Cramped Toe Space? Consumer Reports Reviews Tesla's Model 3
The verdict from Consumer Reports is in: Tesla's Model 3 sedan is quick and sticks to the road like glue, but lacks dignity when the going gets rough and may break wind noisily.
The Model 3 is the Palo Alto maker's attempt to bring electric vehicles to the masses, mostly through a $35,000 version not yet in production.
Consumer Reports, America's iconic source of product reviews, bought and tested a loaded, $60,000 version of the Model 3.
"Our testers were impressed by our car's glued-to-the-road handling, with steering that is quick and precise, much like a well-tuned sports car," the Consumer Reports review said.
"The Model 3's taut suspension keeps the car from leaning when cornering, while its sharp reflexes help it carve through tight turns with ease and tear down straightaways."
However, the reviewers were not enchanted with the sedan's ride quality.
"The car is overly stiff, struggling to absorb bumps with the dignity expected from a luxury car," Consumer Reports said.
And while the vehicle, like all Teslas, has a clean sleek look, Consumer Reports found "considerable wind noise at highway speeds."
The car's automated lane-keeping wasn't as smooth as most human drivers but it did "a good job of keeping the car between lane lines," according to Consumer Reports.
The driver's position was "fantastic," with comfortable seats up front and an "expansive windshield, sloping hood, and low dashboard" providing "a clear, commanding view of the road ahead."
A high shelf behind the rear seats, however, can partially conceal a vehicle directly behind, Consumer Reports said.
Speaking of the rear seats, passengers may want to lobby vociferously for shotgun. The back seat designed for up to three people "is positioned extremely low to the floor, resulting in an uncomfortable knee bend for adults and providing no thigh support," according to Consumer Reports.
"Toe space is cramped under the front seats."
Consumer Reports repeated a concern that Tesla's centralization of many controls in a dash-mounted, 15-inch touchscreen required drivers to take their eyes off the road, potentially creating a safety risk. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has responded to that worry by saying that eventually nearly everything will be controlled by voice.
The Model 3 tested by Consumer Reports had a long-range battery, premium front seats and audio system, a glass roof), and the "Enhanced Autopilot" system for semi-autonomous driving.
Presenting its "bottom line," Consumer Reports highlighted the touchscreen issue, but said it was "struck by how enjoyable this car is to drive."
© 2018 San Jose Mercury News under contract with NewsEdge/Acquire Media. All rights reserved.
Image credit: Tesla/Elon Musk Twitter page.
May Interest You:
New cars come equipped with safety systems. But how about all the other cars that are more than a year old? No worries... There are plenty of car safety features that are available, affordably, for ALL cars, not just new ones.
See products that are available for YOUR car at: Make My Car Safe, the premium online seller of car safety products for ALL cars.