At its launch back in 2017, the Model 3 was the most significant car Tesla had introduced in its history, but even this ambitious US brand couldn't have predicted just how successful it would be. In the first six years of production, over 2 million were sold and the car was frequently the European continent's best seller. It was an accessible, high-performance and technologically advanced contender that appealed to a broad audience and it helped shift perceptions about electric vehicles into the mainstream. By Autumn 2023 though, the EV competition was catching up, hence the need for the heavily revised version of the Model 3 we look at here. There's a sharper look, greater refinement, improved media connectivity and a smarter cabin. Sounds promising.

Driving Experience

There's a lot to get used to behind the wheel of a Model 3 - particularly in this updated version. For this enhanced design, Tesla has decided that it's no longer necessary to provide the column stalks that used to control gear shifting and the indicators. Forward or reverse motion is now activated via a swipe on the right hand side of the central screen that, as before, houses all the main drive instruments. While indicating is now dealt with by buttons on the left hand wheel spoke. As before, there's a choice of two powertrains, an entry-level Rear-Wheel Drive set-up (which goes 318 miles between charges) and a Long Range AWD model (which extends that to 390 miles). Both offer eager performance, with the rear-driven model making 62mph in 6.1s, a figure the AWD version improves to just 4.4s. Lots of work has been done on refinement (not a strongpoint of the original model), Tesla introducing 360-degree acoustic glass and adding improved suspension bushings, seals and sound-deadening materials. Otherwise, the drive experience here is much as before. Which means superbly accurate steering, lacking only the final really feelsome element that's integral to a good European rack. And very well modulated set of brakes. There's also firm-ish damping that contributes to excellent body control through the turns, but doesn't crash too much through pot holes or over speed humps. You could actually enjoy yourself driving this car, which is quite a rare experience in an EV. The smooth linearity of the throttle helps -though it's still prone to lurch the car forward like a startled rabbit if used without due care. As before, there's no driving mode system of the kind a combustion-engined competitor in this segment would offer - just three steering settings ('Comfort', 'Standard' or 'Sport') and two acceleration modes ('Standard' and the rather cringily-named 'Chill'). You can activate a 'Slip Start' setting that eases the car away if you happen to be stuck on snow, mud or sand. As for regenerative braking, well you can't control it in the way you can with rival EVs. A Model 3 also dispenses with other driving control features you might be familiar with - a handbrake, an ignition key and a start button for instance.

Design and Build

The key difference with this evolved Model 3 lies with its sleeker exterior design, which sees sharper body lines and aero-optimized surfaces reduce drag, improve wind noise and increase range. The headlamps now have a totally new aesthetic and the tail lamps have been restyled too, with super bright colours. Otherwise, things are much as before, so the batteries run along the floor and there's a body made of a mixture of steel and aluminium. The suspension design uses double wishbones up-front and a multi-link set-up at the rear, with coil springs all-round. Breaking from the hatchback body configuration of other current Tesla cars, the Model 3 is a five-seat saloon that measures in at 4.7m long - fractionally more than a BMW 3 Series. A little disappointingly, the door handles are conventional, rather than automatically popping out to greet you as they do with larger Teslas. As before, to get in and start the car, you don't need anything as old fashioned as a key - or even a key fob. When you take delivery, simply download the appropriate app to activate everything - or use the provided RFID card. Inside this revised model, interior ambiance has taken a noticeable step towards 'premium-ness' (as it needed to), with upgraded materials (real aluminium, textiles and so on) and customisable ambient lighting wrapping around the full cabin. There's re-designed aluminium-covered centre console with dual wireless 'phone chargers. The heated front seats are now ventilated and Tesla has installed a new studio-quality next-gen audio system, with either 9 or 17 speakers, depending on whether you choose a rear-driven or AWD variant. The previous wheel stalks have been replaced with steering wheel controls for a more uncluttered driving experience, including both haptic switches and physical buttons. The super bright and responsive 15.4-inch centre-dash display is the same size as before, but offers a more usable screen area thanks to thinner bezel. It features customizable UI and gets better over time with OTA updates. As before, it's certainly very airy inside thanks to an uncovered sunroof at the front and a rear window that stretches up into the roof. That gives excellent rearward visibility too. In the back, there's an all-new 8-inch rear display with integrated climate control, ventilation, and entertainment. As before, there's 425-litres of luggage space, that figure including both boot capacity and the 117-litre under-bonnet 'froot'.

Market and Model

Model 3 pricing has actually become a little more affordable in recent times, the figures now starting from around £40,000 for the entry-level rear-driven version; it's around £50,000 for the 'Long Range' variant. If that's still a little on the high side for you, the various improvements made to this revised model might take some of the sting out of these figures; enhancements like the new customisable ambient lighting system, the ventilated front seats, the more premium cabin trimming, the two-phone wireless charging station and the smarter 8-inch rear seat climate display screen. Media connectivity has been improved too, with dual-band Wi-Fi capability (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz). Then there's the new Tesla-designed premium audio system. It features 17 speakers, dual subwoofers and dual amplifiers for Long Range vehicles; and 9 speakers, a single subwoofer and amplifier for Rear-Wheel Drive vehicles. It includes native support for Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal. Additional and more capable microphones deliver improved call quality too. there are also two rear USB-C charging ports, each with up to 65W of power. You'll be able to seamlessly connect it all with Bluetooth to sync everything from your contacts to your music. The 15.4-inch centre screen takes software downloads from Tesla every few weeks (once you've approved the same via your ownership app) which means that, as with other Teslas, you'll get into your car one morning and find it can do something it couldn't do yesterday - which is rather cool. The navigation mapping is by Google maps, so traffic mapping is very interactive. All of this does mean though, that as soon as you want to change something, you have to delve around in menus and sub-menus to do it, which requires intimate familiarity with the way the monitor works. This isn't one of those cars you can just get in, drive and use to the full without a second thought.

Cost of Ownership

Owning a Model 3 is of course very different from owning a conventionally powered executive saloon. There's no fuel bill and service is minimal. The annual service fee covers an annual inspection, replacement parts like brake pads and windscreen wipers, 24 hour roadside assistance, system monitoring, remote diagnostics, software updates and new features sent through the touchscreen. It's possible to charge the battery half way in about 30 minutes using Tesla's 'supercharger' but as with most elements of this car, it requires a change in your way of thinking. The car responds best to nightly recharges, but will happily sit for a couple of weeks at an airport while you holiday without losing significant charge, though over longer stationary periods, the cells will slowly lose their charge. We gave you the driving range figures in our 'Driving' section - 318 miles for the rear-driven model and 390 miles for the Dual Motor AWD version; these are aided in this revised model by improved aerodynamics and range-optimised tyres. Though there's quite a difference in battery size between the rear-driven and Dual Motor models, both charge in about the same time (10-80% in about 25 minutes) because the 'Rear-Wheel Drive' version's 58kWh battery can only charge at up to 170kWh, while the Dual Motor variant charges at up to 250kW. As before, a major selling point lies with the Tesla Supercharger network, which now features over 1,000 charging points spread across over 100 locations throughout the UK. Charging from home using a 7.4kW wallbox from empty to full takes 9 hours 15 minutes with the 58kWh rear-driven model - or 12 hours with the 70kWh Dual Motor version. As with other EVs, you'll make big savings in terms of your tax, VED and maintenance liabilities.

Summary

A lot of people have a lot to say about Tesla and its co-creator Elon Musk. Here though, our job is to talk about the cars it makes, specifically this one, which to begin with caused the brand more headaches than any other in its history. But then perhaps you'd expect that. It's one thing to build relatively low volume cars that sell in the £75,000 to £125,000 bracket, as Tesla did with the Model S when it started off. But quite another to make one for the volume market where per-unit profits are lower and product scrutiny much greater. The Model 3 was that car and in the years since, it's gone on to redefine its brand. But the EV market has moved on since 2017, so it's just as well that the Model 3 has moved with it, creating this heavily revised design. If you didn't already want a Model 3, the improvements made here probably won't be enough to convince you over alternatives from more established brands, but if you've always hankered after one of these, then this update package will please you very much indeed.

  • Car wash mode
  • 17 speakers, dual subwoofers and dual amplifiers
  • 3 x USB-C ports with each up to 65W
  • DAB Digital radio
  • Media storage
  • Music and video streaming, caraoke and internet browser
  • Music, FM radio and media over bluetooth connection
  • Steering wheel mounted controls
  • Tesla mobile app
  • Adjusting opening height of powered trunk
  • Body coloured bumpers
  • Frunk cargo volume 88l
  • Frunk opening hood with no power
  • Interior emergency release for frunk
  • Interior emergency trunk release
  • Panoramic roof
  • Powered rear trunk
  • Rear boot
  • Rear side wing doors
  • 12V power outlet
  • Center console
  • Coat hangers
  • Glovebox with pin
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Horn and scroll button on steering wheel
  • Overhead console
  • Power adjustable steering wheel
  • Rear console
  • 3x3 point rear seat belts
  • Adjustable shoulder anchor height
  • Airbag status indicator
  • Airbag warning indicator
  • Cabin camera determining driver inattentiveness and view cabin from tesla app
  • Child locks
  • Curtain airbags
  • Driver airbag
  • Electric child locks
  • Front passenger airbag
  • Front passenger occupant detection
  • Knee airbags
  • Locking rear windows
  • Pedestrian warning
  • Seat belt reminder
  • Seat mounted far side airbag
  • Seatbelt pretensioners
  • Smart garage connectivity
  • Tyre pressure monitor
  • Window left open notifications
  • Auto drive away locking
  • Car left open notifications
  • Dashcam
  • Driver door unlock mode
  • Dual wireless phone charger
  • Hands free key card
  • Interior locking and unlocking
  • Keyless entry and keyless start
  • Phone key with ultra wideband capability
  • Pin to drive
  • Sentry mode
  • Tilt/Intrusion system
  • Unlock on park
  • Walk away door lock
  • Battery Capacity % guaranteed under warranty: 70
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 79
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Charge Time (Mins): 454
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 1 - Power Supply - kW: 11
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Charge Time (Mins): 107
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Percentage Change: 0-100
  • Battery Charging Scenario 2 - Power Supply - kW: 50
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Charge Time (Mins): 36
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Percentage Change: 0-80
  • Battery Charging Scenario 3 - Power Supply - kW: 120
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Charge Time (Mins): 27
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Percentage Change: 0-80
  • Battery Charging Scenario 4 - Power Supply - kW: 250
  • Battery Leased: False
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • Charging Port Location: Left Side Rear
  • Coupler/Connector Type: CCS Type 2
  • Maximum Charging Rate - kW: 250
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage: 120000
  • Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years: 8
  • Usable Battery Capacity: N
  • WLTP - EC (kWh/100km) - Comb: 14
  • WLTP - EC (miles/kWh) - Comb: 4.4
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (km) - Comb: 629
  • WLTP - Pure Electric Range (miles) - Comb: 391
  • CO: N
  • CO2 (g/km): 0
  • HC: N
  • HC+NOx: N
  • Noise Level dB(A): N
  • NOx: N
  • Particles: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • Camshaft: N
  • Catalytic Convertor: N
  • CC: 1
  • Compression Ratio: N
  • Cylinder Layout: N
  • Cylinders: N
  • Cylinders - Bore (mm): N
  • Cylinders - Stroke (mm): N
  • Engine Code: N
  • Engine Layout: N
  • Fuel Delivery: U
  • Gears: 1 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: N
  • Transmission: AUTO
  • EC Combined (mpg): N
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: N
  • EC Extra Urban (mpg): N
  • EC Urban (mpg): N
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Badge Engine CC: 0
  • Badge Power: 351
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: N
  • Coin Series: N
  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 41D
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 50000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 4
  • Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
  • Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): 4.4
  • Engine Power - BHP: 351
  • Engine Power - KW: 258
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 299
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 41.4
  • Engine Torque - NM: 406
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 5000
  • Top Speed: 125
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: N
  • Alloys: True
  • Tyre Size Front: 235/40 R19
  • Tyre Size Rear: 235/40 R19
  • Wheel Style: NOVA
  • Wheel Type: 19" ALLOY
  • Height: 1441
  • Height (including roof rails): N
  • Length: 4720
  • Wheelbase: 2875
  • Width: 1850
  • Width (including mirrors): 2089
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): N
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 977
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 594
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1828
  • No. of Seats: 5

What our customers say...

Veronica Clarke Artur was great.
5 stars
Leased a Tesla Model 3