The Tesla Model 3 is often seen as a game changer in the automotive industry. It battles the BMW 3 Series and offers at least 240 miles of range on electric power. And while prices can climb easily, it starts at well under $40,000 before tax credits. Although it took a while to arrive to market, today the Model 3 is the most popular sports sedan, with more than 10,000 deliveries in the month of April.
I recently spent time with the Model 3, and here are five things I learned after driving it for about 30 minutes.
The screen is dominant
Whether you want to adjust the side view mirrors or the steering wheel height, everything has to be done through the infotainment screen. While I’m a fan of not seeing a single button on the dash or door panels, I wish it was easier to adjust certain functions.
We all know Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving system (dubbed Autopilot) is the best one in the industry, but I had only experienced it in a close and safe environment. Recently, I tried it for the first time on the street and was impressed by how flawless the acceleration was, how well it read the lane markings, and how it was aware of its surroundings. The version that I drove had the regular Autopilot and did not include automatic lane changes.
Download the app
Since Tesla is a car company focused on tech, you had to expect it would have a great smartphone app. But what I didn’t know is all of the things that you can do through the app with your Tesla. Besides determining the vehicle’s location and current speed (if its driving at the moment), users can see its battery status, lock or unlock the vehicle, and turn on the air conditioning. Your phone can also be set as a key through the app.
The dash cam is built in