It has been almost five years since we first drove a Tesla. On December 12, 2014 our Editor Trevor Long said, Forget everything you know about driving, forget everything you know about cars – throw it all out the window because the Tesla Model S is now available in Australia and it’s so different it will mess with your mind.” I remember the day being typically hot and oppressive for early December as we took one to the Blacktown Drive In for a photo shoot.
I also remember one other thing, sheer, unadulterated acceleration.
Fast forward to the last four days and I’ve had the chance to swan around town in the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range, Elon’s first attempt at a mass market EV. Because let’s face until now Tesla’s have been completely obtainable, for just about all. Even a base model Telsa Model S with the 60kWh battery set you back $106,000 back in 2014. With prices escalating up to $188,00 at the time.
But rather then deliver a complete review of the Model 3 right now, I just want to point out a few things. It has been five-years as I mentioned, but I’m comfortable saying with absolute certainty that Tesla is still the best in the business at producing an engaging, easy to live with EV with zero range anxiety.
The brand was the pioneer as we all know, it pushed the boundaries before anyone else and there’s no doubt, we wouldn’t have the multiple electric cars on the market today if it wasn’t for them.
Bagging Tesla is so very easy, I’ve done it, every motoring reviewer has.
Some examples have had panel gaps that could swallow a matchbox car, there’s been fires, there’s been seemingly rushed technology thrust upon an unsuspecting public and of course there has been the odd Tesla dope, who ended up departing this Earth while misusing the much-hyped Autopilot system.
But after driving all that Tesla has to offer, including driving a Model X from Brisbane to Adelaide I can say the following after my Model 3 experience; the others still truly haven’t caught up.
The Model 3 Standard Range Plus Rear-Wheel drive starts from $67,900. Although once the $1,500 deep blue metallic paint, $8,500 full self-driving “capability “ and $5,300 worth of on-road fees are added, let’s talk $84,575.
But what other EV’s does it smash out of the park?
The Hyundai Ioniq – doesn’t come close.
The Hyundai Kona Electric – The most expensive Hyundai the size of a hatchback, leave me alone.
Nissan Leaf – Expensive, poor range.
Jaguar I-Pace – Excellent, but more of a competitor for the Model S. I do worry about its range.
Renault Zoe – Too small, too expensive very poor range.
BMW i3 – Big money, at tad too green for me.
You can check out my EV guide here.
Then there’s the enormous, by Australian standards, public supercharger network. The fact Tesla even bothered trying to pull off such a large-scale project for little old us, is another massive tick. I mean, there’s one at the iconic Dog on the Tucker Box at Gundagai on the Hume Highway, NSW for heavens sake.
Then there’s the rapid delivery of over-the-air software updates, some pehenonmal, some a tad strange. But when it comes to matching a high-tech propulsion system with an equally futuristic wrapping of unique tech, no one does it better.
In 2019, after five years Tesla still kick everyone else in the balls. I’m not saying that will last, but for now it’s still easily numero uno.