Shame not to have a nosey around a Tesla when you’re already outside the showroom, isn’t it?
It is perhaps not an exaggeration to say that one of the hottest car brands in recent memory is Tesla. Even non-car people would undoubtedly have heard of this American EV upstart after all, with some too going as far as to idolise its billionaire CEO as a some sort of modern day tech messiah.
While many would have heard of Tesla though, the number of people who had actually experienced one for themselves is probably to be far less. And this is especially true for the Malaysian Tesla-stans among us, seeing as daddy Elon having not tweeted any plans to officially begin importing its products over here just yet.
Happily for this one lucky Malaysian however, I happened to stumble upon a Tesla showroom (or experience centres, as they seem to call it) in one of my recent adventures, and there was a Model 3 that was unlocked and ripe for a quick poke around. So here then is a quick 60 second review of what many call the people’s Tesla.
Now just a quick disclaimer first, with this being a quick showroom walk around, there isn’t going to be much detail (read: no test drive portion) in this short and snappy look at the Tesla Model 3. Then again, there are quite a lot of things to be derived from even just a quick tour round this EV, like how amazingly responsive the central touch screen is for instance.
Sure, Tesla is perhaps better known for its gimmicky tech toys — the fart mode comes to mind — that can be activated through said TV-esque central touch screen. Many more traditionalists will also probably lament the lack of any instrument cluster, with all the rather important driving-related information (like vehicle speed and battery life) being tucked away from anyone’s immediate eye line on that massive screen in the middle.
But credit where credit is due to Tesla, the central screen could certainly rank as one of the more responsive systems in the auto industry right now. Kudos too for making the user interface pretty idiot-proof, with this one managing to fumble his way through most of the major menus and settings after just 30 seconds of poking and prodding at the screen. Crisp graphics is also certainly a plus, though not being able to angle the screen in any way towards the driver to aide ergonomic tapping may be something that Elon could perhaps consider adding in any future (hardware) updates with the Model 3.
The next round of updates should hopefully bring about some improvement to the final fit and finish as well, with even this showroom example showing some massive panel gaps round its interior door caps. Since Tesla’s reputation for poor build quality is rather well-documented already however, let’s then swiftly move onto something perhaps less said about the Model 3’s interior, and that is how surprisingly cushy and comfy its seats are.
Soft and springy probably isn’t what is generally to be expected in the current world of hard and firm car seats, but it is nevertheless a pleasant(ly well-padded) surprise to be found within the Model 3. Same goes too for the more than adequate space in the rear passenger quarters of this smallest of current Teslas, with both leg room and head room being more than sufficient for a 6-footer, even with the standard fixed panoramic glass roof in place.
And in continuing on the topic of more than adequate space, both the electrically-operated frunk and trunk should be more than sufficient for most people’s daily needs. Though it is rather interesting to note that despite its hatchback silhouette, the Model 3 still has a sedan-style trunk opening. Also, while the trunk is deep, it isn’t really all that wide.
Turning now towards the exterior, it is interesting to find that this particular Model 3 wears a different set of alloys up front and round its back. And as for design critique on the rest of this Tesla meanwhile, the kindest thing to say is that the metallic grey paint of this example does a good job in making palatable its blobby shape and grille-less face.
So to quickly round up this 60 second review of the Model 3, initial impressions point to it being a rather comfy and tech-laden car, that hides beneath it the potential to slay a Porsche from a set of traffic lights. Something which has yet to be personally experienced to date, but rest assured the opportunity (if/when it comes) will be documented here in due course.
Though if I were to choose, I have to say that I’m much more partial to having a go in one of these. Watch this space!